Ways of seeing while driving in the dense fog of Delhi

Updated on Jan 10, 2020 11:21 AM IST
As collisions caused by low visibility are a prime reason for road fatalities in the capital in winter, Delhi traffic police has issued advisories for drivers while experts suggest year-round drives to inculcate good driving habits.
The advisory issued by the traffic police has urged drivers to follow basic traffic rules such as lane driving, using indicator while moving lanes, to avoid overtaking other vehicles and to drive at low speeds.(HT PHOTO)
The advisory issued by the traffic police has urged drivers to follow basic traffic rules such as lane driving, using indicator while moving lanes, to avoid overtaking other vehicles and to drive at low speeds.(HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

As the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts a week-long spell of dense fog in Delhi and its neighbouring satellite towns, the city’s traffic enforcement agencies are once again on alert mode.

Officials of the Delhi traffic police said collisions caused by low visibility have become a prime reason for road fatalities in the national capital and on highways around it.

Data from the ministry of road transport and highways shows that as many as 12,678 people lost their lives in fog-related road accidents in 2018. In 2016, as many as 9,317 people died in such accidents and the number increased to 11,090 in 2017. The ministry further said between 2014 and 2018, fatalities on roads due to fog-related crashes increased by almost 100%.

Since 2017, north Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi have topped the list of states where road accidents spike during winters.

Delhi traffic police officials said the problem is more rampant on highways and expressways around the city, and accidents caused by low visibility increase by at least 8-10% in December and January— when the visibility in the region dips to almost zero. Apart from road accidents, the possibility of pile-ups—when multiple vehicles crash with each other—also increases also increases in the fog.

Traffic experts and senior traffic officials said following elementary practices can go a long way in saving drivers and others from fatal collisions. (HT Graphic )
Traffic experts and senior traffic officials said following elementary practices can go a long way in saving drivers and others from fatal collisions. (HT Graphic )

One such accident occurred on January 2018, when India’s powerlifting world champion Saksham Yadav was killed in a road accident on the Delhi-Panipat highway. The accident was primarily caused by dense fog, the police had said then.

“We have issued a detailed advisory for drivers to follow and this set of practices is being widely circulated on our social media accounts. We are also doing extensive awareness campaigns to educate people on how they should be more attentive while driving in fog,” Narendra Singh Bundela, joint commissioner of police (traffic), said.

The advisory issued by the traffic police has urged drivers to follow basic traffic rules such as lane-driving, using indicator while moving lanes, to avoid overtaking other vehicles and to drive at low speeds.

Traffic experts and senior traffic officials said following elementary practices can go a long way in saving drivers and others from fatal collisions. They added a year-round programme to inculcate good driving behaviour, where drivers are trained to follow rules is the need of the hour.

“Lane-driving and driving within the stipulated speed limits are the basic rules of driving that people need to follow throughout the year. A good driver will follow these steps, and an additional step would be to be more alert,” a senior traffic police official said.

Road safety experts also said learners’ licence test should also test driving in foggy conditions.

“The overall module for driving tests should be strengthened, but considering that we live in Delhi, which experiences intense winter months, drivers should also be trained properly to handle situations that are likely to arise during foggy rides. This cannot be achieved by an advisory, it needs more serious awareness,” Santosh Acharya, co-founder of Road Safety Charter, a Delhi-based non-profit group that works for creating awareness on traffic and road safety, said.

Use of fog lights can go a long way

Experts further stressed that in case of low visibility, use of fog lights can reduce the risk of accidents by more than 25%.

The International Road Federation (IRF) had written to the union ministry in 2018 to make the front and rear fog lights mandatory in all vehicles.

“The point is when you cannot see beyond a distance of over 100 metres, you will be able to spot a moving vehicle around you with the fog lights,” Acharya said.

Traffic officials said turning parking lights on in older models of vehicles that do not have without fog lights could also be helpful.

“During dense fog days, the visibility is at its lowest between 1am and 3am. We always advise drivers to avoid driving your vehicle during this time,” another senior traffic police official said. “But if you are caught in the middle of the road and have no other option but to drive, keep your speed below 40 kmph and rely on your hearing. Switch off the music in your car or turn down the volume and listen for the screeching of brakes or honking sounds to figure out the distance between your vehicle and the others.”

Traffic officials also advised if your vehicle breaks down in the wee hours of the night or early morning, then carrying reflective jackets and reflective lights could prove helpful. These could be placed around the vehicle, so that an approaching vehicle can be spotted from far off. This tip could also be helpful for cyclists and pedestrians during peak traffic hours.

“If you are wearing a reflective jacket, you are automatically visible from a distance. There have been accidents where speeding vehicles have hit people on the road because they could not see them till they came dangerously close. In winters, everything comes down to visibility so your focus should be to enhance the ability of being seen clearly,” a traffic police official said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • It was argued on his behalf that since no departmental proceedings were initiated against him by the employer, he was entitled to full salary and consequential benefits like a promotion for seven years when he remained behind bars.

    No work, no pay: HC rejects acquitted teacher’s plea for salary during his imprisonment

    Mumbai: The Bombay high court (HC) has rejected a plea of a 65-year-old retired teacher seeking a salary for the seven years that hthe teacher-Gangadhar Pukalespent behind bars in connection with the alleged murder of his wife. While in service, on July 5, 2006, he was arrested for allegedly murdering his wife and convicted in September 2008 for the offence of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

  • Targeting youngsters, the radio station instantly connects one to our neighbour and parted brother. Following it for years, I’ve woven a bond with it. Whenever tuned in, the channel belts out an exciting fare, including songs from the West, besides Bollywood and Pakistan. (Representative Image/HT File)

    Spice of life | Independence is in the air, give peace, love a chance

    Whenever I drive towards my village, which is minutes away from the Indo-Pak border of Attari-Wagah, I tune in to City FM 89.0, a popular radio station of Pakistan, the frequency of which is received in our border villages. If I have guests along, I ardently introduce it to them, too. “Do you know the song you're listening to is being played by a Pakistani radio broadcaster?” I tell them.

  • Manoj Sinha leading the march. (PTI)

    Manoj Sinha leads tricolour march in Srinagar

    Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha led a tricolour march on the banks of the Dal Lake in Srinagar on Sunday as part of the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign to mark 75 years of India's Independence. Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said Jammu & Kashmir was breaking all records in its enthusiasm for the Independence Day celebrations. Sinha recalled Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi march and its role in the country's freedom struggle.

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis at Mantralaya during the celebrations of Rakshabandhan and the 75th year of Independence in Mumbai on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

    Maharashtra cabinet: Fadnavis gets home; CM Shinde keeps urban development

    Days after the Maharashtra cabinet expansion, portfolios have been allocated to ministers, with chief minister Eknath Shinde keeping the urban development ministry and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis getting the home, finance, water resources, housing and power departments. A statement from the chief minister's office said BJP minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil will be the new revenue minister in the new Shiv Sena-BJP government in the state. Former state BJP president Chandrakant Patil will also look after parliamentary affairs.

  • The CUET has been marred with frequent delays and other glitches at different test centres across the city. (Photo: Amal KS/ HT)

    The wait for CUET is killing us, say Delhi’s college aspirants

    College life is something that every individual eagerly awaits. With the Common University Entrance Test facing several interruptions and glitches, most Delhi-based youth aspiring to get into colleges to begin their campus journey are left feeling low and disappointed. Some rue that their cool plans are gradually losing hot steam. Same case is of Parul Sharma, another class XII pass out, who wants to get into a good college the soonest possible.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, August 14, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now