#Article (Archive)

Irresponsible driving - The hazards

Feb 10, 2012, 12:39 PM | Article By: Adelaide Mendy

with Whilst every individual has the free will to obtain the skills to drive a vehicle, there are inherent responsibilities attached to that ability. Once a person makes the conscious decision to get behind the wheel of a car and on to a road, safety, not just personal but social/environmental safety should be their priority.

I never really and truly understood the phrase ‘heart in my mouth” until recently when I looked on, wide eyed and helpless in the wake of ‘ speeding car, after being narrowly missed. I couldn’t explain the feeling. All I know is that my breath caught and I was struck motionless for quite a bit. When motion set in, the adrenaline rushed forward and my heart drummed soo fast. It was a truly scar moment. The driver didn’t even stop, barely sparing me a glance.

A little while after that near miss, I was visibly incensed by a cab driver who received a call whilst on the road. Was it possible that he didn’t know that with such actions, he was endangering his passengers and was at risk of making mistakes due to lack of concentration which had the potential of causing a fatality. Wasn’t he aware that such seemingly ‘harmless’ actions were quite deadly?

Some of the possible fatalities of road accidents include:-

Death- A or multiple precious lives being risked in collusion or a hit and run incident and the loved ones are left shocked and grieving at the senseless loss

Injuries- A or multiple victims incurring minor or major injuries or complications leading to hospitalization or in worst case scenarios, loss of or the maiming of a body part, often times requiring surgery and delicate care over a stretch of time.

Trauma- A lot of people escape accidents such as the above with minimal afflictions or recover after care but the emotional trauma of the incident stays with them for a very long time, sometimes indefinitely without the right care.

Damage- With accidents, it is inevitable that some form of property will be damaged in one way or another whether it being the vehicle itself, public properties like electricity poles, public trash cans, buildings etc, etc. This is socially irresponsible and quite unpatriotic.

the major causes of most road accidents are ones that have been lamented about over and over and if paid attention to, could be avoided. This article is going to dwell on some of the most common causes of road accidents.

Making or receiving calls or texting though fun and necessary in this fast advancing world, should NEVER be done when on a road and behind a vehicle’s wheel. One must ALWAYS pull over to the curb before engaging in any of the fore mentioned. It only takes a moment for someone’s lifetime to be ruined or snatched away because a driver’s attention was momentarily diverted. No call or text is worth a life!

Speeding (which can be defined as the offence of driving a vehicle at a speed above the designated speed limit, where the vehicle or means of transportation is moving faster than the rate recommended by the law of that nation, province or geographical area) is a key cause of road accidents. It is simple logic that faster one goes, the harder it is going to be to stop once the brakes are hit. In some extreme cases, hitting the brakes can be quite as detrimental as to keep going because the vehicle could lose control, possibly veering into another lane, causing mayhem.

Getting behind the wheel of a car whilst intoxicated/drunk or under the influence of an illegal substance/drug has been the cause of many road tragedies all over the world with alarming statistics. The driver’s vision and senses are impaired often leading to fatal moves which could include but not limited to driving on the wrong lane, recklessly speeding, loosing control of the wheel, dozing or passing out at the wheel or reckless speeding.

Unlike the popular concept that driving is ‘not so hard’, it does take a lot of focus and concentration. The individual at the wheel must always be alert, anticipating moves that could come out of ‘left field’ (nowhere) and being able to react on time. So it is a task that cannot afford and distractions. This could include anything from retraining errant passengers (kids) in the back or glancing over at an incident or a pedestrian. Incidents have been reported where in a hurry (perhaps late for work), drivers have gone on to put the finishing touches to their appearance whilst behind the wheel.

In society, there a people who commit offences either because of ignorance or miscalculation. Some looked away for just a moment and ‘everything happened soo fast, costly mistakes. Then there are those who know the law and consequences of breaching it, yet they do it anyway. Deliberately reckless drives are one of those. Racing on roads like professional sport races and weaving in and out of traffic. Having witnessed quite a few offenders in action, particularly on the Senegambia highway, the danger is obvious.

No one should have to constantly worry about their safety. That is why there are road rules that everyone to adhere to, so let us. It is better to arrive later than anticipated at one’s destination than not to arrive at all and depriving others innocents from getting to theirs. Let us all stay secured and keep others too.