An analysis on the occurrences of blind spots and associated dangers
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India, a death occurs every four minutes due to road accidents. A lethal combination of errors in our roadway system is responsible for this unfortunate scenario.
Apart from the obvious causes like over speeding, drunken driving, potholes etc., there is a more subtle evil of blind spots. Blind spots are areas on a road that are obstructed from the visual range of a driver.
Indian Highways and Blind Spots
With a steady rise in fatalities on the road, curbing accidents and maintaining discipline of vehicular traffic should be a priority among our concerns as citizens. Identifying the root cause of these problems and taking stringent measures to eradicate them is the responsibility of the government as well as individuals.
The Ministry of Roads Transport and Highways (MoRTH) of India has conducted numerous surveys that highlight the concerns associated with blind spots. There are over 700 blind spots identified in India.
All blind spots are analysed and rated according to the number of fatalities that have occurred. They are sorted into various priority groups accordingly.
||Total Fatalities (2011 to 2013)
||70 to 95
||45 to 69
||21 to 44
Statistics by MoRTH show that Tamil Nadu has the most number of blind spots in the country, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana. This coincides with the fact that south Indian states have higher mortality rates due to mishaps on the road.
||Number of Blind Spots
Reasons for Blind Spots
Navigating through blind spots requires careful understanding of the roads and your car. It is an acquired ability, which is developed after a fair amount driving experience. Here are a few factors that give rise to blind spots:
Hilly terrains are infested with blind spots. Sharp turns, steep slopes and narrow roads contribute to make driving in these areas a perilous experience.
In a few areas, there are dangerous three-way or a four-way intersections without appropriate warning signs. This is usually the case when detouring from a highway. A driver needs to make sure that the road is clear and safe before moving ahead.
Drastic rise in accidents during the monsoons and thick winter fogs is a testimony to how treacherous driving during bad weather can be.
Dangers of Blind Spots
The visual range of the driver is affected making it difficult to view oncoming cars with clarity. This leads to confusion, and eventually accidents.
Compromised risk estimation
It is easy to miss a speeding car at an intersection or in a fog. By the time the oncoming vehicle is noticed, it is often too late. It is not easy for the driver to estimate a safe distance between obstacles in such conditions.
Drivers and pedestrians should be aware of what blind spots are and should be more cautious in these areas. Local authorities should put up clear signs stating dangers ahead, with particular care to ensure they are visible at night.
Larger vehicles like carrier trucks and traveller buses could have cameras installed to give their drivers a thorough 360-degree view. This will help to eliminate blind spots of the vehicle, especially while journeying at night.
Stringent Traffic Management
Disregarding traffic rules has become a vile norm in India. Major intersection on the highways should be closely supervised and managed to implement safety.
Motor Vehicle Insurance – A must
All drivers must ensure that they drive only with a valid motor vehicle insurance policy. Reminders should be set so that renewals are done on time.