Yesterday, several news reports appeared in newspapers about a young man who lost his life after his two-wheeler skid over a pothole. He lost control and was flung off his vehicle and his head hit the ground resulting in serious injuries. He died soon after.

The deceased was identified as Umesh Haribaho Shinde (28), resident of Tata Compound, Andheri (W) and the accident occurred on the Samta Nagar Junction Flyover on the Western Express Highway (WEH) on Tuesday.

Shinde’s tragic and extreme case is one of many that we hear about with depressing frequency especially in this season. For days now, newspapers have been exposing the shoddy state of roads, especially in the monsoon. Potholes have appeared on roads, many the size of craters. One hears of numerous automobile accidents during the rainy season — skidding of vehicles, brake failure included. It is not surprising then, that experts recommend pre-monsoon checks and vehicles to be in top condition.

So, while those responsible for the shape of our roads certainly need to be hauled over the coals, it is also upto us to take some extra care, especially during this season. The steps are quite simple. Firstly, ensure that one wears a helmet of the highest quality and not a cheap version from a street stall. Make sure you wear your seatbelts and drive cautiously during the season.

While one’s heart certainly goes out to the young man’s family and there is a sense of tragedy for a life cut short, it is equally important to put safety first.

Let us maintain a sense of balance. Infrastructure may not be up to the mark but at least we, as citizens, should be able to take responsible decisions.