Monsoon means slick roads, slippery surfaces and of course, when it comes to Mumbai, the ubiquitous potholes that pockmark several roads, dot flyovers and are present on highways too.
This means that as drivers and riders, this season calls for absolute safety and caution while on the road. While pre-monsoon vehicle checks are a must and can make a huge difference once it starts pouring, it is also of utmost importance to exercise vigilance and adhere to rules fiercely during the season.
Car drivers and passengers must fasten seatbelts and not wait till they spot a traffic cop before hurriedly putting on their belts, as is often the case. Even if you are driving slowly, the car behind might slip on those slick roads or experience a temporary brake failure and hit your car. While this is possible in other seasons too, chances of such accidents escalate in the monsoon. The papers these days are dotted with reports of road accidents. While many of these crashes are, of course, due to speeding and careless driving, one cannot help but think that passengers and drivers could have lived if they had their seatbelts on, or if airbags had opened up.
For two-wheel riders of course, potholes present a huge challenge. For one, when filled with rainwater, the depth and size of the crater can be extremely deceptive. When the vehicle hits a deep and large pothole, it runs the risk of sinking to some extent in it, throwing the rider off and onto the road. A helmet, in these instances, can mitigate head injuries to a large extent. Riders of course, need to ensure that they buy and wear helmets that conform to safety standards.
Wearing sub-standard helmets or the ‘hard hats’ that are seen in construction sites is certainly not going to help you in case of an accident.
Like a top traffic cop once said, with flimsy helmets, most probably your head will break along with the helmet. So buckle up and sheath yourself to face the monsoon on roads, which are more challenging and hazardous than ever.
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