12 Feb 2018 Prevention of Road Traffic Accidents

Driver safety

 Speed There is a close relationship between speed and the risk of a crash.

As speed increases, so does the severity of crash injuries.

  • Check your speedometer regularly while driving
  • Know the speed limits – look for signs, especially at junctions
  • Remember, speed limits are a maximum, not a target
  • Stay focused on the road 
  • Recognise what makes you speed , whether it may be keeping up with traffic, overtaking or being tailgated
  • Plan your journeys and leave on time to make allowances for heavy traffic or unforeseeable circumstances
Tailgating Drivers following too closely behind the vehicle in front of them is a common cause for rear-end collisions.

  • Ensure you are in a calm, good mood before starting your journey
  • Reflect on your driving and recognise any cause that can affect your emotions such as stress
  • Always stay at least 2 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you
  • Recognise the different stopping distances for vehicles of different weights and sizes
Alcohol Alcohol may impairs a driver’s judgement, affect their field of vision and even their attitude on the road.

  • DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE
  • Avoid taking any alcoholic drinks before driving
  • Reject drinking invitations when you know that you are about to drive
  • Take alternative modes of transport after drinking , e.g taxis, public transport
Medicinal and recreational drugs Some medicine may have side effects that will cause drowsiness. This may contribute to bad decision-making.Recreational drug use is illegal and can affect a driver’s behavior and body function, depending on the type of drug consumed.

  • Follow the instructions of your doctor or pharmacist
  • Understand your medications and their side effects well
  • Do not drive if you feel unwell or think your medication may be affecting your ability to drive
  • Seek alternative modes of transport after taking your medications
  • Take sufficient rest before you start your journey
  • Recognise the disadvantages of taking drugs and seek help to quit
Driver fatigue This may present with the feeling of drifting off while driving and may cause disastrous consequences.

  • Make sure you get adequate sleep before starting your journey
  • Maintain good sleeping habits
  • Avoid driving when you are sleepy
  • Stop in a safe place when you feel tired to rest. You can even refresh yourself with caffeinated drinks if necessary
  • If you have a long drive ahead of you, have a partner with you and take turns to drive
Hand-held mobile phones The usage of mobile phones are a major distraction on the road and can affect a driver’s reaction time and awareness of other traffic.

  • Avoid using your mobile phone when driving
  • If necessary, stop your vehicle at a safe place to check messages or return any calls
  • Turn off or place your phone on silent mode before starting the journey
  • Use voicemail on your mobile phone so people can leave messages for you while you are travelling
Non-use of helmets Helmets are vital to protect against head injuries, a common cause of severe morbidity and mortality following motorcycle crashes.

  • Make wearing your helmet a habit before starting your journey
  • Ensure that the helmet fits well to your head size and offers proper protection
Non-use of seat belt Wearing seat belts significantly increase chances of survival and reduce severity of injury in the event of an accident.

  • Cultivate the habit of wearing your seatbelt as soon as your enter your vehicle
  • Ensure all passengers have their seatbelts on before starting your journey
Car Safety Tyres: Damaged or worn out car tyres can be detrimental to your safety and even increase fuel consumption.

  • Ensure that your tyres are adequately inflated
  • Change your car tyres when needed. You can check this by looking for the thread wear indicator bars running perpendicular to your tyres
Brakes:Well-functioning brakes are an essential component of a safe vehicle.

  •  Have your brakes checked regularly when servicing your car

Replace your brakes if you notice any of the following while braking:

  • A squealing sound
  • Strong vibrations or a grinding sensation
  • Pulling to one side of the road
Reduced Visibility Poor visibility of cyclists and motorcyclist are a contributing factor to road accidents.

Cyclists should ensure that reflectors are positioned on the front, rear and wheels to increase visibility of their vehicles.
Weather Heavy rain may reduce the visibility of motorists and even affect the performance of your brakes. In rainy weather, maintain a distance of  at least 4 seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you to allow adequate reaction time.

Government Interventions on Prevention of Road Accidents

Reducing motor vehicle traffic peed Efficient land use

Design shorter and safer routes

Trip reduction

  • Decrease the length of trips and the routes taken
  • This reduces the necessity of motor vehicle usage by allowing travellers to reach their destinations by walking or cycling
  • Encourage working from home
  • Create restrictions on vehicle parking and road usage
Minimising exposure to high-risk scenarios Restrictions of road network

 

Speed limits

Enforcing laws

  • Create separations between pedestrians and cyclists with motorways
  • Install speed cameras
  • Limit or ban alcohol usage on drivers
  • Limit blood alcohol concentration
  • Fine or jail offenders who exceed the alcohol consumption limit
  • Enforce laws on the mandatory use of seatbelts and helmets etc.

 

Safety awareness in road planning Classification of road network

Create safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists

Traffic-calming measures

 

  • Based on the road functions eg residential areas, motorways
  • Create footpaths or pavements
  • Create roundabouts, and road humps where necessary
Remedial action at high-risk crash sites Improved lightning, signs and markings

Speed limits at sharp bends

Crash protective roadsides

  • Implement lower speed limits at sharp bends
  • Install safety barriers, guard fences and rails

 Pedestrian safety

You are considered a pedestrian as long as you are not in a vehicle, and pedestrian safety is just as important as the safety of any other road-user. Usage of electronic devices

 

Keep alert at all times

Electronic devices are a distraction, so put them away when you are walking. You need both your eyes and ears to be vigilant on the road.

Increase visibility

 

Ensure that you are easily visible. Wear bright clothing and reflective materials, especially during the night. This makes it easier for drivers to see you 
Walk on sidewalks Walk on sidewalks whenever possible, and if no sidewalks are available, walk against the direction of traffic
Crossing the road Always cross the road in well-lit areas. Never assume that a driver has seen you, but instead always make eye contact with drivers as they approach you
Children

CHILDREN must accompany adults at all times.

Adults must ALWAYS BE VIGILANT of children who accompany them

Handicapped people (OKU)

Always be considerate to individuals who are blind, deaf, sick, elderly or physically handicapped

Resources 

  1. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety
  2. http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/publications/road_traffic/world_report/summary_en_rev.pdf
  3. http://www.rsa.ie/RSA/Road-Safety/Education/Leaflet-Corner/Leaflets–Booklets/
  4. https://www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/drivers/
  5. http://www.michelin.com.my/MY/en/help-and-support/how-do-i-care-for-my-tires.html
  6. https://tyreplus.com.my/tyreplus/services/services_brake_servicing.aspx
  7. https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/811785.pdf 

Prepared by IMU Medical Students, Annamarie Jacob Thomas and Lee Mei Yee

12 Feb 2018|Health|0 Comments

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