Cyrus Mistry’s death was the result of a chain of circumstances that could have been easily avoided. Every day, people are tutored by the agencies concerned on what to do to be safe on the roads. When the billionaire chose to travel like a ‘normal’ person, without the usual entourage that looked after his safety, he forgot to take the precautions ordinary people should take as a matter of course. The details of his and his fellow back seat occupant’s death are making the rounds. What emerges is that the two were not wearing seat belts, even as the car was being driven fast. The occupants of the front seats were protected by the airbags, but those in the back seats were propelled forward at a speed that proved fatal.
Of course, there was another factor that experts often mention as a major threat to life – poor engineering of the roads. It emerges that the three lane road suddenly changed to a two-lane one, causing the driver to run into a divider. This incident, involving such a high profile person, should become an example to be oft put before young people during road safety lectures. Status in society and wealth do not provide safety unless the basic precautions are followed. It should have an impact and this tragedy will not prove so meaningless.
Every accident should be examined from the point of view of what could have prevented it. News media, when reporting road fatalities, should never fail to mention if the victim of a two-wheeler mishap was wearing a helmet. Being informed daily about how many lives were saved because of the helmet is bound to have an impact on even the most irresponsible of youngsters. Not wearing a helmet should be depicted as uncool and dumb.
Essentially, however, the greatest emphasis should be placed on not speeding, which is the primary cause of accidents. Driving at the designated speed ensures that there is time for the driver to respond to emergencies, while the impact of the accident is much less. It is on this that the police must come down hard. In India, there are many more transgressions on the roads, but these can only be corrected if people are made to adhere to the more fundamental precautions.