Road Safety Week Special (11th till 17th Jan 2016)
Do I need Accidental Death Benefit cover?
1. Over 1,37,000 people were killed in road accidents in 2013 alone, that is more than the number of people killed in all our wars put together.
2. Indian roads were at their deadliest in 2014 claiming more than 16 lives every hour on average. Over 1.41 lakh people died in crashes, 3% more than the number of fatalities in 2013. TOI Report – 19th July 2015
3. India accounts for more than 200,000 deaths because of road accidents, according to the Global Road Safety Report, 2015 released by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This is 46% more than the national statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in July 2015.
Life insurance is to protect your dependents’ financial life and medical insurance is to protect you against health risks that you are exposed to. But, there could be a situation much worse than death—disability caused by accident. Given the numerous road accidents in India, an accidental death & disability cover is necessary for everyone. These riders cost less and should be taken for the range of cover they offer. Bajaj Allianz Accidental Permanent Total/Partial Disability Rider provides the benefit of additional rider sum assured in case of unfortunate Permanent Disability due to an accident.
Riders offer financial cover, over and above the basic sum assured, for a specific eventuality. They are contingent in nature – they came into play on the occurrence of a specific event. Even with the occurrence of the event, the life cover remains intact. This means that even if you have drawn on a particular rider, you remain eligible for the death benefit on the life insurance plan.
Tips to Drive Safe
Defensive driving, can save you just as much time as money and, more importantly, keep the roads safer for everyone. It will help you navigate in most road and traffic conditions and anticipate the possibility of a mishap.
City driving is a major source of stress, especially during rush hour. Growing cities and suburbs have resulted in an increase in the number of people who have to use a car to get around. Following these steps will also make driving a more enjoyable experience.
RESPECT THE RIGHT OF WAY OF EVERYONE
If you spot a vehicle in a hurry, do not be obstinate and yield the right of way even if you are legally right in refusing. While the other driver might be being a bully in claiming you give way, it’s better to let him through. Do not block the path of the vehicle by moving in front of it or impede its passage in any way.
DO NOT EXCEED THE SPEED LIMIT
Driving over a given speed limit is not only illegal, but also dangerous. The faster you are moving, the longer it takes for the car to do your bidding when you apply the brakes. It also reduces the time you have to react to the unexpected, such as a car out of control or an animal crossing the road. The sheer physics of a collision at high speeds should be enough deterrence. The greater transfer of energy resulting from the higher momentum can cause horrific injuries.
Also, you will be booked by the police if you are caught speeding, which will include a fine the first time (up to Rs 1,000) and a more permanent punishment for repeat offenders.
Therefore, choose a speed matching the rest of the traffic as closely as possible without exceeding the speed limit.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD
Many accidents happen because a driver does not pay attention to what is happening on the road. Any vehicle, immaterial of its size, can be the cause of an accident. Also remember that you cannot rely on your fellow drivers to follow the rules and keep you safe. So stay alert and ensure that you have plenty of room to maneuver your vehicle out of a potentially dangerous situation. It would help if you don’t use your mobile phone or listen to music on full volume.
ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT
The seat belt is the most important safety device in your car. A seat belt might appear to be insignificant, but it can save your life. The force and sudden movement on collision can fatally injure a person (ribcage, lungs and heart against the dashboard or steering wheel) or even fling drivers out of the car if they’re not strapped in.
Seat belts also help in cutting down movement while driving on bumpy roads. If you have a small child in the car, use a baby seat and fasten it using a seat belt.
DO NOT DRIVE IF YOU ARE STRESSED OR UNWELL
If you think you are distracted, stressed, fatigued or unwell and it will affect your judgement while driving, you should not get behind the steering wheel. Any of these can slow down your reaction time and driving in such a state is unwise.
Being overworked, stressed or tired increases the chances of you falling asleep at the wheels. If it’s a long drive and you feel tired, pull over to the side of the road and sleep for a while.
It goes without saying that consumption of alcohol is a serious impediment to making the right choices and it is very dangerous to drive inebriated. If you are going to a party where you are likely to consume alcohol, make sure someone who does not drink is the designated driver or arrange for a taxi. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a punishable offence, including the possibility of cancellation of your licence or even jail time.
Also, it would be safer not to drive if you are unwell. A high fever or an injury can be disorienting, resulting in an error of judgement.
SLOW DOWN ON WET ROADS AND IN BAD WEATHER
The most sensible thing to do in adverse weather conditions such as heavy rainfall or fog is to slow down. Driving at high speeds in heavy rain could lead to your car aquaplaning (rise up on a thin film of water between the tires and road so that there is no more contact with the road).
Make sure that your car tyres have the right air pressure because overinflating tyres reduces the area of contact with the road, resulting in loss of rolling friction on wet surfaces. If your car tyres are overinflated, release some air.
Similarly, visibility is reduced significantly in a dense fog and judging the distances between vehicles becomes difficult.
In both cases-heavy rain and fog-slowing down is the safest option. If the fog is very thick, drive slowly along the divider or road markers to have a point of reference. Do not try to overtake in such conditions.
KNOW THE BLIND SPOTS
Watch out for approaching traffic from the sides, which a blind spot on the overhead mirror, in the outside mirrors.
Backing up is always tricky. Have a quick look around for anything in your way first. Be especially careful if there are children playing around the vehicle.
Defensive driving might seem dull, but safety should be the paramount consideration on the road.