Cellphone usage while driving tops road safety concerns for Indian drivers

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 24 Feb 2022

Road safety is one of the biggest health concerns globally today. Even as countries across the world are trying to flatten the Covid-19 graph, this is one chart that is continuing to spike up ominously. Over 1.35 million people are killed each year across the world in fatalities from road crashes. In addition, as many as 50 million people are injured. In fact, road traffic crashes are the eighth leading cause of death globally for people of all ages, and the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5–29 years.

As part of its commitment to road and transportation safety, 3M commissioned a third-party independent research in 11 countries, including India, to identify the top concerns of adults relative to getting to and from home safely, as well as their views on the current state of transportation safety in their communities.

The survey found that 73 percent respondents from India have a family member or close friend who has died or been seriously injured in a car crash, and 82 percent of these incidents occurred during the pandemic.

Dan Chen, president, 3M Transportation Safety Division said, “The results of our global survey reaffirm that improving road and transportation safety around the world must remain a top priority, especially as the number of traffic collisions rises in many countries. Helping families get home safely has never been more important and we are committed to continuing our work in improving access to safe transportation and developing safety solutions across the globe.”

The survey results for India revealed elevated concern about transportation and roadway safety since the start of the global pandemic. In fact, more than 3 out of 4 respondents (78 percent) believe transportation access is an issue in their community.  About 67 percent of respondents believe road safety is more important as more people travel by car, instead of airplane or train, for vacation/trips due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Around the world, people are highly concerned about the behaviours of other drivers, visibility issues and road conditions. According to the survey, the top 7 concerns for Indians include: 

  1. Drivers texting or speaking on the phone while driving (91 percent)  
  2. Negligence of other drivers (90 percent) 
  3. Night Visibility (90 percent)
  4. Large vehicles (buses, trucks, and trailers) (89 percent)
  5. Curved roads or sharp turns (89 percent)
  6. Traffic congestion (89 percent) 
  7. Signs or road markings that are difficult to see (89 percent)

Safe and reliable transportation 
Furthermore, the study indicated that people in India believe their communities should do more to help people safely access a variety of transportation options.  About 78 percent of respondents believe transportation access is an issue in their community and 67 percent of respondents think Covid-19 has made it more important to improve road safety so that vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians can safely co-exist as people avoid public transportation. 

More than half (52 percent) feel they do not have reliable and safe access to roads for driving and nearly half (49 percent) feel they do not have reliable and safe access to public transportation. 

Ranking high among community transportation safety concerns, three-quarters of parents are concerned about getting their children to and from school safely.

The company says the issue of road and transportation safety is not new for it, and in fact, more than 80 years ago, 3M's Transportation Safety Division invented reflective sheeting and installed the first fully-reflective sign. Since then, 3M technologies have been used to produce high-performance materials that improve reflectivity and visibility across roads and highways, work zones, pedestrian crossings, school zones, and more.

Pawan Kumar Singh, country business leader for Transportation Safety Division, 3M India said, “Around 150,000 fatalities occur on Indian roads every year, 3M India is dedicated to working with relevant stakeholders to improve road safety through our innovative and customised products for Indian road conditions.  Our mission is to help authorities build the safest roadways to help bring families home safely.”

The company says studies have found that where more-visible signs are installed, crash numbers have fallen up to 46 percent within 3-6 years. 

Pavement markings help guide drivers and keep roads safe, but in dark and wet conditions, standard reflective pavement markings can disappear.
This poll was conducted by Morning Consult between October 9, 2021 and October 26, 2021 among a sample of 22,000 adults in the following 11 countries: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted based on gender, age, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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