Poor maintenance of vehicles may fuel fatal accidents in winter

Monday, 11 December 2023 | PNS | DEHRADUN

The importance of a properly maintaining vehicle is usually ignored when one talks about vehicular accidents. It is because people usually focus on distraction while driving, poor road conditions and drunk driving when road safety and accidents are discussed. Experts state that poorly maintained vehicles can cause fatal road accidents, especially during winter when road visibility is low due to fog and other factors.  However, it appears that the authorities concerned do not do the needful to bring people’s focus on this serious matter. In an incident about two weeks ago, the police found two bodies in Dehradun’s Vasant Vihar area under suspicious circumstances. It was later revealed that it was a hit and run case.

The accused arrested by the police confessed that the left headlight of his vehicle was damaged due to which he could not see both the pedestrian victims in the early winter morning, as informed by the police. Besides this, a number of road accidents were also reported this year due to brake failures, many of which could have been avoided if the vehicles involved were being sent for regular maintenance, as per experts. 

Though the number of accidents caused only by poorly maintained vehicles is not as big as the other factors mentioned earlier as per the Transport department’s data, it certainly causes considerable damage to people on roads. Zeeshan who runs a mechanic shop in Sahastradhara Road area said that most of the people come to him for vehicle maintenance only when they observe some visible damage or the vehicle is incapable of operating properly. People do not understand that regular maintenance of vehicles is not only important for its proper functioning but also to ensure that minor damages do not lead to fatal road accidents when triggered by certain factors while travelling that can risk theirs as well as others life on the road, he added. 

A senior official in traffic police said that vehicle accidents happen due to aspects in addition to common factors like distracted driving, drunk driving and poor road conditions. He said that poorly maintained vehicles can lead to serious road accidents and a driver who knowingly drives a poorly maintained vehicle can be held responsible for causing an accident. On the question of how frequently the authorities take action against such irregularities, the official said that the police impose penalties on such violations regularly but the number is not as high as other offences.

The regional transport officer of Dehradun division (Administration) Sunil Sharma said that only two to three per cent accidents happen due to lack of proper vehicle maintenance but it can be more fatal during winter season. He said that the enforcement team of the department checks whether vehicles like tractor trolleys are using reflector tapes and if other vehicles are using dippers, windshield wipers and fog lamps to ensure proper visibility of roads in winter, especially at nights. All motor vehicles should be properly maintained to avoid mechanical failures on the road. Even when the vehicle shows no signs for maintenance requirement, the owners must go for routine maintenance and testing, he added.

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