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By: Rukhsana Gillani and Muneeb Afzal

Nowadays, hardly any day passes without a news about tragic and catastrophic road accidents costing the precious lives in large numbers. Apart from claiming the valuable lives, the road accidents have other serious consequences which are long lasting. The way lives are cut short in road accidents render irreparable losses to the near and dear ones of the dead. The painful memories in minds and the long lasting wounds in hearts causes a lifelong restlessness, irritation and at times a feeling of nothingness in them. Even though every life lost renders pain but the most agonizing part of these road accidents is when we see the young of 20 and 30 lying dead with blood scattered on their bodies. The parents who have left no stone unturned for their children are suddenly tested to brave the reality they have never imagined of. They may continue to live but the life does not remain the same for them. When the stakes are so high, it is more than important to assess the causes of accidents and at the same time look for some possible remedies as well.

Though there is no single factor that causes accidents but many of the road accidents occur due to carelessness and irresponsible attitude. One can see the young taking undue pride while driving at very high speeds on bikes and cars. This calamitous passion for driving at a speed of 80 and 90 kms/hour deprives them of their sense of responsibility towards themselves and their dear ones. The stunts the young perform on bikes actually epitomize the carelessness. The consequences of this careless, haphazard and irresponsible behaviour are fatal. How many lives have been cut short, how many got disabled, the mathematical numbering is very difficult. At times, given such level of carelessness, one wonders whether it is just carelessness or is it an ‘unintentional suicide’.

Common sense and simple understanding suggests that even seemingly little things and precautions sometimes prevent a big tragedy. For our protection it is often advised to buckle up the seatbelt while driving or put on the helmet while on a two wheeler. But we rarely heed to such advices. Fearing the police action, some at times adhere to such precautionary measures and when there is no such fear, there is nothing to care about. How unfortunate is this? We must understand that there is no guarantee that an accident will give us a chance to learn for there are examples in numbers when people could not live even for a minute after meeting an accident. Isn’t it therefore desirable that we take all precautionary measures in driving so that the chance of accident is minimized as much as possible?

Of course we cannot control everything but can’t we abandon our carelessness and embrace responsibility towards ourselves and our near and dear ones? Let us be sure that many accidents and tragedies can be prevented and damages minimized if we strictly adhere to the precautionary measures in driving. Apart from driving at an optimum speed and putting on seatbelts and helmet, there are other prerequisite measures for a safe drive like avoiding distractions, being more cautious in poor driving conditions, taking a break if necessary, following traffic rules etc. These safety measures could surely help a great deal in preventing the tragedies on roads. These safety measures are meant for our protection and well being and every individual must deem it a responsibility to act with a responsible behaviour. Like in many other situations, individual behaviour matters on roads. We have a well marked choice between utmost care, cautions and responsibility on the one hand and regret, loss and casualty on the other.

Life once lost never comes back. We cannot and must not learn only from our own mistakes for there are some mistakes that do not provide a second chance. It is time that we learn from the examples around us and mould our behaviour accordingly. Our life is a rich gift from our God and we must value it. It is important not only for us but for our loved ones as well. Much is under our control and many things can be changed for better. Let us take pride in responsibility instead of fatal carelessness. Let us take a pledge to choose responsibility over loss and precaution over regret. Let us be sure that our behavior makes and will make a lot of difference.

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