Road accidents happen many times daily.
Children, adults, elderlies, professionals, poor and rich are all victims.
But does everybody know that these accidents involve everyone in the community?
“Road safety is the responsibility of everybody in the community,” said Roseann Fabila of the Philippine Red Cross-Ilocos Sur Chapter during the Dap-ayan Ilocos Sur media forum conducted by the Philippine Information Agency Ilocos Sur this month at the Capitol in Vigan City.
Whether a person is driving a vehicle, riding a vehicle, or simply walking or running down a road, he or she is responsible for the safety of anyone who passes by the road.
To do this, he or she must learn by heart, the guide by which the vehicle can be checked for safety before speeding off. Or by which the driver, the rider, and the pedestrian can prepare themselves before heading out.
Fabila said that Red Cross responds to road accidents, too, and observed that these accidents would have been prevented if everyone is responsible enough to ensure that the roads, the vehicles, and the people are in order and are safe.
“Blaming one another for accidents should stop. But these should be investigated to know what went wrong,” she said.
In a family, parents or guardians must lead in being responsible drivers, commuters or pedestrians.
“Topics on these must be regularly discussed to help family members who daily go out down the road,” she added.
There is much to be learned, and much to be done to help.
Schools and local government units especially those in the barangays must have regular information drive on road safety because this is everyone’s concern.
Accidents happen because of loose break, or drunk driver, or ignorance of proper speed and proper moves along the road, or lack of street lights, or obstructions along the road.
So, before starting the vehicle, it must be checked thoroughly for proper equipment, for its parts underneath, inside, and outside.
Getting ready for travel not only involves the vehicle, but also the driver and the passengers.
The driver must be physically, emotionally and mentally fit.
The passengers must also do their part by locking their seat belt, not disturbing the driver, or causing anything that impairs smooth travel.
“There are many causes of road accidents,” she said.
“Some of them are because of the poor physical, mental, and emotional situation of the driver. The driver may have poor eyesight, or hearing, may not have a keen sense of smell, and touch. There must be proper coordination of his senses, his hands and feet. He must be at peace without any surging anger, anxiety, excitement, or not fatigued to drive safely. And most important is, he is not under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drugs or sleep-inducing medication,” she added.
After checking the total condition of the driver, he must check every important part of the vehicle such as spark plugs, distributor points, condenser, air cleaner, carburettor, battery, safety devices, radiator, brakes, temperature gauge and hose connections, brake fluid, master cylinder, and also the right kind of gasoline or oil for the vehicle.
He must also check the horn, steering wheel, clutch, pedals, shift gears, ignition lights, and gauges register because missing any of these may mean that the vehicle is not ready for travel.
“Patience and determination to be sure that these are in good condition spell the safety of the road for all those who pass through it, or along it,” said Fabila. (AMB/ICR/PIA Ilocos Sur)