The importance of seat belts

Days after the new Prime Minister and his ministers had been sworn in, India was shocked to read about the tragic road accident in which Gopinath Munde was killed. On 3rd June 2014 as he was going to catch a flight to Mumbai his car was hit by another car which was coming at a high speed.

The news was reported on every TV channel and newspaper so the whole country knows about this sad incident. The point to note is that the doctors who spoke to the news channels confirmed that if he had taken the trouble to fasten his seat-belt he would have been alive today. This important information reached all those who were watching the news and all those who read the newspapers. But when I was in Delhi only a week later I saw that very few people sitting in the back seat bothered with this simple rule.

Two weeks back I had a tooth extracted. It was an unscheduled appointment and the dentist who happened to be at the dental clinic at that hour was a young dental surgeon from Chennai. As we waited for his instruments to be sterilised he told me how 80 per cent of his patients were victims of road accidents. “Only five or six years ago the people who were brought to me at the emergency unit with a broken jaw were mainly victims of physical violence but now they are mostly victims of road accidents,” he said.

People have the money to buy expensive cars now in India but no one has the practical sense to tie the seat belt. The one in the driver’s seat is the most at risk as there is the steering wheel in front of him the impact of which can be fatal.

Please make sure that those who are under your care get into the discipline of fastening the seat belt even if they are sitting in the rear seat.

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