HYDERABAD : How should Indian drivers respond to anxiety on roads in the new year? How should we rank in complying with traffic laws, exercising cautious while driving or being courteous to others on the road in 2019? Automobile brand Ford’s recently concluded road safety survey – covering 10 cities iincluding Hyderabad – tried unravelling the behaviour and attitude of the Indian road user gives us answers to these questions and urges Indian road users to say no to indifference and lack of caution for a safe 2019.
In line with the World Health Organization five-pillar approach, the survey recognises the importance to assess the behaviour of drivers, passengers and pedestrians in order to improve road safety. “From using technology for enhanced safety in our cars to encouraging drivers to be more courteous, we believe and make every effort to ensure every family travels safely,” said Anurag Mehrotra, president and managing director, Ford India. “The survey themed under #Cartesy, forms part of the company’s ongoing efforts to highlight behavioural issues stopping Indian roads to become safer and saner,” he adds.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most ‘carteous’ of them all: In the six major metros, Kolkata and Hyderabad led on all Compliance, Caution and Compassion, while Mumbai and Delhi showed a lot of room for improvement. In non-metros, Ludhiana, Lucknow and Pune scored well. Additionally, Indore, with the third highest road incidents in the country, scored dismally in the Cartesy survey.
A snapshot of the revelations from the Ford Cartesy Survey 2018 include:
The Educated Unaware: Formal education or degrees play no role in displaying the right road behaviour – even the educated have a disregard for rules, safety or compassion while on road. Fifty-one percent of the participants were unaware of seat belts being the primary source of safety combined with airbags.
Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss: 42 percent of participants said they do not use Child Lock and around 27 percent of participants do not use dippers while driving at night. Further, 22 percent of participants said it was ok to take phone calls while driving.
Twisted Tales: Couples with children were found to be far more ‘Carteous’ as compared to single or unmarried couples. Young parents with infants show a spike in Caution and Compassion scores, which start to decline as their children grow up. However, as soon as children reach their teens (12+ years), parents feel pressure to be a role model and demonstrate the right behaviour again.
Once Bitten Twice Shy: Respondents with prior unpleasant experiences on the road such as an accident or loss were found to be 8 percent more compassionate, cautious and compliant.
The “Chalta Hain” Mentality: 22 percent of respondents said they will not stop at a signal in the absence of a policeman and close to 22 percent of respondents said they would resort to “influencing” in case they are caught by a policeman for violation of traffic rules.
Risking It All, Not Cool: Attitude toward under-age driving is a clear case of how much we devalue our own and other people’s lives on the road. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they are tolerant of under-age driving. It is noteworthy that close to 1 in 5 respondents (18 percent) felt that it was okay to drink and drive.
All Is Not Lost, Millennials a Beacon of Hope: Millennials (18-34 years) were found to be better in Compliance, Caution and Compassion than those older than them. Females More Cautious and Compliant, While Men More CompassionateApathy for All, Empathy for a Few? Forty-eight percent of participants accepted that they would not stop for a blind person. Further, two out of five respondents indicated that they would not go out of their way for a person in need of help on road. Close to 41 percent of respondents said they would not take an accident victim to the hospital while 40 percent said that they would not help senior citizens cross the road.
A total of 1,613 interviews (based on stratification of representative sampling) were conducted across 10 cities, each with a million-plus population. Each city was divided into five zones (East, West, North, South and Central) and respondents were interviewed from each zone to ensure a fair representation across a city.Forty-eight percent of the respondents were private (non-commercial) drivers while 52 percent were passengers and pedestrians. Demographic divide consisted of 72 percent of responses from men and 28 percent from women.