Delhi-Meerut Expressway road accident: Why it is a lesson for highway drivers

Fatigue, highway hypnosis and other factors may often lead drivers to dose off behind the wheels or take eyes off the road, putting passengers and oth
Delhi-Meerut Expressway accident
Screengrab from a CCTV footage captures the moment a Maruti Ertiga crashed into a stationery truck on Delhi-Meerut Expressway last week, killing two children and the driver.
Delhi-Meerut Expressway accident
Screengrab from a CCTV footage captures the moment a Maruti Ertiga crashed into a stationery truck on Delhi-Meerut Expressway last week, killing two children and the driver.

Driving solo on highways for long distances can often become a tiring exercise. Sitting straight up while constantly using arms and legs to manoeuvre the vehicle, concentrating on the road ahead besides other vehicles passing by can lead to fatigue. A tired driver can pose bigger risk especially if the person is sleep deprived and dehydrated. The horrific accident on Delhi-Meerut Expressway last week, in which a Maruti Ertiga crashed into a stationery truck, is a case in point. In what appears to be an instance of the driver falling asleep behind the wheels, the vehicle narrowly avoided a crash seconds before the accident took place. The driver and two children on board lost their lives in the tragic accident.

India has witnessed more than 4.61 lakh accidents in 2022 in which over 1.68 lakh people lost their lives. Some of these accidents that took place on highways involve cars hitting stationery vehicles, cases which are common if the driver is not paying attention to the road.

Also check these Vehicles

Find more Cars
Harley-davidson Harley Davidson Road Glide Special (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1868.0 cc Mileage Icon17.5 kmpl
₹ 34.99 Lakhs
Bmw K 1600 Gtl (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1649.0 cc Mileage Icon16.9 kmpl
₹ 28.75 - 33 Lakhs
View Offers
Indian Challenger (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1768 cc Mileage Icon18 kmpl
₹ 36.97 - 39.99 Lakhs
View Offers
Indian Chieftain Classic (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1811.0 cc Mileage Icon20.0 kmpl
₹ 32.45 - 34.45 Lakhs
View Details
Harley-davidson Harley Davidson Street Glide Special (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1868.0 cc Mileage Icon18.3 kmpl
₹ 31.99 Lakhs
Indian Springfield Dark Horse (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1890.0 cc Mileage Icon20.0 kmpl
₹ 28.57 Lakhs

Here are some quick tips to a stress-free, long drive on highways.

Sleep well

Road accidents involving trucks on highway is a common occurrence in India. Often, such accidents are attributed to fatigued truck drivers losing concentration while driving. A well rested body and mind can help a person concentrate on the road better. That is why having a good sleep before long drives on highways are essential.

You may drink and drive

As scandalous as it may sound but, yes, drinking while driving is also essential as long as you are only taking water. This will help keep the body hydrated enough to reduce fatigue. It is obvious this has no reference to alcohol. It should also be highlighted that limiting intake of caffeine and sugar is also helpful. While a cup of coffee or energy bar can boost your alertness for a short period of time, over consumption of these items can also lead to energy crash.

Avoid distractions

Using the infotainment screen to select your favourite radio station or music while driving is not advisable on any kind of roads. Use of mobile phones is also legally punishable while driving. However, people often tend to do both, especially when the road is straight and empty thinking a few seconds will not matter much. However, staying alert about your surroundings becomes even more important on highways. There are different challenges like debris on the road, potholes, cattle and animals suddenly crossing roads, or even stationery vehicles.

Also Read : NHAI defers toll fee hike on highways and expressways till after Lok Sabha polls

Break your journey

For long highway drives, especially the ones that are more than 200 kms, taking frequent breaks is useful to stay relaxed. A 10 minute break after every two hours can be also helpful to stretch your limbs which tend to tire out while sitting in one position. Long drives can be planned accordingly to include such breaks, which can include tea breaks, food breaks or loo breaks, to manage time taken to reach the destination.

Beware of highway hypnosis

Highway hypnosis is a trance-like state of a fatigued mind encountered by drivers on a long trip. Also known as white line fever, this phenomenon leads drivers to zone out while driving long distances without consciously recollecting of doing so. During this state of mind, drivers usually respond to road situations in expected manner. These cases happen especially if the road is empty and straight with no visual breaks on either side of it and the vehicle is moving at a constant speed with no major changes in gears or lanes. It is almost like driving on auto-pilot mode. To avoid such a scenario, it is important to keep the mind engaged with conversation with co-passengers or listening to music. All the other tips shared above also hold key to avoid highway hypnosis.

First Published Date: 02 Apr 2024, 16:40 PM IST

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city

Want to get the best price for your existing car?

Powered by: Spinny Logo
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy
Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.