Luxury car accidents put dismal spotlight on India's complex road realities

Reckless driving like in the case of Pune Porsche accident, as well as instances of lacking road-safety infrastructure often combine in India to cause
Car crash
File photo of a luxury car in a shambolic state after a horror road accident. (ANI)
Car crash
File photo of a luxury car in a shambolic state after a horror road accident.

The fatal Pune accident in the early hours of May 19 has once again served a reminder of how chasing the thrill of speed in an uber luxury automobile does not come without the risk of death and destruction. An overspeeding Porsche, with an allegedly intoxicated 17-year-old behind the wheel, hit a motorcycle and caused the deaths of two IT professionals.

The incident speaks not only of the horrors and consequences of drunken and rash driving but also the risk of throwing caution to the wind when driving such luxury automobiles. Sports cars and supercars pack a lot of power within, and in the wrong hands, they can behave like a stray missile.

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Such cars have too often been involved in accidents that have turned fatal for fellow motorists, pedestrians as well as the occupants of the vehicles. Two days before the incident in Pune, a speeding BMW car was driven straight into an e-rickshaw in Noida at six in the morning, leaving two dead and three injured. The city would go on to witness another fatal accident as an Audi reportedly hit a 64-year-old man who was out buying milk on the morning of May 26. The car killed the man on the spot before speeding away. It was allegedly driven by two persons, with the passenger instigating the driver to speed.

The spate of accidents in recent times have brought back unfortunate memories of one of the most high-profile deaths caused by a road accident, that of Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry who was in the backseat of a Mercedes-Benz GLC when it crashed in November of 2022. Mistry passed away. Yet another high-profile car accident saw India cricketer Rishabh Panth suffer severe injuries when he reportedly dozed off behind the wheels of a Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE just a month after the Mistry accident. Pant was fortunate enough to not just survive but make a full recovery.

Also Read : Two major reasons behind majority of car crashes in India

Incidents of accidents - minor, major and often tragic - are near countless in India. Lack of awareness among many is one of the key factors identified by experts that cause crashes. Bad roads and poorly-managed safety infrastructure too are often blamed. But when it comes to ultra fast, extremely capable machines, the need to adhere to proper and legal driving measures become even more important in a country like India. The country has a horrendous record when it comes to instances of road accidents and even tops the global list of countries which sees the maximum number of road fatalities. In a 2022 report titled Road Accidents in India, it was highlighted that there were around 4.61 lakh road accidents which were reported from across the country in that particular year. Around 1.68 lakh people lost their lives while another 4.43 lakh persons were injured. The same report also highlighted that overspeeding was the biggest cause of accidents in India, causing 1.19 lakh of the 1.68 lakh deaths in 2022.

Safe driving is not just for the safety of a driver and those in the car but has a major impact on pedestrians as well. The above-mentioned report also notes that 10,160 pedestrians lost their lives in as many as 20,513 accidents in the country in 2022. Clearly then, these numbers should serve as a glaring reminder of how crucial it is for safe road practices to be followed at all times in a country which is now the world's third-largest vehicle market, behind only China and the United States.

First Published Date: 30 May 2024, 16:08 PM IST

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