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19 December 2007

Lessons from the accident

Yesterday, while driving from office to home at around 10.00 PM, a rashly driven bike came and hit the left window of my car leaving a deep dent.

The car looks sad and forlorn after the mishap. No point in telling that the biker was rash. Which biker is not?

Looking at the dent and thinking about the accident, my mind went back to one of the classes on Safety and Accidents that I had attended when I was working in a manufacturing industry. The instructor in that class was vehement that there are no such things as accidents. There are only human mistakes which can be avoided.

I tried to analyse the mistakes which I could have made that caused this accident. I came out with a small list.

The accident occurred when I was taking a right turn at Bannerghatta road and this biker tried to cut across from left. The following mistakes could have been made by me.

1. I had applied sunfilm on my car windows. Since it was night time and the street lights were not working there, I could not see the left side of my car clearly when I was taking the right turn. This meant that I missed seeing the biker on my left. Action point is that in such scenarios, I should down my windows when driving at night so that I can see both the sides clearly.

2. Just before the accident occurred, there was a minor drizzle, which was minor enough not to warrant the use of windshield wipers. So my wind shield was layered with small droplets which did not impact visibility but was an irritant. Had I had some clothes in my car, I could have stopped the car somewhere and wiped the windshield. Unfortunately I did not have any wiping
clothes at that time to wipe the windshield. The action point is to keep a windshield wiping cloth always in my car.

3. All the cars have some mechanism which squirts water on the windshield and helps in the cleaning of the windshield. At the time the accident occurred, there was no water in the tank or my car and this prevented me from frequently cleaning my windshield in case of scenario 2 above. Coupled with that the fact that the windshield had a little bit of accumulated dirt, increased the irritancy level. Action point is that at all times, the windshield cleaning mechanism should be working.

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