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If you have a driving licence, then you must have gone through an exam where you had to memorise the important traffic rules, signs, and other vital things one may need for safe driving on the road. Driving can be a crucial activity for many people since it offers independence and convenience. But driving is a major responsibility too. Hence, one needs to obey all traffic rules while driving.

According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, about eighty thousand people are killed in road crashes every year, which is thirteen per cent of the total fatality all over the world.

A person behind the steering wheel plays a significant role in most crashes. Most crashes occur either due to carelessness or due to a lack of road safety awareness of the road user. 

To curb road accidents in India and spread awareness about road safety, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Govt. of India has announced the observance of the 30th Road Safety Week Campaign from 11th to 17th January 2022.  The theme for the campaign this year is “Sadak Suraksha – Jeevan Raksha”

Another reason for many road accidents is driving under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving leads to thousands of road accidents every year. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data also shows that around 2% of the total road accidents that happen in India are due to drunk driving. 

Laws and Punishment:

Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act 2019, it is illegal to drive when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a criminal offence.

As per the Motor Vehicle Act, driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs is punishable for the first offence, with imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months and/or a traffic violation fine of up to ₹10,000.

Second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of a similar offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to 2 years and/or a fine of ₹15,000.

The dangers of drink and drive:

Any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can have a drastic impact on your driving ability.

In order to drive safely, you require the ability to concentrate, make timely judgements and react very quickly to situations. But consuming alcohol and driving puts you at risk of getting into an accident or highway injury. Alcohol has the power to affect your driving skills and put yourself and others in danger.

Here are some ways alcohol impairs your driving skills:

Lack of Coordination

Drinking affects your motor skills such as hand, eye, and foot coordination. Without these vital coordination skills, you may not be able to avoid an unforeseen emergency. Trouble while walking, swaying and inability to stand straight may tell you that your coordination is off.

Delay in Reaction Time

Your ability to quickly react is affected by the alcohol in your system. Drinking may slow your reaction and response time, which may result in an accident. 

Reduces Concentration

Your concentration is highly influenced by alcohol, no matter how much or how little. Driving is an activity that requires your undivided attention. But drinking reduces your attention span drastically and significantly increases your chances to get into an accident. 

Impairs Vision

Excessive alcohol consumption can impair your vision. Your vision may get blurred after drinking alcohol, you may also notice a reduced control of your eye movement. Impaired vision can affect your ability to judge the distance between your car and other vehicles on the road, which is a very bad sign while driving. 

Interferes Judgment:

Your ability to judge any circumstance and make a decision is controlled by your brain. Your judgement skills play a crucial role while driving a motorized vehicle. Alcohol interferes with your brain and as a result your ability to make a judgement, which may help you stay alert and aware of your surrounding while driving. 

Be Responsible and Avoid Drinking and Driving:

Since drinking and driving is a criminal offence, it is best to avoid such a situation. In case you’re going to be drinking, just make sure you keep the following tips in mind to make sure you don’t drive while you’re under the influence of alcohol:

  • Completely avoid drinking if you know you have to drive afterwards, as even one drink affects your driving performance.
  • Plan an alternate way to reach wherever you are going: Book a cab or auto, designate someone to drive who has not been drinking or use public transport.
  • Do not let someone else drive if they are under the influence of alcohol and protect yourself as well as them.
  • Avoid the above situations by having a backup plan in advance if the other alternate ways fail.

In conclusion, it is of utmost importance to avoid taking any chances with your own life and the lives of others and avoid drinking and driving, and always remember to drink responsibly.

Having valid car insurance for your vehicle is very crucial for road safety. It is one of the most important things a car owner can have in order to keep the vehicle, the driver, and the passengers safe from any unforeseen harmful event.   

For more information, visit the Kotak General Insurance website.

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Disclaimer: The content provided is for education and informational purpose only, none of the information contained in our blog amounts to any form of opinion or advice. Please go through policy related documents carefully or consult an expert before making any insurance-related decisions.


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