Edmond Burk, a famous orator of England, once said,
“Life is a Chapter of Accidents”.
It is true to a great extent.Road accidents have become very common occurrences of the present day life. The newspapers daily carry tragic events of fatal accidents. These are, no doubt, the gift of the modern civilization.The mordern age has given us fast modes of transport which have not only made the journey fast and easy but has also increased the ratio of horrible accidents. These accidents occurin due to the careless and reckless driving of the unlettered and untrained drivers, bad condition of roads, narrow and risky turnings, violation of traffic rules and corruption in the traffic police. They take a heavy toll of lives rendering many others crippled for life and cause huge loss to property.
“Life is a gamble.You can get hurt, but people lose their arms and legs in car accidents,people die everyday.You just dont let yourself believe it will happen to you” (Muhammad Ali)
I myslef had to experience an accident.Last month, I had to head for Multan. Reaching the coach terminal, I got into a long queue awaiting tickets. Luckily, I got air-conditioned automobile with comfortable seat as the biggest advantage.It was a new bus with good,cushioned seats. The coach only had 25 passengers.The conductor expected to have more passengers on the way.
All the passengers were in gay mood and were chatting happily. The driver did not seem veteran of the Pakistani highways.His overtaking seemed hesitant and his moves a bit reckless. However being passengers none of us deemed it proper to give him any sort of instruction. When we were only ten miles from the city, we met an unexpected horrible accident.A car overtook our bus and vanished in a flash.It raised clouds of dust.The driver was in a crefree mood.
“Highways are full of careless drivers who are always
too close in front of you” (Sam Ewing)
A truck was coming from the opposite direction. The bus and the truck driver could see nothing in the thick clouds of dust. The next moment, there was head on collision.Our driver wailed in a shrieking voice. After colliding against the truck, the bus struck against a cart standing on the roadside. Then it crushed a cyclist and turned turtle into a ditch.I was thrown out of my seat into the air,fell on the ground and became unconscious.
“An accident won’t arrive with a bell on it’s neck.”
When i came to my senses, i saw a horrible scene.The accident was very horrible and fatal in its nature. Most of the screens of the bus were broken.The front part of the bust was broken. Most of the passengers received severe injuries and were bleeding. A few women and children had been crushed to death.There was blood and death everywhere.There was a great hue and cry.
The pick-pockets had availed themselves of the opportunity and had robbed most of the passengers of their money and valuables. Every passenger was in a hurry to get out of the bus.I also got skin injuries. But I did not care for my injuries and began to help the people.
“In life, more than in anything else, it isn’t easy to end up alive.“
The cart driver and the cyclist were crushed to death. Both belonged to a neighbouring village. Many people in the vicinities reached there for our rescue. They began to pull the dead and the injured out of the bus. There was great moaning and crying, sobbing and sighing with very few to console.A bus was stoppped.Its passengers ran to our bus and helped us come out of it.The driver of the other bus brought his first aid box to help those who were critically injured.
The bus driver had joined the majority on the spot.The conductor and the helper succeeded in escaping leaving the injured at the mercy of Allah. Someone contacted the rescue 1122 on the phone.Help reached there in fifteen minutes. The doctor began to give first aid to the injured.Most of the injured were advised to shift to the hospital.
The tragic sight of a woman passenger filled me with pity and horror. She was a widow with only one son of five years who had joined the majority. His lifeless pure, innocent body lay on the ground bathed in the pool of blood. The woman was raising loud screams and calling to her son with his nickname. She was beseeching her son to talk to her once and only once. But he was past all these cries and sympathies. It was a heart-rending sight. The widow lost her senses She was put in the ambulance and taken to the hospital. The cries of the woman still echo in my tears.
“The fear of death is the most justified of all fears, for there is no risk of accident for someone who’s dead. “(Albert Eimstein)
After some time a police party arrived there. The incharge of the party took some statements.He also drew a map of the site,and completed other formalities.In the meantime, a bus of the same company had arrived.I postponed my programme, took another bus and headed home.
“I have gone through a near-death experience, and gives you an insight into how fleeting life is.”-Frank Serpico
According to Pakistan Bereau Of Statistics, 15 people die in traffic accidents everyday in Pakistan.Road accidents are in high numbers because people ignore traffic rules and road signs, break signals, over speed, recklessly perform wheelie on bikes, use mobile phones while driving, overtake from the wrong side, use drugs and wrongly park.A lot of people who drive, don’t have licenses and those who have licenses, got them illegally, without taking part in any driving tests.
Therefore, necessary steps have to be taken to ensure a decrease in traffic accidents.
“After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.” — J.G. Ballard
The government must set up drivers’ training school where proper training and guidance should be imparted to drivers.They should be made aware of the rules and regulations of traffic.Traffic police should also be activated to play their role to improve the traffic system.A nationwide road safety campaign should be launched,traffic police should be equipped with the lastest equipments,and a crackdown against violators of traffic rules should be started,whether its a car, a bike or a pedestrian.Last but not the least,the roads should be repaired because,
Accidents are built into the road. — Marty Rubin
Summing up, I would say that I still remember the incident and feel sorry for the lives lost just because of some careless driver.Although “Death keeps no calender” it should be avoided.Life is a gift of God and we should not take it for granted.