We have often started the discussion by highlighting the gruesome statistics of injuries and fatalities due to road accidents. By now, we all know that road accidents claim 1.3 million lives globally every year and are the cause of 50 million injuries all over the world.
These numbers demand measures to be taken to ensure road safety. But what does the word ‘road safety’ entail?
According to (WHO, 2015), Road Safety can also be described as the measures taken to reduce the risk of road traffic injuries and deaths. But it is not only limited to this. Some experts also postulate that road safety is “the feeling of being safe in the road system and to the reliability that the user will not be severely injured or killed in that system.”
As a company dealing with a driving safety app, we often focus on road safety and have thus, come across how road safety is intertwined with different areas such as sustainability. Noticing these things helps us as we understand better the relationship between road safety and sustainability or sustainable development. Today, the blog will help you to gain a better grasp of this dynamic as well.
Transportation and Development
Before we indulge to understand the connection between road safety and sustainable development, it is important to gain insights into the relationship between transportation and development in general.
Transportation Systems and the development of a region are intrinsically linked as it impacts every sector as well as the everyday lives of people by determining how they reach their places of occupation, their access to the healthcare system, and the transit of essential goods. Well-connected roads foster economic linkages, encourage business activities, and provides access to markets. Thus, having a good transportation network with lesser traffic congestion and fewer accidents is vital for the development of any country.
On the other hand, transportation is a major cause of environmental pollution by emitting dangerous gases and is responsible for the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources such as fuel.
Road Accidents and their Impact
Road Accidents cost people their lives and families their loved ones. But apart from this, road accidents also have additional costs. These accidents, directly and indirectly, hamper the environment and disrupts the economic stability of any nation.
Road accidents bear a monetary cost. A nation incurs an economic loss in terms of medical and hospital expenses, rehabilitation costs, loss of working days, repair of damaged vehicles/roads, etc. In the environmental aspect as well, road accidents cause harm to the flora and fauna and at times may lead to hazardous leaks and emissions.
Even though these negative impacts are difficult to measure, they surely leave a scar on the environment and society as well.
The Interconnectedness between Road Safety and Sustainable Development
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has already been launched by the UN which enshrines the creation of sustainable cities and communities. Sustainable Development Goal number 3 strives to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, and also includes the objective to reduce the number of road crashes by 50 percent by 2030. Goal no. 11 of the SDG is to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. This goal specifically aims to create sustainable transport systems by 2030 and improve road safety. Therefore, Road Safety is an integral element of sustainable development.
For the creation of a sustainable city, roads need to be safer for everyone to use. Adhering to road safety measures would ensure the lesser occurrence of road accidents and low numbers of road accidents would translate into decreased economic and environmental impacts.
For maximum road safety, drivers can adopt sustainable driving behaviours that not only aid in curbing accidents but are also eco-friendly.
Here, the new concept of eco-driving can be referred to wherein people inculcate driving practices that result in lesser fuel consumption and decreased carbon footprint. It serves the dual purpose of road safety and sustainable development. The usage of bicycles is highly encouraged for this very purpose. However, due to a high number of bicycles being hit by motor vehicles, people refrain from engaging in this habit. With proper road safety in place, citizens would be more encouraged to take up these green habits since the fear of accidents would be drastically reduced. This transition would mean wonders for sustainable development as it would result in lesser fuel consumption and emission of carbon dioxide and other gases.
If road safety is not given its due importance, the SDGs would face a significant setback. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to introduce the necessary policies, take global action, improve road infrastructure and vehicle engineering and introduce technology (like driver safety apps) among other measures to attain road safety. Key stakeholders should expedite this process to ensure sustainability for all.
Road Safety Measures for Sustainable Development
- Generate Awareness about Road Safety among the common folk
- Promote safe driving practices among all
- Encourage eco-driving
- Introduce newer policies to ensure proper adherence to road safety rules and proper execution of all measures
- Encourage research and development in the field of road engineering and vehicle manufacturing
- Foster the adoption of technology to further the cause of road safety
Tips for Eco-Friendly Driving :
- Regular Maintenance - Regular checkups will improve your vehicle's mileage, reduce emissions and fuel consumption, and prevent future problems such as poor filter quality or leaks.
- Reducing Fuel Burnt - Avoiding unsafe practices, such as excessive speeding, will help reduce the amount of fuel your vehicle uses.
- Avoiding Harsh Acceleration and Braking - There is a direct relationship between fuel consumption and how much the engine is working. Engaging in harsh braking and acceleration uses more fuel as the engine works relatively harder.
SafetyConnect, Road Safety, and Sustainable Development
SafetyConnect’s Driving Safety Solution curate a culture of driving safety and road safety for field employees of large enterprises. They are vulnerable to road accidents every day they travel for work. This solution analyzes at-risk driving behaviour to reduce instances of overspeeding, harsh tuning, etc., and curb accidents. Features such as checklists enable the employees to ensure that the maintenance is up-to-date.
Thus, SafetyConnect is helping companies slowly and steadily build an atmosphere of road safety that would ultimately culminate in sustainable development. To become a part of this initiative, you can schedule a demo here.