A family of five people with three kids on a motorcycle, one on the tank and two sandwiched between the parents is a disappointing and unfortunately common sight on Indian roads. It takes a fraction of common sense for anyone to understand that commuting in such a manner is an invitation to disaster but some people just can't understand it. Worse is that in many cases it's the innocent kids who end up paying the price for the foolishness and ignorance of their parents. When informed about the dangers of such actions, people come up with illogical reasons such as financial constraints, which isn't true but that's a topic for some other time. For now, I just want to talk about five ways in which parents knowingly put the lives of their children in danger. If anyone of you reading this piece is or has been doing any of the mentioned actions, please stop immediately. The greatest gift you've given to the world and to yourselves is life in the form of your child so please stop being ignorant.
1.Acrobatic families on two-wheelers: As mentioned above, it is a common sight to see three or four people riding on a scooter or motorcycle. In some cases, people of higher intelligence choose to ride even five people in one go, thereby reducing their lifespan significantly. Riding more than two people on a two-wheeler is dangerous for multiple reasons. First, going over the rated payload of a vehicle severely affects its dynamics and stability. Additional weight also means harder work for brakes and in some cases the extra weight can overwhelm the brakes completely, leading to a crash. Add to this the fact that almost no one wears a helmet in such a scenario and chances of fatalities or serious injuries goes up massively.
2.Itne se distance mein kuchh nahi hoga (Nothing will happen in short distance): Scooters are widely used across the country to drop and pick children from schools and it is common to see grandparents or mothers who are housewives doing this task. Be it Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai or Bengaluru finding the rider and kid with helmet is a rarity. While the main reason for not wearing a helmet is dull-wittedness, most people claim that the short distance between their home and school doesn't need helmet. In some cases, if a major crossing is en route, the rider would wear a cheap and useless helmet but the kid's safety is left to the Almighty. A round of applause for such amazing parents and the example of parenting they set everyday!
3.Babysitting and driving at the same time prove foolishness: Car drivers are equally idiotic when it comes to jeopardizing their child's safety. Any occupant in the car is supposed to be seated on the seat and be strapped in. In case of children younger than 12 years, one should use a car seat in the rear seat of the car. This is what should be done but what happens rampantly is mind-blowing stupid! People drive with kids in their laps on public roads and at times in dense traffic and also on highways! It takes a different level of ignorance from a normal human being to do this because the dangers are so obvious. In case of a crash or hard braking, the first thing to hit the child would be the steering wheel, which could have devastating results. In case of an airbag deploying, there could also be instant death for young occupants. Kids standing on the rear seat and looking out of the glass is also highly dangerous. Add to this the fact that focus on driving is affected with a constantly activity-seeking kid in your lap and one ends up with a recipe for a big disaster.
4.Beautiful views at times can lead to deadly consequences: Kids standing with their heads out of sunroof is turning out to be a new challenge as more cars are now being sold with sunroof. A sunroof isn't meant for people or kids to popping out the upper half of their bodies. Sadly, some people do not realise this and as a result, endanger lives of their kids. There have been multiple incidents of kids dying or getting severely injured due to kite strings or other objects strangling their necks or hitting their faces. If anyone's desperate to enjoy open-top motoring then please just work smarter and harder and buy a convertible but don't endanger lives of young children who can't even realise the foolishness of their parents.
5.No helmet, no seat belt because God is the best safety technology: Not wearing a seat belt and helmet is a commonly known risk but is so uncommonly practised that most fatalities happen due to it. The biggest problem here is the mindset of people who wear a seat belt or helmet just to avoid being fined by the cops and not for their own safety. Some riders wear the cheapest possible helmet, which saves them from a few hundred Rupees of fine but will do nothing to protect their head in case of even a small crash. Given the large population of our country, it'll take a long time for the authorities to be able to monitor all streets so it's up to us to ensure that we give our children a safe future and stay safe ourselves to prepare them better to conquer their future.