MAGAZINES | Sunwheels

Physical, Emotional Impact Of Road Accidents

Road accidents have caused physical and emotional pain to hundreds of people in Fiji. Many lives have been lost, many have become physically and mentally disabled, relationships have fallen apart,
21 Feb 2015 16:06
Physical, Emotional Impact Of Road Accidents
Physical, Emotional Impact Of Road Accidents. Photo: LTA Media

Road accidents have caused physical and emotional pain to hundreds of people in Fiji. Many lives have been lost, many have become physically and mentally disabled, relationships have fallen apart, many people cannot get back to their daily lives, and the list goes on.

The Land Transport Authority has been constantly reminding road users to practice caution while on the road. However, it seems like road safety messages are being ignored as last year 49 people lost their lives on our roads, several people sustained bad injuries and thousands of people were booked for various traffic offenses.

When this article was being prepared, six people including young children had died on our roads in less than two months this year.

LTA is concerned that more people will leave their lives on the roadsor sustain injuries if there is no change to the attitude of road users.

Today we bring you the story of a young woman who was left mentally disabled after a road accident with the hope that her story will encourage people to change their attitude towards road safety.

Vidya’s Story

Vidya (name has been changed to protect her identity) was a bubbly nine-year-old who had a dream of traveling the world. Her life and that of her family’s shattered one afternoon when a speeding vehicle veered off the road and slammed into her.

Vidya was walking back home from school with her grandfather and was excitedly discussing her upcoming birthday celebrations, when the accident occurred. She was flung up in the air and landed on the road. Vidya sustained massive head injuries that left her mentally disabled.

Now in her 40s, she is incapable of looking after herself.

Vidya is an only child. Her father passed away a few years ago and since then, her mother has been caring for her.

“In the beginning, my husband and I was always hopeful that somehow Vidya will get better, but we soon realised that no matter what we did, the reality is that Vidya will never become normal,” says Parvati (name has been changed to protect her identity) as she stares sadly at Vidya who is seated beside her.

“My husband died a broken man … he loved Vidya a lot and he couldn’t bear to see her like this. It is heartbreaking for me to see my daughter slowly wasting away, but I have to be strong for her because she relies on me to take care of her.”

“It is heartbreaking for me to see my daughter slowly wasting away”

Vidya is scared of the road andloud noise and she refuses to go near any vehicle. This makes it difficult for Parvati to take Vidya to the hospital for her medical check-up. However, the 60-year-old has figured out a way to reach the hospital without distressing her daughter.

“I only take her to the hospital when she is asleep and my neighbours help me,” says Parvati smiling sadly.

Vidya could not complete her education. She will never travel the world. She can never marry and have children of her own.

“Parvati often wonders what will happen to Vidya when she is no longer around to care for her”

Giving way at Pedestrian Crossings and Children’s Crossings

At a pedestrian crossing, you must:Give way to any pedestrian on the crossing.

At a children’s crossing (Example 17), you must:stop, remain stationary and give way to any pedestrian who is on or entering the crossingif there is a dividing strip, remain stationary and give way if the pedestrian is on your side of the dividing strip.

At both types of crossing, you must:drive at a speed that will enable you to stop if necessarynot overtake a vehicle that is slowing or that has stopped in order to give way to pedestrians.

What is ‘Giving way’?

To give way to another vehicle or a pedestrian means:

a. if that vehicle or pedestrian is stopped – you must remain stationary until it is safe to proceed

b. in any other case – slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision.

In all examples, red car B gives way.

Feedback:  media@lta.com.fjw

 



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