Monday is No 1 accident day in Bengaluru

Bengaluru traffic is most hazardous between 3 and 9 pm on the first day of the week. That could be because techies who party hard on the weekend are groggy, irritable, and at the wheel

Monday is the most accident-prone day in Bengaluru, according to statistics collated by the traffic police.

In 2018, Mondays saw 709 accidents, as against 705 on Wednesdays and 663 on Thursdays. The most dangerous hours are between 3 and 6 pm, when 768 of a total 4,611 accidents took place. The 6 to 9 pm slot, with two fewer accidents, is almost as dangerous. The least accidents were recorded between 1 am and 6 am.

Police say the increase in accidents in the early evening can be attributed to stress, people hurrying home, poor eyesight and advanced age of pedestrians and road users. Many Bengalureans visit their hometowns for the weekend and rush back on Monday. Toll queues are longer on Mondays, and add to the stress.

Behavioural analysts suspect several Bengaluru-specific reasons for the trend. Dr Roshan Jain, senior consultant psychiatrist, Apollo Hospitals, blames late-night partying.

“In the corporate lifestyle, most people party through the weekend till Sunday night, which adds to the fatigue. They push themselves to work through Monday and the exhaustion and frustration comes back when they are driving back home,” he says.

More people work when the week begins, adding to the number of vehicles on the road. “In Bengaluru, people who work on different shifts are exposed to serious health hazards and sleep problems. All this leads to frustration and impaired judgement, which can easily lead to road accidents,” he adds.

Shwetha B C, lecturer of psychology, BMS College for Women, says accidents in the evenings involve two factors: active and latent failures.

“Incompetence, carelessness and recklessness can be psychological reasons. A UK study on traffic psychology says evening accidents are caused by inherited risks combining with circumstances. Anxiety, and lack of concentration are other reasons cited by the study,” she says.

The study was conducted by S Plainis, J Murray and G Allikaris. Perceptual errors caused by dim lighting can also lead to accidents in the evenings, she reckons.

Shwetha says professionals heading to work at 3 pm for the late-afternoon shift experience frustration because of the change in their biological clock.

Poor planning

P Harishekaran, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), says specific areas in the city are prone to accidents. In 2018, 770 accidents took place on national highways (167 fatal and 603 non-fatal), 185 on state highways (30 fatal and 155 non-fatal), and 3,656 on other roads (464 fatal and 3,192 non-fatal), he told Metrolife.

Poor infrastructure and improper planning lead to many accidents, explains Harishekaran.

“The traffic department is reasonably equipped to maintain the city’s roads. We are not trying to escape from our responsibilities, but many civic bodies are involved in smooth traffic management,” he says.

Traffic is chaotic around IT parks during the early evening hours. “Huge spaces are dedicated to commercial hubs and IT parks. People working there commute across the city. Residential hubs have to be created near these spaces to limit lakhs of people doing long commutes,” he says.

The traffic police will soon be using social media extensively to create awareness about road safety. “We are now doing it with cab, BMTC and KSRTC drivers. We are going to shift our focus from enforcement to regulation,”he says.

Bengaluru special
A doctor suspects two days of heavy partying adds to the vulnerability of Monday traffic. In his view, this is how partying impacts road safety:

  • Late night drinking on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Dragging feet to work early on Monday.
  • Exhausted, frustrated by afternoon.
  • Lack of concentration while driving back home.

Reasons for accident spike Lakhs of people returning from weekend visits. Longer-than-usual queues at toll gates Irritability of drivers deprived of sleep.

Several black spots: top cop

Additional Commissioner of Police P Harishekaran says the city has many accident ‘black spots’. Among them e: Command Hospital bus stop on Old Airport Road, Bhattarahalli junction on Old Madras Road, Karthik Nagar near Jeevika Hospital, Veerasandra junction, Singasandra bus stop, GT Road, intersection near Jakkur aerodrome, and RV College junction on Mysuru.

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