Since a long time, I have been dreading about the incident, that actually happened with me this afternoon. Indian roadways have always offered us multiple choices for our onward journey beyond life. Be it through potholes, rash drivers, random lane crossing without indicators or even a wannabe Dhoom style biker who makes you miss a heartbeat each time he stunts.
If you are lucky not to encounter such downright stupid individuals during your drive, you may still have a reason to worry. A reason which has always existed as one of the major promoters of road accidents, but we have learnt to live with. Almost like we do for everything.
“Accidents due to sudden crossing of animals” are not new or unknown, but neither government nor we have given this a thought to do something about it. In most cases, either the animal is dead or the driver and co-passengers do not reach their destination. However, in my case today, both the calf that suddenly ran across the highway and I have managed to see this hour of the day.
At a speed of 80-90 kmph on a highway, three cars were forced to apply emergency brakes only to collide with others while trying our best to save a little four-legged life. In a typical scenario akin to Haryana, we would have added a select new abuses to our dictionaries but trust me, after we all looked at the cow, who was back safe in the greens, we breathed a sigh of relief and then realised we were safe too.
All three cars were damaged equally, but none of us dared to say a word to the other. Just wondering whether we got saved from an unplanned accidental death or the calf saved us from an on-the-spot planned murder as a result of road rage caused by three drivers.
Most of us will read about this, laugh and forget about it, until we would encounter the same. However, I leave you with some questions to which we need to find answers to:
1. Who is accountable for accidents due to random road crossing by animals
2. What if the animal would have died?
3. What if the animal is a Cow?
4. What if both animal and driver were injured? Could the driver be subjected to medical assistance or a mob lynching?
5. Who pays for the damages of your vehicle? (I have been quoted nearly Rs 2 lakhs for the damage with a delivery time of one month)
6. Fortunately, I was driving alone, so could afford to take the risk of an accident, giving priority to save the calf. What if I had children or loved ones accompanying me?
7. In this case, would the Gau Sevak be held accountable if the calf would have died?
8. I am even questioned on a social media platform, ‘how do we know it was a calf and you were not drunk’. Like in most cases, I am afraid I cannot prove this fact too.
I am certain nothing is going to change and we shall continue our unpredictable drives until our roads meet their dead end.
Till then, We don’t need battles as we have enough cattle to worry about!