Traffic accidents are quite common in Pakistan. As per the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, a total of 10,779 traffic accidents were reported in the country during the fiscal year 2018-2019. Out of these accidents, 4,878 were reportedly fatal. At least 5,932 people lost their lives as a result of these incidents while 13,219 were injured. Of course, some of these accidents may have been caused by factors beyond human control, such as weather conditions and natural disasters. However, one can’t argue against the fact that following some basic road safety measures can reduce the number of road traffic incidents and save lives.
Whether you are a new driver or a seasoned one, everyone must know about these road safety measures in Pakistan to avoid any unfortunate incidents.
Road Safety Measures in Pakistan
Let’s take a look at some of the most important road safety tips and rules in Pakistan.
Wear Seat Belts
One of the most crucial road safety rules is to wear seatbelts while driving a vehicle.
The Part II Section (v) of the 8th Schedule to the National Highways Safety Ordinance in Pakistan prohibits an individual from driving a vehicle that does not have seat belts fitted. Similarly, Section 89-B (1) of the Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance mandates that a person driving any type of vehicle must fasten their seatbelt.
Not following such safety measures on the road can result in penalty while driving in Pakistan.
Wearing helmets is also among the most imperative road safety rules and regulations in Pakistan.
All motorcyclists and cyclists must wear helmets that fulfil all the international safety standards while driving their vehicles on the road. The helmets should be firmly strapped to their heads to reduce the chances of serious brain injuries in case of an accident. Motorists not wearing a helmet are required to pay a fine.
It is important to mention that traumatic brain injuries can lead to permanent disability and worse.
Use Your Mirrors
Checking your mirrors before moving off is one of the top road safety measures to avoid accidents. You must check your rear-view and side-view mirrors before reversing the vehicle, pulling into traffic, changing lanes, taking a turn, hitting the brakes, overtaking, and slowing down your vehicle along with any change in speed.
Being aware of your surroundings will keep everyone – including you, other drivers, and the pedestrians – safe.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Make sure your car, motorcycle or any other vehicle is in a proper working condition before taking it onto the road. Always check the fuel level and look for any strange sounds coming from your vehicle.
If the vehicle has any fault, make sure to get it fixed before it leads to an accident. Moreover, always carry a spare tyre along with a jack and lug wrench.
Here are some more tips to maintain and improve your car’s performance.
Do Not Overtake
Overtaking is among the leading causes of traffic accidents in Pakistan.
While driving on the road, refrain from overtaking unless it is absolutely necessary. Always make sure to check if the road ahead is clear enough for you to overtake. Similarly, check the vehicles behind you before pressing the accelerator.
Always Use Your Indicators
Whether you need to change the lane or take a turn, do not forget to turn on your indicator. This allows other drivers to either slow down or give you enough space to move without crashing into someone else. This is just as important as checking your mirrors.
If you do not switch on an indicator, another vehicle can either swerve or crash into yours.
Park Your Vehicle in Designated Spots
Do not park your car in the No Parking Zone.
While it is important to follow all types of road signs, a lot of drivers tend to ignore the No Parking sign and park their vehicles wherever they find convenient. This can lead to traffic accidents and result in hefty fines.
Therefore, you must always park your vehicle in the designated area.
Respect the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the most common factors associated with crashes and road accidents in Pakistan. The standard speed limit in the country is between 50 and 80 km per hour for urban residential areas. Whether you exceed the speed limit or drive at a speed that is above what has been recommended for the weather or traffic conditions, you are guilty of speeding.
It can be a risk to the safety of both the driver and the others around the vehicle.
Here is the breakdown of speed limits for different vehicles in Pakistan, as per the Pakistan Safety Council.
|Vehicle Class||Speed Limit||Location|
|Motorcars and Light Transport Vehicle||120 km per hour||Motorways|
|Heavy Transport and Public Service Vehicles||110 km per hour||Motorways|
|Motorcars and Light Transport Vehicle||100 km per hour||Highways|
|Heavy Transport Vehicles||90 km per hour||Highways|
|All types of vehicles||80 km/h km per hour||Urban Arterial Roads|
|All types of vehicles||50-70 km per hour||Urban Residential and Hilly Areas|
|All types of vehicles||40 km per hour||Near Schools, Colleges, Hospitals and Mosque|
Follow the Height, Weight and Length Limits
Although these road safety measures are mostly meant for heavy transport vehicles, it is better to know and understand what they mean to promote road safety awareness.
Most underpasses have a height restriction for cargo trucks. Similarly, most bridges have weight limits. So, if you ever see a sign saying ‘5t,’ it means only vehicles weighing up to five tonnes are allowed on that road or bridge.
Roads with steep turns and cuts, especially those in the hilly areas, also have length limits to prevent accidents and crashes.
Do Not Get Distracted
You cannot afford to get distracted while driving in Pakistan, or anywhere else in the world for that matter – and there is nothing more distracting than your cell phone.
Texting while driving is one of the leading causes of road accidents in Pakistan. However, that’s not the only thing that can divert a driver’s attention.
Other types of distractions that can lead to an accident include eating and drinking while driving, talking on your mobile phone or through a hands-free device, playing with the radio, and talking to other passengers, among others.
Doing any of these things can not only put you and other passengers in danger but also pose a risk to the vehicles around you. Focusing on the road without any distractions is one of the best road safety measures to avoid accidents.
Road Traffic Safety for Beginners
Those who are just learning to drive must first apply for a learner’s license. Once you acquire it, make sure you are always supervised by an experienced driver who has held a license for that type of vehicle for the last three years. It is essential that they must still hold the license.
Those learning how to ride a motorcycle must take basic training before taking their vehicle to the road.
It is also important for all beginners to display L-plates or put up an L sign on their vehicle to warn other drivers.
Respect the Pedestrians
Just as looking on either side before crossing the road is one of the most important road safety measures for children and adults alike, watching out for pedestrians is also considered a top road safety practice.
You must drive slowly and carefully in residential areas and on shopping streets out of consideration for the pedestrians. The drivers must also watch out for kids and elderly who may not be able to move swiftly on the road or fail to gauge the distance between themselves and the oncoming vehicle. If you see someone crossing the road, slow down your car after checking the rearview mirror to ensure another vehicle doesn’t crash into you.
Stop at Zebra Crossing
Also known as a pedestrian crossing, Zebra Crossing is painted with white stripes on the tarmac. It’s a patch of road that allows pedestrians to cross the road at any time. Therefore, it is imperative for all drivers who follow road safety measures in Pakistan to slow down at such crossings and give the pedestrians sufficient to make their way to the other side of the road before moving along.
Similarly, the pedestrians should also give the oncoming cars and other vehicles enough time to slow down before using the Zebra Crossing.
Take Extra Care at Junctions and Crossings
Junctions are locations where traffic can divert in different directions or take different routes. Being extremely careful at such points is among the top road safety tips that all drivers must follow.
In addition to that, if you are about to cross a major highway or come across a stop sign on the road, you must stop your vehicle and look to your right, left and then to the right again to check the oncoming traffic. Do not enter if there is heavy traffic on the road.
How to Approach a Roundabout
When approaching a roundabout, reduce your speed just a little to decide quickly which exit you must take to get into the correct lane. Watch out for any traffic on the roundabout and give way to the vehicles on your left as you get closer to the roundabout. You must keep an eye on motorcyclists and regular cyclists on the road, as a driver might not be able to see them approaching the roundabout until they are too close.
At some junctions with more than one roundabout, follow the normal rule while driving around each of them.
Be Careful While Reversing
Before reversing your car, make sure to check your rearview mirror or camera to ensure there are no pedestrians, vehicles or any other obstructions behind you on the road. If you have any pets in your house or have noticed stray animals around the parking spot, please make sure none of them is near your tyre or under the gear before shifting to reverse gear.
For those who are just learning to drive, ask someone to guide you if possible. This will also help promote road safety awareness among others.
How to Deal With Emergencies
Despite taking care of your vehicle and checking the fuel level, your car or motorbike can still break down in the middle of a road.
The first thing you must do in such an instance is to get your vehicle off the road as soon as possible so that it does not obstruct the traffic. In case you are unable to move it, turn on your hazard warning lights. Call an emergency service helpline or contact a tow company and explain your situation for an urgent resolution.
At night, when the visibility can be rather poor, avoid standing behind your vehicle as it might prevent other drivers from seeing the hazard lights.
In addition to that, you must always have some basic car repair tools in the trunk to avoid such situations. Check out the list of essential items for your car’s emergency kit in our comprehensive guide on the topic.
Always Carry a First Aid Kit
Last but not least, drivers in Pakistan must always keep a first aid kit in their car. It can come in handy if you ever get into an accident or have to help another injured driver on the road.
A basic first aid kit must include Band-Aids, antiseptic ointment, gauze, bandages, surgical tape, safety pins, tweezers and a pair of gloves. You can also add some over-the-counter painkillers to your first-aid box, though don’t forget to replace them before they reach their expiration dates.
For more information, here is a checklist for making a first aid kit that all those driving in Pakistan must know about.
Types of Road Safety Signs in Pakistan
You must have seen at least a few of these road safety signs while driving in Pakistan. They are installed by the government as road safety measures to avoid accidents and must be followed at all costs.
As shown in the infographic above, here are some of the mandatory and informative road safety signs all drivers in Pakistan must know about.
- Stop Sign
- No Entry Sign
- No Motor Vehicles Sign
- No Motorcycles Sign
- No Cyclists Sign:
- No Pedestrians Sign
- Pedestrian Crossing Sign
- No Left Turn Sign
- No Right Turn Sign
- No U-Turn Sign
- Length Limit Sign
- Weight Limit Sign
- Height Limit Sign
- Maximum Speed Sign Limit
- No Overtaking Sign
- Parking Sign
- No Parking Sign
- No Waiting Sign
- One-Way Traffic Sign
- Two-Way Traffic Sign
- Road Narrows Sign
- Road Narrows On Left Sign
- Road Narrows On Right Sign
- Other Danger Sign
This brings an end to our detailed guide on road safety measures in Pakistan.
For more road safety tips, check out the following in-depth guides:
- Tips for driving safely in fog
- Advice for driving in heavy rain
- How to drive safely in snow
- How to get your car insured in Pakistan
Meanwhile, if you want to apply for a driving license in Pakistan but don’t know where to go and what to do, here are a few guides that you might find helpful:
- Getting an online driving license in Pakistan
- How to get a driving license in Islamabad
- How to get a driving license in Sindh
- How to get a driving license in Punjab
- Driving licence verification in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
To learn more about vehicle ownership verification and car insurance in Pakistan, head over to Zameen Blog – the top lifestyle blog in Pakistan. You can share your tips and suggestions about safety measures on the road by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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