It is better to arrive late than dead

Published: April 4, 2016
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Alarmingly, the accidents are only growing more devastating and more frequent. Not too long ago I saw a car smash into a motorcyclist, resulting in carnage best not described. PHOTO: SCREENSHOT FACEBOOK PAGE HALAAT UPDATES

It was over a year ago when a terrible tragedy befell a good family.

While driving home at night, close to their house in DHA Phase 4 on main Khayaban-e-Badar in Karachi, a middle aged couple was blind sighted by a speeding vehicle. The fierce impact of metal gnashing on metal lasted several seconds, dragging their car sideways for what felt like an eternity.

Both occupants were left hurt. The husband, a tall and kind-hearted man, usually armed with a ready smile that I automatically recall when I think of him today, suffered a head injury. Here, he performed one last act of heroism. Seeing his wife dazed, he used all of his remaining strength to drive her to the safety of their home. Upon arrival, as if he had been waiting to complete this final deed, he lost consciousness.

Their assailant was the exact opposite of this man.

Their assailant was a coward.

Rather than check to see if the occupants of the car were in need of aid, the assailant drove off. Perhaps if the assailant had not fled, a life could have been saved.

If this person is reading right now, then they should know that the husband did not survive the car crash. After battling for weeks at a hospital, he moved on from this world, leaving behind those who loved him.

Unfortunately, anyone who drives in Karachi, especially in DHA, knows how the streets turn into carmageddon at night. Motorists break every traffic law in the book, putting not only their lives at risk, but the lives of others. On any given evening, any innocent person in a car in Karachi can die horribly, be it adult or child.

Usually, the culprits are young men racing through the streets in their family’s new cars, or VIP SUVs with tinted windows that crush anything in their paths, or simply intoxicated people.

If these irresponsible drivers were only putting their lives at risk, I wouldn’t be writing this blog, but in their wake many blameless are either left hurt or crippled for life. Let’s also not forget the families of both the culprits and the victims, who often pay a lifetime’s bounty in grief.

Alarmingly, the accidents are only growing more devastating and more frequent. Not too long ago I saw a car smash into a motorcyclist, resulting in carnage best not described.

Evidence of the regularity of these accidents can be found on the Facebook page ‘Halaat Updates’, where a terrifying accident is reported every other post. Here are some pictures I’d like to share, not for shock value, but to drive home the value of driving carefully. Remember, it is better to arrive late than dead:

Not surprisingly, the authorities haven’t been moved by these horrible crashes. At the very least the government should run awareness campaigns across television and newspapers to educate drivers. At the same time, our police needs to be more vigilant. Then again, what can we expect from an organisation that hands out driving licenses to anyone with a few thousand rupees in their pocket?

Drive safe. For yourself. For your family. For those around you.

All photos are screenshots from Halaat Updates Facebook page.

Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • SAD KAY

    well written sir. I will try my best to be careful at driving.Recommend

  • Parvez

    I am a careful and a slow ( I think safe ) driver…….but after reading that and seeing the pictures ( more effective than the write up ) you have correctly forced me to be more aware next time I’m on the road.Recommend

  • Sady

    My aunt and uncle were hit by a woman who was speeding in Clifton area. She didn’t bother to stop her car and drove away. My aunt cannot drive and my uncle was not responding. She had to yell for help. He was pronounced dead upon reaching the hospital while my aunt received injuries. I still think how could the woman just drive away…Recommend

  • DonkeyCart

    To All Highly Educated Pakistanis,
    Please Use indicators properly before changing lines,
    Please Use overtaking line for only overtake purpose,
    While driving always thing negative scenarios That will keep you alert
    Treat women kid and animal standing at road side same, They can jump anytime so slow down in advance,
    Biker boys donnot use car lanes and use halmets
    On new road always be slow in Pakistan, Because you dont know the road might haved dugged grave for you..
    While on Pakistani roads, Lack of civic sense is normal, So always be patient and forgiver…,,
    (A illiterate Paindu)Recommend

  • Milind A

    Well said… Even this has made me more circumspect of my driving..Recommend

  • AW

    Thanks Noman for writing this. Road & traffic sense in Karachi is something authorities should take notice of. The accidents especially on the intersections in all DHA are quite frequent. I also lost my 5 days old car on Khayaban-e-Badr about two years ago. Mostly traffic signs are not working, most of the roads do not have safety marks or signs to guide the drivers. Generally drivers are unaware of road sense and safe driving techniques. The city is all chaos.Recommend

  • Awais Irfan

    This problem is all over Pakistan, not just Karachi. Living in Rawalpindi, it is staggering how many ‘licensed’ drivers drive on the wrong side of the road because it would waste precious seconds and a few milliliters of fuel by turning onto the right street, then making a U-turn. How many drivers slalom between lanes without proper indicators; the lack of driving etiquette shown by most Pakistani youth as they come up on your tail and high-beam/honk at you to get out of the way. Until there is a proper fine and jail system in place, with police actually adhering to the rules themselves, this problem will never be solved.Recommend

  • Awais Irfan

    This problem is all over Pakistan, not just Karachi. Living in Rawalpindi, it is staggering how many ‘licensed’ drivers drive on the wrong side of the road because it would waste precious seconds and a few milliliters of fuel by turning onto the right street, then making a U-turn. How many drivers slalom between lanes without proper indicators; the lack of driving etiquette shown by most Pakistani youth as they come up on your tail and high-beam/honk at you to get out of the way. Until there is a proper fine and jail system in place, with police actually adhering to the rules themselves, this problem will never be solved.Recommend

  • Jayman

    My boss tells me just the opposite. “Better be dead than late to the office.”
    Who should I believe?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Believe your boss……and leave the house 30 minutes earlier :-)Recommend

  • average pashtun

    did anyone notice that majority of the cars had no air bags .. especially in the case of the rod piercing through that guys heart which was really painfull even to read. We pay on an average i reckon more than 1.5 million for these cars and even if we did’nt pay that much still its the duty of the govt to make sure car manufacterers put air bags in their car.Recommend

  • average pashtun

    and also us as consumers to demand and pressure the manufacturesRecommend