Nothing new in high risks in highway driving but risks to life of travelers are more intense in highway driving in Jammu & Kashmir than any other part of the country and more so on Srinagar-Jammu highway the only arterial route connecting Kashmir with Jammu and other parts of the country. Though Jammu-Srinagar highway remains shut for most of the time during chilly months of winter due it’s vulnerability to frequent landslides triggered by frequent snowing and incessant rains but the travel on this highway does not remain suspended for more than few days due to intense road clearance operations by the boarder roads organisation (BRO) throughout the year and more so during winter months. Travelers getting a tough time without rest and relaxation in their travels on Jammu-Srinagar highway is though a very key issue but the fatal road accidents on Jammu-Srinagar highway is the issue of grave concern for travelers even after the opening of the four lane two end long tracks on Jammu and Srinagar sides as the incomplete Ramban-Banihal rough track of over 100 kilometers awaiting completion is likely to take not less than two more years for completion. Probably there won’t be more intense pressure on the movement of both light and heavy vehicular traffic on any other highway in the country than the Jammu-Srinagar highway due to intense pressure of traffic movement on it for transportation of Kashmir apple from Srinagar to Jammu in winter months and movement of essential goods and security convoys throughout the year. Due to intense pressure of both light and heavy vehicular traffic on Jammu-Srinagar highway and it’s vulnerability to landslides during winter months and rainy seasons the deaths of travelers in tragic road accidents are reported day in and day out from different places of this highway. Though speed is not the single cause of frequent deaths on this highway but even then drivers set the pace of their vehicles according to the road conditions of different tracks on this highway and more so during winter months and rainy seasons.
Experiences of driving on Jammu-Srinagar show the ways to reduce risks of life to drivers on highway and as such it would be advisable for the drivers pulling their vehicles on this highway to draw lessons from their own bad experiences of yesteryears to sure safety of travelers till the longest incomplete four lane Ramban-Banihal track is completed.
To avoid accidents on this highway drivers tend to focus their whole attention on the movements of vehicles around them and slow down the pace of their vehicles on getting a diversion notice from the traffic regulating squads kept always alert on this highway. However it has been noticed that overtaking during periods of clearance of stranded vehicles often results in tragic road accident deaths. So correct judgment of the road clearance signals and timing are the primary points of focus for the drivers on this highway. What matters the most is the mental alertness of drivers on blind spots as mirrors often don’t project the entire view of the blind spots. Stopping at regular intervals is crucial for safety of travelers on this highway as driver’s fatigue also become a cause of tragic accidents on this highway. Travelling during the night during rains and snow is yet another bad experience on this highway as poor visibility during night also becomes cause of life consuming road accidents during chilly months of winter and rainy seasons on this highway. By all standards of understandabilities experiences of driving on Jammu-Srinagar show the ways to reduce risks of life to drivers on highway and as such it would be advisable for the drivers pulling their vehicles on this highway to draw lessons from their own bad experiences of yesteryears to sure safety of travelers till the longest incomplete four lane Ramban-Banihal track is completed.