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The tractor-on-highway menace in India has claimed yet another victim - a Mahindra XUV500. The incident occurred on NH-7, which is commonly known as Bellary road, near Chikballapur, around 50 kilometres north of Bangalore.
According to the owner of the XUV500, he was headed to Bangalore from Ananthapur with his family in the Mahindra SUV when the incident happened, after completing nearly three-fourth of the journey.
The XUV500 was being driven on the right lane of the three-lane highway while the tractor was being driven slowly on the left lane. As the XUV500 got closer, the tractor driver swerved right to take the gap in the divider and cross the road.
Sine the speed differential was too much between the two vehicles and distance too less, there was very little time for the driver of the XUV500 to react. As a result, the XUV500 ended up crashing into the the tractor's rear-right wheel.
The tractor - An Escorts Farmtrac XP-37 Champion bearing Tamil Nadu registration, was barely affected by the crash. Though pictures of the tractor do not reveal much, we expect a deflated rear tyre and bent wheel at most.
The XUV500 on the other hand did take a severe beating as the pictures reveal. The entire front-left side of the car has been damaged in the crash, and the damage has reflected till the dashboard according to the owner.
This accident though stands as a testimony to the build quality of the Mahindra XUV500 as all the occupants of the SUV walked away from the incident with no injuries. Airbags in the SUV inflated and the crumple zones built into the body have done their job of absorbing the impact.
The tractor driver was drunk, and fled the scene immediately after the accident as locals had started beating him up. The locals, police and fellow highway travelers were all extremely supportive, according to the driver of the Mahindra XUV500.
Anybody who has traveled on Indian highways would have at some point or the other noticed tractors moving slowly. These tractors seem harmless at first, but one has to realise that they cause several accidents some of which even lead to loss of life.
Sometimes tractors are even driven in the opposite direction so that they can save on distance, and often these tractors are not lit well, with non-functional lights and missing reflector strips.
Until the farmers and tractor drivers are educated about driving safely, mishaps are bound to happen. Till the menace stops, it is better for us to drive safely and cautiously at all times.