People in India often blame other elements like stray animals, bad road etc for accidents and bad driving. Though these things affect the driving experience, what really is to blame for most of the road mishaps is us. Yes, most of the people never get the basic road manners right and spend their whole life repeating the same mistake. Some even do it knowingly for god knows what pleasure. We have compiled a list of 10 such antics which are a regular sight on our roads.
Using sunroof to hang out
Sunroofs are the new cool since quite some time now. The have become quite popular with new car buyers increasingly opting for the variants that offer a factory-fitted sunroof. However, there’s a difference between a vehicle with sunroof and a convertible. Sunroofs are not meant to be used as a balcony like many people do. Hanging out of sunroof may look and sound cool but can result into serious harm. Sudden braking and jerks can throw out the person or imbalance him, leading to severe injuries. Not only this but debris flying off from the tyres of other vehicles can hit the passenger. Apart from that, the electric wires also pose a lot of threat. Sunroofs are meant to be used to let fresh air in without much wind disturbance. During winter, it can be also used for enjoying the sunlight. But hanging out of the car through the sunroof is just too dangerous.
This is something which every person who has driven a vehicle in India must have faced. The sudden, blinding flash of light that’s makes our vision hazy for sometime, that’s the misuse of high beam for you. Most people don’t know how to use a high beam properly. Just because it is more brighter, they make it a point to switch on the high beam everytime they are driving after sunset without realizing that high beams pose a big problem for oncoming traffic. This especially becomes a pain on single-lane/divider-less roads. High beams are meant to be used only on dark multi-lane highways that have a proper road divider, or in areas where visibility becomes very low. Even them one must switch to lower beam if there’s a vehicle approaching from the front on the same road.
Hazard lights, as the name suggest, should only be used in case of any hazard warning you want to give to other road users. Basically, it should be used when braking suddenly or in conditions like a puncture and vehicle damage. It, however has become a fashion statement for many nowadays and people zoom past the traffic with all the indicators glaring, matching beats with high volume music. Many road users also use them as soon as it starts raining or fog sets in. This can confuse the vehicle behind you and cause an accident. Use hazard lights only when you park on the road, drive faster than other vehicles or brake hard suddenly.
Not using ORVMs
Many people in our country keep their outside rear view mirror (ORVM) in closed position while driving the car. Agreed that the inside rear view mirror is very helpful in itself, the added convenience and view of all the three mirrors can’t be matched by it alone. One can fold the mirror during tight maneuvers of sticky traffic jams but make it a habit to drive with the aid of ORVMs. Without them you can’t exactly know what’s moving in your blind spots unless you turn your head, which is another grave mistake.
Taking reverse after missing a turn
Now this is plain silly. Yet, it happens often. Many so called drivers often start reversing on the highway after missing a U-turn. This can result into a fatal crash as the vehicle coming from behind in high speed may not immediately notice you reversing. Better, just stay alert and avoid missing a U-turn. Even if you do miss a U-turn, they should wait for the next one unless you want something rammed up on your behind.
Tailgating means getting too close to the vehicle infront of you while driving or riding. This is a habit followed by many, despite knowing the danger. This happens even when driving at high speeds on the expressway. To let you know, chances of accidents multiply by several times while tailgating. This is because driving close to the vehicle ahead you leaves an insufficient gap between the two vehicles. This results in less judgement time. Braking distance increases at high speed as the vehicles needs more time to slow down.. Hence, in case the vehicle in front brakes suddenly, there is a good chance that the vehicle behind will make a solid entry into it.
Parking on blind corners
Many drivers, especially in the mountains, park their vehicles without thinking about the visibility of their car to other road users. At most times, they park at the blind turns, while the occupants get off the car to take pictures or head for a tea break. Parking on blind corners makes the vehicle totally invisible to other road users. Hence, there’s a high chance of someone colliding with the improperly parked vehicle.
Taking the wrong side
Using footpaths to ride
Motorcyclists many time think it of as a skill to get past through any traffic/ obstacle by taking odd routes. This includes footpaths, drainage dug outs and many times even divides. Let us tell you folks, that is not skill but plain antic behavior. Most of the times it saves only 3-4 minutes and not anymore. However, when you go through such routes you mostly create further hurdles for the traffic when you again merge with the road and put other people’s life at risk, along with yours.
Group riding and talking
While group rides over the weekend are fun, it turns out to be fatal some times. This is because many times, motorcyclists who ride in groups talk to each other while riding their vehicles. They often get so engrossed in their conversations that they stopping paying attention on the road and don’t respond to the honking of the pile-up of vehicles behind them. This is very annoying for other road users and many time, it can also lead to fatal accidents. Always use sign language or short dialogue to convey your message when riding. If you want to chat leisurely, get to a side and chatter to your heart’s content. Better still, take a stop at any random dhaba and fill your tummy along with conversing.