Indian roads are perhaps one of the most congested and dangerous roads to travel on. You need a lot of practice and confidence to drive through factors like stray animals, potholes and people in general due to the population. We tend to blame the other factors in most cases and fail to check ourselves. Most of us forget basic road manners and therefore could cause damage or danger to ourselves as well as others. Some of us also do mistakes knowingly, because we are so habitual to a certain style of driving. We took ten such examples of the mistakes we do on roads, knowingly or unknowingly and could have serious implications.
Using sunroof to hang out
Sunroofs are becoming exceedingly popular amongst Indians and therefore to meet the demands of the customer, even the manufacturers are launching most of their new models with a sunroof. It’s important to know that the purpose of the sunroof in your car and a convertible car is not the same. While convertibles are made to enjoy the complete outer experience with even seats made to enjoy the feature, the sunroof is simply given so you can have the feeling of bigger cabin space and even enjoy the weather sometimes. It is definitely not built to provide safety and comfort to someone who wants to pull half their bodies out of the sunroof to hangout. It definitely is perceived as something cool to do but it could result in horrific accidents. The debris flying off from other vehicles could hit the passenger who’s out. Sudden jerks or breaks to protect the car from a collision or obstruction could lead the passenger to get imbalanced and cause injuries. All of this can be avoided if the sunroofs are only used for some fresh air or to soak up the sun during winters.
It is still unclear to a lot of people why high beams are installed in their cars. Just because its much brighter than the normal headlamps, they are generally used by Indian drivers to show their car is coming from the opposite side, after sunset. High beams are only meant to be used on dark multi-lane highways, that have a divider or in areas where the visibility becomes extremely compromised. However, high beams are common on city roads with good lighting as well. It could be a huge problem for drivers coming from the opposite side as they are bright enough to blind you for some time and thereafter make your vision hazy. This could cause accidents due to the blurred vision momentarily.
Hazard lights are also wrongly used by many of us. It is used as a fashion statement and is used to drive past the traffic with indicator flashing, matching beats and high volume music. Many drivers also use it as soon as it fogs or starts raining. This could confuse the vehicle behind you and cause an accident. Basically, it should be used only when you’re braking suddenly or when your car has a puncture or vehicle damage. As the name suggests, it should be used in case you want to give a hazard warning to fellow drivers. It can be used only when in the parked state or you’re driving faster than other or even when you brake suddenly.
Not using ORVMs
Many people in India keep their ORVMs (outside rearview mirror) in shut position while driving the car. The inside rearview mirror is more than sufficient to get a complete view of the cars coming from all directions behind you, however, the ORVMs give a much bigger advantage and cannot be matched by one. You obviously need to close the ORVMs when you’re driving through thick traffic to manoeuvre your car, but it should definitely not be a habitual practice while driving. Without the view of the ORVMs, you wouldn’t know what is coming from the blind spots, unless you turn your head which could have adverse implications.
Taking reverse after missing a turn
When you miss a turn, and your navigation prompts you for the alternate route, but instinctively you notice the time and distance lags and want to take a short cut by going back to the turn. Many drivers are also seen reversing on the highways post missing a U-Turn. This could in turn result in a collision as the highways have speeding cars on the highway. Its always better to stay alert while you’re driving on the highways or any roads to avoid such petty issues which could easily be avoided. And in case you do miss the turn, please wait for the alternate route or wait for the next U-turn to go back on your desired route.
Tailgating is when you’re driving on a high speed, almost chasing the vehicle in front of you and driving extremely close to it. This is a commonly seen practise on highways and is done for no apparent reason. We hope these drivers know about the danger that they take upon themselves while tailgating. The minuscule space between two vehicles while tailgating leaves the drivers in both the vehicles with very less judgement time. Braking time increases with increase in the speed of the vehicle, as the car is in extreme rapid motion, therefore there could be a case wherein the vehicle in the front has to brake suddenly and the car behind is definite to collide into the car in the front causing damage to not only the car but possibly also the passengers.
Parking on blind corners
This is a common mistake seen mostly by people driving in the mountains. Since the mountain roads have infinite turns causing blind spots for the drivers, it is definitely a prime responsibility of the driver to not park their cars in one of these blind spots. The cars are parked at blind spots, mostly when the drivers and occupants get off the car to get pictures or a meal break in between their journey. Other cars driving on the same road are unable to see your car if it’s parked in a blind spot and could result in a crash in your car.
Taking the wrong side
While this is a mistake people make knowingly but when asked for reasons for making these grave mistakes they have excuses like saving time, fuel and whatnot. These are drivers who generally know the route pretty well and are not okay with going all the way to take a U-turn for the destination you cross from the other side of the divider. The danger in doing this is undeniable, and we will not list it down here, but refrain from doing this on roads especially where there is high-speed traffic. In case you’re on the right side of the road and a car is approaching you from the wrong side, make sure to flash your headlights, so that the erratic driver can spot your car and stay clear of it.
Using footpaths to ride
Many Indians are fond of two-wheelers, because of the fact that they can easily manoeuvre it through any kind of thick traffic and find their ways about it. This includes the motorists to take on footpaths, broken dividers, drainage dugouts etc. It could also be known as a skill to be able to drive through such uneven and dangerous tracks, however, its absolutely unnecessary as it only reduces your travel time by a few minutes. The real problem also comes when you take these routes and then again try and merge with the mainstream traffic putting yourselves as well as others in risk.
Group riding and talking
Group ridings are a growing culture in India right now. There are plenty of biking groups that plan weekend rides and they sure are a lot of fun. However, these groups of people sometimes engage in conversation while riding their bikes and it could be fatal. Your attention is obviously divided if you’re riding a bike while talking to someone riding next to you. You are engaged in talking and also riding your bike while saving yourself from unknowingly colliding with someone else on the road. If it’s necessary to communicate something while riding, try to use sign languages or keep it extremely short. And if you feel like having a long conversation, Indian roads and highways are filled with options to take breaks over tea and snacks.