It’s not just foreigners who think that Indian roads are the most dangerous in the world. Every sane motorist in India would also subscribe to this school of thought. Sadly, most of the drivers in our country don’t get professional training while learning to drive. Hence, they ignore most of the traffic rules and regulations. Here is a look at 10 of the most stupid things that people do on Indian roads.
Using sunroof to hang out
Sunroofs have become quite popular in India. New car buyers are increasingly opting for the variants that offer a factory-fitted sunroof. Sadly, many Indian car users use a sunroof to hang out of the vehicle. This is not only really dangerous but it’s also illegal. Any sudden braking can throw the person, hanging out of the sunroof, out of the car. Also, debris thrown from the tyres of other vehicles can hit the passenger. Even the electric wires pose a lot of threat. Sunroofs should be used to push the stale air out of the car and let fresh air inside 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.
Most Indian drivers don’t know how to use a high beam properly. They just make it a point to switch on the high beam whenever they are driving after sunset. They don’t realize that high beams pose a big problem for oncoming traffic, especially on single-lane/divider-less roads. High beams should be used only on dark multi-lane highways that have a proper road divider. On most other roads, using high beams continuously can totally blind the oncoming traffic. That said, using them on dark roads inside the city is still fine. However, make sure there’s no other vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
Hazard lights are probably the most misused features on this list. As implied by the name, hazard lamps should be used only when you need to tell other road users about the hazard ahead of them. Basically, it should be used when braking suddenly or while driving faster than the rest of the vehicles. Here, in India, however, most road users switch on the hazard lights 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 Indian drivers keep their rear view mirrors folded. This is very dangerous as it gets too tough to know what’s happening right behind you. This can lead to a mishap. If nothing else, it causes a lot of inconvenience to other road users.
Taking reverse after missing a turn
Many Indian drivers often start reversing on the highway after missing a U-turn. This is really very dangerous as vehicles coming at a high speed might end up colliding into the reversing vehicle. Hence, drivers should stay alert and avoid missing the U-turn. Even if they do miss the U-turn, they should wait for the next one.
Many people like to drive close to the car in the front even when driving at high speeds on the expressway. It’s noteworthy here that chances of accidents multiply by several times while tailgating. Driving close to the vehicle in the front leaves an insufficient gap between the two vehicles. Also, the braking distance increases at high speed. Hence, in case the vehicle in front brakes suddenly, there is a good chance that the vehicle behind it will crash 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
Many times, road users prefer to drive on the wrong side of the road, instead of driving in the right direction and taking a U-turn, to save a few minutes. However, it’s just too dangerous, especially if the vehicle is on a highway with high-speed traffic. In case you see a vehicle on the wrong side of the road approaching you, make sure you slow down and flash your headlights to make yourself clearly visible to the erratic driver or rider.
Using footpaths to ride
Many two-wheeler users and even autorickshaw drivers get on the footpath to overtake slow-moving traffic. Such road users get back on the road after passing many vehicles. This is a completely wrong practice. First, these people create a traffic jam when trying to get back on the road. Moreover, they pose a threat to the pedestrians walking on the footpath.
Group riding and talking
Many times, motorcyclists who ride in groups talk to each other while riding their vehicles. Often, these riders are so engrossed in their conversations that they don’t even respond to the honking of the pile-up of vehicles behind them. This is not only very annoying for other road users but also very dangerous for riders as they fail to pay enough attention to the road.