Five legendary habits of the infamous Indian motorist

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Added in: Features

Now we all know that driving in India isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. In most countries, driving involves you being aware of pedestrians and other road users around you. But back here in Hindustan, you need to be ready to stomp on your brakes for a pesky cow which decides that it wants to pop out of the bushes and take a stroll on the road. And it’s often said that, once you drive in India, you can drive anywhere on the planet. Though most of us motoring enthusiasts know about the rules and regulations of the road and we tend to stick to them, there are many who couldn’t care less about the same. So, we decided we would write a little on the idiocy that we think are witnessed by all of us on our roads.

Incessant honking:

Traffic jams are a part and parcel of Indian life and there are no two ways about it. And sometimes, inevitably, your car’s engine might stall or you may not realise that the vehicle in front of you has begun moving. It’s normal and there is nothing that will give you even the slightest hint of how deafened you will be for a few moments to come. Whether you drive fast or you prefer taking the slow approach, you will be well-versed with how the horn in your car works. And when your car stalls in the middle of a traffic clog up, you will be faced with an onslaught of loud horns blaring in your ears.

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Many Indians think that blaring their horn can actually cure traffic problems. To add insult to injury, many retrofit their vehicles with even louder and more disturbing aftermarket horns. These ones are so fantastically loud, that you risk facing permanent hearing loss if exposed to them. We feel that the authorities should introduce strict fines and punish the offenders for honking incessantly. Horns are supposed to be used as a last resort, not as a front-line weapon for traffic congestion.

Disregard for Traffic lights:

Talking of traffic jams, the next thing that most motorists in India don’t seem to understand, are traffic lights. Traffic lights are vital in controlling the flow and pattern of vehicles and sticking to the set logic will mean lesser jams and a more sedate flow of traffic. But, once again, we in India have to go by our own mindset. There have been so many instances where we have spotted people breaking the signal and going for it, just so that they wouldn’t have to wait for a couple of minutes. We believe that most people don’t like these ”pesky” electronic traffic wardens as the red colour can be a bad omen.

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Quite true, this.

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Not a great list to be on, this one. At least we aren’t leading it.

Though we see traffic police standing and waving their arms frantically, they are not at all effective. There are simply too many errant motorists for a couple of five-o’s to apprehend. We think that putting up CCTV cameras on intersections and other vital locations can make a difference along with proper training and understanding of the road rules.

Mobile phone usage while driving / riding:

In this modern day and age where everything revolves around staying connected, mobile phones play a vital role in our everyday lives. But, using your phone while behind the wheel or even worse, while on a motorbike, can be catastrophic. Most people, not only in India, but throughout the globe, take this case very lightly. There was this one incident in US which highlights the potential threat of using phones while driving. A 4-year old was run over by a lady who was texting whilst driving her car. This is just one of many instances that keep happening all over the world. There are strict rules set in place to prevent exactly such kind of incidents, but then most people tend to ignore it.

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As if riding without proper safety gear wasn’t bad enough.

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Some interesting facts on mobile usage whilst driving.

Scenes such as that shown in the above image are far too common in India. We wonder, how important that call must have been for that person to put his life on a limb and still think “Oh yes, I have to attend this call!” Whether you are in a car or riding a bike, mobile phone usage is a strict no. Research has proven that using mobile phones while driving or riding, takes away a chunk of your attention and that’s a lapse one just can’t afford. Even in cars that are equipped with Bluetooth for telephony purpose, very few, if any, actually use the feature.

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