Road accidents in India have earned a dubious distinction the world over. Be it friends, family, or even colleagues, driving or drivers on Indian roads are the most talked about topic in a discussion. Studies by many countries reveal nearly 98 percent of accidents on roads or highways is by human errors or sheer ignorance.
Accidents attributed to human errors have a deeper impact on the driver as well as others on the road. Among the human errors, there are mistakes that drivers are often found flouting rules time and again.
Here are the 10 most common driving mistakes that you are probably not aware of.
10. Use Of Mobile Phones While Driving
The most common driving mistake in the modern era is the use of mobile phones. With the urgency to read a message, to take a call or even to keep oneself updated with information or news have increasingly led humans to use mobile phones while driving.
Mobile phone use while driving is a distraction and leads to accidents and harms other road users as well. The act of talking on the phone occupies a major portion of the brain and the all important driving skills take a back seat. This division hampers reaction time and the ability to judge, this has become one of the common reasons of driving mistakes.
9. Not Adjusting The Mirrors Properly Before Driving
The rearview and side mirrors are not vanity mirrors, they are important instruments in your car that helps you see what is behind you and on either side of your car. With varying heights of the driver, mirrors need to be adjusted for the best view of the rear and on the side of your car.
It is critically important to ensure that the mirrors on your car are in the right position. Moving your position - instead of a glance - to look for any approaching vehicles, can deviate your vision from looking ahead of the road. The best practice is to take a moment when you first get into to your car and adjust all mirrors to the right position.
8. Not Using Turn Signals
Many of the drivers or riders change body language to indicate that they are taking a turn or changing lanes. However, this is dangerous as there is no clear indication if the turn is to the left or to the right or even to change lanes. What many of us forget is that the turn signals are an important safety feature which informs other motorists around us what our motives are.
Motorists behind and around us have to react at the last second when people do not use a turn signal to indicate that they are changing lanes on a highway or turning a corner on a city street. This is one of common mistake while driving which causes accidents. Also, make sure to turn off the turn signal after you have taken the turn or changed lanes; it is annoying to drive behind people who have left the turn indicator blinking when they are not actually turning.
7. Keeping Or Leaving Your High Beam On
Keeping or leaving your high beam on is considered to be a bad habit. High beams can both distract and blind drivers of the oncoming cars and will lead to reduced visibility and ultimately cause an accident. High beams are important to use when driving on roads that have no streetlights and people need to be aware when is it effective to use.
Turning off high beams when other cars are around you, benefits both you and others on the road. The general rule of thumb is to use low beam light especially when you see another car's headlights or tail lights in the distance. By paying attention to your dashboard at all times, you can avoid leaving the high beam on as it is possible for people to hit the high beam unintentionally. So if you see the blue light on the dash make sure it is for the right reason; the blue light could be a lifesaver.
6. Bad Seating Position
By getting comfortable in your seat the way you want is not the right position to sit as a driver. Many drivers tend to push the seat far back and in that position, they compromise their control over the vehicle. The reaction times to apply the brakes or the clutch pedal is quite low when the driver's legs are stretched out and can barely touch the pedals.
Also by sitting comfortably, it can make you lazy and not pay attention to what is going on around them. Take a look at professional racing drivers, they sit upright and both the hands are always on the steering wheel. By sitting upright and closer to the controls of driving will keep you alert and the reaction time is much faster.
5. Using Daylight Running Lights (DRLs) At Night
The daytime running lights (DRLs) is a safety feature used during the daytime to inform any oncoming vehicle of your presence. Many people assume or take the DRLs for granted and use it during the night time as well. DRLs are dimmer than nightlights on most cars, also, tail lights are not on when the DRLs are on.
By switching on the nightlights, both the headlights and the tail lights are switched on, this makes other drivers aware of your vehicle. The added visibility and safety of the night lights provides is worth for both you and others on the road.
4. Jumping Signals Or Speed Through A Yellow Light
Jumping a red signal is a common sight in India. This affects not just you, but others on the road as well. Many of the CCTV footages at the traffic signals reveal that road accidents in the city are caused by someone jumping the red/ stop signal. The yellow/ amber light as we all know is to "slow down" and not "speed up".
Many hit the gas pedal when they see the green light changing to yellow/ amber rather than hitting the brake. This is very dangerous and should not be followed at any time, it is always better to be cautious and patient. Giving up that 90 seconds or so of your life is definitely worth it.
3. Crossing Lanes While Turning
While turning a corner, changing multiple lanes is a common mistake that people never realise. By sticking to your lane is safe and other motorists will not be surprised by your sudden change in lane without any indication.
Many like to swing their car wide when taking a turn and change lanes at the same time, this is dangerous considering there are other vehicles on the other lane. This will lead to accidents with other cars in other lanes that are turning at the same time. Making this simple adjustment can leave a positive impact.
2. Driving Slowly On A Passing Or Faster Lane
The lanes on the road are specified either for slow moving vehicles or a passing vehicle. The passing vehicles are usually faster than the slow moving vehicles. By driving slow on the faster lane will lead to vehicle pile up behind you, thereby blocking a faster vehicle than yours.
This could lead to frustration of the passing vehicle driver and ultimately lead to drivers speeding on a slower lane. The important aspect is to find out which lane is suited to your driving speed and use it accordingly. It is inconsiderate to drive on the fastest lane when you are clearly not travelling at the required speed limit.
1. Stop Suddenly Without Warning
We have been a witness or even experienced the situation when the car in front of you suddenly comes to an abrupt halt and you probably rear-ended the car. To stop the car suddenly and without warning is one of the biggest mistakes drivers make.
Drivers need to be cautious and conscious of the cars behind them and it is advisable and mature to stop slowly and with care. By giving everyone the chance to react and adjust will definitely avoid any accidents on roads. By ignoring the cars behind can lead to accidents both small and large and who would ever want that?
The above common mistakes while driving provide an insight into some of the genuine and simple ways to avoid accidents on roads and highways. By taking care of you and the others on the road will help avoid an accident which could have been avoided.