Driving a car isn't as easy it seems especially in today's jam-packed roads. Human errors, while in the car, can prove fatal for the person behind the wheel and the other passengers, or even other vehicles. So what are the mistakes that one should avoid while driving?
Failing To Check on The Health of The Car
The car's electronics keep a beady eye on the health of the vehicle, measuring everything from the battery voltage to the tyre and oil pressures. While these electronic nannies may work rather well, drivers are expected to heed warning lights and also manually check their vehicles to ascertain its health every once in a while. This ensures that potential failures are caught early and don't end up exploding in your face while driving on the road.
Ignoring the Health Of The Driver
The health of the person behind the wheel should be of most concern while driving. Driver fatigue, especially during long drives, has been the cause of numerous fatal accidents over the years. So, if you find the person behind the wheel nodding off, either be ready to make a stop to let him/her rest or take over the wheel yourself to ensure that everyone inside stays safe.
Failing to Wear A Seat belt
In the event of a crash, airbags pop open to help cushion the impact felt by your body. It is the seat belt though, that keeps you inside the car and stuck safely in your place. However, many drivers and passengers, especially in India, find the life-saving safety mechanism too tedious or restraining to use.
Not wearing a seatbelt does not allow the airbags to inflate in many cars, which would mean that in the event of the crash, the driver and the passenger up front could end up flying through the windshield, resulting in death in most cases.
Driving Under The Influence
Driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs is a punishable offence under the law. However, despite multiple fatalities due to drunk driving or under the influence of drugs, some people still seem to care less. This occurs from the first night of the year, with many revellers returning from the new year's eve party, high as a kite and therefore too impaired to drive. This phenomenon is also seen during the various festive seasons that occur in our nation.
Despite heavier fines and more stringent policing, there are still those who think that having a drink or two isn't a problem before going for a drive. For your own safety and for that of the others on the road (both pedestrians and those in vehicles) take a cab or get a designated driver into your friend circle.
Using The Phone While Driving
Another aspect of distracted driving is using smartphones while behind the wheel of the car. Not only does this put the driver in danger but it also puts the lives of everyone else in the car and those travelling on the road.
While innovations such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are boons, they still can prove to be a distraction on the go. So next time a call or message pops up, move to the side of the road and keep yourself and everyone else away from danger. While it is a messaging slang, the fact that YOLO, is very real.
Acting like a Hoonigan on the Road
Just because you've watched the Fast and the Furious series or a Ken Block video doesn't mean that you have to race everyone else on the road, or show off your tyre-shredding drifting skills the next time you see an intersection. Do remember, there are others travelling on the road and they don't need your idiocracy to send them to the morgue. If you want to race or drift, head to the racetrack and prove your worth.
Bad Driving Skills
Remember to follow the rules of the road at all times. So when you want to turn one way, indicate the direction. Don't expect your fellow drivers to be telepathic to either give you space or brake when they see you shifting directions.
The same applies for overtaking. Ensure that there is enough space for you to move through, rather than squeezing into a gap that was not there.
No matter how flashy your car is, it is only your driving that can save you in a life and death situation. On the road, respect your fellow drivers and avoid driving hell.
Got bumped by the taxi behind you? Is the hooligan on the two-wheeler constantly cutting you off and mocking you? Bus driver cutting into your lane? Before you respond, take a big breath, count to 10 and then make a decision on whether or not the urge to go Hulk Smash.
Road rage is fast becoming normal, which makes driving around the streets of any city a dangerous ordeal. After all, you may not just be the only Green Rage Monster around.
So if you do feel the urge to lash out, do remember these three things: 1) the other guy is human too, 2) he may be as scared or angry as you, 3) talking it out is always better for your voice, body and probably even your life. So, talk it out, it isn't going to cost you a stay in the hospital, or the morgue.
Driving an Uninsured Vehicle
Driving an uninsured vehicle is a punishable offence under the law. However, that doesn't stop many across the world and in India from doing so. Just remember to try and live with your decision the next time a crash happens and someone gets injured or dies, leaving you to foot the bill.
So, if you don't find yourself at the pearly gates in your uninsured jalopy, remember, those hospital bills always seem to have more zeroes, when insurance is absent. If you're not at the hospital then you've either got the Devil's luck or are plainly dead(er).
Thoughts On The Deadly Driving Sins
When we set out to write this, we thought of it as a helpful piece to help you drive properly. But with our nation's crazy drivers honking away to glory, morbid humour crept in and for once this piece is something you've needed all along. Shock Therapy. So drive safe the next time you're out on the world's mean meandering roads.