Useful Safety Tips - Quick Reference Guide
Its just my 2nd post here, and I feel that I have certain useful information to share to you all, so that we can change the driving scene in India and hopefully many people will read this & comment on the same as I write this with good intent. OK right off the bat let me tell you I'm not a slow driver, I like to indulge, have a little fun, enjoy the ride.. enjoy the music & feel as if I'm connected to the machine. Emotional drivers will understand what I mean. Nevertheless, I have seen what happens when others make a mistake. It may not be our fault but sometimes people like to blame you when it's clearly them cutting you off, or encroaching in your rightful lane. The hallmark of a good driver is not making a mistake & allowing for others "rashness" too, our ego will not permit us to make a mistake & so for that I give you quick points which anyone can brush up regularly.
1. Always use bluetooth headset/built in bluetooth when in the car. Always pair up. You need the hands to enjoy the steering wheel more.
2. Preferably switch off the phone when in drive mode, for those who might say its impossible, think about it? Its only 30-60 mins on average, so if possible put your worries of lifting a call/msg at ease and enjoy the drive.
Note : Use of phones distract the mind and make your reflexes 40% slower even in handsfree mode. Using hands is akin to sabotaging yourself. Remember others want a peaceful ride as much as you, so would you like it if someone else made that mistake and affected you?
3.Use seatbelts always, in all the seats.
4.If affordable drive a model with 2 airbags, 6 preferable, if you can stretch that budget a little more. Safety is the hallmark of a good car. Also check Euro-NCAP tests for safety online before looking at a model.
5.This is from pure experience that I say, never change lanes suddenly, never THINK of turning that steering before giving signal in advance. This is very prevalent in India and must be stopped.
6.Honk only if you are sure the vehicle ahead is driving slow or not allowing you to pass. If that vehicle is acting that way because of another in front leave it be. Honking creates tension to self and to the other. Always try to leave over 2 feet of room with the vehicle left of you as in India they always swoop towards right and I hate it!!!
7.In India (correct me if wrong), I feel on average this should be the speed-to-lane rule in 90% of the roads : 50+ kph - Rightmost/ 30-50 kph - Middle /
Under 30 - Leftmost. Maintain this and honking and lane changes might stop. Of course the above speeds can drop over 50% in jams but the ratio can be maintained depending on how you like to drive.
8.Never keep eye contact with any vehicle and trust me on this. Only do so to indicate something like a flat tyre or to ask to give way. This intrusive/threatening manner must stop in India
9.Never open doors/windows when someone knocks. Even if they say there is money on the ground or if they purposely try to lure you out. Its never for the right reason. Keep central locks on always.
10.Never choreograph your feet to the sound of music when driving. You dont suddenly dance when walking on the road with earphones do you? Or do you jump up from the sofa to the sound of Mtv and jiggle? So why do it when driving? Music is isolated from speed and you train yourself to know it.
Many of you may already know most of these things but I just felt like contributing what I know here and if it helps even 1 person Im happy. I just wish more people would drive knowing they are entitled to their space but also be aware that their mistakes affect others. A perfect driver is one who realises he wouldn't want to do the same "small errors" that he would hate to be a victim of.
As a parting note, yes jaywalking is irritating and rampant and we all hate it! But I sometimes cross (carefully) and wish a vehicle or 2 will show consideration and slow down a bit, rather than flash lights and speed up and scare me. So I always do what I wish for, even for the most careless jaywalker. Note for pedestrians : DON'T JAYWALK!!