Have you ever faced massive traffic while driving on Ring Road or the NH-8 to reach Gurugram? You will always see someone who will zip through the motorcade. He will take a sudden left turn right in front of you. And you will end up slamming the brakes out of nowhere in the middle of the road. Is this what being a ‘good driver’ means?
According to the Economic Times in India, 400 people die every day due to road accidents on our roads. That’s more than 150,000 people every year. These number of deaths are more than the number of people killed in all wars put together in our country. But if you are reading this, you are already on the track to be a good driver and do your bit to keep our roads safe for everyone. The cars are evolving to be safer every day accordingly with the introduction of new technology and safety measures. But the cause of road accidents still remains on the shoulders of bad driving habits and ethics.
Read on to know few driving tips you can use to be a good driver and help make our roads more user-friendly:
Position your rear view mirrors correctly
This is the most obvious tip to be a good driver but surprisingly not a lot of people are aware of the right position of the rear-view mirrors. It is always advised to adjust the rear view mirrors in a way that your car is no more visible in the mirrors. This way, you will be able to see both ways for anyone overtaking you till the time when the other car will come into your vision radius.
Automakers around the world have already spent millions of dollars to advance the technology which can eliminate the effects of ‘blind spots’. These are defined as the viewpoints which are not visible to the human eye while driving or parking your vehicle. This includes rear view cameras, sensors etc, which are meant to alarm the driver about other cars parked in the vicinity. But despite all the advancements in sophisticated technology, the solution to ‘blind spots’ still remain with the correct positioning of the rear view mirrors on your car.
According to a few experts, “The overabundance of signs and signals on the road makes the driver more complacent.”
Imagine how the traffic flow around central Delhi where there are signal free roundabouts. Everyone zips through the lanes by following the co-drivers on the road. This means it is always safer to drive with the traffic rather than jumbling around signboards. Also, driving too slow or too fast is not the traits of a good driver.
Following this, the Dutch city of Drachten replaced 20 four-way intersections with signal free roundabouts. The results were extremely positive. Thereafter, one intersection that killed two to four people every year saw no accidents for the next 6 years.
After this study, various cities around the world started following this structure. This resulted in an immense drop in fatalities caused on road intersections and T-points.
What we are saying is not to ignore sign boards but to follow the instincts of the fellow drivers.
Imagine, what happens on those intersections where people keep on driving even after the traffic signal shows red. Thereafter, suddenly one person stops on the red light and everybody starts to follow the suit.
This phenomenon is quite common on Indian roads and a live example of how trusting the instincts of fellow drivers could influence the flow of traffic.
A study conducted in Israel suggested that the drivers who were listening to soothing music while driving were calmer. Making them more careful drivers than the ones who were listening to high tempo sounds.
Music that fluctuates 120-140 beats per minute also increases the heart rate of the driver making them more aggressive and vulnerable to road accidents.
As regulated by the Government of India, it is mandatory to include ‘auto headlamps ON’ feature in all the 2-wheeler’s in the country. This is done for increased safety and visibility of riders on the road. Same should be followed for cars as well. If your vehicle has daytime running lamps (DRLs), make sure to keep them ON round the clock. If your vehicle lack this feature, always make sure to switch on the headlamps of your car to be a good driver.
The parking brakes, also known as emergency brakes of the car stops the vehicle with the use of wires and cables. These brakes are provided as an alternative to paddle brakes in your car.
When you drive your car without often using the parking brakes, these wires and cables will corrode with time and ultimately break apart. To avoid this situation, make sure to use parking brakes regularly especially while parked on inclined surfaces.
Our country is going through major infrastructural development. With the construction of new paved expressways, the risk of tire blowouts has increased multiple times.
Imagine you are cruising along one such expressway at 80kmph speed and suddenly a ‘mini landmine’ alike sound disrupts your pace. The rear tyre of your vehicle just experienced a blowout.
What will you do?
In the majority of cases, sudden human response to this situation will be to apply brakes. But immediate braking at such high speed will result in a fish-tail scenario. This will result in a fatal car crash as your car will skid through the road and may topple over.
What should you do as a good driver?
Best way to stay safe in such a scenario would be to hit the accelerator a little bit and try to gain control of the car. This immediate change in speed will help you overpower the trauma.
Once you have the vehicle in control, the busted tyre will feel like a dead anchor. While holding the steering tight, gradually start decreasing the car speed, ultimately coming to a halt. Now you can safely change your tyre.
Following these simple tips will surely make your drive more enjoyable and much safer for you and fellow drivers on the road.