Mind your Driving Manners

With several hundred new cars hitting the city roads every day and the Nano scheduled to launch soon, things threaten to spin out of control. Here are some things you need to know and act on if you want to drive in our cities and remain sane.

Slow drivers in the right lane.

Most people are unaware that the extreme right lane is meant for overtaking, and find it safe driving there, resulting in a long line of honking cars behind them.

Vehicles in the wrong lane before they have to take a turn.

We often see people in the left or the middle lane when they have to take a right turn or a U-turn. Or they would be in the right or the middle lane when they have to take a free left turn. This results in slowing down the traffic going straight ahead.

Driving while talking on mobile phones.

This is something people continue to indulge in irrespective of all rules and regulations. It not only slows down traffic but also causes accidents. Much stricter enforcement is required.

Bad use of side view mirrors.

Some people use both back and side view mirrors as a looking glass rather than to keep an eye on traffic around them. Some also think the back view mirror is good enough before a turn and keep the side view mirrors shut. What they don't realize is that side view mirrors give a much wider angle.

Workmen on the road during peak hours.

As it is we city dwellers have to suffer crowded roads because of flyovers and metro construction work and general disorderliness. To add to all that in Delhi we have MCD and NDMC workers sweeping and repairing roads, watering plants, cleaning bus stands - all only during peak hours. Surely their times can be adjusted according to traffic ebb and flow

People gathered to watch an accident.

Only 2% of people halt to lend a helping hand to the victim, the rest are there out of sheer curiosity. Some slow down to see what's going on, and even if it's for as short as 30 seconds, it's enough to cause traffic build-up on a busy road

Parking and honking in the wrong places.

Parking in the middle of the road or just at will, as if the road belonged to you, under a no-parking sign, and honking near schools and hospitals are common practice in Delhi.

Violating the yellow line.

Another common practice is to cross the yellow line and cut across to another lane and sometimes even across the road to avoid a longer route. Not only does this create chaos and unending traffic jams but it also can result in accidents.

Driving with the high beam on.

More than 50% of the population in Delhi drive with their headlights on, unaware of the fact that this is one of the major reasons for accidents at night. Highbeams are meant for highways with long stretches of roads.

Non-use of indicators before roundabouts and traffic lights.

A useful practice, seldom followed. Using indicators would help the traffic following you to take the appropriate lane and avoid confusion at the last minute.

Traffic cops managing traffic signals.

Traffic lights are timed for 30-45 seconds at a time for a specific reason. This ensures a smooth flow of traffic. Instead, what we get are random timings, sometimes halts of over 3 minutes at one red light, resulting in a huge build-up of traffic from the opposite side.

Most of these issues are easily resolved. All it takes is a general sense of awareness and some effort, both on the part of drivers and the authorities.