Ignorance of road safety rules & driving basics: Real world encounters

Most of the accidents are attributed to luck and drivers are not aware of risks associated with certain road conditions or weather.

BHPian chaitanyakrish recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Road Safety is a very taboo subject in India as there’s no formal training or awareness among general public.

General public is literally not aware of Motor Vehicles Driving Regulations and basic safety precautions to be taken while on the road. Most of the accidents are attributed to luck and drivers are not aware of risks associated with certain road conditions or weather.

For example, MVDR says we shouldn’t overtake on bridges,culverts etc. The reason is, on the bridges, culverts etc, road can narrow and during an overtake, there is a risk of hitting the sidewall of the bridge/culvert.
When people don’t read and understand the rules, they will attempt such a move and invite risk.

Another video which I had come across recently is the one uploaded by Venkata Satish Guttula, CEO of CyberXGen.

This happened near Mumbai, where a girl was crossing the oil tanker dangerously.

This video is one such examples, which illustrates the risk awareness in our country.

With this in background, I had some funny or interesting conversations with my family on road safety.

The goal of this post is to show the awareness levels of road safety among general public and emphasizing the need to have a robust training program.

Experience 1 : With my Uncle who is having 15+ years of driving experience.

A few months back,I drove to Hyderabad to visit my uncle’s house.He’s a native of Hyderabad and has been driving for 15 yrs. Had some interesting conversations on road safety with my cousins.We thought of buying some groceries so we went in his car.

There’s no left side mirror for his car. I asked him about the mirror.

He said that a biker had hit it and he was not getting time to change it.

Meanwhile, I started imagining how my drive would be.

Then, I kept the seat belt. He said,he never keeps.Then we both started to Yadagiri Gutta Temple in 2 cars,my car and his car. He is tailgating trucks and going on and not using indicators while changing lanes too.My cousin who sat in my car, told me,”wow,you are giving indicators while changing lanes,I thought they would be used only at night “

While returning back to Hyderabad from Yadagiri Gutta, my another cousin came with me.

My other cousin to me : “does your car have airbags”

I said yes.

Then she said:”which button you need to press to activate them.”

Both of them have driving licenses by the way.

Experience 2 : Overloaded Alto

Two weeks ago, I attended a wedding at a remote place in Andhra Pradesh. They gave us hotel accommodation far from the wedding venue and for other events like Sangeet etc and they said they will arrange a car for transport.

We were 8 people and one Maruti Alto came to the hotel. After seeing the car, meanwhile, we started splitting on who will go first and the others in the second trip.

The car driver said,”no need sir, everyone can come at once”. We were 8 and 9 including the driver. I was sitting on the hand brake. The rural driver started rash driving all over the bumpy roads on first gear as he couldn’t change the gears due to lack of space.

We got so scared and we booked our own vehicle from then. After seeing the way the driver was driving and when the same driver was sent in a different car to bring the bridegroom, I was tensed until he came back safely. If I utter anything on safety there, I would have to face some comments that, I was talking negatively in an auspicious event.

No wonder, in rural areas, we see more accidents with overloaded vehicles. With literally no training or at least basic driving schools in rural areas, it’s like inviting disaster any day.

These are just few examples, and there are many more where basic safety is not given any importance due to ignorance. Please do share your experiences too.

Here’s what BHPian SS-Traveller had to say on the matter:

Many professional drivers (including cabbies) I have come across, do not understand that they should not rest their left foot on the clutch pedal, when not shifting gears. Or that the clutch and brake pedals should not be pressed simultaneously in a moving car.

When stopping at a traffic light, people do not stop according to lane markings. They line up behind the queue that is the shortest, and then proceed to move in their desired direction once the light turns green, even if they cut across 2-3 lanes of traffic.

I have lost count of the number of people who have asked me, what is the purpose of the amber (yellow) light in a traffic light setup?

Innumerable drivers cannot engage / disengage cruise control.

People are not sensitized enough not to use the horn near hospitals. Every time I visit a hospital, I end up ticking off a few drivers for persistent honking (and they talk back about how they are unable to drive on because of the congestion, and how the honking clears traffic easily!)

More incidents as I remember them. Let’s hear what other members have to say.

Here’s what BHPian karthikv had to say on the matter:

Usage of high beams, especially the after market blinders. People have no idea how and when to use high beams.

Using hazard lights during rains creates unnecessary confusion.

Using turn indicators to allow overtakes.

Randomly parking vehicles at blind curves in ghats and taking pictures.

These are just from my drive last week to Kukke subramanya from Bangalore.

Here’s what BHPian epiccross had to say on the matter:

Good friend just refuses to maintain sufficient distance between vehicles, he constantly says there’s enough space and I’m just over anxious (bohot jagah hai.. nahi jagah hai)

Convincing people in the rear to wear seatbelts is a pain! I really wish my car had rear seatbelt reminder, the only reason people would find convincing is that otherwise it’d make the annoying beep noise.

People overtaking in curves and sometimes blind curves, this is a real worry for me! Why oh why would you do this!?

Perhaps the worst amongst all and one of my nightmares, overtaking from the left. I constantly fear bikers etc cutting me from my left and getting hurt at some point! Surely I’d be blamed for being the “bigger vehicle”. Heck, even cars squeeze through in slow moving traffic when you try to be in line and be patient.

Here’s what BHPian montsa007 had. to say on the matter:

Am based in Mumbai & am sure many will agree to some of the pointers below:

2 wheelers riding on footpath whenever there’s traffic on the road.

Jumping signals when there’s 10-15 seconds left to turn green, giving no opportunity to pedestrians to cross the road.

Riding without a helmet, top it up with high speeds & double top it with zig zag driving by 2 wheelers.

Driving/Riding on the wrong side of the road, I see it often & the rider sees the other person at fault.

Starting to honk, when you’re about 100 feet deep in the traffic, signal has 10 seconds to turn green (Assuming all cars will magically disappear).

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Picture used is for representation purposes only.

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