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Top Ten Annoying Mistakes Delhi Drivers Need To Stop Making

I have an experience of around 2 years now of driving on Delhi roads. Okay, that's probably not the perfect way of putting it. I'm obviously no professional driver but being the eldest child in the family comes with its own downsides, doesn't it?
Although I am yet to get to see what driving in other cities is like, Delhi drivers sure need to revive their roadsense and revise their driving lessons before all of us end up bumping into each other. The 10 pointers given below come from some of my commonest observations of road bloopers I desperately wish people (read: Delhiites) do away with soon.

  • Overtaking unnecessarily: I don't know what is so adventurous about it, but I am now so used to seeing jerks who wouldn't mind risking their and someone else's vehicle by closely overtaking it even if there is a red-light signal that we have to stop by just some meters ahead or the road is badly jammed. Everytime someone does this I wonder how do I fall in the so-called category of "bad drivers".

  • Not being careful about other vehicles: Okay, maybe your car is old enough to not bother about some scratches or dents, but it isn't necessary that the others on the road think the same. Moreover, you never know how a small risk may turn into a disaster for you or someone else. So if there isn't enough space to drive your vehicle through, for god's sake, please DON'T!

  • Driving at the speed of a snail because you are busy on the phone: One, you are talking on the phone while driving which in itself is illegal (at least officially). Two, you think you own the entire road to use it the way you want, even if it means that the entire traffic has to honk and honk and follow you at a snail's speed. You aren't the prime minister or the president, so I am pretty sure you can't be that busy. So please do the world a small favor: Either stop somewhere and then take your call or keep driving and not take the call. I am sure "I was driving so couldn't pick the phone" is by all means a very valid reason to use later on.

  • Staring at a girl who is driving as if she is the first woman driver in the world: One, there are plenty of female drivers in the world now. Two, there are plenty of female drivers in the world now. 
    You know there is nothing extraordinary about it, so just accept it. Avoid those cold stares or sly smiles or shocked expressions or worse, remarks. Let them breathe free at least on the road.

  • Squeezing in your car or parking it perpendicular to another car in the parking lot: When parking your car, it makes a lot of sense to consider how convenient would it be for the neighboring vehicles to exit, for you to exit, for other vehicles to pass by, and so on—without hurting any vehicle, that is.

  • Parking your vehicle in the middle of the road: Is there anything else in this world as frustrating as getting late for work because some nincompoop doesn't love his car enough and hence doesn't mind leaving it on the road blocking way for the entire traffic? If you didn't get a spot to park your car, if you need to quickly go meet or pick up somebody, or if you can't resist smoking a cigarette or taking a stop at the pan-shop, my dear causative of all traffic mayhem, it is your problem, not our fault. Is this a fact so hard to understand?

  • Not making use of the indicator lights while changing lane: Please make use of the rear view mirror to judge when is it at least absolutely inevitable. If the road is more or less very empty, it still may be given a skip, but definitely not otherwise. You may think that you will be in the other lane in a matter of seconds so what's the need of signalling the indicator, but the consequences would show up only when you end up bumping into the vehicle just behind you.

  • If the person in front of you doesn't want to overspeed, just let him be: You don't want him to kill himself or others, do you? My driving instructor had told me one simple thing that I use as my motto, "Drive at a speed that you are sure you can handle even in an emergency situation, because anything can happen on the road any time." One should be very careful about accelerating and know when to stop, as per his convenience, age, experience, this and that. Just because you want to drive fast, you can't be disturbing others by honking them to death.

  • Beware of the jerks: There are way too many people on the road with way too different interpretations of road ethics. As frustrating as it may be, keep them ALL in mind. It is your duty. You may find an old man signalling you to stop for him to cross the road even when you are going at 50 kmph, you may find an animal coming out of nowhere all of a sudden, you may find a cyclist forgetting the fact that it is not as easy for you to quickly slow down as it is for him... you may find these and many more stupid people making your driving experience a real pain, but, bear all of it calmly and patiently and be prepared to come to a screeching halt or slow down as and when the need may be. This is another reason why it is important to not speed beyond your (and others') comfort zone. A driver needs to be responsible about himself as well as everybody on the road. You too don't want to end up running over someone, whether it was his fault or yours, I'm sure.

  • ROAD RAGE: The mother of all evil. It doesn't hurt to politely accept and apologize for your mistake if you have made one. Also, it doesn't help to cuss at the person in the next car because he probably didn't signal a lane change or was about to bump into you or whatever the case might be. Basically, that anger will do nothing of any use. So don't ignite and don't get ignited. Nothing could be more dangerous.

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KayEm March 3, 2013 at 4:10 AM  

Just reading about points 1 to 9 tempts me to give in to point 10. Hope there aren't too many of these savage idiots with no intention of following rules or of feeling an iota of concern for their own and others' safety, driving on Delhi's roads.

Jenny March 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM  

Not only in Delhi. Same in Brazil. :)

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