hen it comes to driving, India is well known to display the worst driving habits in the world. This is really pathetic because many of her citizens have lost their lives due to these unruly acts while driving. As a matter of fact, according to government statistics, 146,377 people lost their lives to road accidents in 2017. This simply means for every single hour, 16 lives were lost in road mishaps. This is really sad, don’t you think so?
All these death incidences could have been averted if the drivers had adhered to the traffic rules and regulations. But unfortunately, India’s road is now tagged the most unsafe in the world.
I will quickly show you the top 12 worst driving habits that India’s drivers are guilty of. Avoid these habits like a plaque if you don’t want to be part of the death statistics this year.
1. Wrong Lane Usage
Wrong lane usage is common on Indian roads and I believe it is mainly caused by the lack of training given to drivers before issuing a license. No wonder it is common to see people displaying some mission impossible stunts on corners and twisty roads.
I once witnessed an incident where a car driver who was trying to pass through the wrong lane got hit by a fast approaching vehicle. It was one of the most terrific scenes i has seen in my life and it was really painful that the two drivers lost their lives.
So you see, just a bad driving habit could cost you your life. I am sure you don’t want to have such an encounter. So never use the wrong lane while driving. The only time you can do otherwise is when you want to overtake a slower moving vehicle but still, you need to be careful.
This means following a car too closely and it is a common sight on Indian roads. It is a very dangerous driving habit that causes thousands of road accidents every year. Tailgating usually result in lesser time to react to a braking situation or panic lane change which could cause you to bash into another vehicle. This usually attracts a big fine and could cost you your driver’s license.
Hence, it is better for you to follow the three seconds rule which advises three seconds worth of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This helps to ensure that you have enough time and room for an evasive maneuver when the need arises.
3. Not Wearing Seat Belts
I have noticed seen many drivers driving without belting up, especially in the Tier II AN Tier III cities. This is one of the worst driving habits that have caused many death incidences in India. Some people even fasten their belt and sit on it to stop the warning chimes. The question is “who exactly are they cheating?”
Never try this habit because it could put you at risk of having serious injuries and losing your life in the event of a collision or impact. Again, don’t just rely on your car’s safety system; ensure you’re belted up before you turn on that ignition. If anyone is in the car with you, ensure he/she is also belted up. This also applies to anyone seated at the back.
4. Distracted Driving
Never text or chat on your cell phone while driving. This is one of the worst driving habits which can divert your attention from the task at hand and cause catastrophic consequences. I have heard some people say “it’ safer to use some hands-free features” but many studies have shown that it is still capable of distracting drivers.
Therefore if you must attend to a call or text back urgently, try to stop in a place out of harm’s way to do so, or ask a passenger to answer the call on your behalf.
Again, I have seen some people chowing down fast foods while driving. This is very rampant among India’s drivers. Don’t be a part of this because it can distract you and put you at risk of a deadly accident.
5. Not Using Turn Signals
It is also common in to see drivers changing lanes and turning without signaling in India. Never try this if you don’t want to throw other driving off and cause a collision which could be very catastrophic. Come to think of it; how do you expect people to know your direction if you don’t show them? It’s simply impossible.
Therefore, always put your blinker on before slowing down to turn. This would help the cars behind to know when to slow down. Besides, it helps to avoid being rear-ended.
6. Unnecessary Use of High Beams
You would understand this better if you’ve once been blinded by the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. I mean this unruly act has caused many drivers in India to lose track of their lane and collide with other vehicles and objects along the roadside. This is one of the major causes of death on the road in India.
Some motorists even use high beams as the default setting for their vehicle’s headlight. This is so wrong because it reduces the visibility of the oncoming driver. So beware of the indiscriminate use of high beams. Just ensure you use it judiciously for safety sake.
7. Ignoring Traffic Signs
Stop signs are intended to prevent accidents and collisions but I get baffled when I see drivers in India refusing to stop for the red light. Some will say “there’s no traffic flow so why should I wait for the light?” But the truth is it puts you at the risk of T-boning another motorist. Besides, you never know if a pedestrian, a car or a cop might come out of a part of the T-junction. So always follow the traffic light irrespective of whether there is no traffic flow.
Don’t always assume that you have time to pass through because some lights are longer than others. Just be responsible and slow down as long as you still see the yellow light. Stop if you have room to do so to avoid a collision.
There are numerous bad driving habits and many of them result in death. The highlighted habits above are the worst among them which is common in India. It is therefore advisable that you avoid these bad habits no matter how fast you want to be somewhere. Your obedience will show regards for the law, respect for other drivers and ensure your safety.