Defensive driving for Indian road conditions
There is an English proverb that says “The best defense is a good offense”. But this is not true if you are driving on the road, especially in India. Many motorists are still not aware of the proper rules and regulations and they will often break them. However, the police have now become more strict, and that is a definite improvement. but then there’s the issue of road rage incidents – and this only seems to be increasing. The best way to avoid all the drama and dangers, and reach the destination safely is to drive defensively.
What is defensive driving?
Defensive driving is a way of driving that includes strategies and skills that can help you anticipate unexpected risks and make decisions. This helps the driver to make good decisions and manage the vehicle in an emergency. A defensive driver consciously anticipates the unexpected. He expects the cyclist to suddenly swerve into his path, crawl across the divider, the vehicle in front suddenly brake, etc.
Always pay attention
If you are a heavy driver then after a while you may feel normal about this. Make sure that doesn’t happen. Driving requires you to pay 100% attention at all times. There are many factors that can change at any time and drivers need to know all of them. Both hands should always be on the steering wheel. You should sit up straight and not slouch. If you think the vehicle ahead is moving unpredictably, you should slow down and increase the distance between it and your vehicle.
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Full compliance with the rules except when the danger is greater posed by others
Make sure you obey all traffic rules. Stop at the stop line and do not accelerate when you see the traffic light turn amber. No illegal turns, only parking where it’s allowed, etc. All of this is that you won’t break any rules – and normally no one will get mad at you. Sure, there are some people who do when you don’t act like they do, but mostly they leave you alone.
What is an exception to this? When others don’t expect you to follow the rules, and then you do, surprise them. Always try to exchange your information as soon as possible. Press the brake to let the driver behind you know you intend to slow down and apply the brake on signal, and he has plenty of time to do that too. Use early indicators so the driver behind you is not taken by surprise.
One of the biggest causes of fender accidents in our country is that people do not keep a minimum distance between themselves and the vehicle in front. What this does is significantly reduce reaction time. Even if the driver brakes in time, the vehicle still needs some distance to stop. Ideally, the distance between two cars should be the same as the length of the car if you are driving in the city at less than 30 km/h. If you are in heavy traffic then you should be able to see the lower part of the bumper of the vehicle ahead of you. In general, on the highway, the bigger the gap you leave, the safer you are.
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Use mirrors and do not drive in blind spots
Make sure your vehicle is not in the blind spot of other vehicles. You may be prudent enough to check your outside mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes, but not everyone does this. It is important that you constantly check your rearview mirror. This will ensure that you are aware of the vehicles around you and can pass you at any time. Furthermore, you should always adjust your mirrors before you start driving. Also note that two-wheelers can enter your blind spot in just a second or two.
Always on display
A small mistake that people often make is not turning on the lights, turn signals and parking lights. This ensures that other drivers on the road are aware of your presence. They must be able to see you to be able to gauge the distance between you and their vehicle. Moreover, if you are not seen, they will probably rush straight at you.
Stay away from road rage
Situations on the road can escalate very quickly. If you spot a drunk or upset driver, it’s better to keep your distance. They may honk at you, make eye contact, or do something inappropriate. It’s important that you don’t get involved or react as that could make the situation worse. What you can do is slow down to let him drive away. Or turn into a familiar, alternate route and lose driving raging on the road.