Is excessive driving on Indian city roads ruining driver skills?

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Highway driving is like test cricket,it requires accuracy, knowledge, patience and planning the drive like a well planned innings.

BHPian chaitanyakrish recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

We very often observe that driving in Indian cities is stressful as everyone wants to outsmart each other in a never ending race and ultimately making everyone's drive risky.

Adding salt to the injury, with lack of adequate public transport, most people started using cars with poor driver training/education. We can get away from a minor crash in cities by not following the rules, but the same mistake on the highway could be disastrous.

Example, here we can see a driver reversing on a 80kmph speed highway.

What is the source of confidence for him? He might have done the same many times on city roads.

Somehow I feel, driving in our dense city traffic is spoiling the way people drive.

  • No one uses indicators
  • Squeezing and going
  • Not checking blindspots
  • Weaving
  • Not yielding at intersections
  • Not keeping safe following distance
  • No Lane discipline
  • Overtaking using road shoulder etc
  • Excessive Honking and the list is endless

Our cities are where people should learn safe driving habits and save themselves on the highways,but unfortunately they're becoming breeding grounds of :

  • Road Rage
  • Impatience
  • Tailgating
  • Cutting lanes
  • Excessive horns

Highway driving is like test cricket,it requires accuracy, knowledge, patience and planning the drive like a well planned innings.

Unfortunately, everyone is playing like T20 cricket and some are getting out.

We need to reduce excessive risk taking on highways. Unfortunately, the more times we encounter risk and get away, the more optimism bias creeps in and we attempt the same on highways and get caught by surprise.

How to develop good habits which can be life saving on highways?

  • Use indicators even if no one is using
  • Follow the proper MSM routine
  • Plan your drive well
  • Follow lane discipline etc

Share your thoughts.

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

I remember this incident from a couple of decades ago: someone who always drove an Ambassador in the city of Kolkata, and on the highways of West Bengal, in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, came visiting me in Delhi. Contextually, the streets of Kolkata and highways of West Bengal in those days were some of the most congested, and average speeds could be in the low 10s (kmph) or even slower. In contrast, Delhi had wide and smooth roads, no speed limits, and most importantly, very few cars compared to the capacity of the roads. I had a Maruti 800, and it was fun to drive at 80-90 kmph, or even faster.

That kind of speed left my guest a little terrified, and he asked me to slow down a few times. I handed him the wheel one day, and he wouldn't go past 40-50 kmph! He wasn't used to higher speeds. His conditioning was such that his senses weren't comfortable at higher speeds.

Today, everyone has been in a car that goes fast, so their senses are conditioned to move at 100 kmph and even more. Yet, when they start to drive (usually in a congested city), they are forced to drive slower (and often, in their quest to go faster, they cause accidents). Once out on the highway, they experience the freedom to fly - and they do. Except, no one has taught them the rules, told them how to control a fast, powerful vehicle, or explained the consequences of a high-speed crash.

When one gets one's driving licence by driving at 10-15 kmph, one is not qualified to drive at 100 kmph (or even faster, influenced by social media and friends). The practice of automated DL testing (Why automated driving licence testing in India produces dangerous drivers) is destroying whatever chances new drivers have, of acquiring some skills and knowledge before driving fast.

Here's what BHPian SiddharthR had to say on the matter:

I agree. There is a lot more risk when driving on highways. Driving in city traffic, while the chance of scratches to your car are high - it is very difficult to do something stupid enough to have a deadly accident. Highways on the other hand - if you aren't paying attention, it is very possible to lose your life

Here's what BHPian deathwalkr had to say on the matter:

It all boils down to a "I want to get ahead" mentality many of us have. Whether it be in a queue or on the road...rules be damned and safety be cast to the winds.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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