General Observations on Driving {Non}Sense…


My job carried me on my trusty motorcycle - a Kawasaki Bajaj 4S Champion - to several states and on more highways than I care to count. What started as journeys undertaken with some trepidation soon became a fun activity, laden with many observations, life experiences and learnings that have stayed with me... and shall stay with me all my life. I have tried to encapsulate some observations on driving on roads, digging into what all my collective bosses hope is sincere working hours spent on a bike during the formative years of my career:

TRUCKS
Common sense says beware of them. The newspapers say beware of them. The people say beware of them… I say that they are the best drivers on the roads. They come in various styles, shapes and sizes. Here I shall attempt to enumerate the styles:
1) The 40-km-an-hour truck: This guy will stick tape on his accelerator once speed reaches 40. Result? The damned truck will stay at 40 kmph come hell or high weather! Any kind of road, any traffic – he will stay at 40. Wont pass, wont allow you to pass – left or right! DON’T ride behind him for the love of mike, for he will like as not go to ZERO from 40 in the twinkling of an eyelid…
2) The Speed Demon: If a whiff of a gale force wind passes you by, and you can see the vehicle, then you’ve got yourself a speed demon truck. The most dangerous of the lot – beware of him. Let him pass sooner than soon – and for heaven’s sake don’t follow him as he overtakes!
3) The rest of the lot: These comprise the balance 90 – 95% of all trucks, and are generally very stable and good in the driving etiquette they display. Almost never have I noticed a miss from these guys.

CARS
Whats to worry, says your common sense, your friends, your newspapers and your spouse. This only goes to indicate that your common sense ought to be locked up somewhere... your common sense, friends, newspapers and spouse are specifically WRONG. These are the real problems- direct or indirect. They generally display a complete lack of driving sense and etiquette, will overtake from right or left, will speed, will NOT show dipper, will not allow you to pass – and if you perchance manage to somehow pass, will turn the highway into a racing track! Their types:

1) The racer: Unseen. Only heard and felt. Heard as a roar, Felt as a whiff of wind that shakes your vehicle from stem to stern. They, along with speed demons above, are the real killers of the road. Unlike a speed demon, if you see a racer coming, park your vehicle by the road side. The speed demon has more sense than this guy!
2) The stable guy: Nice dependable character. Only problem: he numbers around 5% of cars on the highways!
3) The selfish guy: Balance 90%. Charactarised by:
a) I will not show dipper. I will ride on FULL BEAM, saamewaaalaa be damned! {In 10 years, I have yet to meet a SINGLE truck who does not show dipper when I dip my headlights. Fact}
 b) Thou shalt not pass
 c) Thou shalt not blow horn – or else!
 d) I will not signal
e) I have purchased the middle of the road for my good self, it belongs to me, and I shall possess it till I reach my home

What is it with these car-waalaa drivers? In my considerable experience, very few car drivers show the consideration of the dipper on highways. I wonder why? Just compare with the trucks, who always do! I also wonder why the slow truck will drive usually by the road side, while the slow car occupies the middle of the road as a matter of right?

THE BIKES AND THE REST

1) The value - lifers: These guys stick like glue to the left of the road, and will not leave come what may!
2) Duniya-hamari-hai: Twist accelerator to speed 90 and keep it there. Overtake wrong side et al – all the ills displayed
3) Miya-Biwis: Dangle all over the road, leading to honks etc etc!
4) The sensible types: Quite a few actually. Ride as per the road!
5) The Cyclists: Are extremely unpredictable!

As for the rest: you will get Bullock carts, cows, buffaloes, dogs, and many other variants, which make the road a panorama of some note!

IN SUMMATION
The point that I want to make, well wonder about, is -

  • Dipper! Why, Oh Why dont more people give dipper? And in cities, why dont people drive on dipper? As I observed earlier, trucks almost always shift to low beam when someone gives them the dipper. Cars never do. Well, almost never. Truck drivers are on the road almost all their lives, and thus realise the importance of the dipper... 
  • When a vehicle approaches on full - beam, it blinds you for a few seconds. Secondly and far more importantly, you dont get any idea what lies behind this full-beam gentlemen. Why should it be so difficult for anyone to understand this simple point? It becomes a task just to navigate your vehicle... 
These are just some random thoughts that passed through my mind today while returning home after dark... a chance encounter with a gentleman / lady (as the case may be) brought my thoughts round to this... 

(This post has been inspired by one of my older posts on my old blog on mouthshut)

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