Driving in India can be crazier than you can imagine. Every day, Indian roads witness almost all kinds of craziness that can potentially exist on any of the roads in the world. I do experience at least 2-3 of that every day (and yes, sometimes, I have found myself to be a part of it as well 😀 ).
So, I am putting down the ten most annoying driving habits of Indians that I have observed. Of course, this is not the complete list and depending upon individual experiences, the rankings will vary but I guess it won’t be too different 😉
These are the set of drivers who are born to honk. They trust horn to solve all the traffic problems as much as, if not more, people trust Modi or Kejriwal to solve India’s problems. Be it a traffic jam or a signal that is about to open or desperate attempt to overtake – they use horn more than they would use gear box. It is a symbol for people who are pussy cats at home, to show (or pretend) who wears pants on the road!! : P There is also a subset of impatient honkers who follow the rule of 3+ (honk at least thrice) irrespective of whether you are being a gentleman or not to give them the way.
About 1.5 years back, Lokmat Media started a campaign in Maharashtra asking drivers if they are suffering from HBKB (Horn Bajaane Ki Bimaari) and if they have treated themselves from this disease in case they are suffering. More such campaigns are surely needed.
2. Last 5 Seconds
This is one thing I experience everyday while coming back from work (I don’t encounter a signal while going) when people start honking and setting off to reach almost a quarter way down the intersection, five seconds before the signal is due to open. Yes, I know you have identified the sequence in which sides open and know that it’s your turn next. But don’t think that you are the only one who has done that.
Combine this with the other set of jerks for whom Yellow light means RACE!!! Brings in a perfect recipe for collisions.
3. Brighter Than Sunshine
The biggest menace of night driving in India (and may be other parts of the world as well) are the high beamers. Anybody who has driven in the night would have come across at least one douche-bag per trip who, either by negligence or to bully, ends up flaunting the luminosity of their head lights only to blind out the drivers coming from the other side. It is not just annoying but life-threatening.
4. My Dad’s Road
These are the set of morons who are probably unaware of a feature available in all cars – side indicators – or think all roads belong exclusively to them. I had in mind to mention about chaps who don’t use indicators while changing lanes but then recalled those super-chaps who struggle with using indicators when taking complete left or right turns!!
5. Call the Shots
These folks either complement the group mentioned in the previous point or they are the “superhumans” who possess extraordinary powers at both the ends. While you are politely following the traffic rules by showing an indicator before you take a turn, if they are behind you in the adjacent lane, they would accelerate to overtake in order to avoid slowing down.
“How dare somebody show me an indicator…. I am the KING of the road!!”
6. No Lanes Land
Lane driving is a kind of alien concept for Indian drivers. A lot of traffic jams happen due to the same reason. A non-driver (??!!) would never understand how painful it is to see the car in the adjacent lane pass by you while you are waiting for the car in front to move ahead. These drivers are always looking for the “imaginary” fastest lane that can get them to their destination in a flash. They are often seen with cars at 45 degree angle on a straight road in a busy traffic.
7. I am the BOSS
This is the group with which the above group ends up having a fight more often than not. While it is painful to see the car in the adjacent lane roar past you, it is even more painful to see yourself slowed down by the car entering your lane. I had a personal experience on this, when my lane converged with adjacent lane at a toll booth and the driver in the car behind me started abusing and honking when I entered his lane. These drivers become a real pain in the azz at points where traffic converge. It kind of hurts their ego if you dare to enter their lane, even if it is absolutely necessary.
For those F&F fans, it is very difficult to resist the urge to go rocket on an empty road. But very few understand that you are putting not just yours but someone else’s life also into a danger. I am not sure if it really needs an explanation to these folks that going 100KMPH on a national highway and going 100KMPH on a narrow deserted street are two different things. And these are the same morons who laughed their asses off while watching Tom Cruise racing his car in Mumbai streets during evening peak hours in MI-3.
9. Pathetic Parkers
Yes, you have all the money in the world to buy an amazing luxury sedan and learn about all its amazing features and flaunt it all over the place. You are also amazing when it comes to accelerating it from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds, use its amazing brakes right before it touches the hard boundary of the 2.5m X 5m parking space. Perhaps you should have learnt a bit about how to park your car straight and not occupy adjacent parking space. It takes an amazingly disciplined driver to get the car parked dead straight, “including the front wheels”.
10. Litter Thy Country
You are going on a perfect cruise mode on a highway and you see a majestic 2.0-litre 4-cylinder 140.8bhp 4-valve 16V In Line Engine black Audi A4 roaring past you. Suddenly the rear seat window with of a high-gloss aluminum exterior window trim opens and an empty Lays packet is thrown outside which comes and sticks to your windscreen. There is another group who will eat Paan Masala and will spit on the road – doesn’t matter whether they are driving an Alto or Audi.
This isn’t really dangerous at all but just shows that money doesn’t really translate into civic sense. These are also the same set of people who will later complain about dirty roads.