That we are the world’s worst drivers can’t be too far from the truth, especially when you see road users driving with blatant disregard for rules and even common sense. It is almost as if we go to war every time we drive our cars and bikes. If nothing is done to change this mindset, the country’s annual road-accident-related death toll will top the 200,000-mark sooner rather than later.

One can get away with things like driving in fifth gear at 40 km/h in the plains, but in the ghats you need to remain at least one gear higher than normal. While going downhill down a relatively mild slope, for example, try keeping the car or bike in third gear, because it gives you a little more torque and reduces the effort required by the brakes. NEVER coast in neutral because you are opening up opportunities for brake failure. For once, don’t worry about fuel economy and concern yourself with safety instead.

Shift down into third gear at least (preferably second in small petrol engines) for a sharp turn. This reduces the chance of you running wide around the corner. If you notice, several cars come around corners too fast, leaning heavily and run into your lane. This is because the driver is in too high a gear and struggles to maintain the right lane because of lack of torque.

Tata Truck Vs Tata Bus : Cliff Side Drag Race

Unlike our highways, the narrower and often blindly curving ghat roads don’t offer much view of the road ahead. So if you’re stuck behind a slow moving truck, remain there until it’s safe to overtake and you have enough room and visibility to overtake safely. Also, don’t lean on the horn after you horn initially – the truck driver or bus driver knows you’re there and will usually give you room to overtake. NEVER overtake around a blind curve because it might just be your last pass.

This is especially true during the day, when there is no headlight glow to warn you of oncoming traffic. Honking around a bend lets other road users know you’re there, and gives them a chance to give you room to pass safely. If you hear someone else honking, horn back and slow down.

The racing line is the shortest way around a corner but is called so because it is meant to be practiced on the racetrack and not public roads. This is a mistake several drivers make – cutting lanes across the road to enter the next corner faster. ALWAYS stick to your own lane because this mistake, along with overtaking around a blind curve causes head-on collisions that kill several people every year.

If you observe carefully, trucks and buses often quick-toot the horn at each other as they pass in the hills. This is just the drivers’ way of thanking the other for allowing them to overtake, or giving them way. There is no reason for car drivers not to do this after being allowed to overtake – bus and truck drivers appreciate this little gesture and often give you a quick toot back. Brings a smile every time.

Source – DriveSpark.