DRIVING LICENCE-YOUR PASSPORT TO OVERSEAS DRIVING
Author T. K. Malhotra, President
the master of your own travel with least dependence on others
not only thrills but saves you money, time and avoidable
formalities during your overseas visits of long durations.
Some people have some interesting ideas touring foreign
countries by car-often based on fantasy, or fear.
The notion of a couple waiting through a grapvine-bedecked
countryside in their little tiny 2 Hp car, is about as sensible
as thinking the only way to do Europe safely and efficiently
is by organised coach tour.
While in Europe meandering through la-champagne in search
of sunshine, great provincial food and wine is perfectly achievable
most comfortable in a self-driven vehicle which you would
be crazy to do. Hire yourself a decent -seized vehicle, with
at least an engine of 1600cc, so you can stack a bit of luggage
in it and be able to cope with the speed of traffic on the
no doubt, tours by coach are more appropriate for people
with little time, on a specific budget, going to places
where coach travel is most appropriate, or who feel they
are of too advanced an age to cope with the rigours of independent
travel in a self-driven car.
who do have time and looking for excitement can polish up
their school, French, Spanish, German or English a little
bit to take them closer to locals. Reading road map, flexibility
to change plans is an added exercise which makes your travel
an eventful experience. Once ventured, you will develop
the habit and know for yourself that touring by car is a
lot easier than some would have you believe. Those who did
a coach travel and then rental car trip in Europe with partners
were surprised and delighted at how easy it was to travel
by car. The first thing you notice will be excellent
sign posting everywhere. If you have a good detailed road
map obtained from a touring club or an automobile association,
it will be relatively easy to find your way. Signpost
are the pride guide and are repeated several times so you
have time to prepare to get off in the chosen direction.
The major motorways all over Europe are all purpose built
to get you where you want to go directly and quickly. The
roads, signage and driving is so disciplined that even making
140 km/h, you will be passed by those traveling in a fast
lane. There are usually two or three lanes to use.
do drive fast and it's important have a vehicle with plenty
of boot-space and with lots of power to move when you need
to. A small car is obviously not good option both
for comfort and safety. There are always large numbers
of huge trucks on the highways but they stay in their lanes
so can usually be passed easily. The recently built
motorways don't take you through the picturesque villages
you wish to see. So use secondary highways which meanders
through areas of beautiful historical towns and gorgeous
countryside. Secondary roads are usually in good condition
but are two-way so keeping on your own side of the road
is fairly important. With little traffic on these
roads, you can move at your own pace which gives you convenience
of speed as you wish.
forget to obtain International Driving Licence which is
your passport to overseas driving. This document
which you can obtain also from Automobile Association
of Upper India and From its sister regional associations
(AAEI, AASI, WIAA) is recognised worldwide to identify
you is properly licensed driver. The License is
only valid for one year and essential for car rental abroad.
It must be accompanied by your domestic licence as per
enjoy your summer vacations overseas every year with these
useful tips. Stop wherever you wish and go wherever
your fancy takes you.
THE RIGHT DRIVING SCHOOL
Author T. K. Malhotra, President
driving instructor work as self-employed proprietors of
single or twin-car schools. Many of these initially
take the plunge from the relative safety of a secure job
into the business world with little knowledge of business
affairs and merely with commonsense which in fact alone
does not work for this kind of business involving human
safety. Is there a difference in driving schools?
Yes, there is! As with everything else there is a great
deal of difference in driving schools! As you learn only
once in your lifetime you owe it to yourself to be aware
of these differences. There are are plenty of driving schools
in India. Many are reputable others leave much to be desired
and unfortunately a few are unethical. How can
you tell the difference? More specially. " What makes
one school fair, another good and yet another excellent?"
Certainly it is not the training car used because
all schools have access to the same kind of car with dual
control. Unless you have had a first hand experience
with a driving school it is difficult to tell the difference
between schools. However, there are some guidelines that
may be useful to you, Here are some question:
1. Does the school have a bona fide office?
In some areas the driving schools are allowed to operate
from homes and are not necessarily " Professional".
many a time the owner has other interests besides his driving
schools. An office devoted exclusively to the operation
of a school tends to indicate that the school is well established
in the community as a legitimate business enterprise, and
not as a part of time method for the owner to supplement
2. How long has the school been in business?
The longer a school has been in business, the more assured
you can be that they are giving quality lessons.
A school giving poor training will not survive very long
possibly two or three years at the most and then they are
out of business.
Q. 3. What is the school's reputation?
If you know someone who has gone to a particular school
you are indeed lucky because you can get firsthand knowledge
of the training imparted by that school. Not having this
advantage, you may have to do a little investigation on
4. What is the fee charged?
Ans. "Bargain rates" at a driving school should
be looked upon with suspicion. All school have about
the same basic operating expenses, if managed in accordance
with the governing rules. They all are supposed to
pay the same for training cars, for tyres, maintenance,
petrol, insurance and other necessities. The only
place where a driving school can cut costs and thus make
more profit is with the salaries of its instructors.
Good professional instructors command a good wage.
This cost, in turn, must be passed on to the students.
A school that charges below the average fee is invariably
employing instructors who are willing to work below the
average wage. A well qualified professional instructor
simply will not work for lower wages. Clearly a driving
school is no better than the caliber of instructors employed.
The price you pay for lesson is your first clue to the qualifications
of the instructor who will be training you. While all driving
instructors have more or less the ability to facilitate
the learning process, a particularly well qualified and
trained " professional instructor" can impart
more knowledge in an hour than the average instructor can
in two hours or more. The difference between can be amazing!
A professional instructor makes learning to drive an enjoyable
experience and the student actually welcome each lesson!
5 Instructor Training?
Does the school have a formal training programme for their
instructors? This is a very important requirement that you
should take into consideration, why? There are tests to
take regarding the vehicle code, basic teaching principles,
mechanics of a car which is all very basic before practical
driving lessons. Progressive Driving Training School.
Traffic safety educators and safety officials all agree
that a professional instructor should receive far
more training than this. In Germany, for example, a person
wanting to become an instructor is required to attend 40
hours a week for a six month period and then pass a very
hard test. They truly become "professional" in
this length of time. There are similar requirements
in other countries throughout the world.
6. What type of trading equipment is used?
Ans. The training vehicles should be of the 'make'
usually found on roads. These cars be kept in good
mechanical condition. I would like to tell you that the
driving electronic simulator, through not mandatory, has
helped the AAUI Driving School students learn faster, better
and gain more confidence in themselves.
None of the above guidelines is a guarantee of quality in
any driving school unless the school is a bona fide institution
professionally operated and has the requisite infrastructure
needed to make you a safe driver. Therefore selection
of a proper driving school is foremost to acquire new skills,
new knowledge, new concepts to master the technique of handling
a vehicle. It is interesting to note that many "celebrities"
in the world did join the driving schools to teach them
to drive. Among these are the richest women in the
world, Christine Onassis; Michael Jackson and three of his
four brothers and sisters; singers Barry Manilow and Sheena
Easton; actor Michael Caine and Martin Sheen; actress Kay
Ballard and Kelly Lebrock, Marrill diez-Barroso; Pearce
Sisters and many T. V. stars such as John Russell and Red
Buttons etc. The points raised in this chapter are
significant barometers as you learn to drive once in your
lifetime and you deserve the best.
BEST TIME TO CHANGE CAR
T. K. Malhotra, President
is no hard and fast rule to fix the best time to change
your vehicle. However, analysing the breakdown
calls received by the AAUI, some advice can surely be given.
We often to change our vehicle when it makes little sense
to do so.
high-tech modern car newly-purchased should perform well
for 10 years with average usage of 12,000 to 15,000km a
year. Possibly we may not wish to retain our vehicle
that long; changing in less than five or six years is likely
to reduce the value for money you get from the original
Looking at a purely financial standpoint, it makes a little
sense to change your vehicle in less than three years' time.
The vehicle loses most of its value in that time, and also
is likely to have one year warranty covering manufacturing
estimates of operating costs reveal that a new car on average
loses 15 p.c. of its value every year for the first
five years. But in the first year, depreciation is a wallet
battering 20 p. c. reducing to 10 p.c. in five years.
more often we buy a new car, the more often we will have
to bear that burdensome 20 p.c. depreciation. Nonetheless,
some of us do change our cars frequently for a variety of
Technically speaking, for a real value for money we can
hardly beat buying a low mileage one to two-year-old car
provided we have it put through an expert pre-purchase check
to ensure it is in sound condition. Pre-purchase check facility
is available from AAUI on request.
such a planned purchase we can avoid the early lacerating
depreciation and get four or five good years of services
from the vehicle. We can repeat the process as well. Even
ex-rentals, if near new, may be a good buy with around 30,
000 km run completed. We should ensure that the car no longer
carries the stigma that used rental once bore. Because
much of their travel is likely to have been long trips,
near new ex-rentals can be in better condition than some
private vehicles subjected primarily to short around-city
running. Again, if they pass a pre-purchase check,
they can represent a good value.
We do also have other option for buying repeatedly older
cars that are in good condition and turn them over every
three or four years. Thus, over a ten year span our
total motoring costs may then be reduced significantly through
the unknown factor is that we may be shocked with unexpectedly
severe repairs costs if something goes seriously wrong one
of these old cars.
the car operation costs such as depreciation, insurance,
registration fee, petrol, tyres, repairs etc., we sometime
feel astounded to find just how costly it is to be a motorist.
Nevertheless, there is an overgrowing craze in the community
to acquire many cars as they can with easy finance facility
now available country wide.
average cars up to 1300 cc cost appx. Rs. 1,40,000 a year
in total operating costs, calculated on average usage of
1,200 km a year to operate.
1300 to 2000 cc cost on average 1,60,000 to Rs. 1,92,000
a year to operate. And those over 2000 cc cost on average
Rs. 2, 25, 000 a year to operate.
over 10 years, if we buy new and keep each car five years,
out total operating costs will range from Rs. 13,35,000
to more than Rs. 22,25,000 depending on the size of car
we change our car more frequently than every five years,
those cost will rise, if less frequently than five
years, they will fail. But as said earlier,
if we do not buy new, our motoring cost can be reduced substantially
by avoiding that early lash of depreciation.
these comments deal only with financial aspects. Many of
us do buy new and change regularly. These reason may be
vanity because we regard our vehicle as an extension of
ourselves, or because we delight in new technology, or because
we want to keep up with the latest development in car safety
may also want to avoid the risk of incurring expensive repairs,
which is a factor to weight up when buying an older car.
whatever our purpose, the AAUI experts can render suitable
advice to you in this respect. The advice can save
your time and avoidable expenses on major repairers that
are not required. You should not be surprised if advised
by experts not to go for striping and rebuilding the gearbox
against the finding of a workshop.
Occasionally, AAUI technical experts have also helped car
owners and insurance companies in detection of the cause
of a crash when they were approached. To examine a damaged
EFFICIENT ARE YOU AS A DRIVER
T. K. Malhotra, President
getting behind the wheel Sometimes bring out the beast within
us? Driving is a matter of attitude and we can certainly
fortune our driving skills. Plainly speaking. Driving
is complex task consisting of variety of coordinating skills
with a wide plays an important role in development of competent
drivers. It really helps a driver to periodically assess
his attitude by doing an experience to self-assess his mental
outlook behind wheel.
below what your score means to a quiz if given to you
for self assessment of your driving attitude.
point. Overcautious -you may be leaving a string
of wrecks in your wake , through you might not have crashes.
You tend to feel out of control and constantly check to
see what's happening. Your erratic behaviour this
way may confuse other drivers, who expect traffic to behave
consistently. Such are the drivers who block the passing
lane at the speed limit and don't feel they have to pull
over. They frequently pay attention to the rules,
like actual speed limit. And others still may think they're
going to slow. Experts advise that such drivers should
move to the left lane., So that others wishing to
take more chances that you do won't feel irritated if they
cannot get buy safely.
Some of this overcautious, unsafe driving behaviour may
be age-related. It is seen that mature drivers tends to
recognize their sensory and psychomotor skills. They
feel that they can compensate for the effect of aging by,
say, slowing down when it is simply not safe to do so in
points. Cooperative-you are in a habit of adjusting
to traffic needs and conditions. You make allowance
for other drivers behaviours while at the same time obeying
the law. You care to allow "safety margin"
that can mitigate the effects of unforeseen actions by others
on the road. To you being safe is more important than
30-42 points. Demanding-You take a few too many chances.
You can be so preoccupied with something irritating or aggravating
in your life that you fail to pay attention to your driving.
Suppressed feeling about what you would like to have done
with your life can come out when you're driving. There
is also the competitive aspect. People like to do
better than others, they do not like people to get ahead
of them. Slow down, breathe deeply and relax.
43-56 points. Dangerous-You feel you're always
entitled to get your way, and other drivers are there just
to irritate you. Taking chances or getting angry at
other drivers does not change them or teach them a lesson,
but it can kill you.
attitude too many be somewhat are-related. Younger
drivers tend to externalise; for example, they may drive
to fast, may weave across lanes, or may drive under the
influence. They feel that can dominate their environment
and their environment will accommodate them. In some
ways it may be sex-based also.
may be still tendency of males to try to get in front of
women drivers. Also, a problem attitude is acting out on
the road some of the life situations that you would have
liked to have gone better for you, like being in front so
you are really the leader or better expert and smart driver
Self-assessment (like this one) is only as valid as a driver's
self perception. Sometimes drivers don't always do
what they say. For example, drivers may give socially
acceptable and desirable responses for what might other
wise be regarded as moral habits or personal deficiencies.
Consequently , drivers might under-report on drinking and
driving, driving after taking drugs (medications) or traffic
accidents and violations.
ability to understand your self and interact with people
is important. This is how I would like to conclude.
If you have trouble interacting with people in a nondriving
salutation, you're probably going to have trouble in a driving
situations as well.
T. K. Malhotra, President
and emergencies caused during rains make driving more difficult.
During this season, the road surface is covered with rain
water and poor visibility further compounds the situation
by causing traction problems. The changes in road
conditions affect the way in which our car operate and we
must be ready to respond to emergency situations.
Reduced visibility , glare from the headlights of the oncoming
vehicles and unseen objects on the road all combine to make
driving hazardous during the rainy season . Heavy
rains can also cause fog, especially if the wind is blowing,
making it difficult for you to see vehicles to the rear
and the blind spot areas through rain-spattered windows.
reflect light and can reflect your own headlight back into
you eyes. As such, care has to be taken as you pass
through areas of thicker fog. You will have to be
adjust your speed and be prepared for emergency maneuvers,
like pulling off the road until the fog lifts. The
blades may smear if you do not wait before using your windshield
wipers while it is raining. There is an added hazards if
extra care is not taken during the first half hour after
it begins to rain; grime and oil on the surface mix with
water, making the road slippery.
may occur during rain-storms. During heavy rains,
the tyre ride on a film of water like water skis.
At 80 km per hour, they can lose all contacts with the road.
Under inflated worn-out or bald tyres lose contact with
the road even much lower speeds. A slight changes
of director or gust of wind could cause the vehicle to skid.
You can face irreparable damages, both to your self and
your car if you do not slow down. But if your car
still does hydroplanes, you should take your foot off the
accelerator, avoid breaking and steering changes, and, if
possible, hold the steering wheel firmly until the tyres
grip the road again.
roads with invisible potholes and more than kneedeep
water under the fly-overs is a usual sight every year during
the monsoons. Through rains do bring respite to the
city which continues to reel under intense heat wave problems
caused to roads and driving leads to chaotic conditions.
Well such a ' Road Scene' is neither new nor can
we take it as uncivilized. Regretfully, however people generally
lack the preparedness to handle such a situation before
it takes a serious turn. The water collected in huge
volumes disrupts the entire traffic and throw the normal
life out of the gear due to delayed drainage, It is
highly advisable that government and concerned municipal
authorities keep vigil to ensure instant operation of pumping
system and keep the road drainage under check rather than
waiting for the situation to go bad. At the same time, the
motorists and road users too should cooperate to tackle
T. K. Malhotra, President
accidents are caused by worn-out tyres. It is, therefore,
very essential that due attention be given towards maintenance
of tyres. Some important hints about maintenance of tyres
are given as under to enable all the automobile users to
take timely action to avoid sudden blow out and punctures
wear and tear: Each tyre should rotated at least once
every 3 months to eliminate any uneven wear and tear to
nay-particular tyre. It may show up as greater wear on one
side of the tyre, in the center or on both sides of the
tyre tread. The main reason for this could be the unbalancing
or non-alignment of the wheels. Driving with underflated
or over inflated tyres shortens the life of the tyres considerably.
The remedy lies in getting the alignment and the wheel balancing
done, ensuring that the tyre pressures are maintained. Incidentally,
manufacturers do suggest the tyre pressures for the tyres
used in their models.
WHILE DRIVING: A tyre must retain at least 1/8th inch
of the tread for safe driving. Thereafter, retreading or
replacement of the tyre becomes essential. Basically, the
tyre tread provides the necessary grip on the road while
applying brakes and turning. In case of a worn out tread,
this grip is seriously affected and there is no danger of
the car skidding and not coming to halt within the safe
distance after application of brakes. The problem becomes
more serious when the road surface is wet or slippery due
to any reason.
OF THE TYRES: For properly retreated tyre, a specified
inflation pressure needs to be maintained.
However, when the tread is worn out, it is advisable to
reduce the tyre pressure by 5 to 7 per cent, so as to provide
better grip and resultant safety.
OF TYRES: The importance of rotation of tyres lies in
the fact that the wear and tear of the tyres is evenly distributed.
There is, otherwise, a danger of a particular tyre losing
its tread much earlier before the other tyres. Tyres should
be rotated regularly, from 6000 to 8000 Kms. The pattern
for rotating is by the Cross Change Rule. The right hand
front tyre is shifted to the left-hand rear and the left-hand
front tyre is shifted to the right hand rear.
rule is generally adopted for radial tyres. In case of nylon
rubber tyres, the rule is slightly modified. The front left-hand
tyre is placed in reserve and the reserve tyre is fitted
at left- hand rear. The left-hand tyre rear goes to right
hand front and the right hand rear goes to left-hand front.
So the basic rule is to cross the rear tyres with the front
for the Road? Never!
Author T. K. Malhotra, President
be Christmas or New Year Eve, festivity, does not mean 'celebration'
with alcohol if we have to drive. During the festive season,
we must exercise greater care to avoid road crashes and
not to add to the fatal figures which are already alarming.
Factors which intensify the effects of alcohol include
If you feel tired you should be very careful when drinking.
Eating a substantial meal accompanied by two or three pints
of beer may make you tired even through your alcohol level
may not be dangerously high.
and stress: Even small quantities of alcohol may turn
simple impatience into irritability, just being annoyed
may well lead to aggression, frustration and depression.
Be careful-washing down a problem with a drink does not
help, it may crop up again at an untimely moment e.g. when
you are overtaken by another car.
drugs: Illness may effect you metabolism so that even
small quantities of alcohol may have serious consequences,
if you are taking drugs the effect of alcohol is intensified
even more and the reactions which may occur are extremely
complex and unpredictable.
Smoking and Coffee: cigarettes and coffee may have
a stimulating effect, but can also use up your energy resources.
Smoking and drinking alcohol, coffee or tea at the same
time delays the catabolic functions of the liver, as it
has to process the other substances as well.
Besides, alcohol consumption causes serious impairment
of visual abilities, difficulty to identify single tree
when driving through an avenue, very delayed reactions,
impaired judgement of peripheral areas, non-notcing of traffic
signs, impairment of ability to carry out delicate manoeuvres
and sight direction changes, serious impairment of ability
to adjust sped, extremely faulty manipulation, impaired
processing of sensory perception by the brain and above
all, tendency to take higher risks.
Many motorists believe that they are safe with an alcohol
level of less than 50 or 80 mg/ml. They are wrong-because
even at a level of 20 mg/ml. Symptoms of impaired concentration
may be registered. Remember that factors like fatigue, illness,
stress and drugs have additional adverse effects and may
cause severe concentration loss even when only small quantities
of alcohol are consumed.
to avoid drink driving offence
you're going on the road with your car, motorcycle, don't
touch that second drink. Or, better still, don't even
have the first.
force a drink on somebody who is going to drive.
you're going to party either don't drink or choose a "non-drinking
chauffeur" who will get you home safely.
you're giving a party-offer to put your guests up for
the night or call a taxi. A good host will look after
a lift offered by a person who has been drinking.
a taxi-committing a drink-driving offence may be expensive
and risky too.
on your guard -you can never tell-the aftereffect of alcohol
may catch you unawares!
intoxicating liquor and drugs can make you lose control.
careful when offered strange drinks -they may contain
not try non-alcohol drinks they may me as delicious.
Juice are recommended when driving for they help to prevent
meals also contribute to fatigue and sleepiness when driving.
DRIVING IS SKILL DRIVING.
Author T. K. Malhotra,
summer sets in and seen on the roads are vehicle with dark
black tinted glasses. Many private cars are even noticed with
curtains fitted in the interior preventing total transparency.
You are tempted to increase cooling efficiency. Using these
measures through may slightly increase cabin-cooling of your
car, don't forget that the safety of your vehicle in close
proximity with other vehicles will be jeopardised. The Motor
Vehicles Rules make it abundantly clear that every motor vehicle
shall be maintained to ensure minimum 70 percent visual transmission
of light. The glasses used of fitted to the vehicle shall
be maintained in a manner to provide visual transmission of
light not less than 50% conforming to IS standards. These
rules have been framed to permit clear vision from outside
to inside and outside. We have, therefor, to be extra cautious
not to fit our vehicles tinted glasses or sun control films
that are so dark as to obscure clear vision.
taking about summer, many of the city motorists must also
be planning a holiday with their families to nearby hill stations.
Hill driving needs special skill indeed. So we must take the
the brake setting off.
to the correct gear before climbing and descending .
changing gears mid-way on a gradient.
way to heavy vehicles and the traffic that is upcoming.
is risky to switch of the engine or shift to neutral gear
for saving fuel. If we do so, we may lose total control on
follow traffic signals and use caution by blowing horn reaching
blind corners and sharp turnings. AT night use dipper instead
to forewarn the oncoming traffic.
always overtaking near the bends and at the crest of hill.
passing the traffic coming from the opposite side, use dim
the same gear for descending a gradient which would have been
used by you to ascend it.
to brakes to cool if found fading which happens due to excessive
for parking rules when stopping on a step gradient. Use hand-brakes
and place stones or bricks under the wheel but remember to
remove those while resuming your journey.
is highly important to position your vehicle when negotiating
sharp curves. The vehicle should be pulled towards right to
bring it as close to the road centre as possible. Move gently
tot he left/inner side of the corner to reduce sharpness of
the curve. Put your vehicle straight.
leaving the corner, move to left.
arriving at corners, the vehicles should be pulled to the
extreme left. Then move towards right close to the centre
of the road. Move well thereafter to the left and leaving
the corner steer your vehicles straight.
of TV in a vehicle seems to be yet another craze though it
also jeopardises vehicle safety. Must you find this irresistible,
take precautions to place the unit in your vehicle in a manner
that it does not distract the person at the 'wheel'.
It must be placed behind the driver, so that the telecast
is not within his view. The audio should be operated at a
low level to avoid distracting other drivers sharing the road
SAYS ACCIDENTS ARE MADE IN HEAVEN?
Author T. K. Malhotra,
The latest updates on figures of road accidents since January
this year reveals that there has been no fall in the graph
despite the many awareness programmes launched by the authorities
wants to die. Nobody gets into their mobike or in their car
and says. "Today I am going to smash into the back of
a truck and annihilate myself." Still, once a day, on
an average, some do just that.
Why? It seems that a lot of drivers forget the basic rules
of good driving once they've passed their driving test.
First a motor vehicles is potentially a lethal weapon. Your
primary task, upon learning to drive, is to be able to control
this weapon at all times-to avoid injuries to yourself and
who can animatedly discuss, while driving, last night's gala
party, a new outfit or what the boss and new private secretary
are upto, is a potential accidents victim looking for the
time and the place for the accident to happen.
the mechanics of automobiles are vastly improved version of
yesterday's vehicles it does not mean we don't need any other
sort of warning systems.
warning system I am referring to is concentration. Concentration
means keeping your mind on what you are doing. In this instance,
Concentration is vital on on the crowded roads of today. Infect
there are no road upon which a driver can allow his concentration
exception, not a single accident should have occurred on roads
this year if the concerned persons had paid attention and
concentrated on their driving (with the exception of those
suffering from heart failure or a stroke at the wheel).
driving on a busy road, how far ahead do you try to see? if
you watch the rear end of the car in front of you and you
are travelling at 80 km/h, even the fastest reacting driver
(concentration intently) will travel between seven to eight
metres before his foot even moves towards the brake pedal.
So watching the car ahead of you is not enough.
remeber narrowly avoiding example of rules forgotten on the
road. It is both a perceived and actual threat to the driver
in the front vehicle. In short, what a tail-getting driver
is doing is shaking his fist at the driver in front and saying,"
Get out of may way." You're too slow you shouldn't be
Road hogging is surely the most arrogant, selfish, thoughtless
act that any road user can be involved in.
DEPENDENCE ON VEHICLES
Author T. K. Malhotra,
80 percent car owners may find it difficulty to abandon use
of their cars. Almost one third of drivers may like to travel
less by car, if circumstances allowed. A study is needed to
analyse to what extent people are dependent on cars.
dependence is a reality for almost 80 percent of trips people
make. Nevertheless, most people would not describe themselves
as dependent, but rather see the car as providing independence,
real financial saving and privacy. However, some people perceive
effects of car use such as declining fitness due to lack of
exercise or stress when stuck in traffic.
80 percent of car owners may not imagine living without car.
People who drive a lot tend to regard public transportation
to be inferior quality, unmatched with their status and standards
is seen that middle income people in the urbanized towns own
more cars and travel farther than counterparts in cities.
The "rural poor" are now forced to own and use cars
or two wheelers to a greater extent than their income would
normally supports due to lack of alternatives to satisfy their
people with the highest income presumably own nearly 60 percent
of the cars and account for 70 percent of the traffic. Middle
and high-income groups rely heavily on cars wherever they
dependence is a process and not a state: car use changes as
people get older and perhaps richer. In general, people are
not forced to buy a car and then immediately adopt a life
style. It is also a fact that once we buy a car we drive more
and more and play less attention to alternatives.
small proportion of car owners drives once a month to supermarkets
and shopping centres close may be a walking distance.
do so once a week or as frequently as required not caring
to maintain inventory of provision and consumable on monthly
basis. Cars have thus become an indispensable delivery system
for grocery shopping.
number of journeys by car or less than half a kilometer appears
to have increased from 4 percent in 1970 to 30 percent today.
If one calculates the time spent in traffic and parking the
car, it may have taken the same time walking.
use seems to be growing for all purpose. More than 15 percent
trips are for escorting passengers, often children. Escorts
trips have been growing thrice as fast as average, increasing
short trips so radically.
A majority of car trips could be replacement of suitable alternatives
are available. Only 2o percent car trips perhaps cannot be
The current driving trends indicate much more car use and
fewer acceptable alternatives. In an attempt to reduce car
travel, addressing the most car dependent will be least successful.
best strategy will be to target the 20 percent of non refundable
journeys: very short car trips that can be avoided or have
good alternatives. The government has to continue to cater
to the car dependent travellers. At the same time, policies
directed for specific travel needs are necessary to encourages
walking or cycling for short journeys, to provide more efficient
and safe school transport and to encourages supermarkets and
grocery stores to be near residential areas. With plenty of
parking and home delivery services.
SHIVER TO YOUR CAR
Author T. K. Malhotra,
winter flat batteries are the main cause of emergency service
calls received from Automobile Association of Upper India
members. About 50 percent breakdown calls received were for
electrical problems, mainly faulty batteries. Following is
a simple, easy guide on how to maintain car battery: The battery
is the vital electrical power source that drives the starter
motor, the ignition system, the lighting fitments, horn, wipers,
air conditioning and stereo system.
average life of a battery is about 18 months but is depends
upon the working condition of your car and the care taken
maintenance should be done. The maintenance typically involves
five Cs: Checking the electrolyte level, Cleaning the battery
terminals, Clearing battery top, Checking the battery tray
and hold down clamps and Caring the battery for physical damage.
up Battery Fluid: Remove the cell caps and fill each one to
the level marked on the battery case. If there is no mark
fill until the electrolyte covers the battery plates, which
can be seen through the filler holes. The battery fluid should
be checked at least once a month and topped up below the correct
level - just above the top of battery plates. If the battery
fluid level falls, below the tops of the battery plates, the
related cell starts to lose its efficiency.
to use filtered or distilled water. Buy proprietary topping-up
fluids only in sealed containers to be sure that these are
keep the battery top clean - wipe it before removing the cellcaps
or through a cover; when dirt is likely to fall into the cells.
cell caps or covers have ventilating holes to allow the escapes
of gases when the battery is being charged. Make sure holes
topping up, wipe away any water spilled on the top of the
Never top up battery with tap water, which usually contains
minerals that may damage the battery. Use distilled or purified
hydrogen gas produced by the chemical reactions in the battery
is highly flammable. SO keep all sparks and flames away from
the top of the battery.
test: It is possible to find out how well a battery is charged
by measuring the specified gravity with a hydrometer. The
specific gravity is the weight of a specific volume of liquid
compared with that of the same volume of water. The specific
gravity is the weight of a specific volume liquid compared
with that of the same volume of water. The figure for electrolyte
in a fully charged battery is between 1.270 and 1.290-meaning
that it is 1.270 times heavier than water. However, as the
battery loses charge, the specific gravity drops to 1.130
or lower. The hydrometer contains a weighted float. The float
is marked with a graduated scale usually reading from 1.10
Charge test: Insert the syringe into a cell, then squeeze
and release the bulb to draw up a sample of electrolyte-enough
to make it touch the bulb.
Read off the graduation mark, which is level with the surface
of the electrolyte.
The state of the charge can be graduated from how much the
figure is below 1.290. A reading of, say 1.200 would show
the battery to be about half charged and 1.150 would represent
a fully discharged battery.
The float may be graded red, yellow and green to slow low,
half or full charge.
After talking the reading, squeeze the bulb to return the
electrolyte to its cell, and test the other cells in turn.
All should give similar reading within about 0.04 of each
other-any greater variation indicates a defective cell and
the battery must be replaced.
The readings taken immediately after topping up are inaccurate
and are misleading.
MANY DUCKS ON ROADS
Author T. K. Malhotra,
in India , particularly in metros, look like having many ducks,
judging from the excessive and often unnecessary blasts of
horn heard on our roads.
our ears are more or less attuned to this kind of noice menace
drivers in many other countries are sentenced to jail for
punching a fellow car driver. They are not both legally or
socially permitted to have a honk-honk much along road. Unfortunately
such senseless and rather violent action is not restricted
to the less educated but well educated and people with established
status are also no less to take the fancy to this rowdy music.
I was in Cape Town in connection with the International General
Assembly in South Africa, I came across an accident in which
a driver was incensed when a fellow educated professional
provoked him by honking at him. Hot words were exchanged.
The pilot of the car went into auto schedule; I would no longer
offer to witness the incident. But most probably the honker
seemed to have sustained a permanent eye injury. The "
honkee" may have made to jail-who knows-as their roads
rules are quite stringent. In the case of the pilot, one can't
help but empathise with his bewildered family whose world
may have suddenly been turned upside dawn-all because of a
is too much and never an excuse to punch someone, but also
there is no reason for someone to be so impatient as to practically
stand on his horns.
the honkers in such cases exercise a little patience or given
their horns friendly loot followed with a smile or wave. I
think the resulting unpleasant incidents can be avoided.
horn whether of a car, lorry, bus or a truck is really meant
for emergency use. Why then often it is used as a sharp tongue
or for hostile intentions. We know how easy it is to blow
the horn prematurely, unnecessarily or worse in anger. It
is indeed on act of mounting aggression which is harmful to
both honker and honked besides causing abuse to the environment.
really doubt whether anyone on reflection would wish to 'ask'
for a punch or be the indirect cause o another being convicted.
have to recognize the fact that it's rather simple to something
ship into an uncivilized manner once behind the wheel, treating
other motorists as combating enemies rather than fellow road
users. It is easy to be provoked by other drivers too.
LET'S NOT FORGET
CAUSE STRESS AND
TENSION TO CO-ROAD USERS
AND ARE HARMFUL TO HEALTH
Horns increase blood pressure and have bad effect on the heart
· Horns damage hearing power and cause digestion problems.
· Horns cause serious disturbance to sleeping children,
patience and old persons.
· Horns cause irritation, tension and sleeplessness.
why not hold on to our temper, strive for patience and keep
our hands off the honker!
COURTESY IS CONTAGIOUS
Author T. K. Malhotra,
take newspaper in the morning to look at and you will find
that it focuses on the road toll and serious accident happening
on and around Delhi roads. The tragedy sometime hits headlines
more prominently than a most wanted political news. It all
shows the deep concern which the Press as well as the readers
share on road killings. But however, how many of us really
remain serious and thoughtful when it comes to us behave on
the roads while driving or using roads as pedestrians.
we look at the confirmed figures compiled for the year 1997
, as many as 4531 persons were killed in 5 metro cities. Injuries
were sustained by 18185 persons. The number of accidents that
took place in Delhi alone was 5661. No one likes or talks
about one of the main causes of death in the country. The
fact is, death in these numbers do occur on our roads with
continuous monotony from one year to another.
often have we heard from those visiting India that Indian
driving culture is the worst in the world. These comments
are invariable made in the startled realization that
the Indian driver, compared to overseas counterparts, does
tend to display less regard for fellow for road users - he
they motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, two- wheeler riders
or bus drivers.
drivers generally had more consideration for other road users,
more courtesy on the road, I have no doubt that the road toll
would further reduce. Courtesy to other means being constantly
aware of fellow drivers and of what happens in fast changing
circumstances. This is the first lesson taught in a defensive
driving course by the Automobile Association of Upper India
me illustrate this further in the situation of lane driving.
When a driver ahead courteously make way for you to change
lanes or overtake, with a friendly wave, it certainly fosters
the same spirit and encourages you to do the same.
is why the AAUI in the year ahead has decided to focus its
road safety promotional emphasis on engendering higher awareness
of driver courtesy under the banner "Courtesy is Contagious".
Specifically such a campaign is needed to be devised for promotion
running through the year to begin with.
this campaign you will not be alone. Plans may be to enlist
as much support as possible from other voluntary agencies,
motorists and above all the traffic police which remains eager
to associate such programmes of public interest. Initiatives
such as those of the Ministry of Surface Transport, Transport
Department, Traffic Police and other safety organizations
like AAUI focusing on education programmes - Particularly,
the lane driving, violations of signals and higher awareness
of the dangers of drink-driving are definitely paying rewards.
aside, even a single death on our roads in one too many it
behooves us all to play whatever part we can to ensure that
the road toll continues to be improved. Each of us shares
the responsibility and should not just leave it to others.
may ask: how can we as motorists make any meaningful contribution?
I am myself no exception, we would all say we are good safe
drivers. The fact is that accident don't just happen they
are caused - by us.
I believe many of these accidents should be avoided if all
of us had more regard for the fact that we are alone on the
roads; that there are other road users.
YOU HIT PEDESTRIAN SPEED IS A CRITICAL FACTOR
Author T. K. Malhotra,
a pedestrian is stuck by a car speeding more than 70km/ph.
his death is virtually certain. If a vehicle with this speed
strikes a pedestrian, a glancing blow dismemberment (loss
of an arm or leg) is likely to occur.
injury is likely even when a pedestrian is hit by a car traveling
at under 50km/ph. Any pedestrian hit below the center of mass
(waist height) will be flung over the bonnet and into the
windscreen. The car may run the victim over if the impact
is above the center of mass.
victim's body is accelerated to the same speed as of the vehicle
in a fraction of a second when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle
and carried into the bonnet.
body falls to ght ground as the car brakes (the loss of friction
between the two surfaces causes the body to fall off as the
car slows), resultingin further injuries.
a recent fatal hit-and-run accident reported from another
country, the right hand front corner of a speeding car struck
a woman pedestrian, breaking her leg, in three places. The
victim was, as a result, propelled onto the bonnet of the
falling car with such force that her head struck the top right
hand corner of the roof andwindscreen. She died of massive
head injuries on the way to hospital.
tragic, this impact is a text-book example of what happens
in many pedestrian accidents. According to experts, "serious
head injuries frequently occur at vehicle impact speeds of
50 km/ph or greater. Even at substantially lower speeds accidents
can result in broken legs an ribs followed by head injuries".
Further, the type of injuries depend on the Car's speed and
whereabouts you are hit. Frontal impacts are most usual in
which the body isstruck quare-on by the car. These account
for 80 to 90 percent of all car-pedestrian accidents. If the
driver falls to stop in time, the vehicle may run over if
victim's body is hit above waist height. (This happens usually
with children because they are smaller). If hit below the
waist, the victim's body will rotate, landing on the bonnet.
to foreign experts, "normally, when a car strikes a pedestrian,
the victim's body is accelerated to the same speed as the
car. When two colliding surfaces do not reach the same speed
it is referred to as a portial impact." This kind of
accident frequently results in dismemberment and tragic death
of a pedestrian.
is said that one of the three things usually happens in this
type of crash.
driver brakes and the pedestrian slides off the bonnet onto
the road. Provided the car brakes heavily, the car will stop
with the pedestrian just ahead.
body rotates after being struck. The head hits the windscreen
before the body passes over the vehicle and lands in the road.
The pedestrian is scooped by the vehicle and then rolls off
to one side.
shows that drivers slow far too late when they first see an
object in front off them. A small object such as child, does
not represent danger to a driver. The driver's subconcious
mind does not accurately judge how far away the child is.This,
in turn, translates into a failure to brake early. This is
the reason that in manly other countries motorcyclists often
travel with their headlights on -- being smaller than cars
they need to be seen earlier and this helps drivers judge
their distance. Pedestrian injury is a significant child health
problem in many countries. On average a child pedestrian is
injured everyday, requiring hospitalisation. Many child pedestrian
are killed every seven days on average.
is difficult for small children to see and be seen by drivers
especially if emerging from between parked cars. In addition,
children under 10 years are unable to judge both speed and
distance as well as adults. Child pedestrian injury according
to rough estimates accounts for 35 per cent of pedestrian
injury accidents although children may account for much less
of the population.
is, therefore, socially important for vehicle manufacturers
to go to considerable length to make vehicle as safe for pedestrian
as possible . Features such as plastic coated bumbers with
polystyrene inside, sloping vehicles fronts, impact-resistant
side mirrors, disappearing headlights and smoother surfaces
are the primary requirements.
Driving is Lousy Driving
T. K. MALHOTRA, President
is said that old habits may die someday with 'resolve' but
odd habits being not regular are difficult to get rid of.
This chapter is for those who get away with their habit of
sleeping and driving at the same time. There are known cases
when drivers had shut their eyes for a few seconds and landed
in emergency wards.
Anyone who's ever fought the urge to doze while driving -and
experts say that includes most drivers - knows how close they
have come to the disaster. Studies reveal that a surprising
number of people drive drowsy not wrecking cars but killing
drivers cause most of the accidents and highway deaths every
year. The problem has been particularly worse on Delhi-Jaipur,
Delhi-Agra and Delhi-Amritsar Highways where major number
of fatal crashes over the past several years were blamed on
sleepy drivers drifting off the road.
People have been driving tired but the problem is worse now
than before, as busy lifestyle compel drivers to sacrifice
sleep in order to adhere to their schedule, it is like burning
the candle at both ends. It
is estimated that 20 to 25 percent of drivers admit to having
fallen asleep at the wheel at some point in their drive, although
most snapped out of it which no accidents, which gave them
the confidence to carry on with this odd habit in subsequent
Most people know what it's like to drive on the edge of drowsiness.
If they do not actually nod off, they exhibit other signs
of "driver fatigue" dropping eyes, blurry vision,
a dropping head and slow reactions.
No one knows for sure how many accidents are caused due to
sleep. The problem came recently under serious studies abroad
and because people who have been involved in accidents often
do not remember falling asleep, either they won't admit or
do not survive to tell about it.
Many of us may suffer unknowingly from sleep disorders. A
revealing story was highlighted by our sister concern, an
automobile association abroad. A 40 year old person drove
for a decade with no problems. Then eight years ago he started
having accidents he could not explain.
"I'd go off into a ditch and drive back on the road.
Clip a guardrail and blow a tire," he says, "I figured
I was not paying attention." He occasionally found himself
driving onto a farm. Most of the mishaps were so minor that
the police and his insurance company never knew except for
the two times he hit cars, slightly injuring the passengers.
after a few days he fell asleep in his pick-up while returning
from work. "The next thing I remember, they were pulling
me out of the truck." They said, " I hit a parked
car going about 50 miles an hour. " During his long stay
in the hospital, doctors discovered he sad sleep apnea. This
means certain breathing muscles would close while he slept,
causing him to wake up repeatedly during the night to gasp
for air. He was not aware for of those awakenings but the
result is that he got only a few hours of sleep at night.
Even though he felt tired while driving, he says, "I
just kept pushing myself I had to be some place"
who work two jobs or at night are more vulnerable as they
drive when their bodies expect to sleep. According to sleep
specialists there is a truly biological clock within us. The
clock in most people is programmed for sleep at night, and
for a small rest in mid-afternoon. Even those who don't feel
sleep-deprived, but who try driving through those natural
sleep periods, face a greater risk of an accident. Unfortunately,
many people feel that risk but keep driving. They say, "I
am going to make it to destination by tonight" - though
tired but they keep going.
BEFORE YOU DRIVE
Realistic: rather than trying to cover a long distance
in one shot, think about stopping a few times for short rest,
or even an overnight stay in case the travel is too long.
alcohol and drugs: Even one drink may make a slightly
tired person more drowsy. Avoid medication, like allergy pills,
that induce drowsiness.
rested: Get plenty of rest the day before a long trip.
your body clock: If you try to drive when you normally
sleep - and for most people, that's at night - you are fighting
your body's natural rhythm. Avoid this, or make plans to rest
along the way.
A 10-20 minutes rest is the best antidote to sleepiness. Find
a safe place, like the lighted parking lot of an open restaurant
or departmental store.
stimulated: Listen to the radio (a talk station will keep
you more alert than music) open a window.
the ride: A travel partner can keep you awake with conversation
and give you a break from driving.
Never allow your front seat partner to sleep while you are
on the wheel.
a walk: Get out at a rest stop just to take a quick walk
to the bathroom or stroll around for five minutes. Even a
short break from the driver's seat does wonders.
OUT YOUR HATCHBACK
T. K. Malhotra
Bric-a bric storage in the back of your hatchback is but natural.
Yet it would take only a
screeching halt for your bags and bottles to take off on a
potential lethal flight. So watch out the trouble with hatchbacks.
In today's car craz world, majority of people prefer taking
to the road on a voyage rather than trust train with us accompanying
risks. Train accident in the recent past have shaken people's
confidence. Motorists would, however do well to be conversant
with road sense, and thought little paid attention to, that
includes ensuring the safe storage of baggage and other incidental
articles to prevent mishaps.
Mishaps with baggage? Hard to believe, then read on. A
four-year-old boy in some foreign country was fatally wounded
when the car he was traveling in had to break suddenly. The
fatal was caused due to a briefcase that came sailing from
Another similar incidents in Australia left a six year old
boy with grievous head injurious and his four year old sister
a quadraplegic for life. The culprit : On sudden braking,
a personal computer bought on the occasions of the boy's birthday,
which had been stacked unsecured in the hatchback's boot,
dashed against the Ford laser's rear-seat with an impact equivalent
to a 600 kilo gram weight.
Then there's the highly demonstrative mishap with a car laden
with cartons containing dozens of beer bottles. On braking
abruptly, the bottles tubled down on to the driver after crashing
through the folding-seat, leaving him with a concussion.
One could go with such episodes of avoidable injuries, and
their numbers are enough to make you pay special attention
to his often ignored subject. The bad news is that many involve
split seats in hatchback models which have since earned a
reputation of being unable to withstand the tiniest amounts
of a careering loads.
According to a study made by an Australian Surgeon, Ken Little,
a normal 450 gram can of baked beans at the top of a shopping
bag would pack the punch of a 3.7 kilogram sledge -hammer
during a collision on normal city roads. It
may sound strange but a driver could be seriously hurt even
when hit by a stale loaf of bread. A vehicle occupant can
die when hit by 2 kg pot of honey in an accident at 80 kmph.
One should therefore avoid sharing passenger areas with cargo.
And if unavoidable, cargo barriers should be used. The automotive
industry too would do well to pay attention to their products'
in built safety features.
In the meanwhile, till appropriate equipment is incorporated
into the basic design, the least that manufacturers could
do to prevent episodes of cargo-related injuries is provide
after sales safety barriers and tie down straps to their consumers.
Unfortunately, there are no standards to cover this particular
situation., though the world war industry has responded to
just consumer concerns by getting their cars equipped with
tether straps and tie-down points. Besides the useful harness,
anchorages and anchor points can be quite instrumental in
securing internal cargo. Station wagons and hatchback can
easily be equipped with anchorages, but it'll happen only
if consumers demand such features.
Incidentally, it's also dangerous to drive holding on to a
packages, child or animal whether on the lap or in the arms.
Those fond of the company of a dog or other pets during drivers
must remember that in an emergency, an unrestrained animals
turns into a lethal projectile.
If you can't do without your favourite companion, make sure
you restrain it with the help of a proper harness, several
types of which are available in the market. A
combination of a steel mesh-barrier located behind the split
rear seats and a shock cord net that stretches and holds the
load down, is recommended. The steel mesh -barrier not only
prevents objects secured by it from flying away, but also
absorbs energy from those already airborne.
Important Tips For Your Tips·
that those innocuous-looking grocery items and even small
pets may strike you with an extremely deadly force in the
event of a collision. Restrain pets, and use proper harnesses
and insist on being up all your passengers.
your car's rear windows parcel shelf and the rear floor to
keep temporary grocery items, brief-cases, handbags.. or better
still, store them in boot.
stacking objects behind a hatchback's split rear seat check
the seat clips carefully for inordinate wear and tear.
habitually carry cargo or sundry objects in your car, install
a seat re-inforcement or steel mesh barrier.
NOW ROAD SAFETY DRIVE BY WORLD BANK
T. K. Malhotra, President
Yes road carnage is the problem world over. More than 5,00,000
persons killed-the 'Road Sacrifices' are really alarming and
require first priority to deal with. The problem in our country
is grave with 6.5% share of the world accidents though our
share of vehicular population is just 0.6%.
Bank's announcement to launch road safety programme with participation
of public and private sector, nation and international organization
and with active involvement of NGO's is an ample proof that
road safety is now a global concern, the world bank is all
set to focus its attention to tackle this problem with particular
emphasis on developing countries. Road accidents being one
of the leading causes of world fatalities, may emerges as
the third greatest causes of death by the year 2020.
is essential to address the problem that some programme is
designed to bring together the resources, knowledge and expertise
of all concerned nations wide. We can no more afford to overlook
or shift priorities to formulate and launch practical schemes
that can prevent accident, Traffic regulation campaign to
formulate and launch practical schemes that can prevent accidents.
Traffic regulation campaign and education drivers now need
aggressive approach. The World Bank's programme 'Global Road
Safety Partnership' (GRSP) will benefit not only the society
bus also it would help the economic store and trade development.
The schemes also need to focus to advise methods that can
help older motorists to drive in safety and in comfort. Due
to their age factor, older driver cannot venture their travel
in overcrowded and shabby buses. In absence of alternate means
of travel, cars seem to be a lifeline to many old drivers
who deserve unrivalled independence and right of mobility.
Contrary to common man's opinion, I would grade older drivers
amongst the safest group on vehicles.
choose themselves when and where to drive and when to give
up. In fact they are a phenomenally reasonable group as very
few of them continue to drive despite unfit to do so. Therefore
they deserve special care and courtesy by fellow motorists.
The global effort is therefore needed to aggressively address
this problem also.
Automobile Association affiliated with the Alliance Internationale
De Tourisme(AIT) with their professional skill are a great
global source to lend help and assistance to motorists and
road users to prevent accidents.
examples of the United States, Europe and Australia it is
high time for us in the developing countries to assess the
global effort in promoting safety on road. Even a single death
on our road is one too many and behoves us all to play whatever
part we can to reduce the road toll.
Studies reveal that million are injured and many loose their
lives in road accidents in European countries.
it be any country the appalling human and financial cost of
accidents on roads should not be overlooked with casual attitude.
While the role of consumer information as a catalyst for rapid
improvements to vehicle safety design is significant, it is
equally important to exercise greater caution in improving
drivers' on the wheel attitude. This is a vital area which
requires fine tuning.
Schemes announced by the Government to tackle the overgrowing
traffic problems do not see the light of the day and years
rolled over with anxiety and stress to road users who would
thank their stars if returned home safely after the days work.
Lets resolve to make '2002 free of: ruthless road killings
and ensure that we:
not indulge in erratic driving behaviour-it may confuse other
-do not tend to recognize our sensory and psychomotor skills
but react with renewed
precautions to address ourselves to the rapidly changing traffic
conditions every time.
-do not underestimate acceleration skills of fellow drivers
by speeding gestures.
-do not blast unnecessarily our horns on road as honking at
others is not appreciated but is interpreted as uncivilized
gesture with hostile intentions that can cause stress to other
road users and specially for male drivers.
NOT TO DRIVE UNDER STRESS
T. K. Malhotra, President
Do not drive in tense mood or under pressure. Studies reveal
that more than 75 percent of total accidents had occurred
while the drivers were in abnormal stress. The driver error
is influenced by alcohol and speed. Driving skill is also
greatly affected by stress. Financial difficulties, pressure
at work, family and health problem too generates stress.
Driving itself can also cause stress. Traffic chaos, nonfunctional
traffic lights, unpredictable delays and poor weather conditions
are also the factors, which contribute to tension. Truly speaking,
the more demanding the driving task the greater will be the
chance of tension.
Here are some indications to feel whether stress could be
affecting driving performance.
The driver feels irritated, uneasy and impatient with his
driving and with others on road.
Feeling impulsive and taking risks.
are not as sharp, the mind drifts and the driver is 'one edge'.
The lack of attention due to stress can impair driver assessment
of approaching hazards are reacting ability behind the wheel.
These of course are all potentially dangerous.
Hundred percent concentration is needed to eliminate risks.
Tension should be recognized and immediate remedies should
The drivers may reduced tension with the help of following
Keep a check on your feeling. Avoid driving in mentally disturbed
A good night's sleep before driving to distant places is necessary.
After a day's work, try to avoid a long journey.
Know in advance the route and pre-plan the stops.
as a driver would like to be treated well, so treat other
drivers the same way. Poor driving may not be necessarily
intentional. Horn should be sounded as 'warning' but never
to display impatience or dissatisfaction.
Medication should be taken with great care knowing its side
effects in relation to driving. Alcohol and stress combined
together are the greatest enemy of a driver. While under stress,
you may crave for a couple of drinks to reduce tension. It
is merely a stimulating thought. However, if you still do
so, refrain from driving.