Driving and behavior


I have always enjoyed watching other drivers while I am driving (or even being driven… Though it is a different issue that often with some people, I would rather keep my eyes closed). And when I say I enjoy watching, it does not mean watching them pretty young things either trying to control the car the way they would their husbands or boy friends or behaving as if all the monsters of the world are out on the road trying to take over their lives… but watching in general.

There is lot to be learnt by way of human behaviour…

One thing I would want to mention up front. People are not what they drive. So don’t believe any advertising that refers to such statements or sentiments.

A guy between 25 – 35, driving a small hatchback has ego issues. His aim would be to get ahead of all big cars. It might be that he wants to get out of the claustrophobic environs of the little box but I think it has got to do with deep seated desire to drive a big car. He has got a point to prove and prove he will and he can because adept at sliding the car into small openings, he would always get ahead of the big car… And then watch his smug expression when he is standing next to that big car he had just overtaken.

Let’s jump from the small car guy to the big car guy. He did not like it one bit that he was overtaken. After all back there, he was all set to run the small car down and it just managed to escape by sliding in between his car and the auto in front. But he knows that the stretch ahead is a long one before the next traffic signal and he is revving his engine… ready to zoom off and disappear on the horizon while the small car guy will be smelling the fumes in his wake…

And then there are the ones who are driving a Scorpio or a Safari. The arrogance of the vehicle gets transferred to the person driving the vehicle… The so called SUV probably would never have ventured off terrain but they believe that city roads are good enough to test their off terrain skills and the cars, autos, bikes and such other small vehicles are just bolders to be gone over… if they are not ready to move out of the way…

Then there is a species which is very unique… driving at a speed of 40 in the right lane, oblivious to all the honking behind them or the jams that are getting created in their wake… Their wisdom tells them that since most people anyways go left in India to overtake (people go left precisely because of drivers like them!) so it is safer to be in right lane. And these are also the people who think that by giving those side rearview mirrors, the company has burdened them with the responsibility of protecting the mirrors so they will invariably be closed (why use them when it is the people behind who have to be careful… our job is to watch for the traffic in front)

And I will be called a sexist so wont comment more on aforementioned gender and their driving skills (and enough has been said anyways so no point repeating).

Another curious species are the one who would be in BMW or an Audi or a Porsche SUV… not driving but being driven! This class is invariably over 45-50 and own the vehicle because they can afford it and are considered badges. And while I have not come across the spectacle yet, I am sure some day I would see one of these 50+ being driven in sports coupe!

In India, the right of way belongs to 1. who has a bigger vehicle 2. Age of the person driving the vehicle 3. the sheer aggression (have you ever tried to mess around with a bus or a truck?). And it has inverse reaction when an accident happens – bigger the vehicle, more liable the driver is going to be for causing an accident and will get beaten up (the whole social angst of haves vs have nots comes through).

Will not mention the people on two wheelers because they are an altogether different breed (everyone of them is a Rossi) so all you can do is to keep your radar on high alert all the time to avoid them (remember you are the one who will get bashed up because you are in a car)…

I could go on and on and discuss all the possible vehicles which jostle for space on the Indian roads and the behavior of the people manipulating them… but I would end up writing a book!

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2 thoughts on “Driving and behavior

  1. Hi, I am Swatchhanda from LCR Barista, I do not know what to address you as, but really thumbs-up to this post. Really well written.

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