Monday, November 14, 2016

suicidal bikers

I pity the plight of drivers of 4-and-more vehicles in India. being a biker myself, I'm constantly thinking about what the drivers around me see and sense before attempting a maneuvere. small things like flashing my headlight when I'm behind a car while I move to whichever side I'm overtaking from, and anticipating if they intend to give way based on the way they brake (it's not that difficult, the human mind is quite amazing in its ability to judge velocity and acceleration!), treating drivers on the phone with extra caution to and checking their blind spots instead of assuming I can always be seen.

yesterday, I had to ride pillion with someone for a fair distance (12 km). at first I was simply unnerved by his refusal to signal turns and his tendency to not brake early when an opportunity to overtake is closed... and i was gonna politely give him a bit of advice.

but eventually I realized the problem ran deeper: he simply wasn't thinking about the other drivers and vehicles on the road. about the fact that the average rickshaw brakes can't be trusted enough for you to to cut in between and halve its braking distance without warning, or that a car driver taking a turn can't see you in the rear view while turning, so if you weren't visible before he started turning, he'd have to emergency brake when you cut in halfway through the turn. or that if a bus does an emergency brake, there's some sort of obstacle in front of it that you better not make any assumptions about.

the sort of things you can't politely advise someone to start doing.

seriously, I wonder what was occupying the part of his mind which a safe rider would use to analyze the road.

how do you politely advise someone to ride defensively?

1 postscripts ;:

Pallav said...

It's difficult to tell anyone to drive the way you'd like. Some people are born shitty drivers. Mostly, indians are not good drivers, because our traffic rules are strict only in terms of fining offenders, but not in terms of training people to drive in ways that would be better in a wide variety of conditions. I've not been on a bike for almost three years now. I've not had the need to, but i don't miss being on the road with idiotic drivers who stop anywhere they wish to and drive like they're getting late for their own funeral.

It's a jungle on indian roads. You can drive as defensive as you want but some idiot with a deathwish could and would slam into you as and when they get a chance. If the idiots don't get you, the roads will.