Monday, 15 December 2014

Of Mannerisms, Defensive Driving And Road Safety...

New Year's Eve Surprise, well timed by IndiBlogger...

Skull Candy Headphones, coming over...


June 21, 2013
12 AM
New Delhi

Dear Diary

Today is the day, my daughter turns 18. She will finally be a Major.
Today is the day she embraces adulthood and its responsibilities.

Today is the day, we'll open a separate bank - account for her, without the 'Under Guardianship' tag, among other surprises.
Above all, four days from now, her Driving Lessons begin.
June 25, 2013 is going to be a big day.

In a country like India, and especially in a city like New Delhi, it is a herculean task to maneuver through the roads, safe and sound.

Stepping out on Delhi roads, with their automobile, is bothersome for everyone, and road safety is of utmost importance for times when you are behind the wheel.

One has to learn to master the skill of careful, disciplined and safe driving, over the years. After all, Practice Makes Perfect.

So, when it comes to her, and the factor of Road Safety, I will make sure she learns to make the right moves on the road, because for my family and myself...

Safety Begins With Me!


When behind the wheel, it is not just one person's safety, that is a matter of concern. The matter of concern must be the safety of our own self, as well as the of ones around us - all motorists and pedestrians.

After all, Life does not come Cheap. It is an invaluable gift from the Almighty, that ought to be cherished and kept secure, at all times.


Keeping this in mind, I've decided that the next five days will be spent in a constructive manner, to recall and put to practice with the A-B-C-D of proper mannerisms, when on the road, as a person behind the wheel.

I'll write to you, after I train her properly. Bye for now, Dear Diary. :)


Let us begin with the training, shall we?

This Safety Driving MasterClass stars two leading ladies...

Yours Truly, and...


Hello Everyone. I'm the one who is turning 18 today. I'm the lady's daughter and will be her sincere student in this Safety Driving MasterClass.

I'll be learning the A-B-C-D of Road Safety and safe driving from my Mother, which will assist me to procure my Learner's License, successfully. Inviting you to garner some knowledge and polish it, too...

I believe you're well versed with the lady who authors this blog, aren't you?

Over to you, Mom...


Poonam : Let us begin with the basics of the trade...

The basics of Road Mannerisms are something you must be thorough with. Those are the rules which have been repeated ever since you were a kid.

  1. The Red - Yellow - Green GuidelineRed to Stop, Yellow to Wait, Green to Go. The colors must be well coordinated and must not be jumbled up, by a careless you, at any cost.
  2. The Seat - belt is a must at all times. The belt that holds you back, is for your own good.
  3. Never talk on the phone, while behind the wheel. The Phone A Friend may as well end your lifeline.
  4. For everyone out there, Drinking and Driving do NOT form a miscible solution, at any time, and at any cost, whatsoever.
  5. Do not resort to unfair means, for you are attempting the Exam of Life. Obey the law at all times. If you don't, the consequences will be grave, at all times.

Charu : The five fundamentals of Road Safety, which form the checklist for an alert citizen on the Road, Mom. More like five fingers to a hand... :)
And, oh yes, you must also stop behind the Zebra Crossing, while pedestrians must cross the road only using the Black and White Stripes on the Road.


Poonam : Learning fast, aren't you?  Let us proceed to the basics of driving, perfect for an amateur. I believe you know the positioning of the A-B-C i.e. Accelerator, Brake and Clutch. Also, the Gear Box, and how you must change gears.

As an alert citizen, and a Defensive Driver, there is a C3 - K - A - C code, as I call it.


For other motorists and pedestrians.

Knowledge, of traffic rules and regulations.

Alertness, for illegal acts and erroneous driving of other motorists.

Concern for accident prevention.


At all times, you must obey the following traffic rules, when behind the wheel.

  1. Keep to your left. Allow traffic in the opposite direction to pass you on the right. Overtake only on the right. Overtaking on the left is permitted only when the vehicle in front is about to turn right.
  2. When being overtaken or passed by another vehicle, do not increase your speed or try and prevent the other vehicle.
  3. Slow down when approaching intersections, road junctions or road corners. Enter the intersection or junction, carefully.
  4. When entering a main road from a junction, give way to other vehicles, proceeding along the main road.
  5. Drive slowly when passing a procession, or when passing road repairs.
  6. When turning to the left, drive close to the left hand side of the road.
  7. When turning to the right, draw to the center of the road, stop at the intersection, if necessary, then move to the left hand side of the road you're about to enter.

There is a Safe Following Distance, which you must maintain.

Stay one car length behind for every 15 k.m.p.h speed. 

This is much like the 'One Arm Distance' you used to maintain in your P.E. Drills at school, isn't it? ;)

The cars here, are like your peers at school...


Charu: Great going, Mom. Please guide me, as to how I must prepare myself to prevent collisions, or accidents, from my side, too.

Poonam: Good question. That was what was next, in the MasterClass too. Did you sneak in to read through my lesson plan?

Charu: No... :D

Poonam: Anyways. Moving On...

Just like your Mathematical Proofs, and their Cases...

In case of :-

A Possible Collision With The Vehicle Ahead

Stay alert and expect the driver ahead of you, to brake without warning.
Start stopping sooner. When you know you will have to stop, slow down gradually. Do not wait for the last straw.

A Possible Collision With The Vehicle Behind

Signal your intentions well before you slow or stop.
Keep clear of drivers who are 'bumper chasers'. Slow down and encourage them to pass.

A Possible Collision With The Approaching Vehicle

Stay Left. Do not crowd the center line. If the oncoming driver crosses it, warn him by honking or by using your dipper.

A Possible Collision With The Vehicle At An Intersection

Look both ways. As you approach an intersection, look first to the right to make sure that the other traffic is yielding the right of way, then to the left. Keep checking for any unusual action, on either side.
Watch out for curves. Slow down before entering a curve, then pick up speed as the curve permits.
Don't fight for right of way. You have the right of way only when you can see that it is safe, regardless of stop signs.

A Possible Collision With The Overtaking Vehicle

Check the rear. Before you change lanes, check your rear-view mirror and glance back to make sure your blind-spot is clear. Use your indicator light and move only when the lane is clear.


Charu: Points noted, Mom. How should I infer from the hand-signs and mannerisms of the traffic policemen / police-women?

Poonam: Brilliant question! Here is the resolution to your query...

10 hand-signs from the traffic police personnel and their interpretations, listed alongside, for your reference, everyone...


Charu: Thanks Mom. Any other topics left to cover, from your lesson plan? :D

Poonam: Yes. You are a motorist when you take to the wheel. But you also don the hat of a pedestrian. These are the two roles, you play interchangeably.

There are, what I call, The Many Faces Of A Pedestrian.

These are the mannerisms of a pedestrian which you must NOT portray. For the times when you are a motorist on the road, you must keep a vigilant eye for such pedestrians.

  1. The Sprinter :- You've seen him often. But just barely. In rush-hour traffic, he will sprint across the road, expecting YOU to SLOW DOWN.
  2. The Genie :- Pass a stationary or slow moving vehicle, and he will spring out at you, before either of you can see other. Sometimes a Genie may be a young kid in hurry to get across, or an office worker, stepping out from behind a bus. SLOW DOWN when passing such a vehicle.
  3. Houdini :- He thinks he can emerge from any engrossing situation. You will find him in the middle of traffic, trying to escape to the other side, by squeezing himself between cars.
  4. The Spook :- He steps out for a stroll at night. He is beyond your field of view. If you wish to have a ghost encounter, you must stop within the distance you can see.
  5. Answering Machine :- He carries his conversation onto the road, even while crossing. His is a one-track mind, and it is NOT on the traffic. Wield your horn and give him plenty of room.
  6. The Band Of Merry Men :- The biggest problem on the road can be the 'tiny tots'. Chasing the cricket ball, across the road is their favorite activity. SLOW DOWN whenever you see them, and give them room.

Charu: Thanks for a perfect Safety Driving MasterClass, Mom. You are the best teacher ever. I'll ace that Driving Test and surprise you with my Learner's License, on the 25th! :D

Poonam: Go and make me proud! :)


The next diary entry in my Dear Diary, was the one that accounted for how Charu procured her Learner's License with elan! :)


This post, on the blog is like a guide, for all the motorists out there, isn't it?

If we all make a promise to ourselves, that we'll abide by these guidelines to the best of all abilities and at all times, India can be made  motorist - friendly and the roads would be safer to drive on, for sure.


The content for this post has been referred to from a 'Defensive Driving for Safer Motoring' guide issued by the Traffic Police of Delhi, procured by me, 15 years back, from the Traffic Park, New Delhi. The images on the blog, carrying the watermark, have also been sourced from the same.


The Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., conducts the Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) in India as part of its safety driving promotion activities. The program began as an annual activity in 2012. In its initial phase it covered three main Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai – and since then has gradually expanded to several additional cities across India.

This year, NSDF would reach 8 new cities – Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Chennai, Mangalore and Kochi. The overall reach and engagement levels have phenomenally grown and NSDF has effectively reached close to 2 lakh citizens.

This post is a part of Safety Begins With Me - Nissan Safety Driving Forum Contest by Nissan India in association with IndiBlogger.
You can vote for it here.


  1. Exhaustive with so many points nicely shared, Poonam!
    Hope everyone follows these rules & stays safe.
    Best wishes :)

    1. I too, am praying for a safer India for our motorists and pedestrians.
      Yes, safety begins with our own self.
      Thanks and best wishes to you too, Anita.
      Keep Visiting. :)


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