Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beep Beep Beep Beep yeah...

That is part of a Beatles song and could very well be what you would hear when the man is driving . Constant sound of the horn. He would whole heartedly with George Carlin, who said 'I know that everyone going slower than me is an idiot and everyone going faster is a maniac' .
Till I get my hands on the book - Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt, I will be content with the reviews. I have for long ( seated at the back ) tried analysing the drivers on the road. Who would have thought that it is matter worthy of a book and a succesful one at that. The book has been written after great thought, research and surveys of traffic in the west. If only the author had spent a week in our city, he could have probably written several volumes on the lines of the Britannica Encylopedia. There would have been no end to his research.
The author says that each time a safety device is added to the vehicle, drivers get more confident to drive at greater speeds and cause more problems. It is indeed true, not just the car design , but in our city, we have most vehicles with a small idol of their favourite god, a lucky charm or signs that say Jesus Saves and vroom there he goes speeding with not a care in the world.
Quote -Researchers have estimated there are anywhere from 1500 to 2500 discrete skills and activities undertaken while driving. At any moment, as one is navigating through terrain, scanning environment for hazards and information, maintaining position on the road, judging speed, making decisions (about twenty per mile, one study found), evaluating risk, adjusting instruments, anticipating the future actions of others -- he may be sipping a latte, thinking about last night's episode of American Idol, quieting a toddler, or checking voice mail' . One should realise that at the wheel he is operating heavy machinery, not driving a big phone booth or a make-up mirror. Every glance away from the road, every phone call, every fumbling for your last McNugget, not only disrupts traffic flow, it boosts the risk for an accident .Unquote.
I have always believed that the manner in which a person drives and parks his car not just reflects his driving capabilities but also is a reflection of his personality. Those who are in total control of their temper, drive at a consistent speed, no speeding or squealing of brakes, are those most likely to be well organised at their jobs as well.
But when it comes collectively to the city drivers, I am left searching for an answer. My theory just does not fit in here. For a city, known for the laid back attitude, I cannot understand why most drivers are in a tearing hurry. They cut across, weave through the traffic as if there is an emergency, only to pull up at the side of the road within minutes, for a roadside purchase.
A reviewer states that reading the book may give some insights of traffic do's and dont's and one may just be a better driver and more alert on the road. And where does that leave me. Since I don't drive, I could probably avoid reading the book. As it is I am nervous and back seat driving has probably resulted in the receding hairline of the man.
I should continue with my attempts to solve the crossword and leave the driver alone.

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