Its December end and we all are waiting for the dawn of another new year. Like the many souls, every year end, I too jot down a set of New Year resolutions that very well require need my whole hearted effort to make it happen. Some people prepare long exhaustive lists, most of them beginning with the “Lose weight” and ending with “Decent bank balance” types. Knowing I am not too good at these types of resolutions, Istick to just one same task every year- “Stay Healthy, Spread Smiles”. No matter whether I accomplish the rest of the list, this is one thing that mattered to me and yes, each year I found more and more ways to enrich this single phrase. After all, life is all about being able to smile, isn’t it?
Resolutions, New Year goals, whatever name it takes is one thing we all use to keep ourselves self-motivated throughout the year. According to a census done by a popular magazine, only 8% of the population are said to achieve their New Year resolutions. The remaining 92% probably falls into my category- achieve one thing and remain happy.
When I say spread smiles, it means not to hurt myself or anyone around. I mostly wake up to reading various messages on whatsapp every morning that goes like “ Be the reason someone smiles today” or “Life is better if you smile” or “ Smile and make others smile”. I am not sure how much these morning philosophies make me smile, especially when my mobile gallery is about to burst being overloaded by these image quotes.
This being an auto blog, I guess we will talk about not only spreading smiles on the road, but also let people remain smiling. New Year’s Eve is one night everyone has been planning about since past few days. But this one night could turn out to be the worst nights of our life if we do not learn to be careful on the road. Let us take a look at thosemost common mistakes that are the reason behind most fatalities reported.
Being a good driver doesn’t mean you have never met with an accident in your entire life. We all must have fallen off from our bicycle as small children, or fell off from the scooter or rammed against a wall during those early driving lessons, at least once in our life.But being safe on the road is the responsibility of every citizen. Being a good driver is all about learning to be safe on the road not just for your own safety but also for others who are there on the road.
Here is how you can stay safe on the road on New Year’s Eve while also keep others safe:
Strictly keep Mobile phones away:
This is one thing that I have been repeatedly writing down here. We all have been living in a fast paced world where it is unimaginable to even spend some time without electronic gadgets, especially mobile phones. Most of us are used to texting with one hand, not just while eating but some even while driving. Studies have proved that the risks associated with drunken driving are almost the same. Getting late for the party, call up a friend and tell them you are on the way, text your friends the venue or whatever be it, pull over to the side of the road and do it. That way, you save not just yourself, but many lives who could otherwise turn victims.
Do not Drink and Drive:
Its New Year’s Eve and you want to party hard. Then choose the right way back home too if you want to drink as part of your celebration. Don’t try to get adventurous as you need to know that you are risking the lives of many others on the road. This is definitely not the time to prove your efficiency on driving. So choose to either
• Pass on your car keys to someone who is not drunk and can help you get back.
• Or call a cab to drop you back home. Nowadays almost all cities have cab facilities.
• Arrange someone to do the drop back home even before you start for the party.
• Or have accommodation arranged at the party venue itself so that you can sleep over
This is not just for New Year Eve’s party, but for any day or night when you choose to knock back a few drinks.
A popular practice in the driving schools in US, this is something that would come handy for many of us living in India where roads are flooded with vehicles at all times. This practice basically follows few general principles like
• Maintaining a controlled speed
• Being alert and undistracted on the road
• Expecting the unexpected to happen from other drivers on the road
• Maintaining a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicles ahead and behind you
• Safe driving irrespective of Weather/Road conditions
No loud music:
It is fun to listen to music and drive. Even I love to, as it keeps me peaceful while driving even during insane traffic. No one is against music lovers, especially now that there are so many radio stations to tune into, who would want to drive alone and dull. But keep the music in minimal volume for only you and your co-passengers to hear. It is as though some people try desperately to catch the attention of other drivers or people on the road by blasting the music system. You only end up getting distracted and distract others too who could be peacefully driving.
Drive within speed limits:
I know we all hate to be late for a party or a movie. Don’t ask me how much I hate being late for any event. There are times when this punctuality of yours takes a hit, no matter how good you had planned it. The next thing you do is speed up the vehicle to catch up with the time delay. Do I have to mention what’s the risk involved? Get caught by the police for over speeding! Risk the lives of innocent people out there! There could be children and old people who are not responsible for your lack of planning. Some of them could even turn out to be your friends or relatives. Whoever be it, this is the greatest and saddest risk involved when you let go of the basic rules of driving.
Provide proper signals:
From my childhood days, we all have learnt about traffic signals and its three main colours which said “Go says Green, Wait says Yellow, Stop says Red”. There was even a nursery rhyme to teach us the basic traffic rules. Now being an adult, I see quite a few have become hesitant to following these rules. Infact these were the ones who earned their driving license after convincing the transport officer that they were thorough with the signals. Why does it become so hard to follow it afterwards in daily life? Again reports state that red light running injures and even kills almost thousands daily across the country. Follow the traffic lights is just one thing. There are more like proper signaling either through indicators or hand signals which could avoid unnecessary accidents. Do not hesitate to offer people space to overtake if you see any driver tailgating you.
Stay safe inside the vehicle:
Buckle up your seat belts, clear up the space on the foot pedals to avoid any entangling, use headlamps wisely, check for blind spots. All these are other ways to remain safe while driving.
When I choose to drive wisely, I am actually spreading smiles. After all, that was my New Year resolution like always. Who would not want to see people smile? Even if you are not really bothered about that, let not you be the reason for someone’s tears. Life is precious, live and let live!!