No, its not the potholes or the unruly drivers or people not following traffic rules or underage drivers speeding or young people performing stunts in thick traffic …… the biggest nightmare on the Indian roads today are drivers with cellphones stuck to their ears.
See this lady in the picture below – this is so typical of the two wheeler drivers, the phone is stuck between the ear and the neck while they happily continue to drive. I clicked this picture in Hyderabad, on July 20th 2016. We were on our way to have lunch with Kabir and since we didn’t want to drive, we had taken an Uber.
The delivery boys use an ear phone which makes things worse because they aren’t able to hear a thing, not even if someone is honking at them because they are weaving in too close ! On the highway we see every lorry driver speaking on the cellphone while driving the big trucks. Many times the trucks change lanes suddenly and as we pass them, we realise the driver is on the cellphone.
Here is another pic of a guy riding his bike and speaking on the phone … this is from our recent trip to Vizag in May 2017.
And the following picture is from the Mehrauli-Gurgaon road … two people in the car and both of them on the cellphone !! Its just crazy.
I recently read an article where a young lady was posting on Facebook while driving in the US and died because her car crashed. Woman dies behind wheel after texting she was “happy”. Many more accidents happen because of the cellphone addiction. I read another recent article that said the cellphone addiction is worse than drug addiction :(:(.
Krishnan and I follow a simple policy of keeping our phones on silent while we are driving. If both of us are in the car, and if there is something urgent, then the non-driver will answer the phone. We just don’t answer the phone while being on the road. Its funny how people don’t remember that 20 years back we didn’t have cellphones available – they might have been produced but in much smaller numbers and “Facebook” wasn’t around to post your minute-by-minute update.
I would request the Govt to bring in stricter norms about cellphone usage while driving and actually take away one’s license if they are caught using a cellphone while driving. Until then, this nightmare won’t end. Till that happens some new posters for safe driving should be “don’t text and drive” or “don’t post while driving” or ” don’t plug in while steering” or “Use the steering wheel while driving not the phone”….
Drive safe, folks.