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The Art of Driving - Colombo’s most inclusive and dangerous sport - Part 2

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This article is a continuation from the article published here by the name "The Art of Driving - Colombo’s most inclusive and dangerous sport - Part 1".

Day Dreaming while Driving
Some people are caught up in their thoughts, problems and issues whilst driving. These personal daydreams can verge from the sublime - dreaming about the cricket team’s performance - to the mundane – dreaming about what one needs to buy from the grocery store after work.

Day dreaming has consequences. Either the daydreamer misses turns, and gets lost frequently. They can have annoyed motorists beeping at them when they daydream in front of a green light. “YOU COULD HAVE GONE!” your brain barks, and it’s right. Most importantly, a daydreaming driver becomes less aware of other vehicles around them, which could contribute to an increased risk of crashing.
It doesn’t take death defying stunts to defy death, just a momentary lack of concentration.

Drunk Driving and Spontaneous Smoking
“One more? Machan, you've already had a six pack, just one more won’t hurt, no?”

Despite the warnings, public awareness and educational programs, stiffer penalties for violations, and other efforts, people will still get behind the wheel of their vehicles while intoxicated. Perhaps it is because they have done so for years and have survived. Do not Drink and Drive

The concept of ‘designated driver’ makes a lot of sense. This theory expounds the need for a sober driver to take charge of the vehicle while the happily intoxicated owner of the vehicle sits in the passenger seat and enjoys the ride. Think of some fun things to say and do whilst your sober friend drives you around. You can sing the national anthem, discuss politics (please do not get unduly aggressive in the process), or even attempt to explain to your sober friend the meaning of life and the universe.

Smoking causes a number of driving distractions, starting with the search for cigarette and lighter, lighting the cigarette by removing both hands from the wheel, and continuing to keep one hand off the steering wheel in order to consume the burning cigarette.  The smoker will subsequently encounter frequent distractions every time he or she needs to remove ash into the car’s cigarette tray or out of the window.
Heaven forbid that the lit cigarette falls from the driver’s lips or hand onto his or her lap, causing further distraction while the driver tries to retrieve it before it starts a fire in his privates. Really, there is no reason to smoke while driving. If a commuter has an irresistible urge to light up, they can find somewhere safe to stop first.

Frankly, for those who practice the arts of drunk driving or smoking - you may seem "fine" and not think yourself intoxicated or distracted, but are you able to make that split-second reaction that could prevent a traffic collision?

Lack of Patience and Tolerance
If a lack of common sense is bad, a lack of patience and tolerance is disastrous.  Modern life has, amongst some positive value additions, packed our day with tasks and made expectations so high that we have become selfish beings.

Now, it is seemingly difficult for the average human to stop for a couple of seconds for people to cross the road or for another vehicle to turn to a lane.

There are several bad habits that are sprung from a lack of these qualities. (My) Lane changing (the art of changing the lane when it is seen to be moving faster) is one of them. In time, one realises its futility (especially when the lane that was discarded starts moving and the lane that was adopted comes to a standstill).

What about the (My) Right of Way? The cardinal rule of giving way to motorists coming from one’s right. Too often has a vehicle, pinned helplessly to the side of the roundabout, watched cars, lorries, three wheelers, motorbikes and buses scream down the road and pass him – from his left. Similarly, one should not disturb the main road when entering it from a lane. Sadly, it is rare that people give way, and as such, tempted by the dark side, motorists are frequently forced to put their foot down and force themselves into main road traffic.

The (My) Yellow Box tends to serve an uncivil commuter more than it does civil society. It is common place to see a well-meaning motorist stop before a yellow box, only to sigh in despair as the smug, self-indulgent motorist behind you weaves his oily way past your vehicle and jumps in the middle of the box. This hopscotch or leapfrog activity generally happens in places where blocking is to be avoided, for example at a junction (De Saram Road facing Deans Road), or outside a hospital entrance (Park Road).

Written by ashan.j for colomboguide.net ©

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