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August 12, 2018

Indicators’ use waning on Pindi roads


August 12, 2018

The accurate and well-timed use of indicators is a vital precondition for safe driving. Regrettably, this is not the case on Rawalpindi roads.

All vehicles are fitted with indicators with an explicit aim. They are designed to be used by drivers to convey to other road users what they plan to do with the vehicle. They guarantee improved communication on road and general safety. Indicator lights are placed at the front, rear and sometimes one on either side of the car, subject to the kind of vehicle. They are used to show an anticipated change of direction, either turning left or right. They need to be used sensibly to permit drivers behind to react.

Once the objective is realized, they should be switched off to avert misunderstanding. The hazard lights, when switched on, all the indicators of the car start to flash. This is to caution others of any danger which could be the car itself or a hindrance ahead. The brake light sign points to the traffic behind that the car is going to slow down.

Headlight flashing can be used to caution other drivers, when a horn cannot be heard, or on a very murky road, when there is no upcoming traffic. When a car is on reverse gear the lights are activated at the rear of the car. There are lots of cases of the right lamp indicator blinking when the car is in fact turning left or vice versa. In quite a lot of cases, indicators are not used at all. For any person travelling on the city roads this is a not an unusual spectacle to come across. The faulty use of hazard warning lights is one more case.

Drivers every so often do not know the real purpose of this device, so either they are ill-used or not used at all. Frequently cars drive with the hazard lights on when driving in rainy season or when overtaking. At times reverse lamps are rewired as fog lamps on cars.

Overtaking a car without using the accurate indicators can also have grave consequences particularly on the lane with higher speed limit. Braking and braking lights can also be a problem: drivers of heavy vehicles time and again incline to slow down by shifting to the lower gears instead of applying the brakes, leaving the vehicle behind clueless of the upcoming slowdown and possibly putting the drivers at risk. There was a case when on Islamabad Expressway a wagon driver did this and the truck behind did not have time to react as the driver did not realize the wagon was braking. The wagon ended up being crashed into the roadside wall.

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