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Driving is an art. Are you a competent artist? Since many of us spend so much time on the roads, why not make it a better experience?

Respect your car...! Suddenly accelerating and jerky manoeuvring is a no-no. Avoid heavy braking by slowing down earlier.


Excess baggage must go. Less weight means better mileage. Store luggage/ cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.


Enjoy the ride. But plan it first. Plan your errands so that you eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel against the traffic and try and join a car pool.


Speed, in excess is bad and mileage decreases sharply above 82 km/hour. Instead choose routes having fewer traffic lights, and wider roads.


Check your batteries regularly, at least once a month in winter, once a week in hot weather, and daily when you’re on a long trip. Batteries last for three years at the most.


No earth-shattering `Vrrrrroommm’ at the start! Allow your vehicle to idle for a minimum of 4-5 minutes before you get moving, to increase fuel efficiency and avoid wear and tear.


When the monsoons have made a splash, check the wipers; don’t rely on last year’s set. Chances are they’ll fail you at some crucial moment.


Drive with a clear conscience! Always carry a spare wheel, toolbox, fan belt, hosepipe etc…you never know when and where the vehicle may breakdown.


Make sure that visibility through windows is high. Soiled, grimy windows are a strict no-no. Secondly always make sure that the lights are working well. You don’t want to squint due to lack of light!


Ensure that your car smells good! A pleasant fragrance on our way to work would help in stimulating and enhancing your alertness and your aptitude for work. Ambi Pur Car is an Innovative Car Perfume that acts on your senses and adds the finishing touch to the ‘good’ driving experience. It comes in three flavours, Aqua, Vanilla and After Tobacco!

Take a deep breath and step on the gas!


Owning a car is not just about conveniently getting around. Besides maintaining your baby, you also need to adhere to certain basic rules, so that you help make the roads a safer place to be.

• If cars existed when Newton was around he'd postulate his first law as: "Sudden changing of lanes while driving evokes extreme hazard for all motorists." Inference: As a rule of thumb, don't change lanes suddenly. All cars are provided with indicators, use them to show your fellow motorists that you wish to change lanes or take a turn as the case may be. Use hand signals if your indicators have conked out.
• Always give way to emergency vehicles. Ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles have precedence over other traffic.
• Thanks to our traffic department, use of seat belts has become mandatory. Make it a point to fasten your seat belts.
• Do not make or receive calls on your mobile phones. Use the hands free utility provided in case you want to talk when you are driving.
• One of the most annoying aspects of driving in fading light or at night is the headlight beams of the car coming from the opposite direction. As a driver it is extremely irritating as well as harmful on the eyes. Avoid using the high beam of your headlights while driving.
• Horns though a necessary evil can be avoided as much as possible. Using horns unless extremely necessary is definitely avoidable. So don't honk at passers, pedestrians, dogs or for unnecessary reasons. Even if you have to use the horn, make sure it is just short blasts, and not long and irritating.

These were some basic, generally known but frequently ignored driving tips. Do follow them to make your driving easier.

Fast driving doesn’t mean stepping recklessly on the accelerator. According to the late motoring expert Juan Manuel Fangio, the secret of fast driving is going fast on the slow bits; not just going fast on the fast bits. If you’re wondering what this means, going fast on the slow bits can include taking a different route when you know that the obvious one is clogged. Fast driving doesn’t necessarily imply driving at high speeds. Rather it involves avoiding staying still for long. So choose routes having fewer traffic lights, and wider roads. Avoiding heavy braking by slowing down earlier also helps.


When you are at a traffic signal, waiting for the signal to turn green, try and remember that you are not at the starting blocks of a Formula One race. So, if fuel economy is your priority (it should be), accelerate gradually, and avoid jerky driving. Your fuel economy will then improve by 20%. Also, avoid braking suddenly by anticipating the traffic ahead of you. Finally, speeds above 80 km per hour won’t do any good for your fuel economy. If you maintain that limit, your fuel economy improves by 15%.


In our next series of tips, we will focus on driving --- on how to be safe and avoid accidents. In other words, how to be a “good” driver. Most of us assume that a good driver is one who can drive fast, and overtake as many vehicles as possible. Not really. More than just speed, there are various other factors that go into becoming a good driver. For instance, a good driver doesn’t move around blowing his/her horn most of the times unnecessarily. Neither does he/she use headlights at full beam at night, and in the process blind oncoming drivers. More importantly, a good driver doesn’t overspeed, or overtake recklessly. He/she follows lane discipline, observers traffic signals and parking restrictions. And yes, a good driver also respects his/her car; by keeping it in good condition.


You must know that you won't get a driving licence for a car or a motorcycle if you are less than 18 years. But did you know that you could get a licence even if you are just 16? No, no, you won't be able to drive a four-wheeler with this licence. The only vehicle you will be able to ride with it is a two-wheeler --- that to only that two-wheeler with an engine capacity of not more than 50cc. What's more, the application for the licence must be signed by a parent or guardian. Of course there is no upper age limit when applying for a licence. That's how Gerty Edwards Land got her licence in 1988, when she was only 91!
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