How to save yourself from tipper terrorism?
The topic of “Tipper Terrorism” has disturbed me for long. I have always wondered why this terrorist is selective of its victim. Why only two wheelers, especially scooters are targeted and why mostly women die from a tipper hit? Why are victims always either in scooter or bike? Why not hit a car or a bus?
It would be more fun to butt the rear end of another tipper. This has to do with the tradition of riding in Kathmandu valley. We ride as if we were the only ones alive. We are the only ones in rush. Our work is the only important thing in this world. It’s not that all riders think the same. It’s actually we as human beings think that way and that’s our survival instinct. We will be dead if we get late. The boss might kill us. Losing money in something may mean an end of life. Arriving late might end some relation, which may mean like death to you. Sometimes we need to seek medical attention. In that case, it really is a life and death situation. Anyway, whatever the reason, it is important than anything for us at that particular moment. That’s how our mind is programmed these days and subconsciously we react as a survival situation. That explains why we are always in such a hurry.
People inside a car or a bus can’t go around like motorcycles and scooters. That’s why they haven’t been targeted by our newly classified terrorist, maybe. We don’t have to change any of that, if you ask me. We can’t change our personality, let alone the exact norms of being alive in this society. However, changing the lifestyle of society and its rule is a different story. For now, we can focus on solving current issue by widening, or may be changing, our perspective.
An accident never occurs because of a single mistake, reason, decision or action. Everything has to fall in exactly the right way at the respective time. There is always chain of events. You miss one event and the game finishes. You have to break that one link, no matter which, but it must be part of the chain. Find the weakest and easiest link and break it. Your work is done.
One weakest and easiest link to be broken in this tipper terrorism is easy. It’s as easy as sitting in a driving seat but not for driving. Rather, look around from the driving seat of tipper. What I want you to be interested in is the thing that you won’t see. It’s popularly known as “Blind Spot”.
The above figure illustrates the blind spot of heavy/large/big vehicle. Orange area is called blind spot, where driver won’t see even if you dance whole day there. White area is visible to driver and can see everything happening around from his driving position. In the image, some bikes are in blind spot and some are in visible spot. Always avoid being in a blind spot. If it’s hard for the moment, get out of that spot as soon as possible. Try to maintain eye contact with the driver if you happen to cross his path. Don’t trust the driver and don’t assume his decision unless you have eye contact.
Be aware when you are near these kinds of hulking vehicles. We need to adjust to these vehicles like our grandparents or any senior citizens who can’t hear and see properly. We know it’s not their fault for not being able to “see” or “hear”. I am comparing big and heavy vehicle with humans only to understand them better. Not to judge them, but to give them a proper environment.
We have to deal with heavy vehicles in our day-to-day commute. And when we deal with one, we treat as if it’s another passenger car or motorcycle. They are not the same. Everything about them is different, from acceleration to deceleration, braking distance, turning radius, blind spot – everything is different about them. You can’t predict them unless you have experienced riding inside one of them, or you are in the similar line of work, or you already have done a lot of homework.
Always try to avoid being in the vicinity of a heavy vehicle. If not, drive or ride in different lane. And if you think that is not an option then keep a large gap in between any sides. Last option at least is possible.
If I were a pedestrian crossing the road, I would never look at the vehicle. Instead, I will try to have an eye contact with driver before actually crossing the road.
Don’t trust anybody except yourself. Think as if everyone around you is dumb and inexperienced and excited to be on the road because it’s their first time. Think as if you are here to protect those imbecile riders and drivers. And you are the only one who can avoid the accident. Think of everyone as an immature, naive, inexperienced, cute, and vulnerable five year old in a body of teen or adult.
Every time you come across a situation where it would have been an accident if you hadn’t taken that turn or you hadn’t slowed down or you hadn’t given the space or side, you would feel like a savior. You just saved a lot of money, time and who knows – even life of that person. A person who doesn’t know about you and goes without even saying thank you! He may not care. But you know what, that doesn’t matter because you are a secret superhero and you saved his life.
The writer is an engineer.
Published on 19 June 2018