Emotional indicators wanted
The rules of the road have changed for good No, bad actually Unlike earlier times, when drivers drove on unencumbered, the new age driver is tangled...
The rules of the road have changed for good. No, bad actually. Unlike earlier times, when drivers drove on unencumbered, the new age driver is tangled in a maze of wires and gadgets, driven by technology. Connected to both real and virtual worlds by phones and earphones, he talks and texts to his many friends in the real world - and simultaneously listens to the soothing voice of the virtual GPS lady, who is constantly guiding him in the right direction.
With so many distractions, suggestions and demands, the driver’s emotional state is continuously changing, and he behaves in a manner that the others on the road cannot comprehend. It is fine to behave erratically when we are all strolling about in a park, but on the road where everyone is driving at 80 kmph, such behaviour is deadly dangerous.
However, here’s the good news. Close observation reveals a clear pattern. This erratic driving correlates directly to the driver’s emotions. By following the insights below, other drivers can react to the fluid emotional vagaries of tech-driven drivers and save themselves. Much pain.
Pattern 1: Vehicle gently swaying on road:
The driver is in a happy mood. Sweet nothings are being whispered on the other end of the phone. He is fully relaxed and in a deeply hypnotized state. No amount of honking can break his spell. He will come out of it only when the other end breaks up. Until then he will cruise at 20 kmph on a 60 kmph road, phone stuck in his ear and mouth. Keep healthy distance.
Pattern 2: Vehicle takes a sudden sharp left:
The driver has an urgent need to stop the vehicle by the kerb to discuss what the hell the other person is talking about. It is time for some finality in the proceedings and requires complete concentration. Avoid irritating such drivers by honking or making faces. Your health insurance will rise sharply next year if you do.
Pattern 3: Vehicle takes a sudden sharp right turn:
It is an indication that driver wants to make a U-turn and head back to a place where he came from to get hold of sharp weapons. Then, go where the person on the phone is stationed to resolve matters - one last time. Stay away, avoid eye contact, and call help lines because a major headline in tomorrow’s crime section is developing.
Pattern 4: Vehicle stops suddenly in the middle of the road:
Indicates complete communication breakdown over the phone. Everything must be put aside, and the issue addressed immediately in the middle of the road. The whole world can wait - literally. Alternately, the GPS lady has gone AWOL and left the driver stranded, without direction. Avoid interactions and proceed quietly.
Gentle veering: Driver is enacting a running-around-the-trees version of the movies on the road. Revving up and burning rubber: Driver has secured an invitation to someplace where a major reward awaits. Like open arms or other such spaces where extreme relief can be experienced (washrooms for example). Avoid driver in both patterns.
It is time that vehicle manufacturers realised that left-right indicators are as old as dinosaurs. Now we need emotional indicators for vehicles to predict which way the vehicle goes. It’s easy. Since our mobiles know everything about us and our emotional states, they can be used to display appropriate emojis on the back of our cars based on the language we use, body temperatures and such. Emoji indicators will help us in two ways – one, to sympathise with emotional states of tech-driven drivers and two, to save our limbs and lives from permanent damage.