Intelligence ∝ Wheels

Most two-wheeler motorists are poor drivers. This is something that’s easy to ascertain from the disproportionate number of deaths that involve a two-wheeler with something other than a heavy vehicle or a car. This is also the reason that whenever I hear about a young man not wearing a helmet who got killed by a car, I know who’s responsible. Not wearing a helmet is just one symptom of the typical illusion that two-wheeler motorists live in.

Driving a car badly is harder than driving a motorcycle badly, for the following reasons:

  • A car is automatically limited by the space available — meaning no swerving between other vehicles, and in between bumpers to gain 0.7 of a second.
  • When the vehicle in front of you stops, if you’re a car driver, you stop. If you’re a motorcyclist, you turn your front wheel in one direction (usually right) and try switching lanes, stopping only when a car driver frantically brakes and honks.
  • If a car ever collides with anything, it’s the drivers fault. If a two-wheeler ever collides with anything, it’s usually blamed on what the two-wheeler collides with. Except for the one situation where the two-wheeler slams right bang between the two tail-lights, splitting your licence plate in two.
  • You need to have a certain amount of money to buy a car, either through your parents or by your own work. While this does not preclude the possibility of a boorish rich driver, those are less likely to exist than the college going imbecile
  • Cars corner better than motorcycles.
  • Cars are more easily damaged by minor incidents than motorcycles — a car and a bike scrape, and the bike gets off with no damage nearly

Now, I have never claimed to be an exceptional driver myself, but I have never driven in a manner that is likely to kill myself or another. And besides, going “Tu Quoque” isn’t accepted any more. To illustrate, I have created a colourful drawing for you all to see the difference between the way a car driver takes a corner and the way a motorcyclist does so. The legend for the yellow line should be ‘lane marker’, but I forgot and I’m not going to change it because I can’t make it fit now anyway.

An illustration of the difference between the way cars and two-wheelers are driven. With intelligence on the y-axis and year (ending in 2008) on the x-axis, the upper red line, and the green dotted line also represent the average IQ of the drivers of the vehicles.

Are you a motorcyclist? To find out if you, too, are an idiot, answer these questions — if you answer yes, add those points to your score:

  • Do you have a helmet? (-3 points)
  • Have you removed your rear-view mirrors? (6 points)
  • Do you put your foot on another vehicle to be pulled along? (6 points)
  • Do you use your signal lights? (-6 points)
  • Do you take great pride in travelling 50+ km/h in rush-hour traffic? (9 points)
  • Have you been involved in motorcycle accidents with another motorcycle or in accidents where you were violating a law? (6 points)
  • Do you ever use the pavement when the roads are jammed? (6 points)
  • Is your licence invalid? (9 points)
  • Do you have insurance (-3 points)
  • You are in the left most lane. The car in the lane to your right is slowly moving forward to close the gap between it and the stationary vehicle in front of it. Do you accelerate and switch to that lane? (9 points)
  • You are in the left most lane, right behind an auto-rickshaw. Traffic is moving at a steady 30 km/h. The auto-rickshaw stops. Do you turn your front wheel to the right and try to poke into the lane to your right? (12 points) Do you stop your vehicle in the same lane and look at your mirrors before making your next move? (-6 points)
  • The light is red. There doesn’t seem to be anyone coming anywhere near the intersection in the direction that it is green for. Do you go ahead? (3 points)
  • Do you drive on the wrong side of the road, near the pavement? (6 points)
  • After overtaking a vehicle so that you’re in front of it, do you slam on the brakes? (6 points)
  • Do you frequently stop your motorcycle just before the median begins, in the right-most lane, so that when the signal changes you can squeeze past the last car before the median? (3 points)
  • Do you put on your helmet while driving? (3 points)
  • Do you follow mirror, signal, manoeuvre? (-12 points)
  • Do you brag to your friends about how you managed to squeeze between something and something else, and you could almost have died except you were so damn good a driver that it didn’t happen? (12 points)

Now if you scored more than 0, you’re an idiot. The degree of your stupidity is your score divided by 6. If you’re an Urban Boor, you are automatically an idiot of the greatest degree, because it is nearly assured that you have the highest score possible.

PS: Title applies only to vehicles owned by a person or family for the use of that person or family.

The danger of football, and other things

Do you know that you can’t play football on the beach over the weekend any more, not even on Fridays? There’s no problem with frisbees, cricket or volleyball, but football is simply not allowed – and I suppose neither is rugby. You know, the beach used to be like the golden age of Man: written law was needless where none oppressed, the law of Man written in our breasts. The one last bastion of freedom, where you could do almost anything you want. Now, it’s like any other place, encumbered by meaningless laws, unwritten and enforced by megaphone and wooden stick.

Update: Apparently, Adithya is responsible for this; his confession is in the comments.

I would be incensed if it weren’t for the fact that now I have to drive just a further 3km. While on driving, my attempts to emulate hypermilers has led to partial results – I think I get something like a kilometre or more per litre out of the car. Must work on the gear shifting, but this old vehicle jumps even when you’re in the same gear. It’s embarrassing.

There are funny films. I like them. I saw one today: Death at a Funeral. Worth the rent.