27 October 2010

Compulsive Honking Syndrome

Compulsive Honking Syndrome is an acquired syndrome. Mostly fed in by the driving school or whoever taught driving. Most people are very scared when they handle a car's steering wheel or a bike's handle for the first time. Honking is least of their priorities. The trainers then scare the learners about potential consequences of causing any damage. So much so that honking gets embedded in their survival instinct.

There are two types of CHS.
1. Periodic honking
2. Obstacle honking

Periodic honking is timer based. Every 'x' seconds the a mental timer fires and the driver honks. One day I was following a guy on a bike who would honk every 9 seconds. The road was 100 ft wide, no vehicles, pedestrians, potholes or humps in sight. But he would still honk periodically. This guy's trainer must have forced him to honk so much that it is now programmed in his sub-conscious mind. Even though he appeared to be relaxed, the pressure would slowly build in his sub-conscious mind and hearing his own vehicle's honk would release all the pressure. Like a pressure cooker. The pressure is created by his survival instincts.

Obstacle honking is very simple: "Honk at any obstacle or at any potential obstacle that may move in your path or in any of your path options (if you have multiple options) if you were driving 20% faster than your current speed". That means you have to honk at that pedestrian that you see few hundred meters ahead who would definitely move out of your path by the time you reach it. This is also a trained minds job. The trainer would have jumped out of the seat everytime he sees an obstacle. This would appear to the trainee as if this is a mandated requirement to honk at obstacles.

Conscious driving happens only during the training period. After that the sub-conscious mind takes over the driving. Thats leaves the conscious mind free to to talk about politics/cricket or ogle at large posters across the city even while driving (almost) safely. If the training triggers CHS, that gets programmed in the subconscious mind as well.

Well, the good news is: CHS is completely curable. It requires conscious observation and re-training the mind.

No comments: