he roads in Nepal are incredibly unpredictable. They are winding, narrow, bumpy, crowded and filled with reckless drivers, making them one of the most dangerous roads in the world.This month in Biker’s Diary, 27-year old Manoj Maharjan, who currently works at ESTS Pvt. Limited, shares with us a fatal bike accident he went through as another reminder of the importance of ‘careful’ driving, not just ‘correct’ driving. They say that the best lessons learned are the ones learned the hard way and that is certainly the case for Manoj. Here is why you should never neglect even the tiniest of details or brush off the so-called ‘trivial’ errors:

“It was a chillyautumn morning, around two years back. The day didn’t start off well altogether. In my rush to get to work,I forgot to carry my vehicle registration papers with me and thus got fined during a police inspection at Ratnapark. I spedup to 100 km/h, something I should have known better than to onKathmandu’s erratic roads.  As I was riding past the Philips Showroom in Jamal, a micro van thatwas trying to overtake another car, unexpectedly blocked my way. I tried to bring my bike to a halt but in vain. In that instant, I couldn’t really comprehend the situation very well; my mind went blank. The next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital bed, surrounded by cops.I was confused; I couldn’t remember why and how had I ended up there. With the help of family members and the policemen, I slowly gained my memory although the whole incident is still a blur to me. Apparently I had lost consciousness for over three hours! I didn’t even understand how serious my case was untilI was informed that I needed a month and a half of bed-rest. After all, I had a broken nose,a broken wrist, swollen hands, scratches and bruises all over my body, and 24 stitches to my head! I honestly felt like a zombie; all masked in plaster and awakened from death.

The experience was mortifying not just for me but for my entire family. Thesedays I am so much more cautious on the road and I definitely stay within speed limits. Just following road rules isn’t enough in Nepal. You need to constantly keep an eye out because there are just so many rough drivers around. How did this incident change me? All the pills and bed rest definitely made me fatter! On a serious note, I have found a new respect for helmets. When I got held up in the police inspection in Ratnapark I took off my helmet and didn’t bother to fasten the straps when I put it back on. That is one of the worst mistakes to make. As soon as I fell, my helmet was thrown off. I am very lucky that I didn’t end up with a serious brain injury or worse- lost my life. I know many youngsters who think helmets are ‘uncool’ or they “ruin their hairstyle” but trust me, it will save your life. Most importantly remember to secure the straps and only then are you all ready and set to go!”