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Old 19th November 2015, 16:07   #1
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Default Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

Whenever I take out my car/bike on a trip, I run through a mental checklist of the kind of problems I can encounter. I am sure most others do too. Of course, considering the chaos on our roads, we all will be doing a lot of things we would prefer not to do.

So I was just thinking, in spite of getting tuned and adjusted to our typical driving conditions, there will be some things you still hate doing or encountering during a drive and in most cases are forced to do due to the nature of our conditions. Or looking at it another way, certain things that if you know you will not encounter, makes you slightly more relaxed and peaceful. Thought it would be good to list these and get the perspective of fellow Bhpians on this topic.

Note: This is not related to the skill factor tied to specific maneuvers. This keeps improving and becomes second nature at some point. These are things that bother you irrespective of the skill levels or amount of driving done.

For me these are the things that I absolutely hate doing.

When driving a car:
  • Going across busy unmanned junctions or taking U Turns (especially roads with 2 or more lanes) - where the traffic is high and will not stop for you. So you need to slowly inch your way across, put half of the car across the first lane, pray that the vehicle bearing down on you has good enough brakes and then inch your way forward. In fact, if there is a manned option (signal) further down, I prefer to use that even if it means I need to drive extra.

  • Honking: Honking is second nature here. Continuous honking to force people to give way is common. I hate honking, but it is unavoidable. My honks are always one timid beep. Sometimes co passengers pressurize to serial honk at a slow moving auto or a bike in front to give way. Just cannot do it.

  • Parking: My biggest worry especially when going to an unknown destination or places that I know are crowded. I absolutely cannot stop/park unless I am totally sure I am not obstructing anything. Considering our road and parking infrastructure, more often than not, the destination will not have proper parking and am mostly asked to park on the roadside or in a crowded place where it potentially blocks something or the other. This worries me to no end. My family is used to the fact that I could have parked a long distance away. Co-passengers who do not know this quirk are puzzled/irritated when I drop/stop a little away from the actual point.


When riding a bike
  • Just one major one: Being forced to go through a narrow path between 2 other vehicles. Probably just big enough for a bike to squeeze through. Refusal can result in a lot of honking and maybe even some word exchanges.

While searching for similar threads on the topic. Came across 2 somewhat related threads that deals with things that worry you/Quirks.

What’s your Quirk (Whats YOUR quirk?)


Passenger Habits you hate (Will ya stop that!! Passenger habits that you hate!)
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Old 19th November 2015, 16:53   #2
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

What I hate the most to do but have to so is the use of upper beam on highways. There is just no way to drive without it, with 90% of the car driver just switch on the beams, put it in upper and forget about it. Plus with the dividers not having enough barriers to block the on-coming traffics beams, it is maddening.

Amidst this chaos, one is left with little option but to use the upper beam even where it is not required, just to be able to see the road ahead.

Of course there is this issue of overtaking from the left on the highway, especially the cars who decide to drive slow on the fast lane. One should not overtake from the left, but then there is no option left.
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Old 19th November 2015, 17:00   #3
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

One thing which is always on the back of my mind when i drive through the villages and country side is this habit of motorcycles coming from katcha roads on to the highway without looking left or right and without even slowing down.
I do loud honks when i see something from the corner of my eye on either side of the road and even with an iota of a chance of them coming on the road.

Secondly nowadays i am confused if the right indicator is for turning or letting you overtake. Ridiculous sometimes.
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Old 19th November 2015, 17:02   #4
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

Very nervous when driving at intersections during the night time when the amber lights are on, or worse when they work after 12AM at night as I cannot predict who will stop who will not
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Old 19th November 2015, 17:06   #5
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

The one thing I absolutely hate is playing slalom on highways (especially on the Mumbai-Pune eway) where you encounter overloaded trucks hogging on all 3 lanes and you need to keep on jumping lanes quickly.
Using highbeams even in cities.In Pune it seems cars or bikes only have highbeams.I get very nervous stopping in intersections or junctions at wee hours.

Last edited by rakesh_r : 19th November 2015 at 17:07.
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Old 19th November 2015, 17:32   #6
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

My worry would be

1. Vehicles driving on wrong side of the road. In Haryana, particulary on NH8, vehicles blatantly flout rules and drive on the wrong side. On confronting, they behave as if they are righteous.

2. Trucks driving on all three lanes and not giving way.

3. Trucks changing lane without indicator, or even bothering if anyone is coming in the lane they are changing into.

4. Stupid car drivers driving in the extreme right lane at 40 kms per hour and holding the traffic to ransom.

5. Autos and local buses dropping and picking up passengers, when they stop their vehicles bang in the middle of the HIGHWAY.

6. Dumpers and trucks throwing pebbles and stones.
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Old 19th November 2015, 18:19   #7
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

1. Two wheelers driving reciprocal close to the central divider on a 4 lane road (NH).
2. Local bus drivers driving rashly .
3. Cattle close or on the highway.
4. Pedestrians close or o the highway.
5. Heavy vehicles driving on the highway without taillights.
6. 4 wheelers driving on the highway with only one headlight.
7. Two heavy vehicles driving side by side in the same direction at the same speed and blocking the roads.
8. Vehicles switching on hazard light in rain, humps, crossing etc and not realizing that there turn indicator is non-functional.
9. People throwing garbage on the road from the car.
10. Passengers sticking their head out and spitting/vomiting.
11. Drivers parking their car on busy roads blocking traffic.
12. Drivers overtaking a queue of stationary vehicles and creating a jam for reciprocal vehicles.
13. Ambulance drivers switching on siren for non-emergency commutes.
14. Drivers talking on mobile phone and as a result slowing down and blocking traffic.
15. Drivers blocking a free left lane at an intersection as they are not turning left.
16. Cars with dark films which prevents following drivers to see traffic ahead.
17. Cars jumping queues at toll booths.
18. Bus drivers parking their bus side by side and having a conversation while blocking the road.
19. Loose chains and panels swinging out of moving heavy vehicles in the path of other vehicles.
20. Drivers overtaking and then slowing down in front of the overtaken vehicle.
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Old 19th November 2015, 18:26   #8
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkghai View Post
Secondly nowadays i am confused if the right indicator is for turning or letting you overtake. Ridiculous sometimes.
The right indicator is used to ask you to overtake on highways. I have been experiencing it since 1996 when i learnt driving. the trucks are usually the ones to use it since you wont see their hands at night.

As you said it can get confusing at times. But 80% of times you know he is asking you to go, especially when you have been attempting to overtake and oncoming vehicles are not allowing you to.

In city - i will assume its for turning right always.
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Old 19th November 2015, 22:38   #9
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

Trucks with low speeds on fast lanes and high beams are my top picks. But in full support for all the points called out.
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Old 19th November 2015, 23:40   #10
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

High beams. Period. Most people carelessly switch on the high beams even in well lit city roads and forget about the inconvenience caused. The most irritating are the blinding HIDs from high end vehicles.

On the highways, unmanned medians are the biggest irritants. They'd once resulted in a life threatening accident on NH8 but thanks to ABS, the situation went smoothly.

And how can I forget, the teenage super racers of today, racing down the city streets in hot hatches or a Cruze maybe. Law of course isn't enforced properly and these reckless teenage drivers have often caused havoc.
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Old 20th November 2015, 07:57   #11
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

I think the OP started the thread with the intention to know what it is that WE do that is discomforting, but are forced to do.

For me, it's when I have to overtake from the left side on highways, when the truck/bus/omni/ace shows no intention of moving off the fast lane. I would be flashing my lights at them, but to no avail.

Another one is, parking where there is no indication whether I can park there or not.

In Kerala, there are not-so-steep ghat sections and curvy roads between cities. I absolutely hate honking,but if you want to reach your destination in reasonable time, you need to honk to let people know that you are coming on a blind curve. Funnily, My mom who drives like a grandmother, once got impatient with my careful horn-less driving on such roads, and chided me, asking to use the horn and drive faster.
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Old 20th November 2015, 08:27   #12
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaileshHinge View Post
The right indicator is used to ask you to overtake on highways.
Shailesh i agree to your points. However, i find it not so black and white. In Night, 4 lane road and a truck at a constant speed giving indicator is OK. What if on the main four lane highway there is a vehicle in front of a truck and he wants to change lane and overtake? Well we will think he is allowing us to go.
Now come to the country side , single lane, a loaded auto close to a crossing also gives indicator for passing. Trust me , i have been driving since early 80s and things are becoming a bit confusing nowadays. I have witnessed motorcyclist giving indicators for passing. You mentioned 80% of time, what about rest 20% . Very high percentage to go wrong, with your loved ones.

Why cant there be hand signals in day? Well most car owners will say, with all windows closed how does he/she give hand signal , so use an indicator.
I have a simple way of communicating for allowing passing. I slow down and take my vehicle to left side to give indication that the following vehicle can pass.

No offence , In Rome we got to do as the Romans do, but IMO feel we need to evolve a better methodology than using indicators.
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Old 20th November 2015, 10:42   #13
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkghai View Post
Secondly nowadays i am confused if the right indicator is for turning or letting you overtake. Ridiculous sometimes.
If the indicator light blinks only twice or thrice, it is an indication for overtaking. It applies only for trucks. Even I was confused earlier, but now I am used to it. But this practice is not safe. Cars use these for changing lanes.

Another signal normally people who use 2-wheeler here in Coimbatore use is, they turn their head to the right. By this you need to know that the person is going to turn right. Similarly for left turn, they turn their head to left and proceed with the turn. I am keenly observing them to see how they show the signal when they take a U-Turn .
High beams, Honkings and slow moving vehicles irritates me a lot.

Last edited by deemash : 20th November 2015 at 10:45.
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Old 20th November 2015, 14:16   #14
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Default re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

At night time, high beams are my biggest worry. I saw some posters recently showing high beams with the caption - can you see anything ? Please do not use high beams - below the photo. I think if people can stop blinding oncoming vehicles (and the vehicle driving in front) with their 1000 watt smiling cars then it will be a lot safer driving at night.

Other than that, empty roads scare me more than busy roads because empty roads mean that there is always someone who will just barge in onto you at an intersection or out of some side lane and one has to keep a keen lookout for such things.

Last but not the end of the list is two wheeler drivers driving slowly in front of me in line with my front left tyre. If they would move just a little to their left, I can safely move ahead but alas, here in Pune, if I honk then the two wheeler is sure to move a little more to the right forcing me to slow down even more. This is one thing which causes me most discomfort - not because I want to go ahead at any costs but I can see the empty lane ahead and only because the careless 2 wheeler with ample room on its left has chosen to play escort to my front left tyre !
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Old 22nd November 2015, 17:40   #15
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Default Re: Driving in India: Uncomfortable situations you have to go through

People not slowing down at intersection. Just gunning through. What is wrong with people.
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