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|18th October 2007, 12:57||#31|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Q.The BEST survival kit on our city roads??
A. the Tata Safari!! I kid u not......drive one for a week in the city and you will know what I mean.
|18th October 2007, 13:08||#32|
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|21st October 2007, 16:57||#33|
Join Date: Mar 2006
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|27th October 2007, 13:30||#34|
Join Date: May 2007
While driving upcountry note one point:
If you see a dog crossing a road, assume there is a boy running in behind it.
During every trip of mine out of Bangalore , I have come across this at least once.
|5th November 2007, 12:00||#35|
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I have seen some cars with flashing brake lights recently. One (M800) had the reverse lamp wired to flashing brake signal.
Sure more noticeable to me.
|11th November 2007, 15:51||#36|
Join Date: Nov 2007
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|7th December 2007, 17:31||#37|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: New Delhi
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|14th December 2007, 11:42||#38|
Join Date: Nov 2007
Advice for people that want to drive on Indian roads.
Note from mod : source added
INDAX - A comprehensive guide to India
Advice for people that want to drive on Indian roads:
These were the observations of a Canadian person.
----- Driving -----
This cannot be over stated. Indian traffic conditions are chaotic, the drivers reckless, and the roads often in poor repair. There is a pecking order for right of way :cows are at the top, trucks and buses are second, and dogs and pedestrians are at the bottom. Two wheelers are pretty low down. You can only really lord it over bicycles and chickens.
You will not believe the crazy things other drivers are capable of until you've driven here. People overtake on blind corners. They swerve blindly in traffic. They come off side roads at full speed and join the traffic flow without even looking. They stop on a whim in the middle of the road. They barrel down the middle of a narrow road playing chicken - forcing anyone smaller off on the shoulder. Expect anything, at any time. Nor will you believe road conditions.
Pot holes and speed breaker bumps are common, and rarely marked. Rocks are commonly left on the road by a truck that has blocked its wheels while stopped to repair a tire. Pedestrians, animals, bicycles, ox carts and tractors all use the roads.
Sometimes people lie down and have a nap on the edge of the road. Traffic barriers and road dividers appear suddenly and inexplicably. Road repair crews leave piles of sand, gravel, or tar on the road. During harvest times, people spread grain and other crops on the road to dry. You'll suddenly find yourself fishtailing through a 6 inch deep mound of millet seeds. Expect anything, at any time.
Driving in big cities is, initially, a terrifying prospect. So much traffic, so much noise and pollution, and so much chaos. Don't dismay. Driving in large cities is a bit like juggling chainsaws - once you get the rhythm of it you're half way there, but one small slip can be very messy.
The rhythm is the key. Ease into city driving if you can. Concentrate most on what is in front of you. It seems an unwritten rule of the road that people behind you will adjust to what you are doing. Most of the drivers in front of you will assume you are watching out for them. They may pull out suddenly, swerve abruptly, or just stop because they've arrived. Do not assume lanes have any significance. Do not assume lights will be followed either.
Buses are a hazard. They will suddenly swerve to the edge to drop passengers, and pull out abruptly. If they merely slow down at any point, some passengers may decide to jump off, other to jump on. Watch out for carts and rickshaws. Some carry over-sized loads or extra long loads that jut dangerously into traffic. Autoricksaws are constantly in a hurry and zip recklessly through dense traffic. Pedestrians can appear anywhere, at any time. So, of course, can cows, pigs, dogs and other animals.
Here is where you can enjoy the open roads and dramatic country-side, but it is not without its hazards. Your fellow drivers will probably drive very fast, and often quite recklessly. Long haul lorries and buses are usually the worst offenders, and have the unofficial right-of-way due to their size.
Drivers on country roads favour the middle of the road and swerve to their side only at the last minute, often indulging in blood-chilling games of chicken with on-coming traffic. Don't try and play. Slow down and ride the shoulder.
Check your mirrors frequently. Over the sound of your bike you will not hear a vehicle overtaking you. This is particularly necessary before you overtake anyone, even a slow moving oxcart, or when a speeding vehicle is bearing down on you. If there is another truck coming right behind you you will be the loser if the three of you try and pass abreast.
Try and avoid major roads, especially the national highways. Though slightly wider and better maintained, these roads are clogged with speeding trucks, buses and cars. Where possible, take the minor routes. The pace is slower, the scenery is better, and the trip more pleasant.
Use your Headlights
Having headlights on in the daytime is a standard safety requirement in many countries for both cars and bikes. It increases visibility of vehicles in motion and saves lives. Unfortunately, in India, when you drive in daylight with your headlights on you create astonishing stress in the lives of all who see you. Oncoming drivers will flash their lights, other two-wheelers will pull along side trying to tell you your lights are on, and almost every pedestrian you pass will point, wave, and flash their fingers at you. It is annoying as hell, but people here seem to have some kind of primal need to tell you you're lights are on. Try and ignore them. On a road trip I drive with headlights on (except in cities and towns, where the hassle is too much). It makes a difference. At least all those people trying to get your attention have seen you. I've had on-coming trucks start to pull into my lane and then pull back because my headlight was on. I think I was benefiting from the unwritten rule that the driver that first flashes their lights has the right of way.
Don't Drive at night
Road conditions become almost unbearable at night. You face on-coming traffic with astonishingly bright headlights. Few will dim them, and many will flash you just as they pass. Some vehicles run with only one light, and more than a few with NO LIGHTS AT ALL! (Vehicles without any lights are quite common in city driving!) Slow moving vehicles, stopped vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians may not be visible at all. Neither will the many road hazards. Avoid driving at night, or if you have to, exercise extreme caution. And carry spare headlight bulbs. Rough roads can do in your headlight bulb easily. They now sell halogen bulbs for the Bullet. I just got one and cannot yet tell you if it was a good choice. Considering road conditions, having a strong headlight can only help.
Carry a good first aid kit
At least you should be able to clean and dress scrapes and cuts. Do not expect any roadside assistance if you have an accident. Not only is there no ambulance service in most places, it is not uncommon for the bystanders to be afraid to offer assistance when an accident occurs out of fear of the police, and ignorance of what to do. Victims of serious accidents are lucky if they are picked up by their arms and legs and tossed into a local taxi and driven to a hospital. Spinal injuries virtually guarantee paralysis. Preventable bleeding easily leads to major blood loss. This is why avoiding accidents in the first place is so crucial.
Wear a helmet
The laws in some cities do require helmets, but may not be enforced. In reality there is no real compulsion to wear helmets, and quite a few reasons no to. (They are hot, heavy, and awkward.) Still, considering the consequences of an accident without a helmet, you would be well advised to wear one. Helmets are readily available in India, but look carefully for a good one.
Have good Eye protection
Use a visor on your helmet, or get some good goggles. They sell the WWII dispatch driver type of goggles here, if you want them. You will encounter a large number of bugs while riding. A good sized dragon fly can cause serious eye damage, as can stone chips flung up by other vehicles. Also the wind can dry or blur your eyes.
Bring an International Driving Permit
The police in some areas (Goa, I've heard, is bad) enjoy catching foreign tourists driving without a valid international permit. They are mostly interested in the "donation" you will be forced to cough up for them to look the other way.
Enjoy the Challenge
With most of the warnings out of the way, look toward the bright side. India is a fantastic, beautiful, and challenging country to travel in. On a motorcycle you'll have access to places, people, and experiences that few other travelers will. It will be a memorable trip. Be careful, and have a great time.
Last edited by tsk1979 : 14th December 2007 at 12:27.
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|14th December 2007, 14:57||#40|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked: 11 Times
This was an awesome writeup about driving in India which i read on the net and thought would share with you all. Its hilarious!!
Note from the Support Staff: The following article was originally written by a Dutch person named Coen Juekens.
For the benefit of every Tom, Dick and Harry visiting India and daring to drive on Indian roads, I am offering a few hints for survival. They are applicable to every place in India except Bihar, where life outside a vehicle is only marginally safer.
Indian road rules broadly operate within the domain of karma where you do your best, and leave the results to God. The hints are as follows:
Do we drive on the left or right of the road? The answer is "both". Basically you start on the left of the road, unless it is occupied. In that case, go to the right, unless that is also occupied. Then proceed by occupying the next available gap, as in chess.
During the daytime, trucks are more visible, except that the drivers will never show any Signal. (And you must watch for the absent signals; they are the greater threat). Only, you will often observe that the cleaner who sits next to the driver, will project his hand and wave hysterically. This is definitely not to be construed as a signal for a left turn. The waving is just an statement of physical relief on a hot day.
If, after all this, you still want to drive in India, have your lessons between 8 pm and 11 am-when the police have gone home and - The citizen is then free to enjoy the 'FREEDOM OF SPEED' enshrined in the constitution.
Last edited by aah78 : 14th December 2007 at 20:46. Reason: Source added. Made readable.
|14th December 2007, 20:47||#42|
Join Date: Feb 2004
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|4th January 2008, 23:01||#43|
Join Date: Nov 2007
City driving tips
I am quite new to driving and unfortunately, have had to start driving on the streets of Hyderabad where driving is a quite a test of skills and temperament. The positive side to this is that I am getting to learn a lot of things very fast.
Now, I was thinking if we could list down some of the top tips for driving in Indian cities. I know, in the end, it all comes up out of experience and being on the roads. But maybe discussing some essential points here will help us all become better and more responsible drivers, especially, for novices like me.
Anyway, here goes my list and am sure you'll would have many more important points to add. I am not going to mention the usual guidelines which always apply while driving. Am trying to highlight city specific points :-
1. Stick to the lanes - Though this could be debatable as most Indian drivers hardly care for those lane markers and many a time you will have to steer according to the way the vehicle on our side is steering and not according to those lane markers. Anyway, whenever possible, follow the lanes. Be different :-).
2. Use the middle lane - This goes with driving within speed limits, which, IMHO, should be 60 kmph in the city. Let the speeding vehicles go ahead through the right lane. This also saves you from the vehicles cutting in from the right or left. Of course, if you are to take a turn yourself, then get to respective lane (left/right) well in advance.
3. Use the RVMs heavily - Keep looking at both right and left RVMs at regular intervals. You never know who's coming from which side. Like in Hyderabad, do not be surprised if a 2/3-wheeler suddenly passes you from the left (even when your left indicator is on!).
4. Relax, take it easy - City traffic could be very tricky as a clean stretch might soon be followed by a busy junction. So it's much better to stay in control by keeping within speed limits. Also, you will find the occasional speeder (especially in Indica cabs) who's honking away in all glory trying to overtake you. Relax. Take your time, ensure it is safe to veer away and then give the lunatic his happiness.
5. Anticipate - This comes easily if you are driving keeping a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front. Keep a watch for the brake lights and indicators of the vehicle in front. And if you see 2-wheelers and autos in front/side, watch out for them suddenly stopping or cutting lanes.
6. 2/3-wheelers, pedestrians - Well, there's not much you can do with them. If they are around, just slow down and be extra careful. They can come from anywhere, go anywhere, do anything they want. You have to adjust to them. Yes, that's sadly the way to go, if you ask me.
7. When in doubt, Yield - There are proper rules for right of ways. But in India, rules are made on the spot. So when there's no signal and there's some hesitation on your part, simply yield to the other vehicle. Else make sure you flash the high beam well in advance to make things clear.
In high traffic:-
1. Follow the line - Don't try to wriggle in between lines and make your way ahead. Stick to your line. Also, in a 2-way road, keep space to the right for the approaching vehicles.
2. Parking - Go out of your way to ensure you have parked your vehicle at proper locations or at least, somewhere where it does not cause any obstruction.
3. Reversing - Am not a fan of reverse horns, but it's useful when there's traffic and people around. Watchout for them while reversing and switch on the hazard lights for oncoming traffic to be aware.
4. Use handbrakes on inclines - This is mainly for the newbies like me who have to drive in hilly terrains like that of Hyd. Apply the handbrake when you have to stop amidst high traffic in an uphill incline. It's much easier to get the vehicle moving that way, else there are high chances of releasing the clutch too soon and the vehicle getting stalled. Then all hell breaks loose.
1. Low beams please - I know, this is the most repeated plea by all sensible drivers. But is the most ignored one too. So here it goes again - PLEASE stick to low beam unless you are driving on highways or dimly lit roads. City roads mostly are well lit.
2. But use the lights - Please switch on the headlights as soon as it reaches dusk. Use the indicators effectively. And the hazard lights when parked at the side of the road.
All these points are from my own callow observations and am all open to be corrected. Do add your points here and hopefully, we can contribute at least a fraction of a percent in improving the situation on roads in Indian cities.
|20th July 2008, 21:26||#44|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Thanked: 2 Times
Zappo, very nice post and some real good tips, a lot of which I already follow. Someone mentioned compiling these, so thought I'd do the needful and add a few of my own. I'm also copying, pasting and editing here for sake of efficiency. Full credit to each individual for their contributions! Keeping Zappo's post verbatim for posterity
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|24th August 2008, 06:44||#45|
Join Date: Jul 2008
Many of the points discussed are very typically Indian!! Let me add one to the list.
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