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Old 21st July 2010, 23:00   #16
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Originally Posted by horabonny View Post
Hey, I have picked up this bad habit of stopping for pedestrians at zebra crossings, and earn ire of motorists behind me. They think I am a fool. Bad habits die hard. But that's the way we are programmed to drive while in Spain.

Thats so true. Been driving in India everytime I visit, and I've had so many experiences. It comes naturally to us, when we see pedestrians. Stop, wave your hand and ask them to cross.
Do that in India, and the whole orchestra of horns starts right away.

Some things I've been through:
1) Asking someone for the exit number; or more simple- do I need to head east/west/north/south? I immediately sense the (????? ) from the other person!
2) Usual mix-up with the wipers/ indicators, and of course the one odd frantic search for the boot release/gas tank release. Funny, coz again the orchestra begins when waiting at a petrol bunk (not gas station, mind you).
3) Letting everyone jump ahead of you when driving on the highway. Taking a good few seconds to evaluate the cars all around you before switching lanes. Not to forget, the use of the indicators for atleast 5-10secs prior to switching.
4) Heard this many times. I land in BLR, and typically start driving in a few hours all around town. Who ever is with me has to say..' you know, they provide horns in the cars made in India, and its meant to be used!!!!'.. All I can do is, eh... hmm.. scratch my head and go.. pommmmm pommmmm.... (with pleasure sir!).
5) And the penultimate! Everytime an auto/car/bus/bike comes very close to your car, cringing and lifting your leg close to your body to avoid being hit. . Seen my brother do it so many times. Personally, I've not had the problem as I try to blend in drive like other individuals (but in a more civilized way,for sure).
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Old 22nd July 2010, 21:40   #17
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Some people have trouble orienting themselves to driving on the LHS of the road (typically, returnees from the States). My tip to them : Ride as a passenger for a couple of days until your mind gets accustomed to the side of the road we drive on. Last thing you want is to head straight into a Sumo with an after-market bull bar.

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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
An average Indian on the road is a very result oriented person.
He/She is obsessed with only one thing, Reach the destination in the shortest possible time with lowest possible cost. Rest all is KBK for him/her

KBK = Kaisa Bhi Kar (Some how, get it done)
Classic!
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Old 22nd July 2010, 22:02   #18
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I hitched ride with my dad/uncle for a couple of months (before I got my own car) after I returned from US after more than 2 years (after learning to drive in US). Some common problems faced:

1. Slowed down in amber and got banged by a sumo with bullbar (reason - why did u slow down!!)

2. Slowed for a pedestrian trying to cross and received the choicest of words from the auto driver behind.

3. At the same time as point 2, almost 20 peds, 3 van rickshaw, and 5-6 cycle crossed.

4. Changed lanes (wherever existing) using indicators - this confused other drivers.

5. Thought a bus would stop and give me the right of way. I was wrong - he muscled through my left and heavily brushed my left ORVM.

But being a true Indian - I learnt the game quickly and moved on (sometime I take out my Indian DL and US DL, keep them side by side and try to visualize the difference in driving styles )

PS: Never had the problem of LHD/RHD road, but the wiper/indicator issue sometime still bugs me!

Last edited by blackasta : 22nd July 2010 at 22:03.
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Old 4th October 2011, 03:20   #19
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Default Re: Driving in India after driving outside (abroad) - tips to avoid common mistakes

Reviving an old thread. The comments are so funny, yet completely true.
This is what happened to me. After living for over 10 years in the US, when I came back to India, I was luckily able to adjust immediately like a duck to water. Of course, driving a Ford helped, since the turn signal and wiper configuration was the same as what I was used to. Then after 3 years when I came back to the US, I got honked many times at green signals, because then every time while approaching a green light, I was braking and slowing down to see if there was cross-traffic . 3 years of driving in India made a very cautious driver out of me.
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Old 7th October 2011, 14:12   #20
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Default Re: Driving in India after driving outside (abroad) - tips to avoid common mistakes

Does anyone else think that the rules for entering a roundabout are pretty much in reverse in India? Normally, the vehicles in the roundabout have a right of way. With vehicles entering the roundabout having right of way in India, traffic jams at the roundabouts are more common.

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Originally Posted by horabonny View Post
Hey, I have picked up this bad habit of stopping for pedestrians at zebra crossings, and earn ire of motorists behind me.
I stop for pedestrians too and they seem confused because nobody has ever stopped to let them cross so they just stand there for a few seconds looking at me.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
If I hit that thing coming, who will suffer more, me or that thing?
Very good choice of words. If you are hit by a truck, you suffer more. If you hit a bike, you suffer more. If you drive a Chevy and hit a M800, you still suffer more because your spares cost more. Driving in India can make you a financial planner.

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Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
While waiting for someone to pull out their car from a parking slot, Chances are quite high someone else will attempt to park there.
This is more common in the middle east and Indian drivers are less aggressive when it comes to parking spaces compared to middle eastern drivers so that's one good thing in India.

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Also, the fellow may use either indicator to indicate that he thinks you can overtake!
In India, it is impossible to say, "Don't overtake me because I am turning right/left?"

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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
An average Indian on the road is a very result oriented person.
This is particularly common on the highway. They are Kamikazes. Eyes on the target irrespective of what goes on around them.
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Old 7th October 2011, 14:58   #21
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Default Re: Driving in India after driving outside (abroad) - tips to avoid common mistakes

My problem is the other way round. There have been incidences wherein my co-passengers in the US nearly had a heart stoppage when I used to stop leaving Indian sized clearances between our car and the one in front. It is an extremely hard habit to get out of.
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Old 16th February 2012, 20:35   #22
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Default Re: Driving in India after driving outside (abroad) - tips to avoid common mistakes

Rule 1. Most Indians unfortunately do not follow any type of road rules or come to it, logic, when driving. As someone said earlier KBK (Kaisi bhi kar). Therefore, if you want to drive well here, do not follow road rules or logic and you will get there quickly. Unfortunately my road rules and logic are too well ingrained in me, so I choose option 2. I would rather plan for more time on the roads and I accept that I will be calm and not lose my temper when other jokers do weird things on the road
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Old 9th October 2014, 18:25   #23
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Default Re: Driving in India after driving outside (abroad) - tips to avoid common mistakes

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
@godhlur: You missed out one thing = flashing of headlamps does not mean Come On but Get Ou of My Way.

Also, the fellow may use either indicator to indicate that he thinks you can overtake!
Hahaha - This one is a classic. In fact there are instances when an Indian goes abroad and waits forever while the driver in front keeps flashing and is wondering what is wrong with this guy!!

On a serious note, I am trying to understand what is the real purpose of the flash signal. In the Indian context, worst case scenario is both drivers keep flashing and have a head-on collision, whereas in the non-Indian context, the worst case scenario is in fact the best case scenario (both drivers wait)

I also feel correcting this notion of flashing to mean 'Please Pass' or 'You First' could be a boon in the Indian driving conditions. Because, as of now, there is no sign/mechanism in the car that can be used to demonstrate kindness/empathy/consideration towards other drivers on the road - unless of course you are ready to roll down your window and wave at the other person

PS: I feel this discussion on the flash/pass sign can be a complete topic in itself (alas - I cannot create a new forum as yet on team-bhp)
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Old 9th October 2014, 19:50   #24
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Default Re: Driving in India after driving outside (abroad) - tips to avoid common mistakes

Quote:
On a serious note, I am trying to understand what is the real purpose of the flash signal.
If you google for the British Highway Code you can get the proper wording, but officially, in UK, it has the same meaning as using the horn. It does not mean, "After you, Sir!" But, in practice this is always how it is used. The law and the reality are totally out of sync.

I don't know about other countries.
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Old 9th October 2014, 20:06   #25
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Default Re: Driving in India after driving outside (abroad) - tips to avoid common mistakes

Even Americans use the flash as a 'you first' gesture, irrespective of what the rule book may say. I was perplexed for a moment this happened to me the first time. I was expecting an Indian-style, millimeters-to-spare barge but the other guy stopped, smiled and waved me by.

In terms of driving style, I drive the exact same way both India and abroad. That means doing a lot of stuff that Indians find confusing or unnecessary (indicating every lane change, stopping for pedestrians, letting a waiting driver merge at a non-signal junction if safe to do so etc.). I get curious looks and questions (from friends and acquaintances) and lots of abuse (from my fellow road users) every time I do one of these things, but the upside is I can probably drive anywhere in the world without facing adjustment issues.

My everyday mantra of driving: Pay close attention to how others drive, ignore how they behave. Works like a treat in India, where otherwise I'd go crazy if I had to counter-react to everything that's said, gestured or just glared at me.
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