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Old 20th July 2010, 21:53   #1
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Default Driving in India after driving outside (abroad) - tips to avoid common mistakes

First of all, Mods, please move this thread if this is not the appropriate forum.

So, my observation is that a significant number of BHPians have exposure to driving outside India. I would count myself in the same category having spent the better part of a decade in the USA. Since I've always loved driving (rather than treating it as a required skill) - never had a problem switching from LHD to RHD, Auto to Stick, blinker control stalks etc.
However, the interesting parts are the habits accumulated over the years. You know what I mean when you read below
1. Me walking over to passenger side with wifey towards the driver side and realizing that at the door
2. Wipers turning on when you want to signal a turn
3. The right hand subconsciously detaching from the steering wheel for a drive shifter.

Are there any more of these?
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:27   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
1. Me walking over to passenger side with wifey towards the driver side and realizing that at the door
This happened to me a couple of times, in US as well as back home. Had a great laugh at myself the first time it happened. Came out from client's office after a long meeting, planning to leave for the apartment. Remotely unlocked the car from a distance and sat with all grandness on the right side only to realize it was the passenger side.
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:31   #3
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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.
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Old 21st July 2010, 13:01   #4
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Be ultra cautious at intersections even if its a green light.You never know .
Before stopping for a orange light,watch your mirrors for sure ...not many would slow down.I have missed being rear ended so many times at traffic lights.
Most petrol pumps do accept cards ,but you would need to cash as back up .
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Old 21st July 2010, 13:29   #5
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Things to be careful when driving back home

1) Get used to repeated honkings.
2) Get used to choicest of verbal volleys in diff languages.
3) Dippers have no meanings but just flash of lights.
4) Zebra crossings are nothing but designs on the roads.
5) On road, trucks are the kings. Dont get into racing action with them.
6) Watch out for the last moment road crossers.

and many more. These are just a few to begin with. Once you get used to these, you will be more safer on roads.
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Old 21st July 2010, 13:45   #6
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On a lighter note, you need to relearn your driving here

Drive defensively,ensuring you and your vehicle remain protected.
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Old 21st July 2010, 13:49   #7
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A major issue with me was green lights. In the US, with the light green, I would just go through.
I had to change this habbit when I came to India.
Fortunately, I drove 2 months in US, so changeover took a week, otherwise it can take a lot more time.
Basically, you have to modify your brain to simplicity. Instead of right of way etc., etc., rules, you have to follow indian process question
If I hit that thing coming, who will suffer more, me or that thing?
Depending upon the answer, you should choose your action.
sometimes answer is simple.
For example, you in a car vs a blueline bus. the bus is always right, wherever bus is going is its right of way.
But sometimes, its difficult.
for example, the bike on the highway.
Of course if your car hits the bike, according to common sense bike will suffer, but answer is not that simple. You have to also take into account robbery by the villagers as they steal whatever they can from your car, and also the fact that you can be beaten to death on the road after such a collision.
So ponder the answer.
If its split second decision, and you need time to think, always give way. If question requires thought, it means that you do not have right of way.
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Old 21st July 2010, 15:15   #8
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While waiting for someone to pull out their car from a parking slot, you become extra courteous and wait for the person to reverse completely. Chances are quite high someone else will attempt to park there. Who gets the slot depends on might, accompanying pax, urgency of destination etc

Last edited by Jaggu : 21st July 2010 at 15:32. Reason: Removing [Font] tags, please avoid copy paste from external fornt editors, also Preview before Submitting posts. thanks
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Old 21st July 2010, 16:20   #9
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@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!
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Old 21st July 2010, 16:44   #10
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Most important thing Newly Returned Indians (NRIs) need to understand is..

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)
His/her driving behavior would be dictated by this need for the result.

NRI (or a non average Indians as well) needs to be sensitized to this fact, then the patience levels while on the road would increase and he/she will not suffer from any anxiety or high blood pressure etc.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 21st July 2010 at 16:47.
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Old 21st July 2010, 17:35   #11
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Quote:
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.
Quite a few times, I'd want to have the vehicle in front/left to move right in front of me. I end up leaving space in front of me hoping no 2-wheeler/auto comes into it. Sure wish there was a standard horn signal to indicate 'you first'!
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Old 21st July 2010, 17:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
A major issue with me was green lights. In the US, with the light green, I would just go through.
I had to change this habbit when I came to India.
A question most British drivers would get wrong is What does a green traffic light mean. Most would say "go". No... it means to go if it is safe to do so! Green lights guarantee nothing, not even outside India.
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Old 21st July 2010, 17:53   #13
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Apart from the lighter ones, joining a road is more difficult for me. If I am in my own thoughts, I might veer into the right lane, straight into oncoming traffic.
In India, when it is a red, everything should stop as a rule. I hope I don't take a right turn by mistake.
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Old 21st July 2010, 18:42   #14
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Golden Rule of public on Indian Roads
" Its always the Fault of bigger vehicle in a road Accident"
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Old 21st July 2010, 20:39   #15
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One more thing that I observed:

In US, when merging on to a road, not be concerned about the the traffic hitting you as all will drive in lanes. In India, be sure to slow down as you'll definitely know that merging traffic will swing into your lane.

-Vijay
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