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Old 8th May 2013, 16:55   #16
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

It just doesn't feel right to drive an American car unless it's LHD! Anyway, LHD or RHD, one has to be a good driver first and foremost, with the basic tenets and perspectives of driving taught, learnt and ingrained in one's head. Unfortunately, that is what's lacking in most people, hence they find it difficult to adapt. It's like mugging up a lesson, instead of understanding the subject. If the same question is asked with a spin (or a trick question), it catches the rote-parrot off perch! Look at the way most people reverse, and you'll get my drift. Reversing requires a driving skill that is independent of placement of the steering wheel, because spaces we reverse into are so diverse. Also, in fact, one might often need to reverse within the same confine (parallel parking for instance) coming from opposite directions at different times. The steering wheel though stays where it is!

On Indian roads where one shares road space with indisciplined motorists (private vehicles, commercial vehicles, public transport, various wheelers, etc.) that invent their own, personal traffic rules, cyclists that make you think of anticipatory bail, animal-drawn vehicles attempting to put the horses under your hood to pasture, unharnessed animals that appear to have emerged from George Orwell's writings and jaywalkers that seem to have taken Johnnie Walker's advice literally, how does it matter which side the steering wheel is placed if you can't mentally switch from one side to the other, in guess-estimating the nature and magnitude of the competition? Maybe one difference it could make is in affecting the paintwork on one side instead of the other. But they'll get you nevertheless. If you manage to escape unscathed, you may attribute it to your driving skills, or just be happy that life doesn't always throw you lemons!

Observe how drivers coming from one side (either side) at a crossing without a roundabout execute a curve in front you. Often they don't execute the curve that keeps them on their side of the road that you're on, cutting across your path and into your space instead. A habit that would result in a collision if you don't stop well before where you need to, while waiting for your turn to cross across or turn. Why do they do that? Because, one of course they either don't know that they need to practise empathy, or they simply couldn't care any less. Two, because, LHD or RHD, they don't know anything about their corridor!

Oh yeah, it's also a bit like a cricket batsman's life out in the middle. Express, spin, slow dibbly-dobblys, swinging in sometimes out, cutters, beamers, full-tosses, bouncers... and some fellows now also confound you with chinamen and doosras! Left-handed or right, the good ones know their line outside the off as well as leg stumps, with respect to their hand orientation. They also learn to read both the right-handed and left-handed bowlers well. And, the disguised deliveries. The better ones also always get these right - grip, stance, hand-eye coordination and timing. The skilled, inventive ones also get the reverse sweep going well! See if there's a driving parallel in there!

And, by the way, cricket is just an example. I'm not suggesting that non-cricketers have not gotten around to driving yet!! Funnily though, in my personal as well as professional spaces, I draw parallels and allegories in life with both driving habits as well as cricket. In fact, I also often profile a person from the way he/she drives. I've taken prospective colleagues out for a drive first at times!

Oh yeah, one good thing about a LHD is, it adds a few years to my life expectancy. Out for a drive with the missus, with me driving, it enables me to have my wife on my right side!!
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Old 9th May 2013, 15:20   #17
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

Having driven both LHD and RHD cars in India I cannot understand what the fuss is all about. Just a question of getting used to it, any driver can do so within a day.

Does anyone remember a small prism which could be mounted on the front right fender of LHD cars?? I had one on my left hand drive Mercedes. It showed you on coming traffic on the right hand side, making overtaking of slower moving vehicles on the highway quite easy. Otherwise you either had to depend on your passenger, ( not very advisable) or swing right out to be able to see on coming traffic, quite traumatic , both for the driver and the on coming vehicle.

Last edited by Bulldogji : 9th May 2013 at 15:21.
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Old 9th May 2013, 15:29   #18
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

I once drove a colleagues Honda Civic from Delhi to Kanpur just after he imported it. I have much more experience the other way - a RHD car in LHD country (UK registered on the continent). The biggest issue is overtaking on a winding road.

However, my ucnle imported an Impala 1in 1967 and he was posted in Patna. His response to the LHD-RHD query. How does it matter, in India you drive wherever you find space. Very appropriate.
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Old 9th May 2013, 15:59   #19
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

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....However, my uncle imported an Impala in 1967 and he was posted in Patna. His response to the LHD-RHD query. How does it matter, in India you drive wherever you find space. Very appropriate.
True, but it does matter in the event of an accident. Then one needs to determine who is at fault so that the "faulty" can be made to pay more money.
BTW, what Impala was this, a 1967 new car or an older car, a V-8, maybe a convertible? Just curious.

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Old 10th May 2013, 09:04   #20
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

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BTW, what Impala was this, a 1967 new car or an older car, a V-8, maybe a convertible? Just curious.
He was in the Embassy so it was about a year old (bought it a year earlier) and a V8.
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Old 11th May 2013, 09:51   #21
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

Dear all - I absolutely enjoy driving my left hand drive 1996 model Premier Padmini on the road. The traffic police catch the car finding the person in the front right seat talking on the mobile phone and then realize that the steering wheel is on the left side! Its paisa vasool!

Please read below conversation also (reproduced from March 2008 conversation in "My left hand drive fiat" thread).

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Can someone please please give me some wild and whacky answers to the following questions which people keep on asking me whenever I am in the LHD. I enjoy it nevertheless.

Yeh PHIYAAT hi hai naa ? PHIYAAT ke jaisa gaadi nahin. Patra kya majboot hai, maaloom ? (Amitabh Bachchan ishtyle)
Ulta steering banake liya kya ? Kaayku banaya ?
Gas pe hai kya ?
Diesel hai ?
Average kya hai ?
MAA ROOTI ka KARBORATOR daala ! Average 18 ke oopar milega.
Double radiator kayku hai ? (looking at the degassing tank)
Yeh andar pipe kayku lagaya ? (looking at the roll cage)
Paint karke liya ke body naya daala ?
Yeh bonnet kaala kyon hai ? Bonnet pe tengul kayku hai ?
Bonnet ko taala marega ? (looking at the lynch pin stoppers)
Number plate aisa kyon banaya ? Acrylic mein bananeka, ekdum jhakaas.
YEM ARR EFF ka tyre daalo saab, main bolta hai, ekdum mast hai !

Upto now I have resisted giving whacky answers. However, the whackiest answer that I could think of would go something like this - "mein mechanic ko bola ki beech mein steering mangta hai lekin usne left side mein bithaya. Thoda gadbad hai. Abhi kya bolega, uska chhokre log ne sab raada kiya. Tumara gaadi bhi leke aao, tumko bhi banake dega. Khali 2 din lagta hai" Aapun hai naa !" I am just itching to give this reply. I guess one of these days somebody will break my bones and only I will be responsible.

Obviously, I get numerous genuine compliments at traffic signals etc, for which I am always thankful. It makes the whole effort worthwhile.
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Old 11th May 2013, 13:16   #22
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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear all - I absolutely enjoy driving my left hand drive 1996 model Premier Padmini on the road. The traffic police catch the car finding the person in the front right seat talking on the mobile phone and then realize that the steering wheel is on the left side! Its paisa vasool!

s thankful. It makes the whole effort worthwhile.
When did you buy this and how did you get an LHD Premier Padmini?
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Old 11th May 2013, 13:39   #23
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
When did you buy this and how did you get an LHD Premier Padmini?
A car imported from Dubai. Premier were exported in LHD, and some folks brought these cars back to India. There are a few around.

Cheers harit
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Old 11th May 2013, 13:57   #24
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

There is one problem though when you don't have a passenger: Sliding all the way down the seat to pay toll at toll booths. But the look on the toll booth attendants face is priceless.
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Old 28th July 2013, 14:31   #25
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

acquired a left hand driven w140 mercedes s class ! no problems at all . just some good planning . my little son was too thrilled to watch cars from his right side passenger seat ! i'll make him collect the toll receipts as well!

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Old 28th July 2013, 15:07   #26
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There is one problem though when you don't have a passenger: Sliding all the way down the seat to pay toll at toll booths. But the look on the toll booth attendants face is priceless.
True that, my friend. True, that! I had a similar experience at the DND expressway some time this year. The toll guy was like, "Whoaaa! Are you kidding me?"

Moving on, are there absolutely no legal implications of owning/driving a left hand drive car here? I'm surprised by the lack of any legislation (or the lack of my knowledge on this topic). An overenthusiastic, overzealous driver in a left-hand drive, high-powered car might be more of a risk on the road than we'd like to believe.
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Old 28th July 2013, 18:16   #27
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

I dont know whether this is out of context (I have kind of reversed the situation ) - moderators pls forgive me if it is indeed out of context.

During my teenage years in Manila in the 80s (Philippines), where everyone drives on the right (i.e they use LHD cars there), I drove a RHD car - A 1980ish Nissan Sunny (was a import from Japan but was not an import for the international market, but was rather imported personally by a person who had the privilege of duty free importation and imported the car he used in Japan). I needed about a month to get used to it, but after that I was quite comfortable. However, the one time I took it out of the city, I sweared that I would never do that, because it was extremely difficult to overtake the "local" cars on the right.

As a side note, parts were extremely difficult to get, because it was a pure Japanese model made specificaly for Japan.

Last edited by motorguy : 28th July 2013 at 18:18. Reason: typo error making the latter part of the post out of context
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Old 28th July 2013, 21:36   #28
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

In Chennai all motorists tend to use the extreme right lane. So, the left lane is mpte gtee. Thus driving a LH drive is easiet!!
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Old 22nd August 2014, 15:09   #29
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

Is there a long adjustment period beteen a LHD and RHD? Or Rather is it possible to alternate between the two efficiently if you have a RHD sedan and a LHD Suv?

I know this thread has been dead for a while, just curious as to the difficulties encountered.

Thanks
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Old 22nd August 2014, 20:27   #30
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Default Re: Experience of driving Left-Hand-Drive cars on Indian roads

Anghammarad, difficulties while paying toll & adjusting door mirrors ! & a difference of height in your case !
use wider roads , where there is less traffic initially for some time,
but you will succeed at using both vehicles safely!
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