Going on a trip in a foreign country is an adventure. However, tourists must never forget how important it is to learn Indian driving tricks when they find themselves driving along the provinces of the said country. For instance, the first thing you have to remember is this: don’t drive like an American when you’re in India or you will die, suddenly and completely.
To avoid such a tragic and unpromising end, here are a few driving tips for you. Remember them by heart.
First, keep your eyes on the road. Yes, the road includes not just the paved portion of the highway. The verge, the curb or sidewalk, that portion is also part of the road. Sometimes, when in the city and cars need to make a left or right, most drivers just line up their cars along the curb, hoping to squeeze into the direction they’re hoping to go. In India, queues are not popular. And though the roads may form a logical pattern, that pattern rarely reveals itself to mere tourists.
Second, you need to brush up on this concept: respect. While a number of cities in India already depict ideal urban landscapes, some places in the country still allow animals to roam free and cross the highways. And because cows, along with chickens, dogs, cats and yes, all the animals as well as other vertebrates must be treated as exceedingly-well developed, evolved creatures, they are presumed to know how to side step or get out of the way of a speeding Honda or a Mitsubishi going 82 miles per hour.
It is presumed that they know how to leap aside or run for their lives when they see a car barreling down the path. Of course, if one pays such respect to the animals, tourists must also not forget to accord the same kind and quality of respect to humans. This includes everyone you encounter as you drive by: the small children playing and running on the middle of the road, cripples crossing, men crossing the street while they carry thirty-or was it forty?-tons of hay on the crown of their heads.
Also, you may encounter oxcarts left unattended, and elderly men in mystic trances. Remember respect. To swerve in order to avoid hitting them would imply an insult to them, encouraging the idea that you believe they are not capable of taking care of, or saving, themselves. To swerve, thus, is to cause them great dishonor. If you do swerve, be prepared for the consequences.
Third thing you have to pay attention to is being passed. Indian traffic is vicious. Everyone is trying to cut someone else off so they can be on their way, whatever their way is. Be ready to pass and be passed. If you do not like the idea of overtaking any of your fellow drivers on the road, you will likely remain in your spot until kingdom come. So yes, you must learn how to overtake others. Or you will never find your way out of the traffic. In most Indian traffic, you only have three seconds to decide whether to overtake a vehicle or not. After that, you lose your chance.
And fourth, the horn. Never forget the horn. The power of the horn protects drivers and passengers alike. Honk on the horn, loudly and frequently. The sound lets your fellow drivers know you’re coming. The faster you’re going, the louder the horn, the better. If you must learn Indian driving tricks, then these are a few of them. Good luck on using them on your next trip.