Since I was born and brought up in India, driving in Indian roads doesn’t feel like a challenge. I take to the roads like how a fish takes to the water. Or at least that’s what I tell to convince myself! But the reality is, once I am outside the house, nothing – I repeat, nothing – is in my control. I have listed some pointers on what measures you can take to ensure road safety in the chaotic roads of India.
- If you need 30 minutes to reach someplace, start at least one hour earlier. You never know why the road might get blocked or traffic stopped! Even then, you may reach 30 minutes late. No wonder people are late for offices/meetings regularly in India.
- Driving in India is not about you. Drop your selfishness in your home and become a socially conscious citizen on the road – for your own safety. It’s very important that you anticipate what other motorists and even pedestrians will do next. And you need to act before they even think.
- If people keep moving in spite of the red signal in front of you, don’t stop in the middle on the road – you’ll mostly be run over. But you should obey traffic rules, hence go to the left corner, stop, and raise your hand to plead your brothers and sisters to leave you alone. On a lucky day, they might 🙂
- Wear a helmet and strap your seat-belt. Always. Just because many people around you don’t do it, there is no need to be concerned about being a rebel/being abnormal. Rebellion is sometimes required for survival.
- It’s perfectly normal to see traffic on both sides of a one-way road. Being socially responsible, don’t add to the menace – take the roundabout way. Besides, there is a good chance only you’ll get caught by the cops!
- Use less horn and more brake. Not the reverse.
- Don’t talk on your cell phone while driving. It’s not only a traffic offence but can also endanger your life and your relationship with the person you talk to.
- A road is not the place to fight your ego battles. There are offices and relatives’ homes for that.
- When you see a pothole in the last second, it’s better to drive through it instead of frantically taking a steep left or right. Your tires will be used to it, so don’t worry about them.
- When you see a huge pool of water after a rain, wait until another vehicle crosses it first. If they have reached the other side safely, go. If not, wait for another vehicle to cross safely. You can take risks on stock markets, not on rainwater-filled pothole roads.
- Even though there are no lanes, try to stick an invisible lane. And try to stick to a certain (limited) speed. Stop dreaming that the road is an F1 racing track.
This post has been written for the Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) contest organized by indiBlogger. NSDF is an annual, multi-city event conducted by Nissan to promote safe driving behavior in India. You can get more details about the Nissan NSDF initiative from here.