23 Oct

10 Ways to stay safe on Indian roads

Driving on Indian roads is nothing less than an adventure. In fact it can be life threatening in most of the cities that are known for blowing up traffic rules. Without indulging in a hyperbole here, did you know 135,000 people died due to road accidents in 2010? It’s nearly impossible to control accident deaths here.  All of us know that India is home to 1.28 billion people & Hindus boast about 330 million gods. Which means, each god has 4 potential drivers to take care of and keep them from killing each other with their cars. It’s up to these gods to pull up their sleeves and prevent the drivers from venturing into steamy bloodbath on the streets.

Road Accident Statistics Report India - 2015

Road Accident Statistics India, 2015


If this didn’t stop you from keeping your hands off the steering, then get ready for an exhilarating experience. You’d be sharing your driving space with speeding auto rickshaws, loaded trucks, stacked mopeds, gazillion cars, and animals. Don’t forget to train your eyes to fight optical delusions & ears against noisy roads. Here’s a list of definite ways to stay safe for all you adventurous souls who are keen on hitting the Indian roads:

  1. You must assume that everyone around you is suffering from bipolar disorder or any other mental illness that makes a person suicidal or homicidal.
  2. Internalize the fact that you’ve always got the Right of Way. If you find yourself amidst a conflict, the party who’s got nothing to lose will be granted the right of way (i.e. people who care a damn about human life, cars with maximum scratches/dents, smashed bonnets etc.).
  3. Always follow the signal unless you’re in hurry or you wish to chase a moron ahead you.
  4. If you chose to stop at the red signal, try slowly moving towards the intersection. At this point if you realize you’ve come too far into the intersection, just zip through.
  5. If you’re stuck at an intersection and you can’t see the signal, don’t panic. Cars behind you wouldn’t let you stay still once the signal turns green. Or just go by the Right of Way rules, if you don’t see a signal, or a cop.
  6. You’ve got two options if a cop asks you to pull over – one pull over, two keep driving. If you go for option one, just be polite & the cop might suggest an easy way out (usually in multiples of 100). Or ask for a printed ticket if you’re not very comfortable with this solution.
  7. Keep distance from cars with political flags as the drivers are equipped with detrimentally destructive operator license. You’d generally find them driving large cars like Fortuner, XUV & the likes. They’d try everything from driving outrageously fast, loud horns/sirens, dazzling lights etc. for nothing but to scare the hell out of you. But all you’ve got to do is, stay clam & make way.
  8. Some drivers use high beams particularly at night. It helps them stay on track & they don’t bother if it blinds you. Resist the urge to chase & let them pass over as quickly as possible.
  9. Merge into traffic while taking turns (left or right) & don’t bother much about near-death incidences
  10. Use the horn when you’re passing someone, when you feel someone is acting stupid, when you want someone to go faster, when you’re driving on a wrong lane, when someone else is going on a wrong lane, honk before the signal gets green, & notify the driver 4-5 cars ahead to gear up, when you’re sure someone ahead is going to pull out, or when you feel you’ve not used your horn in a few minutes.

Lastly, you’d realize that your likelihood to kill someone/something (intentionally or unintentionally) would increase four-fold.

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