I never thought that driving in India would ever be something I’d do. It’s something you only see on telly and it’s something you think that people are crazy for doing. The latter is correct, the first not so. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to nav the streets of Mumbai, here are some tips from us here at TER – who somehow survived 3000 miles on the Indian roads!
Hesitation will get you killed
The roads that chaotically link the sub continent of India together are filled with drivers and pedestrians and cows and rickshaws that don’t think twice about where they are driving/walking. You might think that this would be more cause for hesitation when nobody else is doing it, but going with the flow at every cross section or junction is the way forward to prevent a crash. Seriously.
Look forwards and nowhere else!
If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do whilst on he roads in India, it’s using your mirrors. Ahead of you there are a thousand things coming at you from seventy different directions, seeing what’s coming behind you or attempting to undertake you will only make you more stressed than you already are! Concentrate on the car in front of you and what they’re doing and hope to god that the car behind you is doing the same thing.
Make your horn your best friend
As nobody uses their mirrors, the easiest way to let someone know that you are coming up behind them to overtake is to sound your horn. You know that sign on the back of trucks that says “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you”? In India there should be one that says, “If you don’t beep your horn 20 times whilst overtaking me, I’ll pull out into the same lane that you’re driving in.”
Avoid driving at night
Strictly driving only in daylight hours might not be feasible, but it’s best to plan to arrive at your destination before the sun sets. When dusk starts to fall the roads get that little bit crazier and your visibility turns to nothing. Why? Because everybody driving on the other side of the road insists on always having their full beams on and blinding everyone else.
Learn to not give a fuck
After a couple of days driving, you’ll soon start driving like an Indian and not giving two fucks about anyone else. Driving on the wrong side of the road? And what. Reversing into oncoming traffic? Give a shit. Cutting up ten lanes of traffic so you don’t miss your turning? No worries, you’re king of the mother-funking road!