Rent a car and hit the road! Yes, sounds like a great idea – in many destinations around the world. However, in India, sometimes you should think it twice.
It is not difficult to rent a car in India. This can be done through the hotel or tourist agency. There are international rental networks on the market that you are familiar with and which provide services around the world. All you need is an international driving license, and you can go. In practice, very few tourists rent a car in India. Most of them rent a car and hire a driver. Why? Let’s talk about how you drive on Indian roads.
1. Left-hand traffic
In India, you drive on the left side of the road. Many of us are not familiar with this kind of traffic organization. Therefore this can cause considerable difficulties. Especially in such exotic conditions for the West. Of course, this does not apply to tourists who use left-hand traffic in their everyday life. A point for you, friends!
2. Road condition
Road network in India is dense. However, they are usually in poor condition. Narrow, bumpy, full of holes, and many of them are just dirt roads that dry up during the dry season, obscuring the driver’s view, and during the monsoon, they blur, becoming impassable.
What regulations? There is one rule on Indian roads, the rule of size. The passenger car gives way to the truck, the cyclist and motorcyclist give way to the passenger, the pedestrians give way to the cyclist. No wonder that truck accidents are responsible for many accidents, accustomed to the fact that they are allowed to do anything. And walking? He remains in an unenviable situation.
Besides, there are no rules. Although … there is a principle that, paradoxically, could be called the principle of common sense or effectiveness. If there are three lanes and there are five cars on the width of the road, why not go on a high five, even if you miss a match? If you can suddenly overtake and jump in front of another car, why not to do it? There is a place. The problem is that every driver has his own judgment and this judgment may vary very much.
The horn is the essential driver’s tool. The Indian driver will get into the car without a direction or, with an uncertain brake, but he will never ever get into a vehicle without a horn. Because it’s in his opinion … too dangerous. By pressing the horn, you inform other road users that you are and have to watch out for you. It is used when overtaking, before the bend, before the intersection, when you spot another road user. Horn, otherwise they will not notice you. And the accident is ready. Apparently, the average Indian driver uses his horn about 20 times per kilometer.
5. Animals on the road
A cow in the middle of the road? That’s common. After all, it’s a holy cow. So how do you move around her? Everyone efficiently bypasses her, and she looks away, ignoring the passing of mortals. She often is surrounded by dogs. They are a more significant problem. They do not know what peace is and are more dynamic.
At night cars are often unlit, and if they use lights, they are usually long. Do you want to drive on dirty roads where dogs run and cows walk, and cars pass you without lights? The world belongs to the brave.
This could be broadly defined as unpredictability. You never know what will surprise you. Will a motorcycle with a kingsize mattress on the trunk or a glass pane emerge? Will you pass a six-person family on a motorcycle with a newborn baby and a sleeping two-year-old? Is the car with a heap of luggage on the roof, from which the large suitcase slowly slides? What would life be without a little uncertainty?
The order is not the definition of road traffic in India, and this also applies to markings. Strips are drawn so that they can confuse you. No informative information boards. Well, you have to think for yourself. That never hurts.
9. In the event of an accident
It is pretty easy to get involved in a crash. India is one of the world leaders in the number of road accidents. Frequently, the driver gets surrounded by a crowd. Even if he is innocent, the chances of a reasonable conversation are slim. The white driver may find himself in a, particularly tricky position. Of course, this is not a rule, but in India, accident offenders often run away from the scene, because there were cases of lynching on the perpetrator.
The police in India doesn’t have a good reputation. It is famous for its sluggishness, helplessness and, above all, corruption. Talking to the law enforcement officer is not easy, and you can quickly deduce that the law enforcement officer has no interest in the law. There are numerous cases of extortion and bribes. To sum up, independent driving on India’s roads is an adventure. A task for the brave and emotion-seeking people. If you belong to them, go on! Happy Holidays!
So go and have a great trip, Amigo!
Do you have any experience with Indian traffic? What’s your opinion?