Snapshot – India, as a country is extremely diverse and so are her roads and motorists. With many cultures within one culture, habits of motorists in India are unique, stuff that most folks would never get to see anywhere else. For the uninitiated and the inexperienced, these habits could come across as confusing, and even unnerving in many cases. CarToq rounds up 5 uniquely Indian habits on roads, and what they mean, so that you won’t be shocked the next time you encounter one such habit. You’ll also be better prepared to handle these habits.
Hazard light lovers
The thumb rule to use hazard lights is when your car is stationary on a road or when you have a break down on a road. Hazard lights are to warn approaching motorists about your car forming a stationary hazard on roads. But in India, things work differently. Hazard lights come on in tunnels, when it’s raining, when it is foggy and sometimes, even when some drivers are reversing. Essentially, hazard lights coming on in India can mean multiple things. You need to quickly judge the situation and understand it.
Wing mirrors always folded
If you observe keenly, you’ll note that even luxury cars costing nearly a crore rupees have their wing mirrors folded while on the move. Obviously, this is a stupid move as the very purpose of wing mirrors is to help you drive safer by giving you a fleeting view of what’s happening behind you. But some drivers feel that keeping their wing mirrors folded will help save them from getting damaged in India’s notoriously chaotic traffic. If you do encounter one such example on Indian roads, keep as far away as possible.
Two wheeler rider constantly looking over her/his shoulder
All two wheelers sold in India are equipped with turn indicators. However, using or not using turn indicators while taking a turn is left to the rider. Ergo, situations where two wheeler riders give no indication of turning. If you’re driving behind a two wheeler rider and the rider wants to take a turn without using the indicator, he’ll usually look over his shoulder a few times. This indicates that the two wheeler rider is about to take a turn.
Right indicator means overtake
Lately, if you’ve been driving frequently on highways in India, you’ll notice a phenomenon mostly on highways with grade separators. Some slow moving trucks will have have the right indicator on constantly. This is usually to indicate that they are OK with you overtaking them. Also, when you come behind a truck on a commercial vehicle and flash to overtake, the truck driver will usually use the right indicator to tell you that you can overtake him. Do be warned of exceptions though. If you do see this phenomenon in front of you, overtake after honking a few times and ensuring that the truck driver knows you’re about to pass him.
Hogging the fast lane
On many highways with grade separators, you will frequently come across a slow moving truck on the fast lane who has no intention of moving to the slow lane. Truck drivers usually do this to avoid two wheeler riders who usually occupy the slow lane. Another reason for this is that the slow lanes on many grade separated highways are dotted with obstructions and heavy trucks hate losing momentum by braking for these obstructions. When you do come across such a slow moving truck on the right most lane even if the other lanes are empty, you can pass after making sure that the truck driver knows that you’re driving by.