On the Road: Driving Tips for Indian Roads 2024
Driving Tips
Eyes on Roads

On the Road: Driving Tips for Indian Roads 2024

Wondering how to drive safely on Indian roads where anything from humans to animals can pop up from all directions? We are sure you need some driving tips from experts.

We are sure you like happy road trips like in the movie Dil Chahta Hai?. If yes, then this article is for you.

We know you are planning such a road trip since months and probably years however the trip never actually happens, you are waiting for the day when suddenly all your friends jump in, say yes and are ready to go.

While you are on a road trip, your parents are often worried and keep calling you after every hour to check if you were safe. I know you get irritated, but they are worried and sleepless until you are back home safely.

Of course, you are an expert driver and you have been driving for years however there are some common mistakes that can turn your road trip into a nightmare..Lets your parents sleep in peace while you are on a road trip and do not be stupid, Make sure you avoid the following mistakes and road trip responsibility…

13 Safe driving tips for roads trips in India

#1 Leaving Without a Basic Vehicle Check-up

This is the most ignored activity before going on a road trip, We often feel that our cars are healthy, super fit and powerful however a basic car check-up is a must before going on a road trip.

To avoid breakdowns and regrets on the trip of your life, make sure you do not forget to get a basic check-up done which includes checking wipers, headlamps, spark plugs, A/C, oil and coolant levels, battery health etc before leaving. You don’t want to be stranded on roads. I know this is painful but trust me, vehicle break down in the middle of the road is even more painful.

#2 Over Taking Blind Turns

While on a road trip with friends, we are high on life, speeding and racing are common responses on highways, there is nothing bad in driving on above-average speeds if you are a responsible driver, However, taking blind turns is one of the most common mistakes that people commit while driving on ghats and on sharp turns.

Blind overtaking is basically overtaking another vehicle when you cannot see the road ahead. Imagine the ghat is turning left and you are trying to overtake a vehicle from the right however you cannot see anything in the front because roads are turning left, In this case, any approaching vehicle won’t be visible because road turning left is a blind spot… NEVER DO THIS! never overtake until you can see the spot where your car will be after overtaking. I would like to reiterate, Never overtake until you see the spot where your car will be after overtaking.

#3 Changing Lanes Like on a Race Track

Remember everyone on the highway is possibly on a high speed, vehicles reach a spot faster than you think they will reach. Suddenly changing lanes without the intent of overtaking or without checking both sides is the purest form of stupidity, this might sound like a very basic driving rule however lanes are made for a purpose.

Change lanes with indicators, switch on your indicator and wait for few seconds for others to see indicators and then plan your lane switch in an organized manner… do not switch lanes if you are not confident or you think it will be too close to other vehicles.

Golden Rule to safety is to let others pass first.

#4 Bucket Take

Most of the drivers do not know this. This is the most dangerous act you never want to commit on a road trip.

Let me first explain to you what is bucket take.

Imagine you are driving behind a Force Traveller, close to the vehicle, you figure that the traveller is slower and you want to overtake him. What do you do? Just take a right and accelerate the hell out to take this slow traveller… STUPIDITY Alert.

Avoid this Blunder, whenever you are overtaking a vehicle or a car bigger than yours, you technically cannot see what’s in front of the vehicle you want to overtake, you are in danger of a head-on collision with a car on the opposite direction (most of the state highways do not have dividers)

How to avoid this?

Get to a distance where you can see ahead of the bus or traveller so you can clearly spot that there is no other vehicle coming from the opposite direction… Recently I have seen a lot of videos going viral of people who were too close to death in such situations, those were bucket takes! Be Careful

#5 Overtaking Oversized Vehicles

It’s Simple, Overtaking an oversized vehicle is not same as overtaking a car or a bike, you really need to plan your overtake an Oversized vehicle. Try to see the driver in the rearview mirror of the vehicle you want to overtake, if you can see him he can see you… Decide and overtake the vehicle at once means in one drag of acceleration! Slow overtake is dangerous. Wait for the driver to acknowledge your overtake, flash your lights so that he can give you a green signal.

#6 Parking

In India we are used to parking on streets and randomly on the highway, however, while you are on a road trip, choosing a parking location is extremely important. Consider these two things before parking 1- Safety – your car will have your belongings hence it is important you park in a safe spot 2- Park in a way that passengers can get down of the vehicle safely. I have often seen people parking randomly on the streets and ask passengers to get down from the wrong side or on the highway.  Stupidity Alert!

#7 Tyre Health and Air Pressure

Do not make the mistake of filling the air after you have driven for a few kilometres, Tyres are hot by now and the air will expand increasing the chances of a Tyre burst. To avoid tyre burst consider filling in nitrogen or check air pressure just when you start your road trip. Also, avoid going on a long drive with bad or unhealthy tyres. Bad tyres have a bad impact driving while braking, Taking extreme turns and overtaking. Poor tyres can lead to frequent punctures and tyre burst.

#8 Wrong Side Turns

No matter what happens, NEVER NEVER drive on the wrong side… If you have missed a turn so be it… take the longer route take a designated u-turn. This is the most dangerous mistake you can make. My friends often get irritated when I am driving, because if we miss a turn I drive till the next Designated U-turn or diversion but that’s for their safety. Do not take sudden turns, let it go.

#9 Don’t Be Ashamed To Be Slow

It is absolutely ok to drive at a speed you are comfortable. I have been on road trips where we had few fellow friends who prefered to drive slow and they arrived at the destination at their own sweet time but that was absolutely ok and no one booed them for driving safe… It’s up to you on what speeds you are comfortable to drive.

#10 Proper Gears

If you are on a Motorcycle trip, Strictly no rides without head to toe protection. Riding boots are as important as a helmet is…

#11 Taking Tea Breaks

Always take a Break after 100 odd kilometres, if possible… this is to ensure that there is no fatigue while driving. Keep changing the guy on the wheels.

#12 When in Group Rides, Keep Distance

I cannot even count on fingers the number of times we have crashed on our road trips, because we were riding too close to each other. I myself have had a crash and I call it juvenile behaviour of driving close to each other and waving to each other.

#13 Rear wheels always in sight, Observe Front Wheels

If you are that close to the vehicle in front of you that you cannot see his rare wheels then you are at risk.  The response time you get to any sudden movement will be almost negligible. Also always observe the front wheel of any driver you think is confused, you cannot read his mind but the first thing to give you hint is his front wheels.

Important Links

Important road safety signs
Camping Tips

Hope you find value in my experiences, do write to me on chirag.mjoshi@gmail.com for any feedback on the above article.

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