MOTORING IN INDIA
Today, we have a missive from a Mr. Ganesh, who is a professional driver in India and has spent a couple of months vactioning in the USA. He feels that American drivers could benefit from his long experience on the Indian roads and offers these suggestions.
1. Americans pay too much attention to those white lines on the road, like they’re jail bars or something. There is no reason a two lane road can’t become a three, four, or even five lane road if there are enough narrow bicycles and goats involved. We do it all the time.
2. Americans neglect to use their horns. Sounding them often is not only polite but essential to safety. And it’s good to test them from time to time even if they’re not needed at the moment to make sure they’re ready for action when the next situation arises.
3. Americans use their brakes too often. The horn and the accelerator are much more productive driving tools. Braking clogs the roadway and impedes the vehicles behind you.
4. When in heavy traffic be careful never to travel more than six inches from the vehicle beside you, even if you’re going fairly fast. Keeping a further distance is insulting to other drivers who will think you don’t like them or something.
5. Be sure to sound your horn whenever possible.
6. Be more respectful of animal life. I see too many flattened animal corpses on American highways. In India, we respect our animals. Brake for them if necessary, though swerving around them is preferable. Especially the cow, though I see no willingness on the part of Americans to train their cows to navigate on the roadways. (See #3) It’s up to the driver beside you to swerve with you, but since you’re so close it should not be a problem, and you can always create another lane.(See #1)
7. Americans are too hung up on which side of the road to drive on. Which side is correct is always dependent on circumstances. So, yes, right lane is standard, but if left or middle lane serves your purpose–in passing another vehicle, for example–you should employ the option. Not to do so clogs traffic and impedes vehicles behind you. (See #1 & #3)
8. Not to sound your horn means to not warn those ahead and beside you of your intentions. Why would you not want everyone to know what you’re going to do? (See #’s 2&5)
I believe following these simple suggestions would save many lives and make traveling on your highways much more entertaining. Thank you very much.
K. Ganesh, Mumbai.