Driving in India
By KitchenSink on Jun 26, 2009
Driving in India is a daunting experience.
Lanes are just a suggestion and stop signs and lights are ignored if they exist at all.
Traffic often comes to halt and vehicles of all sizes and shapes press forward into any available space jockeying for the most advantageous position.
An horn is an essential part of any vehicle, used more than than the brakes and indispensable for crossing intersections where it's every man, motorcycle, SUV and tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws) for itself.
India's cities are filled with a cheerful cacophony of beeps that can be heard inside of buildings or in the distance while walking Chennai's Marina Beach.
Pedestrians take their lives in their hands to cross the streets and many die.
Many just don't drive, rental cars come with drivers and are cheap. Ravi said it took him a month to get used to the driving. His Mahindra Scorpio is "specially designed for India" and an even better choice than it first appears, as it is a favored vehicles for ranking government officials.
After a few days of driving around Chennai, we came to an intersection where all the cars were stopped and the pedestrians were safely crossing the street. It was so odd and out of place how everyone was obeying the light and letting the pedestrians cross. The reason? There was a traffic cop.
Many hours later, sitting in a snarl of traffic to cross the Bay Bridge, I caught myself wanting to nose my car between the lanes of traffic Indian style.