Topic started by Indian (@ newgw4.me.iastate.edu) on Sun Apr 27 13:30:44 .
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"It is very important to keep in mind that if a driver hits a pedestrian or a cow, the vehicle and its occupants are at risk of being attacked by passersby. "
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning traffic safety and road conditions in India is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of public transportation: Poor
Urban road condition/maintenance: Poor
Rural road condition/maintenance: Poor
Availability of roadside assistance: Poor to non-existent
Travel by road is dangerous. In recent years, Delhi alone has experienced over 2,000 road deaths annually. A number of Americans have suffered fatal traffic accidents in recent times. Travel at night is particularly hazardous. Buses, patronized by hundreds of millions of Indians, are convenient in that they serve almost every city of any size. However, they are usually driven fast, recklessly, and without consideration for official rules of the road. Accidents are quite common. Trains are somewhat safer than buses, but train accidents still occur more frequently than in developed countries.
On Indian roads, the safest driving policy is to assume that other drivers will not respond to a traffic situation in the same way you would in the United States. For instance, buses will often run straight through red lights and will merge directly into traffic at yield points and traffic circles. Cars, auto-rickshaws, bicycles and pedestrians behave only slightly more cautiously. It has been said that the Indian driver looks only ahead; all drivers consider themselves responsible only for traffic in front of them, not behind or to the side. Frequent use of one's horn to announce presence is both customary and wise. It is usually preferable to have a licensed experienced driver who has a "feel" for road and driving conditions.
Outside major cities, main roads and other roads are poorly maintained and always congested. Even main roads often have only two lanes, with poor visibility and inadequate warning markers. On the few divided highways one can expect to meet local transportation traveling in the wrong direction, often without any lights on. Heavy traffic is the norm and includes (but is not limited to) overloaded trucks and buses, scooters, pedestrians, bullock and camel carts, horse or elephant riders en route to weddings, and free-roaming livestock.
It is very important to keep in mind that if a driver hits a pedestrian or a cow, the vehicle and its occupants are at risk of being attacked by passersby. Such attacks pose significant risk of injury or death to the vehicle's occupants or at least of incineration of the vehicle. It can thus be unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident of this nature, and drivers may instead wish to seek out the nearest police station.