Driving in India causes stress. We can easily say that in terms of driving and road conditions India is the most uncivilised country we have driven in. A few examples:
- Cows and other animals roam the streets undisturbed
- The more noise you make the more rights you have. This has the average Indian made numb to any sounds causing drivers to install louder horns and use them even more. A vicious circle! So even when there is no reason, they beep their deafening horns on every singles occasion they have and this will get on your nerve or give headaches!
- When entering a highway or normal road, the average Indian doesn’t check the traffic, causing hair rising and also very dangerous situations.
- All roads are in a bad condition, with holes of up to 50 cm’s deep!
- Highways are used for all sorts of transport: pedestrians, herds of animals, donkey carts trucks and cyclist. All not wearing lights after dark
- Stick to your lane or keep to the left (they drive on the left here) are non existing rules here. So don’t be surprised to see a man cycling on the middle of a national highway looking rather disturbed as you, guess what, horn for two minutes, to let him know if you want to pass by.
All this lowers your average speed to about 20 to 30 kilometres an hour.
When we drove to Agra, after visiting the hospital, we came across a toll road. The road was brand new and in an excellent condition. It was getting dark and, as the road was quite empty, we decided not stay the night in Delhi but drive on to Agra. So there we were, enjoying 80 kilometres an hour, something we hadn’t done in weeks! Then disaster struck! For some reason only the biggest idiot on earth knows, the guys who build the road never finished a stretch of 150 meters. No lights, signals or danger up ahead signs… nothing. This wasn’t so bad if the road had been unsurfaced and flat! But here the road had holes in it of more then 50 centimetres. We were shocked and braked as hard as we could! We skidded over de road hitting the mud holes at a speed of 50 or 60! We were thrown left to right but stayed on a steady course. The extra set of springs did their job saving the bottom of the car. We stopped a bit further and noticed the side door was completely open although we had locked it. The impact must have forced it open damaging the right side of the car, bending some plate work and making a nasty scratch. We were furious….. and felt bad. We had damaged ‘hippie’!! Ok, this was inevitable on such a trip but this could have been avoided by putting up a single sign! We continued our way to Agra and got there late…tired and very much pissed off!