Sometimes the best therapy is long drive and music - Anonymous

Learning to drive in today's time is more of a life skill than a "good-to-have" quality. You can only ever plan and intend to enroll for driving classes only once. It is a skill that's carried throughout life, once learned - a lot like swimming really. The more driving practice you get, the more you put your confidence to test. And most importantly, you learn how to navigate the roads more safely. Learning how to drive a car, is for many, an important milestone in life. That way, driving lessons are most crucial in helping build a strong foundation that can have a profound impact on other spheres of life.

There are many people who just put off driving a car because of a lack of a good driving instructor. Or they live in a big city and prefer to use public transport and not add to the traffic problems. Some are just comfortable being driven around by a driver or a partner or a friend and don't see the need to learn how to drive themselves. But you slowly begin to understand that driving a car is not a luxury; rather a necessity. There are many good reasons as to how driving courses can give you that extra freedom of choice and sometimes act as an insurance during times of emergencies.

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Basic Road Regulations in India

Driving rules
A driving course will help you get through the basic hurdles | Image Source: Pixabay.com | Image Courtesy: rizaaprilliana46

In India, the road regulations were brought into effect from 1989, July 1st. It serves as a basic guideline for Indian drivers and driving schools across the country. To pass a driving test and to get a license to drive, you need to be well-versed with these rules and instructions.

Basic Rules Taught By A Driving Instructor

A basic driving manual will contain the following set of rules for driving in India -

  • Keep left - In India, drivers follow a left-hand drive and you have to keep as close to the left of the road as may be expedient.
  • Keep left while turning left.
  • Move as close to the center of the road as possible while turning right.
  • You can only overtake a car from the right.
  • Drivers are not allowed to overtake from the left, except for special cases.
  • You are not allowed to pass in a situation which may cause inconvenience or danger to traffic in any direction.
  • You should avoid passing on a road which has a blind turn and doesn't allow clear view of the road ahead.
  • Avoid passing a car that has not signaled that you may pass.
  • When being overtaken, you should obstruct another vehicle to pass.
  • Make sure to slow down while approaching a road intersection or junction or pedestrian crossing or a corner.
  • Emergency vehicles like ambulance and fire department trucks have the right to free passage.
  • Remember that pedestrians have the right of way at pedestrian crossings that are uncontrolled.
  • A driver can't drive on a footpath under any circumstances.

For a complete list of regulations taught in a driving school, click here.

India Traffic Mannerisms - Important Traffic Signs

Driving lessons
Driving lessons will also test your theoretical understanding | Image Source: Pixabay.com | Image Courtesy: Arek Socha

To pass a driving test anywhere in the world - be it London or Kolkata - you need to know more than just the theory in a driving manual or book. And in that, traffic signals are extremely important to understand for drivers and road users alike. Traffic signals or signs are nothing but basic rules and regulations that you need to follow while on the road. These are simple graphics to represent the Do's and Don't's of Indian traffic mannerisms. Your understanding of these basic rules will also be put to test during the driving license test and will determine if you pass or not. Remember you need to pass the theory exam in order to appear for the practical driving test.

Types of Traffic Signals

1. Mandatory Traffic Signs

There are some traffic signs that drivers must compulsorily comply with, failing which you maybe penalized. These include,

  • Stop
  • Give Way
  • No Entry
  • Pedestrian Prohibited
  • No Honking
  • No Parking or No Standing
  • Speed Limit
  • Right or Left Hand Curve
  • Right or Left Hair Pin Bend
  • Pedestrian Crossing
  • Narrow Road
  • Narrow Bridge
  • School Ahead
  • Round About
  • Dangerous Dip
  • Hump or Rough
  • Barrier Ahead

2. Cautionary Traffic Signs

These signs have been put in place to warn drivers and road-users of potential dangers and safety hazards. These include,

  • Right or Left Hand Curve
  • Right or Left Hair Pin Bend
  • Right or Left Reverse Bend
  • Steep Ascent or Descent
  • Narrow Road Ahead
  • Road Widens Ahead
  • Narrow Bridge Ahead
  • Slippery Road
  • Loose Gravel
  • Cycle Crossing
  • Pedestrian Crossing
  • Cattle Crossing
  • Men At Work
  • School Ahead
  • Falling Rocks
  • Ferry

3. Informatory Traffic Signs

As the names suggests, these signs inform you of available services alongside a road a driver is driving on. These may include,

  • Public Telephone
  • Petrol Pump
  • Hospital
  • First Aid Post
  • Light Refreshments
  • Restaurant
  • Resting Place
  • Thorough Road
  • Thorough Side Road
  • Parking
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Indian Traffic Mannerisms - Hand Signals

Traffic Rules
And driving school and all instructors will first teach you the importance of understanding the theory through a driving manual | Image Source: Pixabay.com | Image Courtesy: Walter Knerr

Some days, nothing beats a really good drive  - Anonymous

Just like automated or graphic traffic signals, hand signals by policemen or the driver and other road users are an equally important part of driving courses. So it's important to invest time in training for the same as much as driving.

Types of Hand Signals

1. Hand Signals Used by Traffic Police

Your driving instructor will teach you, in theory, about the following hand signals used by the traffic guard -

  • Stop vehicles coming from the right or left
  • Stop vehicles coming from the back or front
  • Simultaneously stop vehicles approaching from the front and behind
  • Simultaneously stop vehicles approaching from the right and left
  • Give VIP salute
  • Manage vehicles at a T- junction

2. Hand Signals Used by Drivers

As part of your driving classes, instructors typically teach these standard hand signals -

  • Intend to move or turn to the left or right.
  • Intend to slow down.
  • Intend to stop.
  • Indicate to the vehicle behind you to allow them to pass.

Challenges to Indian Traffic Mannerisms: Road Rage

When you are learning how to drive, it is also important to learn about things to avoid while driving. When looking up a driving school near me make sure to look for courses that also teach you about this in theory. Road rage may include the following behaviors by drivers -

  • Speeding or rash driving.
  • Aggressively changing lanes.
  • Tailgating.
  • Rude gestures to other drivers or pedestrians.
  • Purposefully hitting other vehicles with one's own.
  • Consistently honking or flashing headlights.

Importance of Driving Classes

Driving in India
Your driving course will also teach you about what not to do to become a good driver in India | Image Source: Pixabay.com | Image Courtesy: Devanath

When you look for driving classes near me, what are the things that you look for to make the correct choice? Do you know what are the basics of a driving course that you must be aware of if you want to pass a driving test and become a good driver? Learning how to drive is but a very small part of a larger lesson. With this newly acquired skill comes the responsibility of being a sensible driver for life. So, choose your driving classes and driving instructor very carefully. Here are some basic parameters to keep in mind while making the selection -

  1. The driving classes should be innovative to help the learner go beyond the theory and manual.
  2. The driving school must adhere to safe driving practices as mandated by the authorities.
  3. Instructors should be certified and qualified to impart training lessons.
  4. Look for a driving school that offers simulators before actually hitting the road.
  5. Do a background check, if possible, on your driving instructor.
  6. Check the package offered by the school - does it include training, theory, practical test and license support?
  7. Look for instructors who are not in it for the money but genuinely want to help you learn how to drive.
  8. The driving course itself should be vetted to see if it includes important components.
  9. The best way to sign up for a reliable class is to ask for references.
  10. Sign up for driving classes that are economic yet reliable.

How to Be A Better Driver in 2021?

Driving
A good driver is one who drives responsibly | Image Source: Pixabay.com | Image Courtesy: Pexels

You maybe a novice driver, who is just starting out or someone who has been driving for a long time. Although experience matters a lot on the road, especially when you are driving long hours at a stretch, but there are also some habits you pick up that may do more harm than good while driving. Here are some tips on how to be a better driver -

  1. Adjust the seat, mirrors and steering according to your comfort.
  2. Keep yourself fit - driving long hours and regularly can lead to fatigue.
  3. While driving, only focus on the road - avoid taking calls, and other distractions.
  4. Get fully acquainted with your car.
  5. Do a safety check before starting out.
  6. Use your car as much as possible.
  7. Take an improvement course once in a while to test your skills.
  8. Monitor the hours of driving.
  9. Go for long drives once in a while.
  10. Make sure to keep your compliances updated - insurance, air pollution, etc.
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Pragnajyoti

Doctor, dog lover, traveler..