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  • Category: Automobiles

    How to overcome fear of car driving in Indian cities?

    Worried how to overcome fear of driving car in traffic? Find advice from experts on this page.

    One of my close cousins recently learnt car driving from a motor driving school. Although she is practising regularly, but is too scared to drive on heavily crowded roads of Hyderabad. She has her own car (Alto 800) with an 'L' board, yet she is too scared to drive in the traffic.

    Can you give some ways to overcome fear of driving car on the Indian roads in the metro cities like Hyderabad where there is too much traffic on the roads?

    Awaiting advice.
  • #138525
    My first question is that whether she has a valid driving licence? If no, get a training first and then only touch the vehicle. It takes 3-6 months to over come the fear so do not get panic. Driving school gives you 100-200 km practice that is only the familiarization not the end of training. You should take some body with you while driving. Also, search a ground to practice and practice early in the morning or late night when there is very less traffic. Drive at least 2000 km then only her/your fear will go.
    The greatest wealth in this world is mental peace and good health.

  • #138531
    I totally agree that driving here can be scary, especially when you are just starting out. People don't abide by the traffic rules, roads are often jammed, even pedestrians add to the difficulties.

    Some things I would like to mention:
    Stick to the rules: If others don't want to, it is their problem. Our life is in our hands and I have personally felt that it is best to obey traffic signals, wear the seat belt everytime, not put up tinted glass windows, not talk on the phone while driving, and follow the other basic rules that are absolutely mandatory.
    One, it saves you any possibility of trouble with the cops. Two, if you ever get into a scuffle with another driver, you will naturally have an edge for the simple reason that you were the one who was sticking to the rules.

    Lay off road rage: Ignore it in any form. Somebody's shouting at you for overtaking him, somebody can't stop honking because you are not giving him the space to move ahead (when there is none), somebody's looking at you angrily for a similar pointless reason, or whatsoever... IGNORE IT ALL. Indians are a very diverse people. There are greater cultural and wealth divides than you can imagine. So no two Indians are the same. Some can be really bad, some can be really good. Your aim is to ensure your safety. So if some idiot shows signs of wanting to pick up a fight or to mess with you, don't let him affect you and quickly take your own way.

    Drive carefully: Be extremely attentive when driving. Drunken driving is a big no. Watch the road ahead, as well that on your either sides, and er, the one behind. Basically, be as careful as you can be. Before you start the car, tell yourself strongly that no matter what, you don't want to get anyone killed by you. That'll help you concentrate when you drive. It's not about getting stressed. It's about 100% attention to the task at hand because it can be dangerous.
    So if a stray animal comes in front of you suddenly, or some poor kids, or some idiotic pedestrians, you will be able to apply the brakes immediately. 100% concentration = minimum response time

    Don't speed beyond your comfort zone: Make sure that you don't speed up so much that you lose control. And losing control doesn't mean not being able to drive, it means being able to handle any situation whatsoever—however adverse and unforeseen it may be.

    Practice: Whatever may be your doubts about Indian roads, so many people are still driving everyday and coming home safe. It's all about practice. Make a slow beginning, you'll gradually get used to it. I got used to it. It is more tiring than it should be, but it certainly isn't impossible.

    Enjoy driving: Enjoy driving on the free stretches on the rare occasions when you happen to find them. And as soon as they are crowded again, get back to paining your legs with the constant braking-clutching-racing cycle. Don't forget, ultimately, you're gaining mastery over the skill. Embrace it.

  • #138539
    I am also in the same boat! Although I have learnt driving, I am scared of driving on the unruly roads of Delhi. However, I can give some practical tips in this regard. These are as follows:-

    (a) If possible, the new driver should be accompanied by a more experienced driver for at least six months during the initial days.
    (b) The new driver must strictly follow all traffic rules.
    (c) The driver must not exceed the speed-limit of 40-50 kmph.
    (d) She should regularly practise back gear.
    (e) She should be very careful while parking in a crowded parking space, generally seen in the metro cities.
    (f) The new driver must not get entangled in any dispute on the road, no matter even if it is the fault of others.
    (g) She should not use cellphones while driving. I would also suggest her not to get distracted by the FM channels during the initial days of driving.
    (h) The new driver should not give undue attention towards any mishap or accident seen in the road. Such accidents may disturb a new driver much more than an experienced driver. The new driver should concentrate on driving his/her own vehicle at a normal speed till he/she reaches the destination.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #138542
    Thing with the fear is that unless you face it, there is no way you can learn to live with it. Fear is healthy thing and it helps from making you irrational choices. So don't try to push over with fear but learn to use it to improve your driving.

    I suggest some of the following ways with which you can learn to drive in Indian cities.

    1. Go outside the city nearby some farm or so and learn to drive there.
    2. Then learn how to drive the car in the highway, if you can manage on highway then managing on main city roads would not be hard.
    3. Drive on small roads, this helps especially during the driving in city areas where you have less space to drive.
    4. Keep your head cool and think of getting yourself out by being patient.
    5. Avoid panicking if there is traffic jam or so.
    6. Pay attention to the things while driving and always keep speed low in the city.

  • #138559
    It takes exposure, time and experience to be ease at highway or city road driving. Nothing to worry..
    Practice maketh perfect. One should practice in less crowded roads first and then slowly take up to crowded roads.
    'Road fear' is common nowadays as the roads are having a higher density of speeding vehicles and stream of heavy vehicles and even trespassers. the more the age of a person when he learns driving, the more the road fear generally.
    Nowadays in cities, motor driving schools have special sessions and teachers to familiarise newly licensed drivers with 'road practice'. In this, under supervision of an experienced driver-teacher the new pass driver is allowed to dive on heavy roads like highways.

    My personal suggestion is that there need not be a panic situation, but to be cautious is better than to be irresponsibly rash.

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