Surviving the treacherous roads of India’s big cities means that you are going to need a particularly loud horn. With other drivers paying scant attention to the rules of the road, a loud horn is the only way to ensure safety. Even the best sat navs cannot provide security in such driving conditions
The German car manufacturer Audi is changing their manufacturing in India in order to meet that requirement. The horns provided on the Indian models of its vehicles are extra special, allowing drivers to honk a few decibels higher.
“Obviously for India, the horn is a category in itself,” said the director of Audi India Michael Perschke to Mint Newspaper. “You take a European horn and it will be gone in a week or two. With the amount of honking in Mumbai, we do on a daily basis what an average German does on an annual basis.”
As such, not only are these horns louder but they are also more durable, able to stand the incessant wailing that cars in India produce. They are tested with two full weeks of continuous honking to make sure they can do the job. These new horns guarantee that it is not only the Indian car market that is booming, but the cars themselves too.
Driving in India’s big cities is, initially, a terrifying prospect. So much traffic, so much noise and pollution, and so much chaos. Don’t dismay. Driving in large cities is a bit like juggling chainsaws – once you get the rhythm of it you’re half way there, but one small slip can be very messy.
The rhythm is the key. Ease into city driving if you can. Concentrate most on what is in front of you. It seems an unwritten rule of the road that people behind you will adjust to what you are doing. Most of the drivers in front of you will assume you are watching out for them. They may pull out suddenly, swerve abruptly, or just stop because they’ve arrived. Do not assume lanes have any significance.
Buses are a hazard. They will suddenly swerve to the edge to drop passengers, and pull out abruptly. If they merely slow down at any point, some passengers may decide to jump off, other to jump on. Watch out for carts and rickshaws. Some carry over-sized loads or extra long loads that jut dangerously into traffic. Autoricksaws are constantly in a hurry and zip recklessly through dense traffic. Pedestrians can appear anywhere, at any time. So, of course, can cows, pigs, dogs and other animals. Having to deal with all of these distractions, it is worth having even a cheap sat nav so at the very least your journey route is secure.