How to drive safe in Kerala


For those who were ‘unfortunate’ enough to learn road rules being in some other country might find it very difficult to come to terms with what is considered civilized driving in this part of the world.  Having been on the road with four wheelers for over ten years, here are some insights on how to drive in God’s own country. (Disclaimer: Almost all of the below mentioned techniques are illegal and against road rules, however if you don’t trod the road the masses are taking, you are in for a bumpy ride)


  • Lane driving – lane is where the driver chooses it to be. If he envisages a lane  where his vehicle runs right through the middle of the dividing line, then please cooperate and squeeze through either side if you want to move ahead. This sort of lane driving provides you added advantage of swapping lanes at your own ease without bothering to turn on indicators as nobody behind is sure what your next move is.
  • Lane driving – there is no fast lane and slow lane. The lane to your left is where bicycles, pedestrians, hawkers, two wheelers drive. Lane to the right is where vehicles with more than four wheels consistently ply at 60km/hr. All other vehicles are permitted to take part in a slow and furious gear shift/honking sequence to find their way across.
  • Two wheelers feel it is not only safe to hug left side of the road but also the right lane divider just so that every vehicle can ply through the center of the road with so much space.
  • Arrival of an ambulance into a thickly populated road invites basic courtesy by the vehicles ahead of the ambulance initially followed by a sequence only seen in this part of the world. The ‘new lane’ created by the roaring ambulance is accompanied by vehicles finding the moment opportune to skip large volumes of traffic. So next time you find an ambulance you know what to do.
  • Apart from the designated function of car indicators – left/right turns and emergency double indicators, the interpretation is taken to a completely new level – not even taught in the motor vehicles department.
    • Right indicator and slowing down to allow someone to overtake from right.
    • Double indicator to indicate moving ahead on the straight road.
  • Occupying the left most lane of the road at a signal and cutting across three other lanes to right.
  • Appreciating life of hawkers is best if you are within first four rows of a signal.
  • Appropriately dropping indicators for changing lanes will invite unwanted stares – quite an atypia here to do such things.
  • Indicating a turn early with your indicator might be misconstrued as an indicator forgotten to be turned off. So make sure you turn it on just 50m from where you want to turn so that all passerby vehicles can honk and hurl abuse and take last minute accident inviting evasive action.
  • The moment you see two people wanting to cross the road at a zebra crossing, it is ideal that you speed past and let them cross after you go. Suppose you read or heard somewhere it is right to stop and let them cross, you are asking for trouble as either you are going to get run over by another vehicle, or another vehicle will make sure to convey that you are the reason that they almost killed the pedestrians!

More tips next time around for safe four wheel driving 🙂


2 thoughts on “How to drive safe in Kerala

    1. hehe. thanks for dropping! This is something every one of us go through every day on the roads. I have always believed – the way one behaves on the road is a good indicator of the character of the person!

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