Road Manners


Right from the historic times roads have been an integral part of human beings. The importance of roads have increased with development of civilization and increase in the number of vehicles. However, in recent times we find that the numbers of road accidents are increasing causing severe loss of life and property. Hence, there is an urgent need to educate road users to avoid accidents. Some important tips on road safety are given below for observation by all road users.

Drive only if you are competent enough

  • A person must drive a vehicles only if he is competent enough to drive it
  • Drive only if you are a competent driver with a valid license
  • If you are not competent enough, then learn driving in an authorised driving training school
  • Learn driving on roads only during morning hours when traffic is low and never busy hours

Be Familiar with Road Markings

For smooth movement and disciplined traffic, some roads are provided with different markings of which you should be aware. These markings are done in white and yellow colours. So, be aware of these markings :

Road Drving Lines :

  • These marking are done to divide a road, not divided by elevated dividers, into two parts
  • These are marked sometimes by single yellow lines and sometimes by double yellow lines in the centre of the road
  • As per rule, you should always drive in the left side of the road

Lane Markings :

  • These markings are done by white dotted lines and divide the road or part of the road in different lanes
  • Stick to your lane and change it only as per rules

Stop Lines :

  • These lines are marked in white before traffic lights and zebra crossings
  • Always stop before the stop line if the light is yellow or red

Turning Lines :

  • These lines in arrow form and painted in white indicates left or right turn or straight drive

The best way to be safe on the roads :

  • Stick to your lane
  • Wherever available, bicycle riders and pedestrians should use bicycle tracks and foot paths
  • On multi-lane road there are separate lanes for different vehicles and the drivers should stick to these lanes
  • Change your lanes only f you have to overtake some other vehicles or take right turn

While overtaking, a driver must take the following steps :

  • Check behind on your right and if there is no vehicle approaching you, move to the right side of your lane
  • Keep a following distance sufficient enough to permit acceleration, signal right and move ahead of the vehicle you have to overtake
  • After securing sufficient distance from the overtaken vehicle, signal left and change direction gently.
  • Never overtake a vehicle from left.
  • Never overtake a vehicle which is already overtaking some other vehicle.
  • Follows rules 1 and 2 for right turn.

Learn to negotiate a Roundabout

Most of the towns and city roads of our country have by and large, crossings. However, there are several roundabouts in our country where there are no traffic lights. Drivers are expected to negotiate them according to their prudence. Apart from beautification, these roundabouts facilitate smooth flow of traffic. SO while negotiating a roundabout, follow these rules :

  • While approaching a roundabout, fix your direction and slow down
  • Take left lane for a left turn. Use central and right lane only for going straight and taking a right turn
  • Give appropriate signal by hand or through indicator, before taking a turn
  • Do not use horns unnecessarily.
  • Always give way to the vehicles on your right.

Know Road Signs and Honour Them

For a smooth movement of traffic, certain road signs have been giver which must be followed for safe driving

There are three types of road signs :

  • Mandatory road signs that are circular with one or two bars
  • Cautionary road signs that are triangular
  • Informatory road signs that are square shaped or rectangular
  • For a safe driving, Cautionary road signs are as important as Mandatory signs
  • You Can distinguish these signs through their designs
  • Follow these signs for a safe and smooth journey

Some important Mandatory Signs are :

One Way; Compulsory Ahead; Right Turn or Left Turn; Slow Moving Vehicles Prohibited; Height Limit;Horn Prohibited; No Parking; U-turn Prohibited etc

Some important Cautionary Signs are :

T-intersection; Roundabout; Speed Breaker; Pedestrian Crossing; Major Road Ahead; Unguarded Railway Crossing; Narrow Road or Bridge etc.

Some important Informatory Signs are :

Petrol Pump; Resting Place ; Parking; Public Telephone Booth; Hospital etc.

Understand Traffic Lights and Signals - Be Safe

Traffic lights and signals are the language of the road. Be well acquainted with them, and act accordingly, you will be safe. Not following them can put you and other road users in danger. Therefore, understand the meaning of traffic lights and signs.

Traffic Lights :

  • There are three colours in traffic lights
  • Red light means mandatory stop
  • Yellow light warns you and tells you to prepare for halt, never try to cross the intersection when the light is yellow
  • Green means proceed ahead slowly after ensuring that no vehicle is criss-crossing

Traffic Signals :

  • All drivers must understand the signals of traffic constables and fellow drivers and honour them.
  • Drivers must understand the stop, move, left turn, right turn, go straight or slow down signals of the traffic constable and fellow drivers on the road and act accordingly

Driving Up a Hill

Driving in hilly areas is a testing time even for seasoned drivers since the topography of hills is extremely different from those of the plains. Hence, while driving in a hilly terrain, you must keep following points in mind :

  • Never overload your vehicle as it can be taxing for your vehicle and can put extra load on steering
  • The roads in hilly areas are generally narrow and at many places traffic flows from both directions. Always allow a heavier vehicle or up going vehicle to pass by- down coming vehicles should provide enough room for ascending vehicles.
  • In case of rain, snowfall, landslide or gravel falling situation, stop your vehicle near some wide patch of the road where hills are strong
  • Do not drive in hilly areas during night hours unless you are in an emergency
  • Approaching a turn, slow down your vehicles to the level of halt, use horn and then move slowly

Night Driving

Driving during nights are extremely different from day driving and most of the accidents take place during nights.

This is because :

  • Most of the city roads, except highways have lesser movement of traffic. Drivers indulge in overspeeding and red light jumping etc. causing accidents
  • The visibility during nights become less and may lead to accidents

Hence, while driving during nights you must follow the following rules :

  • Do not indulge in overspeeding
  • Honour all traffic signals and signs.
  • Keep your headlights on but use dipper to see and be seen/
  • Two wheelers drivers, cyclists and pedestrians must use light coloured clothes during night to be seen clearly/
  • Do not look at the headlight of an oncoming vehicle/
  • While parking your vehicle during night, make sure that parking lights are on

Follow Them Too

Besides above conditions, there are several circumstances when a driver is required to react to the situations on the road. So follow them also.

  • Always allow fir brigade, ambulance and police vehicle to pass
  • Never lit a cigarette while driving or going for refueling at petrol pumps.
  • Never alight from your car on the road side.
  • Allow non-motorised vehicles to pass by as they can not accelerate their speed or manoeuvre swiftly.
  • Always help pedestrians, handicapped and children in their movement on the road.
  • Never blow your horn unnecessarily. Use it as an emergency device.
  • Do not carry inflammable materials in your vehicles as they can cause loss of life and property in case of accidents.