Impressions about travel to Asia can be very different, but most tourists agree that traffic in this part of the world is exceptional. Simply put, there are no rules here. And indeed, a person accustomed to strictly regulated traffic in Asia on the roads can be challenging, and most importantly, scary. Huge intersections without traffic lights, dense streams of cars, bikes, and tuk-tuks, carts with street food can hardly be dragged on the side of the road. Crowded buses rush as if they have a dedicated lane, with the width of a two-way highway often barely enough for one car and a scooter – all these are characteristic features of Asian road reality.
Surprisingly, accidents on the roads do not happen as often as one might assume. Somehow miraculously, all this chaos self-organizes, and rushing on their business locals safely get to the destination. Well, they grew up in these conditions and probably felt in their hearts when to slow down and when to gas. And for those who are not used to this type of traffic, we have compiled a practical guide that will help minimize the likelihood of an accident.
Rule number one: misses the one who rides on the main
A person who slows down, leaving the hole on the road in Asia, is rare. If it also looked towards the approaching stream, you met an exceptional instance. Therefore, approaching the intersection, the hole or the turn, slow down, especially if you are driving on the extreme lane.
Rule number two: turntables either don’t work or work from roadside to home
In Asia, not everyone uses turntables. And those who use, especially on bikes, often forget to turn them off and can long drive in a straight line with a flashing light bulb. A much more informative indicator is a slight turn of the head in the direction of the supposed turn. In other words, if you see a person on a bike looking in a direction, he should likely go there, so if you cross your accurate and his intended path, just in case, you slow down. It is also unnecessary to drive too much past parked cars and tuk-tuks, the driver is not visible, and he may well be there and may want to move. Just because you see the road behind you in the mirror doesn’t mean it’s going to let you through.
Rule number three: overtakes the last in the queue
When one slow car lines up a string of people who want to overtake on an empty straight section, the first to go to the oncoming lane are the one who is the furthest in the queue, and it will overtake the whole line at once. So if you are not the last, look closely in the rearview mirror and do not think that your turntable will stop from overtaking the next car after you. Those that are further behind you don’t even see you.
Rule number four: honk before, not after
We’re used to the fact that a beep is a last resort, and it only sounds on the road at a critical moment when someone is wrong. In Asia, the opposite is true. The signal is a preventive measure needed to warn other members of the movement that you are here. You can and should signal if you’re approaching an intersection or a blind turn if you don’t understand if you’re seeing another driver who presumably wants to change or turn around if you’re going to be missed.
Rule number five: Long light includes invulnerability mode
Another exciting feature of road traffic in Asia – if the driver blinked at you distant light or did not even blink and just turned it on, approaching you in front or behind, it means that you have to miss it. Even if he went out to overtake and goes to meet you on your lane. You certainly don’t have to, but he sure will miss out and move on that. So skip it in your best interest. On the other hand, you can also use this rule on the counter in the presence of cars. It is better not to leave but to ask for this bike to shift to the side of the road and give you a place to overtake quite legally.
The most important rule: always be alert
Driving in Asia is a bit of a lottery. You never know what will throw you a road. Your way at any moment can block the dog and even a cow. Bikes sometimes appear out of nowhere, turn left from the right row – a common practice. That’s why driving a moped or car. You need to monitor the situation around constantly. You should notice everything that happens within a radius of at least 10 meters from you, regularly look in the mirrors, and preferably go no faster than the flow speed. In general, this is the main thing that roads in Asia are taught – not to hurry.