Road safety rules in India: Safe driving tips to follow

Team Ackodrive6, Jun, 2022

From crowded streets to busy roads, Indian cities are known for their intense traffic conditions. Hence, the government has established clear rules to maintain safe traffic movement. One should take these road safety rules seriously for the sake of their well-being and the protection of other road users.

In this article, we will help you understand all valuable road safety rules and tips to drive in India.

Road safety rules in India

Importance of road safety in India

Road accidents are one of the biggest reasons for injuries and fatalities in our country. Vehicles and road users must follow traffic safety rules to avoid any mishaps. But the increasing number of vehicles and general disregard for the road safety rules fuel unwanted incidences. 

For instance, if a driver breaks a safety rule, not only can he harm himself but injure other drivers and road users as well; which is why everyone must follow road safety rules in the country. 

Safety measures on the road serve as remedial actions to avoid accidents. The traffic rules are employed to curb the chances of accidents on roads in the long run. 

However, the safety measures on the road also help with the maintenance of the road infrastructure, traffic management, efficient public transport system, etc. This can be made possible only if all stakeholders like the government, traffic officers, and citizens work together in the implementation of these safety measures. 

Also, read: 5 Measures Taken by Officials to Reduce Road Accidents

Top 10 safety rules on the road for everyone

These are the top road safety rules everyone must follow.

1. Do not enter in ‘No Entry’ zone

The traffic safety rules for ‘No Entry’ zones are extremely critical for several reasons. First of all, such zones are created for the safe movement of traffic. Moreover, entering a ‘No Entry’ zone increases the chances of accidents, as vehicles coming from the other direction don’t expect you there. 

The rules and regulations of road safety include hefty fines for this offence. The fine may change depending upon the state/city you are driving or riding in. 

2. Follow traffic signals

Traffic signals are there for a reason on crossroads, intersections, and zebra crossings. Whether walking or driving, always follow the red light, green light and yellow light signals. Walk or drive only when the light turns green and stop on red lights.

3. Keep to your left on the road

As we walk or drive on the left side of the road in India, you must stick to your left while walking or using a vehicle. It is all the more critical while taking a turn. If you take a turn from the right side, the vehicles coming from that direction won’t realise your position, which may cause a collision. 

4. Use hand gestures and turn signals 

You should communicate your movements to other vehicles and road users while walking, riding or driving. Hand gestures and turn signals can help you avoid accidents. Also, it is better to use signals and hand gestures instead of horns while driving in a silent zone. 

You must also avoid any sudden movements such as turning or stopping in the middle of the road. First, slow down a little, then use the signal indicator of the vehicle or use a gesture to make a move. The same applies to people walking on the road. You can use hand gestures to ask a vehicle to slow down or to let a vehicle pass through while crossing the road. 

5. Avoid using mobile phones on the road

Mobile phones are one of the biggest distractions on the road. Talking on your phone or browsing social media while driving is extremely dangerous. 

As per the traffic safety rules, you must avoid using mobile phones while driving or riding a vehicle. In fact, you should avoid the use of mobile phones even while walking on a busy road. 

6. Do not drink and drive

The rule against drinking and driving is one of the strictest among all road safety rules in India. Different states in the country levy hefty fines and imprisonment for offenders of this traffic safety rule violation.

Consuming alcohol impairs the cognitive abilities of the human brain. It results in a loss of control over your body movements. Plus, your ability to concentrate reduces as well. Driving in such a condition magnifies the chances of meeting with an accident. Thus, you must avoid driving or riding a vehicle when intoxicated. 

7. Wear the necessary safety gear

There are standard safety gears you must wear as road safety precautions. A four-wheeler driver must wear a seat belt while driving. Similarly, a two-wheeler rider has to wear a helmet for protection against accidental injuries.

Depending on the state you live in, the safety gear rules also apply to the front passenger in a moving car and pillion rider on a motorbike. 

8. Look before getting out of a vehicle

You should be careful while stepping out of a vehicle. Park your vehicle at a safe spot and check for moving vehicles before getting out. You should be careful while opening the door as well. Do not open the vehicle’s door suddenly, as it can cause a collision with a vehicle coming that way.

It is one of the useful safety measures on the road if you frequently use public transport such as buses, auto-rickshaws, taxis, cab services, etc. Ask the driver to find a safe parking space and use the left-side door to get out to avoid collision with moving vehicles.

9. Avoid multitasking and pay attention

Multitasking is a dangerous habit while driving or walking on roads. You already have a lot of things to focus on like traffic signals, other drivers, road users, etc. So, you can’t afford to distract yourself with other tasks like listening to music or talking on the phone. 

10. Use zebra crossing to cross the road

You need to be extremely careful while crossing a busy road. It is imperative that you use the zebra crossing instead of crossing from anywhere. The black and white striped path is designed for pedestrians to cross the road safely.

Even when using a zebra crossing, look to your left and right, then left again to ensure that no vehicle is coming your way. 

Driving safety rules for drivers in India

Drivers of four-wheelers must be extra precautious on roads to avoid fatal incidents. Sometimes, even minor negligence can lead to a dangerous situation.

Below are the traffic safety rules to be followed on the road while driving your car.

1. Reduce your speed at intersections

Do not enter a road intersection at high speed. When your vehicle reaches a corner, a turn or crossing, you must reduce the speed to a minimum. Blow the horn to let other vehicles know your presence. Then, slowly enter an intersection or the main road.

2. Drive below the maximum speed limit

Different roads have their well-defined maximum speed limits. These speed limits are decided by the governing bodies as per the intensity of traffic movement, type of road, etc. Following the speed limit while driving is critically important to avoid putting your life and the lives of others at risk.

3. Let emergency vehicles pass-through

Emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire brigades must reach their destination as quickly as possible. So, you must give way to such vehicles to cross. 

4. Don’t break a traffic signal

You must obediently follow traffic signals while driving. Drive only when the signal turns green. Breaking a traffic signal can cause a collision with other vehicles, and it is a punishable offence as well. 

5. Follow lane discipline

Keeping the heavy traffic in mind, it becomes extremely crucial to follow lane discipline. You must avoid overtaking another car by changing lanes in busy traffic. Even when you decide to change your lane, do it only after giving a signal. Make sure that you overtake only from the right side of a vehicle as we follow right-hand drive in India. 

Road safety tips for all vehicle drivers in India

Here are a few of the tips around road safety and traffic rules for vehicle drivers in India.

1. Cultivate defensive driving habits

Defensive driving habits involve techniques that can help you avoid accidents. Being focused is the key factor in this kind of driving. You have to be aware of other vehicles driving around you and be prepared for any unexpected situation.

You must also maintain a 2-second gap from the car driving in the front. The gap should be 4 seconds while driving in rainy conditions. 

2. Keep your vehicle in good condition

Do not drive an ill-maintained vehicle. A vehicle in bad condition increases the chances of accidents due to some mechanical or electrical failure. Get your car checked frequently at a service centre, especially before and after a long drive. 

3. Don’t drive continuously for a long distance

You should avoid covering long distances in one go via your car. Not only does it put pressure on your car’s engine, but it also becomes tiring for you as well. Such conditions increase the chances of some mishaps on the road.

Thus, you should plan your driving trip with scheduled stops for rest, food, beverages, etc. This will also allow the engine of your car to cool down, reducing the chances of failures. 

4. Don’t drive if you have health issues

Driving as an activity requires your complete attention. You can’t afford to drive if you are struggling with some kind of health issue. You should get permission from your doctor to drive before getting behind the wheels. Your doctor would know whether driving is safe in your current condition or not.

Even completely healthy people must notice their daily health condition before deciding to drive. For example, if you have a migraine on a particular day, then driving won’t be a wise decision for you. It would be better to avoid driving on that day. 

Frequently asked questions

Below are a few commonly asked questions answered about road safety rules in India.

What is the most important rule of driving in India?

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Probably the most important rule of driving in India is that you must drive your car on the left-hand side of the road to avoid collision with the vehicles coming from the right-hand side.

Apart from that, you must also possess all the legal documents required to drive in the country. These documents include a Driving Licence, Registration Certificate for the vehicle, motor vehicle insurance, Pollution Under Control Certificate, etc.

What are some safety measures on the road to follow?

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As per the safety traffic rules in India, you must take the following safety measures on the road.

  • Stay focused on the road and notice the movement of other vehicles

  • Drive in an alert mental state

  • Maintain your speed within the maximum limits

  • Follow all traffic signs and lights on the road

How can I drive safely on a highway?

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Highway traffic moves faster than regular city traffic, which makes alert driving all the more important. You should adopt these habits to drive safely on a highway:

  • Maintain a consistent and safe speed limit

  • Give signals before changing lanes

  • Avoid closing in on the vehicles in front of you

  • Overtake only when necessary and safe

  • Follow a habit of giving signals to tell other drivers about your movements

  • Make stops to rest your mind and cool down the engine

  • Drive slower than your usual speed during the rainy season

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