Traffic On Indian Road - 2 - Watch more amazing videos here

If you haven't been to India it is hard to describe the insanity of the driving. There are no lanes, there are no hard and fast rules, you may pass on either side, you must share the road with camels, horsecarts, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, motorcycles, cars and giant, brightly painted Tata lorries.

I saw today on the BBC that India has overtaken China for the most traffic fatalities per year with 100,000. I'm surprised it isn't more, honestly.

I have often tried to describe the traffic in India with varying amounts of success. the video above gives an idea but doesn't give you the white knuckle view from inside a car or rickshaw. This video gives a decent impression from a riders eye view but is nothing like some of the car rides I have been on in various cities in India. This looks like it was shot in one of the more modern areas of Delhi. Imagine this insanity and add in a bumpy dirt road with more animal and heavy truck traffic.

Imagine cars merging within inches of the front bumper from a dead stop. Imagine cars passing in the opposing lane with a truck coming in the other direction and ducking in with so little time to spare you can see the bugs on the grill of the oncoming truck. Imagine motorcycles wading through the melieu with as many as three extra passengers balancing on the back. Imagine that the first time in a rickshaw or taxi your hands hurt from gripping the door handle with fear. Imagine that two weeks later you are so used to it that you can have an intelligent conversation in the back of the autorickshaw without noticing that you are inches from being underneath the bed of a large truck driving beside you. That is driving in India.

Indian traffic is hard to describe but it does not surprise me that so many people die. The first time I ventured onto the hiway in India was by rented car on the hiway between Delhi and Jaipur. I was suffering from extreme jetlag but had a difficult time sleeping as the driver gunned the tiny car around giant trucks without any worry of the oncoming traffic on the narrow two lane hiway. We saw many wrecks, especially of the large trucks. Indian truckers seem blithely unconcerned with the rated weight of their vehicles.

I remember specifically a lorry whose bed was loaded to the top with slabs of marble. It had hit a bump and lost it's entire front axle - not just broken but literally left it on the hiway. The first thing we saw was a front axle and tires sitting on the road. There were awful scrape marks in the concrete for at least 100 feet leading to the cockeyed wreckage of the truck. The shock of falling off the axle had shifted the massive load of marble and it looked as though the bed and possibly the frame had been bent with the force. These are not small trucks. I can't imagine the fear the driver must have felt as the truck barreled over it's own front axle. I'm sure he assumed the marble would shift forward and crush him in the cab. I'm honestly surpised that it didn't.

Some great traffic pictures from India are here. Some of the pictures on this post are from this site.

I also remember the wreckage of a Land Rover beside the road. It had been victim to a front end collision that had crushed the entire car, leaving no survivable space for the driver or passenger on the drivers side. The front passenger side was nearly crushed but possibly survivable. The rear passenger seat was the only undamaged portion of the car. The car looked as though it had run into a brick wall at 100mph and the body had liquified as it struck. The body and frame looked like a stick of butter that had been dropped onto the floor from a counter. I doubt anyone survived, they don't have Life Flight in India.

One night coming back to Udaipur from Kumbhalgarh fortwe passed a man writhing in pain in the middle of the roadway. His motorcycle was tipped on it's side some distance from him. Our driver refused to stop, citing the fear of a trap laid to rob us. Luckily there were locals moving to help him from a nearby house. I hope he pulled through.

Indian traffic is horrible but they do have an interesting system of navigating it. Horns are used constantly. In the US you would signal to pass, in India you honk your horn to let the driver in front of you know you are about to make a move, his ears tell him shich side you are on without the need of a head check. For the most part it works. I survived but I wouldn't want to commute in that traffic every day, it would shorten your life expectancy for sure.