Road signs are a real thing and while most of us tend to take them for granted, they actually need to be given their due. Road signs are basically an indication of things you must keep a check on while on the road. Depending on the reasons, the road signs at different places mean different things.
Knowing these road signs come in handy especially when you are on a road trip. However, they are important even otherwise when you hit the road. So let us look at a few signs that we need to know about to help regulate the traffic.
Road Signs and what they mean
Road Sign 1. Diversion Ahead
Diversion Ahead (To signify road construction work). Indian highways thanks to hectic pace of addition to the road network are full of diversions. Its in the best interest to watch out for this and avoid a bad time. A lot of diversions will also lead to two way traffic – very dangerous.
Road Sign 2. Right & Left curve
This is again very important from safety stand point. In all the ghats and curvy roads, special focus should be on these signs to ensure you are able to handle blind turns. Places like Ladakh & Spiti have blind turns along with being narrow so one needs to be extra careful.
Road Sign 3. Rumbler Strips Ahead
Unfortunately most Indian Highways have them; and they can really harm the vehicle and also make you lose grip on the road if you are too fast on them. There is no option but to slow down in such cases for your safety and the vehicle. Always prepare your vehicle before a road trip.
Road Sign 4. Village/Town Ahead
It’s hard to imagine a road trip in India without passing villages or towns. Thankfully, these signs have been placed in plenty, all across to warn drivers to slow down. Typically, one’s speed should be 50% of the earlier speed before entry so as to avoid casualties.
Road Sign 5. No Motorcycles
Most expressways don’t allow two wheelers. So it goes without saying that you need to avoid the expressway if you’re on your two wheeler in order to obey road safety rules.
Road Sign 6. No Entry
This is unique to Indian highways; where sometimes they don’t allow access to a particular road due to reasons like construction or other reasons.
Road Sign 7. No overtaking
Usually you find these signs on the ghat sections where one wrong turn on the blind turn can prove to be risky. You must avoid overtaking at a turn or on a busy road as it can cause chaos to the oncoming traffic. So drive cautiously always.
Road Sign 8. Speed Limit
Maintain a Speed limit wherever it is necessary to avoid accidents and be caught for speeding. (Most Indian Highways have speed guns now, and must be followed. Easier to use cruise control in these situations).
Road Sign 9. Narrow Bridge/Road Ahead
This sign indicates that there’s a narrow bridge or a narrow road ahead. This means you might have to wait for the oncoming traffic if there isn’t enough space for a two way traffic to move.
Road Sign 10. Crossing Ahead
Usually seen during state highways when one has to cross over to the other side. While there are a lot of manned rail crossings, quite a few are still unmanned and one should be extra cautious here.
11. Information signs
These are signs that usually help us locate schools, hotels, petrol pumps, hospitals etc in the vicinity. You can also check for hotels, restrooms and petrol pumps through our smart planner.
Driving on Indian highways can be more dangerous than one can ever imagine. Three deaths happen every 10 minutes due to road accidents in India. According to a report published by the World Health Organization (2013), India has the highest number of road accidental deaths (105,725 people died on the road) in the world. Among the Indian states, Maharashtra (where Mumbai has the highest number of death cases i.e. 25,471 road accidents) tops the list followed by Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.
While a lot can be attributed to inefficient law enforcement, unawareness of driving signals, drunken driving, low user adoption of helmets, seat belts and lack of child restraints in the vehicle; it can be brought down by a big number if one were to know all driving rules.
I speak more about highway driving in my Mark and Embark podcast about highway driving in India . Give it a listen and tell us what you think in the comments section below.