Originally posted by doudesuka
I live in Toyota City.
I won't even attempt to drive in the big cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Only a suburban driver. That's enough for me.
Ah yes, the traffic: I have never seen anything like it. At first I was convinced it was pure chaos, but after a few rides I began to see the pattern. It is really quite pragmatic. Pedestrians give way to bikes, who give way to motor scooters. They in turn give way to cars, who give way to trucks. The king of the road is the cow: everyone avoids the cows. It's a size thing, small gives way to large. What could be more obvious?
The traffic flows something like a fish swim. Each vehicle is aware of its immediate neighbor and, reacting to it, moves away to avoid hitting it. Yes, it was like two long, thin schools of fish swimming next to each other. Sometimes one of the "fish," usually a scooter, would stray into the oncoming school. No problem. With much honking of horns and ringing of bells, the other "fish" make room. Eventually the errant "fish" finds its way back into it's own school.
Indian traffic follows the same general rules on the cross-country roads as in the cities: small gives way to large. If you are motoring along and - as often happens - a truck decides to pass a scooter as he meets you, your driver will stop and/or pullover. He's not stupid: he doesn't want to get hit by the truck. On the other hand, if your driver wants to pass a cart as a motorcycle is in the on-coming lane, the motorcycle will stop and/or pull off the road: he doesn't want to get hit either. All this is done without the rancour that you would find in the west. It is simply the expedient thing to do: survival of the fittest.