My Tryst With Rash Truck Drivers on the Highway - Videos
The Thrill and Danger of Indian Highways
Driving on the highway has an exhilarating feel to it. The speed itself is addictve and it is usually not congested, stop-go traffic that you face. The higher speed means that you need to be more alert.
Indian highways are filled with dangers too. One of the dangers is unruly truckers. Trucks are a major source of transporting goods in India and highways are filled with trucks.
Unfortunately, some truckers are inexperienced and rash. Some are overconfident and careless. I am always wary about them,especially at night. They drive for long hours and can be seen drowsy at the wheel. To top it all some of them drink and drive.
Finally trucks are not in the best of conditions - balding tires, no indicators or brake lights, worn out brakes, no under-run protection and they are often overloaded.
There are a fair amount of them who are responsible and drive safely, but with multiple trysts with bad truckers, I don't really trust them. Here are some examples. All the videos in this article have been shot on my dashcam during my drives in India (2014-2019).
Truck drivers rarely check their mirrors or indicate when they change lanes on the highway. They just change lanes. Period. I usually honk before I overtake them and I'm surprised at the amount of times they realize I am there only after the auditory cue!
Here is one such typical trucker
Truckers love hogging whichever lanes they want to drive in. And when two of them get together they don't care if they may box you in. In this video, you can see the Maruti car struggling to get between them as these slow moving truckers eat up some space in the middle lane from either side. Do you think this is fair?
The Wrong One
In cricket, every spinner has a trick ball called the wrong un which spins the wrong way and can scalp the batsman. Truckers in India use the same trick - spinning in on the wrong side of the highway to try and scalp your car! I can't post what I think of these truckers on Hubpages
When entering a junction or a highway, look for oncoming vehicles and merge in only when there are no vehicles. On highways speeds ar >80KMPH. Truckers like these merge in anyway taking a chance! The problem is that if you crash into them, they walk away without a scratch and you could end up dead.
Just like the drifters on the highway, trucks will turn from the right lane to the right turn on the road without looking. In this case it almost ends up crushing the car on the right lane who also was not paying attention. Thankfully all ended well, except for a few choice swear words exchanged
A lot of trucks dont have working turn indicators. Even if they work, most don't use it. And when they use it, it's a trick! Don't get fooled. You can see this trucker leave his right indicator on and switch lanes to the left!!
The Slow Blockers
On a highway with a speed limit of 100KMPH with 2 lanes, you will often come across a trucker doing 40 KMPH trying to overtake another trucker doing 38 KMPH. It is the worst in this section which is a slightly uphill road. All the truckers in the video are doing 10-20 KMPH and block all 3 lanes forcing us to use the sides or gaps to overtake them. If they struggle, they can at least leave the overtaking lane free to overtake them.
Trucks are big and they do find some sections difficult. barricades are a challenge for the big trucks like you see in this video - not really the truckers fault. Thankfully a helpful policeman clears up the mess.
A lot of trucks have massive overhangs in the rear and don't have any under-run protection bars. This results in many fatal crashes when an accident happens. Rules are not adhered to and guidelines are not followed. Here is an example.
My Tryst With Truckers Outside India
I have driven in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. I have also been in cars with trucks around in Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and a few other countries. Ive always found truckers to be disciplined. So this is not a universal problem. These videos probably reflects the fact that general road discipline in India is poor.
Are There Good Truckers?
Yes, there are plenty of good truckers on the Indian highways. They will stop and help you if you are in trouble and also obey rules.
But my overall impression is a little biased due to several bad runs on Indian highways. A lot of friends I know have crashed and lost their cars due to rash truckers. What is your experience? If you are from another part of the world, how do you find truckers? Share your experiences here.