Posted by: jerfallt | December 21, 2011

Driving the rickshaw

Through my exhaustive research over the past few months, trying to figure out exactly what I have gotten myself into, I’ve learned the following about driving a rickshaw in India.

  • Rule # 1.  Everything you do requires the use of a horn.  Use a horn always, for everything.
  • There are no “lanes”, only space.  If there is space, use it.
  • People in India drive on the wrong side of the road.  This is fine as most of the race contestants seem to be from England, Australia, or New Zealand and are used to driving this way.  I am not from one of these countries.
  • There really are cows on the highway. Running into a cow is bad. Do Not Hit a Cow.
  • Stop signs and traffic lights are pointless.  If there is a traffic light, just ignore it.
  • Each vehicle at the four way intersection has the right of way and will not stop. They will simple enter traffic at full speed.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to cut someone off.
  • See rule 1 again.  Use your horn always.  
  • Trucks drive into oncoming traffic while flashing their lights.  This is Indian-speak for “I am bigger than you, please give way so I don’t kill you.”
  • You will be run off the road. Expect this or deal with the consequences (death).
  • Only look in front of you, never behind you. Mirrors are unnecessary.
  • Turn signals are never used.
  • Yield to ox carts and marriages
  • Rickshaws are very strong and can handle just about anything you throw at them. (see picture)
  • Rickshaws have a very powerful engine, and can go very fast.  (downhill)
  • Expect the rickshaw to breakdown every day.  This is ok though, because they break all the time everyone knows how to fix them.
  • Being in a rickshaw for more than 15 minutes can get annoying, driving across a country in one is inadvisable.

SO!  I think I am ready!  4 days until we fly out, I can’t wait!




  1. A friend of mine visited his family’s village in India. The various families there had hired a rickshaw driver to come by each day and pick up their children and drive them to school. He said the kids were all ages but averaged about 10 years old and they fit 23 of them into and onto the rickshaw each day!

  2. When you think you can’t handle it, just remind yourself its a souped-up version of the Red P and you will know exactly how to pilot that beast!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: