Honestly, as an Iranian, it is hard for me to say that crossing the street in Iran is like a rabbit escape from the predators!
You have to move with quick steps without ever turning back. If not, you are likely to become the pray of one of the passing cars and a flat colored print of your body will be left on the street. If you are a bit luckier, a motorcycle will give you a twist, so that you always remember to be more cautious the next time you dare to cross the street. As a rule of thumb, use the crosswalks and consult the traffic lights. Try to avoid avoid crossing over the crosswalks where traffic lights are absent.
If you want to be the lucky rabbit with the pleasant adventure of crossing the street in Iran, please read the following guidelines:
Crossing the street may be daunting. Therefore, try to use either the crosswalks, even though they are often not respected by the drivers, or overpasses (be more careful taking the overpass at late hours). However, if you have to cross the street, watch the cars and motorcycles on both lanes even on the one-way streets, as you might run into a careless driver or biker heading the wrong direction.
If you want to cross the street, wait for the speedy cars to pass. Some of them may not slow down if you step into the street, but rather speed up or either signal with their headlights for you to stop where you are.
The rule of thumb for crossing the street in Iran is always “go forward or stop”. You should never step back; otherwise it will confuse the driver on how to react.
Sometimes when you are waiting on the side of the street to pass the street trying to make an eye contact with the approaching driver is useful, because some drivers might be using their cellphones or checking their GPS. This way you will make sure the driver has seen you.
If you are stuck in a crowded street, you might have to wait all day to cross the street unless you signal the drivers to stop or slow down with your hand.
While waiting to cross the street or take a taxi, you may encounter some drivers who may try to catch your attention by honking. You can simply ignore them.
Even when the traffic light is red for drivers, there might be a hasty driver who tries to pass the light. So we advise you to wait for the path to be clear before crossing.
Although you might stick to the pavement for more safety, you should be vigilant about cyclers who choose to ride through the pavements, especially in less crowded ones.
There is a considerable number of motorcycles in Iran who seem to be riding in a parallel universe; they may disrespect the red light or ride fast between cars to avoid traffic. So be on the lookout when crossing the street, as you might encounter one of them out of the blue.