Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th November 2012, 01:35   #91
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 37
Thanked: 22 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

This is a very informative thread and feel grateful to all these inputs. So many fine minds reflecting on the very thing that ever draws me like a magnet - the Indian highways. After reading this full thread it was like an emotional and educational roller coaster ride for me- thank you all for your valued inputs.

I am a intermediate level driver with limited experience, add to that ,I get to do some driving with long periods of break due to my merchant navy job!

The only highway I have ever driven is the about 180 km stretch on NH2 or eryswhile GT road between Kolkata to Duragpur and few times all the way to Dhanbad. For an Indian highway , this stretch is quite good. Have driven at 160kmph maxm for 15 minutes, but mostly 120 to 125 kmph all along is a safe feel.

The unruly elements of the road, as I found in this thread, perhaps with a limitation. Experienced members would know much better of course.

The reason I felt I should write down a few lines, after reading all these posts is that I was feeling amazed why just nothing happened to me so far! I would like to share a few things crossing my mind in this reagrds.

Request to kindly allow me.

I laernt to take an interest from one of our earlier drivers named Mithu-da, who used to be a very tense sort of person and a perfectionist. My initial few trips down this roadway took place under his voluntary supervision. The few things he got drilled into my head by his constant cribbing are :

a) Never overtake unless you have at least a 150 mtr clear ahead after you have finished the overtaking, especially a long vehicle like a loaded truck or bus.

b) Do not overtake, just because the vehicle ahead did a overtaking, your scenario can change in a jiffy.

c) While above 80 kmph, do not use the brake first, use accelerator control to slow down together with a downshift, reduce near 90 and lightly touch the brakes. Use normal braking at around 70 and lower.

d) Do not overtake from the left side unless the heavy vehicle ahead makes it obvious that he does not want to move to the left. Wait enough times to make sure, then overtake with his full knowledge, ie by two three headlight blips and a small blip on the horn. In most cases the big guy ahead wants to give you way, you need to wait till he has all his sides clear.

e) Use the horn minimum, this irritates the already overtired long distance truck drivers. Day or night, prefer to use only the headlight blinkers.

f) Do not be in a self imposed time contsraint, the guy who zoomed past you to save 10 minutes will now sit in the next dhaba and spent 30 minutes over tea and snacks. So why strain the man and the machine?

g) Never overtake on a narrow bridge or a short stretch of two way road. Low visbiilty times like rain or fog, never exceed 50 kmph.

h) Monitor the steering feedback, any undue tremmor means a wheel bearing flaw or alignment flaw, slow down till it ceased. Go home and get the alignment re-done.

i) Every 90 minutes , try to pull over and take a break, be it a cup of tea, a leak or a cigerette. Just get of the car, and first thing-do a feel over on the tyres + a visual check. I actually carry a small torch[flashlight].

j) Above 80 kmph , stop the music and switch off the cell phone. If you have talkative passengers, give them some crispies to keep their mouths shut or still better, blast the AC and put them off to sleep! Dont however let the front seat passenger to sleep, rather stop over for a cup of tea!

k) Never ever get drawn into racing competetion, let go every busy-bee!

l) And finally have ample braking distance+plus 25 mtrs of safe margin.

All these might be a very boring to-do list to the veterans who have done umpteen number of trips on these high ways. I used to be 38 years old when these were taught to me and driving a Zen. Today, at 50 ,[still kept the old Zen] and having driven a Fiesta old, an OHC, a Logan and a Swift Dzire, and about 24000 km driving on these roads, I have not had one single incidence.

Certainly, this is no bragging! I am just happy to be alive and very happy once again, to learn so much about highway driving from this thread.

Safe driving and happy Diwali to all.
sanyal779 is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2012, 08:00   #92
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 30
Thanked: 0 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Would like to share my experience on the wrong way riders.

The highways that I frequent are the NH7 and NH4. I have been driving for more than 1.5L Kms and still get easily scared off by men and their machines coming in the wrong side of the road. Have seen a variety of vehicles ranging from 'Executive coach, DVD Dolby Digital, Bypass rider' buses(seen only in TN), tractors, autorickshaws, oldies on mopeds who apparently are aware of their expiry dates, to the plain old bullock carts, appearing out of nowhere but on the wrong side of the 6 lane highways, just to scare the living daylights out of poor me!

I always wondered why they do it. Do they do it on purpose to scare people or they are suicidal maniacs. So I decided to ask one of these guys about their thoughts if they didn't kill me before that. Once I spotted a slow moving tractor coming in the wrong direction on the fast lane on the blr-salem highway. First, I dodged him and slowed down just enough to ask him why he is on this side of the road. He told me that he is on the left side and the correct side of the road and I too should keep the left side of the road while driving! Well, what can you say?
kruzader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2012, 10:09   #93
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Purnea(Bihar)
Posts: 4,814
Thanked: 4,154 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kruzader View Post
He told me that he is on the left side and the correct side of the road and I too should keep the left side of the road while driving! Well, what can you say?
You should have asked that what the other road is for, the other lane that is.

It is not just the Highways you mention, it is everywhere and needless to say no one cares about it.

While trucks do it to go to their preferred fuel pump, bullock carts, tractors will ply in the wrong side on their whim & fancy.

Even locals, if they have to travel 10kms, shall continue to travel at the wrong side.

Lax in forcing rules & unethical way to hand out licenses cement this.

Don't get irked, never overtake if you can't see (yes, 4 lane as well) and you should do good. This is what I practice.

Last edited by Sheel : 14th November 2012 at 10:10.
Sheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2012, 10:27   #94
Distinguished - BHPian
 
swiftnfurious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 6,329
Thanked: 5,840 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel
....While trucks do it to go to their preferred fuel pump, bullock carts, tractors will ply in the wrong side on their whim & fancy.

Even locals, if they have to travel 10kms, shall continue to travel at the wrong side...
I never felt they do it for fancy. I have mostly seen mopeds/bikes travelling opposite in the fast lane of 4 lane highways in TN mostly and these roads have proper medians in the middle. Usually these guys join the highway from some by lanes & will have to take a U turn after 3-4 kms which will add an extra 6-8 kms to their ride. To avoid those extra kms, these morons take the fast lane of the wrong highway.

A couple of times, some stupid mopeds scared the daylights off me. After that I make sure I overtake only when I can see a proper .5 kms ahead. For them those extra fuel cost is more expensive than their head! Sometimes I feel they are right; if their head was more worthy, they wouldn't do such non-sense!!

Edit: I believe if they encounter some fast moving Fortuners, scorpios & the likes a couple of times, and happens to survive, then they will stop doing this gimmick. Hatches & sedans fail to induce that scare into them!

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 14th November 2012 at 10:31.
swiftnfurious is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2012, 11:19   #95
Senior - BHPian
 
sumeethaldankar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 2,419
Thanked: 778 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Interesting thread.I follow a couple of simple rules while driving on highways or any place else.

1-While driving one should not be hasty.
2-If you can't see the road ahead one must not be using the accelerator.
sumeethaldankar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2012, 18:40   #96
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 30
Thanked: 0 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
You should have asked that what the other road is for, the other lane that is.

Don't get irked, never overtake if you can't see (yes, 4 lane as well) and you should do good. This is what I practice.
I did not tell him anything as it struck me that he is completely oblivious of his mistake and strongly believed in what he said. It would have taken a long time to convince him otherwise. So the point is that many people are plain ignorant of the benefits of 4/6 lane highways and how not to misuse it.

As you said it is wise on our part to keep our cool and reach our destinations safely.
kruzader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2012, 00:18   #97
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: mumbai
Posts: 450
Thanked: 181 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Hi everybody
As Sheel has rightly said it is the enforcement which is pathetic.The laws are all there and what is needed is the will.
The person coming on the wrong side does not to inconvenience himself but it doesnt matter to him that others suffer.
Regarding the implementation part here is a piece of news(Mumbai Mirror 14/11/12)

THAT’S WEIRD
JUDGE ORDERS ERRANT MOTORIST TO HOLD ‘IDIOT’ SIGN

CLEVELAND A woman caught on camera driving on a sidewalk to avoid a school bus that was unloading children has been asked to at an intersection with a sign warning people about idiots. A Cleveland Municipal Court judge ordered Shena Hardin, 32, to bear the sign for two days as part of her sentence. The sign reads: “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus”. The judge ordered her to appear with the sign from 7.45 am to 8.45 am, suspended her licence for 30 days. AGENCIES
Rgds
PS:I wish the powers to be lead by example.Unfortunately in India it is the other way around.Those who are meant to uphold are rule breakers.Todays Mumbai Mirror has asked the question why have sun film not been removed from the cars ofCM,Police commissioner etc.They are not exempted from SC ruling

Last edited by faustus77 : 15th November 2012 at 00:22.
faustus77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2012, 10:08   #98
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,356
Thanked: 506 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Vehicles coming on the wrong side, that too bang on the fast/overtaking lane is a real nuisance on Indian highways. I had a close shave near Chitradurga on NH4 when I did not notice an auto rickshaw approaching me during a night drive.

Another nuisance is the cattle being fed with the grass which grows on the divider area. Recently I was driving on NH4 and I noticed an old villager near the divider waving his hand asking everyone to get off the right most lane. He was guarding the cattle which were are all scattered around the divider, busy feeding themselves. I am sure the villagers don't see anything wrong and probably are in too desperate situation to think about highway safety.
When the 4 lane road was being build, they also had the fencing on either side. After some time, villagers started making holes in the fencing to let the cattle in. Now, most of the fencing seem to have gone altogether.
Guna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2012, 10:24   #99
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Delhi/Cuttack
Posts: 372
Thanked: 175 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
I am sure the villagers don't see anything wrong and probably are in too desperate situation to think about highway safety.
When the 4 lane road was being build, they also had the fencing on either side. After some time, villagers started making holes in the fencing to let the cattle in. Now, most of the fencing seem to have gone altogether.
An excellent point. This comes of top down planning for National Expressways which doesnt take into account local needs. Just providing for service lanes, and passes for locals is not all that can be done. Dedicated understanding of local needs is crucial for infrastructure projects to succeed. I will check the bid documents for road projects and get back to this, but I am pretty sure that no such provision is made for cattle routes etc, small underpasses for livestock. Or elephant routes in blore-ooty road.
manolin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2012, 11:12   #100
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,356
Thanked: 506 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Quote:
Originally Posted by manolin View Post
An excellent point. This comes of top down planning for National Expressways which doesnt take into account local needs. Just providing for service lanes, and passes for locals is not all that can be done. Dedicated understanding of local needs is crucial for infrastructure projects to succeed. I will check the bid documents for road projects and get back to this, but I am pretty sure that no such provision is made for cattle routes etc, small underpasses for livestock. Or elephant routes in blore-ooty road.
We probably need something like this:
http://www.theworldgeography.com/201...-wildlife.html
But I know this will be just a dream.
Attached Images
 
Guna is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2012, 17:14   #101
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 30
Thanked: 0 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Another nuisance is the cattle being fed with the grass which grows on the divider area. Recently I was driving on NH4 and I noticed an old villager near the divider waving his hand asking everyone to get off the right most lane. He was guarding the cattle which were are all scattered around the divider, busy feeding themselves. I am sure the villagers don't see anything wrong and probably are in too desperate situation to think about highway safety.
I had a very close call with cattle near Chitradurga last time. A villager was feeding his cattle on the median and one of them inadvertently jumped on the road. I was lucky enough to dodge that but another guy in an accent coming behind me was not so lucky. His car smacked the cow on its face. To my surprise, he didn't stop the car. Instead, he started driving fast and even overtook me. Later down the road I saw him stopped and assessing the damage. Maybe he didn't stop in the first place for the fear of the villager asking for compensation!
kruzader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2012, 18:45   #102
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,356
Thanked: 506 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kruzader View Post
Maybe he didn't stop in the first place for the fear of the villager asking for compensation!
More then the compensation, you may get thrashed if you stop sometimes.
Guna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2012, 19:08   #103
Senior - BHPian
 
tharian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: SBC
Posts: 2,000
Thanked: 2,055 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

A good practice to be on guard for wrong direction vehicles on the fast lane on expressways, is to move to left lane on a right curve.

I figured this since I had a close call once between Krishnagiri and Vellore when I was taking a right curve and to my shock I see a tractor with headlamps on right ahead in my lane.

Ever since I slow down a bit on blind curves(divider with bushes on a right curve) and move a bit onto the left lane and back again to the fast lane. This holds good for water tankers moving at a snails pace watering the plants on the divider.

The other safe practice on an expressway is to slow down at intersections. Release the accelerator pedal and keep your foot ready on the brake pedal.
I have seen many a times in which local vehicles/people either do not look and just scoot across or they see you and even stop and you continue to accelerate, when they change their minds and decide to cross in the last second.

One other point I learn out of experience which happened twice was to slow down when you see a person (I do not know how to explain this exactly), there are people who are mentally not well who walk on the road, either side or middle and cross blindly. It is difficult to see them when moving at a decent clip, but a safe practice would be to slow down or again keep your foot ready for the brakes. It happened twice in which I missed hitting the divider when someone like this darted across the road.

Regards
tharian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2012, 23:27   #104
BHPian
 
swiftdiesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: EDI/CDG/MAA/SIN
Posts: 766
Thanked: 789 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

One important tip that I religiously follow is this:

Be wary of one truck tailgating another truck. These guys tailgate as long as they can and then make a sudden swerve into the middle lane to overtake the other truck. I don't blame these poor drivers because if they lose their momentum, it will take an eternity to get back to their cruising speed. I usually honk if I perceive him to be an obedient driver and if he is erratic, I just let him through and wait till he gives me the pass. I know I lose a good couple of seconds, not mention the downshifts I have to make; but it's all worth it when I know I have made a safe manoeuvre without putting my family or car at risk. I would rather arrive late to my destination than give in to this temptation!
swiftdiesel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2012, 01:00   #105
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 406
Thanked: 109 Times
Default re: How safe are our highways?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
For them those extra fuel cost is more expensive than their head! Sometimes I feel they are right; if their head was more worthy, they wouldn't do such non-sense!!
Can't agree more.
But what I don;t understand is that, even people with decent education and white collar job doing the same thing, when cops are not present in Bangalore.
Just take an early morning ride around Bangalore one ways, you can see cars, IT company cabs, and others regularly coming wrong way.
One more thing which I noticed on Highway, specially on highways with road side trees, the tall trucks tend to move away from tree branches, even it means driving through oncoming traffic.

Last edited by manjubp : 16th November 2012 at 01:03.
manjubp is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats GTO On owning a car 277 12th February 2017 13:16
Explored - Highways of AP paharino1 Travelogues 12 2nd November 2008 11:37
Our roads. Our people. Rudra Sen The Indian Car Scene 31 8th August 2008 18:52
NHC on highways ? cnu The Indian Car Scene 38 22nd December 2005 20:34
The new highways..shudder tsk1979 Street Experiences 24 31st March 2005 03:38


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 11:46.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks