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Old 19th January 2014, 13:33   #166
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post
...they have written this at the back of the truck
" No overtaking from Left"
On Indian roads "Only Size Matters !!"
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Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
On most of our highways, there will always be the unavoidable slower than 20 kmph auto or jugaad or other form of local transport.
Capture the spotter's attention...
Indeed, that is the truth, on highways which are not access-controlled, which pass through villages and small towns, and where local slow-moving traffic and pedestrian volume is heavy.

You can't drive a 10+-tonne vehicle by zigzagging it between lanes, and slowing down every so often for cyclists and tractors - the most compelling reason (for the driver) is an inflated fuel bill! Hence, they keep a sharp lookout on vehicles trying to overtake from the left (yes, they do deploy their mirrors too unlike a lot of LMV drivers on our roads), and are happy to slow down and let the overtaking car pass safely.

As to the "No overtaking from left" sign behind army vehicles, one doesn't need to take that as the 11th commandment - it's meant for the other army drivers following behind in convoy. However, some convoys carrying sensitive materials (like ordnance) will be very averse to a civilian vehicle cutting into the convoy and continuing to be positioned there - one may be forced to retreat right to the back of the convoy, or risk being forced off the road.
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Old 19th January 2014, 14:14   #167
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Hence, they keep a sharp lookout on vehicles trying to overtake from the left (yes, they do deploy their mirrors too unlike a lot of LMV drivers on our roads), and are happy to slow down and let the overtaking car pass safely.
True, and the other thing I have noticed is that they are usually very considerate about the car's safety as exemplified by waving me back behind them , if they notice some obstruction on the passing lane, that would impede my ability to execute a safe overtaking maneuver. Deciding to overrule their judgement, is a risk, unless one has a spirited car with fantastic acceleration/deceleration capabilities.

Having said that, I try not to follow too closely behind such trucks, allowing reasonable space of at least 4-5 car lengths, so that his side mirrors keep me in constant view. Also helps me, because, I have more time to react in case of any sudden braking on his part, and gravel/pebbles or other debris doesn't fly onto my windscreen.
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Old 19th January 2014, 16:11   #168
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
The worst times to be driving on the highway are dawn and dusk.

Apart from fighting physical and mental fatigue for lack of sleep or continuous driving, the lighting conditions change drastically.

Switching from headlight illuminated roads to the sunlit scenes or from the fading twilight to pitch dark puts a lot of strain on the eyes. I have often struggled to adjust to the lighting. Best way I have found is to kust take a break, allow your eyes to get accustomed to the change in lighting and then move on.
+1 on that.

I am a stauch advocate of not driving during the twilight zone. i.e. dawn and dusk. It may not be fighting physical fatigue if one started driving late in the evening, but the lighting conditions as you said.
In the twilight zone, the light keeps on changing so drastically that the eye has difficulty in adjusting to the same and sense of vision is vastly affected. The pupil of our eye need to continuously adjust / focus in the everchanging light condition and say during dusk, the pupil keeps getting wider to accommodate the fading light and in this process we start experiencing blind spots more than under normal conditions. One may even fail to spot an approaching car or a two wheeler in such circumstances whilst under day or night conditions the same is perfectly registered by the brain.

I normally use the twilight zone to pull over for a relaxed a cup of coffee, clean the windshield / helmet visor, or even to enjoy a beautiful scenery or sunset or incase of emergency drive extremely cautious. Once the night sets in the eye gets adjusted and driving becomes much comfortable.

But dawn is much easier on the eye than the dusk and not so taxing to drive through.

and regarding the truckers driving on the right lane, there is a saying- Old habits die hard. During those earlier single lane road days with tree lining on both sides of the road ( we find such roads even now in some state highways) the road side tree branches extending outwards on to the road and fouled the trucks cargo at times. So a truck with a full load stood the danger of fouling / touching / entangling / hitting the extended tree branches and to avoid any untoward damage the goods / truck, the drivers tend to keep as far away from the branches and hence tend to keep to the right side of their lane.
Now the trees are long gone and the lanes are 4 or 6 lane, but old habits die hard.
Now the cleaners of last generation trucks are the future drivers of next gen trucks as that is how much of this truck driving lineage has passed on. So the cleaners pick up this habit of driving on the right lane without giving a thought to it. Again habits don't change. there is no formal education / knowledge imparted to these drivers and they follow their mentors and we have them trudging at 40 Kmph on the right lane.

But as SS-Traveller rightly mentioned, another reason could be to avoid zig zag on the left lane to avoid pedestrians / cyclists/ other slow moving trucks ( inflated fuel bills), But then there are many sensible truckers who keep to the left lane and allow faster vehicles to pass them on the right lane.

In my opinion a proper formal education (may be a day or two formal classroom session with some video / slides of proper driving habits / Do's and Dont's on road / Road safety etc from RTO / NGO will go a long way in creating proper awareness in the otherwise senseless driving from some road users)

Last edited by ashkamath : 19th January 2014 at 16:27.
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Old 20th January 2014, 17:10   #169
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by ashkamath View Post
+1 on that.
In my opinion a proper formal education (may be a day or two formal classroom session with some video / slides of proper driving habits / Do's and Dont's on road / Road safety etc from RTO / NGO will go a long way in creating proper awareness in the otherwise senseless driving from some road users)
I'm not sure how much of that would help.
For e.g. On the Mumbai Pune Expressway they have recently put Proper sign boards indicating that the Left most lane is for heavy vehicles, Middle lane for regular traffic and Right Most for Overtaking Only. However, there are lot of MSRTC Volvo and Neeta buses along with Tavera (Taxi) etc. sticking to Right lane.

Only One silver lining was, I drove along side the MSRTC Volvo and honked couple of times, then overtook him went to Right Most lane and Blinked my Left Indicator twice to Tell him that he should be in Middle Lane and then Moved to Middle Lane. Now to my surprise He got the message and moved out of the Overtaking lane.
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Old 18th February 2014, 07:00   #170
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Default HV Kumar's 18 Seconds Driving Mantra



Thanks to Jothi Vel Moorthy (non member) for the video footage.

"We have no control over our destiny; When you leave home, leave your ego behind; When you're driving, the only thing in your hand is the steering wheel; Everything else is in somebody else's hands"

Last edited by aargee : 18th February 2014 at 07:08.
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Old 18th February 2014, 08:07   #171
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Smile Re: HV Kumar's 18 Seconds Driving Mantra

Truly well said HVK sir. Driving should be no egoistic pleasure. This coming from the man who has traversed all across India is so true. I hope this mantra becomes the T-BHP mantra and nation's mantra when it comes to driving.
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Old 29th March 2014, 01:00   #172
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by Thilak29 View Post
Just to prove how fatal a night drive in high speeds could be here is a video of Palm beach Car Accident in Navi Mumbai :
Shocking to see the car brake barely a car length before the impact.
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Old 29th March 2014, 13:47   #173
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That's a very old clip. It was discussed here as well.
The car was braking from the beginning of the video, but it was done lightly.
It was only at the end that the pedal was pushed harder, thus the hazard lights came on which indicated a stop from greater than 95/100km/hr.
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Old 29th March 2014, 22:02   #174
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

I have just joined the team bhp community and I must say that the most important part of driving , i,e. road safety and traffic rules, are the last priority for Indian motorists.

We need to have advertisements on TV stressing road safety more often and if possible, endorsed by film stars or cricketers.

Speaking about Pune, the commuters throw all caution to the winds and drive as if they are the only ones. Driving on the wrong side is like second nature to the Pune motorists. I sincerely hope that the traffic police wakes up to this problem soon and enforces traffic rules in toto.
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Old 19th May 2014, 12:13   #175
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Default Objectionable Driving by me - a TBHPian

Last Friday, I happened to meet my former university lecturer who now works in the same company as me and following was the conversation we had which left me fuming at the end of it!!:

HE: Hi!

ME: Hi! How are you doing?

HE: I'm doing fine and by the way you own a White Swift Dzire right? I saw you today morning while coming to office.

ME: Oh really?! where did u see me?

HE:Near Guduvanchery signal when you were driving in an "Objectionable Manner"

ME: (Surprised and Shocked) What??!!

HE: I was coming in a carpool with a friend. He was pissed off with a White Dzire going very slowly in front of him and he was asking "What the hell is this guy driving??!!". After a while when he got a chance to pass that Dzire I looked over to the driver side and I saw you!!

ME: (Shocked!!) I was just following the speed limit set on the road and probably your friend did not want to follow it. I really can't help it

HE: No! No! not a problem at all. There was no mistake on your side. I was just trying to explain how and where I saw you.



After this I did not feel like continuing the conversation and I bid him bye and went.



The Actual Story:


I was doing abt 65 Kms on the GST road towards my office in the right lane. Now people who drive on this road will be well knowing that this is a two lane road with all the Heavy trucks, Share Autos occupying the left most lane and we have to drive on the right lane without any other option. Sometimes the right lane would also be occupied by some heavy slow moving trucks and rash interstate buses. It so happened on this morning after crossing the Guduvanchery signal, there was a slow moving truck on the right lane few meters before me.I honked at him, he did not budge, so I had the only option of passing him from the left. I check my left ORVM - nothing, I check my right ORVM - I see this white VW Polo in my ORVM coming at about 80 - 85 Kmph in my lane. I was waiting for him to pass on my left so that I can also move over to the left lane and then pass the truck moving in front of me, but no! this guy does not pass me instead he comes behind me, tailgates me and honks loudly so I thought I will go ahead with my passing.Till now, I maintained a good distance from the truck and hence i did not have the need to shift down to pass the truck. Upon seeing that this guy did not pass me from the left I switch my left lane indicator and start going to the left lane. This guy does not have patience, he still tailgates me and honks a couple of times. My usual driving tendency is that I always match the pressure on my accelerator with the speed of the car and i don't over do it. SO I maintain the same speed while passing the truck. I can now see that this Polo guy has lost his patience and starts honking badly. It just took hardly 5 seconds for me to pass this truck and continue on the left lane and create a space for this Polo guy to shift on the right lane and speed away.

The lecturer with whom I had the above conversation was seated in the passenger seat of the Polo and it was when the Polo passed me from the right side, he had noticed me.


I felt really offended when I had the above conversation later in the evening and I then thought I should have told that lecturer - "Probably your friend did not see the 'I Drive Safe' sticker at the back of my car. If he had, he wouldn't have felt i was driving in an Objectionable manner"


Now People - Is this what called as Driving in an Objectionable Manner? Did I not wait for him to pass on my left?? I did not even come down from the speed that was recommended on the Sign Board(60 KMS) for him to be so impatient.


Please let me know your views.
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Old 19th May 2014, 12:47   #176
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Default Re: Objectionable Driving by me - a TBHPian

Buddy, such things happen.
Don't take them so seriously, the best practice I usually try to follow is just forgive such morons. Though much more patience, I get tempered pretty shortly whenever such incidents happen to me specially when I'm really not to be blamed at. It feels like teaching them a lesson but then I think about why to risk my (and anybody accompanying) life. If they are misjudging me for a small incident, let them at the cost of safeguarding myself and the family. If the matter is really serious, then only one need to resolve it the best possible way!
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Old 19th May 2014, 12:50   #177
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Default Re: Objectionable Driving by me - a TBHPian

To us bhpians, obviously, this wouldn't be regarded as objectionable but to someone who drives like a maniac and expects other road users to compete with the likes of Vettel, Alonso etc, anything slow or anything that follows the rules is highly objectionable because these drivers expect everyone to drive similarly and without thinking. No, you didn't do anything wrong! Don't get offended by such antics, in fact you should be proud to have followed the speed limit not only because there was one but also when you had an irritating driver tailgating you. My honest advice to you would be that you forward the link to this thread to your university lecturer and watch his horns blow.
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Old 19th May 2014, 13:33   #178
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Default Re: Objectionable Driving by me - a TBHPian

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Originally Posted by iSpoke View Post
Buddy, such things happen.
Don't take them so seriously, the best practice I usually try to follow is just forgive such morons. Though much more patience, I get tempered pretty shortly whenever such incidents happen to me specially when I'm really not to be blamed at. It feels like teaching them a lesson but then I think about why to risk my (and anybody accompanying) life. If they are misjudging me for a small incident, let them at the cost of safeguarding myself and the family. If the matter is really serious, then only one need to resolve it the best possible way!
Yeah iSpoke, though I was a bit down that evening, later I resurfaced as I knew that we do share the road with such morons. Nevertheless thank you for your thoughts
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Old 19th May 2014, 13:35   #179
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Default Re: Objectionable Driving by me - a TBHPian

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Originally Posted by createrkid View Post
To us bhpians, obviously, this wouldn't be regarded as objectionable but to someone who drives like a maniac and expects other road users to compete with the likes of Vettel, Alonso etc, anything slow or anything that follows the rules is highly objectionable because these drivers expect everyone to drive similarly and without thinking. No, you didn't do anything wrong! Don't get offended by such antics, in fact you should be proud to have followed the speed limit not only because there was one but also when you had an irritating driver tailgating you. My honest advice to you would be that you forward the link to this thread to your university lecturer and watch his horns blow.
hahaha yeah when i was writing this post, I thought of sharing this with that lecturer, but then then dropped the idea as It could lead to more complexity rather than people really understanding the depth of this discussion

Last edited by gabrielthomas : 19th May 2014 at 13:37. Reason: add more points
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Old 19th May 2014, 17:31   #180
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Default Re: Objectionable Driving by me - a TBHPian

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Originally Posted by gabrielthomas View Post
Now People - Is this what called as Driving in an Objectionable Manner? Did I not wait for him to pass on my left??
Please let me know your views.
Technically speaking, you are correct in your actions, in that you did not speed up beyond the speed limit.

However, from what I can gather about the road (correct me if I am wrong), traffic on the section is unruly and speed limits are not really adhered to by a majority of drivers - and I also presume there is no speed radar in use on this section. In such a situation, when a maniac comes up to your tailgate at 80-85 kmph while you're doing 60-65, wanting to overtake from the right, it would have been sensible to pull over to the left and let him pass from your right. This is despite the fact that you know the right lane is blocked by a slow-moving truck further ahead - that's the other car's problem. For your own safety, getting out of the way is the most prudent thing to do.

Since you knew already that the left lane was the only way to overtake the truck, you could also have pulled over to the left and accelerated (above the 60-65 kmph that you were doing), completing the overtaking manoeuvre as well as not forcing the errant Polo to brake in from high speed (even though he may have been doing the wrong thing).
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Originally Posted by gabrielthomas View Post
I maintain the same speed while passing the truck.
Standard rule of overtaking - speed up to complete the manoeuvre in the least time possible, and move back to your original lane. If Indian circumstances force you to overtake from the left, then so be it.
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Originally Posted by gabrielthomas View Post
I did not even come down from the speed that was recommended on the Sign Board(60 KMS) for him to be so impatient.
Sticking to the speed limit at all times is not necessarily the best practice - modulating your speed to allow traffic around you to pass effortlessly is critical to your own safety. You don't want another car to take up residence in your boot just because you object to his driving maniacally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielthomas View Post
...I should have told that lecturer - "Probably your friend did not see the 'I Drive Safe' sticker at the back of my car. If he had, he wouldn't have felt i was driving in an Objectionable manner"
Drive Safe sticker is not the same as Drive Safe in real life.
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