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Old 7th January 2013, 12:47   #16
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Thanks for the very informative thread GTO.

Recently I came across Neeta Travels Volvo bus enroute to Goa I was following him with a safe distance, at a particular ghat, he slowed down to about 80kmph and wanted me to overtake (I guess) but when i tried came to right to overtake him, he switched on the both the blinkers and I was confused not knowing what the signal is and moved back to the middle lane. Then he continued to go faster and the second time I planned to overtake, he again did the same...do you waht this probably could mean ?
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Old 7th January 2013, 12:48   #17
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Smile Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

GTO, very apt thread in the present circumstances. Thanks for the detailed insight. Each point under each section IMO is very imp and can be be useful handy manual for every beginner or even for a seasoned driver. I feel every Motor learning teaching institutions should make it a point o imbibe these simple yet effective safety rules during the teaching time.

Request you to add any additional points applicable in case of chaffuered cars too. I would like to add just one point - before embarking on any journey ensure all the imp and neccessary documents are available. have reference materials for the routes like maps, imp landmarks etc marked out. In case of any confusion always ask for directions. Avoid forest areas/long stretches during nights where the chances of getting help if stranded is next to none.

Happy stress free travelling.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:01   #18
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Very well put together, GTO.
Excellent points all of these.

This thread made me relive many (nasty) moments from last many years of highway driving .

And as additional suggestions come in from members, you can add them to the appropriate sections in the opening posts.

Here is one that I learnt the hard way - never drive behind an open truck carrying sand, mud, etc (or any vehicle that has rear mud flaps missing). If there is no immediate and clear opportunity to overtake, keep a huge distance or even allow another vehicle to overtake you and drive between you and the truck- will save your windshield from the flying debris and particles.

Another suggestion based on numerous night drives: If you do a lot of highway driving, choose visibility over comfort - don't install any sunfilm on the front windshield. Even the 90% transparent film promises to reduce your visibility by 10% and it makes a huge impact in the night. Rather, use sunglasses (or tinted glasses with appropriate power if you use spects) during the day, you can take them off in the night.

Also, don't install illegal 90/100 bulbs, be considerate to oncoming traffic.



Cheers!

Last edited by anandpadhye : 7th January 2013 at 13:08.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:02   #19
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
The following two advice seems a bit odd (I mean, excessively cautious) though..
.
.
Also, on hilly areas/ghats, I find it safer (and less stressful) to drive after dark because you can see the headlights of oncoming vehicles.
Considering the lower margin for error that is maintained on Indian roads, being a little too pro-active goes a long way. But as you say, DRLs may do the job too instead. It's better to have some passersby signal to you that your lamps are on instead of a fool running into you. At least that way, the purpose of the DRL is met.

On the other hand, I have a different opinion with respect to night driving. Although the pace during a night drive is higher, the Indian road user is still not aware about when to use LOW BEAM/HIGH BEAM. I find night driving to be really strenuous and wears me out much sooner than those day trips. Very rarely do I encounter a driver who responds to my flashing beams my switching to LOW BEAM.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:07   #20
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Very informative and exhaustive article GTO. Thanks! It's also great that we have all the important articles together here.
I would request all team-members to share it using social network sites so that anyone interested would know where to look.
This is really important information which most people we know wouldn't listen to because of "attitude" (read chalta hai) problems.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:08   #21
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Also, on hilly areas/ghats, I find it safer (and less stressful) to drive after dark because you can see the headlights of oncoming vehicles.
I agree with this, night driving can be very safe:
1. You wont miss the oncoming vehicles due to headlights.
2. The rural crowd & Three wheelers are virtually nil
3. Maintain constant speed assuming most the long distance truck drivers stick to their lanes though most of them drive on the right lane.

If night drive is planned, please make sure, you have sufficient sleep before starting and always stop at toll gates for a stretch.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:17   #22
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
• Use engine braking! It helps in keeping the brakes cool, maintaining car control and setting just the right level of deceleration. NEVER, ever coast in neutral gear or with the clutch depressed.
Can someone help me here. I have read in multiple online blogs / forums about driving in neutral when approaching known stop / tollbooth etc. Why is it dangerous to be in neutral gear when you know the stop is -- lets say 300 mtrs away; and you can reduce the speed gradually?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO;3008314
[center
The "Sweeper" Car[/center]

• On an unfamiliar highway or one with dense traffic, you'll be amazed at how stress-free a "sweeper" car can make the journey. Use a lead car that’s well-driven and follow it at a safe distance. Our family calls this car the “sweeper” car as it will clear traffic for you, and also give you ample warning of unmarked speedbreakers, potholes and sharp corners that you might have otherwise been unprepared for. This relationship becomes even more beneficial at night and when visibility is poor. Of course, don’t follow a lead car blindly. If he drives off a cliff, you don’t want to follow him down. Do keep in mind that the sweeper car will be aware of you following him, and might want to swap positions after a while.
I have made it a practice - especially during night driving - to keep safe distance behind the lead car. And thank him when he stops or I overtake.

Thank you GTO for the elaborate thread. You've covered everything that was coming to my mind as I started reading it

Last edited by GTO : 7th January 2013 at 15:37. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:29   #23
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Wonderful post GTO.

I would like to add one point - Never take the vehicle on highway immediately after a service.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:41   #24
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Thank you for this brilliant thread and information! Good to link people who are not so well versed with highway driving.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:42   #25
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Thanks GTO. You have summed it all up very nicely.

One point I'd like to make is, I used to have the habit of driving with the headlights on during the day. About two years ago, I was overtaking a truck on an empty and straight road and the poor truck driver tried telling me the lights are on using his right hand. In the process, he drifted to the right and almost crashed into me!

Another point, fresh from my near-death experience yesterday. When you try overtaking a truck and the truck driver uses his right hand either asking you to go or to slow down, he is doing is as a favour to you. You cannot take it for granted that every truck driver will do it. The responsibility of completing a safe overtaking manoeuvre is on you and only you.

After an accident in September 2011, I also honk when I am going past a stopped bus on the left side. Also, I honk when I see an oncoming truck on a steep curve. Numerous times, I have seen small cars tailgating these trucks and trying to overtake them on blind curves. Honking annoys me, but I understand now that most people understand only one language, that of horns.

Many of the highways I travel on, have a painted centre line. Along the blind spots, the lines are solid, while they are dashed on straight roads. Most people I have told this about, have never been aware of this.

Sweeper car: this another excellent point. Yesterday, after my near-miss, I followed a KSRTC Multi-axle Volvo bus all along the ghat section. The bus is powerful enough to climb the ghats without breaking sweat. The drivers are almost always familiar with the terrain. That guy kept my car speed in check and guided me until he stopped for a break after the ghat section. Later on, I followed a well-driven Winger cab. When he slowed down from 100 kmph to 80 kmph at a particular section on a straight road, I could guess why. I did too. Sure enough, there was an interceptor waiting for its prey.

Last edited by rohanjf : 7th January 2013 at 13:46.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:49   #26
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What I don't understand is why do people switch on the hazards in a tunnel? Aren't they supposed to be using the parking light? Hazards are suppose to be used when parked on the side of the highway, heavy breaking and low visibility in case of fog or heavy rainfall.
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:51   #27
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Awesome writeup GTO ... It is good to have them under the common header, A quick look at this before hitting the highway, might just keep one that extra bit cautious.

The suggestion about 90- 120 Mins is also very very relevant, I follow this religiously, And trust me the change when you get down after 2-2.5 hours of driving is noticeable.

One thing that I see quite often on the highways is that people who are moving at the allowed speed limit, think that they have all the rights to be in the Right most lane. Believe the Right lane should always be for overtaking and not for driving at the specified limits ....
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Old 7th January 2013, 13:53   #28
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Another point when overtaking, take into consideration the terrain condition.

If you are heading towards a gradual incline and the opposite vehicle is driving down the gradual slope, the oncoming vehicle will cover ground much faster than it may seem. Its best not to overtake in these situations and wait for the terrain to even out or overtake only when you are confident and there aren't any oncoming vehicles.

Last edited by vinair : 7th January 2013 at 14:03.
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Old 7th January 2013, 14:25   #29
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Thanks a ton GTO!!! As a newbie bitten by road trip bug I find this awesome list of DOs and Dont's very very very useful!

Couple of more from a rookie highway driver perspective:

-- If you are using Google Maps - don't blindly believe it. There will be stretches where you will go out of Network connectivity and your phone might decide to restart then leaving you without a route to follow. [Maps might be offline but getting a route still requires the Internet!]
-- Having said that, remember to write down the next important milestones on paper to avoid panic.
-- NEVER EVER fiddle with the GPS or the Phone when driving!! Can't stress enough on this point. Fiddling with the Phone/GPS is more dangerous than even talking on the phone. It requires you to take your eyes off the road!
-- Common Sense Tip: Don't eat while driving! More dangerous than drunk driving! You might spill or smear something and end up diverting your attention from the road for a split second which might end up being fatal!
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Old 7th January 2013, 14:25   #30
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

GTO, Thank you. Very detailed and helpful.

Also, At nights vehicles with just one headlight ON are very dangerous, easy to get confused with a two wheeler. If i face a headlight fail situation, i will switch on fog / parking lights until i reach a workshop to get it repaired.

Regards
JC
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