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Old 9th January 2013, 13:33   #91
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by avkurian View Post
Any engineers on here, I wish to patent an idea for a spring-loaded high-beam controller. The driver can never keep the headlights on high, but can flash to high-beam when needed A pipe-dream, I know, but let's hope.
Cars already have provision to either flash (you pull the lever towards you) or put it to high beam (push the lever). How is that different form what you are proposing?
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Old 9th January 2013, 13:37   #92
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Cars already have provision to either flash (you pull the lever towards you) or put it to high beam (push the lever). How is that different form what you are proposing?
The difference is that this will not have the 'push the lever' option you mention

I have come across people who always drive on high-beam believing that the blue indicator on the dashboard simply shows that the headlight is on. So, remove the temptation to drive solely in high-beam, and you will have many more low-beam drivers.
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Old 9th January 2013, 16:24   #93
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post
One of the most irritating or troublesome aspect of driving at night is continuous High-beam from on coming traffic.

How to get around this or whatz the solution ? I get blinded and not amount of signalling works for them. MKP
Apart from the suggestions others have given:

Just get used to dealing with it. The scene won't change in a hurry, so you need to work around it. Expressways and 2X2 lanes are still alright, what will you do when you face 8-light trucks or buses coming at you - occupying almost the entire lane - at 80kmph on 2 lane highways?
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Old 9th January 2013, 17:11   #94
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

My 2.5 paisa-

- Whenever overtaking, keep an eye on the distance between the white line and the front tyre of the other vehicle. This will give you a fair idea if the vehicle is shifting lanes.

- Don't overtake too closely. Keep at-least 4-5 feet distance from the other vehicle when you are parallel. This helps in case the other driver shifts lanes all of a sudden.
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Old 9th January 2013, 17:20   #95
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post
One of the most irritating or troublesome aspect of driving at night is continuous High-beam from on coming traffic.

How to get around this or whatz the solution ? I get blinded and not amount of signalling works for them.
Here's a solution I wrote about a long time ago...
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
...why buses and trucks hit high beam very close to you. When the truck is 20-25m from your car, and you from him, he needs to maintain vision for another 100m behind your car so he can maintain his speed and not slow down. Repeated slowing down/speeding up burns more fuel, which truckers obviously try to avoid. Hit your own high beam at about the same time he does, and you'll see much better too, well behind the truck as well as the left verge.

...Please let me explain. You are allowing the headlight beams to focus on what is known as the "blind spot" of your eye - that part of the retina through which the nerves come out, and which has no visual input. To demonstrate, look straight ahead at a point in the distance. Then hold a pencil at arm's length from your eyes, straight ahead. You should be able to see both the distant object and the pencil. Now gradually move your arm to the right while you maintain focus on the distant object. At a particular point, you will realise that you can't see the pencil any more (unless you rotate your eyeballs to focus on the pencil again). Move the pencil further or move it back, and you can see it again. Note the angle of your arm with relation to your head. With a little bit of practice, you can turn your head, looking straight ahead while driving, to let the oncoming headlights be at the same spot where the pencil was, and bingo! No glare. As the headlights come closer, compensate by turning your head.
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Old 9th January 2013, 17:20   #96
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

This is the most valuable thread i have seen ever on this forum . For us the enthusiasts , we know most of these , but either when we are panicked or egoistic , none of these works , the most important is to have a peaceful mind responsible to ourselves and family , over the 10 lakh kms over different vehicles , from early morning drives to late night , witht he current traffic and road situations , Starting after 8-9 am brak fast is my current way to go however dense the traffic is knowing the risks with an open road (u know what i mean ) . One point to stress is never use AC on ghats .
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Old 9th January 2013, 18:19   #97
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Exhaustive list! Only somebody who has huge experience driving on our highways can come up with a list like this - covers pretty much everything.

The following two advice seems a bit odd (I mean, excessively cautious) though.

"Always keep your low beam and fog lamps on, even during the day. It greatly increases your visibility to fellow road users. Being seen is as important as seeing others."
Actually, statistically it has been proved it is safer to drive with daytime running lights.

1) A 2008 study by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analysed the effect of DRLs on frontal and side-on crashes between two vehicles and on vehicle collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. The analysis determined that DRLs offer no statistically significant reduction in the frequency or severity of the collisions studied, except for a reduction in light trucks' and vans' involvement in two-vehicle crashes by a statistically significant 5.7%.

2) A recent European Commission report also had positive findings towards the use of DRLs' and therefore a number of European countries have or are due to pass legislation to make DRLs' compulsory. However, a petition for the same was rejected by the USA Department of Transportation in 2009 [http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009.../E9-15314.pdf]

Last edited by IndianGuardian : 9th January 2013 at 18:24.
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Old 9th January 2013, 18:34   #98
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Apart from the suggestions others have given:

Just get used to dealing with it. The scene won't change in a hurry, so you need to work around it. Expressways and 2X2 lanes are still alright, what will you do when you face 8-light trucks or buses coming at you - occupying almost the entire lane - at 80kmph on 2 lane highways?
That's what I'm doing dealing with it.

I will not drive at night to those places where u have 8-light trucks coming

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Here's a solution I wrote about a long time ago...
.Please let me explain. You are allowing the headlight beams to focus on what is known as the "blind spot" of your eye - that part of the retina through which the nerves come out, and which has no visual input. To demonstrate, look straight ahead at a point in the distance. Then hold a pencil at arm's length from your eyes, straight ahead. You should be able to see both the distant object and the pencil. Now gradually move your arm to the right while you maintain focus on the distant object. At a particular point, you will realise that you can't see the pencil any more (unless you rotate your eyeballs to focus on the pencil again). Move the pencil further or move it back, and you can see it again. Note the angle of your arm with relation to your head. With a little bit of practice, you can turn your head, looking straight ahead while driving, to let the oncoming headlights be at the same spot where the pencil was, and bingo! No glare. As the headlights come closer, compensate by turning your head.
Very Nice, but will need lots and lots of kms of driving practise to get close to this.

For Now using Polarized Glasses to reduce the Pain. Simultaneously using High beams intermittantly. No other option !!

Cheers
MKP
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Old 9th January 2013, 19:03   #99
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Extremely comprehensive account by GTO. A lot to learn for a newbie driver like me. Thought to add a one point:

1) Though I don't advise carrying kids without child seat, incase it's necessary please leave them in the rear seat under adult supervision of course. On one occasion when my wife sat in the front with my hyper active 1.5 year old son he started fiddling with all the controls. This is a huge distraction. I will buy a child seat at the earliest.
Thanks.
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Old 9th January 2013, 21:29   #100
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post
Very Nice, but will need lots and lots of kms of driving practise to get close to this.
For Now using Polarized Glasses to reduce the Pain. Simultaneously using High beams intermittantly. No other option !!
It isn't very difficult to get used to the suggestion - try it a few times consciously, and then you'll be able to do it without thinking. I am not sure how effective polarized glasses are though - it would be nice if you could post a feedback here, and also inform whether prescription polarized lenses are available or not, and from which company.
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Old 9th January 2013, 21:48   #101
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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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 disagree with this and side with the OP on this. Reason: I have seen drivers unfamiliar with the route just drive off a meandering road at night as they were (mis)led by the headlights of another vehicle on a stretch of road that they assumed was theirs, without realising that there was a loop to reach the place. i have seen this near khopoli with trucks on the old mumbai pune NH (2000-03). refer the pic of ghat roads in the earlier posts and imagine no barricades at the turns, you will get what i mean. just my opinion.
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Old 9th January 2013, 21:54   #102
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
It isn't very difficult to get used to the suggestion - try it a few times consciously, and then you'll be able to do it without thinking. I am not sure how effective polarized glasses are though - it would be nice if you could post a feedback here, and also inform whether prescription polarized lenses are available or not, and from which company.
That's a good suggestion SSda, I guess I will need to see the demo a couple times on youtube or try it myself while I identify and start eliminating that blind spot.
I generally flash the high beam once from far distance to let the other guy know that I'm driving on low beam, most of the times it happens that the other guy switches to the low beam (if he is driving on high which is the case most of the time ) since I'm driving on low beam; I have seen some truckers switches to low beam but then as you said switches back to high beam at around 50m or so, even if I remain on low beam all this while (I have observed this more with my XUV since the low beam is very safe and has got the cut-off lens that doesn't go into the eyes of oncoming vehicle but remains bit low).

Regarding the polarized lens, I'm yet to see the one that comes without the dark tint, polarized lens will always be with dark tint and wont be useful in the night, it can be useful only during the day to eliminate reflections due to polarizing effect of sun rays (unless a new tech /invention happened recently and they are available without the dark tint).

EDIT:
^@Handsofsteel,
it may be a rare case or exception, have you seen/observed that (driving off a meandering road in the night) happening repeatedly? I have the same opinion so far that its better/safer to drive in the ghat roads during night compared to day.
I have hardly seen people use horn (a short, sweet, single beep) at turns, local drivers are too confident and never use them. Night drive helps here and alerts your of an oncoming vehicle. We are talking about doing a safe speeds here and not doing mad speeds which leads to misjudge the road width or road shoulder due to lack of sun-light here.
I have driven in Uttarakhand for about a week, visiting char-dham and found the lights helpful during that last hour or two in the dark before we halt for the day, had the similar experience while driving in some of the hills in south a few times. Its just my personal opinion with the limited experience and knowledge I have so far.

Last edited by Ketan : 9th January 2013 at 22:03.
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Old 9th January 2013, 22:11   #103
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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
Couple of pointers:

1. I assume all drivers, including myself, on the road I'm on, are going to make a mistake. Makes me that much more alert.
+10 to that. Exactly my thoughts whenever I step into my car. BTW always better to say a small prayer before driving off.
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Old 9th January 2013, 22:46   #104
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Great article GTO. I agree with your points. A few points from my experience:

1) Lift your foot off the accelerator when you are approaching a bridge on the express ways. You will find multiple bridges which are constructed on the highways to go over the local roads. Generally, the bridge has a small difference in height from the highway. As soon as you hit it at high speed, the suspensions would get a big jerk. Secondly, the car will jump a bit which is again not good for high speed drives
2) Whenever you see newly contructed road ahead, slow down a bit as at the junction of the old road and new road, there will be a difference in height which will again cause your car to go airborne at high speeds. Not good for control
3) Carrying some news paper also helps in rainy season. This is a habit that I picked from my brother-in-law. I had to stop by a dhaba and there was quite a lot of wet mud in the parking. Wouldnt have been good to come back into a clean car with shoes full of mud.
4) Dont keep the driver side AC vents pointing towards you. In long distance drives, your hands will see the impact.
5) Keep an umbrella and a torch handy when hitting the highway

And I agree with a lot of fellow BHPians when they emphasize on patience. Honk-Look-Overtake is the way to go. Happy Driving everyone.
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Old 10th January 2013, 01:50   #105
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

One most important rule.

Maintain a minimum 3 second gap from the vehicle infront of you at all speeds except, while overtaking. This is a basic rule of high speed driving. This is the minimum reaction time required for most humans in a driving situation.

It's easy.

Mark when the vehicle infront of you passes a mile marker, electric pole etc; Count One thousand One, One Thousand Two and One Thousand Three which approximately corresponds to 3 seconds.

You'll notice that as the speed increases, the gap between the vehicles increases considerably. In an emergency, this might save your life.
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