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Old 10th January 2013, 17:11   #121
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
Just 5 commandments will not be enough. Better to take print outs, read before a long drive and hope for the best.

It for individuals to make their own compressed list to suit their requirements.

How about your 10 Commandments?
Actually, how about Team-BHP podcasts? We can listen to it while driving etc, and subconsciously imbue the message?

Just as TBHP reviews now sometimes have video besides images, why not audio to add onto articles?
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Old 10th January 2013, 18:37   #122
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
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.
This is a basic traffic rule. When the line is dashed means you may sometimes go out to the opposite lane (overtaking for example). However when the line is solid, you may not cross the line and need to strictly stay in your lane.

Also sometimes there is a double center line which gives more information.

For example,

Solid on the left and dashed on the right side by side - You may not go to the other lane however, the opposite side driver may come into your lane and he has the right of way.

Dashed on the left and solid on the right means the opposite. Then you have the right of way.


Below is a very good reference from the official website of Delhi Traffic Police-
http://www.delhitrafficpolice.nic.in/road-marking.htm
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Old 10th January 2013, 21:13   #123
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Keep the windows rolled up. Being exposed to strong wind & noise for a longer duration can tire you out. There is also the danger from flying pebbles & other foreign objects. Sealed windows are better from an aerodynamic point of view as well .
Want to share a useful personal experience here. Me & family were driving through Bandipur forest with glasses rolled down -- to see the beauty of the forest and get some fresh air. Road condition turned bad and it became dusty so I wound up the glasses again. Within a minute or two, a swarm of bees came from nowhere and started pounding the windshield and all glasses of the car. They disappeared in another minute. Cannot image what would have happened to us if any of the glasses were still down!!

Another point I want to share for ghat driving, the vehicles who are going downhill should give way for those that are coming uphill. It is quite difficult for buses and trucks to negotiate the curve through the outer periphery and so they would generally turn through the middle of the road. Again the driver going downhill would have a better visibility than the one climbing.

Last edited by B103 : 10th January 2013 at 21:32.
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Old 10th January 2013, 22:45   #124
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Actually, how about Team-BHP podcasts? We can listen to it while driving etc, and subconsciously imbue the message?

Just as TBHP reviews now sometimes have video besides images, why not audio to add onto articles?
These tips need to be imbibed so that they become ingrained and one can react instinctively. Best for highway/driving newbies is to read a few times, and then start with small, safer highway drives before venturing out on long trips or riskier highways drives (say in the night or ghats). Also recommend that they get a complete feel for the vehicle (new drivers or after buying a new car).

Imagine a crisis situation where one is trying to remember what to do (or to flip through the pages/ fast forwarding a podcast to get to the right section).

Ok, so there is this monster truck with 6 lights coming at me, I can't see I am half blind. What do I do??? No sweat, just stay cool.

Switch on the reading light, take out the Team BHP Highway Driving Guide printout, start flipping through pages to the 'How to deal with high beam rowdies' section. I need both hands to flip through the pages, but it is ok since I can steer using my big belly.

Takes me a while to find the right tips because I printed out the guide using size 7 font to save on paper and keep the guide compact. Yes, found it! G
ood that I remembered that it was under the 'Avoid getting down from the car and taking an open-air crap in a field infested with leeches tip!

As per the instructions, I flash my feeble stock headlights (no effect, and the truck now switches on 2 more fog lights - now it has 8 eyes pointed at the top of the trees), stare at X degree angle towards the road and at Y degree angle towards the lights (in spite of my Spondilytis), locate and put on my polaroids (need to look cool at night so that those buses and trucks don't take panga with me) and put on Highway Star in the ICE. Putting appropriate music is recommended since it gives one confidence to face blinding high beams.

Obviously all this happens in 0.5 seconds.

"You trucker, you think you own the road? Let's see who can play better chicken!" I say to myself as the car and truck hurtle towards each other at a relative velocity of 150kmph.

Last edited by bblost : 11th January 2013 at 11:51.
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Old 11th January 2013, 15:10   #125
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Nice read! I can't believe we never had a thread like this on Team BHP before.

I have been driving for nearly 20 years but been doing long highway drives only about half that time. I think that in itself is a valuable tip: don't hit the highway for long drives till you are very confident of your ability to handle most situations as a driver. I know of teenagers with a brand new license that hit the highway to show off, and ended up in messy situations because there are some things that only experience can help you deal with. This is not to discourage young drivers, but rather to let them discover their limitations and work within them.

I think the concept of "sweeper car" is awesome. I call it the "safety car" myself (courtesy F1!) and find that I need it most while on the last leg of a particularly long journey, in fading light, when warm, sweet home beckons and the passengers are close to passing out! One time I got through a particularly bad stretch of ghat behind a Honda City that was extremely well-driven. At the end of the stretch I overtook him and honked and waved as I passed him. He waved back. Belated thanks to my nameless "shepherd"!

I can only delve into my experience of driving long highway routes and come up with additional tips. The need for an alert travel companion in the passenger seat cannot be undermined. I have to confess am not a very good solo driver. Sometimes I miss signs or landmarks. Other times it helps to have an extra pair of sharper eyes to spot perils that lurk on the open road. My wife has been my steadfast travel companion for the past ten years and the debt is immeasurable.

Driving in unfamiliar conditions can be dangerous because sometimes you get lulled into false sense of security. On a recent drive into the mountains I found myself losing concentration occasionally and one of these times ended nose to nose with a mammoth state transport bus (the road had narrowed to a single lane and it was his right of way). In such situations, it pays to focus fully on the driving (shutting off music and casual banter, for example) in the interest of safety. It's not that I am a bad driver, just that I am used to driving in the flats and the sudden change of terrain needs instant adjustment.

My biggest fear on the highway is banging into some unlighted vehicle, especially those lumbering behemoths that believe only in front lighting. Good headlights are a Godsend in this situation. Also slow down. It's ok to reach half an hour late than never reach at all.

Rated 5*.
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Old 11th January 2013, 16:49   #126
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Thanks a ton for the excellent compendium of all the points one has to keep in mind before and while on those famous Indian highways.

I have had a total experience of more than 2.5 Lakh kms of driving in various vehicles of mine. Most of that figure is done while driving in the city, and even after 9-10 years of driving, i still get jittery and think twice before hitting the highways, purely because those tricky rural areas come into my mind.

Its happened many a times to me when my friends who have just learnt driving and bought there first car head out to the highways. Thankfully for them, nothing untoward has happened yet to them, and i sincerely pray that it stays that way.

This thread will surely help all the experts as well as new highway drivers to drive more confidently. The golden one being stopping after every 90-120 minutes this really helps the driver as well as the drive !!

Also, the good places to eat is also a very sound advice, the herd effect is the best policy when travelling on unknown highways to spot for the right places to stop, though its always better when one does google and lookout for okayish spots to stop on the way.

A superb thread !!!

Last edited by Prodigyy : 11th January 2013 at 16:55. Reason: Typo errors
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Old 11th January 2013, 23:42   #127
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Lovely thread! This is definitely worthwhile sharing with all my friends and relatives. A lot of it is common sense driving. Unfortunately common sense seems to be at a very high premium on Indian roads
Regards,
Ashok
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Old 11th January 2013, 23:52   #128
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

People tend to forget that you can have the best car, the best control, the best skill. But all this will not help when you make a BAD decision at the critical time. That unfortunately, will only come be a lot of seat time and age. That's what age and seat time gets you. And that's the main reason the Insurance Rates are typically much lower for older drivers.
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Old 13th January 2013, 21:58   #129
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Thumbs up Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Thank you so much GTO for summing up so many points that could make a difference between life and death. Many of the points have actually made me realize the mistakes I usually commit on the highway. I have been at the receiving end quite a lot of times and I must thank my stars for being alive. Now though, you have given amateur highway drivers like myself, a bible to drive safely on Indian highways. Allow me to thank you once again for doing the same.
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Old 14th January 2013, 22:18   #130
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Folks

Attached is a pictorial guide I got from a pal in the US. It deals with how to position to wing mirrors (ORVMs).

The original is not getting uploaded as it is some unknown file type (looks like a powerpoint to me with moving images). Therefore I took screenshots and pasted those onto a word document.

Members may find it useful.


FordMirrorGuide.docx
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Old 15th January 2013, 15:47   #131
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Folks

Attached is a pictorial guide I got from a pal in the US. It deals with how to position to wing mirrors (ORVMs).

The original is not getting uploaded as it is some unknown file type (looks like a powerpoint to me with moving images). Therefore I took screenshots and pasted those onto a word document.

Members may find it useful.


Attachment 1038571
Thanks for sharing. Never know about this. Lets try it out.
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Old 15th January 2013, 15:59   #132
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Thanks for sharing. Never know about this. Lets try it out.
I did try it out soon after I got that doc, but I was a wee bit wary in city traffic.

To cut a long story short, it's a case of 'old habits die hard'.

The position of the wing mirrors I'm used to is to put them at such an angle that when I tilt my head to either side, I should see the tip of my car. I've found this position very useful in spotting bikes and narrow vehicles that are close to my rear fender.

And If I need to change lanes, I leam forward and look at the concerned wing mirror to cover my blind spot on that side. I find this better than an over-the-shoulder glance (especially for right turns) as the B pillar does not block my view. This apart, I don't lose sight of the quick-changing scenario in front of my car.

Perhaps for highway drives the position recommended in the doc will be more useful.

Last edited by vnabhi : 15th January 2013 at 16:03.
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Old 15th January 2013, 16:22   #133
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Folks

Attached is a pictorial guide I got from a pal in the US. It deals with how to position to wing mirrors (ORVMs).

The original is not getting uploaded as it is some unknown file type (looks like a powerpoint to me with moving images). Therefore I took screenshots and pasted those onto a word document.

Members may find it useful.


Attachment 1038571
The suggested method claims that "This way you will only have 4 small blind areas.".

If you have a better understanding of this method, can you please explain?
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Old 15th January 2013, 16:27   #134
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
The suggested method claims that "This way you will only have 4 small blind areas.".

If you have a better understanding of this method, can you please explain?
Well, the diagrams are pretty illustrative, so how can I or anybody give a better explanation?

I'll give this a shot in my next highway drive, as it facilitates a better coverage of what is behind me. For city drives, I prefer the method I've explained in my earlier post.
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Old 15th January 2013, 17:15   #135
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Folks

Attached is a pictorial guide I got from a pal in the US. It deals with how to position to wing mirrors (ORVMs).
Interesting read. But almost all car manuals suggest to position the mirror in such a way that the outer 2/3rds displays the road , while the inner 1/3rd shows the body of the car. THis way the driver is able to understand the position of the vehicle or object in the rear view mirror relative to his or her car.

At 90 degrees one will not be able to see the body of the car. How is one supposed to make out how close or far the object is from the car? I am sure I won't be able to drive with such a view. I don't think many car mirrors (esp the internally adjustable types) will swivel out so far in the first place.

Extremely surprised to see such a recommendation from Ford. THis could be potentially dangerous
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