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Old 6th June 2007, 21:23   #16
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Default night driving

How useful are polarised eye glasses in reducing head lights glare during night driving. Are there any gadgets to avoid such glare?
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Old 7th June 2007, 20:03   #17
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Polarised glasses are useful mainly in reducing intensity of reflected lights from surfaces like snow, ice, water, metal surface etc. It may not be of much use in reducing direct light sources like head lights. I have not seen any really useful glasses which help reduce such direct lights. Most of them are just marketing gimmicks.
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Old 8th June 2007, 10:41   #18
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Quote:
  • Avoid night driving: security is an issue and bad road conditions are hard to see at night.
That is just one of the reasons why Samurai has recommended daylight driving. The oncoming glare of headlights, poor state of roads, lack of prompt first-aid / emergency services and broken law & order systems make driving during the day a must for highway travellers.
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Old 8th June 2007, 11:57   #19
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
That is just one of the reasons why Samurai has recommended daylight driving. The oncoming glare of headlights, poor state of roads, lack of prompt first-aid / emergency services and broken law & order systems make driving during the day a must for highway travellers.
I fully agree with this. I always start my road trip at morning 5 am or at Max 6 am. It is safest to drive in the morning when you are highly alert and also full of energy. The only downside here is one needs wake up early and prepare to leave home at day break.

The other benefits are that you reach your destination at or after noon and that is when you would be able to check into hotels /resorts at your destination.
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Old 8th June 2007, 12:23   #20
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Hi folks,

My first post in this forum ...

Quite an exhaustive list! I would agree to most of them. Better be on the safe side when it comes to preparing for long drives.

I have done a few long trips myself ( including three Hyderabad Calicut trips in a Santro ) , and I usually make it a point to get the car serviced before the trip to start with, and also cover most of the items mentioned in the first post ( i didnt carry spare fan belts etc then.. on hindsight there was a definite risk there ).

Some general guidelines i follow for long trips - ( some are preparatory, and some to be followed while on the road )

- Sleep early: It is always difficult to get a good sleep before a long trip because of the anxiety you have, but I make it a point to hit the bed early . Its also important to make sure that you dont leave any packing for the morning.

- Start early: Very useful- from my experience. Mostly because you can hit open countryside very quickly. Saves a lot of time. I start at around 5.00-5.30. The only downside is that you end up catching the headlights of Overnight buses ( my experience leaving hyderabad early ) that could put you in a spot of bother early on.

- Needless to say, fill tank up the day before.

- Dont drive for more than 3 hours at a stretch. I have found the need to take a break after around 2 hrs 30 min or so . Perhaps this may vary from person to person, but If you are the lone driver, make it a point to take a 15 min break every 3 hours or so. Get out, stretch your legs, wash your face etc..

- Dont overeat. Especially when it comes to lunch. Because of obvious reasons.

- Be very alert during the afternoon session of driving. Traffic is usually less during this time, and it gets a little monotonous. And its quite possible that other occupants in the car doze off. Make sure that the front passenger doesnt. Get him/her to speak. Start a conversation ( not an argument ) . Will help you stay alert.

- Check the tyres every time you take a break.

- As the OP rightly mentioned, refill at half tank. Choose the right pump.

- in case you are driving with AC on all the time, keep it in ventilated mode once in a while to allow some fresh air.

- In case AC is not required, roll up windows and leave a small gap, and run the fan , keeping the vent open. Driving long distances with windows rolled down can be quite tiring, and it could also negatively affect fuel efficiency. However, if you love to have wind on your hair, your choice..

- Very important - set reasonable time targets - dont be under pressure to achieve personal time targets - This could cause you to drive too aggressively. There is a difference between driving fast and driving recklessly. Of course go fast where you can, but dont start getting angry because you cant overtake the convoy of trucks ahead of you quickly.

- Be aware that in india the condition of the roads can change quickly over a short distance. A supersmooth four lane highway can quickly change into a pothole-ridden country road. Dividers & speedbreakers can come out of nowhere.

- Slow down while passing through villages/small towns even though the road may be clear ahead.

- Anticipate well. have a mental picture of what could happen ahead. Anticipation can avoid a lot of accidents.

Well, my two cents - some of them are too obvious though..

Drive safe..

Last edited by Bigzero : 8th June 2007 at 12:39.
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Old 8th June 2007, 12:40   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigzero View Post
- Very important - set reasonable time targets - dont be under pressure to achieve personal time targets - This could cause you to drive too aggressively. There is a difference between driving fast and driving recklessly. Of course go fast where you can, but dont start getting angry because you cant overtake the convoy of trucks ahead of you quickly.
Consider region, road conditions during setting targets. For instance 60Km can be done in 60minutes on a good stretch. But 60Km might take 120minutes in ghat sections.
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Old 8th June 2007, 14:42   #22
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Make sure that the front passenger doesnt. Get him/her to speak.
Heard this lots of time before. But never felt the need of woken up front passenger. Driven at quite odd times very early morning ( 3am - 6 am ), all passengers were sleeping. What I experienced that you tend to drive like a robot. It gets boring but you can't always rely on front seat passenger. Whenever I am not driving, whether I am at front seat or not, I doze off.

What are your experiences with this ?
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Old 8th June 2007, 15:22   #23
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Originally Posted by austere_sly View Post
What I experienced that you tend to drive like a robot. It gets boring but you can't always rely on front seat passenger. Whenever I am not driving, whether I am at front seat or not, I doze off.

What are your experiences with this ?
i tend to get drowsy. its obvious. how many of you guys yawn when you see others doing the same?

my inputs (lets say you have already hit the Highway:

1. if it rains (during day / night driving):
  • drive slow - tyres will get better grip on wet roads
  • avoid driving through water logged areas
  • dont brake hard during rain - if possible start braking early / use engine braking.
  • turn on parking lights / head lights / hazard lights (in case of heavy rain)
  • its better to park on the tight shoulder?? with the parking lights & hazard lights turned on if visibility is an isuue. yank the hand brake. turn on ac in the ventilation mode. wait till you think that you will be able to make it through.
  • make sure wiper is working
  • carry a dubba of Brake fluid (just in case)
  • carry a bottle of windshield cleaner (Colin for eg. / or a small sachet of surf)
  • if possible mix a part of Colin with water in the windshield washer dubba and use the windshield washer at regular intervals.
  • also carry paper napkins / news paper to clean the windshield when you are taking a break.
  • allow faster vehicles to overtake (ok i know i drive a slow moving car)
  • use high / low beam as signals / use indicators while overtaking / after overtaking.
2. for "very" long drives (before the trip):
  • use a car mobile battery charger - comes in handy
  • use the network setup setting to automatic carrier selection
  • carry chewing gums
  • stick one / two of those triangular hazard red reflective stickers on (either sides of) the rear bumper.
amazing thread guys!

i have the Maps Of India CD - i have access to almost all the Highway Maps. PM me if you need anyone of those as a JPEG file.

Last edited by planet_rocker : 8th June 2007 at 15:35.
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Old 8th June 2007, 17:26   #24
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We were once caught in a heavy downpour on the highway and the taxi's wipers didn't work. The driver rubbed a cigarette on the windshield. The visibility was much better. Apparently tobacco juice prevents water drops from sticking the the windshield.
Ofcourse, this is a worst case scenario.
I found choice of clothing goes a long way in reducing driving stress. I don't carry anything in my pockets(wallets are a pain in the ***, literally) and wear full sleeved tees if its sunny.
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Old 11th June 2007, 11:50   #25
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Default tobacco works

tobacco works.it was raining heavily during one of my trips to coorg,in my premier padmini(sold) the drivers side wiper arm came off & i didnt have the tools to fit it back & my friend suggested rubbing the tobacco inside the cigarette on the windshield.it works fine altleast in crisis situations.

stronger the ciggi better it is.try scissors/gold flake small.
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Old 11th June 2007, 17:17   #26
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Just completed on long trip (about 2100Kms)
- couple of pointers from my end.
1. Balanced wheels and aligned them before leaving.
2. Carry distilled water.
3. Carry a small bag, with a change, toiletries, Toilet paper (incase of dire emergencies ) small mug, soap strips etc. Keep the bag in an accessable place.
3. Chewing gum.
4. Lots of music.
5. Avoid eating when driving - this causes the oil to come onto hands, and make steering risky.
6. Carry sipper bottles for driver.
7. Dark glasses.
8. Keep as much luggage in the boot, and only stuff like water and eats in the passenger cabin. Having an empty cabin will go a long way in passenger comfort.
9. Never compromise on driver seat comfort. Esp if it is a long drive, make sure that the driver's seat is suited perfectly for driving.
10 .Keep change in pocket. Dont pull out wallet for everything. some 100's (considering the toll these days) 50's, 10's and a few coins kept in the coin compartment of the car.

... most important- have a list of team bhpians numbers through the cities you are driving.

Last edited by madan80 : 11th June 2007 at 17:21.
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Old 19th June 2007, 11:46   #27
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Default Survival strategies for highway drivers

I thought of starting a thread on survival strategies I adopt on the highways and share with you my take on them. I am also keen to know what other novel strategies you guys adopt. I am not mentioning the obvious like watch out for road signs etc or repair tips/gadgets.
I am particularly keen to know what to do when you encounter dangerous wild animals like elephants in forest sections. I have never faced this and have no experience. Would appreciate feedback from someone who has first hand personal experience in this
  • I try to avoid driving at night on the highways at all costs. I get completely blinded by the oncoming vehicles, even motorcycles, not to speak of trucks. When I am forced to do it, I try to find a larger vehicle with good tail lights and brake lights and follow it from a reasonable distance. This way, I am protected from the lights of oncoming vehicles. I have adopted this strategy of follow-the-leader very successfully in the night, in blinding rain, in dense fog etc.
  • There are two types of trucks on the Indian highways – the (over)loaded, long distance trucks and the generally empty local trucks (apparent from the registration number). These are two completely different animals and require different skills to deal with. While the former are very decent, bankable and dependable animals, the latter are maniacs and want to sweep aside everything in front. To overtake the former is very easy – you position yourself on their rear view mirror, flash the light once and wait for his signal to pass. Know that most truckers in India use the right turn signal to mean “you can overtake me now”. This is completely wrong but it works in India. If they show a hand asking you to wait, respect that.
  • Trying to take a takkar with the local/empty trucks is a waste of time and can even be dangerous. Same is true for long distance buses. Identify the maniacs and let them pass.
  • When you are overtaking a bus that is dropping off/picking up passengers, be very careful and honk like a maniac. Some of the passengers will spring up suddenly from behind the bus and you are not supposed to mow them down.
  • From a distance, particularly on GQ at high speeds, some trucks look stationary while they are not, some look like moving while they are not, some look like coming your way while they are going and some look like going while they are coming. You have to be aware of these possibilities.
  • During harvest season watch out for the loaded tractor-trailors. If you are behind it remember it can and it will always turn abruptly and you will not even realise it. Because the trailor changes the direction much after the tractor pulling it changes its direction and you can’t really see the tractor because the trailor is larger and hides the view in front.
  • On the GQ I drive with the dividing white line between my two front wheels. I know this is completely wrong and unacceptable internationally. But we are talking about Indian highways. Here we have this menace of local wrong siders. And they could come from anywhere - either from your right or from your left. So you take the middle path.
  • Keep a mental note of the last locality you crossed. You may have to return to it soon on foot. Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
  • Don’t bank on the highway tyre pressure gauges but carry your own. They are used for filling overloaded truck tyres, not cars. A friend once found the pressure in his Marshal was close to 80, the vehicle was jumping so much the front fender fell off.
  • If you have to ask for road direction from a local, ask him about the closest next town. Don’t ask him about your final destination, he might not have any clue as to where that is. Never ask him, “does this road go to X?” He will most likely say yes even if it is no. Ask him, “which road goes to X?” Truckers and commercial drivers are best for seeking road directions and they always give you the precise distance in km.
  • When the villager tells you “turn left from the next crossing” look at his hand carefully. It might be pointing to the right or vice versa. Get the confusion cleared by asking repeatedly or even by pointing out to him that he is saying something but showing the opposite. Most are embarrassed, laugh and then correct themselves. It has happened umpteen number of times with me, I don’t know why.
  • While filling up, repeatedly mention the fuel you want and personally check that the cap is back on properly.
  • Enjoy the drive.
Regards
Sudipto Roy

Last edited by Rtech : 19th June 2007 at 13:26. Reason: removed html tags
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Old 19th June 2007, 15:44   #28
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Nice points Sudipto da, seems like you are cracking the forum with articles soon after your joining....Keep Going...

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On the GQ I drive with the dividing white line between my two front wheels. I know this is completely wrong and unacceptable internationally. But we are talking about Indian highways. Here we have this menace of local wrong siders. And they could come from anywhere - either from your right or from your left. So you take the middle path.
Somehow I cannot do it ...I always keep in one lane and get very uncomfortable if I drive through the center...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team
Don’t bank on the highway tyre pressure gauges but carry your own. They are used for filling overloaded truck tyres, not cars. A friend once found the pressure in his Marshal was close to 80, the vehicle was jumping so much the front fender fell off.
Ya, You are right... I experienced it in Kolkata while returning to Bangalore on NH6 near Satragachi...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team
When the villager tells you “turn left from the next crossing” look at his hand carefully. It might be pointing to the right or vice versa. Get the confusion cleared by asking repeatedly or even by pointing out to him that he is saying something but showing the opposite. Most are embarrassed, laugh and then correct themselves. It has happened umpteen number of times with me, I don’t know why.
He He He, That is hilarious but so true...
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Old 19th June 2007, 15:52   #29
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Sudipto,

Thats a beautiful collection of advice. In fact, this thread is ARTICLE material. Very helpful. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 19th June 2007, 15:59   #30
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Sudipto,

Couldn't get better than this.

I will add a few more:

- When navigating through a city and looking for directions, ask the auto driver, but when you want to get out of the ciity, ask the long-distance lorry driver, never ask a passer-by.

- When in doubt, ask one, two, three persons and corraborate the exact direction.

- Elephant, bison and other wild life don't follow any traffic rules, you have to be watchful whenver you go through jungles/ santuaries. For example, one encounters them often in Bandipur/Mudumalai (Bangalore-Ooty), several places in Kerala. I had a terrific experience with a chaging elephant at the Jaldapara/Buxar WLS between Siliguri and Bongaigaon one evening, did not see teh guy till I was almost on it (and it charged), but luckily there was some extra width in teh road so I swerved and got away with a few inches to spare.

-Beware of the Indian lorry signalling systems - when they give a right indicator, you think they are turning right, but they are actually letting you overtake. When you think they are letting you overtake, they are actually turning right!

- make your overtaking/speeding judgements based on the type of oncoming vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. Over a period of time, with experience, you will be able to form a judgement on what vehicle each vehicle can travel (say, a Tata 16 tonner going up a slope, or a Minidor taking a turn) so that your spatial judgements are better.

- Watch out always for vehicles without tail lights (most common) and offroad vehciles without any lights (like bullock carts and tractors)

Kumar
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