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Old 12th September 2009, 00:43   #226
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Tailgating at any speed is madness; city or highway, it doesn't matter. Do it to me, and, if I have to (I'd rather just let loonies go ahead) I'll stop in front of you and make you stop too to think (maybe, possibly --- it does tend to cause people to drop back a bit) a little bit about what you are doing.

Breaking distance... I don't like to be any closer to the car in front than slow reacting time, Oh, the guy in front is slowing down, I wonder why... better slow down too while I work it out and what to do about it...

Particularly at night. It is horribly easy not to realise that the traffic in front of you has actually stopped!
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Old 12th September 2009, 07:18   #227
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Agree with jaysmokesleaves. l always avoid following a bigger vehicle that restricts vision and vehicles with dark tints. Also one should always keep in mind that the vehicle in front may not have working brake lights or might use engine braking to slow down fast. In the city you can get away most of the times because of the low speeds. But on highways you do not get too many chances to get away with a mistake.

Driving behind another vehicle for a long time may also make you a little less alert.
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Old 12th September 2009, 09:44   #228
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Many a times while driving at nights and want to keep good speeds on unfamiliar highway terrain the best way is to identify a good bus or car driver who follows all the rules of the road and stick on to him like a leech. That ways you avoid the oncoming glare as well as keep good speeds.

For e.g : Quite a few years ago was driving back from Bangalore which was an all night drive, I hung on to a Volvo driver who was perfectly following highway etiquettes and i kept a safe distance and due to this covered a lot of distance than otherwise.
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Old 12th September 2009, 18:09   #229
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When too many seasoned persons are speaking, its madness to poke my nose in, but truly speaking, in my openion tailing a vehicle will help you in reducing your stress and gives you a relax feeling, as the high beams from front are avoided, but at the same time this relaxation reduces your alertness & when a driver is not fully alert, it is often found that he starts taking active part in the conversions happening & then slowly (whithout intension) his vision is not concentrated on the road but often facing towards fellow pacengers & thats where the risk is. You loose the vision and whatever distance you keep, you never know when you crossed the safty barrier.
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Old 12th September 2009, 18:50   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modifiedsachin View Post
...this relaxation reduces your alertness
...you never know when you crossed the safty barrier.
That's very true in a number of cases - not just following another car at night. A long straight highway with cruise control engaged, an unlit single lane highway at night, following another car at night, extreme heat outside with a really efficient AC and soft music running inside on a lonely road, squabbling kids in the back seat, even a grumpy wife - all these can be very mesmeric and/or divert your attention from the main job at hand, i.e. driving safely!
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Old 12th September 2009, 22:03   #231
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Smile Look in the mirror before you move

This has been a very interesting and information rich thread. Spent a lot of time reading through most of the pages. Thanks to all the members for putting in effort to add various points that are mantra for safe driving on Indian highways.

I don't think I can add any new points, all of them have already been listed in this thread. Instead, I want to share a small "safe practice" which I learned long back from a professional driving instructor in US, when I learned to drive.

This practice is applicable to all the scenarios where you'll have to change your direction of the vehicle, and is applicable specially for lane changing and overtaking.

The practice is very simple :

1. When you are about to move to your right (right lane), look at three places for obstructions in the following order.
a. Rear View Mirror b. Right Side View Mirror c. Towards right over your shoulder, to make sure there is no vehicle on your right, within your blind zone.

2. When you are about to move left, follow the same except use your LSRV mirror and look over your left shoulder.

After practicing it for a while, the whole "looking for obstruction" thing will take you only 2-3 seconds to complete. I guess we can spare 2-3 seconds every time we change lane, to make sure there are no surprises when we push the pedal.

Happy driving.
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Old 12th September 2009, 23:38   #232
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If you are close enough to the vehicle in front to be shielded from on-coming lights, you are Far Too Close.

I wish T-BHP allowed text formatting, so I could make those last three words VERY BIG!

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Old 13th September 2009, 00:27   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
That's very true in a number of cases -
...
even a grumpy wife - all these can be very mesmeric and/or divert your attention from the main job at hand, i.e. driving safely!
So true. In fact, I blame my wife (jokingly) for my first fender bender in the US - my wife and I were having a fight (not fist-fight thankfully) in the car and I didn't notice the traffic had stopped and hit the BMW in front of me. Fortunately it was a crawling bumper to bumper traffic so nothing happened to cars and people in both the cars. Gentleman was kind enough to let it pass after inspecting his car.

Jet-lag or lack-of-sleep is another cause of lack of attention on the road. Once I felt sleepy while driving (due to jet-lag) and I still had one more hour to go to reach home. I switched the A/C to complete chiller and it seriously woke me up. It was discomforting to me and other people in the car (who couldn't drive then), but I told them that if you want the driver to remain awake, bear the chill. Stopping and taking a break was an option, but given the context I was in, it wasn't feasible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
If you are close enough to the vehicle in front to be shielded from on-coming lights, you are Far Too Close.

I wish T-BHP allowed text formatting, so I could make those last three words VERY BIG!

this reminds me - I saw a sticker affixed to few cars/truck bumpers which read - 'if you can read this.... you are too close'

mods: Apologies for multiple back2back posts. I know multi-quote and that's something you do before you start your response. Icouldn't figure out how to quote another post once I have already started editing a response.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 4th October 2009 at 09:31.
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Old 15th September 2009, 09:25   #234
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The following overtaking procedure is quite common on 2-lane Indian highways. The car behind comes close to the car in front, then suddenly swings out to the right and overtakes at full throttle.

I see two issues with this procedure. First, the car in front may also make a sudden move which might throw you off guard. Second, you are overtaking at a relatively low speed since there is not enough time for acceleration.

A better way of overtaking would be to start the maneuver when you are still some distance behind. If traffic is clear in front, move a bit to the right, indicate your intention through horn or lights, then accelerate. This ensures that you have sufficient time to gather speed so that the overtaking is quick.
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Old 15th September 2009, 13:07   #235
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This is a very infromative thread, I feel so much more informed just by sifting through the pages.
I feel it is also worth to remember your vehicle capabilities. I have seen Santros and 800s being driven recklessly at 110+ speeds in busy highways. Now even if the driver may be an expert, but i dread to imagine that if something goes wrong and one has to brake hard, these cars will take no time in loosing control
Statistics say that on an average it takes 23 meters to bring the car to a complete halt from a speed of 80 kmph, while if one is at 100 kmph the stopping distance might be as high as 45 mts. Hence it is strongly advisable not to travel beyond 80 kmph if you are unsure of the road or visibility is less than 80 mtrs
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Old 2nd October 2009, 18:18   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klassics45 View Post
Hi guys,

As the hours went by, i started to keep a constant speed of 100-110 kmph. Thats when i realised that i was following a innova for a while and till i was following it, i felt more comfortable. He was honking in all required junctions and clearing up the traffic and all i have to do is keep up with him.

I start to enjoy it and all through my way back to chennai, i followed a innova then dzire and a bolero. It really helped me. I didnt have to look for the vehicles coming in the wrong direction or do the usual calculation about whether this old man gonna cross or not etc. All i need to do was just keep a good distance between the car in front and be prepared to break or slow down when i see the red light in his car.

I am not sure whether its a good habit or not but i drove the entire trip without much anticipation or any unneccessary caution which has become a must in our indian roads.
It is a good way to start your highway driving.

Even for experts, once you are sure that the driver in front of you is of 'your type' - is cautious enough, his speed matches yours, overtaking aggression is as much as yours, etc., you can use this 'following technique'. It is especially useful when you are driving on unfamiliar roads, and the vehicle ahead of you is being driven by a local driver. I have been driving since I was 12, and someone is usually following me on the highways. However, if I'm in a new area, or am engaged in a conversation with a co passenger, or am simply in a mood to relax, I too follow this technique!

However, none of the above must make you complacent. There are numerous situations, when a pedestrain, cyclist, animal or obstacle is manouvred in a certain way by the leading vehicle, and differently by the training one. In such situations, if you continue driving straight behind the leading vehicle, you will have a collision. Therefore, you have to stay reasonably alert even though you are training.

Go ahead with it! The technique will certainly help you avoid hitting craters and unmarked speed brakers on our roads. Just make sure you keep adequate distance, depending on your speed.

Sandeep

Last edited by sdmn : 2nd October 2009 at 18:37.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 22:05   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KishoreC View Post
1. When you are about to move to your right (right lane), look at three places for obstructions in the following order.
a. Rear View Mirror b. Right Side View Mirror c. Towards right over your shoulder, to make sure there is no vehicle on your right, within your blind zone.

2. When you are about to move left, follow the same except use your LSRV mirror and look over your left shoulder.
I learnt this wonderful technique while getting ready to give my driving test in the US and guess what ! Its part of my everyday driving now. The importance of "looking over the shoulder" cannot be undermined. Unfortunately, how many of the drivers in India know about this, how many practise this at all ?
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Old 2nd October 2009, 22:51   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rr_zen View Post
I learnt this wonderful technique while getting ready to give my driving test in the US and guess what ! Its part of my everyday driving now. The importance of "looking over the shoulder" cannot be undermined. Unfortunately, how many of the drivers in India know about this, how many practise this at all ?
Ohh yes, this has happened so many times. You can't see them in the mirrors but there is someone running almost parallel just about to overtake you. So the key is even if the mirrors are empty, it is a very good idea to lok over the shoulders.
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Old 4th October 2009, 00:14   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rr_zen View Post
I learnt this wonderful technique while getting ready to give my driving test in the US and guess what ! Its part of my everyday driving now. The importance of "looking over the shoulder" cannot be undermined. Unfortunately, how many of the drivers in India know about this, how many practise this at all ?
In US, people also follow (generally) the second part of this caution - not to drive in another car's blind spot. I try as much to follow that here on highways. In the city, it is unavoidable.
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Old 4th October 2009, 08:25   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Tailgating at any speed is madness; city or highway, it doesn't matter. Do it to me, and, if I have to (I'd rather just let loonies go ahead) I'll stop in front of you and make you stop too to think (maybe, possibly --- it does tend to cause people to drop back a bit) a little bit about what you are doing.

Breaking distance... I don't like to be any closer to the car in front than slow reacting time, Oh, the guy in front is slowing down, I wonder why... better slow down too while I work it out and what to do about it...

Particularly at night. It is horribly easy not to realise that the traffic in front of you has actually stopped!
I agree wit Thad. Tailgating while may look like a nice technque, it really irritates the guy ahead. Atleast me if I am in the front and I will do exactly what Thad said. The headlights of the rear car reflect from both the ORVMs and inside mirror irritating the front driver.

I have done even the other way around to such guys during my drives. Slowed down, came to a complete stop so that the other car can pass, then tailgated them to let them know that it is irritating indeed.

So, please do not tailgate thinking it is a nice technique.

Nainar
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