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Old 30th April 2009, 16:53   #46
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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
INDICATORS:
Have seen disaster happening when truck turning right off the highway gave a right signal and turned. The speeding car behind kept on coming in overtaking mode till it was too late.
Another self discovered signal rule apparently is flashing the hazard signal and driving when it is raining.
I have seen some drivers putting on hazzard lights when they need to suddenly slow down, like when appraochning a road hump. This may be a helpful thing to do.
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Old 30th April 2009, 17:07   #47
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Engine braking is very important, especially when taking a long stretch of downgrade. Recently my cousin burned up his brakes on the munnar-marayoor stretch, and screwed up the whole trip. He was ahead of me in the convoy, and I could see him riding the brake.
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Old 30th April 2009, 17:26   #48
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This is a good thread. I'd given some tips on highway driving in my Dec 2007 travelogue to Mumbai. Relevant points of the 'Lessons learnt' section are reproduced below:-

"1. If you see a car in front overtaking a truck in front of him, do not follow him blindly as you may do in city driving. Instead, wait for him to finish, then take a look if anyone is coming in the opposite direction, and make your move only if the coast is clear.
2. It is always safe to carry your original docuements with you, esp the licence, lest greedy cops stop you in another state and try to extort money.
3. When driving in another city, drive like the locals do, and not 'Hyderabad ishtyle'. You could land in deep trouble if you hit someone. I found Bombay drivers driving a lot gentler than those in Hyderabad.
---
5. Drive according to the road condition, and don't get tempted to follow a maniac.
6. Use AC as much as possible in fresh air mode, and switch over to recirculate mode when passing villages to avoid stink of cattle, etc.
7. Tank up at good bunks when you spot them, instead of stretching till the last minute.
8. Eat at Dhabas or restaurants that have many vehicles outside.
9. There is no need to worry about going to the loo, as most fuel bunks have decent rest rooms nowadays.
10. If possible, plan to leave early and arrive late so that you dont get stuck in city traffic.
---"

Last edited by vnabhi : 30th April 2009 at 17:27.
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Old 30th April 2009, 17:40   #49
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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
10. If possible, plan to leave early and arrive late so that you dont get stuck in city traffic."
Venu Saab , this is slightly contradictory!.Arriving late means doing night driving and that is best avoidable on Indian highways.

Should it be "Sleep early Leave early Reach early"

At most i would suggest 10Hours of Driving during a full day. Or the arrival should be just after dusk. Anything later has umpteen risks and not worth it unless its the 2/4Lane Highways.

Last edited by absynthguzzler : 30th April 2009 at 17:42.
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Old 30th April 2009, 17:42   #50
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I don't have much highway experience myself, but i find the use of indicators for letting others overtake confusing.
Indicator is meant to indicate which way i am going, so its use must be restricted only to that, be it 2 lane or 4 lane highways. Any other interpretation of that is dangerous and risky.
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Old 30th April 2009, 18:02   #51
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There is difference in Indicator and hazard (one at a time or both together). Hazard should be used when parked or or edge of road (breakdown or else).
Or coming upon a traffic jam / hazard or road which means slowing down abruptly. Use it while you brake to halt. This provides additional warning to traffic behind you that road ahead is blocked. Keep hazard on till a couple of more vehicle stop behind you.
Use of hazard while moving is extremely irritating to eyes of driver behind you (just as switching on the rear fog on a clear night is). Better purpose is served by switching on your lights with dip beam if mains are used.
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Old 30th April 2009, 18:13   #52
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sorry guys, may be it's off the topic,
nothing to do with signalling but when it comes to driving i would like to suggest a caution...!!
do not remove your shoes whilst driving, ( generally female drivers have this habit), be careful that your kids do not drop water bottles or stuff down, which can role.

It has happened with me that the water bottle dropped by my son in the back seat rolled through gap below driver seat and started rolling around in the drivers foot area, and at some point of time it got wedged between the break and car floor.
Completely oblivious to this, When i tried to slow down the car the break won't budge.
fortunately the car was slow and i did not face any problem.
imagine if it was emergency breaking.....
so guys take care... pls be vary of any objects that may roll around the car, like water bottle, shoes, some stuff kept on dash board etc.
wish you safe driving....
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Old 30th April 2009, 18:52   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
INDICATORS:
The simple rule of indicator (and this needs lot of propagating) is that these are meant to indicate where you are going and not for where other guy should be going!! All over the world it is same.

Have seen disaster happening when truck turning right off the highway gave a right signal and turned. The speeding car behind kept on coming in overtaking mode till it was too late.
Most sensible explanation i have come across and this is the fact. If others follow a different "rule", it doesnt mean that we have to follow and take it as a custom.

Some points i feel are important:

Speed Dont underestimate speed, as the speed increases it impacts many other things and that too in multiples. This includes any IMPACT also!

So ensure that you always have MORE space for braking, maneuvering, overtaking etc

Always anticipate the worse case scenario and plan your move ahead, while overtaking etc

If you are in doubt, just back off. Its not worth it to play chicken on public highways. When you see couple of vehicles playing around in front, its better to pull to the slow lane, keep a safe distance and watch the fun. Do NOT crash the party!

Use HORN generously, those poor village folks living on the side will have 100 things in their mind and it might not have registered that you are approaching him/her fast. Better to honk early and confirm attention, late honking on the other hand creates panic and unexpected reaction

Always stick to the slow lane once you have overtaken, yes it is sometimes annoying to change lanes but that is the right thing to do. Even if you dont have any traffic behind, shift to slow lane, if the track in front is open and you are not planning any overtaking in next 1 minute

Mirrors use them! Before any lane change, check your mirrors and shoulders. If you see a faster vehicle move out of way and give him/her the right of way. I generally am very cautious when i overtake a vehicle with closed ORVM's, they are worse of the lot from my experience

While overtaking, if you see there is a Q, ensure that you have clear vision and no oncomming traffic before you decide to tail gate. Though tail gating is dangerous at any point of time and not recommended. Why i stressed on "vision" is, it can be people or animals cutting across and causing panic breaking from the vehicle in front

Overtaking - make it short, smooth, and sweet. Short as in do change gears, pick up decent momentum so that the task doesnt take 5 whole minutes, ensure that lane is clear before you do it. 81 kph car overtaking 80 kph car will cause lane jamming thats all.

When speeding up once you enter highway from city, try increasing the speed in smaller increments (say 10 kph every 2 kms), so that your body/physical system also adjusts. Same while entering slower city traffic, your system will take it as "ok" to maintain the speed and your brain will have to force kill the command

Really appreciate the thread starter and thank him for this!

Last edited by Jaggu : 3rd May 2009 at 15:04.
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Old 30th April 2009, 19:11   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
8. Eat at Dhabas or restaurants that have many vehicles outside.
A small note here -- eat at 'dhabas' that have many trucks outside. Dhabas with many buses outside are oriented to serving bad food very fast at high cost, while passing on a commission and free food to the driver/conductor. And the flashiest dhabas attract the most LMVs. Me, I always trust the long-distance truck driver's taste, though I miss their old-time ambience. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1152882-post76.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentEngine View Post
I don't have much highway experience myself, but i find the use of indicators for letting others overtake confusing.
Indicator is meant to indicate which way i am going, so its use must be restricted only to that, be it 2 lane or 4 lane highways. Any other interpretation of that is dangerous and risky.
On the highways, might is right. And we had better follow the 'bosses' (read truck and bus drivers). Read
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1151293-post127.html
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Old 30th April 2009, 19:17   #55
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No short cut for experience.

I have been driving on highways since 1975, I was mite underage for license but that is another story. With grace of god the only twice I had a accident, rallying apart. Once when a calf jumped in front of me out of bushes and second when a cyclist cut across without even looking back. Both happened early in my driving years. Calf died and cyclist pulled through. This taught me importance of keeping eye not only on road but also to things happening on the periphery.

Anticipating the cut across of cyclist from the way his shoulders bend just before he turn. Looking for feet of people under chassis of a stopped bus just before they come right out in middle of road. Slowing down automatically as you approach village or even a bus stop or chai stall in middle of nowhere. Never overtaking while approaching a rise (bridge or undulating hills). Driving away from central verge if it is covered with bushes (newer four laned highways) for men and animals can suddenly step in front. Trying to anticipate the driver ahead of you and also the driver approaching from the other side.

The list is endless but can be summed up as "driving defensively" As some one put in speed up slowly and know your limits and remain within them. Accept that the guy who is going faster is better driver or is banking on his luck. This is a road and not a race track.
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Old 30th April 2009, 19:20   #56
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If you do end up driving on highways at night, never ever overrun your headlights. Visibility and hence your reaction time is many times lesser at night. Aleays keep in mind there might just be this black car with non functional tail lamps ahead.
Also, anytime you feel tired/sleepy you MUST rest. There is no alternative to rest especially when driving long distances.
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Old 30th April 2009, 20:43   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
"1. If you see a car in front overtaking a truck in front of him, do not follow him blindly as you may do in city driving. Instead, wait for him to finish, then take a look if anyone is coming in the opposite direction, and make your move only if the coast is clear.
......
8. Eat at Dhabas or restaurants that have many vehicles outside.
....
10. If possible, plan to leave early and arrive late so that you dont get stuck in city traffic.
---"
Quote:
Originally Posted by absynthguzzler View Post
Venu Saab , this is slightly contradictory!.Arriving late means doing night driving and that is best avoidable on Indian highways.

Should it be "Sleep early Leave early Reach early"

At most i would suggest 10Hours of Driving during a full day. Or the arrival should be just after dusk. Anything later has umpteen risks and not worth it unless its the 2/4Lane Highways.
I agree with almost all points that Venu has made, about the ones quoted:

1. If a vehicle in front is overtaking, position yourself so that you can see the road ahead between the two vehicles, this will give you an idea of the condition of the road and traffic ahead which is invaluable when you make your own overtaking move.

2. Stick to the dhabhas which are frequented by truckers.

3. Avoid driving at dusk. This is the most dangerous time on the highways as you will have to share road space with cattle returning home, tractors ferrying material/labour, happy revellers doing their 'vimaan' act and assorted village and town traffic.

@ absyth: I think Venu saab meant that you should take a nice long break perhaps even a nap mid-day.

Cheers,
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Old 30th April 2009, 21:28   #58
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Thumbs down vehicles on the wrong side

A regular feature of our National (some mostly notional?) highways that I face is that a lot vehicles of all sizes - tractors pulling overloaded wagons, trucks, tempo's etc prefer to drive on the wrong side of the road if they do not have a gap in the divider to cross to the correct side.

This usually happens near villages and industrial areas and scared the life out of me the first time it happened.

This is a great thread and very useful in view of the ever increasing number of car owners wanting to head out of town for weekends.
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Old 30th April 2009, 22:43   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absynthguzzler View Post
Venu Saab , this is slightly contradictory!.Arriving late means doing night driving and that is best avoidable on Indian highways.

Should it be "Sleep early Leave early Reach early"

At most i would suggest 10Hours of Driving during a full day. Or the arrival should be just after dusk. Anything later has umpteen risks and not worth it unless its the 2/4Lane Highways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
I agree with almost all points that Venu has made, about the ones quoted:

1. If a vehicle in front is overtaking, position yourself so that you can see the road ahead between the two vehicles, this will give you an idea of the condition of the road and traffic ahead which is invaluable when you make your own overtaking move.

2. Stick to the dhabhas which are frequented by truckers.

3. Avoid driving at dusk. This is the most dangerous time on the highways as you will have to share road space with cattle returning home, tractors ferrying material/labour, happy revellers doing their 'vimaan' act and assorted village and town traffic.

@ absyth: I think Venu saab meant that you should take a nice long break perhaps even a nap mid-day.

Cheers,
Arunji, Ravvs is correct. My points were actually taken from my travelouge to Mumbai, and are pertinent to that context.
I left Vashi at 730ish in the morning, and reached Hyd only at 9 pm---after a leisurely lunch (1 hour) and a good snacks break for 45 mins at Vitthal Dhaba at twilight.
Had I not taken such long breaks, in all probability, I'd have hit the evening traffic from Patancheru and still reached at the same time. Since I reached BHEL around 830 pm, I could easily reach Raj Bhawan Road in around 45 mins via Gachibowli.
There is no greater anti-climax than getting stuck in thick traffic after a long drive.
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Old 30th April 2009, 23:24   #60
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am pleasantly surprised that this thread has attracted such a wonderful response and has some really wonderful observations,tips and insights. thanks buddies.its a good refresher course
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