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Old 27th February 2006, 13:42   #1
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Hi guys,

This weekend went to Aligarh in UP from Chandigarh. Its total of 380 km
and you won't believe that it took total 11 hours though first 250 km
till Delhi took only 4.5 hours. I think it was just a bad day for me. I
will list all the events here

1. Some 60 km before Delhi, a bike, coming from village road, had
to cross the road perpendicular to the highway. He stopped and waited
for us and few other cars. Just at the right moment he decided to test
his luck and moved his bike forward. I and a quails in second lane that
I overtook seconds before applied breaks fanatically and avoided banging
into that bike. The three idiots on the bike were laughing as we came to
halt few feet before their bike. I had sweat on my forehead.
2. Took the wrong road and entered Sahibabad-Gaziabad road. Took me
more than 2 hours to cross Gaziabad. I believe whole of gaziabad is a
traffic jam.
3. Driving in UP is a torture. We were on newly laid 2 lane
national highway and yet you can't pick-up any speed as the road is full
of tractors, three wheelers, bullock carts.
4. We were just 40 km from our destination, Aligarh. We had just
crossed a village and just picking up the speed and were around 70-75 km
ph. One small boy was riding a bicycle on the other side of the road
(not on the tarred part of road but on the margin). All of a sudden he
decided to cross the road and came right in front of us. I had noticed
him climbing on the road and was already applying the breaks. But before
I could come to complete halt, the car touched him. He fell from the
bicycle, got up and ran away towards the village, no damage to the cycle
also. I did not stop there as villagers had started gathering after
screeching sound of breaks. They would have taken their frustration out
by beating me and getting money from me for some pseudo damage to the
bike and kid. I am still shaken-up and still don't know how I could
have avoided that.
5. 2-3 km from there, a truck had hit a maruti van. There was
nothing left in the front seat area of the van. Dead body of the driver
was lying on the road next to the van.


I am happy that 25th fab is over now.


Rahul
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Old 27th February 2006, 13:47   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rahulv
4. We were just 40 km from our destination, Aligarh. We had just
crossed a village and just picking up the speed and were around 70-75 km
ph. One small boy was riding a bicycle on the other side of the road
(not on the tarred part of road but on the margin). All of a sudden he
decided to cross the road and came right in front of us. I had noticed
him climbing on the road and was already applying the breaks. But before
I could come to complete halt, the car touched him. He fell from the
bicycle, got up and ran away towards the village, no damage to the cycle
also. I did not stop there as villagers had started gathering after
screeching sound of breaks. They would have taken their frustration out
by beating me and getting money from me for some pseudo damage to the
bike and kid. I am still shaken-up and still don't know how I could
have avoided that.
i think i made few mistakes

i was 70-80 within village limits. i should have come down to 60 kmph.

do you believe i could have safely steered the car while breaking real hard? my car does not have ABS. or going straight and just applying the breaks was right?

any idea how i can avoid these things in future
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Old 27th February 2006, 14:30   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rahulv
i think i made few mistakes

i was 70-80 within village limits. i should have come down to 60 kmph.

do you believe i could have safely steered the car while breaking real hard? my car does not have ABS. or going straight and just applying the breaks was right?

any idea how i can avoid these things in future
Always, remember, always the name of the game in highway driving (in fact driving, period) is anticipation. Normally on highways we drive at very high speeds. This reduces the reaction time. Also, it is a proven fact that as your speed goes up the sideways visibility keeps getting reduced. In such cases you need to keep looking at/for anything around 300-400 mts ahead of you. Anything closer and you may have a problem in your hands if something goes wrong.

As soon as you see the first signs of habitation on your highway drives start dropping speeds. You maybe entering a potential problem zone. So obviously driving at 80kph through a village was perilous on your part.

Also keep your eyes peeled for sharp bends on the roads... particularly the ones which are sharp and the other side remains hidden behind huge trees lining the highways. Any of these turns may throw up a nasty surprise in terms of a tear-away truck or a runaway sumo or some such. They come hurtling down at high speeds and then invariably overshoot the turn and enter the opposite lane... This is a major cause of those head-on collisions on the highways.

While braking as far as possible try and avoid the kind of panic braking that you did. This is a major cause of wheel-locking, fish tailing and all other associated issues. If at all it becomes necessary start pumping the brakes... its much more effective than standing on the pedals. And do not try to swerve at very high speeds, you may end up oversteering and landing up in a ditch by the side of the road (or something even worse). Only when you have reduced the speed to a controllable limits should you think of flicking the wheels to swerve.
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Old 27th February 2006, 15:19   #4
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thanks Zappo for giving precise summary,
though i have been following almost everything you have mentioned and have survived 50000+ km on highway ( bike as well as car), it is still good to recap the rules once in a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo
While braking as far as possible try and avoid the kind of panic braking that you did. This is a major cause of wheel-locking, fish tailing and all other associated issues. If at all it becomes necessary start pumping the brakes... its much more effective than standing on the pedals. And do not try to swerve at very high speeds, you may end up oversteering and landing up in a ditch by the side of the road (or something even worse). Only when you have reduced the speed to a controllable limits should you think of flicking the wheels to swerve.
breaking wasn't the problem as the car came to halt in quite a short span of time. i think problem was target fixation. i should have steered when the speed was manageable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo
Only when you have reduced the speed to a controllable limits should you think of flicking the wheels to swerve.


i didn't do this in panic.


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Old 28th February 2006, 09:36   #5
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Hey Rahulv,

Well its really lucky that your day didnt get any worse than that.

Zappo said exactly what i was thinking ANTICIPATION. Expect the worst.

I helps to pay attention to all the little possibilities of accidents you see, even though you may ignore them and get away fine 99.99% of the time.

A few examples -
- Dogs on the side of the road = slow down
- Dogs FIGHTING on the side of the road = EXPECT them to run across the road (when dogs fight they become unaware of their surroundings and will have no clue of whether a car is comming or not)
- Stopped bus = SLOW, honk, wait, pass. Because either there will be someone crossing the road in front of the bus, or the bus will try and get back on the road and hit your car.
- NEVER overtake from the left on the highway. Just dont. EVER
- When overtaking a large truck/bus even if its a straight empty road honk. = You never know when there is a bullock cart or motorcycle going slow or parked on the left of the road that you cannot see, and when passing the bus it will try to avoid the bike/bullock kart and run you off the road.
- People on bicycles = slow down, as you know.
- ALWAYS slow down / stop for junctions even if you have right of way.
etc

Just keep your eyes open, and whenever you encounter a situation that you see has potential for an accident just make a mental note of it and when in a similar situation in the future just act prepared for the worst case scenario. It definitely pays off.

cya
R

ps - Its tough to say whether you should have tried to swerve or not....it depends on so many factors and the surroundings etc. Though chances are if your tyres are locked up and you turned the wheel your car would just keep going straight... However, its REALLY hard to not panic brake and lock up in a panic situation and anyone who says otherwise has just not had that crazy cyclist pop out in front of them yet.

Last edited by Rehaan : 28th February 2006 at 09:39.
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Old 28th February 2006, 09:51   #6
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I agree... the name of the game is Anticipation. I have done high speeds on the highways but whenever nearing a village or a town, where it is difficult to Anticipate the traffic, I always slow down to 80 or even lower depending upon the situation.

A good driver is not the one who follows all the rules but the one who anticipates when someone else is about to break one and takes appropriate action.

Having said that, Rahulv, I think you did well to brake in time at a couple of occassions and keep yourself out of trouble for most of that day.

Cheers!
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