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Old 20th October 2012, 01:31   #16
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Whenever you pull the handbrake at anything above parking speed (read 0 KMPH) you are essentially telling your vehicle that you want to loose traction of the road. What happens next is anybody's guess.

However if done with practice and expertise it can help you quickly change trajectory of your motion thereby taking you out of harms way.

But more often than not, it puts you and others in harms way and thats why it is generally safe to avoid handbrakes all together. Keep your both hands on the steering wheel and you might just be able to steer yourself out of it.
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Old 20th October 2012, 07:49   #17
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Default re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by YaeJay View Post
Guess the swift and the santro were going too fast and too close. I would say your lucky not having to benefit from certain misfortunes coming from the rear end.

I wouldn't blame the Indigo at all.
I was scared when I saw the Fortuner in the IRVM. But thank god he was maintaining good distance and went in the left lane.
Don't know whether to blame the Indigo or not. He should have atleast used the hazard lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
You and Fortuner did the right thing by maintaining safe distance and stopping before crashing. Others were not so alert and were not abiding by Maintain safe distance rule, and for which they paid the price.

On the speeds you mentioned slamming the brakes and on top of that applying hand brakes is alright. On higher speeds i am not so sure as this might disturb the braking balance distribution among all four wheels and there is a chance of car skidding in one direction.
I pulled the handbrake at 80 and my car did skid. The rear went in the left direction about 50-60 degrees and the bonnet was almost facing the divider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mempheS.D View Post
Really prompt reaction there.

So, why did the Indigo slam the brake? I am sure you all had a 'nice' chat after the accident.
Everyone was accessing their own damage after the accident. The indigo guy was trying to "repair" his dented bumper. I waited for 5-10 mins and decided to continue my journey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by promit View Post
That sounds like quite a close call. I witnessed a similar pile up yesterday. A tavera, an e-class,an alto and a call centre innova cab. I was between the alto and the innova 20 -30 seconds before the shunt. I changed lanes because the left lane was free.
I guess a major factor would be how close people drive to the car in front. You will obviously have no time to react.
Another thing everyone should take note off; if your following a tall car like a safari/innova/fortuner, slightly increase the room between your car. You simply 'cannot' see ahead.

Really quick reaction on your part to pull the handbrake.

I have a question, if you had only applied the brake would the distance to stop be less than if u pulled the handbrake? Asking because I would think the rear wheels would drag, not necessarily reducing the stopping distance?

Also, what should be the best response in this scenario in a car equipped with ABS.

I have heard something about pumping the brake pedal or some such thing, what is that?
Not sure about the distance. But an ABS car wouldn't have skidded like my car did. ABS basically prevents the rear wheels from locking up thereby allowing the car to stop in a straight line.
Where as in my case the wheels got locked up and the car skidded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Tailgating is extremely dangerous as this proved it. Good you were maintaining distance.

One question though, why did you pull the handbrake? This is very very dangerous and is completely the wrong thing to do. Pulling the handbrake means you locked your rear and caused the car to skid. Because of the skid you effectively were not in control and veered to the right.

The handbrake will not reduce your braking distance in an emergency situation.

The only time a hand brake can be used is when your primary brakes fail. Then you can try to use the hand brake.
Im 19 and driving since a year and this is the first time I've experienced such a situation. I thought my car wouldn't stop in time so i pulled the handbrake. Thanks for the advise, I'll keep that in mind.
Before this I've experienced hard braking situations only with aunties riding Activas and Kinetics without helmets, errant rickshaw drivers and underage teens on modified Pulsars, within the city
Quote:
Originally Posted by NirmalK View Post
Thank God you and your car got away without a scratch from this accident. and i must really appreciate your alertness. BTW did you find out why the Indigo driver decided to stop abruptly in the middle of the road?
I was a bit shocked since this is the first time something like this happened. After that I just decided to continue, so couldn't find out the reason why the Indigo stopped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tj123 View Post
@StrangeWizard-
Lesson learnt
- Always keep safe braking distance especially while driving fast
- Always anticipate other drivers move - defensive driving technique
- Parking brakes are not supposed to be used in such situation, just slam the brakes the ABS will kick-in and take control and your job is to try to steer the vehicle safely. In non ABS vehicle try to do a controlled braking instead of slamming it.
I could have done controlled braking to avoid skidding, but I felt the distance was less and so I just had to slam the brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omtoatom View Post
Thank goodness you emerged unhurt from this incident SW although reflexively pulling the handbrake could have been dangerous. You're locking your rear tires which means the automobile is going to skid - giving you little control in such a scenario!

Incidentally I witnessed a similar multi-car pile-up northbound on the Santacruz flyover (WEH) yesterday - presumably due to the first guy slamming his brakes hard. Each car had rear-ended the one ahead of it.

In India, we have a tendency to tailgate - particularly (and quite inexplicably) at high speeds on the highway. This is fraught with major risk as is evident from countless such incidents that I witness/hear about. In an emergency braking scenario, it gives drivers absolutely infinitesimal reaction time.

I'm also a big proponent of defensive driving techniques. Anticipation is the key really.

Cheers and drive safe mate
Yes tailgating is really dangerous and the major cause of most accidents that we see here in India. In countries like UK you won't find a single guy tailgating you. It is compulsory to maintain a distance of 3 cars on the motorways.
In india that is almost impossible considering the amount of traffic here.

Just some days back an Innova guy was tailgating me on the highway and there was a distance of hardly 10-15 cms between our cars. Then I had to accelerate hard and make some distance. Then the innova guy came to my left, showed me the finger, cut me off and zoomed away.


Drive safe

Last edited by StrangeWizard : 20th October 2012 at 07:50.
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Old 20th October 2012, 08:44   #18
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Default re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Another very interesting point to note is that even under emergency situations, we don't end up pressing the brakes hard enough. This is common. You always think that you can stop in time but only realise when it is too late. The right way to brake in such situations, is to be very hard on brakes immediately and then gradually if required ease off. We usually are light on the brakes first then gradually increase pressure.

If your hard on the brakes first you can then modulate to stop in time and also avoid a rear collision. If you ease off first and then end up increasing pressure, you are giving the vehicle behind less time to stop.

ps: Don't practice in traffic. First try it out on empty roads!
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Old 20th October 2012, 08:46   #19
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Default re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeWizard View Post
I just slammed the brakes but I wasn't sure whether my car would stop or not, so I pulled the handbrake. My car made a screeching noise and skidded to the right and stopped a couple of feet from the santro.
Avoid using the handbrake as much as possible, except when your primary brakes fail. OR unless you know how to control a skid. Downshift on the gears instead to use engine braking, if time permits, and skip multiple gears, like from 4 to 2 and in extreme cases 3 to 1. This coupled with normal quick braking should be sufficient to stop your car in most situations, including the one you experienced.
You are lucky primarily because the speed was less and the vehicle behind you maintained safe distance and managed to stop.
If the vehicle behind would not/could not stop, there was a chance that the Fortuner might have hit your car causing it to topple over.
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Old 20th October 2012, 09:26   #20
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Default re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

How about getting out of the car? I personally think it's much dangerous till all the mayhem has stopped. There's a very high possibility other drivers (like a qualis mentioned above) would not be as 'thoughtful' and might ram into any people standing by. So I think for a few seconds, it's best to remain seated in your car, seatbelts on and everything. Once you have determined that the situation outside isn't going to get any worse, try and get down.
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Old 20th October 2012, 09:46   #21
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Default re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Ok i didnt witness this but was a part of the post accidental traffic. The jam was HUGE and i knew something must have gone wrong (Accident). This is the usual case on W E highway, even a minor accident causes a long jam.

I saw the white swift been towed away and the left rear end of badly hit. The axle too seemed to have bent (or broken) as the tyre was been literally dragged while being towed. I did not see the indigo or the santro, may be must have been towed away earlier. But looking at this swift it was easy to guess the accident was a major one !!

Thank God you are safe and were quick in your reflexes. And Kudos to your Spark, the brilliantly cute little car that braked well

Last edited by dar3dev|l : 20th October 2012 at 09:47.
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Old 20th October 2012, 22:20   #22
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Default re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeWizard View Post
I was scared when I saw the Fortuner in the IRVM. But thank god he was maintaining good distance and went in the left lane.
Don't know whether to blame the Indigo or not. He should have atleast used the hazard lights.

You were very Fortunate to have an experienced driver at the wheel of the Fortuner. "Its not how fast you can drive, its how fast you can stop it with absolute control, Any monkey could floor the throttle but can he control the car?"- from one of the best teachers who taught me driving.

If one cant brake in time and stop, he is either going too fast or asking for trouble. Everytime I see one of those " i want a wiff off ur exhaust kinds i let them go, slow down let them pass.


Lets get real. Most trucks dont have working brake lights. That takes atleast a portion of a sec off ones reaction time (which is huge). in that time one has to brake ( also not lock it) look at OVRM for some Idiot biker thats about to overtake u no matter what and take evasive decision.


If one can't stop in time it is his or her fault. One could not argue with a rock that rolled down the hill or to some wild or domesticated animal or other living organism that ventures into a Toll road.


Now you know.
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Old 20th October 2012, 22:45   #23
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Default re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

That was indeed a close shave and you are extremely lucky to be safe.
Here's my 2 cents:
- In a non-ABS car, you need to know how much to depress the brake pedal. Too little, and it won't be enough, too much and you'll lock your wheels and it still won't be enough.
- Pulling the handbrake: no point, since you've already pressed the brake pedal, your rear drums are already active. And there the handbrake effectively is unused.
- Now, what the ideal thing to do in this kind of situation would be to hit the brake pedal (you ought to be used to the feel of it in your car), downshift fast (very fast) sequentially only. Or at a pinch, from 5th to 3rd.
- At the same time do a quick swerve and straighten the car out quickly, making sure that you're in the same lane, but you cover slightly more distance than if you are moving in a straight line. (You should not be doing this at speeds in excess of 100km as it can disturb the centre of gravity in an already slightly wobbly car to the extent that you might roll). So basically do not do it unless you know exactly how to.
- A little bit of tyre squeal is fine and neither can it be avoided.

Drive safe, and sleep over your learnings, remember it's not just the stupidest guy who gets hurt, its everyone around him as well.
Glad you're safe!
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Old 22nd October 2012, 11:23   #24
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Default Re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Why did the Indigo make an sudden stop? Was it to avoid hitting someone/something? Or just because he missed a turn or just felt like it?

Yes, one should always keep a safe distance but that doesn't give someone the right to stop where he/she wants. If the Indigo driver did not have an emergency situation, it's his/her fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
Glad you avoided a bad shunt.

I have a small question though.
In a non ABS car( I am presuming yours is without ABS as youve mentioned screeching and skidding), slamming on the brakes is effectively locking up the brakes. I dont think pulling the parking brake will make any difference.
And rear wheels are the first to lock up even at low speeds, even when the front wheels are still rolling.
Its primarily why they can make do with drums in some cars, rather than discs.
And why we can do handbrake turns( )
I think brakes are still tuned to have more bite at the front than the rear. I have had to brake hard in non-ABS vehicles more than a few times and it was always the fronts which used to lock up - not the rears. Rears locking up would mean immediately sliding without control.

So, IMO, pulling the parking is always a no-no, unless you want to do a handbrake assisted turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YaeJay View Post
"Its not how fast you can drive, its how fast you can stop it with absolute control, Any monkey could floor the throttle but can he control the car?"- from one of the best teachers who taught me driving.
You must have had a good teacher. That's one reason why I never feel safe over 80 in my wagonR (on any road) and about 110 in my City. It's not about how fast you can go. It's about how fast/safely you can stop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YaeJay View Post
If one can't stop in time it is his or her fault.
That might be true most of the times, but not when some idiot decides to brake hard suddenly just so that he doesn't miss the turn, he noticed too late.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 12:01   #25
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Red face Re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

@Strangewizard,

Thank God that you escaped the mayhem without any scratch to your vehicle. Also Thank the Fortuner who did maintain the distance betwen the cars. Just think if the Fortuner guy had rammed into you, what would have happened.

Always need to keep the safe distance on highways when cars have a free hand and dont think much about the speed restrictions. Straight stretches are still OK, but flyovers, sharp turnings, major traffic cross sections are a sureshot place for accidents. I still remember when a driver with a L slammed brakes on Mulund flyover when he saw a piece of cloth lying and thought it be a cat/dog trying to cross. The screeching of vehicles which followed made my heart skip a beat. You could see the vehicles halting in a random zig zag fashion. Not one vehicle halted in a straight line.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 12:48   #26
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Default Re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Best part - Fortuner didnt hit you which is generally a scene in such cases. I generally blow horn continuouly so that driver on back notcies something is amiss and he needs to stop !!

One Query, is handbreak really that effective in such cases?
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Old 22nd October 2012, 13:28   #27
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Default Re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeWizard View Post

I am 19 and driving since a year...
Aaawwwww that is so cute.

I could not resist saying that


Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeWizard View Post

Just some days back an Innova guy was tailgating me on the highway and there was a distance of hardly 10-15 cms between our cars. Then I had to accelerate hard and make some distance.
As someone else has already said, in such situations you are better off if you slow down instead of speeding up. When you slow down, the tailgater also has to slow down and soon he will overtake you.


My current signature says it all "Keep a safe distance; Remember that, at 80 kmph, you are traveling about 80 feet per second; at 120 kmph, about 120 feet per second."

So a distance of 10 feet at even 20 kmph gives you just half a second to respond to any changes in the situation. It is always better to keep a safe distance, even in city driving.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 14:29   #28
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Default Re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeWizard View Post
Just some days back an Innova guy was tailgating me on the highway and there was a distance of hardly 10-15 cms between our cars. Then I had to accelerate hard and make some distance. Then the innova guy came to my left, showed me the finger, cut me off and zoomed away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by idea View Post
Best part - Fortuner didnt hit you which is generally a scene in such cases. I generally blow horn continuouly so that driver on back notcies something is amiss and he needs to stop !!
I am not sure how honking will notify the car following you. Maybe it does work. Nevertheless, when I see someone tailgating me or if I cannot see the full height of the car in the IRVM, I tap on my brakes thrice in quick succession. The intention is not to reduce speed but to convey to the following car that I intend to brake soon. By showing that I already am braking. It usually works in the sense that the following car either brakes or changes lanes and overtakes me. Cannot do much about those with itchy fingers. Maybe they just need to ventilate these once in a while, so best to ignore them. Easier said than done though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
If your hard on the brakes first you can then modulate to stop in time and also avoid a rear collision. If you ease off first and then end up increasing pressure, you are giving the vehicle behind less time to stop.

ps: Don't practice in traffic. First try it out on empty roads!
I agree. Perhaps better to try it on a TD/ demo model of some other car?
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Old 22nd October 2012, 14:33   #29
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Default Re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
The right way to brake in such situations, is to be very hard on brakes immediately and then gradually if required ease off.
I agree with this. There is another aspect to this as well. If we hard brake, the guy driving behind us, also has to apply the brakes immediately. In case if he is not able to control/stop his car/bike, we still have sufficient space to move a bit ahead (provided we have not lost the momentum). I was able to save myself by doing something like this when a guy riding on bike was too close to me and I had to stop because the car in front of me applied the brakes all-of-a-sudden.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 15:39   #30
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Default Re: Close shave on the Western Express Highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by idea View Post
One Query, is handbreak really that effective in such cases?
No..If there is anything you loose complete control of the car. If you do not use the hand brake, even in non-abs vehicle we might be able to take last minute evasive measures like turning the vehicle away from the obstruction to reduce the amount of damage. This again it depends on the situation where there is enough space to do so. On any average car you are better off with a full-frontal collision rather than sides.
Out there everybody feels hand brake = emergency break which is totally wrong. It is supposed to be used only vehicle is stationary or when you feel adventurous and want to do a hand brake turn.
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