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Old 19th January 2013, 07:36   #16
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Default 2.6 How to drive in traffic

2.6 How to drive in traffic

2.6.1 How to judge distance?

When you are driving in traffic, its important to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially the one in front and the one behind.
So, how much is this safe distance? How much distance is 'safe', depends on whether you would be able to stop in that much distance.

A good thumb-rule is the "Three-Second Rule"
A. As the car ahead of you passes a stationary point on the road (a sign post, a tree etc.), count the seconds it takes you to reach the same spot.
B. Count to yourself “one-thousand and one, one-thousand and two,” etc. You should NOT reach the same point on the road before you finish counting to at least “one-thousand- three.” If you do, you are following too closely i.e. tailgating!
C. Slow down slightly to increase the space between you and the other vehicle. Find another spot to check your new following distance. Repeat this exercise until you are following no closer than three seconds.



During bad weather, highway driving at higher speeds and night driving, the three-second rule should be increased to 4-5 seconds and more to account for poor visibility and poor braking.

If a vehicle in front of you suddenly comes to a complete stop, would you be able to stop without crashing into it? To answer this question, you need to understand the stopping distance of your car.

Stopping distance = distance your car travels during (Perception time + Reaction time + Braking time)

• Perception time: The length of time it takes a driver to see and recognize a dangerous situation. (Generally half a second)
• Reaction time: The time from perception of danger to the start of braking. The average is 2/3 of a second, as noted in blue section of charts on the next page. (Generally two third of a second)
• Braking time: This depends on the type and condition of vehicle brakes, as well as vehicle speed. Also dependent upon road condition, tyre condition, vehicle design and loaded weight.



The VW Australia has a fantastic video on defensive driving which demonstrates the stopping distance. Look out for that part at 5:15 minutes into the clip.


Have a look at the following stopping distance chart.
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Just imagine, at 100kmph your car is covering 92 feet per second. The reaction time + braking time itself would be more than 3 seconds. In that time, your car would have traveled at least 300 feet! So if the cow in the middle of the road is anything less than 300 feet away when you spotted her, most likely you are not going to stop before you reach that cow!!

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 21:56.
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Old 19th January 2013, 17:47   #17
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Default 2.6.2 How you communicate to other drivers

2.6.2 How to communicate with other drivers

While driving, your turn signals are your primary mechanism to communicate with the other drivers. Unless you signal otherwise, other cars and pedestrians are going to assume that you would continue what you are doing - which is - driving straight at a given speed.

1. Do not give a signal to indicate what you 'are' doing. Instead, give the signal to indicate what you 'are going to do'.

2. Signal early, but not too early. While intending to take a turn, give signal 50 feet before the intersection. At the same time, if you going to take that right turn 30 feet after an intersection, give the signal only after you have crossed the intersection. Otherwise the drivers behind you might get confused when you go straight at the intersection.

3. Do not make sudden lane changes.

4. During overtaking, do not cut back into the lane in front of the car that you just passed.
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5. While slowing down for an obstacle or approaching an intersection, slow down as early as it is safe to do so. Do not catch other drivers by surprise.

6. Communication is both ways. Observe carefully what other drivers are indicating by their signal and act accordingly.
6a. If you are driving slow and somebody wants to overtake you, move to the slow lane. Don't block the other car and stop it from overtaking.

6b. When you are being overtaken, maintain your lane. If possible, slow down a bit so as to grant some additional space for the overtaking driver to come back in the lane. Do NOT speed up and push the car in the oncoming traffic's path.
7. While scanning for traffic around you, look at the actual driver besides his car's signals. You are waiting at an intersection and in the internal rear view mirror you see a car approaching and you see the driver is intently looking at his cellphone, you know what do do, right?

8. When you have another vehicle in the next lane, how do you know that you are not in its blind-spot? Look at the outside mirror of that car. If you can see the driver's eyes, he can see you. If you don't see the other driver's eyes, you are in the blind spot. Either slow down or accelerate to get out of the blind spot.

9. While you are approaching a zebra-crossing and a pedestrian is hesitating to cross, come to a complete stop, establish eye-contact, give a smile and wave him off. Try it, it feels GREAT!

10. When you come to an intersection, there are other cars and you are not really sure of who has right of way. In such scenario, assume that you DO NOT have the right of way. Be gracious and yield to others. If the other driver is also in two minds, wave him off - again with a smile.

11. Another way of communicating with others is the horn. Please note that, there are two polite ways of using the horn - the tootle ("peep-peep") and the normal press "peeep". The long-press (PEEEEEEEEEEEEEP) is highly irritating and is considered offensive by other drivers and pedestrians.

12. Here's a nice little video where a funny chap explains it well.

Please do note that ONLY THE FIRST TWO scenarios that he is talking about are real. About the remaining scenarios, he is just kidding. So, take it easy and keep your hand off the horn, when a senior citizen is trying to cross the road at a slow pace.

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 22:05.
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Old 19th January 2013, 21:10   #18
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Default 2.6.3 How to share the road with others

2.6.3 How to share the road with others

Irrespective of how big or how expensive a vehicle you drive (and irrespective of which party's flag it bears), you can not forget that you need to share the road with many others including other cars, motorcyclist, bicyclist, pedestrians, large trucks, buses and animals.

Use common sense and courtesy with other users of our streets and highways. You should make allowances for and adapt to the other persons and vehicles on the road. How?

Sharing the road with pedestrians
1. Fact -> If a pedestrian is hit by a car at 40mph (64kmph), there is a 80% chance that he/she would die in that accident.
If this is not a good enough reason to drive slow in areas where there are pedestrians, then I don't know what is.

2. Even if a pedestrian is crossing the road from a place where he/she should not, you have no right to teach him a lesson with your car.

3. Do not block or even partially encroach upon the zebra crossing or crosswalk.

4. When you see a bus (especially school-bus) stopped, expect someone to dart across the road. Slow down so that you can handle such a situation.

5. Don’t honk your horn, rev up your engine or do anything to rush or scare a pedestrian in front of your car
Sharing the road with Bicycles
1. You should always expect the rider of a bicycle to make sudden moves. Trash, minor oil slicks, a pothole, or crack in the concrete, a barking dog, a parked car or a car door opening as well as other surprises can force a bicycle rider to swerve suddenly in front of you. You should leave a safety margin accordingly.

2. When overtaking a bicyclist, leave at least 3 feet of distance between the bicycle and your vehicle.
Sharing the road with Motorcycles
1. Motorcycle riding requires frequent lane movements to adjust to changing road and traffic conditions. Please note that motorcycles have the right to the use of the full lane. Do NOT try to squeeze them into the side of the lane and do NOT get angry when a bike stops in front of you at the signal and occupies the entire lane.

2. Do not overtake the bike at tripple-digit speeds. The air-blast could destabilize the bike.

3. Pay extra attention to bikes at night.


Sharing the road with Large trucks and buses
1. Do not cut in front of trucks/buses. You may create an emergency-braking situation for that vehicle. Trucks and buses take MUCH longer to stop in comparison to cars. When passing a large vehicle, do NOT pull back over into the lane in front of the truck unless you can see the whole front of the vehicle in your rear-view mirror.

2. It takes longer to overtake a truck or a bus because of their length. Please plan your overtaking accordingly.

3.Be careful of trucks making wide left turns. If you try to get in between the truck and the curb, you’ll be caught in a “squeeze” and can suffer a serious accident.

4. Trucks and buses have significantly bigger (and more) blind-spots as compared to a car. Stay clear of their blind-spots.

5. If rain or water is standing on the road, spray from a truck passing you, or the truck you are trying to pass, will seriously reduce your vision. You should move as far away from the truck as you can, while staying in your lane.

6. Most truck drivers (even in India) are extremely experienced, safe and considerate drivers. Don't get fooled by the "illiterate and drunk" stereotype.

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 22:14.
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Old 20th January 2013, 00:37   #19
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Default 2.6.4 How to change your speed to suit the situation

2.6.4 How to change your speed to suit the situation

How fast or slow you should drive depends on the type and condition of the road. It also depends on what type of vehicle you are driving. You can not take a particular curve in a SUV at the same speed that you managed to do on the same curve when when you were in a low-slung sedan.

Being able to see and being able to control the vehicle are crucial aspects during driving. So when the visibility changes/reduces (e.g. at night or during a foggy morning), slow down. Also when your control of the vehicle could be impaired (e.g. water/sand/snow on the road), slow down.



Aquaplaning / Hydroplaning: Slow down when there is water on the road. In rain, your tires can lose all contact with the roadway due to water or “hydroplaning”. A slight change of direction or a gust of wind can cause your car to skid or spin. The results could be disastrous.


Know what to do if your vehicle starts to aquaplane:
a. If you vehicle starts to hydroplane, slow down gradually by letting up on the gas.
b. Don’t slam on the brakes.
c. When hydroplaning occurs there is a loss of the traction needed to steer and brake safely.
d. Stopping distances may be tripled and steering control may be reduced or lost.
e. Hydroplaning is more common at higher speeds, although tires can hydroplane under certain conditions at ANY speed.

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 22:16.
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Old 20th January 2013, 01:57   #20
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Default 3. How to handle emergencies

3. How to handle emergencies

You need to be prepared to handle the most common driving problems.

Tire blowout
1. Hold the steering wheel tightly and keep your vehicle going straight
2. Ease off the accelerator. Do NOT apply the brakes
3. Let the vehicle slow down until it is almost stopped.
4. Just before your vehicle stops, pull off the road and apply brakes.
Fire
Fires are usually caused by a short-circuit in the electrical system.
1. Pull quickly off the road.
2. Shut-off the ignition to cut electrical power.
3. Get all passengers away from the car.
4. If you have a fire extinguisher, use it. Otherwise get away from the car and call for help.
Overheating
Steam coming from under your hood may mean that your cooling system has overheated.
1. Pull quickly off the road and turn off the engine.
2. Raise the hood.
3. Do NOT open the radiator cap.
4. When the engine has cooled down, add water to the radiator.
Power Steering Failure
1. Pull off the road by holding the steering wheel with both hands.
Headlight failure
1. Try the high-beam/low-beam switch. This may restore normal function.
2. Turn the headlight switch on-off a few times.
3. Carry spare bulb.
Brake failure
1. If you have ABS, do NOT pump your brakes.
2. If you do NOT have ABS, pump the brakes rapidly. This may build up enough pressure to stop your vehicle.
3. If pumping the brakes does not work, slowly apply the parking brake. Be sure to hold the brake release so you can ease off the brake if the rear wheels lock and the car begins to skid.
4. Shift to low gear and look for a place to stop.
Avoiding a crash and/or reducing the crash impact
Sometimes you get into a situation when a crash seems imminent. There are certain steps you can take to still try to come out of the situation with minimum or no damage.
This is easier said than done. BUT if you know what can be done, at least there is a chance.

Rear-ending
If you are stopped at a traffic light and another vehicle is approaching you from behind at a high speed, you should:
1. If possible, move your vehicle forward in an effort to give the approaching vehicle more room to stop.
2. If the crash can not be avoided, release your brake an instant before the impact.
Head-on crash
If you are driving and a oncoming vehicle is headed straight for you, you should:
1. Reduce your speed, flash your lights (even during the day) and honk in an effort to warn the other driver.
2. Head for the shoulder on your side of the road, even if you must hit a fence or go through bushes.
3. If you can not avoid the crash, try to maneuver your vehicle in such a way as to lessen the severity of the impact.

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 02:19.
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Old 20th January 2013, 02:34   #21
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Default 4.0 Miscellaneous

4.0 Miscellaneous

Teen drivers/Young Drivers
1. Loud music, changing discs as well as tuning the radio are major distractions
2. When a teen driver has friends in the car, the risk is even higher - the more passengers, the greater the chance of a serious crash.
3. Don’t let saying “hi” or other fun and games take your attention off the road. Never try to pass items from one moving vehicle to another
4. It is extremely dangerous to wear headphones or earbuds and have the volume of your radio so high that it interferes with your “hearing” of traffic conditions, such as other vehicle’s warning horns or emergency sirens.
5. The “show-off” factor: It may be tempting to go faster, turn sharper or beat another car through an intersection. Many teens fail to realize that they are no longer just “competing for fun” and are now using a 5,000 pound “weapon” in this competition.
6. Cellphone calls and texting while driving is prohibited. Even reading a text message while the driver’s vehicle is in motion.


Misc. Do's and Dont's
1. Children should never be left alone in a vehicle, not even to run a quick errand.
2. Children can set a vehicle in motion. Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices.
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3. Stay on the left – even on small roads where there is no division marking or a proper divider. If it is a 2-way road, even if there is no central marking, stay on the approximate left portion of the road. (A lot of vehicles in India, do not believe in this common-sense thing).

4. Use headlights when driving at dusk. Even if you can see clearly, headlights help other drivers see you as much as they help you see them. Get into the habit of turning headlights on when using windshield wipers.
5. When your vehicle’s high beam headlights are on, you must dim or lower the beam when an oncoming vehicle is within 500 feet or when you are following another vehicle within 500 feet. When you switch from high beam to low beam, ideally you should switch off your fog lamps and any other aux. lamps you might have on your vehicle. This is again for the same reason – to avoid blinding other vehicles.
6. Do not drive at night with only your parking lights on. The small size of parking lights may cause other drivers to think your vehicle is farther away than it actually is.

7. For non-ABS vehicles, when you have to brake in an emergency, do NOT steer. Your car would skid.
8. For ABS vehicles, when you have to brake in an emergency, you should "brake and steer". Push the brake pedal while steering around hazards and keep your foot firmly on the brake pedal until the car comes to a stop. Do not take your foot off the pedal or pump the brakes because that will disengage the anti-lock system. Remember - ABS was designed to prevent vehicles from locking wheels and to allow drivers to steer when skidding. Expect noise and vibration in the brake pedal when your ABS is in use -- These sensations tell you ABS is working.

9. NO LITTERING. Do not throw ANYTHING out from your car. Also, no spitting please. No rinsing of mouth as well.

Last but not the least:
10. No staring, no swearing, no threats, no arguments, no obscene gestures, no teaching lessons. In short, no road-rage!
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11. Be courteous to other road users. Yield when you have to. Once in a while, give right of way, EVEN WHEN you don't have to. Forgive other's mistakes. Move on.
12. Be the change you want to see. Don't just say "It will never work in India". Start with yourself and stick with it.
13. Smile a lot. Driving is a privilege, enjoy it!
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Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 22:32.
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Old 20th January 2013, 03:04   #22
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Default Sources and further exploration

Referred sources and links for further exploration

Driver's manuals for various states in USA.
http://www.tn.gov/safety/dlhandbook/DL_Manual2011.pdf

http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/pdf/Manuals/drivermanual.pdf

http://mvd.azdot.gov/mvd/formsandpub...rmInfoKey=1420

A few others were also referred, but mostly the above three.

A fantastic video-blog
http://driving-india.blogspot.in/

Some amazing YouTube channels:
http://www.youtube.com/user/defensiv.../videos?view=0

http://www.youtube.com/user/CaliforniaDMV/videos?view=0

http://www.youtube.com/user/AAA/videos?view=0

A whole bunch of other articles/images/videos from the internet were used. Unfortunately not in a position to list all of them here. Wish to thank the creators of all of them though.

A special thanks to GTO for the encouragement when half-way through this effort, I had some doubts about the risk of redundancy!

If this information ends up saving just one life, I would be very happy.

<The End>

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 09:39.
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Old 21st January 2013, 11:19   #23
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Default re: Things they donít teach you at an Indian driving school

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Street Experiences Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st January 2013, 11:43   #24
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Default Re: Things they donít teach you at an Indian driving school

Thanks for the posts. It will take quite sometime to read through all of them and watch all the videos.

I learnt driving from a driving school in Aundh, Pune. The instructor told me, look in front, if there is a vehicle, honk and move ahead, don't bother about anything else. The Maruti 800 used did not have ORVMs and the internal one was dangling! The test at RTO was a bigger joke. This may be the case with many driving schools. So, we can understand why we have so many unruly and ignorant drivers on roads. Hence, penalizing bad drivers will not really produce better drivers, these driving schools need to be policed.

I was lucky to watch other good drivers and videos on youtube. I consider myself a safe driver with a lot of knowledge about road rules and also obey them.
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Old 21st January 2013, 12:10   #25
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Default Re: Things they donít teach you at an Indian driving school

@SDP thank you so much for this very informative thread and appreciate the efforts put by you into compiling the data for us. There are so many things I did not know or did not consider important while drivning over the past many years. Hoping to put it in practice!
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Old 21st January 2013, 12:46   #26
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Smile Re: Things they donít teach you at an Indian driving school

@SDP

Thanks a ton for bringing up such an informative thread, appreciate your efforts in collecting the information and posting for the benefit of BHPians. We all are well aware that important things like these are never strictly part of the driving school curiculum. Most of the newbie drivers learn them the hard way only when on streets and inadequate knowledge leads to many a casualties.

Apart from these golden rules, I feel the driving schools must also make learners aware of the vehicle basics and the technological advancments which new cars are coming up with. Also adding that the RTO rules for issuing new driving licences must be made more rigourous and stricter. I remember my visit to RTO for the test where the inspector asked 4 vehicles to move from point A to point B and all the 16 occupants of the vehicles got their driving licences issued.
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Old 21st January 2013, 13:40   #27
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Default Re: Things they donít teach you at an Indian driving school

Hey Sanjay
I can see you have put in a lot of effort for compiling the thread. Thanks a lot mate.

Few things I would like to share here:-

1. During my intitial 15 days of Driving 'school', the instructor did not teach me 2 things - parking and reversing. In fact I had to specifically ask him if he planned to cover those 2 topics. He took me to an empty parking lot and we did, what can only be called a sorry excuse for reversing and parking lessons. I've talked to several people and they also agree how little the driving schools stress on these 2 very important aspects of driving.

An aquaintance of mine recently banged his new Wagon R when he went to give his driving test and reversed into a pole. Reportedly, he is pretty good with driving a car forward. But when it comes to reversing he just doesnt have a clue. Not hard to guess he did not get his license.

2. As mentioned in post 11 here, the correct way of reversing is to hold the steering at 12oíclock position with right hand and place your Left hand at the back of passenger seat and look over the shoulder.


I am somewhat embarassed to say that that was not my understanding till now. Let me explain why.

I did not recieve any proper lesson in reversing. However when I gone for my license exam the watchman in the office told me something while I was waiting for the driving inspector to arrive. He said "Sahab will ask you to reverse the car. Don't look back and reverse. Use your mirrors and reverse in a straight line else he will fail you." He was a helpful chap and also told be a few IPC sections related to driving which I should remember as Sahab was sure to ask me about them. All for a small bakshish.

It got registered in my mind that it was the correct way and used to reverse all along till now using just the 3 RVMs. Since I have to reverse park my car everyday at home, over the years my reversing skills have turned out to be pretty good, if I may say so myself. At times I've had to look back if the reversing is particularly tricky/close but on most occasions I've managed pretty well with just the 3 RVMs. So this is definitely a learning for me as far as reversing goes.

3. Applying and appearing for a driving license in USA would be an eye opener for anyone who has driven before (in India). It is comprehensive and so different from what we have been told or we have picked up in India. I wish our authorities could scale upto that level and not issue to licenses to every Tom Dick and Harry who endanger their and other's life on the road.

I managed to clear the AZ exam in first go and get hold of a license but had to unlearn a few things. Cutting the corners was one of them. Looking over your shoulder is something I picked up and it has helped later in in India also.
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Old 21st January 2013, 13:52   #28
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Default Re: Things they donít teach you at an Indian driving school

Excellent thread! I really wish all drivers in India had to pass a test with OP's posts as the syllabus before being allowed out on the roads.

Driving schools are like entrance exam coaching classes. The aim is for you to pass the entrance exam (i.e. get a drivers license) any which way. If it wasn't so, people would complain about driving schools not being VFM so the viability of the driving school industry would be very poor.

According to CMVR, we are supposed to be tested in all the areas mentioned in the opening posts before we get a license. See http://morth.nic.in/writereaddata/li...3644957219.pdf
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Old 21st January 2013, 15:55   #29
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Default Re: Things they donít teach you at an Indian driving school

An excellent compilation of the things not taught in Indian driving schools.

But I feel that we really can't expect a 2 week driving class to turn us into polished drivers with impeccable road sense.

At least in India, a driving class is more about learning to operate the vehicle, rather than being a safe driver.

A few more things which are almost never taught by driving schools in India:
1. Parallel parking
2. Using the handbrake to move the vehicle after stopping on an incline

Rohan
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Old 21st January 2013, 21:27   #30
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Default Re: Things they donít teach you at an Indian driving school

Thank you GTO, sa_kiran, ghodlur, Maverick5490, lsp, KiloAlpha, rohan_iitr and others!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
An excellent compilation of the things not taught in Indian driving schools.

But I feel that we really can't expect a 2 week driving class to turn us into polished drivers with impeccable road sense.
...
Rohan, there is a confusion. What I have listed in this thread are considered as "basic" skills. Yes, a decent amount of practice is needed for acquiring these basic skills as well and it is expected that you do not appear for the driving test unless you have mastered these basic skills and have understood the concepts well. The question is not whether 2 weeks are enough to learn and master the basic skills. The question is, are the basic skills taught in the first place?

In US, there is no compromise on the basics during the testing. If you fail to look over your shoulder while doing a lane change, it is considered as a "unsafe lane change" which is a "critical error". A single "critical error" means you fail the test and need to reappear after at least a week's additional practice. Encroach on the cross-walk/zebra-crossing and its a critical error. Forgot to turn and look backwards while reversing the car? Its "critical error". What this ensures is that only people with good basic skills get on to the road. People who forget/ignore these skills after getting the license eventually accumulate enough points on their record where the license gets revoked (and are thus taken off the road).

On the contrary, in India, the driving schools and RTO are letting loose drivers without adequate knowledge and skills on our roads and then we all complain about the bad drivers that we encounter everywhere. The problem should be fixed at its root.

Last edited by SDP : 21st January 2013 at 21:33.
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