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Old 13th January 2013, 19:20   #1
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Default Things they don’t teach you at an Indian driving school

Background:
I learnt driving through a neighborhood driving-school in 1997 - 20-21 sessions - 15-20 minutes of actual driving each session. About 15 minutes spent on day-1 for explaining basics of a car, basics of driving and traffic rules. Learnt some gems like – “Never mind the guys honking from behind. Stay in your lane”. Finally after a month, the driving school took us to the RTO office and I drove the car for about 2 minutes with the RTO-inspector seating beside me and that's how I got my license to drive a light-motor-vehicle (aka car). The family did not own a car that time and I did not had access to any other car. Went to US for an assignment 6 months later and got a US driving license after a month.

The experience of getting a US driving license was really "eye-opening". The first thing was the vision screening, you need at least 20/40 vision. So, in a way, the first thing that they ensure is that you can see really well. I had to study a driver’s manual (a 100 page booklet) thoroughly and pass a written-test before even getting a learner’s permit. That driver’s manual was beautiful. It explained a lot of basics in simple English and with the help of nice diagrams. The standard technique of learn-by-heart was not very useful as the questions in the test would check the understanding rather than memory. There are cases when people fail the exam and need to reappear after a week of additional study to qualify for the learner's permit.

Before applying for the permanent license, I did a lot of driving-practice. Since I had practically not driven in India, there was very little to un-learn and I was able to absorb fast. A few friends who had driven in India, found it quite difficult to come out of the Indian driving habits. Cutting long story short, fortunately what I learnt during those days and the driving habits that formed during the first year are still with me.

Recently a cousin upgraded from a bike to a car and I am currently helping him with his driving skills. Now this guy has driven a bike for almost 10 years and is generally considered a decent driver – no accident record, no rash driving. Just like me, even he had got a 4-wheeler license the normal way. What surprised me was that he was not aware of some of the things that I take for granted. Eg. How to adjust the outer rear view mirrors? how much distance should one leave from the curb when parking? Then I thought, its not his fault. He was never told those things. I downloaded the driver’s manual for Tennessee state and read it again. Downloaded manuals for 2 more states just to make the study more comprehensive. This thread is an attempt to share some of the things that they don’t teach you at the typical Indian driving school (, but every driver must know).

I have skipped most of the “obvious” stuff that the Driver’s Manual would list for completeness. So from that perspective, this thread is not comprehensive. It just lists the delta that is not commonly taught.
e.g. The thread would not mention what do RED, YELLOW, GREEN lights mean. But it would definitely talk about what needs to be done if you are already in the midst of an intersection and the light turns YELLOW. Another example – The thread would not mention that you should wear seat-belt. A lot of people don’t wear it, but at least they know that they should. Instead the thread would focus on "how to" wear the seat-belt correctly.

A lot of these topics have been discussed elsewhere on the forum – one topic at a time. My attempt is to collate that information, summarize it and present in an easy-to-understand fashion in a single thread.

Disclaimer: Many images are from the internet. Copyright obviously remains with original creators/publishers. Although I have shared and elaborated my understanding in my own words at places, some paragraphs and lines are directly picked up from the driver’s manual PDFs and from many sites on the internet. Again copyright remains with original author/publisher of the content.

Last edited by SDP : 21st January 2013 at 10:44.
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Old 13th January 2013, 19:26   #2
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Default Structure

The information is presented using the following structure:

1. Minimum requirements for the vehicle

2. Basics of being a safe driver
2.1 How to prepare to drive
2.1.1 Vehicle condition
2.1.2 Seat and Steering adjustments
2.1.3 Mirror adjustment (special attention to blind spots)
2.1.4 How to wear the setbelt?
2.2 How to start your vehicle. (look, signal, wait)
2.3 How to control your vehicle. (accelerate smoothly, operate controls)
2.3.1 How to steer the vehicle?
2.3.2 How to Back-up (reverse), move forward and stop
2.4 How to handle intersections and make left and right turns. (right-of-way, yield)
2.4.1 How to cross an intersection?
2.4.2 Right Of Way
2.4.3 Turning
2.5 How to use the traffic signals and posted signs
2.6 How to drive in traffic
2.6.1 How to judge distance
2.6.2 How to communicate with other drivers
2.6.3 How to share the road with others
2.6.4 How to change your speed to suit the situation
3. How to handle emergencies

4.0 Miscellaneous

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 03:45.
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Old 13th January 2013, 19:36   #3
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Default Minimum requirements for the vehicle

1.0 Minimum requirements for the vehicle

This section is NOT about engine, drive train, suspension, wheels etc. Instead we look at what are the MINIMUM things that you as a driver should check for and insist before you step behind the wheel.

These are:
1. Safety belts
2. Brakes
3. Headlights (high and low beam)
4. Tail and brake lights
5. Wipers
6. Defroster and fan control
7. Rear-view mirrors
8. Horn

1. Safety belts
Duh, most of today's cars have seat belts. The point is, are you positive that the one in your car works? We should test our seat-belts regularly. Brake a bit aggressively and see if the seat belt grabs you and stops your forward movement. A non-functioning seat-belt is of no use.
Equally important is to wear the seatbelt and insist that everybody in your car (including back-seat passengers) wears the seat-belt, irrespective of whether it is mandated by law or not. A un-belted passenger in the rear-seat can unintentionally kill the person seated in the front in case of an accident.



2. Brakes
Everybody’s brakes work, but how good are they? Have a good understanding of the stopping distance of the car that you are driving. This understanding helps in terms of deciding how hard you should push the brakes and how soon. Even if you have good reaction time and good brakes, if you apply more force than needed you might end up locking the wheels and losing vehicle’s control, with results almost as bad as a collision.
Having ABS with EBD in your car is highly recommended. When you are in the market for your next car, please choose a model and a variant that comes with ABS+EBD. The few thousands extra that you have to shell out are peanuts, if you consider the stakes (i.e. your and your family's life).

Does your parking-brake work? It comes in handy if your main brakes fail.

3. Headlights (high and low beam)
Do your high as well as low beams work? If not, get it fixed immediately. Most of us have been surprised at least once by a oncoming car or a truck with only one headlight working.
Besides not getting others into trouble, properly working headlights ensure that you yourself can see better on the road.
Equally important is to actually turn on the headlights when the ambient light starts reducing. In India, there is a tendency to switch on the headlights as late as possible. Some folks just drive with the help of street light and don’t bother to switch on their own lights. This is highly risky. If your car is not visible, the chances of being hit by other vehicles increases substantially. In many states in US, bikes are supposed to have their headlights on even during broad daylight!

4. Tail and brake lights
Do your taillights and brake-lights work? How many of us have been surprised on a highway by a truck in front with non-functioning tail-lights?
If your tail-lights don’t work, the chances of someone rear-ending into you are higher. Ditto for brake-lights. Brake-lights provide an additional visible cue about the vehicle in front slowing down or having stopped.
Unlike headlights, problems with tail and brakelights do not get noticed easily. Take the help from a friend or spouse, but ensure that your tail-lights and brake-lights work. In US, if the plastic casing of your taillight is cracked or has a hole, you MUST put a tape on it till you get it repaired. The bulb’s light is bright and causes problems for the driver behind your car if any hole in the casing is not covered.
BTW, does your reversing light work?

5. Wipers
Do your wipers work really well? Driving in rain, in the night, with bad wipers is practically suicidal. Even in seasons other than monsoon, ensure that your wipers are clean and working. Bird-dropping, dust, bugs, all sort of muck from the road and splashes from a puddle can get your windshield dirty in all seasons. Also are the wiper-blades of the right size, do they cover the windshield really well? (max one inch area of the windshield side should be outside the reach of the wipers)

6. Defroster and fan control
A lot of people don’t know how to use the defogger correctly to de-mist their windshield. The mist builds gradually and some folks don’t even notice it. Those who notice it might use a hanky to get rid of it rather than using the defroster. Avoid touching the windshield from inside. Fingerprints and smear marks on the inside of the windshield are as bad as swirl-marks on the outside.


7. Rear-view mirrors
Does your car have at least 3 rear view mirrors? Maruti believes that left-side ORVM is an accessory for their low end cars! Are the mirrors clean? Are they folded or open? Are they adjusted correctly? Have you read and understood “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”? Do you have a fair idea about “How much closer do they appear?”. More importantly: When the mirrors exist, are adjusted correctly, are clean and are actually open, how frequently do you glance at it?

8. Horn
Is the horn audible to others, as well as to you with windows rolled up? Do you use the horn to alert other road-users or to express your feelings?
Do you have a reversing horn?

Last edited by SDP : 14th January 2013 at 14:21.
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Old 13th January 2013, 20:34   #4
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Default Basics of being a safe driver

2.0 Basics of being a safe driver

In India, the Inspector is mostly concerned about checking if you can operate the clutch-brake-accelerator, gear and steering without stalling the car or hitting something/someone. In most cases, he is concerned much more about "something else", but let's not go there.

In US, the driving test is really thorough and the inspector's job is to ensure that he is granting license only to a person with very sound basic driving skills.

So, what does the inspector look for during a test?
1. How you prepare to drive. (Mirrors, belt, lights, wiper)
2. How you start your vehicle. (look, signal, wait)
3. How you control your vehicle. (steering, accelerate smoothly, operate controls)
4. How you handle intersections and make left and right turns. (right-of-way, yield)
5. How you obey the traffic signals and posted signs
6. How you drive in traffic
7. How you stop
8. How you back up
9. How you judge distance
10. How you communicate to other drivers
11. How you share the road with others.
12. How you change your speed to suit the situation.

Please note that you should NOT understand and do “what gets checked during the test” just to clear the test. The whole point is that these are very basic but extremely critical aspects of how to drive and you should follow them EVERYTIME you drive.

Last edited by SDP : 16th January 2013 at 08:43.
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Old 13th January 2013, 20:53   #5
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Default 2.1 How to prepare to drive. (Mirrors, belt, lights, wiper)

2.1 How to prepare to drive

2.1.1 Vehicle condition
1. Check around outside the vehicle – Any small children, pets? any other obstructions?
2. Quickly check condition – Any body damage while the car was parked? any tire punctured? any fluid leaks?

3. (For an unfamiliar vehicle), Know the location of following controls even if there is no need to use them at the moment:
• Horn
• Turn Signals
• Emergency/Four-Way Flashers
• Headlights (on/off and dimmer switch)
• Windshield Wipers and Washer Controls
• Parking Brake lever
• Air Conditioner/Heater/Defroster Controls
• Gear position (Gear layouts, especially position of first and reverse gears are quite different from one make to another)
Most common layout
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But other layouts exist.
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It would be really dangerous if you shift into Reverse when trying to engage the 1st or the 6th gear, based on your experience with a different car.

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 03:46.
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Old 13th January 2013, 22:50   #6
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Default 2.1.2 Seat and Steering Adjustments

2.1.2 Seat and Steering Adjustments

1. Proper driving posture
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1. Sit upright and well back in the seat. Make sure that your bottom sits all the way to the back of the seat, where the base and the back of the seat meet.
2. Adjust the position of the seat forward-backward and upward-downward to ensure the pedals can be reached and easily depressed to the extent required. Your knees should be bent at around 45 degrees.
3. Adjust the seatback so that the controls are easily operable.
5. Lock the head restraint in place with the center of the head restraint closest to the top of your ears.
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2. Do not drive with seat in reclined/semi-reclined position. Reclined seat means poor lower back support and straight-arm driving. It does not make you look cool. In fact, its quite dangerous as it impairs your control.
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3. What is proper distance from steering wheel and pedals?
a. Foot should move smoothly from the accelerator to the brake while the heel is kept on the floor
b. Adjust the tilt and telescopic positions of the steering wheel downward so the airbag is facing your chest. Body should be ~10-12 inches from the steering (airbag to hit chest). Sitting closer could result in head/neck injuries (airbag could hit chin/face)
c. Top of the steering vehicle should not be higher than top of the shoulders
d. A good way of judging the correct position is to lay your arm straight out over the wheel with your shoulders in their normal position. When you have done this look at what point the top of the wheel touches your arm. If you are in the correct position your wrist area is resting on the wheel. From this position steering should become far less tiring.
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e. Hold the steering at "9 and 3" or "10 and 2" position with a slight bend in your arms at the elbow.
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Last edited by SDP : 14th January 2013 at 22:25.
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Old 14th January 2013, 00:09   #7
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Default 2.1.3 Mirror Adjustments

2.1.3 Mirror Adjustments
1. Adjust all 3 mirrors AFTER adjusting the seat
2. Adjust mirrors to get widest possible view and to minimize blind spots

Standard way of adjusting mirrors:
1. Your car's side should be visible in less than 10% of the mirror's width.
2. Its important to adjust the mirror vertically as well. If it shows too much of sky or too much of tarmac, its no use. The horizon line should pass approximately at the vertical center of the mirror.
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What are blind spots?
Try this: observe a car which is headed in the same direction as you are, but is using the immediate next lane. The other car should be going slightly faster than your car. Keep tracking that car in your side view mirror. See it becoming bigger, getting closer and eventually disappearing. After disappearing from the rear view mirror it appears in your peripheral vision. BUT, sometimes there is a time gap between the car disappearing from the side view mirror and appearing in your peripheral vision. The other car is said to be in your car's blind spot for this time-gap, when you can not see that car.
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Being aware of blind-spots is extremely important as a blind-spot can hide a entire bike or a car. When you are not aware of that car/bike in your blind-spot and you try changing a lane, most likely you would end up crashing into that same bike/car.
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Bigger vehicles have significantly bigger blind-spots.
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Can something be done about the blind-spots?
Yes! You can turn your head and look directly at the blind-spot area (i.e. side of the car) to see if some car/bike is in that area. In the following example, the bike is in the blind-spot of the car and is not visible in the car's right mirror. If the driver turns his head to the right and looks through the right window, he will see the bike.
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So, always turn your head and check for any vehicles in your blind-spot BEFORE changing lanes or taking turns. Please note, this blind-spot checking action should be swift.

A video showing the mirror adjustments AND head-turn technique:


Another video on how to adjust mirrors to reduce/eliminate blind-spots. Good attempt at humour as well!


NEW way of adjusting mirrors to reduce the blind spot.


Please note that although this is recommended in US (where cars follow keeping a safe distance and bikes stop behind you), this is NOT recommended in Indian driving conditions where there are large number of people using 2-wheelers. In this NEW method, there is a distinct possibility of not seeing a bike hidden just behind your C or D pillar.

Last edited by SDP : 17th January 2013 at 21:37.
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Old 14th January 2013, 00:39   #8
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Default 2.1.4 How to wear the seatbelt?

2.1.4 How to wear the seatbelt?



Correct ->
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Incorrect ->
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One more incorrect way -> Sitting on the lap portion of the seat-belt. Could not find a image on the net. I guess, this is unique to Indian tourist UV drivers.



How should a pregnant women wear a seatbelt?
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How should kids wear seatbelt?
Small children should be in a child-seat fastened on top of the rear seat.

When is it ok for the child to wear the seatelt directly?
The pelvic bone and the collarbone should bear the pressure of the safety belts. If the safety belt system rides too high on the child’s stomach, or if the shoulder harness lies across the face or neck area of the child, go back to using a booster seat.

Common misperceptions:
1. Safety belts can trap you inside a car
2. Some people are thrown clear in a crash and walk away with hardly a scratch
3. If I get hit from the side, I am better off being thrown across the car, away from the crash point
4. Safety belts are good on long trips, but I do not need them if I am driving around town

These are urban legends. None of them are really true. There is a quite a lot of discussion about seatbelts on TBHP and broader internet. If there are still people who believe that it is unnecessary/inconvenient and most of the "safety ads" exaggerate what happens during a crash, just watch the following video:

Last edited by SDP : 14th January 2013 at 16:08.
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Old 14th January 2013, 23:05   #9
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Default 2.2 How to start your vehicle

2.2 How to start your vehicle

Before you say "Are you kidding me? Everybody is aware of how to start a car! Just turn the damn key!", let's look at some important things that quite a few people are unaware of (or possibly forgotten over time).

1. Put your car in Neutral BEFORE firing the engine.
2. Put your right foot on the brake BEFORE firing the engine.
3. Turn the key to ON. Check the dash lights for any warnings, alerts.
4. Turn on the headlights and/or wipers based on situation.
5. Hold the Clutch down when turning the key to ‘start’ position.
6. Disengage the hand-brake AFTER firing the engine.

OK, you have fired the engine and want to start moving. But before moving, look around, give signal and wait for the right opportunity to merge into the traffic. This Look-Signal-Wait method is also called as MSM (Mirrors-Signal-Manoeuvre). This method is used in multiple situations while driving and the following video illustrates it really nicely.



The point about, keeping the left indicator blinking even after stopping to indicate that its a temporary/short stop, is also noteworthy.

Another good video about how to start off and how to stop:

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 03:48.
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Old 14th January 2013, 23:34   #10
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Default 2.3 How to control your vehicle

2.3 How to control your vehicle. (accelerate smoothly, operate controls, curves)

2.3.1 How to steer the vehicle?
1. Use BOTH hands. In city-driving, where constant gear-shifting is needed, this could be difficult (if not impossible). But still, to whatever extent possible.

2. Relaxed grip (firm, not tight) allows you to “feel” the road better.

3. Hold the steering at 9 and 3 o’clock positions. 10 and 2 is also OK.

4. Do NOT drive with your elbow or arm propped on the door or out the window. Your steering control is compromised and you can lose that arm in case of a side-swipe.

5. Do NOT look at the steering wheel. Look where you want to go. This tells your brain what to do with your hands.
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6. Do not let the steering wheel slip through your fingers when turning/steering. Reverse the hand and arm movements made during the turn when coming out of a turn. This “counter-steering” makes for smooth turns.

7. Do not cross your arms when steering or turning.

8. There are multiple ways of steering. e.g. Pull-Push method and Hand-Over method. The Pull-Push method is recommended.
Pull-Push method

Hand-Over-Hand Method. NOT recommended.



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Old 15th January 2013, 00:24   #11
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Default 2.3.2 How to Back-up (reverse), move forward and stop

2.3.2 How to Back-up (reverse), move forward and stop

Correct way of Backing-up
1. Hold the steering at 12o’clock position with right hand.

2. Place your Left hand at the back of passenger seat and look over the shoulder. WHY? The hand-at-the-back-of-passenger-seat lends stability to you during the manoeuvre.
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3. Do NOT use rear-view mirror for reversing. WHY? When you turn around and look, you get a much broader field of view (through rear-windows/rear-quarter glasses and any last row windows) as compared to your rear view mirror.

4. Use ONLY the clutch and NOT the accelerator (as far as possible). WHY? You don't want to reverse too fast and lose control.

Please note that our Indian driving schools DO teach this (without explaining the WHY), but most drivers do NOT follow it.

Here's a video where a smart teenager explains reversing step-by-step.

Do note that the young fellow is driving a left-hand-drive vehicle and therefore he uses the opposite hand.

What about small children and pets hidden just below the car's belt-line level?
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1. Check for kids and animals BEFORE getting into the vehicle.
2. Get a reverse-camera installed for complete peace of mind.
Common reversing mistakes -> moving too fast, providing too much steering input, turning the steering in wrong direction

Moving forward – Check for safe, clear path. Check for traffic to the sides and behind. Signal if pulling away from a curb.

Accelerate smoothly. Press the accelerator gently. How much gently? Imagine a raw egg between your foot and the accelerator. Apply force by your foot so that the accelerator gets pressed, but the egg does not break. Great tip for fuel efficiency.

Stopping – Rear-end collisions are most common accidents. Plan ahead for a smooth stop, so that you don’t surprise the car behind you.
If stopping at a signal, stop BEFORE the stop-line/zebra-crossing.
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If stopping at a curb for parking, the distance from the curb should be less than 18 inches (1.5 ft). Ideally it should be about 6 inches (half a ft).
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Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 02:56.
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Old 16th January 2013, 08:48   #12
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Default 2.4 How to handle intersections and make left and right turns

2.4 How to handle intersections and make left and right turns. (right-of-way, yield)

Fact -> More crashes happen at intersections than at any other place.
That's why, its important to understand right-of-way, pedestrians, right-turns, left-turns and turn signals.

What is a "Traffic Check" or "Scanning"?
“Traffic checks” or "Scanning" is the process of looking frequently and carefully for vehicle traffic approaching from each direction.

This is extremely important part of driving. I have seen most newbie drivers in India focused only on what is ahead.

2.4.1 How to cross an intersection?
1. “Traffic checks” is especially important when merging or changing lanes AND when approaching and crossing intersections.

2. Look both ways as you near an intersection. Left–Right-Left.

3. Before you enter an intersection, continue checking traffic from both the left and right for approaching vehicles and/or crossing pedestrians.

4. You should slow down before reaching the intersection. Think, if the light changes or you encounter a vehicle violating the right-of-way that causes you to stop suddenly, will the vehicle behind be able to stop?

5. Drive at your slowest speed just before entering the intersection and gradually increase your speed as you cross the intersection.

6. You should be in the proper lane for the direction you intend to travel before you reach the intersection. Do NOT make last minute lane changes as you start through an intersection.

7. Do NOT pass a vehicle in an intersection.

8. Do NOT move into an intersection and block it after the traffic lights have changed.

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 03:52.
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Old 16th January 2013, 14:29   #13
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Default Right Of Way

2.4.2 RIGHT OF WAY

Vehicles or pedestrians are likely to meet one another where there are no signs or lights to control traffic. In that case who should go first or have the right-of-way?

There are rules on who must yield (i.e. give or grant) the right-of-way. These rules tell who goes first and who must wait in different traffic situations.

Think of the right-of-way as something to be given, NOT taken. You must NOT Insist on “your” Right-of-Way.

The traffic mess that we see at intersections is precisely because of the lack of understanding of Right-of-Way and common courtesy.
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Here are the rules for Right-Of-Way:

1.Yield to pedestrians crossing the road or your path of travel
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2. Yield to Oncoming Traffic
• When starting from a parked position, wait for all moving traffic to pass.

• When turning right, you must wait for oncoming traffic going straight ahead or turning left.
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• When entering a main road from a driveway, alley, parking lot or roadside, you must yield to all vehicles already on the main road. (The blue car in the graphic below must yield the right-of-way.)
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• When entering a roundabout, traffic circle or rotary, you must yield to traffic already in the roundabout.

• When approaching a MERGE onto a busy highway or interstate, you must increase or decrease speed as needed to avoid an accident and yield the right-of-way, if necessary, to the oncoming traffic.

3.Yielding at Intersections

You must yield the right-of-way to any vehicles already in the intersection, even if you have the green traffic light. e.g. The red vehicle in the diagram below must wait for the green vehicle to cross the intersection EVEN IF the red vehicle has a green signal.
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At “T” intersections where one road dead-ends into another main crossing roadway, the vehicles on the road ending must yield to oncoming traffic from both directions on the main road.

Do not enter an intersection unless you can get through it without having to stop. You should wait until traffic in front of you clears so that you are not blocking the intersection.

Here's a quick recap.



4. Yield to Emergency Vehicles IMMEDIATELY (Police, Fire, ambulance)
DO NOT treat emergency vehicles as “sweeper car” and follow these vehicles.
DO NOT STOP near a emergency site, especially out of curiosity. Most likely you are being a hindrance to emergency personnel /cars who are trying to reach the place or already helping.

5. Yield to your city’s public transport buses
Yield to your city’s public transport buses (NOT the private ones) when they are starting from a bus-stop. They have multiple stops and if they start yielding each time before starting, the overall travel time for the people using the bus is going to increase. Some of them might switch to cars and eventually the traffic gets dense and worse. An efficient public transport system is good for everybody, including those who do not use it regularly.
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6. Slowing and Yielding to Stationary Vehicles on the Roadside
On multi-lane roadways where there are two or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction and if there is a stationary vehicle along the roadside in the direction of the driver’s travel, make a lane change and give space to the stationary vehicle. How many times have you been surprised by a door that flung open when you least expect it OR the vehicle started moving at the last moment and got in your way?

Last edited by SDP : 19th January 2013 at 00:04.
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Old 17th January 2013, 20:51   #14
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Default 2.4.3 How to Turn

2.4.3 How to Turn

The first rule of turning is to turn from the closest lane in the direction you are traveling to the closest legal lane in the direction you want to go.
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1. Signaling a Turn
  • Your signal lets other drivers, and pedestrians know your intentions to make a change in your vehicle’s path of travel and gives them time to react. However, signaling does NOT give you the right-of-way.
  • Besides the obvious “before getting into a different lane” and “taking a turn” scenarios, you should also signal a turn when pulling away from a parked position along the curb or pulling over to the curb or roadside.
  • Start giving the signal at least 50 feet before the turn
  • Hand signals although inconvenient in today’s polluted cities are more visible… especially on bright sunny days (when your car's signal might not be very visible).
  • Good practice - When signaling a stop, lightly pump your brakes a few times to attract attention with your brake lights.
  • Also, be sure to turn off your turn signal light after using it.
  • Use your turn signals ONLY to indicate when YOU plan to turn or change lanes. That means, you should NOT use your signals to signal a driver behind you to come around to pass your vehicle.
  • If you plan to turn beyond an intersection, do not signal until you are in the intersection. If you signal earlier, another driver may think you intend to turn at the intersection and might pull into your path.
  • Get in the habit of signaling every time you change direction. Signal even if you do not see anyone else
    around. It is the car you do not see that is the most dangerous.
2. Making turns

DO:
• Move into the correct turn lane as soon as possible. The faster the traffic is moving, the sooner you should move into the proper lane. Go from one lane to the other as directly as possible without crossing lane lines or interfering with the traffic.
• Select the proper gear before entering the intersection, and accelerate slightly through the turn.
• Finish the turn in the proper lane. Once you have completed the turn, change to another lane if you need to, and if traffic is clear.

DON’T:
• Don’t try to turn from the wrong lane. If you aren’t in the proper lane, drive to the next intersection and make the turn from the proper lane there. Circle back if necessary. This may take some extra time and miles, but it is the safe thing to do.
• Don’t “swing wide” or “cut the corner” when making turns. Don’t turn too short so as to cut corners on right turns or run over the curb on left turns.
This is a huge problem area in India. Cutting corners looks cool on a race track. On a normal road, its definitely not appreciated.

• Don’t start moving (or inching ahead) in anticipation of you getting a green signal.

3. RIGHT Turns

Look out of your left window for pedestrians and other traffic in your turn path. Yield to any oncoming cars or pedestrians.
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Don’t turn wide. Why not? -> You are inconveniencing a driver who might be going straight as you encroach in his/her lane.

Don’t cut the corner. Why not? -> You are inconveniencing a driver who might be turning left in that same corner. You might even bump into him or side-swipe him.
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If there are multiple lanes turning, keep your vehicle in the lane you start from THROUGHOUT the turn.

If the light turns yellow while you are waiting for oncoming vehicles to clear the intersection, DO NOT proceed into the intersection.

Turn Warning: Trucks and Buses Turning Right

Large trucks and buses MUST make wide turns. Sometimes they must leave an open space to the right just before the turn. To avoid an accident, do not pass a truck on the right if there is a possibility that it might make a right turn.
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4. LEFT turns
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Is a Left turn Permitted on Red?
A Left turn might be permitted on red light but you must first come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic.
If you are not sure, just assume that it is NOT permitted.

5. Special Turns: Roundabouts and U-Turns
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Please take a special note of how to take right-turn and how to take a U-turn at a round-about. Don't get tempted to take a short-cut and turn right.

The most common faults when making turns are
(A) failing to signal,
(B) not signaling long enough,
(C) failing to search for hazards,
(D) turning from the wrong lane and
(E) failing to turn properly.

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 03:55.
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Old 18th January 2013, 08:54   #15
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Default 2.5 How to use the traffic signals and posted signs

2.5 How to use the traffic signals and posted signs
  • Every traffic sign has a purpose. Get into the habit of noticing the signs and adjusting your driving accordingly.*
  • A YELLOW light means “Prepare to stop” and NOT “Accelerate to pass the intersection before the signal turns RED. If you have already entered the intersection when YELLOW light came up, do not stop, proceed cautiously through the intersection.
  • Please be aware that some drivers often “jump the green” and start through an intersection, because they have seen the yellow light come on from the crossing directions. If you try to “beat the yellow” and another driver decides to “jump the green” the results could be deadly!
  • Even if your signal turns GREEN, You must yield to pedestrians and vehicles still in the intersection at light change. Don’t honk at them, give dirty looks or intimidate them. Do not start ‘anticipating’ a GREEN in next few seconds.
  • At late-night, you must have seen blinking YELLOW and blinking RED lights. Most treat them as if the traffic light is no longer there and zoom past it. A blinking YELLOW means Slow down and proceed with caution at the intersection. A blinking RED means - Complete stop. Look both ways,yield to traffic and pedestrians and proceed when it is safe to do so.
  • Drive BETWEEN 2 lane-markings and not ON a lane-marking. Its really weird that something as basic as this is not understood/followed by quite a few.
  • Double lines. Multiple combinations of broken line and continuous line. Do you know what they mean?
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  • Speed Limit signs -> follow them.
    When there is no speed-limit sign, what is the default speed-limit in cities? If I remember correctly its 35kmph?
  • No passing/No overtaking signs -> They consider unseen hazards such as hills and curves, intersections etc while putting up these signs. Must obey them.
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  • Zebra crossing and STOP line -> Stop BEHIND the stop-line and NOT on the stop-line or on the zebra-strip. Definitely not ahead of it!

Last edited by SDP : 20th January 2013 at 04:00.
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