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Old 17th May 2013, 14:25   #1
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Default Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

It happened again. It's happened to me before and it's happened to my friends many times.

Scenario: you are waiting next to a bus at a signal and the bus decides to take a turn. As it turns, the rear overhang whams in to your car and even though you see it coming, there is nothing you could do about it.

This is exactly what happened yesterday. My dad was in the Octavia and the driver was driving. They were parallel to a BEST bus towards the rear part with nearly 2 feet gap between them. The bus driver sees a gap on the adjacent lane and takes a sharp turn to get there resulting in the rear overhang breaking the ORVM of my car and scratching the front left side.

Such a scenario is extremely frustrating and other than complaining to the BEST depot and lodging an FIR, there was nothing else that we could do.

It's happened to me once before in my old Honda City as well. What i usually do is that i avoid stopping next to a bus or heavy vehicle if possible and that's the only way i think i can prevent such a scenario.

Ideally, the back wheels should be placed as back as possible to prevent this situation. But this results in the turning radius increasing. In our cities, with small roads, this would be a drawback and therefore buses usually keep the front and rear wheels as close (shorter wheelbase) as possible and increase the overhang to accommodate more passengers.

What is needed is to educate the drivers of the driving technique for such vehicles.

A little googling brought me to many such papers on Australian and American government sites that instruct how to drive buses.

Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs-screen-shot-20130517-2.18.53-pm.png

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Here's an excerpt from one:

Quote:
While making a right turn:
Check your right mirror and execute the turn smoothly without strain on the engine. This is accomplished as soon as the front wheels pass the corner, turn wide to the right, swinging over the center of the side street (if necessary) in order for the rear wheels to clear the curb. Never shift gears during a turn. Keep an eye on the right mirror while turning. Be mindful of any pedestrians who may be standing at or near the curb. Also, watch out for parked cars.

WHETHER MAKING A RIGHT OR LEFT TURN, BE AWARE THAT THE REAR OF YOUR BUS WILL PROJECT OUTWARD AS YOU ARE MAKING THE TURN. BE
CAREFUL WHEN MAKING A LEFT OR RIGHT TURN WHEN YOU ARE NEXT TO ANOTHER VEHICLE OR OBJECT.
Attaching the full document if anyone is interested in reading:

unit_g.pdf
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Old 17th May 2013, 15:28   #2
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

This is something that very few people can foresee. This problem is more pronounced in trucks that carry loads that stick way beyond its cargo area. Very often they are poorly marked or even worse never marked. This can be highly dangerous and prove fatal sometimes. Further, most motorists travelling alongside these errant vehicles fail to understand or foresee the danger when these vehicles turn. Sometimes they are so bad that even a slight turn can be dangerous.

The worst part is that the drivers themselves are seldom aware of the change in the manoeuvring dimensions of their vehicles and do not realise what is happening behind them or see how close their loads are to other vehicles behind them while they are happily weaving through unsuspecting traffic.

I have helplessly watched this happen in front of me several times.
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Old 17th May 2013, 15:47   #3
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

Thanks for bringing this up Tejas.

The new KeSRTC buses have big overhangs front and back. Its a wide body design with the axles pushed as close to each other as possible. Its a scary sight to watch the rear of the bus swinging into the back of the car when taking a left turn in the left ORVM at a signal.

The front overhang is much worse. One should be very wary when the bus is coming in the opposite direction in a tight corner. The front wheels will be within the lane but right most edge of the bus will be in the opposite lane.
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Old 17th May 2013, 15:49   #4
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
Scenario: you are waiting next to a bus at a signal and the bus decides to take a turn. As it turns, the rear overhang whams in to your car and even though you see it coming, there is nothing you could do about it.
I would say; if one sees the bus taking the turn; one can always avoid this situation by going parallel; turning towards the bus. (And may be honking enough to draw the drivers attention).

Once the bus brakes; change your direction and continue down your path

After all we drive cars (not limos); we should be able to turn back into our route after avoiding this disaster. Shouldn't be that difficult.

Just a thought. Might not work in all situations; but worth a try.

Last edited by Spinnerr : 17th May 2013 at 15:50.
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Old 17th May 2013, 15:52   #5
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

A very valid thread. This happens to a lot of people.

I had a senior in my company (he is still there but more or less retired) he about 12 years back once came to office with a dent on the front fender / bonnet area of his new Honda City (then relatively a much more premium vehicle) and reported that this bus driver caused it while turning on a roundabout on the way to office. He got it repaired and the immediate next day post repairs he again had the a dent at the same spot on the vehicle. The accident happened at the same round about and was again caused by a BEST Bus. - Talk about repeat offenders and not learning from ones mistake.

The guy maintained he was not at fault but then he should have known about the rear overhang issue. He though was quite sheepish about it as though he denied it he know that he was indeed at fault for being in the wrong spot twice over.
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Old 17th May 2013, 17:32   #6
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

This is something drivers coming into Bandra (W) onto SV Road, see daily. And yes I have had the exact same thing happen to me as well. BEST ripped off the cover of the passenger door mirror of my Polo and the glass shattered as well.

Always turn with a bus/truck if you are on their side so as to stay parallel to them. If you don't you are in all likely hood to get hit. And God forbid you don't have that space to keep parallel and the bus/truck driver is careless, its sure to hit your car.
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Old 17th May 2013, 17:44   #7
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

Happened to our M800 sometime in 1987 or so - scratches on the right side of the car. Apart from the car being new (~2 yrs), I had taken the car out for a joyride with friends without my Dad's permission. Chased the private bus guy & got 100 bucks or so for painting the car. Got it painted at a local garage - things were simpler then with non-metallic paints in just 4 colors (ours was the chocolate brown). He did a good job with the painting. Infact so good that my Dad never knew about the incident till some 10 years later and that too because when parked against the sun, my uncle commented on a slight shade difference between the painted area and the rest. Never happened after that, but given the crowded roads, there is no guarantee it cannot happen again.
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Old 17th May 2013, 18:44   #8
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

On the lines of this thread, there is a similar danger regarding these vehicles, especially buses and mini-buses.

I noticed this on a recent highway trip on a single road. The road between Mysore and Gundlepet is a single lane well paved road with heavy bus traffic especially Govt buses.

On one of the curves, a KSRTC bus was barreling down towards me and I was in good speed taking the curve when I saw one of the small doors used to cover the air filter on the bottom side of the bus was just swinging away on it hinges and since it was a turn it was staying almost open throughout. I made a last minute correction and avoided it and it happened again on a straight road with another bus with its luggage door open and swinging.

I was thinking of it and it is extremely dangerous especially for a two wheeler. And all that the bus is going to loose is that door and he is going to run without it after that anyway and the car that hits it, will loose more than that.
Eversince, I keep a wide line on a curve and stick to the edge when I see a bus taking the same curve in front of me.

Last edited by tharian : 17th May 2013 at 18:49.
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Old 17th May 2013, 18:53   #9
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
Such a scenario is extremely frustrating and other than complaining to the BEST depot and lodging an FIR, there was nothing else that we could do.
Do you get 3rd party insurance from the insurer of BEST vehicles in such cases?
Practically speaking, not ideal case scenario.
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Old 18th May 2013, 13:22   #10
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Default Re: Be careful of pivoting bus rear overhangs

This is a very good thread. I think this tip should be given to every new driver. I have seen many people totally forgetting this aspect even while driving on highways.
Quite a few years ago, my friend & I were travelling in an 800, (the friend was driving). He was doing some 70-80 kmph on the highway and there was a longish passenger bus overtaking a truck, coming from the opposite side. I warned him "slow man" but he continued thinking that the bus would easily overtake the truck by when we reach that point. The bus did overtake the truck by then but it was almost a near-miss when its rear overhang almost hit our car. We had our heart in the mouth for the moment.

Last edited by saket77 : 18th May 2013 at 13:24.
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