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Old 27th February 2014, 11:15   #31
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
If someone follows too close, I pretend to do a brake check (I usually drive alone, so scared passengers is not an issue) . Scares most of them to give me a wide berth
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Originally Posted by subratasenn View Post
I always feel this is an effective way to get rid of people who follow too close. It sounds stupid, but I also do the same thing.
.
Don't know how good an idea that is. The other car may get wrong signals that you are troubling them and start doing other nonsense on the road to trouble you!
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:20   #32
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

Maintaining a safe distance is important, not only to protect yourself from the idiot in front, but also the one behind you (God knows there are so many of them in India).

The safer distance that you keep from the car you are following, the more gradually you can brake before coming to an absolute stop. How frequently have we faced a situation where the car ahead stopped abruptly, we stopped in time....but the guy behind us didn't?

Slow, gradual, well-indicated actions are vital to safe driving in India. Sudden manouveurs of any type = Accident.

Last edited by GTO : 27th February 2014 at 11:21.
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:29   #33
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

The problem is not of maintaining gap. I have seen several car drivers maintaining sufficient gap. It is these 2 wheelers who create havoc by trying to squeeze in every possible gap so that they are ahead of everyone. In doing so, they form a serpentine line. The car users have no other option but to wait till these guys vanish from the scene.
But by that time more vehicles will pile up and the signal turns RED!!!!
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:40   #34
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

It is very easy to say maintain a safe distance always. But sometimes you are not really at fault. Driving is not just maintaining a distance from the car in front at all times. It also depends on your surroundings. Supposedly the road is totally empty and the you are doing 60-70 kmph and suddenly without reason the car in front brakes hard then you can't blame the driver for rear ending it. Happened with me on Delhi ring road which is one of the best roads to drive in the city with flyovers all along and no red signals. I was in my Honda and there was a school van ( Maruti Omni) in the front with the road totally empty and both of us doing around 70 kmph. Suddenly out of nowhere one of the children from the Van dropped his/her water bottle on the road and without a care for anything the driver slammed on the brakes! I slammed my brakes and avoided hitting him by inches but 3 cars behind me weren't so lucky and it lead to a pile up with my car's rear totally caving in and similar damage to all the cars behind. The point here is that the Van driver had no business braking so hard without a reason. One should always be aware of the traffic behind you. In this case I even agree with OP that sometimes this leads to a very tricky situation at signals when you want to stop at the Yellow but the car behind you is actually gaining speed in order to beat the Yellow. if you brake and stop then that guy in all probability will rear end you.
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:54   #35
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
It is very easy to say maintain a safe distance always. But sometimes you are not really at fault. Driving is not just maintaining a distance from the car in front at all times. It also depends on your surroundings. Supposedly the road is totally empty and the you are doing 60-70 kmph and suddenly without reason the car in front brakes hard then you can't blame the driver for rear ending it.
An alert driver can always avoid rear-ending if the safe distance thumb rule is followed.
The thumb rule is:
Keep at least one car distance (the length of your own car) for every 10 kmph of speed.

Since you were travelling at 60-70 km per hour, the safe distance from the car in front you is approximately 7 times your car length. Since you were in your Honda City, 35 metres (5x7=35) is the safe distance. Enough to avoid rear ending even if the front car comes to a sudden stop in front you.
I believe you were maintaining a little less than that space which resulted in you barely avoiding a collision. And the cars behind you didn't care. That resulted in the scenario. And of course, you can't be blamed for the cars behind you!

Last edited by subratasenn : 27th February 2014 at 11:56.
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Old 27th February 2014, 12:21   #36
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

Though I agree to what all drivers here have to say, but we're missing the point. Step into a responsible rider's shoes and then OPs comments will start making sense.

It is impossible to follow xyz seconds rule in city traffic. That too from the Anna university road all the way till Tidel Park signal is crazy. I faced it for 2 years while I was in Chennai.

To the OP, yes maybe the driver in his Ritz was at fault, but we can't be sure if he was a bad driver or it was a genuine urgency to brake. You were rear ended because the rider behind you:
1. was not alert enough.
2. had not so good modern brakes.

This is a forever never ending driver vs biker debate.
What you can take away from this are a few pointers to safeguard yourself in future.

1. Never ride touching the car/vehicle's bumper ahead. Maintain 5-6 feet gap. Speeds in B2B traffic are usually 20 kmph and a 200NS has potent brakes.

2. Indicate all your maneuvers.

3. If caught in a similar situation as this, try not to stop in a straight line so that you may save yourself from being rear ended (requires a few checks though)

Check 1: See if there is enough gap adjacent to the car ahead that won't block or disturb others.
Check 2: See if there is a biker behind on your "planned" path.

P.S - Check 2 must be anyways done every few seconds on any road.

If check 1 says yes and check 2 says no, then you can brake and steer.
Rider skills matter here as NS doesn't have ABS, so avoid braking very hard.

Usage of engine braking helps!

A tap to the brakes and engine braking mixed with lever braking does wonders.

Last edited by Divya Sharan : 27th February 2014 at 12:33. Reason: Added greenhorn's pointer to make things more clear.
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Old 27th February 2014, 12:27   #37
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

Just to add, even if you're using engine braking, give a short tap on the brakes to signal to the guy behind that you're stopping
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Old 27th February 2014, 12:36   #38
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
The point here is that the Van driver had no business braking so hard without a reason. One should always be aware of the traffic behind you.
I sometimes feel that all of us need education of road rules and laws. Seniors/Juniors or rookies in India feel they are right always.
A vehicle in front can brake however hard the driver thinks he needs to brake for whatever reason. It is the responsibility of the vehicle following to ensure they don't collide with the driver in front. If it does collide then the vehicle in the rear is FULLY responsible.

There is no way a driver in front will see in his/her rear view mirror and ensure that there is no cars following his /her car before hard braking. As we all understand sudden/hard braking is an emergency process to avoid untoward incidences - like stray animal coming on to the road, Playing kids coming on to the road, huge stone on the road, etc which is typically not foreseen.

Last edited by DieselFan : 27th February 2014 at 12:37.
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Old 27th February 2014, 12:47   #39
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Default Re: Bad Drivers - How do you spot 'em

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Originally Posted by katchkamalesh View Post
Anyway, here are the answers for your questions.

This is not a highway to keep a quiet some distance. This is a major road with bumper to bumper slow moving traffic where one just flows with the (errr.) flow.
Are you someone who believes that -

1) Airbags are only good for highways. In city, they are useless.
2) ABS works only above 100 kmph!
3) An infant is safer in the front seat without a baby seat (because of the airbag)!
4) HM Ambassador and Mahindra Bolero are the safest vehicles on the road because they are indestructible!

I am guessing you dont have that mentality, simply because I am assuming you are a safe driver.

Irrespective of the kind of road, one has to follow a safe driving style. Accidents happen when people (as you said) "go with the flow".

Quote:
I can also advocate following safe distance but in reality it is not practical, if there is a space in front of your car/bike the person behind you will honk or bikers will fill up the space. Either one of these is definitely going to happen and again you will bumper to bumper scenario.
Let them honk. Is it not better than a broken bumper?

Let bikers fill the spaces? What are we achieving if the bikers queued up behind us?
Quote:
If safe distance practice is followed religiously then I believe that there will be no accidents.


On the same note, if others dont follow it, atleast we can. If a moron decides to bang his head on the wall, is it necessary we have to follow him?

Quote:
The reason for ritz guy to stop is unknown, but I strongly believe it to be late braking because there is no other reason as to why he did not start braking few meters ahead.
You spoke about anticipation. Then you should have anticipated that the Ritz will brake hard.

Some situations cannot be anticipated. That is when a safe gap between 2 vehicles come in picture.

Quote:
I will never blame the guy behind me (In this case), I very well know that he is following me (Not right, but this is what most people do, keep the vehicle in front as reference). That is the reason why I never brake hard in city traffic I sometimes even push through yellow at signal if I see someone coming close behind me in the rear view mirror (A couple of times passed Red signal as well for the same reason).
You can try as hard to save your bike being rear ended. That's good practice. But as in this situation, what if there is a vehicle in front and you are forced to brake hard? Here, you dont have an option but to stomp the brakes.

Now, you have a bike and hence damage was minimal. Think from a car owner's point of view, say a Mercedes S class, no less! He will be suffering from damages worth Lacs. Why?

Because of poor road sense and "anticipation" of the guy following him.

Quote:
Today as soon as I heard screeching of tyres behind me, I knew I was going to be hit. I am complaining about the Ritz driver's driving style in public roads, I strongly believe that there was no reason for panic braking.
If a man jumped in front of the Ritz, what is he supposed to do? Run over the guy to avoid being rear ended?

If a biker swerved right in front of him? Knock the biker off? Believe me, even if he knocks the biker off, the car will have more damage!

Quote:
I am in no way disagreeing with your statement, I am just saying that those will not work out here.
I totally understand that. This is just a healthy debate.

Cheers.

P.S.: Never realized MODS would start a new thread for this!
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Old 27th February 2014, 12:54   #40
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Maintaining a safe distance is important, not only to protect yourself from the idiot in front, but also the one behind you (God knows there are so many of them in India).

The safer distance that you keep from the car you are following, the more gradually you can brake before coming to an absolute stop. How frequently have we faced a situation where the car ahead stopped abruptly, we stopped in time....but the guy behind us didn't?

Slow, gradual, well-indicated actions are vital to safe driving in India. Sudden manouveurs of any type = Accident.


The more chance (and space) we give ourselves to stop gradually, better are our chances of avoiding getting rear-ended too, because we're also passing on the benefit of that space to the guy following us.

If someone's tailgating, leaving a gap out front is even more critical, because you're accounting for his stopping distance too, not just your own.
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Old 27th February 2014, 13:30   #41
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Default Re: Bad Drivers - How do you spot 'em

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Suddenly out of nowhere one of the children from the Van dropped his/her water bottle on the road and without a care for anything the driver slammed on the brakes!
Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Let them honk. Is it not better than a broken bumper?

If a man jumped in front of the Ritz, what is he supposed to do? Run over the guy to avoid being rear ended?

I totally understand that. This is just a healthy debate.

P.S.: Never realized MODS would start a new thread for this!
If the van driver had been responsible, he would not have slammed the brakes for a water bottle, rather indicated and slowed down gradually.

What I am advocating is, Know the situation and brake accordingly, there is nothing you can do if the person in front has slammed the brakes, and you have to follow it whether you like it or not.

What if you are the van driver here, will you risk slamming the brakes for a water bottle?

In case of the Ritz, he chose to slam the brakes hard instead of gradually braking.

I am not saying run over a person to save your bumpers.

I am 100% sure that there was considerable gap between the ritz and car in front. He could have stopped to dead halt if he chose gradual braking. If there was a biker or a pedestrian or even a dog, don’t you realise that I wouldn’t have blamed the ritz driver in my first post?

If you are able to search my previous post you might realise that I was once rear ended by a lorry cause of braking hard when I was learning to drive, the reason, I tried to save a puppy by not running over it. Here it is an accident but if I braked for stupid reason, I am to be blamed.

BTW I wish I was as tolerant as you, I would get irritated if someone keeps honking at me for no valid reason

Consider this: If the ritz had braked gradually, I would have done the same there might have been no rear ending. I am blaming the judgement (in case of novice)/driving style (in case of experienced) of the ritz driver.

Hope I have made myself clear.

Last edited by katchkamalesh : 27th February 2014 at 13:33. Reason: add content
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Old 27th February 2014, 14:47   #42
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

I am sorry but I don't agree that its the responsibility of only the car in the back to save a collision. I know the law says so and in most scenarios the law is right. And Delhi traffic is quite fast and dense at the same time. Also safe distance is one thing but there are times when you are overtaking a vehicle, approaching a flyover etc where the distance will be much less.

1. The above incident involving the Van driver: The correct thing for him to do was to turn on the indicator and stop on the side of the road. Not just slam the brakes on an empty road int he right most lane. If its an animal or pedestrian or a large stone I can understand. What people here are not understanding is that this happened on the ring road in delhi. There are no dogs or pedestrians or large stones here ( unless they fall from the sky) on this stretch of the road. All the above things are more than valid on highways etc. Hence you can't blame the driver behind if you suddenly decide to start testing your brakes!

2. Many other examples of this kind of sudden braking are when so many times people while driving suddenly jam there brakes right at the beginning of a flyover because they realised late that they didn't need to climb it. They follow this idiocy by actually reversing the car back down the few meters that they have already climbed. In such cases a car behind cannot stop.

Safe distance is a good practice. But for the densely congested traffic filled roads of our cities some of these things are not practical. These are all western laws or laws made when cars were still only beginning to become affordable. The same reason why even our official TBHP review says that they had to shut down the Volvo's city security systems since they sound good but are not practical in our traffic scenarios.

Motor vehicle laws also specify distances to be maintained while overtaking a car. Do we even have that much space available to follow it on our roads 100% of the times? No.
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Old 27th February 2014, 15:22   #43
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Default Re: Bad Drivers - How do you spot 'em

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Originally Posted by katchkamalesh View Post
there is nothing you can do if the person in front has slammed the brakes, and you have to follow it whether you like it or not.
Precisely, there is nothing one can do. The whole discussion here is centered around how you can try to save your car/bike from getting damaged in that case.
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Old 27th February 2014, 15:50   #44
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Safe distance is a good practice. But for the densely congested traffic filled roads of our cities some of these things are not practical.
+1 to this.

It takes me 70 mins to travel 13 kms to office and 90 mins to travel back home on the same 13 kms route. I start from home at 09:00 hrs and the return journey at 18:30 hrs.

Believe me, there are 14 signals on this 13 km route.

In the 10,000 kms that I have driven on the same route, I have never encountered a moment where I can follow the 3-second rule. The state of affairs currently prevalent, I don't think I would be able to follow this within city limits anyday.

For me, keeping the car under control is most important; whether I am driving at 20 kmph or 60 kmph or following a 3-sec rule or 30-sec rule, doesn't matter.

And there have been umpteen instances where I had to brake hard even at 20 kmph - somebody trying to cut into my lane suddenly from the left, only to take a right turn ahead - someone's car stalling on a speed breaker just before the signal - an indicab with no tail lights suddenly applying brakes for "only God knows why?" - So far, I have managed to not bang into either of these just because my vehicle was in "my" control. But yes, in none of these situations was I maintaining a 3-sec rule or "my car length X kmph" rule.

I neither overtake from the left nor do I honk unnecessarily. I follow these rules since I can follow them at will.

Last edited by Safety is Param : 27th February 2014 at 15:52.
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Old 27th February 2014, 18:47   #45
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Default Re: Hitting a vehicle from behind: Is it always the rear-enders fault?

Today an idiot brake checked me on Killipalam - Jagathy newly laid road. I was coming from Killipalam side and when i reach popular maruti service center an idiot in a red new gen Swift coming from the service centre joined the road ahead of me. We both were proceeding towards Jagathy side and the roads were empty and as we were approaching Rajiv Gandhi Biotech this idiot decides to slam on his brakes on an empty stretch without checking his rear view mirrors. I was able to swerve past him in the nick of time.

The idiot could have been a service advisor from popular maruti or maybe a mechanic or maybe some of their staff driving a customer car. Couldn't have been a customer since it was lunch time and not their usual delivery time.
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