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View Poll Results: Does Anticipating preempt sudden actions?
Yes 194 82.91%
No 2 0.85%
Not always 38 16.24%
Voters: 234. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15th March 2014, 11:17   #46
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Fantastic thread! Few of my thoughts,

1. Sunil Gavaskar once told during a commentary : " you have to be a good mind reader to be a good driver in India" - how true!

2. There is a section called " Hazard perception test" in UK driving licence examination. If you have driven in India, its just a walk through for us, as most of the animated situations they show in the computer, we would have done it in real at some point of time during our driving career. In face we will identify the hazard even before it pops out on the screen during this test!

3. I have noticed many of my friends while driving turning their faces towards the passengers during the course of a conversation while driving. Whatever experienced driver you may be, I feel this diverts your concentration for a split second which is all is required for a hazard to happen!
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Old 15th March 2014, 11:59   #47
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Being an ultra defensive driver, I can generally anticipate most of the time what the other driver in front of me, or the rider or the pedestrian is going to do and prepare accordingly. However, with children and cattle I don't take any chances. They are completely unpredictable. I just slow down and let them pass. Generally with standing cattle I cross them from behind, because they are most unlikely to walk back suddenly.
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Old 15th March 2014, 12:09   #48
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Yes. Recently I drover from Tenkasi to Palani and back. (560 kms two-way) Through small towns on busy roads. Difference? I planned it to be a no-horn-drive. I made it a point that whatever happen, I would not touch the horn at all. And I made it successfully. Finding? Using no horn made me 'anticipate' everything to go wrong and every second to be on high alert. It made me think that every vehicle on the road is deaf and dumb. That was the height of anticipation. This trip really helped me to 'anticipate' and thereby know the road-behavior of every single moving thing on the road and made me a better driver.
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Old 15th March 2014, 13:12   #49
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Being an ultra defensive driver, However, with children and cattle I don't take any chances. They are completely unpredictable. I just slow down and let them pass...because they are most unlikely to walk back suddenly.
+1 to that.
This is what most of us need to keep as a generic thumb rule especially when hitting the highway. Cattle or rather any slow moving animal (ruminants especially) never go backwards they dart ahead as this is a physiological behaviour they display (sometimes even some of us humans too)

Most importantly the unsaid law is that if a ball/any play stuff/a puppy scampers across the road you can very nearly be sure that a child is going to be in the nearest vicinity.

Cheers

Last edited by Dieseldunk : 15th March 2014 at 13:13. Reason: spelling
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Old 15th March 2014, 16:28   #50
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Great Thread! If there was an 'Emphatic YES', I would have surely voted for it!

I have been part/victim of few incidents related to anticipation or rather lack of it from other parties. I learnt car driving from my father and among hundreds of useful tips, he told me that Anticipating the action of objects (Cars, Passengers, Animals etc.,) around you is as important as braking when there is Red signal. I want to specifically call out two instances that are equally dangerous:

1. In my view, majority of the pedestrians have least anticipation. You need to anticipate pedestrians crossing the road behind a stationary vehicle. This could be really dangerous when you are driving very close the vehicle and a pedestrian/another vehicle suddenly comes from the other end. This is an absolute blind spot for the pedestrians. However, you can avoid the collision by anticipating, better yet looking at the small opening under the stationary vehicle of any vehicular/pedestrian movement towards the road.

2. In case of cars being parked perpendicular to the road, I will make sure that I maintain large distance between the parked car and my car. I have come across few instances where the car driver had suddenly decided to reverse his car and I had to stop only few inches from him. You need to be really careful and anticipate that some moron will not look back and will reverse the car without any anticipation.
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Old 15th March 2014, 20:16   #51
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

This is an oft repeated phrase that I never tire of relaying to the wife; that anticipation is perhaps the key ingredient of a skilled driver. The ability to think two steps ahead of the traffic flow makes a huge difference.

Driving in India is akin to playing rapid chess with a grandmaster. IMO if you dont enjoy the challenge driving will always feel like a chore, especially in Bangalore which resembles Hobbes' state of nature - solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short!

I never equate safe driving with slow driving. While speeding almost always increases risk, there are moments - especially in city driving - where one can accelerate to take advantage of open spaces which emerge in thick traffic. This is where driving with all senses primed help, predicting which way that biker without a helmet may turn so that you can make your next move or visualizing the moves of motorists ahead of you so that you gain that extra second to move ahead and create a safe 'cocoon' of empty space around you.

Anticipation comes with time and a keenness to get better at driving, and of course spending hours on tbhp!

The tip on using hazards while waiting at a signal on a broad intersection is an excellent one. This is one fear all 'self aware' drivers have; that of being a sitting duck to some moron barreling down at you
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Old 15th March 2014, 22:17   #52
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Being an ultra defensive driver, I can generally anticipate most of the time what the other driver in front of me, or the rider or the pedestrian is going to do and prepare accordingly. However, with children and cattle I don't take any chances. They are completely unpredictable. I just slow down and let them pass. Generally with standing cattle I cross them from behind, because they are most unlikely to walk back suddenly.
While driving on state highways, anticipation and use of the horn are a must. Anticipation because you never know when the villager on a 2 wheeler will suddenly venture in your path.
My practice is while driving on SH and if i spot a guy say at a fairly nearby distance, i honk so as to give him the indication that some vehicle is coming behind him. Sometimes in spite of this, some of the guys can be crazy. Generally on SH we have quite a number of speed breakers at villages. Some of them are clearly marked while others not so.
In such scenarios the moment you are approaching a village, it is better to slow down.
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Old 15th March 2014, 22:58   #53
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Absolutely. Anticipation is key.
Here's something which might seem illegal but probably worth it...
When approaching an intersection with fast traffic close behind you, what do you do if the light changes to red just before you get in the box?
In my view - keep driving while watching out for sidewards traffic. Its far safer & cheaper than jamming the brakes and stopping suddenly only to be badly rear-ended.

Case in point: A friend was driving his new Ertiga in such conditions in Kolkata in Nov last year. When approaching an intersection, the lights changed against him. He hit the brakes , and stopped just before the stop-line. There was minimal traffic on the side road. Next thing he hears is a loud whump and he is thrown forward. His knee hits against the footwell - luckily no lasting injury.
The car's chassis had to be straightened out at the workshop. Total damage ~ 2 Lakhs.
Considering the conditions at that time, it could have been safer to jump the red-light. In all likelihood, he would not have encountered any real cross-wise traffic. At worst it would have meant a fine of Rs 100/- and a few words from a traffic sergeant.

Not that I particularly encourage people to jump red-lights, but what I am saying is assess your conditions and your environment and prioritize that action which will be safest - even if it means a minor infarction of the rules!
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Old 16th March 2014, 10:21   #54
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
Here's something which might seem illegal but probably worth it...
When approaching an intersection with fast traffic close behind you, what do you do if the light changes to red just before you get in the box?
In my view - keep driving while watching out for sidewards traffic. Its far safer & cheaper than jamming the brakes and stopping suddenly only to be badly rear-ended.
I would not really recommend this. When you follow the law, there may be odd instances where you suffer a bit (due to the flaw in the way system is enforced) but it protects you from the bigger dangers.
In this example, what you described is not exactly an anticipation but a 'Notion/fear of something may happen', which is not connected to the current situation. Anticipation would be to slow down as you approach the signal, (keep an eye on the rear view mirror if you are so apprehensive) so that you are in a position to stop if the lights turn red.

Last edited by Guna : 16th March 2014 at 10:24.
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Old 16th March 2014, 11:00   #55
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
In my view - keep driving while watching out for sidewards traffic. Its far safer & cheaper than jamming the brakes and stopping suddenly only to be badly rear-ended.
Not speeding towards any signal is a better approach. Stay in safe speed and reduce speed gradually so that it is predictable for the drivers behind us. This works much better, probably together with a hand signal to STOP.

These days everyone waiting on red light is waiting to pounce even few seconds before it turns green. So chances are there the odd biker or some one is going to start soon and if you try running late jumping a signal then collide with you. If it is a side collision its fine, but what if the guy gets under the wheels. Better to take a relaxed approach.
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Old 16th March 2014, 11:33   #56
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Like the specifications of a vehicle, humans driving in India have a specification called ANTICIPATION. The high end models of India drivers have a greater sense of anticipation and so on.

I would go on and say that we learn anticipation, instead of the traffic rules as we grow up as drivers in India.

The kids riding in homes or streets learn anticipation from the age they are on tricycles and as they graduate to bigger vehicles, this anticipation becomes a trait.

Purely my view, but the Motor Vehicles Act should also have some section concerning anticipation.
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Old 17th March 2014, 07:43   #57
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Brilliant thread. I guess it is better to vent out frustrations out here than on the road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
Absolutely. Anticipation is key.
Here's something which might seem illegal but probably worth it...
When approaching an intersection with fast traffic close behind you, what do you do if the light changes to red just before you get in the box?
In my view - keep driving while watching out for sidewards traffic. Its far safer & cheaper than jamming the brakes and stopping suddenly only to be badly rear-ended.
Here is what I have tried following. I start gradually slowing down when I am roughly 20-30 mtrs from the signal even when the light is green. I believe it is the same kind of slowing down when you see a red signal from afar.
If the signal turns yellow, I hit the brakes gradually and stop before the cross line. I only go past the cross line if the signal is green. Then again, I don't have a tendency to jump a signal in anticipation of it being the next in line to turn green. Signals exist for a reason. Even pedestrians have a right to cross the road. Next time when anyone jumps the signal, it'd help if the driver puts himself in place of a person trying to cross a busy intersection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
I would not really recommend this. When you follow the law, there may be odd instances where you suffer a bit (due to the flaw in the way system is enforced) but it protects you from the bigger dangers.
+1 to this. It is better to be on the correct side of the law not for respecting the presence/lack of integrity amongst the law enforcers, but for our own peace of mind and feeling of being amongst the 1% of the people on the roads who are responsible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LandCruiser View Post
Not speeding towards any signal is a better approach. Stay in safe speed and reduce speed gradually so that it is predictable for the drivers behind us. This works much better, probably together with a hand signal to STOP.

These days everyone waiting on red light is waiting to pounce even few seconds before it turns green. So chances are there the odd biker or some one is going to start soon and if you try running late jumping a signal then collide with you. If it is a side collision its fine, but what if the guy gets under the wheels. Better to take a relaxed approach.
+1. Very well put. I know with excess population and a huge diversity in the so-called "class" of people on the road, it is very easy to be a victim of road-rage. I'd say driving defensively is the only way to be in control. Mishaps are bound to occur especially looking at the density of the people out on the roads in our country. I think not being the cause of any particular mishap is the only thing every driver should be concerned with. That should bring down the accident count to genuine accidents rather than actual idiocies.


For me the hallmark of a good driver is to try and give everyone their own space on the road. If stuck without an option of avoiding the weekday bumper-to-bumper grind, do try and avail of car-pooling so that you can distribute the load and more importantly have good company to keep one sane. To enjoy the true spirit of driving, I'd suggest push off early on weekends onto a beautiful road with the people you care for and enjoy the soothing effect that only the gentle thrum of an engine humming happily can provide you.
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Old 17th March 2014, 08:50   #58
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by prafulasher View Post
Brilliant thread. I guess it is better to vent out frustrations out here than on the road!




For me the hallmark of a good driver is to try and give everyone their own space on the road. To enjoy the true spirit of driving, I'd suggest push off early on weekends onto a beautiful road with the people you care for and enjoy the soothing effect that only the gentle thrum of an engine humming happily can provide you.
Very well said mate.

There is no joy on earth other than having some time shared with family and friends. The exhilaration derived from the scenic beauty seen from the windscreen is unbeatable.

Driving is like a religion the more you practice it the more you become deeply evolved over period of time.

Cheers
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Old 17th March 2014, 09:05   #59
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Almost unanimous opinion that without anticipation we would not survive on Indian roads (would love to hear from the one person who voted No).

I wanted to highlight one other variation of the fear of getting rear ended at a red light. It is a sad truth in Indian cities that almost nobody stops at a red light in the early hours of the morning or late at night. So anybody who stops at a red light in these times becomes a traffic hazard. The best I can do is to look out for any maniac coming behind and either go to the extreme left or the extreme right depending on the situation and stop. Even then, my heart is in my mouth, for the guy coming behind is coming at top speed, is not expecting you to stop and honks like crazy, hurling the choicest of abuses. Anticipating that he is going to jump the light and therefore getting out of the way is the safe thing to do.
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Old 17th March 2014, 10:56   #60
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Default Re: Anticipation - The hallmark of a Good Driver

Interesting thread and no surprises to the outcome and also the opinions that are being written. Driving on Indian roads is all about continuous mental calculations about what is going to happen in front of you on the road. The cyclists, bikes, autos, cabbies, buses etc. Innumerable combinations of scenarios that can play out and as a driver we have to be always ready for it.

What I am curious to know is that whether it would be a good generalization to say that this is the case more specifically with the car drivers/owners since we are the ones who are always at receiving end. I doubt if a cab or auto driver and even more bikers ever give that much thought before doing those dumb lane cutting or squeezing into gaps.
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