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Old 14th May 2014, 11:32   #76
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

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Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
See the case of the national highways that are being operated on BOT. The govt has no say whenever the toll fares are hiked. Recently the toll fare on the road leading to Bangalore international airport was hiked 4 fold. There were lot of protests from the public. The govt expressed its inability to control the fare hike.
If everything is outsourced to private parties, they will loot the public. Even the govt loots money but atleast they are willing to reduce a bit in case the public protests. The private parties do not care for the public.
Agree on the looting part. But, here I'm talking about just being operated by the private players for which the govt. will pay some annual fees to them.

I don't think there is any looting part involved in maintaining the speed cameras and their operations as they are just doing the job of govt. for which they are getting paid by the govt.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 14th May 2014, 11:49   #77
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

I feel more at control at or below 80km/hr on the highway. The car responds as I wish it would and the braking is more confidence inspiring. The few times I have gone above 100 km/hr, it no longer feels like I am driving, but the car in control of me. I also don't think that the car will stop somewhere where I would like it to do so.
So, IMHO:-
- please stick to at or about 80km/hr.
- start early, wherever you have to go
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Old 14th May 2014, 20:13   #78
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

I was going through this thread from the very first post. As expected almost every one objected driving above 100km/hr in Indian roads and promoted safe driving. I do value every one's opinion over here but i will beg to differ in some aspects. My two cents. Let me make one thing clear. Am not promoting high speed driving over here, i believe in safe driving.

There is no such road where you can drive above 100 or we can say yes driving above 100 is only safe in 6 lane roads like Yamuna Expressway or Mumbai Pune Expressway or nice road or any other roads. I believe in drive according to the condition. Look forward anticipate for a longer distance, keep in mind cattle's or dogs can suddenly jump in front of your car from the median, the villagers will not look before crossing the roads etc etc. Follow the rear view mirror and drive in the mid lane. So if anything suddenly comes your way you will get enough time to brake or swerve to left or right to avoid the accident. Do not always stick to the rule drive fast only in the right lane. Remember cattle's and dogs will jump first in the right lane from the divider then will come to the mid lane! Plus i hate to say i have seen tractors/local auto's driving on the wrong side of the right lane in many parts of India.

Suppose one person has to cover 800 kms in a day so if he drives below 100 it will become tiresome for him as it will take more time. A tired drives equals to more risk factor. So i will suggest judge it yourself and decide where its safer to go above 100. There are roads where one can cruise around 100-120km/hr. What i follow is my instinct. The road ahead and my car tells me what speed i shall cruise at. You must have the ability to control your car your cars speed should not control you.

I dont know how many of you feel like me. In every road i feel comfortable till a certain speed above which i have to become more alert. I generally do not drive in that zone. I keep the speed till i feel am relaxed to drive. No point in getting tensed and driving at a higher speed. It's not necessary to look at the speedometer and drive. My theory is just drive in your comfort zone unless its an emergency.

In few case in four lane highways i have cruised over 100km/hr or above and even in few 6 lane roads i have cruised below 80km/hr. You think i am mad? But there are several reasons. Just giving an example. Driving in Yamuna expressway in summer above 100km/hr is really unsafe. As its a concrete roads your tyres get much more heated up so the chances of a tyre burst is much higher. Where as in Bangalore one can do 120 at nice more safely due to the weather and heat of the tarmac. So judge the over all scenario before driving.

Coming to the law only few expressways allow speeds till 100km/hr. Most of the highway's dont. It might sound odd but i will say if you have to cover a major distance judge the road if you feel its safe do drive around 100km/hr. Be careful of police interceptors. When crossing an intersection drop down your speed and be safe. If speed limit is 80km/hr on the road so following the rule driving at 80 in the full open stretch and continuing the same speed at the intersection or crowded area is foolishness. One has to be judgmental while driving. On the open empty stretch i can go 100+ but while crossing a city or intersection i will slow down below 60 or more depending on the situation.

To the topic starter- As i said above there is no hard and fast rule. I will say as you are a new driver do not attempt to hit 100+ now. Just drive at the speeds you feel comfortable at. Do not look at the speedo meter and drive. I can assure you with experience you yourself will know the answer of the question you asked here.
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Old 15th May 2014, 00:02   #79
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

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Hi folks!

I'm a relatively new driver (just hit 20 years), and have a couple of inter-city travels under my belt.

In my short driving experience, I had two close shaves.

1. A highway going through a small town/city, I was doing about 80, suddenly a dog came up in my lane. I honked, and it sort-of froze in the middle of the lane. It was a two lane highway, and instead of swerving, I decided to brake hard, and hit him at about 20 km/h. (I was lucky that the car behind me braked just as hard). We felt he was not seriously injured and drove away.

2. Again, a two-lane highway on city outskirts, I was doing about 70 km/h, this time, it was about 11pm. I suddenly saw a man half-lying on the road (he could be drunk and passed out, or dead - I have no clue), with his back on the divider. This time, I decided to swerve and luckily, avoided him completely.

These incidents have shook me out of my naive belief that slow things had no business on highways - especially the fast lanes - and it was their responsibility to get out of my way. I drive at a maximum of 90-110 km/h on highways, but these incidents have made me very hesitant to cross the 80 km/h barrier.

Help out a young one here, what's your formula for deciding on the cruising speed?
Don't ever cross 100 kmph, no matter what and where you are driving, that too in broad daylight. If nothing else, you may hit a stone left by a broken down truck which wasn't removed, and simply take off. I know of a family being wiped out in such an accident.

There are multiple factors which determine your speed, the most important being your control of the vehicle. Given that you are a new driver who has had his first close shaves at high speeds, I know how you are feeling. The positive point is that you want to address the issue, unlike most 20 year olds who will dismiss it as trivial.

As you get more experience, your control of the vehicle, and more importantly, the ability to predict the need to brake will increase, and you'll be confident of driving fast(er). Till then, stick to a speed you are confident at. Let your instincts guide you, and err on the side of caution. Do a few trips with an experienced highway runner, observe him while he drives, and let him instruct you when you drive. Always assume that all other vehicles are being driven by jackasses, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

For night drives on highways, a headlamp upgrade always helps. I run 100/90 bulbs with relays in the headlamps and foglamps with normal bulbs in my 800, and that's an excellent set-up for highway running. The foglamps give a very wide beam, which when focussed straight ahead illuminates a broad patch, and the main lights throw a powerful beam straight ahead. But when you do this, make sure to not blind oncoming traffic. The focus must be perfect (including adjustment for loading), and headlamp discipline maintained. All the upgrades are not expensive, and can be done for 1000-1500 rupees. I haven't used any fancy equipment- local relays, Halonix, bulbs, and Hella India foglamps. The result was good enough to do a sustained 80 kmph at night in the Delhi-Karnal highway, and in the highways of MP and Chhhattisgarh.

Wish you all the best for your future trips.
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Old 15th May 2014, 00:25   #80
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Sedate driving is the key. The most important part of any journey for the travel bugs is the journey itself. Our country is beautiful. Relish the surrounding and enjoy every bit of the drive.
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Old 15th May 2014, 00:59   #81
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

@Samba - I agree mostly with you. I've been driving cars for about three years and a bit (around 60K kms), and I've done many trips (I've lost count) to Bangalore in various cars, two trips to Mangalore, two to Goa and various other destinations from Hyderabad. The two conditions that dictate your speed are road and traffic. If you're driving on 4-lane divided highways, like BLR-HYD highway, a constant speed of 100 kph is quite a possibility. However, the second factor decides your speed. If you're driving through heavy truck traffic during the day, which is unlikely as trucks ply the roads mainly during nights (at least in my experience), the advisable speed is 60-90. During the night, however, the upper and lower limits can be pushed up by 10 kph each. However, it is always advisable to exercise extreme caution, and you can use the passenger as a spotter. I do a constant speed of 100 kph on NH7/AH44 - while dropping my speed to 80 kph as soon as I enter Karnataka, just because the roads become narrow and because you can find White Hounds a.k.a Interceptors at unexpected places.

On two-lane highways, like the one I used twice through Mehboobnagar-Raichur-Gangavati-Hospet Cross-Gadag-Hubli-Karwar-Goa, I always make sure I do not cross 80 kph, as it becomes quite difficult to negotiate traffic, and humans and animals crossing the roads alike (no offense), at higher speeds than that. Plus, I've observed a great bump-up of up to 4 kms/l in FE driving at these speeds on two-lane undivided highways.

Having said that, each road has its own characteristic and it's always good to know the road before speeding on it. Experience counts. Plus, staying alert pays dividends.
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Old 15th May 2014, 11:21   #82
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

It is all about anticipation and giving margins of error
  • When you see a junction or break in the median, be prepared to slow
  • If you see a two wheeler, commercial vehicle ahead of you, slow down assess whether they are not going to swerve into your path and then drive on
  • If you are tired, get someone else to do some of the anticipation for you - keep a car in front and observe when he slows or swerves, however take a call on how good he /she is before faithfully following them.

By far, the best things to do, is give yourself distance from the person in front, you get enough time to react and anticipate. If the person is on your tail, let him go.

On our roads, very rarely is anyone so far ahead of you. I travel with an aggressively driven X5 and Q5, they are never too far away
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Old 15th May 2014, 12:45   #83
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Going by all the comments here, it seems that most people are advocating "higher speed = higher risk".

There is of course a legally binding speed limit that exists for a lot of Indian highways, while for many others there is no such speed limit applicable for light motor vehicles.

Where speed limits exist, please stick to such limits. Going 5% over is not something to worry about, but that should be about it. Breaking laws even if such laws are not enforced, is not advisable. There's a reason such a speed limit has been set. We can discuss the reason later.

Where speed limits do not exist, by all means, do drive at the maximum limit that your car can take - only after understanding the risks involved. At 100 km/h, you are travelling ~28 metres every second. On a really good day, your foot will take ~1 s to move from accelerator to brake pedal, i.e. ~28 metres. Add the stopping distance, around 50 metres. Total 78 m.

At 150 km/h, your foot reaches the brake pedal after ~42 metres, and the car takes another ~120 metres to stop. That's 162 metres. If you have clear road for 162m and more, and are 101% sure that the road WILL remain clear during the time you cross it, then you're welcome to drive at 150 km/h.

But then, first, can you assess how far away is 162 m from the front of your car? Take a measuring tape and check first. Ask a friend to walk away from the car, tell him to stop (on the phone - at 162 m he would be out of earshot) - then get out and measure the distance physically.

I am betting that 99% of you will underestimate how far 162m is. And 90% of ALL drivers don't scan the road beyond 50m even when travelling at 100 km/h.

So now you figure out what should be a safe speed to travel on any road, highway or city. And now you also know why speed limits are set - to rein in those 90% of drivers so that all of us can remain safe.

Of course, if you are trained to drive safely at high speeds without taking risks, I don't see why you should not exceed 100+ km/h on any highway - provided it has no speed limits.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 15th May 2014 at 12:50.
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Old 15th May 2014, 13:13   #84
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

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Where speed limits do not exist, by all means, do drive at the maximum limit that your car can take - only after understanding the risks involved.
Absolutely.Can't agree more with SS-Traveller.

Indian highways always have some surprises in store. Recently, while I was driving down KONA Expressway (4 lane, separated by divider with dense bush).Suddenly a buffalo rushed out of the bush. I was at around 80 kmph and the animal was hardly 100 metres away. And you cant be sure where it will head towards now. But, the general tendency of an animal is to move forward, so I took this assumption, slowed down a little and diverted the car from its back side. It worked.
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Old 15th May 2014, 15:20   #85
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

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But, the general tendency of an animal is to move forward, so I took this assumption, slowed down a little and diverted the car from its back side. It worked.
for dogs, if it has its tail pointing down & totally wrapped in between its legs, the dog will back off and not continue moving ahead. If the tail looks 'normal' , ie, if you can actually see the tail, then the dog will continue ahead on course of its original intention of travel => this is what I learnt from numerous dog-crossing-road experiences I have faced in 1L+ kms of driving.
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Old 15th May 2014, 15:56   #86
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

@venky - I hope no dogs were hurt in the process.
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Old 16th May 2014, 12:05   #87
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

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for dogs, if it has its tail pointing down & totally wrapped in between its legs, the dog will back off and not continue moving ahead. If the tail looks 'normal' , ie, if you can actually see the tail, then the dog will continue ahead on course of its original intention of travel => this is what I learnt from numerous dog-crossing-road experiences I have faced in 1L+ kms of driving.
Would have to disagree here. One of the close shaves I had was when I was driving in the night. Suddenly I saw a dog come out of the bushes in the median, it all happened so fast that I didn't even have the time to move my foot from accelerator to the brake and the only thing I noticed in that one second was - the dog running for his life, barely missing my car, with its tail tucked between its legs.

Animals are unpredictable, I think we shouldn't rely on the dogs tail to decide whether to slow down or not.
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Old 16th May 2014, 12:17   #88
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this is what I learnt from numerous dog-crossing-road experiences I have faced in 1L+ kms of driving.
Now that is some kind of dog study on the move. But frankly do you have that time when on highway speeds to look at the dog's tail and its position to determine what it'll do next?

Nice study and let me see if it works next time I'm out on the highway.
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Old 16th May 2014, 12:19   #89
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

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Would have to disagree here. One of the close shaves I had was when I was driving in the night. Suddenly I saw a dog come out of the bushes in the median, it all happened so fast that I didn't even have the time to move my foot from accelerator to the brake and the only thing I noticed in that one second was - the dog running for his life, barely missing my car, with its tail tucked between its legs.

Animals are unpredictable, I think we shouldn't rely on the dogs tail to decide whether to slow down or not.
Happened with me last Friday.
And i was doing around 75km/hr,didnt even get a chance to lift off accelerator and touch the brake.In my case the fully grown pooch was not lucky.
Me being a dog lover,and having rescued a few dogs from Minor crashes,i am unable to get over it.
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Old 16th May 2014, 12:28   #90
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Default Re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

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Now that is some kind of dog study on the move.
Whereever you are, first thing to notice in a dog is its tail. It tells whether the dog is aggressive or not. This becomes second nature after some time.
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for dogs, if it has its tail pointing down & totally wrapped in between its legs, the dog will back off and not continue moving ahead. If the tail looks 'normal' , ie, if you can actually see the tail, then the dog will continue ahead on course of its original intention of travel => this is what I learnt from numerous dog-crossing-road experiences I have faced in 1L+ kms of driving.
Thanks for the tip. Most of the time dog's tail would be up (normal). Usually when chased by another dog its tail goes down. But in those cases can't really take chance of not slowing down. Note that hitting a dog at fairly good speed will damage the car and mostly you will be stranded.
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