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Old 12th May 2014, 01:29   #1
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Default Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

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?
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Old 12th May 2014, 01:45   #2
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There are many here who are way more experienced than I am. Here's my 2 cents:

When going through village limits,approaching cities etc its best to drop speeds to 50-60 or may be lesser than that. The slower the more control you have. Also honk well ahead if you see any obstruction to signal them you're approaching. A truck/tractor/2 wheeler/auto/bus or just about anything you feel can move into your path.

This also applies when approaching intersections on highways. Also try and avoid driving on the right most lane since you want to have space to maneuver from obstacles. Driving on the fast lane means you'll be sandwiched between a vehicle and the median should you find yourself in trouble.

100plus is safe on very few roads in our country. The best approach is to drive at a speed you're comfortable and feel you can handle any emergency situations should they arise.

Also do read through threads on:

- Highway driving
- Night driving
- Monsoon driving

They're of immense help.

Good luck and drive safe.

Last edited by GTO : 12th May 2014 at 14:40. Reason: Adding urls for the threads you spoke of :)
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Old 12th May 2014, 06:44   #3
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

The short sweet answer is "Never".

Indian roads are probably amongst the most treacherous in the world. Completely unpredictable.

Hence, I think that cruising speed should be limited to 100kmph max.

This also allows for excellent fuel efficiency in these modern cars.
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Old 12th May 2014, 06:56   #4
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
The short sweet answer is "Never".

Indian roads are probably amongst the most treacherous in the world. Completely unpredictable.

Hence, I think that cruising speed should be limited to 100kmph max.

This also allows for excellent fuel efficiency in these modern cars.
Absolutely! Lower speed also means that your horizon view is wider so you see more and you see more clearly which means you do not have to concentrate as hard.
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Old 12th May 2014, 07:12   #5
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post

100plus is safe on very few roads in our country. The best approach is to drive at a speed you're comfortable and feel you can handle any emergency situations should they arise.
The other thing to note in addition to the above is that you need to have a lot of kilometres of driving done inter city before you can accumulate the experience needed to cope with all the different crazy things that you will come across on our roads. That takes time - by a lot, I mean like 100000 kms as a minimum. Even then, never take anything for granted should be the motto.
And the car should always be in sound condition every time, while you should be very familiar with how it responds to your inputs.
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Old 12th May 2014, 07:13   #6
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Frankly, I have seen the development of Indian Roads and vehicles over these last 25 years and indeed, have been piloting various types of vehicles up and down different kinds of these said roads during this time.

When I was 18-25 I was also a bit of a young turk, and with the confidence of youth, was not scared and indeed used to scoff at "prudence".

Saying this, I am now in my Roaring Forties and believe me, it is true what they say about age and experience being the catalysts for wisdom and prudence.

Quite frankly, these days, I just do not have the resilience, the inclination, the guts or the confidence to drive fast on our roads.

Indeed, over these last three years, despite owning a wonderful car which I may add, I bought, specifically because I loved road trips - I have almost stopped these driving holidays on our highways - my trips to places like Coorg or Ooty on these long weekends, have pretty much come to a complete standstill.

The main reason is the absolute chaos on the highways every time there is a long weekend, with plenty of first time drivers taking to the wheel and performing odd antics on the road as well as the terrible traffic that one encounters on the routes. Couple this with a distinct desire to avoid any kind of stress and there you have it!

Indeed, I prefer sitting quietly in Bangalore during these long weekends because for a change I can enjoy a traffic free ride all over the city since most of the other people have taken to the open roads and their traffic jams with them!

I do prefer concentrating any interest I have left in Road Trips, for my occasional visits on holiday outside of India, to the more developed parts of the world, where people obey the law and follow the rules and where things are more predictable.

Indeed, I feel the day is not too far away when I will actually think about renting a nice vehicle, with a good driver and ask him to take us out of town to places like Ooty or Coorg, just to avoid the absolute chaos of driving on our highways.

I never thought it would come to this, being a car enthusiast who loves driving and indeed, being a highly competent driver as well.

However, discretion is certainly the better part of valour.
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Old 12th May 2014, 07:27   #7
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Anku,

Discretion is certainly the better part of valor as SB has said.

You can hit 100+ often and easily, but sustaining it IMHO is a different beast. Around North India, my cruising speed was 80-90 because of the above reasons. I feel safer doing 100ish around Chennai/surroundings because of significantly less traffic on the highways here. Down south, around Chennai I often find four lane highways (like NICE/BLR-CHN etc) which have good line of sight and unbroken divided lanes.

The key to staying safe is to slow down / brake at the slightest of doubts. Last year, when I did Gurgaon-Chennai, half the route was completely new to me. Yet I cruised at 100-110 when feasible, and slowed down to 30-40 the moment even one element seemed out of place.

That includes slowing for a possible break in the road, even if you can't see merging traffic, or sweeping curves, if the apex isnt visible to you. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...junctions.html (Video: Why you should be cautious at road junctions)

The difference between 70-80 (or even slower if its a two lane) and 100-110 is the gap between life and death.
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Old 12th May 2014, 07:34   #8
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Driving on our Indian highways is more of a menace and mind upsetting feel than enjoying the landscape, car and etc. Life on the highway is more of tension bound with speculation of what danger is on my way. Always there is a thought process going on in back of the mind that makes us loose concentration.

We stress out faster while driving at higher speeds as concentration needed is high to avert any incident. Road design, local public awareness of rules and road driving behaviour leaves a lot to be desired.

100+ kmph can be done only on closed highways that doesn't have any opening on sides for dogs, cows, buffalo's, humans to cross over. Preferably lesser intersections too to avoid any surprises.

Anurag.
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Old 12th May 2014, 08:39   #9
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Isn't the speed limit set at 80kmph on all the indian highways? (source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_India) If yes, doesn't the question being asked here wrong?

Coming back to the question, 100+ on indian highways is kind of joke what with so many unmarked and unscientific speed brakers even in highways, vehicles/people trying to cross without a care for the traffic , tractors and what not being driven in wrong way and finally the animals.: Its better to be safe than sorry and I think this saying is apt for driving in India. And my answer to the question would be in the present condition of the indian roads and the drivers is 'NEVER'!.
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Old 12th May 2014, 09:13   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueyTechie View Post
Isn't the speed limit set at 80kmph on all the indian highways? If yes, doesn't the question being asked here wrong?
>> On all of the highways you have travelled, how many cops have you noticed?

>> On all of the highways you have travelled, how many speed cameras have you noticed?

>> On all of the highways you have travelled, how many interceptors/patrol vans have you noticed?

>> On all of the highways you have travelled, how many speed limit boards have you noticed that are in good readable condition and being vertical?

>> How many citizens know the speed limits in our country and mind you they vary state by state?

>> >> How many really adhere to speed limits?

Anurag.

Last edited by a4anurag : 12th May 2014 at 09:15.
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Old 12th May 2014, 09:23   #11
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

I will say, technically and legally never.

The overall speed limit is 80kpm and is 100 on some select roads like the Yamuna Expressway. In fact I found cruise control handy when negotiating the YE.
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Old 12th May 2014, 09:34   #12
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
>> On all of the highways you have travelled, how many cops have you noticed?

>> On all of the highways you have travelled, how many speed cameras have you noticed?

>> On all of the highways you have travelled, how many interceptors/patrol vans have you noticed?

>> On all of the highways you have travelled, how many speed limit boards have you noticed that are in good readable condition and being vertical?

>> How many citizens know the speed limits in our country and mind you they vary state by state?

>> >> How many really adhere to speed limits?

Anurag.
So does this mean that if there is no cop around then its fine to break the rules and go ahead? Isn't this the fundamental part of one to follow the speed limits.

I partially agree about the points 4 and 6 though. Partially because I have noticed that these days there are good amount of speed limit boards across all highways. Its another matter that either people neglect or they simply dont care.

Regarding point 5, as far as I know the speed limits in the highways are same across all the states except few. And some of the highways like the GQ or the bangalore - hyd highway even though designed for speed limits of 100kmph it has not been officially announced yet.
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Old 12th May 2014, 09:43   #13
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Hi anku94,
I'm a relatively young driver too!
But then, i do have some highway experience as i have been driving for the past 4 years. If you're relatively new to the Highway, the best option would be to sit shotgun and let an experienced driver drive. By doing so, you can observe how he drives the car, how he reacts, how he handles the vehicle, etc.
Hitting 100+ is child's play. But, i'd say maintaining it is a quite a task. I always switch to the left most lane if i see a gap in the median & also, i switch to the left lane in case there's a blind curve ahead and god knows what'll jump out of the median.
It's always better to maintain at speeds of 100-110 because of various reasons.
*Car delivers better FE
*Engine will be relaxed
*Easy to react in case of emergency
*Reduced braking time/stopping distance

Like phamilyman said, roads down south in Tamil nadu are excellent and we can cruise at speeds above 120. It all depends on the view ahead and the kind of road you're driving in.
Drive safe!

Cheers
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Old 12th May 2014, 09:48   #14
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
...
...
>> >> How many really adhere to speed limits?
Does it mean that speed limits should not be observed at all?

The answer to the OP's question lie in these two statements (from Shankar and Phamilyman):
Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan
However, discretion is certainly the better part of valour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman
The difference between 70-80 (or even slower if its a two lane) and 100-110 is the gap between life and death.
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Old 12th May 2014, 09:50   #15
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Default re: Indian highways: When to hit 100+?

Personally I feel there is no much difference to your travel time if you compare a travel done in 90/ 100 KMPH to another one done in 120KMPH in real world. I based on my trips on Chennai - Bangalore (6 lane GQ) route have felt that I will be able to cover an additional 10 KM per hour on average if increasing speed to 120.
My preferred plan for any drive is to start early, minimize the breaks and drive sedately.
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