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Old 29th August 2014, 07:37   #46
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller
In the last 2 months and a little more, my frequency of using the brake pedal has gone up. Not to actually apply the brakes, but to warn cars behind by touching the brake pedal. If you were to follow me, it might make you jittery as you say. But I'd rather have a jittery alert driver than a complacent relaxed one behind me, who's more likely to bump into me.
Using the brake-lights to warn drivers behind is something many people driving in city traffic do (or need to do, to avoid folks behind bumping into them). I have been doing that for years, because from experience I know that while I can brake in time (due to observing not only the car in front, but even the car in front of it), folks behind me might not. That is a given. However, the other extreme would be to stretch this logic to keep alternating between A and B pedals to do a continous brake-test of cars behind, even when the situation does not warrant it. Hopefully you don't do this.

What I mentioned was about those drivers whose focus is only the driver in front, leading to the following sequence - jam down the A-pedal on seeing the guy in front move forward, without predicting what he would do next and then brake hard when he brakes and the cycle goes on. Basically someone who is either new to driving or does not use predictive driving.

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller
And in a high-traffic situation where the car ahead has an automatic transmission, his brake lights would be perpetually on anyway - even when he is carefully crawling forward. He has no way of modulating his A-pedal to reduce speed.
I drive an automatic too and while I agree that it does not provide the kind of engine-braking that manuals do, there still is no need to have the brake-lights 'perpetually' on - if one can use the "AT-crawl" effectively and are observant of traffic ahead of the one in front of you. Though yes, brakelights will be on more than in a manual. And anyway in high-traffic situation, even with manuals we would need to dab the brakes often - it is the folks who keep hitting the B-pedal even in flowing city-traffic that are a cause for concern.
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Old 29th August 2014, 08:10   #47
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Can you please observe your wrist position when you hold the throttle, and when you are ready to apply the front brake? Where are your fingers usually?
I've driven 2 wheelers for about 5 years, and I usually have the throttle cupped in my palm with 2 fingers always on the front brake lever (in city/traffic conditions). On a more open road, the 2 fingers come off as I'm accelerating harder.

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Also, where is your right foot?
Right foot is always on the peg, but by default never over the pedal (small undulations can set off the brake lamp, as I've seen other 2 wheelers do). When anticipating a stop I do bring the ball of my foot to the brake pedal.

I use this approach since I use the front brake for bleeding speed, and the rear brake only occasionally to give better stability on slippery surfaces. The stability of the R15 also helps when braking hard with the front brake since the front end stays stable and true, and doesn't dive.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 06:20   #48
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

@SS-T, still waiting for answers for the rest of the questions. I haven't answered your last query since I am still new to biking.

Many thanks in advance

Thanks,
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Old 3rd September 2014, 09:50   #49
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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@SS-T, still waiting for answers for the rest of the questions. I haven't answered your last query since I am still new to biking.
Yes - I was waiting for some more folks to respond to the last question...
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
All right then. Let's now move on to
Question #4. Have you ever tried to observe a 2-wheeler rider's right hand & right foot position and movement carefully?

At this point, can we have a show of hands from members who ride 2-wheelers?

Can you please observe your wrist position when you hold the throttle, and when you are ready to apply the front brake? Where are your fingers usually? Wrapped around the throttle, or extended on to the front brake lever? A few images would help. Also, please compare your own wrist positions with those of riders around you, especially those you would consider to be careless.

Also, where is your right foot? (Not to be considered if one is riding an Enfield requiring left foot braking). Is it on the footpeg? Is the ball of the foot on the brake pedal all the time, or do you rotate your foot on to the pedal in anticipation / when it is time to brake? Do you notice any riders alongside you who have their right foot off the footpeg (such as placed on the crash guard)?
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Old 3rd September 2014, 13:19   #50
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Yes - I was waiting for some more folks to respond to the last question...
Question #4. Have you ever tried to observe a 2-wheeler rider's right hand & right foot position and movement carefully?

At this point, can we have a show of hands from members who ride 2-wheelers?

Can you please observe your wrist position when you hold the throttle, and when you are ready to apply the front brake? Where are your fingers usually?

Also, where is your right foot?
Very interesting thread. Both a car driver as well as 2 wheeler rider here, so will respond to Q#4:
I am used to one finger braking and my right forefinger is always resting on the right front brake. There are three exceptions. 1) Short bursts when I am going full throttle and a long throttle requires me to take my wrist fully backwards. The moment I come back to part throttle, the forefinger gets back on the brake pedal. 2) When in some emergency braking cases, I might use two instead of a single finger to grab the brakes - although I can think of only a few such instances. 3) On the track, where I guess this discussion doesn't count.
The right foot is more interesting. For me it depends on the bike and here's why: On my Ninja, the front brake is most effective and the rear locks up too easily. Most Ninja riders will tell you stories of how the rear brake scared them to nuts on a few non-emergency occasions unexpectedly. So in most conditions, the toes of my feet are on the footpeg and aren't touching the rear brakes. Few exceptions would be gravel or sludge where I use mild rear braking to keep the line smooth and consistent. On the Duke, with its awesome ABS, my right foot is resting with its heel on footpegs and toes just above the rear brake. Use rear brakes often on this one.
Look forward to your views on what can go wrong here.

While on this topic, can you elaborate the tricks to stay consistent during long drives. I have noticed that the degree of predictive driving varies, especially on long 500km+ drives. Food, water, sleep, time of the day all influence this. And a lot of this slackness is at a sub-conscious level, so wondering if there's something one can do to keep it consistent.
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Old 5th September 2014, 21:06   #51
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

Looks like no further answers are forthcoming from members. So let's look at the two answers and find out what we learnt...

The rider's right hand...
Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
...throttle cupped in my palm with 2 fingers always on the front brake lever (in city/traffic conditions). On a more open road, the 2 fingers come off as I'm accelerating harder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
...one finger braking and my right forefinger is always resting on the right front brake. There are ...exceptions. 1) Short bursts when I am going full throttle and a long throttle requires me to take my wrist fully backwards. The moment I come back to part throttle, the forefinger gets back on the brake pedal.
The position of the wrist and fingers is something clearly visible to a driver driving on the right of a motorcycle, or a rider approaching a junction. Now, a good rider on dry roads ought to be using about 75% of braking force on the front wheel - so his being ready to actuate the front brake tells us:
(a) he is a good rider; and (b) he is prepared to stop, and is alert of his environment.

Look around and you'll find a very large number of (untrained) riders in India depend on the rear brake to provide the majority of the stopping power - and we are pretty much aware of the consequences of rear brake dependence. Do we therefore want to approach too close to a rider who clearly shows evidence that he doesn't have full control over his bike? Well, obviously not... If I am approaching or crossing a rider who not only has his throttle in a death grip, but has no mirrors and/or head movement to keep himself aware of his surroundings, I have the evidence not to speed past. OTOH, for a rider approaching a junction at right angles to you, or taking a U-turn - if I notice that he is already braking his front wheel, his throttle is not being twisted, and his movement indicates that he has seen me and (hopefully) understands my intentions - well, I don't need to be too worried that he will land in my path and crash, so I can maintain speed as I cross him, without being over-cautious and slowing down.

At the same time that we are checking the hand as above, we are also checking the right foot.
Quote:
Right foot is always on the peg, but by default never over the pedal (small undulations can set off the brake lamp, as I've seen other 2 wheelers do). When anticipating a stop I do bring the ball of my foot to the brake pedal.
Quote:
On my Ninja, the front brake is most effective and the rear locks up too easily. Most Ninja riders will tell you stories of how the rear brake scared them to nuts on a few non-emergency occasions unexpectedly. So in most conditions, the toes of my feet are on the footpeg and aren't touching the rear brakes.
...
On the Duke, with its awesome ABS, my right foot is resting with its heel on footpegs and toes just above the rear brake. Use rear brakes often on this one.
Good riders won't maintain contact with the rear brake pedal (but as we saw earlier, will try to maintain contact with the front brake lever) - so we try to observe unnecessarily flashing brake lights while the rear brake is being actuated. Hot brakes fade, and become less and less effective. You don't want to approach on a collision course with a rider who depends on the rear brake largely to stop, so you keep away. In the hills, on a downward climb, these are the riders whom I much prefer keeping large distances from. Evidence enough that their brakes will either fade out during a stop, or they'll skid and crash into you.

Of course, ABS-equipped bikes are very few and far between, though they are a lot more forgiving of bad riders too.

That's what evidence-based driving is about - one looks for those little clues that point to a driver or rider who is either not paying attention to the road, or just has poor technique in controlling his vehicle. If one is satisfied that the other driver / rider is not about to make a mistake, one is more confident of passing him without slowing down. But yes, developing that observation technique needs practice - which can be done every minute of every day that we drive.
Quote:
While on this topic, can you elaborate the tricks to stay consistent during long drives. I have noticed that the degree of predictive driving varies, especially on long 500km+ drives. Food, water, sleep, time of the day all influence this. And a lot of this slackness is at a sub-conscious level, so wondering if there's something one can do to keep it consistent.
Try commentary driving to stay consistent. Not an easy technique unless one gets to see a demo and be trained at first hand, but take a look at a couple of videos I could dig up.

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Old 6th September 2014, 01:26   #52
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
All right then. Let's now move on to
Question #4. Have you ever tried to observe a 2-wheeler rider's right hand & right foot position and movement carefully?

Can you please observe your wrist position when you hold the throttle, and when you are ready to apply the front brake? Where are your fingers usually? Wrapped around the throttle, or extended on to the front brake lever? A few images would help. Also, please compare your own wrist positions with those of riders around you, especially those you would consider to be careless.

Also, where is your right foot? (Not to be considered if one is riding an Enfield requiring left foot braking). Is it on the footpeg? Is the ball of the foot on the brake pedal all the time, or do you rotate your foot on to the pedal in anticipation / when it is time to brake? Do you notice any riders alongside you who have their right foot off the footpeg (such as placed on the crash guard)?

Hi SS-Traveller, I logged in late. interesting question. I see a couple of answers by Niranjan and yourself which I have not really gone through to provide you my bias less view as to how I use my right hand and my right foot.

Most of the time during riding (fortunately Goan roads are relatively less congested and offer a hassle free ride) I just grip both the handles firmly (not tightly) with my whole weight on the butt ( No leaning or putting load on the shoulder or wrists). My right hand fingers fully encircle the throttle grip and I use front brake 100% up to 70-80 Kmph speed. I do not use the rear brakes for speeds up to about 70 Kmph

So up to say 70-80 Kmph speed I keep my right feet off the brake pedal and comfortably resting on the foot rest (may be the shoe tip will be about an inch behind the pedal). Any emergencies I open up my right wrist and use all the 4 fingers to apply the front brake. Opening of the wrist instantly releases the throttle instantly reducing the speed and 4 fingers apply the front brake simultaneously.

Any speed over 80 Kmph ( I can fairly judge the speed by riding experience) my right feet reflexively gently slides will be over the rear brake pedal (not touching) but sole of the shoe firmly resting on the foot rest ( it is like a ready position without actually touching the pedal) Of course speed over 80 Kmph will be only on clear wide sparse traffic / people movement roads). an emergency situation at this speed again front brakes would be used first say 70% and after say a milli second /momentary time gap I apply the rear brake.

My bike KTM Duke 390 has knuckle guards ( a guard which covers the front handle grips). so one cannot see my hand or finger position as it is hidden behind the knuckle guard.

I am more of an antipicatory rider. I keep observing the pattern of the vehicle moving in front of me ( some car keep left, some cars keep bang in the middle of road, some keep on right lane, some car veer extreme right while overtaking, while some car overtake very close to the other vehicle keeping the right lane open, some honk continuously while some never honk and suddenly they are just behind you racing down). I have the habit of watching my RVM every 10 seconds in traffic situation and every 15-20 seconds with no vehicle behind / sparse traffic) So it is like at any given point I know what is in front of me and what is behind me. That habit has really helped me in observing the behavior of the vehicle coming from behind and decide whether my riding). there are times when I just go to the extreme left to allow the vehicle coming behind to pass me when I see the vehicle being maneuvered dangerously or the state bus or speeding truck comes in my RVM. I use my RVM while changing lanes for overtaking (I have the habit of overtaking only on right in spite of riding a motorcycle and only from the left side if the vehicle ahead of me keeps to extreme right just blocking the road. either way I check my RVM before change of lanes or even slowing down.

Then if there is an intersection I am extremely alert, if there are lanes / narrow roads joining the main road I am extremely alert, people on the street, a bus at the bus stand, children, animals on road all these just slows me down tremendously. May be anticipatory behavior kicks in a lot. having said that, I do not have much idea about evidence based riding I guess.
Thanks, Ashok

Last edited by ashkamath : 6th September 2014 at 01:54.
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Old 8th September 2014, 12:05   #53
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Hi SS-Traveller, I logged in late. interesting question.
Hi Ashok, thanks for the appreciation. Good to learn that you are using your brakes well while riding.

So let's take up another of the questions, and look at some responses.
2. Have you ever tried to look at the position of the rear view mirrors, and through them tried to see the face of the driver / rider of the vehicle ahead of / alongside / in the next lane to you? If yes, what do you infer (apart from the comment that he is a bad driver if his mirrors are folded)?
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Old 11th September 2014, 23:30   #54
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2. Have you ever tried to look at the position of the rear view mirrors, and through them tried to see the face of the driver / rider of the vehicle ahead of / alongside / in the next lane to you? If yes, what do you infer (apart from the comment that he is a bad driver if his mirrors are folded)?
I have done it occasionally, while overtaking to see if the driver of vehicle ahead is aware of my movements. It is easy with the rvm of 4 wheelers while it is difficult with the 2 wheelers as most of the time the face is covered and only eyes are visible through the helmet. but I dont follow this practice much.
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Old 12th September 2014, 01:23   #55
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
So let's take up another of the questions, and look at some responses.
2. Have you ever tried to look at the position of the rear view mirrors, and through them tried to see the face of the driver / rider of the vehicle ahead of / alongside / in the next lane to you? If yes, what do you infer (apart from the comment that he is a bad driver if his mirrors are folded)?
This is probably not the most appropriate thread to add this observation of mine but I found the question apt in the context of what I had in mind so my apologies in advance.

I have seen, several times, that when I make prolonged eye contact with an adjoining driver -- obviously only possible in signals / jams -- that they are less likely to drive rashly around me. This is especially true for taxi drivers who, I have noticed, tend to make fewer of those infuriating brutish lane changes into my lane (amongst other annoying practices), after the signal has turned green and we are in motion. I usually make it a point to look around to make eye contact with drivers on both sides when I am immobile, - a smile helps greatly.

Perhaps this is due to human reluctance to cause grief to people we are familiar with however slight, or maybe some deep-rooted sense of shame get awakened and acts to curb maniacal driving instincts around those we know (especially if those we know, know that we know them). It is much easier to perform mischievous driving around cars when we don't know the demeanor and face of the driver. I am certainly more forgiving to rash cars after having seen the head of the driver for a while.

Last edited by Kumar R : 12th September 2014 at 01:26.
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Old 14th September 2014, 00:45   #56
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Seems the thread is not gaining a lot of traction among the members here? Sad, very sad :(

Anyways, @SS-T, I hope you will continue to atleast answer the questions which you have put up. I am always willing to learn and hear someone else's view.

I have already started implementing some of your suggestions (esp. the one where you stated that to gently press the brake pedal as a way of communication. Impressive, and I have already been saved twice because of that).

Now, here's the problem with me, sir. I have now started to observe what the other bikers (I am sticking to bikers here since, I am very very flummoxed by this species), and here are some observations from my side:

- Yes, majority of the bikers are definitely using their rear brakes a lot more than what is advised. In fact, if I were to hazard a guess, 70% of their braking is on rear wheels.
- I tried observing their faces/helmets via ORVM's, but in majority of the cases it wasn't visible at all. I could only see the sky.
- While driving adjoining to the bikers, I could glimpse their faces/helmets by a fraction only. Otherwise, nothing.

I had a couple of close shaves just today, and I am trying hard to see whether I could have foreseen the bikers behaviour, but I am unable to do so. I was saved purely due to my instincts.
Let me elaborate, and I would certainly appreciate your inputs sir:

1. I was on the rightmost lane of a 2 lane road (that is 2 on one side, and 2 on other. Dual carriageway), doing ~50kmph, keeping a 3 second distance to the vehicle ahead. There is a biker on the left lane a little ahead of me. Road is very well lit (it was daylight). For reasons best known to the biker, he just swerves into my lane, and goes back to the left lane. The ONLY thing which saved him (or rather me, since this is India) was my instinct telling me to watch out for him. Otherwise, he would have been dead meat 100%. I didn't honk, just braked hard. No skidding or any other noises which are generally heard in a panic breaking situation. The biker remained oblivious to the entire incident. Tell me, how the hell could I have really avoided this? I just thanked my stars that I was lucky.

2. At a busy junction, I was waiting for my turn at a signal. I was in the 1st lane again, waiting to take a right turn. Long queue ahead of me. The signal turned green, and soon my lane was moving a little more faster compared to other lanes. I started creeping again, and waited till I had a 2 second distance and then increased my speed. Just 100 metres ahead, as I was passing a black tinted car, a scooter comes and cuts us both perpendicularly at almost full throttle (I guess??). The car next to couldn't stop in time, swerves violently and clips the scooter a little. Fortunately, I had noticed something weird in my peripheral vision, and my foot was on the brake pedal. Unfortunately, even though I stomped on my brakes after I saw the scooter, because the scooter was clipped by the car next to me, he had turned a li'l bit towards me, my car just nudged him. The guy fell down. I, and the guy in the car next to me got down, and hurled the choice-est abuses on him. I wanted to knock him out, but held myself. Good thing about this incident, the car next to me just followed the scooter ahead and scared him shitless .

Tell me sir, how could I have really prevented both the incidents? In the first case, I was observing the biker's hands, foot, ORVM's and his riding posture. There was no clue that I could see that would have made me think that he would swerve into me.
In the second situation, just because I noticed something really weird in my peripheral vision, I was saved maybe? If my foot wasn't on the brake, I am sure the situation would have been different.

Just want to beat all these s**t bikers to death

Awaiting your thoughts sir. I don't have a dash cam installed in my car (though I am now seriously considering it), so I don't have any video to show you. I hope my words have conveyed the meaning though.

Thanks,
Simple_car

P.S. For cars, the only thing I keep in mind is this: If I can see the driver in the ORVM, then he can see me. Otherwise, I haven't really thought much about it.
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Old 15th September 2014, 13:49   #57
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Seems the thread is not gaining a lot of traction among the members here? Sad, very sad :(
LOL... while the *Accidents in India* thread gets far more eyeballs than most other threads!
Quote:
I have already started implementing some of your suggestions (esp. the one where you stated that to gently press the brake pedal as a way of communication. Impressive, and I have already been saved twice because of that).
Great, thanks. Glad to know that.
Quote:
- I tried observing their faces/helmets via ORVM's, but in majority of the cases it wasn't visible at all. I could only see the sky.
- While driving adjoining to the bikers, I could glimpse their faces/helmets by a fraction only. Otherwise, nothing.
It's not just being able to see the face &/or eyes - look for head movement. Alert drivers/riders exhibit much more head movement. The head cocked to one side could mean the rider is talking to the pillion or on the phone, and has lost peripheral vision to the other side.
Quote:
1. I was on the rightmost lane of a 2 lane road (that is 2 on one side, and 2 on other. Dual carriageway), doing ~50kmph, keeping a 3 second distance to the vehicle ahead. There is a biker on the left lane a little ahead of me. Road is very well lit (it was daylight). For reasons best known to the biker, he just swerves into my lane, and goes back to the left lane. The ONLY thing which saved him (or rather me, since this is India) was my instinct telling me to watch out for him. Otherwise, he would have been dead meat 100%. I didn't honk, just braked hard. No skidding or any other noises which are generally heard in a panic breaking situation. The biker remained oblivious to the entire incident. Tell me, how the hell could I have really avoided this? I just thanked my stars that I was lucky.
As I mentioned somewhere else, the horn is a device to announce your presence. If the rider is evidently oblivious to your existence (no head movement, RVMs not properly set, sitting too far forward or back in the saddle, elbows too straight or akimbo), a beep (or two) of the horn would have reminded him, and he would have been more careful.

Quote:
2. ...waited till I had a 2 second distance and then increased my speed. Just 100 metres ahead, as I was passing a black tinted car, a scooter comes and cuts us both perpendicularly at almost full throttle (I guess??). The car next to couldn't stop in time, swerves violently and clips the scooter a little. Fortunately, I had noticed something weird in my peripheral vision, and my foot was on the brake pedal. Unfortunately, even though I stomped on my brakes after I saw the scooter, because the scooter was clipped by the car next to me, he had turned a li'l bit towards me, my car just nudged him. The guy fell down. I, and the guy in the car next to me got down, and hurled the choice-est abuses on him. I wanted to knock him out, but held myself. Good thing about this incident, the car next to me just followed the scooter ahead and scared him shitless .
This would have been really tough to predict - one can't find evidence all the time about someone being on a suicide mission! However, a few observations:
a) In slow moving traffic, a 2-second gap is not really essential, as long as you are not accelerating hard. If the gap between you and the car ahead was smaller, maybe - just MAYBE - the scooterist would not have attempted to grab the space by jumping across two lanes.
b) The scooter came from the left of the car with tinted glasses - I am usually a little more wary around cars with tinted glasses since I can't see through them to the other side and watch out for other road users about to surprise me.
c) Really no point in losing your cool - the scooterist wasn't hurt, and abusing him would not make him a better rider in future. Neither would tailgating him and scaring him.
Quote:
I don't have a dash cam installed in my car (though I am now seriously considering it), so I don't have any video to show you. I hope my words have conveyed the meaning though.
Many times, self-analysis of such videos of close shaves make you aware of obvious evidence that you'd have missed during the actual driving - such as the first video on this thread. This is apart from having video evidence in case the scooterist got up and blamed you for having rammed him from the rear. It's always a good idea to install a dashcam as additional insurance as well as a learning device.
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Old 16th September 2014, 15:29   #58
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

Excellent thread. Maybe I should be a little less paranoid while driving. Here are my answers.

1. Do you check whether the brake lamps of the vehicle ahead are working or not, as soon as you are behind him? How?

A. Yes, I've had a few scares and make sure that lamps light up when they should be depending on the traffic ahead, traffic light, speed breakers, general traffic behaviour around me.

2. Have you ever tried to look at the position of the rear view mirrors, and through them tried to see the face of the driver / rider of the vehicle ahead of / alongside / in the next lane to you? If yes, what do you infer (apart from the comment that he is a bad driver if his mirrors are folded)?
A. Yes, I need to be sure that I am amply visible to everyone. If mirrors are folded, then its obvious that the driver cannot notice me and therefore will not be able to factor in my presence when making any manoeuvres such as lane changing or turning. In this case I will flash my lights or keep distance. If required I will beep my horn(and silently beg forgiveness from others on the road). At a traffic light I will patiently avoid the temptation of opening folded mirrors on cars or correcting the viewing angles for bike mirrors.

3. Do you commonly look at the posture of the driver / rider and of his co-passenger / pillion rider? Or do your eyes just focus on the other vehicle as a whole, and you imagine the vehicle itself conveys some kind of 'body language'?
A Yes, carefully. Since being paranoid, I look for signs that can help me predict behaviour before it happens. There are so many things that people convey by their body language that it would require a new thread. However, if we observe we can also try to predict the actions of Indian drivers in traffic. For example, 2-wheelers, auto wallahs, will ALWAYS weave into the little space you leave between yourself and the car in front of you.

4. Have you ever tried to observe a 2-wheeler rider's right hand & right foot position and movement carefully?
A Honestly, No. Although I leave a wide enough berth for a 2-wheeler to do anything that they can do.

5. Can a vehicle's wheels (both front and rear) convey any message/evidence to you?
B Honestly? Wheels never caught my attention unless they are under-inflated or punctured or have good looking alloys on them Or if they have less tread on them.
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Old 17th September 2014, 13:25   #59
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

Here are my answers.

1. Do you check whether the brake lamps of the vehicle ahead are working or not, as soon as you are behind him? How?

Yes I do check whether the brake lamps of the vehicle ahead are working or not. I usually get the answer pretty quickly due to the driving conditions. On highways it is more difficult to judge whether brake lights are indeed working.

2. Have you ever tried to look at the position of the rear view mirrors, and through them tried to see the face of the driver / rider of the vehicle ahead of / alongside / in the next lane to you? If yes, what do you infer (apart from the comment that he is a bad driver if his mirrors are folded)?

I always look through the rear view mirror of the vehicle ahead and get a look at the driver's face (eyes specially). This has helped me many times since before taking an abrupt turn or making any maneuver the face and eyes almost always reveal the intent. I also observe whether or not the driver/rider is glancing into the rvm every now and then and specially when I am overtaking any vehicle I always make sure to look into its rvm.

3. Do you commonly look at the posture of the driver / rider and of his co-passenger / pillion rider? Or do your eyes just focus on the other vehicle as a whole, and you imagine the vehicle itself conveys some kind of 'body language'?

I do not look at the posture as such but I do look whether the rider and pillion / driver and co-passenger are engaged in any animated conversation which may mean that less attention is being paid to the road.

4. Have you ever tried to observe a 2-wheeler rider's right hand & right foot position and movement carefully?

Occasionally I have observed a 2 wheeler rider's right hand and right foot position but only because the rider was gunning away to glory. The whole palm wrapped around the accelerator twisting it away like anything and the foot ready on the brake pedal.

5. Can a vehicle's wheels (both front and rear) convey any message/evidence to you?

Specially for a 4 wheeler the front wheels are a lot of help in determining the intent of the driver. The rear wheels (for me at least) only convey how much the vehicle is loaded.
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Old 18th September 2014, 20:19   #60
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
It's not just being able to see the face &/or eyes - look for head movement. Alert drivers/riders exhibit much more head movement. The head cocked to one side could mean the rider is talking to the pillion or on the phone, and has lost peripheral vision to the other side.
Hmm.. will see if it helps. I distinctly remember trying this out once, but it was very very long ago, and I can't seem to be able to recollect the circumstances now.

Thanks for the suggestion anyways

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
As I mentioned somewhere else, the horn is a device to announce your presence. If the rider is evidently oblivious to your existence (no head movement, RVMs not properly set, sitting too far forward or back in the saddle, elbows too straight or akimbo), a beep (or two) of the horn would have reminded him, and he would have been more careful.
I must admit that I am a miser when it comes to using horns.

Sensitive hearing you see.. I even have a pair of noise cancelling headphones when the noise seems too much for me (and this is when my co-passenger's consider the noise to be normal). Will try to change this behaviour, only if it helps me reducing these incidences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
a) In slow moving traffic, a 2-second gap is not really essential, as long as you are not accelerating hard. If the gap between you and the car ahead was smaller, maybe - just MAYBE - the scooterist would not have attempted to grab the space by jumping across two lanes.
A 2 second gap in a slow moving traffic isn't too much as compared to one in a high speed traffic. Yes, it definitely is enough for the mopeds to go through, but I prefer to keep it this way since it allows me enough room to maneuver my car out of the lane if in case something breaks down ahead and my current lane comes to a complete halt.

---------------------------------------------------------

I just wanted to share another very cool idea which I read on the net. Just copy pasting it here:

Give good visual cues

If I'm traveling in a line of traffic, cruising along at a decent or expected pace with cars in front and behind me, and the car in front of me brakes unexpectedly (either just slowing down or to stop but not at a light or a sign), I shift slightly to the right, staying in my lane, to help the driver of the car behind me to see what's happening in front of me and understand why I'm hitting my brakes. I feel allowing them to visually get that information helps them to react quicker and frankly, protects my car as well.

Seems like a good idea, need to see if will really help.

Thanks,
Simple_car
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