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Old 18th September 2014, 20:39   #61
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by amarpreet99 View Post
Here are my answers.
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Originally Posted by luvDriving View Post
Here are my answers.
Thanks for those answers - we'll take them up and discuss them as we go along.
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Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
I must admit that I am a miser when it comes to using horns.
No, I am not asking you to liberally use the horn. A 1-second beep is fine.
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...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.
If you can see the tyres of the car ahead, you have usually left enough space to come out of the lane without reversing. More isn't required.

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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.
Shifting your car too far to one side even while in its lane may be enough to provoke the driver in the adjacent lane to swerve, honk, swear or otherwise get apprehensive/irritated in most Western countries. The issue is about trust and faith in (and predictability of) the driver in front. He brakes and slows down, I do too - no questions asked. And before he brakes, the car ahead of him is already braking, and I can see his brake lamps light up through the windscreen of the car ahead (and that's a reason the high level stop lamps have become a standard feature of cars today).
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Old 19th September 2014, 01:41   #62
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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1. Do you check whether the brake lamps of the vehicle ahead are working or not, as soon as you are behind him? How?
Have made a note of this in where there is a bit of traffic. Always kept a bit of distance with our NH lorries for this exact reason

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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)?
Not really clear here. Are you asking to judge the RVM positions of the vehicle ahead or the vehicle on my side trying to overtake? For the vehicle on my side I really don't bother what he does I just hope he gets out of my blind spot.

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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'?
Rear windscreen permitting, will try to see if the driver is on mobile phone or turn 90+ degrees to talk with his co-passengers

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4. Have you ever tried to observe a 2-wheeler rider's right hand & right foot position and movement carefully?
Right foot no! Right hand unless its off the handle bar no!

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5. Can a vehicle's wheels (both front and rear) convey any message/evidence to you?
This is very important when passing trucks. I always keep a close watch on trucks' front wheels wrt to divider line. If the distance closes up I'll be a little wary (mostly try to pull off the overtaking move). Rear wheels is when I am totally behind the vehicle. But generally front wheels are more indicative and earlier information than the rear.
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Old 22nd September 2014, 12:26   #63
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

Going by the responses, I guess the most flummoxing question of the lot was
5. Can a vehicle's wheels (both front and rear) convey any message/evidence to you?

Let's start with the front wheels. We can observe:

(a) At a junction: Are the front wheels of the car waiting to make a turn or join the main road from a side road, TURNING? Quite often a driver will gently allow his car to crawl forward while he waits, trying to scare someone into giving him way. Unfortunately, this is often the cause for side-swipes too, since the space you gauged and anticipated for your car to go through has closed by the time you are halfway across the gap. Slow down and stop if you notice the car to be rolling forward (looking at the whole car may give an impression that it has stopped, though the wheels will reveal the slow crawl forward), or pull over further away if possible, unless those wheels stop turning as you approach.

(b) Which direction are the wheels pointed? Someone who is trying to turn into your road - say, from the right - will reveal whether he'll merge into the first (high speed) lane, or cut right across the whole width of the road and take up the left-most lane, by the angle through which his wheels are turned. Even better, wheel angles reveal well in time that the driver plans to go headlong into oncoming traffic by taking a shortcut on the wrong side of the road.

(c) In a line of parked buses / trucks, or even in a convoy of heavy vehicles, where you may not be in a position to notice the driver or observe his hand signals (yes, hand signals have followed the dinosaur and become extinct worldwide many years ago, but Indian drivers, esp. HGV and commercial drivers, still persist with it - IMO one of the really unsafe driving practices), the direction change of the wheels, or their gradually creeping towards the lane marking to your left, is an excellent indicator that your overtaking manoeuvre would be cut off very soon, your car could acquire a new crease along its waistline, or you can well be forced off the road, by a driver who doesn't care.

(d) Wobbly front wheels (yes, we do find such poorly maintained vehicles on our roads all the time) mean the driver would be having a hard time controlling his vehicle, and has no time or inclination to look around and see you overtaking him. If the steering manages to take his car into yours on its own, so be it! Give these a wide berth.
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Old 22nd September 2014, 13:49   #64
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

An important lesson from one of my UK driving instructors...

You are coming from a side street, joining a main road, waiting for a chance to make the turn. To your right, you see a vehicle indicating left, and you assume it will turn into your road and that it is safe to go. No.

Indicators should always be used unambiguously, but often they are not. The indicating driver might be taking a turn further down the road, stopping past your side street --- or may even have simply left the indicator on from a previous turn.

Even if the vehicle is slowing, this is still not proof that it will make the turn you expect.

My instructor's message: wait until you see his front wheels turn.

Assumption leads to accidents.
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Old 22nd September 2014, 14:38   #65
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
The indicating driver might be taking a turn further down the road, stopping past your side street --- or may even have simply left the indicator on from a previous turn.

Even if the vehicle is slowing, this is still not proof that it will make the turn you expect.

My instructor's message: wait until you see his front wheels turn.
You, Thad, had a brilliant instructor! That's exactly what evidence-based driving is about.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 01:38   #66
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

I was very lucky: I had quite a few, beginning with my father, but I left home before taking a test, and driving lessons are expensive in uk, which also explains a long gap after failing my first test. It amounted to learning to drive, from scratch, three times!

I was blessed with good teachers every time.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 13:17   #67
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
5. Can a vehicle's wheels (both front and rear) convey any message/evidence to you?

Let's start with the front wheels.
Now we move on to the rear wheels.

(a)Gravel and rear wheel drive (RWD) make a deadly cocktail for the vehicle behind. If there's gravel on the road and you are following a RWD vehicle too close (even as far away as 2 seconds at 60 km/h), the likelihood of a stray gravel cracking your windscreen is rather high. Motorcycles also kick up gravel violently when doing high speeds on gravel surfaces (apart from the serious likelihood of a skid). Slow down, increase the gap, and be extra careful to overtake only on gravel-free sections of the road.

(b) Someone did point this out earlier, but here goes: Rear wheels are a dead giveaway about overloading - whether it be a truck or a passenger vehicle (in most cases). The reduced gap between the tyre and the wheel arch is where you need to look. If such a vehicle is doing high speeds, you do need to increase the gap between him and yourself - especially if you manage to overtake him and he subsequently tailgates you.

(c) Oil streaks on the rear wheels of trucks (and front wheels of LMVs, esp. in the mountains): Common indicator of overheated (and quite likely faded / shot) brakes. If combined with overloading, you really need to be wary of the driver, especially if he is driving at high speeds.

(d) The rear wheels of the vehicle ahead are best left visible when you pull up behind at traffic lights. Automatically leaves adequate spece for you to manoeuvre out into the next lane if the car ahead breaks down.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 13:31   #68
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post

(c) Oil streaks on the rear wheels of trucks (and front wheels of LMVs, esp. in the mountains): Common indicator of overheated (and quite likely faded / shot) brakes. If combined with overloading, you really need to be wary of the driver, especially if he is driving at high speeds.
Where exactly on the wheels? Rims are generally grimy for trucks
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Old 23rd September 2014, 13:58   #69
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Where exactly on the wheels? Rims are generally grimy for trucks
Looks somewhat like this pic. Grimy is a good indication of oil / grease leak due to overheating brakes too.

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Old 27th September 2014, 20:25   #70
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
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 thread seems to be a gem for the people willing to learn best techniques for safer driving.

Personally, I always try to look at the outside RVM whenever I intend to overtake any vehicle. Firstly, I try to make an eye contact with the driver in front of me through the mirror with either high beam or mild honking before I actually execute the manoeuvre. In case, it doesn't work for the first time then I repeat it once more. In case, I find the driver to be unresponsive then I wait for a clearer stretch with higher margin of error.

In few instances, I have found myself to be getting almost squeezed while overtaking without seeing the rear view mirror of the front vehicle.
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Old 13th October 2014, 11:15   #71
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

The techniques and methods described in this thread, and much more, will be taught and demonstrated the coming weekend - details here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...014-delhi.html
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Old 13th October 2014, 12:11   #72
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Please do not tailgate like that and you'll never need to swerve. Keep at least 2 seconds of gap between you and the truck in front. You are cutting it way too close.
Either tailgate like that or closer (relative) or keep over a 5 second gap.
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Old 13th October 2014, 12:16   #73
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

While I appreciate the discussion that is going on here and I also know that I am a relatively new member and the least expected thing from me is trying to point out faults in distinguished member's driving. I had seen this thread quite a while ago and didn't think it was worth saying something critical to a senior member here but now it appeared on facebook with a friend commenting about why not to tail-gate vehicles.

But now, I will risk saying that SSTraveller Sir, with all due respect you were very close to that truck. Legally (or shall I say morally), the distance between front vehicle and ours should be at least 2 seconds. Its measured in time, not distance. This enables a higher field of vision and better time to anticipate. The way its measured is pick a spot on the road and start counting when front vehicle passes it. You must reach that spot exactly after 2 seconds, if not, you are too close. In this video, it appears to be lesser than half a second.

While the discussion going on in this thread about all other things is appreciable, but avoiding tail-gating should be a primary concern as its possible to get a good amount of time to react by maintaining a healthy distance.

EDIT:
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
and you have inadvertently or intentionally moved up closer than the braking distance
Apologies, it was mentioned in the details that vehicle moved closer unintentionally. IMHO, still tail-gating should get more attention for a safer driving experience. I am literally threatened on the Mumbai Pune expressway when some guys tail-gate me at 80-110 speed.

Last edited by jagzrk : 13th October 2014 at 12:29. Reason: Thread starter's text already mentioned his mistake.
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Old 13th October 2014, 12:29   #74
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

Avoid tailgating, yes. And no one asks me or SS-T to tailgate like that, but (as far as I am concerned) there are few situations where if you are tailgating (not recommended) you will have to be right at the back, but as a disclaimer, nor do I approve of this and I myself try, not to be in a situation like this, but when you are driving 400+ kms everyday in a week, you sometimes come across situations like these.

5 secs or 5 secs+ would give you a wide field of view & reaction time. I personally try not to follow a vehicle or let any tailgate me closely, I waive them on.
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Old 13th October 2014, 20:07   #75
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Default Re: Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by jagzrk View Post
But now, I will risk saying that...you were very close to that truck.
...avoiding tail-gating should be a primary concern as its possible to get a good amount of time to react by maintaining a healthy distance.
...I am literally threatened on the Mumbai Pune expressway when some guys tail-gate me at 80-110 speed.
@jagzrk: You are right about my getting too close to the truck. It was a video from a time when I didn't know much better, and yes, if the truck in front had rammed headlong into the oncoming truck, I would have been toast. As I said, it certainly was a close shave!

I had subsequently explained what should have been looked for, in a post on this thread itself, and I quote...
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
As I mentioned in the beginning, this is a teaching video that I use when conducting Low Risk Safe Driver Training...
This video was from a time when I did presumption-based driving (before I received my training). I've survived crash-free for 20 years of driving, but close shaves such as these happened once or twice a year. I was not happy about it, so I underwent specialized training in Australia which I hoped would eliminate whatever risky behaviour I had on the road. That's when I learnt about the different types of driving:

With evidence-based driving, you would notice (and I missed noticing then), the truck being overtaken suddenly tucking into the back of the 3-wheeler and braking hard (no trucker ever does that without REALLY good reason). I presumed that the overtaken truck was being ultra-polite, and the overtaking truck would go through safely - this being a divided road with no chance of oncoming traffic - and I can follow him, while continuing to presume that if there is any obstruction, he will cut in to the left, and I'll follow him to the left too (which I did).

Today, after being trained, I would notice the brake lights of the overtaken truck come on, try to think like that truck driver, and come up with the conclusion based on his unusual behaviour that he is simply positioning himself in a safe location due to something he can see ahead (and I cannot) - and hence I'd have braked and pulled in behind the truck being overtaken, not accelerated out behind the truck that was overtaking.

There are hundreds of such small bits of evidence that one needs to look for (and be trained to look for) while driving, to minimize risk while driving. And that's what I learnt during my training, have been practising over and over and over, and that's what I now do - train people to drive safer.
...
It's very easy for armchair critics to say "You were driving in a very risky manner", as I have been told by many, here and on the video page itself. What matters is, can we interpret that video and turn it into a learning exercise for the future? I hope the explanation about evidence-based driving that the video conveys is now clear to critics of the video.
Now, with reference to the FB video where this discussion took place (link: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=823948424324181), let's also do an analysis here.

Between 0:08 and 0:13, it is clearly evident that the Tempo Traveller (TT) is not going to have a clear lane to speed past the bus - there's a slow trailer blocking the right lane. So the TT puts on his left indicator to try to squeeze ahead of the bus, and the bus driver is irritated enough to speed up and block off the TT.

As he accelerates, the bus driver realizes (0:25) that something is blocking his lane, and he hits the brakes hard - you can see the nose dip and the tail lift up with the deceleration. Also watch the Swift tailgating the bus braking hard too - so that also means swerving over to the left lane is not an option.

Now, bearing in mind that heavy vehicles like buses and trucks invariably refuse to bring their vehicles to a complete stop unless there is REALLY GOOD reason for it, there was already enough evidence by 0:29 that he was likely to swerve into the right lane abruptly (look at his front wheels getting closer to the lane marking). So there is a warning of 3 seconds or so before the actual impact at 0:32-0:33.

Well before this time, Raghunath Srivatsa should also have noticed that he had a tailgater, and needed double the stopping distance to prevent being rear-ended - and hence, he should have dropped further back rather than try to follow through behind the TT, braking only at the last moment. The inevitable rear-ending had to happen.
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Originally Posted by JASMEET MATTOO View Post
The top speed at the road is 50 kmph and its a three lane road. I must have been driving between 40-50 in the middle lane.
...I sped up a bit, kept my car in front of him for five long minutes not allowing him to go anywhere (on his speed at least). Then gave him way.
People habitually drive at 70+ km/h on that road even though the limit is 50 - and the cops with radars, when they are stationed there, ignore speeds up to 60 km/h.

Given those circumstances, maintaining 40-50 km/h is probably not a great idea. A minimum speed that is comfortable for other traffic too, reduces the chances of being rear-ended/sideswiped as an act of road rage by other madmen in bigger vehicles.
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