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Old 20th August 2014, 12:42   #1
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Default Evidence-Based Driving for Safety: A Primer

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Originally Posted by ramneek009 View Post
...due to non availability of car-jack one of the guys was holding the car with his hands while the other was replacing the tyre.
You bashed up Superman's car?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramneek009 View Post
As the bus made a sharp lane change that is when i realized there is a parked car in my lane.
A teaching video that I use, from my own dashcam.

When you are following a large vehicle which cuts off your visibility ahead - and you have inadvertently or intentionally moved up closer than the braking distance - then, if the bus / truck ahead suddenly swerves off from your lane, do NOT start rejoicing about what a gentleman the driver ahead is. He is swerving to avoid some obstruction ahead, and you had better follow in his track, and swerve yourself!

The video on YouTube also carries an explanation of the event, on the YouTube page.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 20th August 2014 at 12:43.
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Old 20th August 2014, 12:58   #2
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
A teaching video that I use, from my own dashcam.
What the truck was happening

When you are following a large vehicle which cuts off your visibility ahead - and you have inadvertently or intentionally moved up closer than the braking distance - then, if the bus / truck ahead suddenly swerves off from your lane, do NOT start rejoicing about what a gentleman the driver ahead is. He is swerving to avoid some obstruction ahead, and you had better follow in his track, and swerve yourself![/quote]

+1 Been there done that many times. You'll be in for some nasty surprises if it were to happen at night - very often you find tractor-trailer contraptions without any sort of lighting, barrelling at us in the right most lane.
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Old 20th August 2014, 13:55   #3
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
You bashed up Superman's car?!

A teaching video that I use, from my own dashcam.
When you are following a large vehicle which cuts off your visibility ahead - and you have inadvertently or intentionally moved up closer than the braking distance - then, if the bus / truck ahead suddenly swerves off from your lane, do NOT start rejoicing about what a gentleman the driver ahead is. He is swerving to avoid some obstruction ahead, and you had better follow in his track, and swerve yourself!

The video on YouTube also carries an explanation of the event, on the YouTube page.
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.
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Old 20th August 2014, 14:25   #4
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
When you are following a large vehicle which cuts off your visibility ahead - and you have inadvertently or intentionally moved up closer than the braking distance - then, if the bus / truck ahead suddenly swerves off from your lane, do NOT start rejoicing about what a gentleman the driver ahead is. He is swerving to avoid some obstruction ahead, and you had better follow in his track, and swerve yourself!
That was a close shave. This happened in broad daylight. I shudder to think if the same incident were to happen in the night.

The message is clear. One has to be ultra careful while trying to overtake trucks.
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Old 20th August 2014, 15:04   #5
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
That was a close shave. This happened in broad daylight. I shudder to think if the same incident were to happen in the night.
In night you can see opposing headlights under the truck. This was something that was followed in 2 lane days and is still effective in current day 4-lanes. Personally I've had couple of close shaves in the day than at night with trucks. This is where trucks try to move into the other lane to avoid bikes. Have always kept a close watch of the truck's front tyre w.r.t the lane markers (day or night) and have pulled out of the maneuver in both cases.

Also at night the trucks are aware of your presence by virtue of your headlights as opposed to day (especially if you are the non honking kind).
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Old 20th August 2014, 18:33   #6
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
What the truck was happening
+1 Been there done that many times.
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Originally Posted by Octane_Power View Post
...always follow the saying "Keep Safe Distance", more than anything else. I always make it a point to maintain safe distance so I'd be able to brake/swerve in-time without getting caught off guard.
That was indeed a very close call. We can only learn from experienced and well-travelled drivers like you Sir!
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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Please do not tailgate like that...
Quote:
Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
That was a close shave.
Yup, that was a close shave - as the title of the video itself says.

Question is, how do we drive? Check the list below, and see where you fit in.

1. Reflex-based / reactive driving: You see an obstacle on the road, you react. Between seeing and reacting, there may not be enough time to avoid the obstacle. Your risk of a crash remains high.

2. Presumption-based driving: Apart from depending on your reflexes, you also assume that the other road user is careless, preoccupied or simply demented. You presume that he will do something crazy every time, and are glad when he does not. Sometimes, he might do something you cannot imagine him to be capable of doing. Case in point, the video I posted on the previous page. I presumed the truck was swerving to avoid an obstacle, but never imagined that 2 trucks would be coming head-on on the wrong side of the road.

3. Evidence-based driving: This is what I learnt, and am trained as a trainer to teach, 2 months ago. Apart from depending on my reflexes as well as presuming another road user might do something crazy, I now look for evidence about whether a situation is safe or not. It took a bit of getting used to learning and adapting the technique, but now these close shaves have not happened in the last 2 months - and I find I am also faster than before from point A to point B.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramneek009 View Post
There was no space to swerve.
I can understand.
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Old 21st August 2014, 11:07   #7
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
You bashed up Superman's car?!

A teaching video that I use, from my own dashcam.
When you are following a large vehicle which cuts off your visibility ahead - and you have inadvertently or intentionally moved up closer than the braking distance - then, if the bus / truck ahead suddenly swerves off from your lane, do NOT start rejoicing about what a gentleman the driver ahead is. He is swerving to avoid some obstruction ahead, and you had better follow in his track, and swerve yourself!

The video on YouTube also carries an explanation of the event, on the YouTube page.
At about 0:26 seconds into this video, you can notice that the oncoming truck is clearly visible through the gap between the two trucks. Honestly, I wouldn't dare to overtake in this situation, rather I would wait for the truck in the rightmost lane to finish his maneuver before proceeding and make it sure to maintain a safe amount of distance all this while. Highway driving needs a lot of patience and quick reflexes combined with good anticipation skills, especially in a country like ours, where the roads are filled with morons ready to pull a trick out of their hat. On expressways with four or more lanes its better to stick to the middle lane to be on the safe side.

Last edited by moralfibre : 21st August 2014 at 11:18. Reason: Removing youtube link from quoted post.
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Old 21st August 2014, 19:08   #8
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by Travelling_Monk View Post
Highway driving needs a lot of patience and quick reflexes combined with good anticipation skills, especially in a country like ours, where the roads are filled with morons ready to pull a trick out of their hat. On expressways with four or more lanes its better to stick to the middle lane to be on the safe side.
Very true. One always «Lives to Drive» another day!
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Old 25th August 2014, 17:06   #9
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
:When you are following a large vehicle which cuts off your visibility ahead - and you have inadvertently or intentionally moved up closer than the braking distance - then, if the bus / truck ahead suddenly swerves off from your lane, do NOT start rejoicing about what a gentleman the driver ahead is. He is swerving to avoid some obstruction ahead, and you had better follow in his track, and swerve yourself!

The video on YouTube also carries an explanation of the event, on the YouTube page.
You should thank you stars, glad that you had a quick reflex. As silversteed mentioned, I've came across such instances but all were due to a parked vehicle or almost stationary farm tractors .
But why on earth those trucks came on a wrong lane all of a sudden?
Cheers!
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Old 25th August 2014, 18:08   #10
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by treadmark View Post
You should thank you stars, glad that you had a quick reflex.
Yes, I have been repeatedly told that I should thank my stars, as also comments such as
Quote:
...would have ended up in an hospital or worse... (No offence intended) and you would be collecting your car insurance money (Total loss) or your relatives, your health insurance (I don't want to explain this. No offence intended towards you, only towards the truck driver), and the truck driver(s) won't be even seeing your face, enjoying some bxxxx.
Quote:
If I were you, I would have slowed down and got behind the slower truck. It was very very risky.
Quote:
I'd not have overtaken the truck by closely following the other truck., instead I'd have waited for the truck to complete its overtaking manoeuver.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
That was a close shave.
...The message is clear. One has to be ultra careful while trying to overtake trucks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelling_Monk View Post
At about 0:26 seconds into this video, you can notice that the oncoming truck is clearly visible through the gap between the two trucks. Honestly, I wouldn't dare to overtake in this situation, rather I would wait for the truck in the rightmost lane to finish his maneuver before proceeding and make it sure to maintain a safe amount of distance all this while. Highway driving needs a lot of patience and quick reflexes combined with good anticipation skills...
As I mentioned in the beginning, this is a teaching video that I use when conducting Low Risk Safe Driver Training (let me assure you and everyone else that I am not in any manner soliciting custom or trying to monetize what I do, through this forum).

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:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Question is, how do we drive? Check the list below, and see where you fit in.

1. Reflex-based / reactive driving: You see an obstacle on the road, you react. Between seeing and reacting, there may not be enough time to avoid the obstacle. Your risk of a crash remains high.

2. Presumption-based driving: Apart from depending on your reflexes, you also assume that the other road user is careless, preoccupied or simply demented. You presume that he will do something crazy every time, and are glad when he does not. Sometimes, he might do something you cannot imagine him to be capable of doing. Case in point, the video I posted on the previous page. I presumed the truck was swerving to avoid an obstacle, but never imagined that 2 trucks would be coming head-on on the wrong side of the road.

3. Evidence-based driving: This is what I learnt, and am trained as a trainer to teach, 2 months ago. Apart from depending on my reflexes as well as presuming another road user might do something crazy, I now look for evidence about whether a situation is safe or not. It took a bit of getting used to learning and adapting the technique, but now these close shaves have not happened in the last 2 months - and I find I am also faster than before from point A to point B.
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. This has nothing to do with the few-milliseconds-glimpse of the oncoming trucks at 0:26, as someone mentioned - in real life, your brain would not register that glimpse, nor would your eyes focus that far away.

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.

Of course, with presumption based driving you are safer than with reactive / reflex-based driving, but such close calls (as you see on the video) still happen occasionally. 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. Yes I know that the manoeuvre was risky, but at that time I did not know about evidence-based driving. Today, I do, and as a result my driving pattern has changed for the better (and hopefully, of those whom I've trained too).
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Old 25th August 2014, 18:55   #11
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
This video was from a time when I did presumption-based driving (before I received my training)

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.
Hi SS-T,

Since you have been trained on evidence based driving, I have a question:
- What should one look out for when it comes to 2 wheelers? I haven't been able to crack the code as to predict their behaviour till now. Your points on what to look out for in the truck video are very much followed by me (but that was by intuition, retro-analysis, experience and observation rather than training).
2 wheelers are still beyond me. I even learnt how to ride a bike, and rode for 2 months just to get a perspective into their behaviour, but the only thing I learned was this: I think it's actually better to get trained on a car, and drive for atleast 2-3 years before taking on a bike/2 wheeler (note: I am only talking about a average person here. If are fortunate to have bike-enthusiasts in the family, then the equation can change). I have now modified my driving to become a little more sympathetic, but not enough to avoid a few scares that I still face.

Also, if you don't mind, can you please list out a few common mistakes even the more aware drivers (like the one's you are likely to find on this forum) make, and are maybe not aware of it?

Would appreciate your thoughts on the same, so that I can atleast improve my driving style for my own safety.

Thanks,
Simple_car
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Old 25th August 2014, 20:13   #12
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
...I have a question:
- What should one look out for when it comes to 2 wheelers?
Hi Simple_car,

Thanks for asking.

Are you querying as one who wants to ride a 2-wheeler safely, or do you want to look for evidence about how to be safe when surrounded by 2-wheelers?

It would be better to start a separate thread on safe driving techniques rather than detract from the essence of this thread.
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Old 26th August 2014, 00:40   #13
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Hi Simple_car,

Thanks for asking.

Are you querying as one who wants to ride a 2-wheeler safely, or do you want to look for evidence about how to be safe when surrounded by 2-wheelers?

It would be better to start a separate thread on safe driving techniques rather than detract from the essence of this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Hi Simple_car,

Thanks for asking.

Are you querying as one who wants to ride a 2-wheeler safely, or do you want to look for evidence about how to be safe when surrounded by 2-wheelers?

It would be better to start a separate thread on safe driving techniques rather than detract from the essence of this thread.
Hi SS-T,

Thanks in advance for your time. Do continue this discussion in another thread.

My query is w.r.t. one who is driving a 4 wheeler. As already mentioned above, I am having difficulty in trying to understand the mentality of most 2 wheelers I have to deal with. I have just recently started riding a motorbike, and am not experienced enough to comment/judge on what to look out for when riding a motorcycle; but suffice to say, apart from a few things, most points remain the same for a car driver and a motorcyclist IMO. Please do correct me if I am wrong or do share your perspective.

I don't have much trouble dealing with 3/4 wheelers or trucks(who are one of the best guys on the road irrespective of their stupid overtaking antics), but 2 wheelers just baffle me.

What I want to know is this:
- what is it that one has to look out for when driving a 4 wheeler w.r.t. 2 wheel riders? From a evidence based driving point i.e.?
- any common mistakes that we (the relatively more aware members) are prone to, or things which we may be brushing it off as 'silly'/'stupid' that we need to be aware of?

Thanks,
Simple_car
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Old 26th August 2014, 01:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
What I want to know is this:
- what is it that one has to look out for when driving a 4 wheeler w.r.t. 2 wheel riders? From a evidence based driving point i.e.?
- any common mistakes that we (the relatively more aware members) are prone to, or things which we may be brushing it off as 'silly'/'stupid' that we need to be aware of?

Thanks,
Simple_car
1. Just allow them to pass, by any chance If they end up brushing your 4w, even if it's his fault, chances are that you will be held responsible

2. From sanity point of view, just think this way that even a slightest of slight touch between your 4w and his 2w will have hardly any impact on your 4w but his 2w might be a death trap for the rider. So it's always better to allow the 2w to pass.

3. Never attempt to foresee/estimate a 2w. You can't. The way I do, either I allow them to pass or don't allow them even a wee bit of space. So it's either me in front or the 2w in front there's no other way at it.

4. Whenever I approach a signal either I leave enough space for a 2w to pass before stopping or leave no space at all. Whenever I leave some space, I try and leave it on my side and keep a watch on any likely shaky driver who may mess my ORVM or scratch my 4w.

5. I also seen to have developed a phobia of 2w on signals or jams, whereby I suspect every 2w to be a dashboard snatcher (one who would snatch phones, wallets, etc. Dashboards of 4w)

6. I try and be extra careful while overtaking a biker in the 2nd lane with a slow 4w/3w ahead of me in 1st lane. I have witnessed many a 2w riders who derive pleasure driving parallel to a slow/learner 4w/3w and not allowing others to overtake from left, though it's not right to overtake from left.

7. On highways, 2w driving parallel to a heavy vehicle like truck are also to be handled with care since the heavy vehicle will normally stick to his 1st lane and in your bid to overtake from left you may startle/brush the 2w.

These rules also hold true when you are a 2w rider. Avoid driving parallel to any other vehicle whereby some dumb 4w driver may cause harm to you while overtaking the vehicle running parallel to you. Think of what could be your fate as a 2w driver if any 4w driver may nudge even in a slightest way. So keep clear when you are a 2w driver too.
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Old 26th August 2014, 14:40   #15
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

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Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
- any common mistakes that we (the relatively more aware members) are prone to, or things which we may be brushing it off as 'silly'/'stupid' that we need to be aware of?
Do not overtake at a junction. At all. Never.

Do not overtake on a bend. Do not cut the corner inside a turning vehicle or go around the outside: you have no way of knowing what the other guy will do with the steering wheel.

Do not overtake on left (this should also be ever, but that is too much to hope) without a full lane space to do it in. Never expect that a vehicle will let you through. The driver may not even know you are there.

Never think that your horn clears the way for you. Especially if you don't get around to honking until you are already in the way and the vehicle is already moving to your side to avoid something ahead that you should have seen too. Use your horn, politely, to let people know you are there.

Look ahead. Anticipate but do not assume what other drivers will do. Overtake a vehicle that is about to move to the right to pass another vehicle? You should see that situation and just wait.

Keep a metre or two away from all other vehicles. If you can't, there is not room for you and you should not be there.

Try not to ever forget: you are driving the most dangerous vehicle in the world. Worldwide, even in countries with good laws and good driving tests. Don't risk your life all the time. Don't expect everybody else to keep you alive.

I've often thought that, regardless of wheel number, it is better to be just a little bit afraid of driving. Like this old fisherman's saying...
People should be afraid of the sea.

If they are not afraid of the sea they will go out when they should not, and get drowned.

We are afraid of the sea and we are not drowned very often

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 26th August 2014 at 14:41.
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