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Old 28th August 2008, 15:18   #46
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Originally Posted by Path_Finder View Post
  • While the above is 100% true for cattle (& probably wild animals if you are on a safari trip!), some of the senior urban dogs may be an exception they somewhat know how to look at the traffic and plan their movements somewhat like humans!!
On a lighter note, I once witnessed this ridiculous scene -- it's night time and the streets were quite empty as it was a Sunday. This Honda City is coming at around 40-50 kmph when our colony's doggy (Tommy, Bhola, Moti, call it what you may) decided to take a nice stroll across the street. Unmindful of the City coming through. Quite a typical situation, isn't it?

So what does the Honda City driver decide to do to alert Bhola? FLASH THE LIGHTS!!
I checked even more closely then and there was not a soul around except for the dog. But this guy kept flashing the lights and finally decided to honk. By then of course, the dog had made it to the other side and the driver must have murmuring, "Stupid dogs! No road manners"
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Old 13th September 2008, 10:15   #47
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How come everyone missed the darn cyclists!!
They sure are a pain to be with on roads, simply because of their attitude. I always used to give them some space considering that it takes a lot more to ride a cycle than it does to drive a car, sympathy or whatever it was, it soon vanished after one incident.

It was about 7 in the evening and was standing at a red light on the middle lane as I had to take a immediate left turn after the crossing. The light turns to green and I move ahead switching on my left indicator. On the intersection I pass 2, 3 cyclists. Before turning I check the left OVRM and the cyclists are some distance away, but as soon as I brake to reduce my speed to make that left turn, BOOM!!!!
The damned fellow rams his cycle straight into my car, leaving a dent and few scratches right on the fuel lid!! The best part is yet to come!!
I get down and am really pissed off at such a thing, sensing that and his own mistake, the cyclist says (you wont believe this) "Saab, brake nai hain!!!"

I was like, what the ..
why the hell did you take it out if it doesn't have brakes, nothing I could have done. The car still bears the scars. And I no longer give them the leverage I once used to.
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Old 21st October 2008, 20:07   #48
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Good points here!

The ones that drive me really crazy are the single-light vehicles. I mean the trucks and cabs, which are driven around with light(s) turned ON on only one of the sides.

You can easily mistake such power-savers (if that's their intention), for a harmless 2 wheeler. And in most of the cases that i have seen, they keep the lights ON on the wrong side.

It can be more dangerous if such vehicles are coming against your driving direction, and you choose to overtake thinking its a two wheeler who is on the opposite. And suddenly the hero lets his presence known flashing all the lights he has got on his vehicle, and you have no where to go.

I have avoided quite a few scary situations sticking to my instinct that its better not to overtake until you are sure if its a 2 or a 4 wheeler.

Any inputs/ideas on how to read such vehicles early and be careful?

Also please give me some reasons why would these drivers use only one light, and that too the wrong one(the one closer to the pavement)?
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Old 11th June 2009, 15:43   #49
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Good points here!

The ones that drive me really crazy are the single-light vehicles. I mean the trucks and cabs, which are driven around with light(s) turned ON on only one of the sides.
Any inputs/ideas on how to read such vehicles early and be careful?

Also please give me some reasons why would these drivers use only one light, and that too the wrong one(the one closer to the pavement)?
I share the same thoughts. Quiet a few times I have come across indicabs who run with one light,but switch the other light selectively. Dont know what they are saving, either electricity or life of the headlight unmindful of the fact that they are jeopardizing their lives.

I dont know if there are any shortcuts to read them, except being skecptical when you see a single light.

Nainar
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Old 7th November 2009, 10:51   #50
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Default Three-wheeled Nuts

The rickshaws would be one of the first vehicles I would be levying tax higher than the SUV's if I am to be made the RTO. Yes, these three-wheeled nuts just roll in from the blue as soon as they 'doubt' a gap between us and the vehicle upfront .

The ignorance they share to fellow commuters is most intimidating. They hardly use the mirrors and sees it as a useful hanger for all sorts of dream-catcher stuff.

The most fantastic of acts was when i see them trying to race with the sedans (Mercs too!!!...what do they think they have under their 'seats') on uphills and narrow road. The sedans fearing paint loss at times just give way. I feel pathetic that I myself do that.

What I suggest is to slow down and make way for them else you have scraped fender and not to mention the trade-off with your ETA fighting with these cracks.

If not for the livelihood and privilege these autos provide for the less-fortunate unlike ourselves these should be banned. I wonder they do have some have emmision norms apart from the fake polution certs they conjure.
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Old 15th January 2010, 13:39   #51
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Default Basic Road Funda

I have taught driving in India to number of friends and relatives. The first rule that I tell the trainees is to remember that everybody on the road - pedestrians, vehicles alike - are all after your life, intent to kill you. I think they still remember this golden rule, because so far I have not heard of any of my proteges meeting with any accident. The second rule, which is invariably disliked by everybody alike, is trying to ask them and teach them the basic funda of how a car works. All that they are interested in is working the ABC without knowing the ABCs of how they work.

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Just a while back I was reading Amit's rantings (Close shaves everyday!)about the pathetic conditions of the Indian roads and the traffic sense (or rather the absense of it) amongst Indians. He finds it all perilious after his brief brush with the traffic in the western world. That set me thinking. I am sure most of us have our own ways to manage the scenario here...

So here is a personal checkpoint of things I do as soon as I hit the road everyday for a 60 km to and fro drive across the best and the worst of hyderabadi roads, wading through a sea of cars and bikes.
  • Never go too close to a truck, bus etc... They just turn without looking anywhere.
  • If a bus is parked at a stop immediately make a lane's gap between your car and the bus. You can count your lucky stars if he does not take a 90 degrees turn and land up on your car the moment you pass him by.
  • Keep a distance from new cars, particularly the unregistered ones. The owners are prone to oversteer or understeer or roll back from a stand still and you may find that his car is kissing yours before you knew what happened.
  • The moment a biker overtakes you take your feet off the accelerator for a moment. Chances are bright that he wil cut sharply across just in front of you and then brake.
  • If you are about to reach a sharp turn where you can not see the other side of the bend honk loudly and/or flash. Reduce the speed also to a more manageable one. There is a very good chance that an overtaking biker or a cab (indicabs, qualis, any other) will be on your lane just at that very moment. You may also find a broken down car, bus etc or even just a parked vehicle at that very blind turn!
  • If you see a couple of playful kids or even adults a bit ahead at the side of the road BEWARE. Once they are sure that you are now almost close enough not to be able to brake one of them will decide to chase the other one so that the bugger runs across the road, dodging his mate and lands up bang in front of the car.
  • Lastly, the moment you hear a mad car or a bike (the variety that makes too much noise due to mods done in their exhaust chambers/manifolds etc) coming your way just move out. Thats more important here than making way for an ambulance, fire truck etc. Sad but thats how it is.
Alongwith all the above checkpoints make it a habit to be a "nervous" driver. Keep darting your eyes across the RVM, ORVMs and the corners of the road ahead periodically. May just give you the wisdom of the Oracle at times to be able to predict a suicide attempt by some madcap nut behind the wheels.

Feel free to add what you do over and above this to save your skin.
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Old 27th July 2010, 14:04   #52
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Right of way is something not meant for Indian roads. All the rickshaws, indicabs, sumos, commercial vehicles, buses etc come and demand their way. They expect all others to give way for them but they never do the same. When approaching narrow lanes / roads, watchout for these fellows and its best to give way to these even if you had the right of way.
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Old 9th September 2010, 00:54   #53
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My mantra is to stay away from the three-wheelerwallahs and give them enough "crazy" room.

The other thing I do is keep a look out for drifters or people who will keep slowly shifting in/wround their lanes. Once saw a honda city crash into a scooter like this both were drifting in their lines. That made an impact and I'm always careful about vehicles that keep needlessly drifting.
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Old 9th September 2010, 08:37   #54
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The new mnecae on the Indian roads these days are Tata Ace small pick up vehicles. The way they squeeze in between the lanes is astonishing at the same time disgusting too. You just cant imagine which way they would move and one false move by the Ace and you have scraped bumper. Also the fact is that you cant see whats there in front of ace because of the steel structure either empty or loaded.

My simple rule keep atleast 5 mtrs distance from these pick ups. No matter if you are getting late, keep a safe distance and if possible change lanes coz these are stubborn mules, they wont budge, they wont speed, they would royally ignore your honks, dippers.
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Old 14th September 2010, 13:40   #55
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The new mnecae on the Indian roads these days are Tata Ace small pick up vehicles.

...these are stubborn mules, they wont budge, they wont speed, they would royally ignore your honks, dippers.
They should've been called MENACE instead of ACE... Their headlights are quite powerful and highbeams are focussed right on the other driver's face.
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Old 26th September 2010, 00:15   #56
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Originally Posted by akshay View Post
My mantra is to stay away from the three-wheelerwallahs and give them enough "crazy" room.

The other thing I do is keep a look out for drifters or people who will keep slowly shifting in/wround their lanes. Once saw a honda city crash into a scooter like this both were drifting in their lines. That made an impact and I'm always careful about vehicles that keep needlessly drifting.
I am particularly terrified about these 3-wheelers who seems to take a 90 degree turn in the middle of the road just to get ahead 10 feets in a traffic signals.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 12:48   #57
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Originally Posted by Path_Finder View Post
  • Whenever you see cattle on the road ahead of you you should try navigating your vehicle behind the animal rather than thru the front. The animal will only keep moving forward even if it sees vehicle approaching and does not stop. It will rarely turn back and move even it senses danger. So one should judge to look ahead and pass thru the back of the animal rather than the front.
+1 to that. I was told about this by a veterinary doctor. I didn't realise this earlier and later on observed it to be true. Particulary when the cattle is crossing the road.

Murthy
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Old 29th December 2010, 00:32   #58
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Default Re: Small survival kit for Indian roads.

All those years ago, my driving school instructor taught me loads of stuff I should do to be safe on-road, but all those lessons obviously assume some semblance of sense from fellow road-users, which more often than not isn't the case

I follow a very simple set of rules:

1. Always fasten your seat-belts. You'll never know when they'll make a difference between life/death.

2. Always use your RVMs instead of trying to guess what's happening behind you or worse, glancing back.

3. Accelerate and brake gradually. Most rear-endings/rush-hour traffic accidents are caused by hard acceleration or braking.

4. Never zoom across an open signal. If you approach one, slow down. Quite often, open signals turn red the moment you're about to cross them, and the guy on the right of the junction would've taken off while his signal is still yellow. Result? you know it!!

5. Never leave a gap enough for a bike to sneak through in bumper-to-bumper traffic. If in the first lane, stay close to the divider. That's the gap most bikers sneak into at first opportunity.

6. Never stop close to the vehicle in front, esp. on inclines. It not only saves you from them rolling back into you, you have some manoeuvring space in case the vehicle in front stalls/breaks down. Use your hand-brake to hold position on a steep incline, as you'll need your right foot to accelerate in time to avoid rolling back.

7. Never speed on empty city roads, esp at night. They just give you a false illusion of safety, and often lead to nasty accidents.

8. Always indicate while taking turns/changing lanes, no matter how minor. On a highway, indicate while taking a blind/sharp turn. It alerts those driving behind you who might not be familiar with the road. I've appreciated such help myself quite a few times on badly-lit highways.

9. Let that annoying honker go if you have space. Holding him up will only annoy him more, and might lead to cases of road-rage.

10. If in doubt, don't commit to a manoeuvre. It's better to actually wait for the next chance than to think later that you should have.

11. Enjoy your drive. You're not out to prove anything. If you feel like testing the limits of your machine, get some safety gear and find a race-track!


Drive safe. Your life is precious, and not just to you.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 29th December 2010 at 00:36.
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Old 12th January 2011, 18:13   #59
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Default Re: Small survival kit for Indian roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
All those years ago, my driving school instructor taught me loads of stuff I should do to be safe on-road, but all those lessons obviously assume some semblance of sense from fellow road-users, which more often than not isn't the case

I follow a very simple set of rules:

1. Always fasten your seat-belts. You'll never know when they'll make a difference between life/death.

2. Always use your RVMs instead of trying to guess what's happening behind you or worse, glancing back.

3. Accelerate and brake gradually. Most rear-endings/rush-hour traffic accidents are caused by hard acceleration or braking.

..................
This is excellently written Chetan. These are some of the simplest rules which we tend to forget, ignore or be over-confident about.

If only people can stick to these, it would be a happy, safe journey, each time. Thank you for taking time to jot these here.
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Old 15th February 2011, 23:53   #60
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Default Re: Small survival kit for Indian roads.

One more thing i noticed very often is that when people turn right on to a main road, they for some reason try switch to the left lane as soon as they hit the main road, which means they cross the complete path of the on coming traffic.

I suggest when you turn right on to any road, stick to the lane closest to you(which is near the divider) instead of shifting to the left most lane hoping its the slowest/safest one.

I have missed ramming into several goons who do this, thinking its safer.
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