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Old 8th December 2007, 11:32   #1
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Default A scary moment in the ghats...

This happened when I was driving back to Pune from Nashik , along with my family, a couple of weeks ago. The roads are pretty good, and I was enjoying the drive.
It was around 6-ish in the evening, and I was trailing a couple of big trucks climbing one of the ghat sections. The road was twisty and narrow, and I was content trundling along behind them at 25kmph, until the road cleared out enough to get past them. This happened for around 5-7 minutes...and then I started looking for opportunities to leave them behind. On one quite steep and a completely blind (to me) turn, I saw what I thought was the hand of the driver of the lead truck, signalling me to go ahead. Seeing this opportunity, and with the the belief that the truck driver had seen the clear road ahead, I floored the Indigo GLS in second.Got past the first truck without a problem, and was about to cover the second truck, when the turn ended and I got a clear view of the road ahead......when suddenly there was Tata Spacio barrelling down straight towards me from the oncoming side. I knew the distance between us was probably too less to make it across safely..unsure of what to do for a split second, I decided to squeeze every possible bit out of the car (not that it has much to offer in the first place) and get across anyway. With the Spacio swerving to avoid me,by the grace of God, I missed them just by millimeters..
Coming back to reason which caused this hairy moment. I would normally never do such a thing, like trying to overtake on completely blind turns. The "Hand" which I thought was signalling me go ahead, which caused me go against my natural instinct, was, infact a thread with some woolen b@lls strung on it! It was attached to the trucks window, and the "signal" was actually the fluttering of that thing in the wind.. In the slightly fading evening light,the dark coloured thing looked almost like hand..

Lesson learnt : Never overtake when you cannot clearly see the oncoming traffic, no matter what I think the driver ahead is signalling.
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Old 8th December 2007, 11:37   #2
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Glad to know you made it safely. This is one of the most common mistakes while overtaking.

Never attempt unless completely sure, should be the motto while overtaking
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Old 8th December 2007, 12:41   #3
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Sajo, good that you are safe, and also others who were there.

We normally try to be patient in such situations, but the urge to move past the slow vehicles is always there - It's natural.
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Old 8th December 2007, 12:48   #4
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LOL

I also do not like the woolen "hand"

The Indigo petrol is quiet fast and luckily for you the guy in the Spacio decided to move otherwise most of them like to play chicken.

It really is not all that scary unlike I was driving in the ghats without brakes.

Last edited by normally_crazy : 8th December 2007 at 16:42. Reason: Too many smilies - 2 is the norm. Read the rules buddy
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Old 8th December 2007, 12:53   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajo View Post
The "Hand" which I thought was signalling me go ahead, which caused me go against my natural instinct, was, infact a thread with some woolen b@lls strung on it! It was attached to the trucks window, and the "signal" was actually the fluttering of that thing in the wind.. In the slightly fading evening light,the dark coloured thing looked almost like hand..

There is no good reason to put full faith in a real hand signalling "pass" either.
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Old 8th December 2007, 13:01   #6
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Never ever overtake unless u see for yourself that no one is comin from the oncomin side.Truck drivers or anyone for that matter be dammed.
Congo on being safe
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Old 8th December 2007, 13:31   #7
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Yup Dan is right.

I have seen so many times they tell me to pass to only see huge lorries coming down the opposite side at very high speeds.
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Old 8th December 2007, 13:53   #8
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Arrow Fight The Urge

Hai,

I agree fully with the thought........

I've just finished a 6.5 k km trip and know the feeling. Specially when you are nearing the destinations after a long drive and are irritated at bad roads, bad traffic and slow moving traffic, you tend to loose your cool and do something stupid like overtaking blind or taking that one chance to spoil the whole drive. When you are on edge, stop, have a coffee/ water and let the traffic pass by, never try beat the guy behind you. I have had to fight, with great difficulty to urge not to less the guys behind me overtake or or get the better of me and reach as fast as possible. On curves, climbs and when behing sight-blocking traffic, we need to be extreamely cautious, we owe it to ourselves and our family to reach home.

Just my thoughts,

--Ramky
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Old 8th December 2007, 13:55   #9
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Good to know you got out safe, I think we had already collated hill driving precautions earlier, this being one of them

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajo View Post
Lesson learnt : Never overtake when you cannot clearly see the oncoming traffic, no matter what I think the driver ahead is signalling.
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Old 8th December 2007, 14:54   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajo View Post
Lesson learnt : Never overtake when you cannot clearly see the oncoming traffic, no matter what I think the driver ahead is signalling.
Correct. Never wait for truck driver signals anyway on overtaking - I've noticed most of them actually stop you from overtaking if they see another vehicle a kilometer ahead -they estimate overtaking times based on their own speeds, often not giving consideration to the fact that the vehicle behind may be significantly faster.

This happens mostly on the Krishnagiri-Bangalore stretch, where its usually the CLEANER that gives the signal - not even the driver. This is on account of the fact that for some strange reason people in Karnataka assume that the fast lane is the one thats meant for slowmoving trucks and buses.

Best to trust your own eyes, instincts and judgement.
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Old 8th December 2007, 16:41   #11
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even if Mother Theresa stuck her hand out of a car/truck and told me it was safe to overtake i would not do it, UNLESS i can see that the lane is all clear with my OWN eyes.
i certainly would not trust any truck driver!!
good to hear you made the pass without causing an accident.
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Old 8th December 2007, 16:44   #12
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The cleaner giving signals is quite the norm anywhere in the country, not limited to karnataka, wherever there are 4 lanes. The centre lane is the favorite of everyone - LPG tankers to lorries to cars to bikes.

Many a time, driving sedately in one's own rightful lane also becomes hazardous due to oncoming cars overtaking on blind curves. I'm glad there are many more near-misses than hits. And thank god your case was of the former.
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Old 8th December 2007, 18:28   #13
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I did a similar, foolish act and escaped by a whisker.

A few years back while driving on NH4(two lane), I was stuck behind a trailer which was running real slow. Being a cautious, I was waiting for a proper opportunity to overtake.But mean while a number of TATA Sumos, KSRTC buses and cars were happily overtaking me as well as the trailer. They were caring two hoots for the oncoming traffic. But I didn't have the nerve to do the same. I had seen TATA Sumos, going behind KSRTC buses when the bus was overtaking the trailer, a number of times. On one occassion I got bold and decided to follow a bus when it was overtaking the trailer. The bus easily crossed the trailer and then I saw right in front of me, may be within a short distance of 100 - 150 metres, two cars approaching fast from the opposite end. I had no place to go. To the left I had the long trailer and to the right mud road ( because I was on the wrong side of the road.)

My heroics at stopping my car were not helping, because I was at a speed of 80 while overtaking. Seeing my plight, the trailer driver stepped on the brakes. The two cars coming from the front got onto the mud road and sped away. There was hardly any distance between my car and the ones coming from the opposite direction. That was a very narrow escape - all thanks to the skill of those two drivers coming from the opposite side. My mouth had gone dry.

I escaped by a whisker and learnt a good lesson.

From that day onwards, I do not overtake unless I see all clear with my own eyes.

My request to all BHPians, - don't get influenced by those crazy drivers who blindly follow vehicles while overtaking. Always wait for your turn.Let other guy do what he wants. Don't get into ego traps.
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Old 8th December 2007, 18:29   #14
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Good that you & others are safe. Man we should never believe these truck guys. Overtaking in ghats is too dangerous. But we ought to become restless when somebody in front of you is going at snails pace for some time. This happens in city roads itself not to mention about ghats/highways. But driving/overtaking carefully is the key.
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Old 8th December 2007, 18:47   #15
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Sajo - glad to know you are safe. Your experience is a good reminder to overtake on your own vision and not someone elses's.
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