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Old 3rd September 2008, 00:52   #31
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Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
And how can the sideways impact be more fatal than a headon collision? IMO, a headon collision can give you more injuries than even being inside a car which is toppling. (With seatbelts of course) Testimony: Read Maruthi R Janardanan's story in PUG. (He walked away from a toppled car which resulted from swerving away from a headon collision)
With a truck, it is a no-win situation, whether you chose head on, or side-on. But if it is another car you are talking about, head on is almost always better. Reason being that front crumple zones will take most impact(I request you to go an view the crash test videos on net) and passenger compartment is mostly left unscathed. A side impact in the same situation would be more fatal, as all you have between the other car and you is a layer of sheet metal and not adequate crumple zones.

This is how the newer gen cars are manufactured, go figure !
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Old 3rd September 2008, 07:38   #32
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(I request you to go an view the crash test videos on net) and passenger compartment is mostly left unscathed. A side impact in the same situation would be more fatal, as all you have between the other car and you is a layer of sheet metal and not adequate crumple zones.
This is how the newer gen cars are manufactured, go figure !
Saar, I know about crumple zones. I know about it for the past one decade may be. I was talking about headon collision of a small car with a big truck where the hood of the car just goes underneath the truck's chassis (Eg: M800 + Ashok Leyland Tusker). Crumple zones won't be of much use there. Just avoiding the head on collision (if there's time to do that) may be the safest thing too do there. I've seen several crash tests also. In car-to-car collision or in car-to-wall collision, head-on is okay, provided you are wearing seat belts. If not, no crumple zones can save you sometimes, even at speeds like 30 Mph if there are no airbags either.

Last edited by clevermax : 3rd September 2008 at 07:51.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 08:03   #33
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Saar, I know about crumple zones.
Read first line of my reply. As I said, it is a no-win situation. We can sit behind computers and analyse these things, but when the situation comes 99% of us cannot do better than a panic reaction. There is no time for rational thought process. You do whatever comes to you in that split second. Or you freeze, doing nothing.

This discussion is pretty superflous, but I will still say that a head-on is better in most cases, assuming that you will anyway not be able to avoid the obstacle.

: Do you know that Titanic would probably have survived, if it had taken the iceberg head on?
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Old 3rd September 2008, 08:45   #34
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You'd require some level of experience, quick response and presence of mind to anticipate where the vehicle is headed, and to swerve away from that point.

What road transport authorities need to do is raise the size of the median to atleast 5 ft, like they have on American freeways.
Not all freeways / expressways have a 5ft divider.

Many years ago a cousin and myself were driving Brooklyn bound on the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) when a Queens bound car lost control and came straight at us.

Neither of us had any time to react except stare in horror. Fortunately the car that lost control got stuck on the divder and we escaped.

If a car that has jumped even a 3 ft divider is coming straight at you no crumple zone is going to save you. Sometimes you just need to be lucky.

Last edited by navin : 3rd September 2008 at 08:46.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 08:53   #35
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but when the situation comes 99% of us cannot do better than a panic reaction. There is no time for rational thought process.
Yo.. thats why I mentioned "if there's time to do that". Yes sometimes you have some time to react, but you know there'll be an accident. I know very well about such a situation, because I'd encountered one myself, I had some presence of mind. It takes some driving experience, and presence of mind anyway, to decide how you want the accident to be.

And, I started sitting behind the wheels before I ever sat behind a computer
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Old 3rd September 2008, 09:54   #36
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one hopes that the impact with the median slows that vehicle down a bit or else if one is in direct line of that vehicle, may as well prepare to meet one's maker - God Forbid this happens to any of us man. There's absolutely nothing one can do in the time available to one in such a situation.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:46   #37
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No wonder, driving on Indian roads is the most dangerous thing we could be doing.
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Old 1st January 2009, 21:11   #38
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What I rely on is called 'Shield riding/driving'. I use another vehicle as a shield on the road. I follow the tracks of that vehicle at a safe distance, at intersections, I get another vehicle between myself and the oncoming traffic.
At traffic lights, when you stop, keep an eye on the rear view mirror till another vehicle comes up and stops behind you
Do a panic braking test every 6 months. Go onto an empty stretch of road, and panic brake from 20, if successful, then move to 30, 40 and so on till you find your limit. Never ever cross that limit on the road.
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Old 2nd January 2009, 12:35   #39
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Few months back I was traveling on Chennai-Bangalore highway at 100-110 kmph in the centre lane and the road ahead was completely empty.

As I was gaining bit of speed, all of sudden an old man came out of the bush on the centre median to start walking to the other side of the road. I knew that even if he continues to walk across ignoring my horns, I could safely avoid him by moving to the extreme left. Though it was not as easy as this was written, I immediately swerved to the left and took off. I did not noticed my LRVM before I swerved to left as I could not take off my eyes from the old man

The thought of some vehicle overtaking me in 140-150 range speeds as the straight stretch was completely empty and colliding .............. I slowed down for next couple of kms

Oncoming vehicle jumps the median.... chances are less if there is not enough distance
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Old 2nd January 2009, 12:47   #40
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As a practice I drive on the left lane in a divided highway. Not only vehicle jumping over the median people / animal stepping right through bushes on the median are constant hazard. Additionally driving on left lane as far as possible also does not block faster traffic behind you.

I find that most drivers think that the left side on a divided highway is unsafe. This thinking / perception needs to be changed. Can Team-BHP guys help spread this message as much as possible?

On undivided highways in any case you have better visibility of approaching traffic and can take avoidance action (even going in to fields is better option than a head on).
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Old 2nd January 2009, 13:07   #41
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As a practice I drive on the left lane in a divided highway. Not only vehicle jumping over the median people / animal stepping right through bushes on the median are constant hazard. Additionally driving on left lane as far as possible also does not block faster traffic behind you.
+1 I prefer driving on the left and may be overtake with difficulty in case of a slow moving truck in the front rather than stick to the right lane. For me right lane is only for overtaking.
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Old 2nd January 2009, 20:16   #42
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+1 I prefer driving on the left and may be overtake with difficulty in case of a slow moving truck in the front rather than stick to the right lane. For me right lane is only for overtaking.
I'm all for that too. I stick to the left as far as possible.Whatever the speed I'm doing.
There are quite a few drivers who think driving in the passing lane is their birthright, and even get annoyed if I overtake them from the left when they refuse to give way!
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Old 3rd January 2009, 09:32   #43
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Agree with ripper but there is another phenomenon on the left side, guys.
The JAYWALKERS!!!!!
Typically 2 or 3 people walking abreast with the 3rd on the road and happily walking unaware of horns or approaching cars.
I had a near miss experience.
Enroute to Bangalore Airport, I was taking a blind curve and was sticking to my left when suddenly i spot a family walking on the left .
The Mother literally had her child (2 years old) walking on the road!!!!
Continuous Honking didn't help so had slow down despite the risk of being hit by overenthusiastic cab and 'mine-is-a-powerful-car-so-i-will-zoooooom' car owners

Regards

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Old 3rd January 2009, 13:00   #44
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Driving on the left is an option if you intend to drive around 50 to 60 Kmph. I have tried it and within few minutes ran out of patience but a lot of people do have the patience. If it comes around the bushes there is nothing we can do except pray and before we realize boom. Otherwise just stay alert and take action as the situation demands.

I remember once when a truck overloaded with HAY (grass) was overtaking another truck on a single lane highway. I was driving the Tata Sierra then, I went on the dirt any further would have been a fall of at least 20 feet , pushed the breaks hard and prayed, I ended up with a broken ORVM with broken glass in my face as the window was open and a few scratches on the right side of the car. Could have been a lot worst.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 19:34   #45
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Driver + patience = safe drive

Cardinal rule. If you do not plan or think ahead you are going to be in trouble some situations in any case.

Okay let me relook at what I said. Normally the divided four lane highways (normally) will always have enough hard shoulder space before bushes or trees on left side. This is more than what you can expect in the right lane next to median.

Again overtaking can be planned and I do not say stick to left lane but try to stay there as much as possible. Try it in the next long drive and have a little patience.
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