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Old 14th October 2008, 12:51   #1
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Default Tips: Blind spots to watch out for during overtaking

One of the precations to be followed while driving on an undivided highway is to avoid overtaking when there is a blind spot ahead; i.e. you can't see if there is an oncoming vehicles heading towards you. I have come across several types of blind spots/situations which I thught may be useful for new drivers taking on highways

Curve ahead: Most obvious blind spot. If the road is curving towards left it is even more dangerous as the vehicle you are trying to overtake tends to block the view.

Dip in the road: A straight road can have a dip on the road and a low slung car can disappear in to it for a moment and makes you feel that there is nothing coming from the other side but it reappears when you are in the middle of the overtaking.

There is an oncoming vehicle at a fair distance but someone is overatking it: you see there is a oncoming vehicle but think that you have sufficient time/distance to overtake the vehicle ahead of you. But there is another vehicle overtaking this oncoming vehicle which is hidden by the vehicle in front of you and he will be in a hurry to complete the overtaking and sqeeze back on to the lane.

The vehicle you are trying to overtake itself swings to the right as you go close: There is a small vehicle (probably a bicycle) ahead of a big vehicle you are planning to overtake, which is also blocking it. Just when you are about to overtake, the big vehicle swings to the right (may be you just see a hand signalling but it is too quick) as he is trying to overtake this small vehicle.

Junction blocked by the vehicle ahead: There is a small juntion on the left which you cant spot and there is somone trying to cross and enter the opposite lane. Probably he is also not able to spot you since there is a vehicle in between.

Apex of a climbing road: Simillar to the dip in the road, suddenly you may find a vehicle emerging from the other side of the hill.

Others please share your observations and add to the list

Mods: I tried searching if there is a simillar thread already. Please move/merge appropriately.
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Old 14th October 2008, 16:43   #2
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Brilliant compilation, Guna! Frequent highway drivers would have been through all of these. Thanks for sharing and letting us know what to watch out for. I got one more to add:

Junction on the right : Indescript junction on the right. When you are in the midst of an overtaking manouveur, vehicle enters highway from right-hand junction. Straight in your path and without a bother.
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Old 14th October 2008, 17:05   #3
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Excellent list ! Here's one more

Cow crossing the vehicle overtaking you: Nearly had an accident this way. An auto was overtaking me from the left and a cow crossed it to come straight into my path .
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Old 14th October 2008, 18:36   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adityamunshi View Post
Excellent list ! Here's one more

[b]Cow crossing the vehicle overtaking you:
Related (and basic tip) : When crossing a cow on a highway, always pass by its derrière.
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Old 14th October 2008, 18:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adityamunshi View Post
Excellent list ! Here's one more

Cow crossing the vehicle overtaking you: Nearly had an accident this way. An auto was overtaking me from the left and a cow crossed it to come straight into my path .
Interesting, its also valid the other way round. You are overtaking a stubborn vehicle @20kmph from left (truck in my case), and the cow jumps in front of that vehicle, gets terrified & accelerates right towards you (driver seat), and then has to brake in a hurry. In my case, I was lucky to be very slow, and both the cow and I had braked to a halt, so the cow just about touched the driver door w/o any damage to either :-)

Also, watch out for cows jumping medians with bushes and coming right into your path (either you into the cow, or the cow rams into your side).
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Old 14th October 2008, 20:07   #6
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Good compilation. My chaar ana...

People crossing the road from the front of a parked heavy vehicle: Usually at bus stops, some idiot gets down and tries to cross the road from the front of the bus and you might be trying to overtake the said bus... and the twain shalt meet!
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Old 2nd January 2009, 23:48   #7
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Lovely list! ak916's point about the people crossing from the front of a bus/lorry is a huge problem. Tip: As you approach a parked vehicle (esp. bus) on either side of the road (in the case of dual carriageway w/out median) look under the vehicle via between the wheels.

Couple of points I'd like to add:
1. Pedestrians in general: These guys CANNOT predict the speed you approach them. Honk, slow down, and even flash lights if necessary.

2. Raised highway: there are a lot of feeder roads to our fancy golden quadrilateral type highways. And you cant see them. They are normally one-lane muddy paths frequented by two-wheelers who will join the highway at some point. And since the highway is raised, they are more often than not approaching the maneuver at a fair clip. So basically...you cant see them and they're riding fast!

3. Bus coming at you in the opposite lane with a schumacher-wannabe slip-streaming him. You cant see him..he cant see you. He'll step out of his lane (and into yours) even to just take a look at a possible overtaking maneuver. And it will be sudden.
Tip: use the horn if there is an especially slow moving vehicle coming at you in the opp lane. Slow down

Drive safe, y'all!
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Old 5th January 2009, 15:06   #8
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I've got into a habit of sounding the horn every time I see an oncoming vehicle taking a blind corner (for somebody overtaking that vehicle). Can't tell you the number of times it has stopped idiots planning a blind overtake.

I also follow this honking habit religiously when overtaking buses that have just stopped at a bus stop.
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Old 5th January 2009, 18:00   #9
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One more which I learnt by scary experience. Especially valid for night-time highway driving. On undivided two lane highways, try not to overtake by following a vehicle directly in front of you who is overtaking someone ahead at the same time. The driver whom you are following will be better able to see the traffic coming from the opposite direction (while your view may be blocked by his car) and he will also have more time to return to the correct lane after overtaking, as he is ahead of you.

Whereas you may suddenly see a car from the opposite direction approaching you with very little time for you to move out, immediately after the guy in front of you returns to his lane after overtaking.
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Old 5th January 2009, 19:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightdrive View Post
One more which I learnt by scary experience. Especially valid for night-time highway driving. On undivided two lane highways, try not to overtake by following a vehicle directly in front of you who is overtaking someone ahead at the same time. The driver whom you are following will be better able to see the traffic coming from the opposite direction (while your view may be blocked by his car) and he will also have more time to return to the correct lane after overtaking, as he is ahead of you.

Whereas you may suddenly see a car from the opposite direction approaching you with very little time for you to move out, immediately after the guy in front of you returns to his lane after overtaking.
This is very true. Some drivers tail gate the vehicle attempting an overtake without really assesing the situation. Many times they are lucky to get away becasue the drivers of both the vehicle being overtaken as well as the oncoming vehicle slow down to accomodate them.
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Old 5th January 2009, 19:19   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
This is very true. Some drivers tail gate the vehicle attempting an overtake without really assesing the situation. Many times they are lucky to get away becasue the drivers of both the vehicle being overtaken as well as the oncoming vehicle slow down to accomodate them.

Have been in these situation lots of time esp. during night drives in TNRTC buses.

They just tailgate the bus which itself is overtaking another heavy vehicle and firmly believe that they can squeeze in along with the tail of the bus infront. More scary thing is while in the process of tailgating, keeping the driver side portion out of the overtaking vehicle for the purpose of overtaking as soon as the first vehicle completes its overtake. This will be done even of the curves with just a pure gut feel that vehicles coming in the opposite direction will slow down

Last edited by Surprise : 5th January 2009 at 19:20.
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Old 5th January 2009, 20:27   #12
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Finally, a useful thread on how to drive.
Wish there was a list like this when I started driving. Have had to learn over the years by experience(not recommended).
Out of that initial list, the only stupid thing I have not done is overtaking in a corner. More sensible now
Thankfully, inspite of my trial and error method, I have had no major accidents.... yet!
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Old 5th January 2009, 20:31   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
Good compilation. My chaar ana...

People crossing the road from the front of a parked heavy vehicle: Usually at bus stops, some idiot gets down and tries to cross the road from the front of the bus and you might be trying to overtake the said bus... and the twain shalt meet!

Very true. This wasnt on a highway. I was overtaking a parked bus and this man just runs across the street. I just could not stop the vehicle and hit that guy. Luckily no damage to my vehicle, but then I had to take the other guy to the hospital. After this incident I make it a point that I slow down while overtaking a bus at the bus stop.

Last edited by swift8847 : 5th January 2009 at 20:33.
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Old 6th January 2009, 12:46   #14
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One little trick, although NOT RECOMMENDED, while trying a tailgate overtake.

Hang back, just a little, from the vehicle being overtaken and position yourself such that you can see through the gap created between it and the overtaking vehicle. This will give you a clear view of the road ahead. If it appears all clear, go ahead. But if you see a corner coming up or a vehicle in the opposite lane, pull straight back into your lane (IT IS RECOMMENDED YOU KEEP THE LEFT BLINKER ON THROUGHOUT).
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Old 6th January 2009, 14:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
Good compilation. My chaar ana...

People crossing the road from the front of a parked heavy vehicle: Usually at bus stops, some idiot gets down and tries to cross the road from the front of the bus and you might be trying to overtake the said bus... and the twain shalt meet!
Somewhat related situation is, when you see a bus which is stopped to pick up/drop off passengers, people from across the road may run across in a hurry to catch the bus. They may not pay attention to other vehicles coming their way in the hurry. This is especially true in small towns and villages along highways. So, when you see a bus, watch out both sides of the road!
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