Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Street Experiences


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th April 2005, 16:21   #1
BHPian
 
abhi182's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Pune
Posts: 316
Thanked: 197 Times
Default Stepping on the Gas on the new Indian expressways. Is it worth the thrill?

Wrote this thread after seeing the pics of the smashed 800 and Beemer in this section and reading the comments that followed.

Doing 140 whether it be a 800 or a S class is an absolute no-no on Indian roads....

Though the government has strted doing its bit by widening (at least the important ones) highways to propah 4-6 laned ones, what about the jaywalkers/errant drivers.

I am a much more mellow person now than what I was a year ago. Not that I was involved in some horrible accident that bought this transformation, but it has been a gradual slowdown because of some near-misses.

I consider myself a fairly (rather very) skilled driver, yet let me recount two incidents for everyone here

- Driving down the famed ECR from Pondy to Chennai last November, I must've been doing 130 on my Corsa. Though the road is 2-laned, given the reflectors down the middle and the sparse traffic, it's a brillian t road to drive on. The twilight had just faded, and there was this other car coming from the other side with high beam on. I usually used to shift to low beam (now I don't) on the highway when I would see an oncoming vehicle, which is what I did, but the other moron didn't.
Anyway, just as I was about to cross this vehicle (with a high beam coming from the other side, theer is a partial blind zone on the road ahead , I had a strange feeling that there is somethng just ahead of me)
I slammed the brakes, and as soon as the other fella passes, I saw that I had stopped just a few feet short of a real frail old man riding his rickety cycle (obviously without reflectors etc.) bang in the middle of the road.
I had never experienced, such was the shiver that ran down my spine at that moment

- Driving this feb from Chennai to Bangalore, I had this near brush with death.
The road from Chennai to Ranipet is currently being widened to 4/6 lanes, and construction is complete in parts.

Anyway, after riding on some 30 kms of rought patches, I hit the 4laned part and obviously speeded up. I was trying to overtake a Qualis in front of me (Daylight had just faded) and was nipping at its heels honking my horn to take a side when all of a sudden, this fella swerves to the left.
I dunno how in that split second my brain registered it as an odd event (I was hoping to get a gradula pass, not a swift sweve) and instead of trying to overtake the vehicle, I instinctively followed behind by swerving behind him.

Turned out that a Truckwallah (probably thinking he's driving in the US) was speeding on the wrong side of the road WITHOUT the headlights on. If I would have assumed the swerve to be a pass, It would have been a direct head-on with me at ~100kmph.

So however skilled you may be and however briliant your car is, it is downright foolish to speed up on Indian roads, especially in South India (Go ahead, flame me for this, but I say this coz of having had much better driving experiences on the Delhi-Jaipur, Delhi-Chandigarh highways).

Unless some basic road sense is drilled down in every Indian's mind, wide roads wouldn't really mean much than perhaps more fatal accidents
abhi182 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 16:32   #2
c10
BHPian
 
c10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 185
Thanked: 6 Times
Exclamation

nice writeup...surely your experiences will cross my mind next time when im driving on the highways...

Regards,

c10.
c10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 16:43   #3
BHPian
 
abhi182's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Pune
Posts: 316
Thanked: 197 Times
Default

Be especially careful when driving on TN highways, the drivers (esp Bus and truck) here are crazy
abhi182 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 16:43   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: pune
Posts: 2,088
Thanked: 48 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi182
The twilight had just faded, and there was this other car coming from the other side with high beam on. I usually used to shift to low beam (now I don't) on the highway when I would see an oncoming vehicle, which is what I did, but the other moron didn't.
Nice write up and very true. But do you drive with high beam always? Sad to hear that. I get really bugged, if someone does not lower the beam. I keep flashing multiple times till he realizes and if he doesn't bother, I put on high beam till I pass that damn vehicle.
RX135 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 16:48   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 262
Thanked: Once
Default

A very relevant topic & I have had my fair share of near misses, especially in the younger days.. A cardinal rule I follow is:

Keep to a max speed at which your field of vision on the road exceeds your maximum braking distance for that speed.. of course, this is highly judgemental, but as some folks say, it comes with experience.. basically - do not drive into a piece of road that you cannot see enough of..

IMO, Anything beyond 120 kmph during the day (& 100 in the night) on Indian roads is asking for trouble..

Here's your first flame: Delhi-Corbett, Delhi-Agra experiences were no better drives for me than the ones in South
nitinbhag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 16:58   #6
AGP
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 84
Thanked: 67 Times
Default

Your experience will definately help to carefully drive on highway. Thanks for your sharing the horrible experiances.
AGP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 17:08   #7
dev
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: BLR
Posts: 109
Thanked: Once
Default

t'row I am leaving to my native place with my Ikon. Its on Highways. your exp., really helped.
This web site is of great help.

keep it up BHPIANS...
dev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 17:20   #8
c10
BHPian
 
c10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 185
Thanked: 6 Times
Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by RX135
Nice write up and very true. But do you drive with high beam always? Sad to hear that. I get really bugged, if someone does not lower the beam. I keep flashing multiple times till he realizes and if he doesn't bother, I put on high beam till I pass that damn vehicle.

i find it interesting and fun driving at night...and yes my first drive on my contee 6yrs ago was at night...its nice when the opp. vehicle reads your mind when u use the dippers and navigate your path...i usually drive with low beam at night even in city conditions...but not to forget its twice risky driving during nite as one wont know when you would fall drousy and *****... better take frequent breaks when driving at nite...

Last edited by c10 : 28th April 2005 at 17:22.
c10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 17:20   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
Rtech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 5,769
Thanked: 207 Times
Default

Great write up abhi.

I always wonder how much time people save by ovetaking on blind corners or crests. It's like an Ostrich putting its head in the ground i.e. what you can't see can't hurt you! So if they can't see a car coming, it must be clear!

It is also said that twilight is the most dangerous time of the day on the road. This is particularly true in India where truckers and taxi's don't turn their lights on as they feel they can still see the road ahead. When are they going to learn that headlights serve a dual purpose - light up the road ahead and make yourself visible to oncoming traffic (without blinding them!!).
Rtech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 17:35   #10
BHPian
 
abhi182's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Pune
Posts: 316
Thanked: 197 Times
Default

Quote:
But do you drive with high beam always?
I never used to. In fact I would dip to low even if the other person wouldn't.....
But after coming to Chennai, I have kinda given up as the situation here is hopeless....
Be it the city roads or the highways, it seems as if no one know that there is a dipper switch in the vehicle.

Also, particularly dangerous here in Chennai city traffic are
- The innumerable autos half of which don't have headlights
- Cyclists driving on the roads without any reflectors wearing dark cllothing on top of it
- People driving on the wron side of the road perhaps just to save 5 mins or 2 bucks to the nearest roundabout.

Quote:
It is also said that twilight is the most dangerous time of the day on the road. This is particularly true in India where truckers and taxi's don't turn their lights on as they feel they can still see the road ahead
Not just that but I have also realized from personal experience that the field of vision is more resticted at twilight, perhap because the rods and cones in the eyes are squabbling it out
So now, I force myself to drive ~100-110 on a nice highway in the day, ~80-90 at night but not more than 60 at twilight
abhi182 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 17:46   #11
BHPian
 
vinsanity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Patna
Posts: 610
Thanked: 2 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
It is also said that twilight is the most dangerous time of the day on the road. This is particularly true in India where truckers and taxi's don't turn their lights on as they feel they can still see the road ahead. When are they going to learn that headlights serve a dual purpose - light up the road ahead and make yourself visible to oncoming traffic (without blinding them!!).
Thats is one thing i'v noticed all the time.. The big truckwalas and the interstate buses, all the time in highbeam.. Just really gets u mad and loose complete vision of the road ahead..

So scary to drive/ride once it is dark on highways.. Especially when the road isnt a 4-lane....
vinsanity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 18:56   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Revvmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,186
Thanked: 45 Times
Default

Quote:
It is also said that twilight is the most dangerous time of the day on the road. This is particularly true in India where truckers and taxi's don't turn their lights on as they feel they can still see the road ahead.
Very true rtech. Infact you can find this problem even in our slow moving Metro traffic. One believes that with streetlamps on, there is no need to switch on the headlamps. How wrong can people really get. The other day, i nearly missed hitting a swerving biker, simply because it was 7:00pm and "enough light" for the bugger not to switch on his headlamps.

Revv
Revvmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 19:00   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Revvmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,186
Thanked: 45 Times
Default

Quote:
Thats is one thing i'v noticed all the time.. The big truckwalas and the interstate buses, all the time in highbeam.. Just really gets u mad and loose complete vision of the road ahead..
The solution is, if you see oncoming high vehicles with high beams on, especially on a two-laned, dividerless highway stretch, its better to slow down, keep your vehicle to the left as much as possible and let him go. That way you prevent head-on collisions as well as give yourself enough room and time to see ahead for any obstructions or hidden vehicles.

Revv
Revvmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 19:07   #14
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,042
Thanked: 13,484 Times
Default

I hate driving during night in Indian highways, simply too many booby traps like unmarked speed bumps, potholes, trucks parked on the road with no lights but with big rocks around them, villagers trying to cross using your headlights, etc, etc.

Tomorrow I am going on a near 500Kms trip, will be done totally during daylight. The first long trip for the new Baleno . I even got Llumar AIR65 windscreen film to handle the heat around Udupi district.
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2005, 19:39   #15
dev
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: BLR
Posts: 109
Thanked: Once
Default

Samurai,
happy journey. I am also driving around 400kms t'row.
This is my first exp., on a long journey where I will be driving. I hope there won't be much problem.
dev is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stepping into luxury: Our new BMW X1 zombiedriver Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 49 16th August 2016 13:18
Which gives u a bigger thrill??? Sam The Indian Car Scene 35 26th January 2013 10:42
Speed limits in Highways and expressways ebmrajesh The Indian Car Scene 60 10th November 2009 12:24
Enjoy some of the great expressways in India kiku007 Shifting gears 22 7th November 2006 15:25
Stepping stone for Indians to race abroad Rtech Indian Motorsport 13 18th February 2006 01:31


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 09:53.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks