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View Poll Results: When something unexpected happens in front of you -
Brake 26 68.42%
Swerve 6 15.79%
Other - Please specify 6 15.79%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11th August 2009, 17:45   #1
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Default Brake or Swerve?

Now I know the correct thing to do when anybody does any funny stuff in front of you - sudden stops, turns etc is to brake or slow down. My dad keeps reminding me this the whole time, and I think this is the right procedure to follow as per traffic rules/conventions.

But so far In my experience, I've noticed that whenever I've done so, no matter how cautiously or slowly I brake to avoid hitting some idiot car/bike/pedestrian up front, I always get hit by the guy behind me. Mind you - I'm driving an indica with stock Bridgestone S322's - not grippy shoes by a long shot, and i brake slowly. Its almost as if people expect you to keep your speed and just avoid hitting the guy and not slow down.

I too feel I have better control of the car if I'm in the 40~60 region, and have never been hit in such a circumstance. However , braking (when my dad is around - he insists that i brake), I always end up getting hit - three times so far, and after getting rear ended by a super fast, I give up.

To do things by the book is one thing, but i want to save my rear, literally. What do you guys think one should do in such a situation?

and the worst part is, the idiot in front who caused this gets away with whatever they want, and we end up with the insurance bills.

Last edited by greenhorn : 11th August 2009 at 18:01.
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Old 11th August 2009, 17:49   #2
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I think the best thing is to Brake. If oyu swerve some other innocent biker or someone might get hit. It's happened to me. I've been hit like this a couple of times.

I've notice very few people who brake instead of swerving blindly.

Of course, it depends on the situation. On the highway at a higher speed, chances of a biker being next to you is a little less and if the road is clear, then of course, swerve AND brake.
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Old 11th August 2009, 17:56   #3
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In such situations (people ahead doing funny stuff), swerving becomes an instinctive option.
If you can't do that (possibility of getting side-swiped), and have to brake, you could try switching on your hazard lights while braking. It might help warn the super-fast behind you that there's danger ahead, and they 'might' want to slow down.

Hope you don't meet any more A**-Kissers
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:08   #4
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Within city limits its best to brake. On the highway its a different game altogether. You will have ample road to swerve and no hassle of cyclists/2 & 3 wheelers every inch of the road whom you can crash into if you swerve in the city.

Curious to note that you are in better control of the car when no one is there to tell you what to do or how to do it but you are rear ended every time you have your dad around. Food for thought!!
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:15   #5
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Swerving has a chance of putting you in the way of a head on collision which would imply a higher relative speed of impact compared to being rear ended. It also gets less people involved in the incident.

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Maintain a safe following distance. If you are being tailed by an aggressive driver, increase your following distance from the car in front of you even further. This allows you to slow down even more gradually in case anything happens. Even if the issue is someone crossing the road, your visibility is higher the further back you drive.

There are instances where there is nothing you can do to avoid an accident. In that case, instantly gauge the situation and chose which ever one would cause less net damage (eg, crash into a similarly sized car vs a cyclist or aiming to get away with a side-swipe instead of a head\a**-on collision).
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:19   #6
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Swerve when object causing trouble is still or not in motion.

Brake when object causing trouble is in motion.
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:23   #7
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thing is not to avoid hitting the idiot in front - I can control how much space i leave in front of me , but to avoid hitting the idiot behind - I cant control how much space the guy behind leaves in front

Last edited by greenhorn : 11th August 2009 at 18:35.
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:31   #8
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Brake. In a non-ABS.

a. You can't get easily killed/kill others while braking (comparing to swerving and losing control)
b. In a court of law, there will be proof that you did your best (it is my understanding not exp that proof like tyre tread marks etc would be in your favor)

Non ABS you may end up with more damage, esp in a car like Indica, not known for its handling prowess
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:31   #9
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I think on most occasions it has to be a sensible mix of braking AND swerving - in city as well as on the highways. Of course one has to presume that the driver is aware, at all times, of traffic around the car and their relative positions..

Also, depending on your speed, ONLY braking might save both your ends, but ONLY swerving is definitely not going to be any help. Once when travelling on the Nasik highway in the dead of the night, I was faced with a drunk guy who suddenly stepped onto the road from the bushes at the side - I had to do both braking and swerving to avoid killing him, since I was at about 100 kph at the time. But I could swerve because I was sure there was no one overtaking me, nor was there a car in the opposite lane. If either of the two had been there, I guess the choice was more ethical that the technical one we are discussing here. :-(
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:36   #10
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when it happens like that its bettr to brake as well as turn the steering so that it avoids hitting the thing/person or whatever.but it may vary on what kinda road it is
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:47   #11
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On most ocassions its Break but there are some instances where even after breaking hard you know that you are not going to stop in time, then you have to swerve.

and any good driver should be competent in doing both simultaneously and guess what it comes with experience.

I think a choice of Break & Swerve should be added to poll.

Last edited by simply_sunny001 : 11th August 2009 at 18:48.
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:54   #12
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Question, even when you brake & swerve, should you do so with the intention of eventually stopping, or just to avoid collision, and be on your way?
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:56   #13
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Brake AND swerve, wherever possible- of course, not swerve blindly, take a nano second to see what is around. Taking too many decisions during an emergency may delay action, so I just go ahead and swerve even while I brake...
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Old 11th August 2009, 19:03   #14
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Definitely BRAKE.

If you swerve, you have the chance of hitting some totally innocent bike-guy in your blind spot etc

If you brake and fail to stop in time - its your fault.
If the guy behind you fails to stop in time - its his fault. Make him pay.

As simple as that

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
....I can control how much space i leave in front of me , but to avoid hitting the idiot behind - I cant control how much space the guy behind leaves in front
Well by controlling how much space you leave in front of you, you can make a less sudden deceleration (or a hard brake and then move ahead), which might reduce the chances of the guy behind you actually hitting you.

cya
R
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Old 11th August 2009, 19:04   #15
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@greenhorn - That would depend on whether you eventually hit the object/person or not ;-) - Also depending on the situation and condition of your nerves.

If I get thrown into a particularly tough Brake and Swerve manouver, after it's over, I usually prefer stopping for a smoke/tea to get my composure back, also calms my temper a bit.
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