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Old 7th September 2009, 13:09   #1
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Default Two scary incidents on GQ and a possible learning for all

Last tuesday I had to go to Chennai since family was there. It was 5 pm in Bangalore and clouds were dark, decided to leave early so I could reach Chennai by 10.30 pm in my new ikon TDCi .

Indident -1 : Reached Hosur by 6.15 when it was raining heavily but enough visibility to reach cafe coffee day or Adyar Anandha Bhavan for the usual break. I was cruising at 60 with the vipers at full speed in the left lane. What surprised me were puddles of water on the road so was extra cautious. A tanker was going slowly and I had to overtake him. Checked the mirrors, put the indicator and moved to the right lane. As I overtake the tanker with a curve ahead, the tanker splashed water from all it's right tires into my car. My visibility turned zero, wipers became useless and my brain got confused. My dilemma was how much to turn left or should I brake and risk the chance of a vehicle coming from behind. As this was happening two vehicles coming in the opposite direction splashed more water into the car. The whole incident happened for 6-7 seconds and all I managed was to turn the car towards left and brake the car a bit before brain regained composure and hit on the hazard lights and moved to the left lane after checking rearview mirror. I was very lucky that no other vehicle was close.

Incident -2 : Crossed krishnagiri and joined the Chennai higway. It was raining there also and I was extra cautious now. Additional check added before overtaking is to be sure there are no vehicles coming on the opposite direction. After a few kms, there was an indica going at about 50 kms, I did all checks and started overtaking it at about 65 kmph. Suddenly my car hit a big puddle of water and the speed automatically reduced to about 25 kmph (I think). I could see the Indica slowing down immediately and veer towards left. A splash of water underneath made me jump a bit. This time also nothing happened beyond the incident itself.

Thiyags
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Old 7th September 2009, 13:22   #2
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Be extra cautious while you are driving/riding during the rain. Watch for puddles and stagnant water on the road. In the first place your visibility would be comparatively lower during the rains, these puddles add to your woes.
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Old 7th September 2009, 13:24   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiyags22 View Post
Last tuesday I had to go to Chennai since family was there. It was 5 pm in Bangalore and clouds were dark, decided to leave early so I could reach Chennai by 10.30 pm in my new ikon TDCi .

Indident -1 : Reached Hosur by 6.15 when it was raining heavily but enough visibility to reach cafe coffee day or Adyar Anandha Bhavan for the usual break. I was cruising at 60 with the vipers at full speed in the left lane. What surprised me were puddles of water on the road so was extra cautious. A tanker was going slowly and I had to overtake him. Checked the mirrors, put the indicator and moved to the right lane. As I overtake the tanker with a curve ahead, the tanker splashed water from all it's right tires into my car. My visibility turned zero, wipers became useless and my brain got confused. My dilemma was how much to turn left or should I brake and risk the chance of a vehicle coming from behind. As this was happening two vehicles coming in the opposite direction splashed more water into the car. The whole incident happened for 6-7 seconds and all I managed was to turn the car towards left and brake the car a bit before brain regained composure and hit on the hazard lights and moved to the left lane after checking rearview mirror. I was very lucky that no other vehicle was close.

Incident -2 : Crossed krishnagiri and joined the Chennai higway. It was raining there also and I was extra cautious now. Additional check added before overtaking is to be sure there are no vehicles coming on the opposite direction. After a few kms, there was an indica going at about 50 kms, I did all checks and started overtaking it at about 65 kmph. Suddenly my car hit a big puddle of water and the speed automatically reduced to about 25 kmph (I think). I could see the Indica slowing down immediately and veer towards left. A splash of water underneath made me jump a bit. This time also nothing happened beyond the incident itself.

Thiyags

my friend going into a pool of water at such speeds into a puddle of water itself is asking for trouble as you never know what the water is covering up for all you know it could be covering the top of a manhole. The risk of aquaplaning is also very high . This is with respect to incident #2

And overtaking in at a curve with reduced visibility is definitely not advisable, and remember when in doubt the safest possible action is to brake and take the vehicle to a space where you can regain your co ordinates.
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Old 7th September 2009, 13:32   #4
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You are LUCKY.. Never overtake when the road has a puddle of water - NEVER - rain or no rain
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Old 7th September 2009, 13:44   #5
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I had been to Chennai two weeks back, went through similar situations on a rainy night. The Chennai - Bangalore GQ is no longer a smooth road as it used to be. I had seen waterlogging on both right and left lanes at many places along the entire stretch and especially the stretch between Ambur and Kanchipuram is very dangerous.

If anyone planning a trip to Chennai, be careful and try to be on the middle lane as much as possible.
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Old 7th September 2009, 13:47   #6
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Well, I want to share a incident which happened in front of me few weeks back while returning to Bangalore from Mysore.
August 16, Sunday evening around 7 PM. A Truck full of Sand was some 50m ahead of my car. It was raining very heavily on that evening in Mysore and Mysore - Bangalore highway also had a spell of rains.
No one on my left and truck was doing easily around 70 Km/hr. A white Alto overtook me from left and went ahead to overtake the truck from left. Alto was easily doing around 80 Km/hr. Suddenly the truck enter a puddle of water and water came on to the Alto on left. The force of water was such that the Alto was pushed to left and the driver just couldn't control it. It went off the road and somehow he controlled it off the road and stopped. I was some distance behind and I immediately slowed down and put on the hazard light and other cars following me also slowed down.
Lucky me and the definitely the Alto

Last edited by vinay.pillai : 7th September 2009 at 13:49.
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Old 7th September 2009, 14:05   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiyags22 View Post
...I did all checks and started overtaking it at about 65 kmph. Suddenly my car hit a big puddle of water and the speed automatically reduced to about 25 kmph (I think). I could see the Indica slowing down immediately and veer towards left. A splash of water underneath made me jump a bit. This time also nothing happened beyond the incident itself.
Thiyags
Why didn't you abort the overtake and slow down when you saw that pool of water in front? Overtaking with the only intention of getting ahead of the other car is dangerous. You should practice 'safe overtaking abort' maneuver.

When you overtake a (long) vehicle, make yourself confident that you can slow down and get behind that vehicle rather than hitting it sideways in case of emergency, for example, some vehicle pops out of a side road into your opposite track while overtaking.
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Old 7th September 2009, 14:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinay.pillai View Post
Suddenly the truck enter a puddle of water and water came on to the Alto on left.
Very similar incident happened to me earlier this year. Sumo sprayed water all over my car. Visibility nil. I held straight. Foot off throttle, aborted overtake, did not brake abruptly and prayed that someone would not rear end me ! 4-5 seconds of total helplessness.

To add to my woes, since there was a very light drizzle (heavy rains had just ceased), my windows were half-down. My white seat covers and me were a sight to behold !

I have always been careful since. But last week this happened again. A lot less water involved, but nevertheless it happened.

There will be times, when overtaking (not necessarily at high speeds) you would not be able to see whether there is water in the line of travel of the vehicle you are passing. Your lane could be clear, but the lane beside could have water and just before passing the vehicle, you would not be able to see if there is water in front of it, since the vehicle would be blocking your line of sight. No way one can avoid this scenario, other than expecting it to happen when overtaking in wet roads and being alert.
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Old 7th September 2009, 14:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headers View Post
You are LUCKY.. Never overtake when the road has a puddle of water - NEVER - rain or no rain
I got the point, unfortunately in both the places I did not anticipate or see the puddle.
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Old 7th September 2009, 14:12   #10
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Going through a puddle you not only expect to be drenched with zero visibility for a few seconds, you also risk aquaplaning. Never do this.
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Old 7th September 2009, 14:37   #11
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Default Overtaking in Rain - some tips

1: Make sure your tyres are suitable for making such progress

2: Read the road - back off if you see that the road it waterlogged

3: Overtake if

a: you can see the road is clear ahead, the gap in front of the vehicle is sufficient not only for you to pull in but also sufficient for it to brake given that the road is wet

b: ditto for assessing oncoming traffic - make sure they are further way than compared to a dry weather

4: Be aware when you drive through medium puddles as your brakes might get wet. Dab the brakes slightly to dry the brakes

If you do aquaplane. It is upto God, don't brake as wheels will eventually lock (non ABS). Ditto steering as sudden appearance of dry ground adds to the unpredictability hence ability to react. Just ease off and slow down

5: If your wipers cannot cope, you can't, get off the road. Rain is not permanant and neither is your life
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Old 7th September 2009, 16:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Why didn't you abort the overtake and slow down when you saw that pool of water in front? Overtaking with the only intention of getting ahead of the other car is dangerous. You should practice 'safe overtaking abort' maneuver.
As I replied in my other post, i did not know there was puddle of water in both instances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc View Post

To add to my woes, since there was a very light drizzle (heavy rains had just ceased), my windows were half-down. My white seat covers and me were a sight to behold !

I have always been careful since. But last week this happened again. A lot less water involved, but nevertheless it happened.
Similar incident happened to me in bangalore. My wife and i were returning from a friend's place around 12 am. It had rained earlier, so my window was half-down and enjoying the cold air when a call-center sumo overtook me at full speed. One second i was enjoying the cool air and the next I was totally drenched from waist up with water all over the place. it is a different story that I chased the sumo, stopped him and fought with the driver. Even now my wife makes fun of me but it was definetly not funny when it happened.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Going through a puddle you not only expect to be drenched with zero visibility for a few seconds, you also risk aquaplaning. Never do this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellstar View Post
my friend going into a pool of water at such speeds into a puddle of water itself is asking for trouble as you never know what the water is covering up for all you know it could be covering the top of a manhole. The risk of aquaplaning is also very high . This is with respect to incident #2

And overtaking in at a curve with reduced visibility is definitely not advisable, and remember when in doubt the safest possible action is to brake and take the vehicle to a space where you can regain your co ordinates.
I was not aware that there would be a mini lake in that place.

Thiyags
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Old 7th September 2009, 16:09   #13
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I was 100 kms away from Hyderabad.
Been riding in heavy rain for more than 10 hours. The time was late evening and with the rains and darkness, visibility was very limited.

I spot a puddle of water in front of me.
Veered to the left. Only to realize that the puddle extends all the way to the end of the road.
With no idea of how deep it is, I ditched my bike on the road.
Get up almost immediately and with the help of my pillion pushed the bike over to the road shoulder.
Just in time as a bus flew past us.

You can read more about it in my travelogue on the trip to Lonar.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-big-hole.html (Lonar: A wet ride from the big hole)
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Old 7th September 2009, 16:24   #14
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Out here in Gods own country both incidents are common sight, I have seen these incidents several times. Almost everyday we read in newspapers that so many people met with accidents while trying to avoid potholes and unlucky ones dosen't survive. From my own experience I advise you to be extra careful while its raining and visibility is poor. as the saying goes "Its better to be late than never".

As you already know most of the roads in India are in pitiful condition, so drive carefully if you are doing the road for the first time and make sure your car is in excellent condition before setting out.
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Old 7th September 2009, 16:38   #15
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This can happen to anyone and what one can do is to be as safe as possible.

Aquaplaning happened to me yesterday between the Salem Krishnagiri stretch. I was on a flyover and the road was curving to the left. Only my right side went over the patch of water and I felt the car twist and aquaplane. By instinct, my left leg lifted from accelerator and my hands were steady. The car twisted a bit but all was safe. I can only say that it was by sheer luck that nothing untoward happened.

From then on, I was very safe with water patches and avoided going on them or slowed down a lot when it was unavoidable.
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