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Old 23rd September 2009, 10:19   #1
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Default A Close one--

Have been taking a 20km stretch bypass road frequently, which was a 6 lane divided road with 3 marked lane for each direction. Usually I take this road somewhere inbetween 21.00 hrs to 23.00 hrs, hence there would be lots of heavy vehicle movements esp. National Permit lorries. Its very dark in this road as you could not see any lights in the surroundings. During initial stages of my travel on these roads my speeds will be in the range of 60-80 kmph.

I observed that NH permit lorries always maintain their lanes perfectly, but predominantly occupies the right lane or middle lane. Hence it makes my life difficult to overtake these vehicles which generally travel in the range of 50-60 kmph. Also I noticed that majority of the cars overtook these heavy vehicles from the leftmost lane. I too slowly adopted to overtaking from the leftmost lane, whenever the first two lanes were occupied.

As I gain confidence in this road my average speeds were increased in the range of 80-100 kmph, but mostly in the lower end of the range. I learned the trick of moving to the empty lane quickly to move ahead & that's really fun executing it.

Last night while traveling at 23.30 hrs on the same road, at distance there was a NH permit lorry on the middle lane and another one few meter ahead on the rightmost lane. As usual, I moved the leftmost lane, indicated the lorry at middle lane on my presence at the leftmost lane by flashing the lights. I was doing around 100 kmph & as I inched forward its tail, the lorry driver decided to move to the left lane.

My heart beat stopped for a moment & I thought that Iam going to crash on that heavy vehicle. Moved a bit to my left closing on the iron dividers.... the road surface at the left extreme is not smooth & there was a heavy shake in the car as my left wheel climbed over those small bumps.

I applied the brake... though I have not stood on them & honked continuously. I could sense it has got the attention of the lorry driver and he slowed a bit. Immediately I accelerated & went past him. I could see those powerful headlights very close on my side view mirrors. That was a relief.

I assumed that lorry driver will maintain his lane. Also realized that I would have been there before he could realize as my speeds were bit high (100 kmph). I guess I would have been in much more better position with bit slower speeds/enough indication to make him realize about my presence before I overtook him (that takes only 2-3 seconds)
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Old 23rd September 2009, 10:26   #2
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It would be better to draw close to them and flash your lights. They will usually indicate (by their turn indicators) on which side you can pass
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Old 23rd September 2009, 10:32   #3
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Many of these lorry drivers are drunk. So they fall asleep, and keep driving in same lane. When they wake up, they change lanes. So you better honk and flash lights before overtaking any lorry in any lane. I know many people who have been sideswiped when the lorry drive woke up at wrong moment.
Always always slow down before overtaking, flash you lights, and then accelerate fast so as to clear the lorry as fast as possible.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 10:42   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
It would be better to draw close to them and flash your lights. They will usually indicate (by their turn indicators) on which side you can pass
Yes I did this. Since this is a bypass, lots of lorries & there would be heavy competition within themselves to move ahead . Yeah, I have seen them indicating on National Highways by blinking the indicators. Read in our forum even that was a very dangerous confusing signal.


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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Many of these lorry drivers are drunk. So they fall asleep, and keep driving in same lane. When they wake up, they change lanes. So you better honk and flash lights before overtaking any lorry in any lane. I know many people who have been sideswiped when the lorry drive woke up at wrong moment.
Always always slow down before overtaking, flash you lights, and then accelerate fast so as to clear the lorry as fast as possible.
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Lesson learnt- Slowing down before overtaking is very very important.Oh, Did I got spoiled by watching those speeding cars disappear in no time?
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Old 23rd September 2009, 10:59   #5
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Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Lesson learnt- Slowing down before overtaking is very very important.
On the contrary, you should not slow down before overtaking since that increases the time taken to complete the overtaking maneuver. Rather you should give indication, like sounding your horn and flashing your lights, well ahead of time.

Slowing down means you have to brake and accelerate again which means you are also not being fuel efficient.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:00   #6
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Many of these lorry drivers are drunk. So they fall asleep, and keep driving in same lane. When they wake up, they change lanes.
How is this possible? Surely our highways are not ruler straight for miles at a stretch for them to be able to do this.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
How is this possible? Surely our highways are not ruler straight for miles at a stretch for them to be able to do this.
They've evolved a technique that automatically wakes them momentarily every few seconds.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:24   #8
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They've evolved a technique that automatically wakes them momentarily every few seconds.
Mag, you talk like you have been a truck drive in your last birth Just kidding!! OMG, this is very very dangerous, how can one sleep while driving a very (very) heavy (6 or 8 wheeler) vehicle.

I just cannot immagine!
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:29   #9
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Ideally, you should never overtake from teh leftmost lane (as it leaves next to no room to maneuver, like you said). But then, it can't be helped.
In that case, you should give off short beeps all through the overtake. It helps catch the cleaner's attention, effectively preventing a last minute lane change. I know it's irritating. But then, your life's worth it.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:38   #10
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Which bypass road is this?
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:44   #11
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I would beg to differ with watashi75. It's the most safest practice to overtake with a speed just a bit more than the vehicle you are going to overtake. Say, if a truck goes at 50kmph, and you are fast approaching the truck at 110kmph or more, it's better to reduce your speed to 60kmph as you reach the truck and overtake it. By this way, you would be able to control your vehicle even if the truck driver makes a surprise cut or lane change. If you try to overtake him at 110kmph, you would not be able to handle this move of his. I always practice this whenever I drive on highways, and sometimes it makes me feel highway driving is not as dangerous as it is made out to be.

OT: I have heard that NP truck drivers used to place large stones on steering wheel and accelerator pedal and then go on to sleep. I'm not sure to what extent this is true, but I won't be surprised if someone has really experienced this.

Last edited by CliffHanger : 23rd September 2009 at 11:46.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:45   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perakath View Post
Which bypass road is this?
I think he is referring to the Bangalore route that branches off from Tambaram.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 12:10   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I think he is referring to the Bangalore route that branches off from Tambaram.
You are right.

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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
I would beg to differ with watashi75. It's the most safest practice to overtake with a speed just a bit more than the vehicle you are going to overtake. Say, if a truck goes at 50kmph, and you are fast approaching the truck at 110kmph or more, it's better to reduce your speed to 60kmph as you reach the truck and overtake it
Practically this seems to be very difficult though I prefer to try it out on my next venture on some NH.

By slowing down, I mean to remove the right foot off from the accelerator pedal to get prepared by placing it on the brake pedal...in case of any emergency. Continue to accelerate one you get pass max part of the heavy vehicle or if there is no sign of cutting lanes

But think its riskier rushing through accelerating past the heavy vehicle..
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Old 23rd September 2009, 12:10   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
They've evolved a technique that automatically wakes them momentarily every few seconds.
I dont think that's true in most cases, maybe a few fall asleep, not most. The local state lorry drivers sleep all the time, but from my experience, the NP drivers are quite ok except a few.

@Surprise, overtaking from the wrong side in the night is a dangerous manouvere whether the driver was sleeping or not, you really need to slow down & make enough noise to let the lorry driver know that you are on his tail.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 12:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post

Lesson learnt- Slowing down before overtaking is very very important.Oh, Did I got spoiled by watching those speeding cars disappear in no time?
That is not a good take home lesson.

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Originally Posted by watashi75 View Post
On the contrary, you should not slow down before overtaking since that increases the time taken to complete the overtaking maneuver. Rather you should give indication, like sounding your horn and flashing your lights, well ahead of time.

Slowing down means you have to brake and accelerate again which means you are also not being fuel efficient.
^^This advice is sound.

Few things I'd like to add,

1.watch the vehicle you're planning to overtake as you approach it. if its moving erratically, warn well in advance.
This category will include- autos, bike commuters, rossi type bikers, learner drivers, cyclists, idiot pedestrians taking a stroll on the highway. and others

2. try and predict the trajectory of the vehicle you plan to overtake. if there is a bottleneck ahead, the guy in front of you might squueze your vehicle inadvertently. this situation can also be caused by your target trying to overtake someone in front of him.

3. overtake only if you have an escape route planned for most eventualities.
i.e- even if the other driver tries to wilfully put you into the wall(happens often enough on our highways), you should be able to brake/swerve or accelerate out of trouble.
that means- the following have to be taken care of
a) planned overtaking maneuver and path- visibilty, space, road surface
b) vehicle in peak condition
c) driver in peak condition
d)appropriate selection of gear for best acceleration and control (engine braking)
Slow overtaking helps only at the beginning of the maneuver when you're pulling abreast of the target's tail, in that case, you can brake and get away. if your midway, overtaking a lorry and he swerves, if you dont have the momentum to accelerate away- you are toast.
if you approach a target after preparing well, a fast overtake is always safer than a slow one.

BTW- if some one is trying to slowly inch past me when I'm doing a 100, I usually give them hell, because they are putting me in danger by driving alongside for extended periods of time. I prefer drivers who fly past as quickly as they can after a warning flash or beep

aim is to get away from being in a position of danger(being alongside a lorry) as quick is possible.

@surprise- just read your latest post.
dont take your foot off the accelerator, let off on pressure slightly, coast up past the half way mark, while ensuring you're in the powerband and then accelerate away. please dont brake before overtaking, as far as possible. conserve forward momentum.

if the trucker is at 50, and you are doing a 110, you dont have to drop your speed to 60 when uou get right behind him. you can drop down to 80-100 while you're well behind him, use the time you've gained to watch how the truck is behaving on the road while you ease off a little on the throttle,once convinced, floor it and get past.

Last edited by rippergeo : 23rd September 2009 at 12:34.
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