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Old 5th July 2014, 11:21   #166
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
On the Mumbai-Pune expressway they switch on hazards every-time they enter a tunnel. Very odd!!
Shamefully and embarrassingly, I would admit I happened to do this when we had been to Karad back in April. There were 4-5 tunnels, the tunnels were illuminated quite well but we turned on the lights! Will do away with this now.

I thought a flashing light would quickly alert the trailing vehicles than a static one. Never mind that.
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Old 5th July 2014, 16:44   #167
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

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@wanderernomad; I hope you know the proper way now and will follow it. It is us who have to start and others will follow in due course.
Proper way of using the flasher to give right of way? Dear Sir, in Rome do as the romans do. Flashing is the universal sign in India to demand right of way and not give. So I shall stick to it. Just because Europeans flash to give right of way does not mean it is the correct way, is it?
No offense meant to anyone but I would rather follow the accepted norms here and only discourage and frown upon the confusing behaviour like the right indicator for letting a guy overtake, or using hazard flashers as direction indicators or just illumination. But apart from the above, Ill stick to the flashing to demand right of way.
On a lighter note, one day a guy driving banged head on into a lady's car. Infuriated he got down and shouted, lady can't you see? I flashed my lights to say I am coming on. Ohh, the lady replied didn't you notice I used my wipers to say NO NO.
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Old 5th July 2014, 17:15   #168
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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Proper way of using the flasher to give right of way? Dear Sir, in Rome do as the romans do. Flashing is the universal sign in India to demand right of way and not give. So I shall stick to it. Just because Europeans flash to give right of way does not mean it is the correct way, is it?
+1. As you have rightly summarised 'Be a Roman in Rome'. Definitely that using flash the other way will create a lot of confusion, as here in india people have comfortably adapted to the flashing to demand right of way.

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On a lighter note, one day a guy driving banged head on into a lady's car. Infuriated he got down and shouted, lady can't you see? I flashed my lights to say I am coming on. Ohh, the lady replied didn't you notice I used my wipers to say NO NO.
The conversation between the driver and the lady seem to be inspired by tintumon.
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Old 5th July 2014, 19:51   #169
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

Wednesday July 2nd 2014 -- Mumbai hit hard by monsoon! On my way to work it was raining really heavily reducing visiblity - next thing I see is most cars have their hazard lights on! This is done on one of the main roads where the average speed is hardly more than 20kph! I'm wondering, why do they need hazard lights for? My guess is that everyone who had their hazard light on were following the herd mentality - one person does it, everyone follows! To add to the pain, these drivers change lanes at their own will and i almost banged into a few because i didnt know they intended to change lanes, because they had their hazards on! Had an arguement about this with a follow motorist at the signal, to my shock he told me that he did use his turn indicator before changing lane - when i reminded him that he has his hazards on and hence the lane change indicator doesnt help, he just said 'sorry!'
My request to all, please educate as many people as you can about NOT using hazard light except for when it is actually required!!
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Old 8th July 2014, 11:38   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
On a lighter note, one day a guy driving banged head on into a lady's car. Infuriated he got down and shouted, lady can't you see? I flashed my lights to say I am coming on. Ohh, the lady replied didn't you notice I used my wipers to say NO NO.
This really takes the cake.
So, will she use her rear-end wiper to say ta-ta bye-bye?

Here is one funny incident of this innovative thinking on the fly [correct, as it is done by an autodriver]:
My friend was going on his bike behind an Auto. He is about to overtake and he saw a hand coming out of the auto on right side. So, he slowed down, came to the left of the auto and tried to over take [Now come on.. you have seen it a million times by now. didn't you?] The next thing he knows, the Auto guy banged him and shouted 'Didn't you see my hand?'. My friend said I saw the hand that is why I came to your left thinking you want to go to the right.
Then the Autowala delivered the punch line 'No, I want to go to left so I was telling you to go on the right. You should understand'

Last edited by moralfibre : 8th July 2014 at 12:48. Reason: Back to back posts.
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Old 16th July 2014, 04:53   #171
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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Proper way of using the flasher to give right of way? Dear Sir, in Rome do as the romans do. Flashing is the universal sign in India to demand right of way and not give. So I shall stick to it. Just because Europeans flash to give right of way does not mean it is the correct way, is it?

It's funny how we took on this reverse culture. Flashing to indicate you are ready to give them way is not just in Europe but followed in several other parts of the world too.
And it is indeed the correct way, even though this is not followed in India. It's based on a simple logic that you can only control your own actions, and not the other driver's.
However, I agree trying to change this overnight in India would lead to disastrous consequences.
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Old 16th July 2014, 08:26   #172
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I haven't read all the posts in the thread, so please bear if this question is a repetition.

Whenever I'm cruising on a highway and I need to emergency brake or I need to slow down completely for a road hump, I use hazards. I don't know where I learnt it but it's an instinctive reaction when I need to brake hard. My POV is that it helps the guy (who's unfortunately tailgating me at rather good speeds) be aware that I'm braking hard. I think it has served the purpose too. Now, a few of my friends who're frequent in my car too have started following this. I remotely remember reading somewhere that some cars have this as a feature too.

Now, is this wrong?


EDIT: Answering my own question: Yes it is correct. http://www.google.com/patents/US6023221

Last edited by Added_flavor : 16th July 2014 at 08:54.
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Old 16th July 2014, 09:04   #173
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

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Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
Now, is this wrong?
Only if you switch off the hazards as soon as you start off.

Ford Cars in India have this feature, maybe not all, but EcoSport & Figo have it. But to activate this, you have to brake really hard which triggers the hazards.

If you feel the brake lamps aren't enough to alert the tailgating vehicle, then I don't think hazards will be very helpful either. Not dissuading you from using it, but rather give that particular car a wide berth and allow it to pass.

With monsoons, you never know how good (bad) the car (following you) brakes are, so better be safe than sorry. And IMO, these tailgaters need to be waived on rather then letting them stay behind your back. You are constantly aware of that car, restricting your alertness.
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Old 16th July 2014, 09:05   #174
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Even, I practise it when suppose on a narrow bridge, I pull onto the left shoulder and switch on the right indicator to let the oncoming vehicle know that I am giving way.
Very true. In many parts of India, switching on the right indicator is an indication for allowing the trailing vehicle to pass.

Regarding usage of hazard lights, the MV Act does not provide any substantial guidance on the topic. Their usage is based on accepted customs in India. And customs encompass the following situations:
  • driving in the fog or rain (conditions of low visibility),
  • driving through an unregulated intersection (whether by cop or a traffic light)
  • driving significantly slower than other traffic
  • driving at night
  • driving at high speed
  • driving in opposing traffic lane
  • towing a vehicle
  • carrying sick people to a health care facility
  • when learning to drive without a licensed driver as passenger
  • for absolutely no reason whatsoever
  • stopping on the carriageway to pick up passengers or goods and of course the last reason...
  • when the vehicle has a genuine breakdown.
Quote:
when the vehicle has a genuine breakdown.
But hold on... in these cases , the hazards come on for a short while only (we save battery life you see!). Usually a twig from a nearby tree stuck / wedged at the door is the only information that other motorists have, to avoid the obstruction.
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Old 20th July 2014, 12:31   #175
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

Well just a small observation over here. I was driving through Nh2 and for a documentary purpose i asked Bhpian Tacho9000 to take a video. It was raining heavily and i was doing around 80km/hr. Vehicles were over both the lanes so i was bound to change the lane myself to overtake them with proper precaution. I was not using the hazard lights i just kept my side light and fog lamps on.

First let me clear one thing that am not in favor of using hazard lamps in rain nor do i support it.

Now am attaching the video below. One thing i noticed that in this heavy rain the vehicle who were using the hazard lamps were visible much prominently from a good distance rather than the vehicles who were not using. Though against the law but for our own safety is it advisable to use the hazard lamp in this kind of heavy down pour? If you see the video you will understand the intensity of the rain. We never know in what speed a vehicle is coming behind. Specially i have seen Volvo's in West Bengal doing 100+ speeds in heavy rains too.


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Old 20th July 2014, 15:42   #176
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
.

Though against the law but for our own safety is it advisable to use the hazard lamp in this kind of heavy down pour?
Nice observation - however, how will you indicate that you have to change lanes/ turn if you put on hazard lights. To improve visibility it is better to use rear fogs (which light up very bright red) rather than this. Also in case of rain (heavy rain) you may turn on headlights (on low beam or only pilot lamps) which will activate the rear lights. If you dont have fog lamps, this works pretty well at improving visibility.

Also what if there is actually a hazard (e.g.broken down vehicle) and you 'assume' that the hazard lights are on as it is raining - you risk banging straight into it esp. as braking distance increases

Last edited by torquecurve : 20th July 2014 at 15:53.
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Old 20th July 2014, 21:09   #177
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

Yes what you told makes absolute sense.

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Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
however, how will you indicate that you have to change lanes/ turn if you put on hazard lights.
Yes in that case we have to switch off the hazard light and use the indicator and i agree that's a cumbersome process.


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Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
To improve visibility it is better to use rear fogs (which light up very bright red) rather than this. Also in case of rain (heavy rain) you may turn on headlights (on low beam or only pilot lamps) which will activate the rear lights. If you dont have fog lamps, this works pretty well at improving visibility.
One observation from the video. At 3:20 seconds we can spot the hazard light of the vehicle but only at 3:35 seconds we can realize that the rear tail lamps were also on. On the next case at 3.56 seconds we can spot the vehicle by its hazard light and at 3:58 seconds we can see the tail lamps on. So hazard lights help you spot at least 2 seconds early. 2 seconds is a lot for reaction time.

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Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
Also what if there is actually a hazard (e.g.broken down vehicle) and you 'assume' that the hazard lights are on as it is raining - you risk banging straight into it esp. as braking distance increases
Yes a very valid point. But in case we see the hazard light on we get cautious and slow down. But in India 90% of these vehicles use the hazard lights in the wrong way which already confuse most of the motorists about its actual use.

Now my point in the whole post is : I want to ask is when am cruising at say 80km/hr in the heavy rain with my tail lamps on and say a Volvo bus is coming behind me at 100km/hr. (Which is very common in West Bengal). So if i keep the hazard lights on with the the tail lamps (my cars do not have rear fog lamp) and that helps the Volvo driver to spot me 2 seconds earlier, wont that be safer for me? The biggest problem in India is no one follows the rule. Volvo's are not supposed to do these kind of speed in heavy rains but they do not follow the rules. So can following the rule create more risk because of these uneducated drivers? That's why i am thinking for the sake of our own safety should we break a law once or twice in these kind of super heavy rain falls? Am open for any kind of advice from any Bhpian.

Last edited by Samba : 20th July 2014 at 21:14.
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Old 21st July 2014, 00:35   #178
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Now my point in the whole post is : I want to ask is when am cruising at say 80km/hr in the heavy rain with my tail lamps on and say a Volvo bus is coming behind me at 100km/hr.
Looks like neither you nor the Volvo drivers in WB have heard of aquaplaning.

From the wiki article: In general, cars aquaplane at speeds above 53 mph (85 km/h), where water ponds to a depth of at least 1/10 of an inch (2.5 mm) over a distance of 30 feet (9 meters) or more.

If the tyre is worn out or water is deeper, it can happen even at slower speed.

I had to learn this as part of my US driving license test in 1993. Therefore, I slow down to 60kmph or below when driving through heavy rains.

Since we Indians don't have any driver's manual to study before the driving test, none of us really learn the exhaustive set of driving rules usually studied in other countries. We just learn to control the vehicle, get the license and do whatever we feel like on the road.

In fact, that is why we have threads like this where simple driving rules are discussed and debated upon.

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Proper way of using the flasher to give right of way? Dear Sir, in Rome do as the romans do.
What if Romans were dead wrong? They used lead for plumbing and even for water bottles. It caused massive lead poisoning. Let's not follow the Romans blindly.

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Flashing is the universal sign in India to demand right of way and not give. So I shall stick to it.
Here is lies the problem.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. It is an act where you share a common resource like road to travel to different places. That act can be safely performed only when you use courtesy as the basic principle.

Therefore, every driving signal is based on the principle of courtesy. Think about it. There is not a single driving signal where you can order others do your bidding. You show the turn signal to warn others about your intention to turn. But you execute the turn only when it is safe to turn. Would you show right turn signal and then turn when there is oncoming traffic? If you do, the oncoming car/bus will pummel into you. Similarly, you can't flash a signal to say "I am coming anyway", and then go head on. How is it different than turn right when there is oncoming traffic?

This is what wrong usage leads to:
Car 1: "Flash" "Flash" "I am coming anyway, get out of my way..."
Car 2: "The hell you are... I won't allow" OR "Oh shit, I can't get out of the way."
[This leads to accidents unless one can yield before it is too late]

You can't have a driving signal that depends on playing chicken.

The correct usage:
Car 1: "Flash" "Flash" "I yield, you go first".
Car 2: "Oh, he is letting me go. Thanks buddy."
[This never leads to an accident]

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Just because Europeans flash to give right of way does not mean it is the correct way, is it?
Actually, yes. Because it doesn't lead to an accident. Almost all head-on collisions in India happen due to idiots coming on the wrong side flashing their lights and demanding passage. What if the other side doesn't give passage or cannot give passage for lack of room or time? Bang!

This is not about of having different customs. European/American usage of flash is courteous and safe, ours is rude and nearly suicidal. Do you really have to wonder which is correct?

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
confusing behaviour like the right indicator for letting a guy overtake
This is a very dangerous wrong usage. If the same signal is used for right turn as well as to allow overtake, how to know which one is indicated? What if I mistake the right turn indication as overtake indication? The car in front is trying to turn, the rear car will try to pass it. Bang!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
or using hazard flashers as direction indicators or just illumination.
Have you ever tried staring at blinking lights for couple minutes or more? You will feel dizzy or disoriented. The purpose of blinking lights is to instantly alert you to danger. It should be used only in situations where people will see it for very short duration. When used by a stranded car, or very slow moving car, other cars will be instantly alerted and then pass carefully. However, when used by a fast moving car, the cars in the rear have no escape from the blinking lights for a long time. And you can't signal any turns. Therefore, this is both dangerous and discourteous to the cars behind you.

Last edited by Samurai : 21st July 2014 at 00:36.
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Old 21st July 2014, 01:16   #179
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

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Looks like neither you nor the Volvo drivers in WB have heard of aquaplaning.
Well am very well aware of aquaplaning but am not sure of the Volvo driver. It generally occurs where there is very slight to more water on road. I very well slow down keeping that in mind and my car tyres are also not worn out. But that is a different topic.

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
The purpose of blinking lights is to instantly alert you to danger. It should be used only in situations where people will see it for very short duration. When used by a stranded car, or very slow moving car, other cars will be instantly alerted and then pass carefully.
Yes in a heavy down pour car's generally go slow or as you said the limit should be 60 km/hr, so considering i am cruising at 60km/hr but the bigger vehicle from behind is coming at 80-100km/hr from behind that's a danger for me if he misses me! Leave alone Volvo i have seen other cars/suvs doing high speed in rains too. So again my concern is just to attract there attention for my safety. And as mentioned in my last post hazard lamps attract the attention of the driver behind you at-least by 2 seconds earlier. For 2 seconds a vehicle traveling at 100km/hr can cover around 50-60 meters. Thats not a bad distance and 2 seconds reaction time of a driver is also a good amount of time at that speed.

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I had to learn this as part of my US driving license test in 1993. Therefore, I slow down to 60kmph or below when driving through heavy rains.

Since we Indians don't have any driver's manual to study before the driving test, none of us really learn the exhaustive set of driving rules usually studied in other countries. We just learn to control the vehicle, get the license and do whatever we feel like on the road.

In fact, that is why we have threads like this where simple driving rules are discussed and debated upon.
True, but at the end the bitter truth is knowing all these we have to drive in Indian roads. Hear the car behind you wont maintain the minimum distance and if they rear end you they will blame you for braking. We have to accept the fact that we live in a place where 90% of the drivers are unaware of the basic safety features. Here people wear seat belt to avoid giving 100rs to the cops.

So my sole point is among the 1000's of uneducated drivers here we cant afford to do copy book driving. Am sure while driving in India even you cant drive exactly like what you used to drive in USA. We have to coupe up with the situation and act accordingly to be safe on the roads.

Last edited by Samba : 21st July 2014 at 01:45.
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Old 21st July 2014, 08:31   #180
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Default Re: Yet Another Incorrect New Use for Hazard Lights

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Well am very well aware of aquaplaning but am not sure of the Volvo driver. It generally occurs where there is very slight to more water on road.
Then why would you approach 80kmph under heavy rains? You should allow a wider berth. In the video there were lots of trucks driving lot slower than you. I regularly drive in heavy rains since I am on the monsoon coast. If you hit a little deeper puddle at that speed, you will have zero visibility for next few seconds, and it can severely damage the car underneath. Don't underestimate the impact of water at highspeed.

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
but the bigger vehicle from behind is coming at 80-100km/hr from behind that's a danger for me if he misses me! Leave alone Volvo i have seen other cars/suvs doing high speed in rains too. So again my concern is just to attract there attention for my safety.
Well, you may have a point there. Vehicles doing 80-100kmph in heavy rains may as well benefit from hazard light. Don't think I will want to visit WB in monsoon then.

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Hear the car behind you wont maintain the minimum distance and if they rear end you they will blame you for braking.
Blaming won't help. If they rear end you, that is their fault. Indian law is very clear on that.

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We have to accept the fact that we live in a place where 90% of the drivers are unaware of the basic safety features.
That is more of a reason for rest of us follow rules.

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
So my sole point is among the 1000's of uneducated drivers here we cant afford to do copy book driving. Am sure while driving in India even you cant drive exactly like what you used to drive in USA.
Actually, I do try to follow the US driving rules [adapted to left side driving] as much as possible. Whenever I break them out of sheer necessity, I become very conscious and feel like an idiot. I still can't drive on the wrong side, park in front of a gate, park near a corner or curve, park in a way that obstructs traffic, flash lights to pass via wrong lane, hazard lights in rain, overtake on a blind curve, cut another vehicle.... in general I can't drive or park dangerously on purpose because the lessons are drilled into my head. I feel stupid when I break them. So I rarely break them. Have to say it has made me lot safer on these roads full of ignorant and discourteous drivers.
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