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Old 7th July 2011, 20:20   #166
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Default Re: Woman Learner/Driver aboard!

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1. Turning - When there is a blind corner where I have to make a turn, I feel more comfortable taking very slow turn, stopping, watching both sides and then proceeding. Needless to say this is met with lot of honking from drivers behind. What is the right way to do this?

In addition to what vina has said, remember one thing : ultimately, it is your car you are driving. As long as you drive as per the rules, do as you feel comfortable. If you find that your visibility is not perfect due to a blind turn or a huge A-pillar, slow down and take it. Once you do it numerous times, you'll start being intuitive. It is just a matter of time

2. Making a turn right into busy City Road which is also an NH.
There is one point where in I need to make a turn right into NH and at this point, I need to turn into the right most Lane as there will be vehicles in the middle and left lanes. So I proceed on the right lane, at 50-60 kmph. This leads to people overtaking me from left. I am aware that the right most lane is the fast/over-taking lane, but I am not comfortable moving into middle lane immediately as cars/trucks/two -wheelers fly through them, nor am I comfortable travelling at a higher speed than this as of now. Please note that this is a busy road I am talking about, and not empty so its not like I am hogging the right lane, and I do move to the left most lane when I get a chance, but I take quite a bit of time to move from right most to left lane. Just how bad is this and how much am I inconveniencing other drivers and how should I tackle this?

There are such clowns everywhere! 50-60 km/hr is what one should be driving at, but people just can't stand being "behind" another car. Do NOT put yourself in harm's way just to oblige a vehicle which is honking excessively or being rash.

3. Typical problems faced by Learning Lady driver
Now this I am sure, everyone is aware of. The moment some people spot me at the wheel, they either turn very arrogant, trying to push me to a side or start moving into my lane (on a two way service road), which forces me to come to a stand still to let the person move. Now I dont know if this treatment is because they see a woman at the wheel, or because of the L board (I still have the L board on, as I believe atleast some people would be considerate seeing that, and they have been). I have even wondered if I should remove the L board so they will treat me a little less savagely!

Actually it is both; the female driver part being slightly more prominent. A "L" on the windshield is like a licence for idiots to give the vehicle a step-motherly treatment. Don't bother!

I keep hearing that looking at driving as a chore is what makes it difficult, and I have to admit I actaully enjoy driving around areas where traffic is regulated, but at times its so crazy and reckless, its scary to be in the middle of it all. I hope I will not have any bad experience in the initial days as I fear that might put me off for good!

So go ahead, help boost my confidence!
Here's what - get behind the wheel regularly and one fine day, you'll just get there! Once comfortable, you'll love driving.

Remember how you learn cycling thru' skinned knees - well, in a car's case, you'll learn it thru' some stallings, nervous moments on an incline when you are forced to stop. Once you perfect the art, you'll enjoy it thoroughly.

Happy driving!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 7th July 2011 at 20:22.
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Old 8th July 2011, 12:44   #167
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Default Re: Woman Learner/Driver aboard!

Hey s_mp, I know a few women whose driving skills will put many men to shame. My wifey is one of them and I sometimes hate to admit it, but I feel she drives better than me! So don't give a darn if other drivers give you accusing looks. Just keep your cool and follow the traffic rules. One important thing is the proper use of indicators to signal others of your intentions. Also concentrate on the traffic around you by using the IRVM/ORVMs.

If others can't respect the "L" sign it's their, not your fault. But there's a flip side too. I've seen learners using peak traffic hours to hone in their skills and I consider that wrong, unless they're already comfortable driving in light traffic.
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Old 8th July 2011, 13:14   #168
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Default Re: Woman Learner/Driver aboard!

Welcome aboard s_mp
Can't find anything wrong with what you are doing as a learner but i can suggest what you can move on to:
1. Try to find a spot where you get good idea about the traffic on the road and then take a turn. With practice, your time taken to assess the situation will reduce and so will your stoppage time. But make sure you take in everything. Right from a pedestrian attempting to cross the road to a truck speeding down the road.
2.After completing the turn on the NH, try to take your speed upto the speed of the lane. That way you will not have too many people overtaking you from left. Then at the same speed, start moving to the middle lane when you think it is safe to do so, and reduce your speed. You may have to get out of your comfort zone when you are in the rightmost lane, but that is the only way to learn.
3.Its a combination of both. If you are planning to drive alone at night, i strongly suggest getting your windows darkened, from safety point. And sooner you get them the sooner you will get used to them.

Apart from that, enjoy the driving!

Amitoj
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Old 8th July 2011, 13:58   #169
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

I have a couple of questions which I hope can be clarified here. Normally I get conflicting responses for these:
- Gear change: Is it harmful if I skip a gear or two and change directly for example from 4th to 2nd or 4th to neutral? Somehow, if I brake suddenly and have to stop/ restart I subconsciously change from 3rd or 2nd to neutral
- Braking while stationary at signals: Is it advisable to use the handbrake or normal brakes; will excessive use of the latter impact the brake pads?
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:05   #170
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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I have a couple of questions which I hope can be clarified here. Normally I get conflicting responses for these:
- Gear change: Is it harmful if I skip a gear or two and change directly for example from 4th to 2nd or 4th to neutral? Somehow, if I brake suddenly and have to stop/ restart I subconsciously change from 3rd or 2nd to neutral
- Braking while stationary at signals: Is it advisable to use the handbrake or normal brakes; will excessive use of the latter impact the brake pads?
1. Gear change: Its best to match the speed with the gear. But under sudden braking, its ok to skip a gear.

2. If you need to brake in order to remain stationary at a signal then its best to use hand brake. That way you can minimize the chances of rolling back when starting.
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:09   #171
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

Hi there! Welcome to the Hot Seat . Well, I do agree with most of the points that have already been mentioned.

Just to add my 2 cents - Observe your hubby when he's behind the wheel. You would learn a lot if you observe what he does before making any manuever - whether turning on a blind corner or merging with fast moving traffic. I used to observe different drivers and tried to apply the good bits to myself.

Some more points that might help you:

1. Simulate yourself as driving on the busy roads with all the traffic - sort of preparing yourself mentally of the situations you might come across in reality that would help you tackle the situation in a more calm manner.
2. When behind the wheel just relax and stay calm, but alert. Don't panic or worry about the people honking behind you or zip past you at speeds.
3. Drive frequently and assess each of your drives and note down the mistakes you make and try not to repeat them.

Don't worry about the mistakes, they are part of life and driving. Try to inculcate good driving habits at the start itself. Happy Driving!
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:18   #172
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
I have a couple of questions which I hope can be clarified here. Normally I get conflicting responses for these:
- Gear change: Is it harmful if I skip a gear or two and change directly for example from 4th to 2nd or 4th to neutral? Somehow, if I brake suddenly and have to stop/ restart I subconsciously change from 3rd or 2nd to neutral
- Braking while stationary at signals: Is it advisable to use the handbrake or normal brakes; will excessive use of the latter impact the brake pads?

Gear changes need not be in order if you are downshifting, as you may be losing more speed while braking than what is deemed fit for that gear or a gear lower. But it is a good idea to use engine braking too. Say for example if you are at 80 and want to come to a stand still, it is better to simultaneously keep changing gears and brake for better stopping distances. I hope you do not disengage the clutch while braking.

It is always advisable to be on a hand brake when stationary. I once got rear ended when on a normal brake and I removed my legs off in panic, making my vehicle to go ahead and hit the car that is ahead. So it is always neutral and hand brakes when stationary.
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:23   #173
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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I hope you do not disengage the clutch while braking.
No, but that brings me to another issue. I subconsciously engage the clutch while starting the engine, though my hand is nowhere on the gear lever. Now I am trying to consciously avoid this, but progress is slow.

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I once got rear ended when on a normal brake and I removed my legs off in panic, making my vehicle to go ahead and hit the car that is ahead. So it is always neutral and hand brakes when stationary.
I did not understand how you got rear ended if you moved ahead. Did you intend to say you rear ended some other vehicle?
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:26   #174
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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No, but that brings me to another issue. I subconsciously engage the clutch while starting the engine, though my hand is nowhere on the gear lever. Now I am trying to consciously avoid this, but progress is slow.
That is actually a good practice and is supposed to prolong your clutch's life by a tiny fraction.

EDIT: Wait. You meant you press the clutch pedal when starting the car, right?

Last edited by amitoj : 8th July 2011 at 14:27.
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:31   #175
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No, but that brings me to another issue. I subconsciously engage the clutch while starting the engine, though my hand is nowhere on the gear lever. Now I am trying to consciously avoid this, but progress is slow.



I did not understand how you got rear ended if you moved ahead. Did you intend to say you rear ended some other vehicle?

I was waiting at a signal behind a car with legs on my brakes when another moron rear ended me, so in a panic to see what happened I removed my legs off the brake making my vehicle to move ahead and hit the vehicle ahead of me. Kind of a chain reaction. Hope that makes it clear.

I did not get you on the clutch account, what has starting the engine got to do with braking? Or are you talking about something very different?


Edit: Just saw the below post. I think you got it wrong.

Disengaging the clutch = depressing the clutch pedal.

Engaging it = releasing the pedal.


So you seem to be pressing the clutch pedal while braking. Which is wrong. It is a good idea to be engaged (clutch pedal released) than to coast (clutch depressed) when braking.

Last edited by anilisanil : 8th July 2011 at 14:56.
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:32   #176
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That is actually a good practice and is supposed to prolong your clutch's life by a tiny fraction.

EDIT: Wait. You meant you press the clutch pedal when starting the car, right?
Yes, that is what I intended to say.
How does that prolong the clutch life? Interesting to know that what I consider as a bad habit is actually beneficial!!
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:48   #177
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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- Gear change: Is it harmful if I skip a gear or two and change directly for example from 4th to 2nd or 4th to neutral? Somehow, if I brake suddenly and have to stop/ restart I subconsciously change from 3rd or 2nd to neutral
On the above - I guess, it does not effectively mean engine braking as the clutch would be engaged while downshifting from 3-2-N, which means the drive is disconnected from engine, while at the same time the brake pedal is pressed, which actually slows the car down.

In other words down-shifting the gears with the clutch engaged all the while would not mean engine braking - right?
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:51   #178
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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That is actually a good practice and is supposed to prolong your clutch's life by a tiny fraction.
I would beg to differ on this. Starting the engine with clutch pressed increases the life of the starter motor IMHO. This is because there is less load on the motor when the clutch is pressed. No increase in clutch life.

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In other words down-shifting the gears with the clutch engaged all the while would not mean engine braking - right?
Yup, absolutely right. Engine braking is applicable only when the clutch is disengaged. IMO, the correct way is to downshift gradually and brake only to come to standstill. For example, you're at 80 (say in 5th gear) and feel that you need to slow down. Downshift to 4th which will drop your speed and if you still need to slow more, downshift to 3rd and so on. If need to stop, apply brakes.

Last edited by lordofgondor : 8th July 2011 at 14:56.
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Old 8th July 2011, 15:23   #179
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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I was waiting at a signal behind a car with legs on my brakes when another moron rear ended me, so in a panic to see what happened I removed my legs off the brake making my vehicle to move ahead and hit the vehicle ahead of me. Kind of a chain reaction. Hope that makes it clear.
Aah, a mini pile up?

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I did not get you on the clutch account, what has starting the engine got to do with braking? Or are you talking about something very different?.
Yes, braking was a separate issue. Starting is another story. Sorry for the confusion - see what I mean about skipping a gear?!!

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So you seem to be pressing the clutch pedal while braking. Which is wrong. It is a good idea to be engaged (clutch pedal released) than to coast (clutch depressed) when braking.
No, I press the clutch while starting. Clutch use during braking seems ok; the only concern during braking is the gear shift pattern (skipping one or two gears or coming directly to Neutral)

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In other words down-shifting the gears with the clutch engaged all the while would not mean engine braking - right?
Correct. I use engine braking when I know I have to slow down. Rapid downshifting with clutch engaged all the time is for odd emergency cases (unfortunately not so rare) like some moron jumping in front of my car or the suicidal lane changes by some others.
I think this affects the mileage too, though I dont have the words or data to prove it.

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I would beg to differ on this. Starting the engine with clutch pressed increases the life of the starter motor IMHO. This is because there is less load on the motor when the clutch is pressed. No increase in clutch life.
This is exactly what I have heard from a few people and wanted to confirm if it is correct info

Last edited by selfdrive : 8th July 2011 at 15:25.
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Old 8th July 2011, 15:35   #180
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Correct. I use engine braking when I know I have to slow down. Rapid downshifting with clutch engaged all the time is for odd emergency cases (unfortunately not so rare) like some moron jumping in front of my car or the suicidal lane changes by some others.
I think this affects the mileage too, though I dont have the words or data to prove it.
Yes, excessive gear changes and usage of clutch will decrease your mileage and also wear out your clutch sooner than it should.

I'm not sure if using too much of engine braking will cause any other issues in long term - gears/engine? experts please comment!
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