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Old 24th January 2010, 14:19   #1
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Question Some driving mistakes I make. Help appreciated.

Hi,

I have begun driving consistently every weekend since 4 weeks in my first car and am making few mistakes over and over. I hope this is right place to post this.
Following are the mistakes I am finding difficult to prevent:

1. I get blinded when joining a right turn into traffic from left side due to Front Passenger and Passenger-side B-Pillar (I hope you got idea). I find this much more dangerous than blinding reported by people due to A-Pillar.
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2. I find difficult to judge the distance b/w my car and car in front left side in close slow traffic(esp those cars which have low height in comparison to mine). So have clapped my left ORVM/body with their right ORVM many times(had to pay for breaking ones ORVM once ).
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3. Taking 90 tight degree turn using a lot of gap (is this ok?). The below picture will make it clear:
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4. Starting car up an incline without rolling backwards at-all (esp at traffic-lights with cars behind). I tend to either stall my car or give too much throttle with clutch. Also forget handbrake on at-times .

5. Cannot park my car at close spaces without anyone assisting me.

Helpful Advice/links to prevent/reduce the above mistakes will be highly appreciated.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Apart from above, other mistake I made once/twice due to my utmost silliness:

- Leaving Passenger side Window fully rolled down one evening when parking in front of house. Discovered the mistake next morning only.

Last edited by cool.aquarian : 24th January 2010 at 14:30.
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Old 24th January 2010, 14:46   #2
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Hi cool.aquarian,

The first and most important step of preventing mistakes is realising that you are making them

That said, most of the stuff here just needs two things to be fixed :
1) Guidance on technique
2) Practice (the more you repeat it, the more it becomes "natural" to you)


Quote:
Originally Posted by cool.aquarian View Post
1. I get blinded when joining a right turn into traffic from left side due to Front Passenger and Passenger-side B-Pillar (I hope you got idea).
How tall are you? Are you sitting too far back / seat reclined a lot?

- Keep the passenger side seat a little further back than it currently is. This helps keep the passenger out of the way.
- Obviously, lean forward when looking left, this is pretty much a standard behaviour.
- If your passenger has the habit of also leaning forward and looking left - tell them it blocks the driver's view!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cool.aquarian View Post
2. I find difficult to judge the distance b/w my car and car in front left side in close slow traffic(esp those cars which have low height in comparison to mine).
is closely related to >

Quote:
Originally Posted by cool.aquarian View Post
5. Cannot park my car at close spaces without anyone assisting me.
This basically means you are unsure of the boundaries of your car (which is harder these days because of the "curved" designs) and therefore your spacial perception is suffering.

The best way to fix this is to practice parking, ideally in a place you regularly park, or a fairly deserted stretch of road.

While practicing parking :
1) Begin maneuvering into position (use your side mirros)
2) Make a guess as to how far you think you are from the object behind / besides you.
3) STOP THE CAR (pull handbrake).
4) GET OUT and take a good look at the actual space behind / besides you.
5) Move some more & repeat from step #2 if necessary

Do this SEVERAL times, and on a one-way street so you can practice parking on BOTH sides.

You will start to get a much better idea of the size of your car, and the space around it. This will also help in traffic.


Another tip for when in traffic - when you're not sure how much space there is on the LHS, go as close as possible to the object on the RHS, since you have a much clearer view of that. Better to leave a larger margin for error on the side which you see less.


Will answer the others in a bit.

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 24th January 2010 at 14:48.
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Old 24th January 2010, 15:03   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool.aquarian View Post
3. Taking 90 tight degree turn using a lot of gap (is this ok?). The below picture will make it clear:
Thanks. Diagram made it clear.

There are two common variations of this :
1) Going WIDE on the entry (like your diagram)
2) Going WIDE on the "exit"

Both are caused due to the same reason, which is people not turn the wheel to the correct amount soon/quickly enough.

You are worried that you will not make the turn if you are completely on the left, so you leave more room for the maneuver.

Instead, to make a left turn you should :
1) Slow down a little for the turn
2) STAY in the left lane (do not turn right before turning left)
3) Complete the turning of the wheel to the left sooner than you usually would. To clarify, start turning the wheel at the normal time, but finish turning to the same degree sooner. (ie turn the wheel faster!)

This will keep you in your lane.

Once you get used to turning the wheel faster, you can eliminate slowing down for the turn (@ decent speeds).


Quote:
Originally Posted by cool.aquarian View Post
4. Starting car up an incline without rolling backwards at-all (esp at traffic-lights with cars behind). I tend to either stall my car or give too much throttle with clutch. Also forget handbrake on at-times .
The key to starting on an incline it getting to know your clutch. (ie feeling the point at which it just starts to engage - at which point you release the brake, give more gas, and continue to release the clutch slowly)

Please see this thread : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...-position.html (Half Clutch position)

cya
R
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Old 24th January 2010, 16:51   #4
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@Cool.Aquarian, the diagrams really helped there. Like Rehaan said, you just need a little practice and you'll soon be doing things without a fuss.

Here's a couple of tips to help you :

1. Turns (all turns, not just the right turn you have mentioned) :
As you come to the turn & are ready to make it, look out for traffic in this fashion :
a. Look in the direction of turn (to see if your intended direction is clear of traffic & obstructions).
b. Look in the opposite direction - is any other traffic also coming into the area where you want to go.
c. Re-check that the area you want to go to is clear, and start moving in.

2. Judging the front left corner :
Take a tape, measure the distance from your face/eye when seated in the driver seat - upto a little beyond the front left corner of the car. In any place where you spend sufficient time, keep something at that distance and keep looking at it regularly to get used to that much of distance. Once you get used to this, you need to make sure the nearest object from you is atleast this distance.

3. Parking :
Same as before : practice. But for parallel parking, dont go bonnet first into the parking slot. Go a little beyond the target parking slot, and come backwards into the slot in reverse gear.

Let us say you want to parallel park between 2 cars, 'A' and 'B'. Car A is ahead, Car B is behind. You want to get into the space between these. Normal practice is to go past B, turn into the space, go upto A, and reverse to fine tune the position.

The correct technique is to go past B & the intended parking slot, and atleast 50% overlap with car A. Then engage reverse, and back up into the empty space between the cars. This is actually much easier than it appears.
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Old 24th January 2010, 18:01   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool.aquarian View Post
I have begun driving consistently every weekend since 4 weeks in my first car and am making few mistakes over and over.
Which car do you drive by the way ? Let me guess, is it a Swift ?

Senior members have already given you a lot of tips. Let me just add that everyone goes through this phase while learning. Don't be disheartened and keep practicing.

If you know someone who knows driving, ask them for tips/guidance. It is much easier to help if you ask someone face to face.

Also, observe other good drivers how they react in similar situations (when you are traveling in the passenger seat with someone else driving).

Last, but not the least, practice reversing the car, parallel parking and using the hand brake on an incline.

All the best.

Rohan
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Old 25th January 2010, 11:30   #6
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Congrats on learning to drive and buying your car! I've been driving for 12+ years (100,000+ km) and I still occasionally do each of the above things, so don't be too worried!

Some general tips to add to what others have said:

1. Always be decisive / determined. For example, once you are 100% confident that it is safe to make a turn (or slow down, speed up, stop, change lanes, ...) do it in a controlled and determined fashion so that other drivers around you have a clear idea of what you are doing and can act accordingly.

2. Be aware of your surroundings: Don't just look ahead, but keep scanning left and right, look in your mirrors (external and internal) from time to time. Ideally you're supposed to look in the mirror every 11 seconds or so.

3. Be courteous to other drivers and pedestrians as far as possible

Good luck and happy driving.
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Old 25th January 2010, 13:12   #7
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Thank u for all the great tips and suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Which car do you drive by the way ? Let me guess, is it a Swift ?
Pretty close. It is a Ritz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Thanks. Diagram made it clear.

There are two common variations of this :
1) Going WIDE on the entry (like your diagram)
2) Going WIDE on the "exit"

Both are caused due to the same reason, which is people not turn the wheel to the correct amount soon/quickly enough.

You are worried that you will not make the turn if you are completely on the left, so you leave more room for the maneuver.

Instead, to make a left turn you should :
1) Slow down a little for the turn
2) STAY in the left lane (do not turn right before turning left)
3) Complete the turning of the wheel to the left sooner than you usually would. To clarify, start turning the wheel at the normal time, but finish turning to the same degree sooner. (ie turn the wheel faster!)

This will keep you in your lane.

Once you get used to turning the wheel faster, you can eliminate slowing down for the turn (@ decent speeds).
R
At my society entrance, the 90-degree road where I need to turn into is a strictly one-Lane road with pits dug on both left and right side of entry.
So I find it safer to: go Wide at entry rather than taking a sharp turn as there is risk of the rear tyres going over the Pit or body scraping the wall. You may see the more detailed Figure below:
Name:  90degreeentrydetailed.JPG
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Size:  11.8 KB

Can the three step procedure suggested in above quote be applied in this case also with Practice ?

Thanks again.

Last edited by cool.aquarian : 25th January 2010 at 13:15.
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Old 25th January 2010, 13:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
How tall are you? Are you sitting too far back / seat reclined a lot?

- Keep the passenger side seat a little further back than it currently is. This helps keep the passenger out of the way.
- Obviously, lean forward when looking left, this is pretty much a standard behaviour.
- If your passenger has the habit of also leaning forward and looking left - tell them it blocks the driver's view!
I am 5'7".
Yes, one may say I sit a little too far back - mainly so as not to block the gear lock pin location with the seat.
And passenger seat can be adjusted little back.

Will practice the advice next time.
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Old 25th January 2010, 13:50   #9
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If there are dugup pits near the narrow entry, then I feel what you are doing is correct.

Just make sure that you check all 3 mirrors (especially left mirror) before turning, indicate properly and turn slowly till you develop some confidence.

If you turn on the left indicator well in advance, chances are that the indicator will get switched off as you turn slightly towards the right before turning left. In such a case, remember to turn on the left indicator again just before you start turning left.

Since your car would be almost in the centre of the road for a moment, there is a good chance that a 2-wheeler might try to squeeze into the space and try to overtake you from the left side when you are trying to take the left turn.

Hence it is essential to indicate properly, keep checking the mirrors and turning slowly. It may sound like a lot of things to be done simultaneously, but it will come with practice.

Rohan
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Old 25th January 2010, 14:35   #10
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Quote:
The key to starting on an incline it getting to know your clutch. (ie feeling the point at which it just starts to engage - at which point you release the brake, give more gas, and continue to release the clutch slowly)
My two cents worth on this - use the parking brake. What I normally do if I have to drive uphill from standstill is this (a) engage the parking brake (b) slot the first (c) with the clutch depressed, and one hand on the parking brake, gently use the accelarator (d) slowly release the clutch - the movement clutch disengages, let down the parking brake and keep increasing the accelerator pressure slowly (e) as soon as the call moves sedately, slot into the second. Prevents stalling!

Tried to master, "toeing", but with shoes on it is tough. And don't want to burn the clutch by going half-clutch - least of all don't want to caught by wifey riding the clutch (one of the commandments issued if she has to drive our car)
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Old 25th January 2010, 18:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrprabhu View Post
My two cents worth on this - use the parking brake. What I normally do if I have to drive uphill from standstill is this (a) engage the parking brake (b) slot the first (c) with the clutch depressed, and one hand on the parking brake, gently use the accelarator (d) slowly release the clutch - the movement clutch disengages, let down the parking brake and keep increasing the accelerator pressure slowly (e) as soon as the call moves sedately, slot into the second. Prevents stalling!
I agree with vrprabhu , i had the same problem while I was learning driving in Delhi. The driving school instructor taught me this skill of using the handbrake, we went on the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium flyover (very sparse traffic) and we tried this 4-5 times on the flyover.

Once you get to know the clutch timing , its almost natural. Now I dont need to use the parking brake also. What I do is that I fully depress the brake with my right foot and clutch with left. Then quickly move the right foot to the accelerator and give the engine some gas, as the car has inertia it takes around .5 seconds to start rolling backward. If you know the bite point, you will be able to release the clutch fast to almost the bite point and then slowly release to start moving ahead. Works for me all the time. You can also get some practice if you have a sloping parking ramp, parking the car perfectly on a sloping ramp will also teach you this.
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Old 25th January 2010, 20:57   #12
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I will not term some of the above as 'mistakes'.

Nothing wrong in being cautious. Better be safe than sorry. Always leave 15% margin for error.

Your blind spot definitely need work. The only solution is leaning forward and backwards and if the divider is not too high, try looking at the other side even before you reach it - as long as you have your left covered.

You have already received good advice on parking.

I don't see any reason to correct your right turn much unless you are obstructing oncoming traffic. The other issue here is that if you give too much space, traffic going straight will come in between you and the turn preventing you from turning in. You need to be gentle but firm in your intention of turning in.

Visualize 100-200 mtrs ahead mins ahead. i.e. start being aware of nearby traffic about 100mtrs-200 mtrs before you make the turn. actually this depends on speed. If you are in slow traffic, you can plan 100 mtrs in advance, if in faster traffic, upto 300 mtrs in advance.
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Old 27th January 2010, 12:33   #13
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Nos.2, 4 and 5 will improve with practice. Most people go through these problems at the beginning.

On No.1, I suggest you keep taking glances at the traffic coming from your left much before you reach the middle of the road/gap in the divider - keep turning your head left and right to look at the traffic from both sides. That way you will be able to look through your windscreen and have some idea of the traffic from the left in advance.
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Old 27th January 2010, 13:51   #14
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About the left edge. when your car is just on the lane line then you should see it exactly in the center of your car from your driving seat. see the attachment, the brown line is the actual road line but you would see it from the driving seat at the green line. i learned this from a truck driver.

You can try by making sure the line is just on the center of the car and get out to see where the car is. you can try the same by parking the car to the left and see it.

Name:  leftcardistance.jpg
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About the parking, you can switch on the lights to get more help. the light will get bigger and brighter as you get close or the side lights(exp. in scorp) will come in as you get close.

About the vehicle on the incline, if you keep releasing the clutch without accelerating then at a point the vehicle will vibrate a bit more than usual. at this point if you release the brake the vehicle will not move in front or back. now you can accelerate to move in front.
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Old 27th January 2010, 14:04   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool.aquarian View Post
At my society entrance, the 90-degree road where I need to turn into is a strictly one-Lane road with pits dug on both left and right side of entry.
So I find it safer to: go Wide at entry rather than taking a sharp turn as there is risk of the rear tyres going over the Pit or body scraping the wall. You may see the more detailed Figure below:
Attachment 273087
Thanks again.
I have similar road to enter my residential lane (pits on either sides and a thin road) I never do what you 've shown in the picture and I feel it is not necessary to make gap on the left side before you turn left.


I'm not doing this.

My cars' turning radii are 4.9 meters and 5 meters, even though I never faced a problem because of not doing it.

Last edited by clevermax : 27th January 2010 at 14:05.
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