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Old 19th August 2010, 08:16   #1
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Default Emergency communication with other cars

Hi all,

A couple of times I have tried to communicate a flat / almost flat tyre to the driver ahead of me, by overtaking and gesturing. This doesn't work well, especially if his windows are rolled up and he or she is pre occupied. Moreover, I might crash up with a flat nose myself

However, I chanced upon this Morse Code link with the symbols provided :

Morse code - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I am just thinking that it may be possible to use the horn (or light flashing) to communicate to the car ahead in an emergency, with the help of just a few simple Morse codes as follows:


Sound the horn in the Morse pattern for letter "P" (Bip Beeep Beeep Bip), to indicate a problem to the driver ahead, so that he stops and checks.

If one wants to communicate more specifically, some more possibilities are given below :

Morse pattern for letter "F" (Bip Bip Beeeep Bip), to indicate a Flat tyre.

Morse pattern for the letter "L" (Bip Beeeep Bip Bip), to indicate a Leak.

Of course, one must not pay heed to these warnings when driving on a lonely stretch full of muggers ! One could always go a bit ahead to a safer place to stop and check.

Any thoughts ?
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Old 19th August 2010, 09:07   #2
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Good thought on helping out fellow motorists...

well...this requires one to remember the morse code for few symbols and expect the other driver to know them too. Otherwise it's a futile one way communication.
Some horns are not condusive to 'beeping' out such codes. I have a highway horn on my Estilo , which lets it rip before fading out - all on a single press.

I think hand gestures are still best if one could come abreast and indicate. eg rolling motion with hand while pointing down is unambiguous reference to tire.

Last edited by mmxylorider : 19th August 2010 at 09:17.
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Old 19th August 2010, 09:12   #3
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@Mooza - In India, I honk like maniac until the other person is frustrated & ask me what happened & then I point out his mistake for which, till date, I haven't seen one frown face. Infact few of them only Thank me.

Just pointing out hand to the required place of attention will help I guess. Like point out the side stand or show the action of pulling the side stand, show lights with open & closing the palms, point the turn lights when they're unnecessary or point the tyres when they're flat will help.

And again, I never show all these on highways due to the risk involved; probably in the suburbs or city or traffic signals when the speeds are less.

PS - Unless the other person also knows this communication, this will never work; especially here, when people when they pull out left hand to turn left, how can I even expect them to know morse codes?

Last edited by aargee : 19th August 2010 at 09:14.
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Old 19th August 2010, 09:23   #4
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Red face

Apart from the flat tyres or leaks, its most of the times half closed rear doors, half open bonnets, wrong turn indicators which need to be communicated to the drivers.

On many occasions I have indicated the same to the drivers at the next signal if the driver comes along my side when I can tap the window and inform. Many a times no one bothers to roll down the windows esp those total black tinted ones.

The only option I feel is to go ahead of such drivers and wave a placard.
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Old 19th August 2010, 09:42   #5
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Good thought.
But not sure how effective this can be in India. Bcos whatever pattern we honk, it will disappear among hundreds of othet horns on our roads.

Quoting from an article about 'Driving in India' I read in TBHP:
Blowing your horn is not a sign of protest as in some countries. We horn to express joy, resentment, frustration, romance and bare lust (two brisk blasts), or, just mobilize a dozing cow in the middle of the bazaar.
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Old 19th August 2010, 10:10   #6
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Good idea. But never works in India.
"Here in India few buy the car that comes with the horn and many buys the car bcoz it comes with the horn and they can honk whenever they want".

Most used part in a cab/auto rickshaw is HORN and never used is INDICATOR

Last edited by girishbhat : 19th August 2010 at 10:12.
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Old 19th August 2010, 10:26   #7
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I've tried this on multiple occasions, indicating a flat tire/ door that's not closed/ anything else. All I've seen (except for 1 instance,where the guy stopped to look at all 4 tires, only to notice 1 flat- and promptly getting to fixing it).

Try the same, to indicate a biker with his bike's headlights on. All he does is give you a look, and give a damn about what you were trying to indicate.
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Old 19th August 2010, 11:37   #8
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Several times my wife has screamed out "Your Saree !!!" to the neighbouring car, and in a few cases, the lady has actually managed to hear this, open the door partially, and withdraw the protruding garment back, before much damage. A Morse code for this is difficult, definitely

But often, in other situations when you can see that the door has not been fully shut, for example, the warnings are not heard in the din of the traffic
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Old 19th August 2010, 11:47   #9
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Have tried in many times and 99% of the time the person just give a blank look or (if he is one driving in front) thinks that I am trying to just overtake him or race him and reacts accordingly. Most of them just do not even bother looking at the side, when you are riding side-by-side to tell them something.

After many such attempts, and having had enough, I hardly try to do it now.
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Old 24th August 2010, 13:55   #10
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I think the reason many people not responding to these calls may be the fact that people have actually been robbed/mugged/murdered by thieves and highway robbers. The modus operandi used is that one person calls out to the occupants pointing out a supposedly flat tire/open door/boot etc. The driver stops and gets out to check, and the robbers and their accomplices get away with the car or force/threaten the occupants to part with their belongings. Hence I would request all fellow bhpians to be very careful in case someone gestures you and make sure you do not stop at a deserted place.
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