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Old 9th November 2010, 20:29   #1
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Default Who do you think was to blame ?

Hi team.

There's a very minor incident that happened an hour ago on the road involving me, and I'd be glad if someone could point out who's mistake it exactly was.

So it happened outside a grocery store, Easyday.

Here's the layout of the area.

Name:  Traffic.jpg
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There's a parking area outside the store and the bank, but there's always some parked car blocking a lane of the road [Like the blue one in the pic]

So me [on an Activa] and another lady [in the silver car] were waiting for the traffic in the second lane to stem down so that we could merge in [The first lane being blocked, assume a lane to be wide enough for one car/heavy vehicle only.]

We waited for 30-35 seconds before the traffic thinned down for a moment, and the lady merged in, followed by me.

Just as I merged, I heard the sound of slightly heavy braking [From 30ish km/h] from a bike.

So the guy caught up with me and we exchanged a minor argument [while driving] and he sped ahead. [After which I overtook him, after which he overtook me, after which I muttered an adjective for the guy, and stopped as I had arrived at my destination, but that does not relate to the story].

Here's what I'm sure of:-

When the lady merged into the lane, I assumed that the vehicles behind had slowed down, as there was no room for overtaking, one lane being occupied by the parked car, and the other by the lady with the silver car. So I followed her.

Here's what I think happened behind us:-

The guy on the bike didn't slow down, hoping to create some room from some side from which he could overtake all of us. So when I suddenly appeared ahead of him, he braked heavily.

My argument:-

There was absolutely no room to overtake hence the guy should have slowed down and drive at the speeds everybody else was driving at.

My mistake:-

Strictly speaking, I did not look back. Seeing the silver car merging, I assumed that the traffic behind me had slowed back, as no one in their right state of mind could have thought that overtaking was possible.

What's your take ?
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Old 9th November 2010, 20:51   #2
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IMO your mistake.

He was in his lane all the time.

You were merging in from another lane.
You should have looked back.
You were at zero speed, hence while for you it was start moving, in his case it needed two actions, stop and move again.

But I would like add, that his higher speed did exactly what higher speed does. Complicate things and sometimes make simple accidents into nasty accidents.

Last edited by bblost : 9th November 2010 at 20:52.
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Old 9th November 2010, 21:00   #3
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This is not uncommon in India, where stopping in anticipation is something unheard of. Even if it seems pretty clear from a commonsense perspective that stopping is the only way out, I have seen guys on bikes (and in cars) continue at the same speed, almost inevitably resulting in a collision or a close call.

Whose fault is it? Well, to be honest, you should have ensured that there wasn't anyone close behind when merging.

Offtopic: Really find it amusing that you went to all the trouble of making a sketch etc. for such a minor incident!
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Old 9th November 2010, 21:31   #4
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I would blame both. But I would blame the biker more than you, if he was coming behind other cars that slowed down.

I see this every morning while waiting for my office bus. The vehicles in a lane slow down or stop to let vehicles cross the road from a side lane. And invariably there would be other 4 wheelers and 2 wheelers who would swerve left or right without even touching their brakes, so that they can cross the slowed down/stopped vehicles. And this has resulted in 3-4 accidents in the recent past. A pedestrian escaped by a whisker this morning. If other vehicles in your lane have slowed down, you should first slow down to understand why they have slowed down or stopped. So if that was the case, the biker is to be blamed.

Last edited by pjbiju : 9th November 2010 at 21:33.
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Old 10th November 2010, 01:07   #5
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Most bikers don't slow down when the cars ahead slow down. They try to squeeze in. That's what I see in Pune anyway.
It's his mistake not to slow down when cars are merging in.
But the bigger mistake is yours thinking that vehicles would have slowed down seeing a car merge in. For all you know, they'd have anticipated you to wait for the next gap. No one stops in a straight moving traffic to allow others to merge in unless there's a signal.
Never tail gate when merging in is my humber opinion.
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Old 10th November 2010, 02:43   #6
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I was afraid of this. Gotta be more careful the next time. Thanks a lot for all the advice.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Offtopic: Really find it amusing that you went to all the trouble of making a sketch etc. for such a minor incident!
Well, I guess I need some excuse to keep sitting on the PC, away from where I belong [Read study table ]
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Old 10th November 2010, 08:25   #7
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Here're my thoughts...
Not sure from where the biker joined; was he also trying to merge into the lane or was he already on the straight lane. If he was trying to follow you & then overtake while merging, he's a moron & you've wasted your time for him. If he was already in the straight lane, then sorry my friend, you should be watchful.

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Originally Posted by MX6
Most bikers don't slow down when the cars ahead slow down. They try to squeeze in.
The above is a very strong point & can be seen not only in Pune, but all over this country. When someone stops in the middle of the road, most of the times its not alone for speaking on cellphone, but for other reasons. I've got rid of the habit of squeezing, no matter I drive or ride & most importantly, developed the habit of looking into both mirrors. But will look for blind spots only on two-wheeler as the risk is high & also easy to lean & look.

Having said that, just be watchful @Anku from here on. There're morons everywhere, just can waste your time for them.
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:07   #8
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As far as driving common sense goes, it is your fault. No IFs or BUTs about it.

But this is India. Probably the only major country in the world whose government doesn't care about publishing a driver's manual in spite getting major cash flow in the name of road tax.

In the absence of a driver's manual, which among other things can teach drivers about right of way in every possible situations, people assume they have the right of way, all the time.

I suggest downloading a government issued driver's manual from US/UK or other civilized country and give it a full read. Most of your doubts about right of way will become clear.
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:21   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I suggest downloading a government issued driver's manual from US/UK or other civilized country and give it a full read. Most of your doubts about right of way will become clear.
@Samuari, I agree about the 'right of way' in other countries but the unwritten rule (or norm) followed in Indian roads is, you allow one vehicle to pass (even if you have the right of the way) and everyone else behind follows that vehicle and it is only when there are no more vehicles in that lane, you will get a chance to proceed!
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
As far as driving common sense goes, it is your fault. No IFs or BUTs about it.
But sir, we don't know what exactly has happened; Anku has just narrated the incident in his understanding, which may or may not be right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
But this is India. Probably the only major country in the world whose government doesn't care about publishing a driver's manual in spite getting major cash flow in the name of road tax.
101% right; but IMO, there's information on this in bits & pieces; just that everything needs to be collated & published as driving manual. The biggest mistake the Govt is making is - Not enforcing the law. Everything is on paper, but nothing in practice.

I'm perfectly fine, atleast for now, when a Audi/Porsche jumps a signal, a flagged vehicle does hit & run; but NO common man should be allowed even to cross a stop line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
In the absence of a driver's manual, which among other things can teach drivers about right of way in every possible situations, people assume they have the right of way, all the time.
Bang right on the point sir; but like I said before, it will only be in the books unless there's someone to cane. In US, people have the fear of shedding their $ due to the excellent tracking system & hence most people abide the law.

Most importantly many people think that they save hours of time by jumping signal, unfortunately they do not realise that they're still driving/riding slow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I suggest downloading a government issued driver's manual from US/UK or other civilized country and give it a full read. Most of your doubts about right of way will become clear.
I'll do it right away; any suggestion on any specific country is welcome, especially the ones with RH drive (LHS driving) like India.

Last edited by aargee : 10th November 2010 at 09:34.
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
As far as driving common sense goes, it is your fault. No IFs or BUTs about it.

But this is India. Probably the only major country in the world whose government doesn't care about publishing a driver's manual in spite getting major cash flow in the name of road tax.

In the absence of a driver's manual, which among other things can teach drivers about right of way in every possible situations, people assume they have the right of way, all the time.

I suggest downloading a government issued driver's manual from US/UK or other civilized country and give it a full read. Most of your doubts about right of way will become clear.
Very true. For instance, how many of us know that on a roundabout, the cars going round have the right of way? You can only merge into one provided no cars are going to have to slow down for you.

But its a whole new ballgame in India. And in any case, you can't argue with another driver about you having the right of way, etc. They're always gonna say "Why didn't you brake saar?"

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 10th November 2010 at 09:31.
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:38   #12
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Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Very true. For instance, how many of us know that on a roundabout, the cars going round have the right of way? You can only merge into one provided no cars are going to have to slow down for you.
Err...are you sure? I thought no matter a motorcycle, car or a truck everyone has their equal rights. The one to yield is the last one in the queue/junction/traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
But its a whole new ballgame in India. And in any case, you can't argue with another driver about you having the right of way, etc. They're always gonna say "Why didn't you brake saar?"
very true & most importantly, they'll start preaching on riding slow & having patience.
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Err...are you sure? I thought no matter a motorcycle, car or a truck everyone has their equal rights. The one to yield is the last one in the queue/junction/traffic.
I meant the rule for joining onto a roundabout.

Quote:
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]Within a roundabout, do not stop except to avoid a collision; you have the right-of-way over entering traffic. Always keep to the right of the central island and travel in a counterclockwise direction.[/SIZE][/FONT]
From Driver Education - Roundabouts

This is for LHD of course, which is why it says counterclockwise. I've seen the same rule observed in another RHD country. I believe this is a general rule.

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 10th November 2010 at 09:54.
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:58   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
IMO your mistake.

He was in his lane all the time.

You were merging in from another lane.
You should have looked back.
You were at zero speed, hence while for you it was start moving, in his case it needed two actions, stop and move again.

But I would like add, that his higher speed did exactly what higher speed does. Complicate things and sometimes make simple accidents into nasty accidents.
Fully and completely agree. You were interrupting the flow of traffic. You had to be observant.
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Old 10th November 2010, 10:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anku94 View Post

So the guy caught up with me and we exchanged a minor argument [while driving] and he sped ahead. [After which I overtook him, after which he overtook me, after which I muttered an adjective for the guy, and stopped as I had arrived at my destination, but that does not relate to the story].

Here's what I'm sure of:-
My take - what happened above is the problem.

Sure, there was some right of way issue, sudden braking etc but no one hit anyone. These things keep happening, move on instead of getting into ego fights everytime you have to brake over 'right of way'.
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