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Old 28th July 2015, 22:53   #16
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Very pertinent point of view, especially considering 'gradual overtaking' practised by heavy vehicles. Also to note while overtaking, is to not floor it right behind a vehicle and then lean onto the right lane; but maintain an adequate gap for a better view and then slingshot past once into the move.
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Old 29th July 2015, 07:56   #17
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Interesting thread and I have stomped on the accelerator many times over the years.

Having said that the more safety conscientious approach would be to be reluctant to advise to do so. In my Jaguar I have close to 400BHP on tap, so overtaking is easy and using all that power means it can be done very safely. Still, not overtaking is safer.

the more power one has, the more one tends to use. I read an article many years ago on this topic. In it the author ask why Citroen 2CV owners are never involved in overtaking accidents. The answer is simple. These little 2CV, cute and practical as they might be, lacked power seriously. In many European countries they are banned from using them to do your driving test. They are so underpowered the instructor can't judge if you have the ability to keep up with traffic.

Nobody driving a 2CV will ever to attempt to use the accelerator to keep safe. It just can't be done. To boot, this is a very fragile car that offers very little protection to its occupants. Hence it leads (for most at least) to very defensive driving. Defensive driving in terms of safety is always the best.

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Old 29th July 2015, 11:36   #18
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

This is a great point and one that I also learnt at a bike training school in the US. Basically if you brake which in a curve, you have literally lost the grip on your rear tire so you are taking a curve with only one contact point which is the front wheel and which also happens to be in a turn.
Whereas if you accelerate you make the rear contact point bigger and sort of dig into the road with the rear/fatter tyre. Of course if you accelerate too much, the first wheel will go up and then you have other problems to deal with.
But yeah, nothing more exciting than accelerating out of a turn on a curvy road. :-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post

Scenario : Taking a curve on the highway
Again, most people brake through the curve, reducing speed in order to take the curve safely. The point is you should brake "before" the curve and while into the curve. This eliminates chances of the vehicle losing grip and under-steering.
However once into the curve it is in fact easier to maneuver through with light acceleration added. As you turn the wheel also lightly press the accelerator if you are at a safe speed. The vehicle will handle the curve better and safely.

Waiting for comments and inputs from others before putting out more scenarios.
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Old 29th July 2015, 11:43   #19
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post

Scenario : Overtaking

Scenario : Taking a curve on the highway
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post

Scenario : Changing lanes on the expressway
Nice examples of use of acceleration to be safer. I think all drivers should be aware of these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
A scenario on a multi-lane road (expressway, for instance), where acceleration is a life saver.

You are driving a car - say, B-segment hatch - and overtaking a truck on an expressway. You are doing 100kmph steady in the right lane, truck doing 60kmph steady in the left lane. Just as you reach the truck's blind spot - which is usually just behind the driver's cab, you notice him drifting towards the right, with his right indicator on.

I have found that it is better to honk hard and accelerate hard at this point - because you are closer to the front of the truck, and hence will get away from the place he wants to be in - the right lane - much faster. Try slowing down/braking, and there is a very high risk of getting swiped by the back of the truck.
One should never move right up to the blind spot of the truck driver and further without the truck driver being aware of your position. If you are already closer to the front of the truck at that kind of speed, you will have no time to brake and only option is to swerve slightly if possible and try to honk and accelerate.

But there may indeed be occasions when the truck driver may swerve into your fast lane, even though he is aware that you are overtaking. This may happen when there is an obstruction coming into the truck's lane and he has to avoid it by swerving into your lane. This happened to me on NH2 at the kind of speeds that you are talking about - the one really dangerous moment in my brief driving career. I had to swerve with the truck and I knew I might hit the divider any moment. But I swerved back to the middle of my lane and could feel my left tires begin to lift up from the road. But the car settled back on the road.

Fellow BHPian Sheel pointed out on this board that I should have been aware of the possible obstruction to the truck driver from his left and could have avoided overtaking for a few moments till that was taken care of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Accelerator or speeding up during safety manoeuvres must be limited to one's experience otherwise a bigger incident might happen. I agree that one should keep a power reserve at all gears so that the car is in complete control.
Maybe this is the crux of the matter.

One has to remember though (as Jeroen has pointed out), that power is addictive. If one has power one tends to use it. If you are driving a powerful car, you may tend to find safety (and satisfaction) in being always ahead of the pack. There may be times when it is safer to decelerate and be behind the pack.
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Old 29th July 2015, 12:02   #20
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

This thread reminds me of cheery line from Mitsubishi Evo X's review-

In all other cars, you brake to avoid danger. In this car, you floor the pedal and rest assured that it will take you away from any danger

I am not sure if it was a t-bhp review or some auto magazine. Actually, now I am not even sure if it was Evo-X. But the line has stayed with me.
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Old 29th July 2015, 12:05   #21
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

To use the accelerator for your safety, you should be in the right speed as well. Just to take my case of MJD engine, when I am cruising at 80 kmph, it is easier for me to use the accelerator to reach 100 or 120kmph to get out of emergency situations. But driving at 120 kmph or beyond, accelerator is not of great use to go beyond that as time taken to reach next speeds will be higher.

Hence driving at right speed is really important to use accelerator for your safety.
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Old 29th July 2015, 12:18   #22
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

I would recommend watching all 10 episodes from the "AMG Driving Academy Performance Series" videos that nicely explain all the basic driving techniques from seating to taking turns and so on. The videos are also available in youtube but here is another link to the videos (all 10 episodes),
http://amgacademy.com/gallery/videos

Last edited by Whiplash7 : 29th July 2015 at 12:19.
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Old 29th July 2015, 12:43   #23
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

A person I know who while in the overtaking maneuver used to pause for a while mid way. He told me that mid way while overtaking he made sure if its safe to overtake or not. This led to ugly situations a lot of times while overtaking. While in the car while this person was driving, overtaking was the most scary part.
Before overtaking first you should not be tailgating the vehicle ahead, maintain a safe distance between the vehicle ahead also you should have a clear view of the road ahead without any obstruction, then you should accelerate smoothly after being firm of overtaking and not in two minds like the person described above.
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Old 29th July 2015, 14:28   #24
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Scenario : Taking a curve on the highway
Again, most people brake through the curve, reducing speed in order to take the curve safely. The point is you should brake "before" the curve and while into the curve. This eliminates chances of the vehicle losing grip and under-steering.
However once into the curve it is in fact easier to maneuver through with light acceleration added. As you turn the wheel also lightly press the accelerator if you are at a safe speed. The vehicle will handle the curve better and safely.
Exactly something I always tell my fellow drivers. Once into the curve, never brake rather use the A pedal lightly to control the vehicle. The worst part is when the curve is water clogged, I have seen a lot of folks panic brake while in the curve and then aqua plane eventually.
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Old 29th July 2015, 14:29   #25
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Scenario : Tyre blowout in highway(high speed)
In case of tyre blowout, it is better NOT to use the sudden braking, instead it is suggested to control the car momentum by accelerating the vehicle.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=13 :-
If you experience a blowout, it doesn't make any difference if you are driving a sports car, sporty coupe or sport utility vehicle; the same procedures are appropriate. The driver should step on the accelerator for an instant to preserve vehicle momentum (or at least maintain constant accelerator pedal pressure), and offset the pulling caused by the blown tire by gently counter steering to keep the vehicle in its lane. Once the vehicle has stabilized, the driver can gently slow down and begin to carefully pull over to the side of the road.

Video explanation:

Last edited by shetty_rohan : 29th July 2015 at 14:43.
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Old 29th July 2015, 14:30   #26
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Very valid points.

One thing that i practise is to stay in a lower gear when going downhill - gives ample grip when getting into turns and then lets you accelerate out of it as well..

else, one is still braking out of the turn which is not really confidence boosting
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Old 29th July 2015, 15:03   #27
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Another very annoying thing some people do, they overtake me at a speed much greater than mine (obviously) and that's perfectly fine but then they come right in front of me on my lane and reduce speed, even below my speed, forcing me to brake a little and reduce my speed. This is a potentially dangerous thing to do. I have no idea why some people do this.
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Old 29th July 2015, 15:17   #28
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangan View Post
Very valid points.

One thing that i practise is to stay in a lower gear when going downhill - gives ample grip when getting into turns and then lets you accelerate out of it as well..

else, one is still braking out of the turn which is not really confidence boosting
As per the rule, you should be doing downhill in the same gear that will be used if you were doing uphill. Meaning, if your car climbs the hill on 3rd gear, then while coming down as well you need to use the 3rd gear.
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Old 29th July 2015, 15:35   #29
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

One thing that I learnt with time, is that while overtaking (especially on single carriageways) you should maintain a decent gap between yourself and the vehicle in front, have a clear view of the right lane and then proceed to overtake while building up speed (even downshifting if required). I have observed many people tailgating trucks and suddenly jumping to the right lane without having any clear view of incoming traffic and without any ready momentum, which is a very dangerous thing. Also, one should avoid following such a car to the right lane immediately, because chances are that this guy might have to brake hard and move back into his lane.
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Old 29th July 2015, 16:48   #30
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

I had an interesting conversation with an expat friend a few years ago; he rides a 500cc Royal Enfield, and as an erstwhile Bulleteer, I was undecided between picking up either the 350 or the 500 for myself. The thing he said that stayed with me is exactly the subject of the thread: specially on highways, sometimes the power and acceleration difference between the 350 and 500 makes all the difference towards your safety.

BHPians who've driven the previous generation of India's transport vehicles (Ambassador, Fiat 1100D, the older Mahindra Jeeps, Bullets, etc.) will remember that before the relatively quick-pickup, light and peppy Maruti 800 arrived in the mid 1980s, this driving technique used to be fairly standard as you had to manage the momentum of the vehicle on account of the relatively sluggish performance of these vehicles. Come to think of it, sometimes you had to downshift even in the 800 to overtake, if you had the AC running!
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