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Old 29th July 2015, 20:08   #31
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Cant agree more to this topic. Sharing an incident which happened with me at Odisha last year. Its not related to overtaking but using the accelerator pedal instead of the break saved the day

1) I was driving on the right lane of the highway. It was a one way road. The median was full of small bushes. Suddenly i saw something coming out of the bushes with in 40 meters from my car. There was no proper divider cut by which people are supposed to take 'U' turns or cross the road. I was at around 100kms per hour. It was a local village guy in his Tvs Luna. When i saw him there, i knew he will come out on the road with out even seeing. I just pressed the horn if he stops but he didn't. In less than 40 meter there was no way i could stop a car from 100 kms/hr. I just swerved to the left lane, shifted down to 4th and floored the accelerator pedal. Car reached 120km/hr and within a split second of me passing i saw that guy came out in full speed and he just got nervous as he saw a car passed so fast in front of him. By his reflex the time he stopped he was already in the middle of the lane.
If i would have tried braking that time am sure it would have been a disaster.

2) Another point i like to mention is use the accelerator pedal cleverly while going up hill in case of hill driving. I have seen many newbie driver braking just before a hairpin bend and then struggling to move ahead. They not only put themselves in risk, they put the vehicle following them in trouble too.

3) In another scenario if one is driving at 80km/hr and suddenly see a pot hole in front of him most of the driver will brake. But instead of braking if one just increase the speed and cross it say around 90km/hr it will definitely make less damage to the car. Now it has to be judged by the driver. In case its a crater then increasing the speed will do more harm. In that case hit the brake hard once by making sure no one is tailgating you closely and leave the brake pedal and let the wheel roll over the bad surface. Slamming the brake and holding it while crossing a rough stretch will do more harm to the suspension.

Last edited by Samba : 29th July 2015 at 20:28.
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Old 29th July 2015, 20:40   #32
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

I would tread safe here, because the manoeuvres depend upon your tyre conditions and the brakes as well. And there is a hell lot of Physics involved, suppose you are driving a tall boy like a WagonR, I believe its safer to pump the brake or tap the pedal till you are slow enough to take the bend. But hard braking in the corners is a strict no no. If you have a Car behind you, rather downshift to slow the car down (might put some pressure on the engine) and in worst case plonk it into Reverse (Caution:- See that someone does not rear end you)
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Old 29th July 2015, 22:04   #33
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

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Originally Posted by SHANKY11 View Post
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.
Very good points indeed! I've noticed this errant and dangerous behaviour during a team-bhp drive to Warangal a year ago. Another member and I educated the concerned about the dangerous consequences of his acts, so that he does not do it again. And yes, he was a newbie to highway driving.
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Old 29th July 2015, 22:28   #34
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post

2) Another point i like to mention is use the accelerator pedal cleverly while going up hill in case of hill driving. I have seen many newbie driver braking just before a hairpin bend and then struggling to move ahead. They not only put themselves in risk, they put the vehicle following them in trouble too.
I believe it is correct to slow down (brake) before entering a hairpin bend, shift the gear down and then take the bend while accelerating. If the shift down is not done then moving ahead will be a struggle and you might stall the engine midway. Correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 29th July 2015, 23:24   #35
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Understanding your car & it's limits (and the limits of the nut behind the wheel) etc massively helps in emergency situations though I've don't really like drivers who, firstly, take excessive time to decide overtaking manuvers (why even consider it if one has doubts?), Secondly, show their reluctance such that it leaves the oncoming vehicle (/pedestrian) confused!

Driving the Nano has made me a sedate driver, and hence I most often don't find myself trying to push my Linea mjd (however a good handler it may be).

lol HVK often says, "Drive carefully, that is the biggest contribution..." when discussing travel route plans in the fan club. And "Drive defensively".

True said by Samba about judging the speed breaker, not breaking over tiny potholes & not holding onto brakes while exactly on the pothole, holds true for both 4 and even 2 wheelers.
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Old 29th July 2015, 23:44   #36
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

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Originally Posted by rohanak1 View Post
I believe it is correct to slow down (brake) before entering a hairpin bend, shift the gear down and then take the bend while accelerating. If the shift down is not done then moving ahead will be a struggle and you might stall the engine midway. Correct me if I am wrong.
If you are driving a small car, for you its fine. But in many cases bigger trucks or buses tailgate you. In that case they will be in a difficult place while you will gain momentum and climb up. Bigger vehicles never want to lose momentum before a climb up.

When you are going uphill you do not have to use the brake to lose your momentum then shift down and again gain momentum just before the hairpin bend. Just approach the bend in fair speed if you feel the current gear is not sufficient to pull the car up just shift down and gun the accelerator judging the steepness of the turn. This way you can maintain a constant speed by not slowing down yourself and the cars behind you. If you feel your speed is too high to downshift just lift your right foot, it will slow down your car automatically while you are going uphill.
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Old 30th July 2015, 00:12   #37
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Something i've been doing for years now, every time i approach a tight corner, i slow down a bit before corner and drop a gear if i am in a gear too high and i accelerate out of the corner(gentle if i am cruising). For DSG, a slight blip to A-pedal does the job, old school automatics don't work with subtle hints. This grip levels are much better this way + i am always prepared for an emergency maneuver if need arises, the unexpected idiot approaching me in my lane gives me less of the goosebumps.
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Old 30th July 2015, 13:09   #38
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Very Nice Thread Sudev, Keep it up TBhp.
I always did these things subconsciously, and wondered why drivers do not follow such basics of driving. But this thread spells out the technical aspects and is Very good for our Young Brigade.
Why can we not have a thread, where all on TBhpeans observe lane discipline, i.e. on expressways drive in the middle lane, use right most lane Only for overtaking, and leave the left most lane for trucks and buses. Why can TBhp not put up some banners or give out flyers to trucks and buses, maybe at toll points showing in simple language the advantages of using only the left most lane, and never go on to the right most lane.
Lets make TBhp a platform for Safe Driving also.
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Old 30th July 2015, 13:58   #39
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Another point which I would like to mention is that when you're in hills and taking a curve, remove your foot from the accelerator for a while and when you are 40-50% into the curve, then push the accelerator. This way, you'll have the safety of engine braking while going into the curve, the car will handle safely and when you'll step on the accelerator after 50% into the curve, you'll be getting out of the curve quickly.
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Old 30th July 2015, 14:11   #40
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

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Originally Posted by Ironhide View Post
What an apt thread. I can relate to this because I have used acceleration to pull out of a sticky situation.

I was driving from Dehradun to Delhi by the traditional Roorkee - Muzaffarnagar - Meerut route. Somewhere after Muzaffarnagar, where the road is four-laned , I honked and flashed to ask a truck (which was clipping at nearly 70 in the rightmost lane) but the guy just won't let me overtake from the right. So I came to the left and rear of the truck, honked a few times and flashed my lights to make sure that he saw me. After some honking/ flashing lights I presumed that he had seen me.
You were correct in honking and flashing light and making sure that the truck driver sees you. One additional thing that can be done is to look at the truck tires. Truck drivers normally do follow lane discipline. Normally they don't jump lanes like crazy drivers doing all left and right at high speeds.

But, still its good to have a look at the tires before overtaking trucks or buses. Being in a sedan or a hatchback, their tyres give a good idea if they are changing lanes. And yes, honking is a must on highways when we are overtaking, i think its ok to wake up a few sleepy people driving a car.
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Old 30th July 2015, 16:01   #41
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

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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.
Sorry. But never accelerate in a curve. Accelerate immediately after the curve is over and if road allows. This makes the curve clear of the blind spot for the behind cars.
In the curves, just maintain the momentum. Dont deacccelerate (using brakes) or accelerate (using accelerator).

Last edited by subscrive : 30th July 2015 at 16:04.
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Old 30th July 2015, 16:23   #42
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Superb thread. Yep Acceleration is a really handy safety tool in so many scenarios like the ones you mention and also some mentioned by the other contributors.

I do use the Acc, on Overtaking, Exiting Freeway or Exiting the path of Flyovers to get on to the side road, to navigate a lot of rough patches by gliding over the potholes, avoid obstacles that are likely to jump on to the road sooner than I can brake, Cornering especially. It all falls into place as you document it.
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Old 30th July 2015, 17:49   #43
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
I would like to present (and compile) scenarios where acceleration is the safer option.
Great thread, Sudev.

A few comments to all who are reading this thread:
  1. The thread title, i.e. Using the Accelerator to keep safe - my preference would be for the word Modulating. Somehow, most folks who (learn to?) drive in India get the idea while driving, that the accelerator is nothing more than an On-Off switch. I hope this thread would break that myth.
  2. A quick exercise to see how well one can modulate the accelerator as well as understand the vehicle's response: on an open highway, try to drive in each gear at increments / decrements of 5 kmph. Maintain the given speed steadily for at least 15 seconds before going on to the next higher or lower speed.
  3. Whether using the brakes or the accelerator, do remember - control over the car is not just with the pedals, the steering wheel needs to be used in the correct manner simultaneously. Case in point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
I just swerved to the left lane, shifted down to 4th and floored the accelerator pedal.
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Old 30th July 2015, 17:56   #44
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Thanks @SST yes modulation is better word.

The idea behind the thread is to raise driving consciousness, especially amongst newer drivers.

Timid and extremely site driving on high speed roads is recipe for disaster.
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Old 30th July 2015, 18:00   #45
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Timid and extremely site driving on high speed roads is recipe for disaster.
Didn't get this part, could you please explain it a little?
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