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Old 30th July 2015, 21:25   #46
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Sorry got a little ahead....this is the next scenario : keeping up speed

It is obvious that speed is maintained by accelerator. So obliquely this is another safety tip in use of accelerator.

How frustrated we feel when a slow car hogs the fast lane? Or the car that is to take next exit left starts braking in the middle lane instead of first moving to the slowest lane? Or a slow car that weaves between lanes as the driver fearfully tries to avoid faster traffic?

Well I can draw many more word pictures but basically in all these scenarios the driver would be safer (as would be others) if he uses a bit of speed. The intention being to have least speed differential with other traffic.

Using accelerator to keep up is safest option.

If highway speeds are more than you are comfortable with, then you need to practice rather than enter high speed traffic lanes. Keep safety not only ahead of you but also keep safe from traffic behind you.

Also remember while smaller vehicles are able to maneuver around slower vehicles the heavy vehicles are not. And therein lies unsafe environment.

May be others can put this more eloquently.

Last edited by sudev : 30th July 2015 at 21:27.
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Old 30th July 2015, 22:16   #47
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Thumbs up re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo_delight View Post
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.
I agree that truck drivers are one of the saner drivers and generally stick to their lanes - at least 90% of the time. But the truck driver in question, was driving an empty truck (I could make out by the way it jumped over a pothole & clattered when it overtook me later) and was gunning hell for leather towards Delhi or wherever he needed to go.

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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.
Surprisingly, I thought that I was the only one who followed this trick of watching the direction of their front wheel for an indication of their intended turn manoeuvre. I very often watch the front wheel of a truck to get an idea whether the truck is planning on changing lanes in the next few seconds or so. All the same, thanks for the well meaning advice!

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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.
Oh I honk and flash lights quite liberally, especially while overtaking ! I make sure that the guy being overtaken sees me before I start the overtaking manoeuvre . And if he vacates a lane to allow me to pass, I usually give him a wave (if the window's down) as a sign of acknowledgement/ appreciation.

Cheers !

Last edited by Ironhide : 30th July 2015 at 22:22.
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Old 31st July 2015, 10:10   #48
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Default re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Super thread.

One more thing I don't like being boxed in on multi lane highways, any sort of avoidance maneuvers are not an option if you are stuck between a truck and the divider. Generous use of the throttle and you can minimise that risk.

Another scenario would be if some one is closing in from behind at high speed you would want to give them way, accelerating and moving left gives everyone more time to react. This is especially true on NICE road in BLR where speed differentials are very high.
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Old 31st July 2015, 15:28   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhide View Post
..... Oh I honk and flash lights quite liberally, especially while overtaking

IMHO

Flashing lights and honking loose their effectiveness if used for every mundane maneuver. Reserve this only for emergencies.
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Old 31st July 2015, 19:05   #50
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Default Re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Very apt thread. Even I am of the same thought that accelerating has significant benefits in Indian driving conditions.

Gave the gyan to my wife regarding dropping a gear since she would overtake at a leisurely pace. Had to convince her that nothing happens to the engine no matter how much you rev it She's been a happy convert.

A relative advised me many years back and I find relevant always (specially on divider less, single lane roads): While doing an overtaking maneuver, do all the thinking and decision making while you are behind the vehicle. Don't go midway and then get double minded. Once you've decided, then just go with it. I always use this line of thought and combine it with holding or dropping the gear. Has thankfully served me well in some tight situations. Though experience has also taught that in any situation where there is a slight doubt, its better to wait.

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Sorry got a little ahead....this is the next scenario : keeping up speed
..............
Well I can draw many more word pictures but basically in all these scenarios the driver would be safer (as would be others) if he uses a bit of speed. The intention being to have least speed differential with other traffic.
...............

May be others can put this more eloquently.
Completely agree and you've put it eloquently enough

Maybe it has to do with Chandigarh being a city of retirees, but this is one problem faced all too often here. It causes unnecessary clogging and chances of mishap. Had the driver in front been faster by 10kmph, no one would be troubled.

Last edited by avisidhu : 31st July 2015 at 19:08.
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Old 31st July 2015, 19:28   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subscrive View Post
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).

Find a road with curves and try what we are advocating.

Of course do not do this - or even carry in high speed - into a curve that you cannot see through or are expecting hindrances. Technically when you apply a little acceleration when going into the curve the extra power gets transferred to outside driven wheel by differential. This also helps in easing the steering effort.

Another side effect of such driving is that passengers (and driver) end up feeling less "swayed" towards outside of the curve. The slightly faster outer wheels - due to differential - result in lesser vehicle sway.
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Old 1st August 2015, 05:26   #52
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Default Re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Very interesting thread and interesting observations throughout by the original poster. But most important part here is to be in control of your own vehicle. The observations on slight acceleration over curves is interesting. But, during slightly sharper lane changes, I wouldn't prefer to accelerate at all. I've got into the only accident till now exactly doing this!

But speaking of experience while accelerating slightly (and this slightly is sufficient to be in your own lane) over curves, I feel the body roll gets better leading to a better grip. And I do love the smooth swaying movement that one gets in a car like Punto on highways.

However, I wouldn't advise this to the speed maniacs over highways!
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Old 1st August 2015, 06:03   #53
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Thanks @amey.
Lane changes should never be "sharp"!
If you are anticipatory driver the lane change is done well in advance be it for exits or overtaking.

Highway driving discipline requires lane change only after making sure no other vehicle will be effects by proper use of all three mirrors plus glance over the shoulders for the blind spots. Even in emergency!

If you were being tested for driving licence in UK or USA you would not be passed if you responded like this to emergency.
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Old 1st August 2015, 17:42   #54
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Default Re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

All those who have driven in a western country will note the stark difference in driving behavior patterns of that country and our beloved India. There licenses are not issued or if issued impounded if you do not observe the rules:

1. Right of way
2. No break lights on intersections while stopping, hand brakes instead
3. Flashing lights mean you have asked the other car to go ahead and you would wait
4. Not getting in your way- so a person cutting in front of you needs to accelerate and not slow you down
5. Person behind needs to be sure that he does not bump into you no matter what circumstances- no emergency brake excuses
6. Person hitting from your left (UK) and from the right (US) is always at fault

The relevant piece is not getting in anyone's way while overtaking or changing lanes. Of course it helps that in those civilizations people have the courtesy to let you pass if you turn on an indicator, rather than try to speed past you honking and flashing lights.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 11:48   #55
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Default Re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Lot of people who drive (I refuse to call them drivers), don't know how to overtake. They believe that if at 50kmph they can crawl by a truck going at 40kmph, they will do so, not bothered about the traffic honking madly behind who had slowed down from 100kmph in the fast lane to 50 kmph, behind this moron for his overtaking maneuver.

I am surprised to see that lot of 'educated' folks refuse to use the accelerator to save their few precious mls of fuel, not realizing that their few rupees saving might be negated by a few thousand rupees damage if a heavy vehicle hits them from behind.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 16:51   #56
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Last scenario : When you are being pursued by mogambo!

Really no commentary needed for this. 😁

But seriously the last tip for use of accelerator is for those who overtake and immediately back off! Or overtake from left and back off. Or just cut in in front of a heavy vehicle especially from left. Or the worst is overtake a fast vehicle from right and then swerve left to take exit left!

Over last few years have seen increasing number of incidents where a smaller vehicle has been hit on rear left or right bumper by a behemoth.

Lucky one's just get a dent. Those with poor luck have their car turn perpendicular to face of heavy vehicle and get dragged a bit with whole side getting dented. Then there are those with bad luck whose car over turns and takes a roll (or two). Really unlucky one's get RIP comments on their Facebook page.

After over taking do not change lanes immediately and do not leave accelerator till you are sufficiently ahead of the vehicle overtaken.

Some friends have already pointed this out in their comments and needs to be understood by all.

So questions is : who really is the bad guy?
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Old 3rd August 2015, 08:47   #57
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Default Re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

I always have this habit of gunning the accelerator when I merge onto a highway / expressway to match my speed with the vehicles already on it.

In my opinion you are a hazard when your speed vastly differs from the average of others on your lane.

Sometimes my passengers finds this behavior uncomfortable, suggesting I smoothly accelerate instead of "being rash". This happens especially on dual carriage ways when there are U-turns in between.

But from the perspective of a person already on the highway , a car merging and "accelerating smoothly" is an obstacle since they are already moving at approximately 70kmph - so the best course of action like sudev said is to minimize the speed differential as quickly as possible.

Just my 2 cents. ( also would like to validate my behavior )
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Old 3rd August 2015, 10:50   #58
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@Mechano validated
Of course keeping other parameters in place
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Old 3rd August 2015, 11:54   #59
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Default Re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechano View Post
I always have this habit of gunning the accelerator when I merge onto a highway / expressway to match my speed with the vehicles already on it.

In my opinion you are a hazard when your speed vastly differs from the average of others on your lane.

Sometimes my passengers finds this behavior uncomfortable, suggesting I smoothly accelerate instead of "being rash". This happens especially on dual carriage ways when there are U-turns in between.

But from the perspective of a person already on the highway , a car merging and "accelerating smoothly" is an obstacle since they are already moving at approximately 70kmph - so the best course of action like sudev said is to minimize the speed differential as quickly as possible.

Just my 2 cents. ( also would like to validate my behavior )
Great thread and very valid points. I can recall one instance where way back in 1995, my Maruti 800 was t-boned at a junction by a reckless mahindra truck. I was entering the junction and anticipated the truck to hit my car for sure and decided to minimize the impact. I was new to driving then but thankfully floored the pedal on seeing the truck come so fast. Had I braked instead, the impact would have on the passenger compartment. Luckily, since I accelerated hard, the truck scraped the rear quarter panel and the damage was minimal. As expected, the guy fled the scene before I could pull over and assess the situation.

On the same breath, it is worth a discussion on the concept of 'YIELD' which the average Indian driver is seldom aware of. A fundamental and critical one that has to be practiced for safe driving and one that will curb road rage.
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Old 6th August 2015, 16:20   #60
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Default Re: Safe Driving: Using the Accelerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Very interesting point!

This can set off "traffic waves" where the chain reaction of braking actually creates a bit of a traffic-jam, despite there being no obstruction on the road!

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Here's one thread discussing just this : link (Traffic Hacking : One driver improving traffic)
Aha!, now I got the answer and the science behind why this happens.
I have always wondered how this phenomenon takes place. When I was in the UK, on the motorways, I used to frequently encounter these frustrating jams. Traffic would come to a crawl only to open up suddenly, without there being any accidents. We used to call them 'Phantom jams' over there.
Good succinct explanation.
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