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Old 13th July 2008, 15:20   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
One way to get better quicker is to take your car to a place with no traffic. Put down small stones and see how close you can get to them without touching them and do this for the left and right side and backing and going forward. This will give you a much better idea of the dimensions of your car and will tend to prevent you from having the scraps and fender benders that new drivers often get. It is a way of programming your body and teaching it exactly where the car is. Oh yeah, and practice.
I support this view fully. If this exercise is done diligently, you will be able to drive confidently in bumper to bumper traffic. New drivers often get intimidated by vehicles crowding around. two and three wheelers will often test your patience and judgment both! This exercise should do wonders for these situations too in addition to what Dan has mentioned.
On a lighter note I have often cursed drivers who leave an extra wide berth from the footpath/divider (depending on which side they are driving) and doing the same when they overtake somebody. The practise method listed above should help in such situations too!

Like other members have suggested, practice till it becomes second nature to drive - reach a level where all the controls, gauges, switches can be operated or observed without diverting attention from the road ahead.
Best of Luck!
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Old 13th July 2008, 15:52   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
75kmph is not really a blistering lap. Last track day, a Maruti Gypsy was being driven around at an average speed of 87-88kmph. So expect an Esteem to be in the 92-95kmph range. The race Esteems im told, can average around 100-102kmph.
Aha, thought so. 75 kmph avg. speed on that track did seem quite slow to me, but I did not commit myself because the nature of the corners is not always clear from a video.
Quote:
Unless you attend a track day, you wont understand what it's all about.
When I have a suitable car that is worthy of a race track I will surely participate. Otherwise I can at least attend a track day as a spectator one of these days.
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Old 13th July 2008, 19:20   #18
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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Like the horn, there is no "correct way" - only a decent and intelligent way.
Dont keep the flasher pulled for more than just a flash as it can blind oncoming traffic. Dont flash more than two times at a go - coz it can be irritating, etc etc.
In some ways flashing is like a less intrusive horn.

In India flashing means "im coming right at you, pay attention!" or "move over". In some other countries flashing means quite the opposite - "you go first / you have right of way".
Just want to clear some of my confusions regarding the use of lights when overtaking - We have all read the message "Use dipper at night" written behind trucks. What does it exactly mean and what is the reasoning?

Does it mean that we switch between high and low beam a few times instead of honking while overtaking? If that is so, what is its benefit with respect to the horn? - I mean, we use the horn during daylight, so why can't we do the same at night?

Also, what is the correct way to flash the lights when overtaking - suppose the truck in front is in the left lane, so do you just flash from behind it or you move slightly to the right and flash?

I get a feeling I'm asking extremely stupid questions, but then, that's the kind of warmth and confidence T-BHP has instilled in me .

BTW, a note to the original poster - Dude, I have been driving since the last 8 months and I can confidently say that I'm a good driver now (have got compliments from others, not a single scratch obtained except on the day of delivery when I was just learning). Apart from following all the suggestions that have already been mentioned, one key to this success has been to regularly read the threads on this forum. From how to operate gears, how to park in an incline, how to identify dangers, what to listen to while driving...you get it all here. So just keep reading and implementing. And if you still earn a scratch, you have a thread (How long you drove your car before it got a scratch/dent) for that too to make you feel better.
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Old 13th July 2008, 20:05   #19
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The vehicle I learnt car driving was Maruti 800.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post

What bothers me is that I still haven't mastered steering control - I can
make 90-degree and U-turns with ease but Sometimes the instructor keeps telling me "slighty left/right" "Can't you fell the car is not going in a
straight line?".
Generally, the road should be taken as a reference. I learnt that way. Surprisingly, the instructor told me that whenever I have completed 90 degree turns or am about to join the road, I am supposed to look at the steering wheel and look wheather the " Maruti " written in Hindi is straight or not.
My question was even the symbol will be straight even after first full turn.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
doubt 1:

How can I keep the car in a straight line ? (I have no problem in aligning
the car and correcting its direction on very mild curves)

My instructor says I grip the steering wheel very tightly and I should see
the road (and not the steering wheel)and keep it as a reference while
making a turn and straightening the vehicle after a turn.

My friend says most of the times,the car will self-straighten out after a
turn.
I also used to grip the steering wheel very tightly.
The car will straighten out itself, but then there are many things to be considered, mainly road condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
doubt 2:

My friend says you have to adjust the seat in such a way so that one can
see the bonnet(or hood) of santro.He drives an Esteem(which is longer than santro) and I told him thats why You are used to see the bonnet.He is also a few inches taller than me.

My Instructor says I don't have to see the bonnet.He says in santro it
won't be visible unless you are real tall.He says judgement will do.I
should also note that I have no problem when it comes to parking close to a wall - without seeing the bonnet.
Not all cars are available with seat height adjustment. Generally its done with judgement. Its also not possible to see the tip of the hood always.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
doubt 3:

I don't use the horn much.Is that a bad habit ? In my ten classes I think I
should honked some 2-3 times only ! I have this habit while driving the
scooter too !

And I heard drivers can communicate by using 'horn codes'.Is that true?
For example,a short peemp-peemp means give me way and so on.
Here you need to honk before overtaking so that the person/driver you are overtaking wont shift lane and come in to yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
doubt 4:

Can I switch off the santro when it is in gear ? My Instructor yelled at me
for this once(On my second or third class).

he said one should:

*Apply Parking brake
*Bring gear to neutral even if it is in 1st or R.
*Switch off vehicle.
*Then move the gear to 1st or R position depending on the gradient.
You can switch off your car when it is in-gear. However this applies only when parking on gradients. Your instructor is partly correct here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
doubt 5:

What is the correct situation/way of flashing the headlamps? I have
observed peole flash when they want to overtake a vehicle on a road without opposing traffic,use flash just to say a "Hi!" and use it to warn opposite traffic.Some people flash just once.Some give two quick flashes.
Flash light before overtaking and on for the oncoming traffic. Its certainly not to be used to say HI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
doubt 6:

How should I hold the gear lever?(see the attached pics)
Generally the image one is the perfect method till you have practice and are used to driving cars.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
doubt 7:

How can I increase my confidence level while driving ? Am learning before
the peak hour(7-7:30AM) and not managed to annoy anyone on road except my instructor at times.

My instructor says after all the classes are over,I should try driving a car *alone* in traffic and my confidence levels will automatically improve.
Just dont jump to traffic driving alone. In the instuctor car they have pedals with which they are able to control the vehicle if the one learning makes mistake.

First of all, try driving in non peak hours. I feel the best time is around 5:30 am. You will really be also able to enjoy the drive. This should be done for 20-30 days to build confidence, and if one is still not able to gain sufficient confidence, continue for 10-15 days more.

Then venture in to traffic. As you have sufficient level of confidence now after practice, driving will be less stressful.

The answer to increasing confidence is " PRACTICE " and more " PRACTICE ".

Last edited by aaggoswami : 13th July 2008 at 20:07. Reason: Wrote driver instead of instructor.
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Old 13th July 2008, 22:21   #20
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Thanks a lot , friends ! I was reading all the replies and recommended topics some three to four times ! They were all interesting and informative .

I still remember the day before my first driving class.I was so thrilled and was reading every bit of information about Santro on net ! What made me little unhappy was that every review made note of "poor pedal position" in santro.

The dead pedal was placed too close to the clutch that one cannot use his thumb and other big fingers of left leg to operate the clutch.We were taught to use the little fingers,except thumb, of the Left leg to operate the clutch !(I got used to it after 3-4 classes).It is such a beautiful car and I enjoyed every bit of driving it !


Even tough some owner reviews also say that the accelerator pedal too is badly placed,I never had a problem with that one ! The instructor and owner of the santro told us that this pedal position was Santro's only minus point compared to maruti 800 used in other driving schools ! He also said that a driving school's 800 develops a lot of play in the gear lever.

-Ashwanth
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Old 14th July 2008, 01:10   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devnull View Post
..."Use dipper at night" written behind trucks. What does it exactly mean and what is the reasoning?...
Devnull,

This basically means "do not drive with high-beam on continuously". If you are using high beams and see a vehicle approaching, use the dipper (low beam) until that vehicle goes past you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devnull View Post
Also, what is the correct way to flash the lights when overtaking - suppose the truck in front is in the left lane, so do you just flash from behind it or you move slightly to the right and flash?
On a highway i would still rely on my horn as the primary mode to tell a truck i was planning to overtake, whether it was day or night. Most trucks have no rear visibility (since the center mounted RVM is useless) so flashing from behind the truck might not be noticed.
If it was a multilane highway and the truck was doing a good job of staying in the left lane and i was passing in the right lane, i might just flash twice just as an extra safety measure before i pass.

cya
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Old 14th July 2008, 14:41   #22
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If you are about to pass at night, as you pull out into the passing lane it is a courtesy to flash your lights just once to let the driver know you are coming. The horn is an option but often the locals will not appreciate you blowing in the middle of the night, for example. Do not have your highs on as you approach from behind, you will tend to night blind the driver who has a big side mirror and he gets all the "benefit" of your lights right in his eyes from your reflection. Turn them on after you get by him if you need to.
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Old 2nd December 2009, 11:54   #23
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Hi gang !

My brother has started learning driving in a Wagon R Duo (D Man driving school , chennai).

1.That car has power steering.Is it ok to learn in it ? My instructor told me(about 2 years back while I was learning in a Santro) usually it is not advised to learn driving in a car that has power steering !

Is that so ? My brother has kind of decided his first car - Should be a i10 / Wagon R with PS.

2.He has progressed well(read it as 'relatively better than me').He went till 4 th gear / 50 kmph mark on the first day itself.He feels he can't judge the corner(normal !) - My objective now is to encourage him constantly and I told him it will take about 4 days or a week to get used to driving a car.

3.Both of us are taught like this(for gears except first):

Once the gear stick is in the required position , release clutch *slowly* and *fully* before giving the car , gas.For first gear its always a little gas first.

Is it wrong to give gas and release clutch simultaneously ? (Thats how I do on my 4 stroke Manual transmission scooter for gears 2 , 3 and 4)

Fortunately(?) , he didn't find the gearbox of the Duo to be a bore.
Since the school has a Santro too , I told him to try that out once he is finished his driving course with the Wagon R.


cheers
Ashwanth
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Old 2nd December 2009, 19:57   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
1.That car has power steering.Is it ok to learn in it ? My instructor told me(about 2 years back while I was learning in a Santro) usually it is not advised to learn driving in a car that has power steering !
Sounds fine to me!
As long as he knows that driving a non-PS car will be very slightly different in terms of steering feel - if he ever does drive one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
Once the gear stick is in the required position , release clutch *slowly* and *fully* before giving the car , gas.For first gear its always a little gas first.
For general / sedate driving, this works fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwanth View Post
Is it wrong to give gas and release clutch simultaneously ?
There is nothing wrong with that -- but it depends on how its done.

Ideally, you want parts of the clutch to be spinning at the same speed as each other when they meet. This is called revvmatching.

If done well - it can increase your clutch life and make gearshifts a lot smoother. (especially downshifts).

If done incorrectly - (eg. raising the engine TOO much when shifting) it can cause premature clutch wear - like slipping the clutch.

Raising the engine a lot when shifting can also be used as a way to get more power & keep the revvs high when shifting. Its called power-shifting and used in racing.


I suggest you use the standard method at first, and once you're very comfortable driving, then try revvmatching, if at all.

cya
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Old 3rd December 2009, 13:57   #25
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Thanks Rehaan !

And what is the exact function of the "pilot" / parking lamps ? Apart from using it while parked on the side of the road(not using hazard lights) , Can one use it to improve the visibility (of once's car to others) during dawn/dusk and rainy days ?

Even tough I would like to have fog lamps / pilot lamps always lit (like running lights) , I guess it will irritate people or have them constantly point out that "your car headlamps are ON".Do any one of drive with the fog lamps always at ON ?

And I have noticed cars with a tell tale light(eg Ritz) for Coolant temperature instead of a digital/analog meter.Will this tell tale light cry RED at the *last* moment or will it change colours from blue > yellow > red giving the driver sufficient time to react (assuming they use LEDs for this tell tale light).

My friend (who has an Esteem) told me a car should never be parked with its front wheels pointing left or right - It will do damage to the bearings was his explanation - Is that correct ?

Pardon me for some silly questions !

cheers
Ashwanth
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Old 1st June 2010, 17:01   #26
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Safe driving techniques by Ford attached herewith...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Ford Driving Skills Booklet.pdf (691.1 KB, 357 views)
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Old 1st June 2010, 20:02   #27
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First of all bravo for taking an initiative to discuss driving. It is a very common myth that if you have driven say 1,00,000 km you are an expert driver. In that sense all the bus and cab drivers would be Gods as far as driving is concerned. But that's not the case. So better learn the right things rather than logging miles and feeling like an expert doing all the wrong things.

Regarding your latest questions...

There are many uses of parking lights... most common one I experience is while parking in a dark street for a short time. Leaving them on will let people know the presence of the car so that they don't bump into it.

Fog lamps are different from parking lights. They emit a wide, bar-shaped beam of light rather than a wide scatter which the normal lamps emit. You may leave the running lights ON during daytime... but then flashing to pass won't be conspicuous enough.

Regarding temperature indicator lamps... there's a cushion between indication and actual hazard. You can safely 'limp' to your service station or a suitable spot to halt and cool off with these indicators ON. I have a dial in my car but my Dad's car has a lamp. Either way, you always have a good early enough warning.

Parking with steering aligned straight is a good practice but not a compulsion as far as vehicle hardware is concerned. It prevents wheels to from sticking out of the bulk of the car and prevents people accedentaly bumping into them.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 00:15   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
True to a certain extent. Personally, I consider the 6-lane Mumbai-Pune Expressway as virtually a race-track. I have crossed this 93 km stretch consistently in about 50 mts (avg. speed 113 kmph) in the past, and this includes about 12 kms of winding (but wide) ghat roads near Lonawala. So I would consider myself as having a pretty good idea of driving on a race track as far as the car's handling is concerned. E.g. I am overtaking at 150 kmph on the left lane, about to cut into the middle lane to get past a lorry, and find that a car ahead of me cuts from right to middle into my path. So I have to abruptly change my plan and cut into the right lane instead. Obviously a situation fraught with all kinds of dangers, and similar to a race-track situation. I am used to these kinds of high-speed maneuvers and seldom do I have to brake hard on the Expressway. I can also take corners at pretty good speeds. However, I have never used techniques like heel-and-toe and I don't rev my car really hard as I would have to in a race track; I want to be more gentle on my car to preserve its life.

If you see my description above of typical high-speed maneuvers, you will realize that a newbie should keep away from the Expressway till he has the basics right. In fact a Pune-Mumbai drive pretty much gives you the progression that a newbie should master. First Pune city, then the 4-lane Pune bypass highway, finally the six-lane Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Even if somebody has just obtained a license, I would strongly recommend that he gets into the Expressway only after mastering normal highways. Because driving at slow speed on the E'way is equally dangerous, and you just cannot afford to make the kind of mistakes that you can get away with on a normal highway.

I would strongly recommend that newbies first master driving on an E'way *before* getting on to a race track with other vehicles, but that is just my opinion.
I am surprised to see that a BHPian considers the expressway as a race track. Firstly it is NOT and secondly our cars are not race cars and thirdly none of us are trained to drive on race tracks. So please do not assume that you are a race car driver and try to imitate one. If you do that you are nothing but a menace on the road. You must appreciate that on the road you are a part of a system in motion. In fact, in USA driving schools have a course called "defensive driving" which provides training on how drive safely when everyone is moving at high speed. The keyword is safety for you and for all other cars on the road.

Please do not make our roads unsafe by driving irresponsibly. At high speeds you will not have a opportunity to learn from your mistake !!!

Rgds
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Old 2nd June 2010, 06:41   #29
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I am surprised to see that a BHPian considers the expressway as a race track. Firstly it is NOT and secondly our cars are not race cars and thirdly none of us are trained to drive on race tracks. So please do not assume that you are a race car driver and try to imitate one. If you do that you are nothing but a menace on the road. You must appreciate that on the road you are a part of a system in motion. In fact, in USA driving schools have a course called "defensive driving" which provides training on how drive safely when everyone is moving at high speed. The keyword is safety for you and for all other cars on the road.

Please do not make our roads unsafe by driving irresponsibly. At high speeds you will not have a opportunity to learn from your mistake !!!

Rgds
Couldn't agree more. I have driven on a proving ground, race track and roads. All three of them are completely different. Roads and proving grounds have speed limits (except for autobhans and high speed sections) and they are there for very good reasons. Please respect those reasons and when you feel like 'giving it' please find a real race track.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 20:27   #30
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@Garipagol & @XH_vee - RKS is a banned member; he doesn't belong to TBHP community anymore & this, probably could be the post for which he was being banned. However both of your comments are valid.
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