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Old 28th February 2010, 20:24   #1
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Default Road Dividers - A major cause of accidents

One of the most common sights on highways is vehicles crashing on to road dividers.

This happens while a vehicle tries to overtake other vehicle when entering a village/town and suddenly a road divider starts.

Recently I have seen an accident where two trucks crashed into the road divider one after the other. These trucks for following another truck. The first one moved slightly towards his left when he was entering a village. The second truck driver suddenly found a road divider while he tried to overtake. The funniest seen was the third truck driver was blindly following the second one and he too crashed into the road divider and to the second truck.

I couldn't take the picture of the above accident. However, I am attaching a picture of a similar accident. The quality of the picture is not too great as I took the picture while driving.

We need to be more careful when entering villages on highways.
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Road Dividers - A major cause of accidents-mahabaleshwar-trip-007.jpg  

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Old 28th February 2010, 20:43   #2
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Though lets not overlook the +ve of dividers - which IF implemented correctly prevent a car from straying over into oncomming traffic, effectively doubling the impact speed and damage caused (to life and property).
Though unfortunately in most cases dividers here are only to block out the headlights from oncomming vehicles.

However, i know exactly what you mean with regards to the dividers "coming out of nowhere", especially on roads we aren't familiar with.

One way to solve this would be a system of indicating an upcomming solid divider.

For example :
- 30m of a solid orange line on the road
- Followed by 10m of flexible plastic road dividers
- And finally the actual divider.

However, once again it comes down to systems and their implementation - and we all know how good that is in our country!!

So, what can we do? Follow some rules :

1) Always take it easy on roads you aren't familiar with
2) Drive only as fast as you can see the road ahead
3) Never follow too close
4) Always clear your own overtaking path (dont just tail the vehicle in front of you)
5) Put on your high-beams when overtaking (as there should be no oncomming traffic whilst youre overtaking anyway).


Last edited by Rehaan : 28th February 2010 at 20:45.
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Old 28th February 2010, 23:25   #3
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American freeways do not use a divider. They use a wide and shallow ditch to separate the two sides.

Besides I dont feel comfortable driving at speed with a divider 10 inches away from me. That lane is pretty much not usable for me.

Last edited by Mpower : 1st March 2010 at 01:58.
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Old 28th February 2010, 23:39   #4
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i have witnessed an accident where a bus hit a lorry coming from opposite direction because a cyclist had come out of no where and in order to save the cyclist, the natural course of action for the bus driver was swerving right and it ended up with a head-on-collision with the lorry
damage-over 20 people dead,

here i was cruising happily @120kmph on East-West corridor and suddenly out of no where i see barely 50 mts ahead a tempo which has made a U and gunning for me
thank my stars to this day

had there been a divider(in bus and lorry collision) the outcome might have been different but may be in India we need dividers as there is no regard for lane discipline and proper signalling

have seen many lorries smashing the fence(if present) of the divider or simply smothering the concrete and its under-body

i don't know whether i am in favor of dividers or against it, but surely don't agree with the speed-breakers concept

Last edited by Sheel : 28th February 2010 at 23:40.
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Old 28th February 2010, 23:51   #5
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Centre dividers are quite common in Europe. They are always properly marked out with signs/warnings, reflectors, etc. Over here we seem to be putting up no markings, hence these accidents.

For that matter what about the arbitrary, unmarked sleeping policemen (aka speed bumps). These are highly lethal for 2 seaters.
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Old 1st March 2010, 00:51   #6
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The dividers that come up suddenly are a big cause of accidents. Many times, due to the high beams of oncoming vehicles, we may be temporarily blinded and fail to see a divider starting on the road. Also, in our country, there is high degree of theft and vandalism of reflective tapes used to indicate start of dividers (if installed!).
I did find some effective remedies for the divider problem. Plus, this one also takes care of the high beam from oncoming vehicles. (The first image of the green Light Barrier).
Plastic divider blocks with in-built reflective tape provision are also an effective option for dividers. (The second image of the black road kerb block).
I hope the government takes notice and installs these green light barriers on all SHs and NHs, especially the ones without street lights. These are installed on many Maharashtra SHs like Mumbai-Surat, Mumbai-Pune SH, etc. TOI also covered an article with full page images of the Mumbai-Pune SH. (The third image of TOI first page).
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Old 1st March 2010, 09:13   #7
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It has got both, negative and positive points.

Positive Points.
1) The on coming vehicle's headlights dont hit you. A major advantage, this prevents accidents. On normal highways, the headlights are so strong, they blind driver momentarily. In case of a low slung car, this is more apparent.

2) Clearly defines boundaries. In a corner you are sure that nobody else is coming from opposite direction. On normal highways this is not possible.

Negative Points.

3) If at all somebody is taking a U turn, he is in a blind spot. A big problem leading to accidents.

4) People jumping the divider. When road divider is there, we expect that pedestrian will not be crossing road, but in cities, people jump the road divider and end up in front of you when you least expect them. The people who jump the divider range from kids to educated fools.

5) Once road divider is there, generally I have seen that in cities the left most lane becomes parking lane. Dont know the logic behind this, but it happens.

Unless the road is like Expresshighway, there is no point in having road divider. It becomes a hazard.
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:11   #8
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First... anyone who overtakes blind cannot blame the thing they hit!

Second... road should be properly marked and divider should be properly lit, at least with reflectors. Whilst I have no time for the control-freak, over-engineered current design of British roads, the arrows that indicate to get back in lane, and the ladder marking on the road before an island or divider, are just basic.

The most ridiculous "safety" device I have ever seen is the unlit road block which seems to be popular here (at least on the Chennai ECR). I wonder that people do not drive into them daily.
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:22   #9
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I just remembers how dangerous it is to ride next to a divider. Imagine a small lapse in the concentration and then you are either on the next road facing the oncoming vehicles or your vehicle would have turned upside down or done 2/3 somersaults. The dividers either should be of min height like 3-4 feet IMO to avoids cars and other vehicles going on it or sliding over it and overturning
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Old 1st March 2010, 12:29   #10
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IMHO dividers help maintaining whatever little sanity is left on Indian roads.
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Old 1st March 2010, 13:21   #11
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+1 Dividers are really helpful and when there are plants drown on the median, night driving becomes peaceful. The blinding light of the upcoming is reduced.

On the other hand, a wide and shallow ditch to separate the two sides (As in NICE road are dangerous considering the traffic in India.

1. There is little lane discipline.
2. Sleepy truckers often land into these ditches.
3. I've seen a couple of cars overtaking trucks with 2 wheels on the grass.

There was this accident that had happened on NICE road. The driver of a MAX pick up truck had lost control trying to overtake a truck with 2 wheels on the grass. For his misfortune, the grass was wet. The vehicle was pulled towards the right and the vehicle toppled hitting the ditch. The pick up truck was almost on the lane of the opposite side.
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Old 1st March 2010, 13:57   #12
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Anyone who has driven on Kerala roads would know what difference a divider could make. It is one state where the concept of dividers do not exist at all. Driving on those roads is a challenge.

Long live the dividers!!!

Completely agree with Thad E Ginathom, never overtake blindly. That mistake cannot be a justification for getting rid of dividers.
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Old 1st March 2010, 14:15   #13
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With the same logic they should do away with retaining walls on ghat sections too.

Dividers are required in this country of morons.

We are not humans we are cattle, we need to herded through passages cause if we dont have dividers we will take up the whole road.

I am of the firm belief that we need dividers for each lane forget road.
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Old 1st March 2010, 14:19   #14
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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
I am of the firm belief that we need dividers for each lane forget road.
Wow, I fear some NHAI guy reading this, and then implementing it.

Yes, you hit the nail on the head. It is discipline that matters most, rest all will follow.
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Old 1st March 2010, 14:20   #15
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Even if the dividers are not present on the straight road, it is compulsory to have them at turns/hairpin bends and steep crosses where people tend to go to the oncoming vehicles when taking right turn. Usually while taking right turns people tend to use the shortest route rather than the longer radius and then try to maneuver when they see a vehicle ahead which is very risky and dangerous. So dividers are a must at those sections.
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