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Old 26th September 2021, 21:19   #346
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by Akshay6988 View Post
How do I build and maintain speeds in ghats ? Is this issue with my car or with my driving ?
Don't be a slouch and change gears often to stay in the power band. If you observe old alto drivers in Himachal, these blokes do a crazy amount of gear changes to haul 5 passengers plus luggage on steep(and often bad) roads. And these little 800cc cars never run out of breath apparently.
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Old 26th September 2021, 21:22   #347
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by Akshay6988 View Post
Yes I drive a NA petrol manual car.
I will keep this in mind to keep revs at 3000 rpm next time I'm driving uphill.
Just need to focus on driving well now.
Nice that you're driving a petrol and since its a Creta then I assume its the 1.5 NA which will have a linear response with increasing rpm hence easier to use.

Although I haven't driven it but just to compare when I am driving the wagonR (K10B), on level roads, I usually upshift around the 2500rpm mark, could be more since I go by the feel of it and don't really look at the tacho. Uphills would be more like 3500-4000rpm and I hold the revs especially when approaching a turn since I don't know what's on the other side. Having that option to accelerate instantly along with braking is a safety feature to deal with a sticky situation, IMHO.

Enjoy your drives

Last edited by shancz : 26th September 2021 at 21:26. Reason: quoted post added
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Old 26th September 2021, 22:59   #348
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by Akshay6988 View Post
I upshift at 1500rpm and stay in 3rd gear, 2nd gear depending on the steepness of road. How do I build and maintain speeds in ghats ? Is this issue with my car or with my driving ? Car runs smoothly on plain roads though.
While climbing up you really do not have to work the gearbox all that much. Identify a moderate speed that lets you stay in a gear at a moderate engine speed perhaps between 2-3000 rpm for the most part , this could be 3rd gear on moderate inclines, 2nd on a bit more steeper inclines and 1st gear for tight bends / steep climbs. These are the same three gears to use on the way down as well.

Modulate your A pedal smoothly, you'll learn to drive with just that one pedal and avoid shifting gears too many times. How about 2 hours of only 1st gear ? Possible. Western Ghats have such roads too.
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:08   #349
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by Akshay6988 View Post
Guys I need some suggestions from you on my driving uphill in ghats. This is a bit embarrassing for me, but I would never improve if I don't ask for help The issue is I struggle to build up speed going uphill the ghat sections. Even Altos, Ace pick up truck manage to overtake me uphill while I am doing 30 -40 kmph max in my Creta. I upshift at 1500rpm and stay in 3rd gear, 2nd gear depending on the steepness of road. How do I build and maintain speeds in ghats ? Is this issue with my car or with my driving ? Car runs smoothly on plain roads though.
From the replies I see that it is a petrol vehicle. Unlike diesel counterparts this engine should be good enough till 5000 RPM (My Alto K10 goes to 6250 RPM).

So never be afraid of hitting 4500+ RPM on uphill stretches, which means that you should always be a gear or two lower than normal while climbing (as well as while descending).

I use the full RPM bandwidth while climbing hills. M800, Esteem and K10 have good torque at higher RPM so I maintain at least 3000 RPM while climbing steep hills. That means that lots of time I am in the 2nd gear. By the way I have taken my cars upto these maximum speeds

1. 2nd 80 km/h
2. 3rd 110+ km/h

so 60 km/h in 2nd should be a breeze for a decent petrol engine.


Contrary to the general perception, for high speed petrol cars, higher RPM gives more torque and FE. So never slog at 2000 RPM while overtaking but rev the engine to 4500+. The bane of petrol engines is "slogging", that is running at 1250- RPM while accelerating. It is OK for cruising in the 5th at 100km/h, but fuel sapping at lower gears & speeds.

Last edited by Aroy : 27th September 2021 at 11:12.
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Old 4th November 2021, 11:48   #350
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Don’t overtake near the crest of small “hills”

Several single lane highways in India are on an undulating surface where the “hills” can be as high as 6m(enough to hide a truck). Never become impatient and overtake just before the crest. Same principle applies to multi lane roads-a truck or car could have broken down in the trough and might not be visible until you ascend the crest.

Drive at a speed such that you can brake to a full stop within the visible roadway
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Old 26th March 2022, 21:25   #351
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

I had been waiting from many years to contribute to this thread. Thanks moderators for accepting my membership.

I would like to add just two additional comments to this beautifully written thread.

1. While we should always be careful for random animals jumping on the highway from nowhere, but I have noticed, that especially around sunset, the domesticated animals like cattle, goats and sheep flood the highway. They are usually accompanied by a caretaker, who barely manages to control them while crossing the highway. He usually takes the animals back to their home after a free meal throughout the day
I learned it the hard way. Had to panic brake once, when a farmer was managing three cows around a blind expressway curve, who will not listen to him!
Hence, watch out for domesticated animals especially around sunset.
2. If you are driving at high speeds and you spot a hazard ahead, please warn others who are behind you by blinking your hazard lights. I do it no matter what. Have failed to receive it back ever. Other drivers ahead of me just make random stunts, or do nothing.

Maybe I am doing it wrong and hazard lights are not meant for this purpose, please correct me if I am wrong. I may have done it atleast two hundred times in my around 80k kilometers highway specific drives.

Dear Moderator, if found suitable, please move these two suggestions to the main page, otherwise they will be buried in the numerous thread pages.
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Old 10th April 2022, 16:46   #352
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Highway driving provides unmatched pleasure to us petrolheads. Whoever coined the phrase "the journey is as important as the destination" must've been a gearhead at heart. Things have never been better for Indian driving enthusiasts. Cars are getting increasingly competent, road quality has much improved in the last decade, and travelling in India exposes you to unparalleled natural beauty.

Unfortunately, India leads the world in road accident fatality rates. Someone dies on our roads every 4 minutes! Rather than the quality of road, you can put this down to poor driving skills, ill-maintained vehicles & awful post-incident medical support. The number of injured people who die between the accident time & them reaching the hospital is shockingly high.

Highway driving entails faster speeds & more overtaking. Most accidents occur while overtaking or at junctions. As a responsible, informed car owner who cares about his safety & that of others on the road, it is important for you to follow the best practices listed below.
Driving on roads along the ghats in India put the best drivers to test their driving skills. The thumb rule here is patience, prediction of possible movement of other vehicles especially heavy vehicles / trucks. The trucks on a downslope can not possibly stop even if they want to avoid you as p=mv. Here, P=momentum, m=mass and v=velocity. So, by its sheer mass and speed the vehicle will not stop or sudden application of brakes will move the mass or load in the truck to over run the drivers cabin.

Last edited by Sheel : 10th April 2022 at 17:03. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Thanks!
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Old 10th April 2022, 17:47   #353
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by Col.S Virdi View Post
Driving on roads along the ghats in India put the best drivers to test their driving skills. The thumb rule here is patience, prediction of possible movement of other vehicles especially heavy vehicles.
This couldn't have come at a better time. Today I had an incident and wanted to write a new post on it but this one caught the eye. Patience, something which is hardly found, like commonsense, is the topic.

While driving from Udupi to Bangalore, we get many twisties until Belur Town, and a few steep curves post that, too. It is a two lane road meaning that usually a slow moving vehicle creates a train of vehicles behind it. And in these times, it is highly important not to follow the vehicle ahead too closely or try a rash overtake. However, it was not to be and I am thanking my stars for not getting beat up or assaulted for being the guy who practiced patience on one hand and lost on the other. The story is as follows:

As there was a train of vehicles ahead, at least 4 cars stuck behind a truck amidst twisty roads, I kept my distance, about two car length and driving without impatience to overtake. Suddenly a Vento appears behind me, typical bully style, trying to overtake and fill up that gap ahead of me even at the risk of squeezing in and pushing me aside on the road. The guy had a clear view as much as I can say and there was a curve ahead with a divider starting as well. I braked first. Then, for some reason, I lost it, and first put my hand out of the window gesturing what's the hurry, then, completely losing it and flashing. Mistake, I own up. But what followed was a crime.

The guy irked by my flashing, pulls up right next to me intimidatingly and yelling along with his lady passenger. I tried to give him way not wanting any ugly scenes. I gestured him to go ahead but the guy first pulls ahead, then started slowing up as the road started widening a bit. Still gesturing with his windows down. I slowed down as well, not wanting to overtake him and intimidate him. The guy seemed to have made up his mind to teach me a lesson at any cost. When I tried to pull over, he also did the same right ahead, and when I started to move, He literally stopped right in the middle of the road. Twice.

Worried about safety of self and family, I was trying to work out a way, shut the windows, and stopped my car as well with the hazard lights, though at the risk of being rear ended. The lady seemed more sensible and dissuaded the guy from getting into a physical altercation. Finally the guy sped off. I was still worried but drove in my normal sedate style. And Thankfully, didn't encounter the guy again.

Lesson learnt, even if you are doing the right thing, don't gesture or yell. Just let them go ahead (oh! By the way, I always let people overtake and don't compete with anyone, whether it is an Alto or a Merc. Just get irritated by bullies).

I know I made a mistake with my gesturing. But stopping in the middle of the road is unpardonable. It is a crime. Really was left wondering why people seem to be earning degrees and money but not developing respect for others. Whether it is a canteen or road, they just seem to be bulldozing.

Finally, two things made me feel better. Firstly, a Seltos and a BMW X3 kept company for a fairly long distance. Both vehicles being capable of being pushed and used to bully others, but they were content in driving sedately, no rash overtaking. Really, we need more people of this kind. Who can treat fellow drivers with respect. Next, I managed to eke out a mileage of 18.4 kmpl point to point, despite the climb and my son didn't complain at all if car sickness. And wife doing so only once mildly towards the end of the ghats. That, to me, is satisfying.

Last edited by theabstractmind : 10th April 2022 at 17:48. Reason: City name corrected
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Old 29th June 2022, 11:15   #354
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by Bigzero View Post
I follow some simple rules while driving in hilly areas:

5. Give way to vehicles going uphill

6. Honk on blind curves, hairpins

7. Try to anticipate the curve trajectory of big vehicles on hairpins and give generous room. Wait well before the curve if you see trucks, buses etc negotiating the turn
Some ghats like Sathyamangalam Ghat near Mysore, etc have the hairpin crossovers clearly marked with the diagonal yellow dots on the road, and flashing amber lights.
In these sections long vehicles have to use the outer lane of the curve, weather RHS or LHS does not matter.
In such sections consider the line created by yellow dots as a stop line, and stop behind it till line of heavy vehicles in the hairpin bend clear it.

U tube Videos like Uturn by promoted by TN police will explain what I say.

Most of the country does not have such markings, and lanes marked do not consider the geometric impossibility of long vehicles sticking to the left. You still have to stop for a long vehicle in the curve.

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Old 3rd July 2022, 19:57   #355
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

It is a very good and extensive article that covers almost every safety aspect of driving on Highways and ghats, I have been traveling on NH8 from Mumbai to Surat for many years now and have noticed many fatal accidents caused due to negligence of these safety features, I will make sure to pass on this to my friends and family so that we can enjoy a safe driving experience.
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Old 26th September 2022, 14:04   #356
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

I was driving on a nice highway. My kids are chatting with me. I use this as an opportunity to discuss cars, roads and safety with them.

I told them to observe how the sound changes when we cross an intersection. At the third one my son caught on that I was not pressing the accelerator.

I explained how whenever we cross any "Free" intersection, I always check my rear view then ease off the accelerator and hover my foot on top of the brake. This is for barely a few seconds but it is in anticipation of someone suddenly appearing.

The next intersection, I do the same as my kids are watching intently.

Its a free intersection, we are doing the speed limit of 80 kmph.

A car in front of us slammed his brakes and just stopped and turned 90 degrees. That driver had decided in the last minute to take that turn and after blocking the road decided to think about it.

But my foot is already hovering on the brake pedal.

This was a very close call.

If I had been stamping on the accelerator and not paying attention, I would have definitely T-Boned that car.

The roads are filled with idiots. Lets always remember that the stopping distance even at a slow speed like 80 KMPH is more than 50 meters.

Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats-capture.jpg

Last edited by bblost : 26th September 2022 at 14:05.
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Old 2nd January 2023, 19:56   #357
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

We did a 700 km, 12.5 hour trip in daylight recently. I was at the wheel and my dad, kid and wife were in the car with me. Everyone else in the car except me had some trepidation at the prospect of having a solo driver complete this trip.

But we made it through with a relatively okay-ish level of freshness; for sure, being seated for that long in an air conditioned and constantly moving vehicle did sap our hydration and energy levels. But we were in good shape when we made it home.

As for me, this was proof that I felt I needed to furnish to myself, to burnish my credentials to myself in a way - to say that I can handle this sort of a long sojourn and to say that I have a method that works to handle such marathon trips.

Here are some observations from me on what probably worked for us:
1. No hard lane changes - None of us in the car felt significant lateral G forces at any point in time.
2. No hard acceleration/braking - None of us in the car were subject to undue inertial forward/backward forces.
3. Staying at the back of the pack - In order to facilitate #1 & #2 above, I maintained my speed at 80 Kmph (with a margin of +/- 5 Kmph) and ensured that I never participated in the frenzied overtakings of slow trucks that cars usually partake of. Thus, by being the slowest of car packs (analogous to wolf-packs) in the highway, none of us in the car had to undergo edge-of-the-seat nervous moments. Our minds and bodies were relaxed throughout the trip since there were no anxiety-inducing moments at all, period.
4. Being an angel - Wherever possible, I let the other driver have his way. There were no tense moments where I cursed or cut somebody off. And as usual, zero honks were given off by our car. Being a beatific driver and avoiding negative emotions helped greatly. Again, this kept our moods elated throughout.

Aside from these driving practices, one other thing that worked for me was this cushion from Amazon. It kept giving me a comfortable feeling in the driver's seat!I really like the under-thigh support that I get from it.

Last edited by locusjag : 2nd January 2023 at 19:58.
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Old 11th April 2023, 16:19   #358
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

"Exercise caution when navigating "climbing curves" and heed speed breaker warnings in the vicinity of such curves. On my recent return journey from Anantapur to Bengaluru in a Creta, I encountered a curve that was considerably steeper than most, and I was driving at a speed of approximately 100-110km/hr. As I approached the crest of the curve, I suddenly came upon three massive speed breakers, causing me to apply the brakes so forcefully that the parking lights began to flash. Fortunately, I was able to bring the vehicle to a halt just before the speed breakers, but my wife was understandably terrified and gave me a stern rebuke. It remains unclear whether there was a warning sign for the speed breakers prior to the hump, or if I overlooked it while concentrating on the curve.

Regardless, that incident was the first time I became aware of the parking lights' automatic activation in response to emergency situations. Fortunately, there were no vehicles tailgating me or that I was closely following; otherwise, the situation could have taken a turn for the worse.

There was an incident that occurred long back while I was still learning to drive on highways.
It happened on a curve, where I was driving in the middle lane of a three-lane highway behind a slow-moving truck. I decided to overtake, but there was another vehicle on the right lane moving adjacent to the truck, so I waited for an opportunity. Eventually, I saw an opening on the left side and began to overtake. However, as I finished overtaking, I suddenly noticed a vehicle that had either stopped or was moving slowly on my lane, which i didnt see due the curve. As I was already going at a high speed, I had to take a sharp right turn to come back to the middle lane. Unfortunately, at the same time, another vehicle was merging into the middle lane after overtaking the same truck.

In a split second, I slammed on the brakes, causing my Alto's tyres to screech as I struggled to stop the vehicle ramming the other one. It was a close call, and my heart was pounding in my chest. The truck behind also had to brake suddenly to avoid a three-vehicle collision. It was a scary moment that taught me the importance of being extra cautious on the curves, especially overtaking from left side around curves
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Old 3rd May 2023, 15:24   #359
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by car_is_matic View Post
Regardless, that incident was the first time I became aware of the parking lights' automatic activation in response to emergency situations.
Question to all.
Is the term "parking light" accurate?

As per my knowledge, the correct term and usage is "hazard light". This is to be used only to indicate that there is a "hazard" or obstacle in front of me and I am unable to move forward. Or that my car is unable to move forward and can be a cause of "hazard" for other vehicles behind me.
It is not to indicate that I have parked by the side of the road.
Nor to be used to drive during low visibility in fog or heavy rain. Definitely not during such condition as then we lose the ability to indicate change in direction.

I might be wrong. So please correct me.
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Old 3rd May 2023, 19:03   #360
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Re: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Originally Posted by Santo_the_bong View Post
As per my knowledge, the correct term and usage is "hazard light".
You're absolutely right, they're hazard warning lights.

Technical definition / details in the link below:
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