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Old 4th December 2019, 11:49   #16
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by VVN View Post
Considering the rising crime against women and also the barbarity in certain cases, this thread talks about tips & precautions when traveling with females on *highways at night*.


1) Avoid night drives on the highway with female passengers

Wasn’t easy for me to put this on the list considering that I absolutely love night drives with my better half and also sounds very regressive. But giving the situation and how things are currently, I would absolutely avoid night drives with a female passenger on the highway. Even the most reliable car can break down with some bad luck and there is nothing worse than being stranded on the dark Indian highway with no patrolling.
It is sad that we have to resort such regressive steps in 21st century. This will keep more and more women away from public space and in turn the situation will turn more and more dangerous for them. Think from the perspective of your wife, daughter or mother. How will they take this night curfew?
The Hyderabad incident happened not on a deserted highway, but on the suburbs with so many people present at 9PM. These kind of incidents can affect the psyche of the people and lead to knee jerk reactions.
There are multiple stories in the media about rapes these days. Psycho entering a house and assaulting and killing a woman and husband in UP. Kids getting assaulted in their houses and neighborhoods. And this happens not only in India. A Indian origin girl was brutally killed in the campus parking lot in USA last week. So is there really a safe space for women?

What we need is steps like what Delhi govt did. Making public transport free for women. Flooding of public spaces with women is a good way to stop such crimes. Not more segregation and isolation.

There is a thin line between patriarchy and paternal instincts.

Last edited by poloman : 4th December 2019 at 11:58.
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Old 4th December 2019, 12:24   #17
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

As GTO pointed out, the best way out is to avoid night driving on highways (heck, even cities like Bangalore are not exactly safe beyond 11PM!).

There are other dangers lurking on highways that can impact you even if there are no women/kids with you. Unscrupulous elements might be out there to distract you and extract their pound of flesh in the event of you falling prey. Have heard/read of many cases of fake accidents being staged to get you out of the car, eggs being thrown at your windshield, etc. It's simply not worth it.

Therefore, I usually have a hard stop at 9PM unless I'm travelling back to Bangalore (in which case I enter the city/outskirts by 9 so that I reach home before 11).

One more thing- in any case, avoid hitchhikers- even during daytime.

In short, it's safer to be a bit paranoid about this.
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Old 4th December 2019, 12:24   #18
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Thanks for the thread. Sometimes, we cannot avoid driving in the night especially when we are returning back home. Instead of taking a break, we try to complete the final stretch and retire at home. So it is better to be prepared and follow safety precautions.
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Old 4th December 2019, 12:58   #19
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

This is a timely thread, let's recognize reality and deal with it.

Most of the inputs are really helpful and most helpful is not to travel at night with family unless really mandatory or under emergency situations. If one can afford to own a car/vehicle one night stay in safe and clean hotel is surely affordable.

Personally i do not travel at night with family. I plan travell to either complete by 8-9PM or decide to night halt at hotel.

Always put safety first and value of goods (car/tyre...) last
Always maintain your vehicle in top condition, this is the minimum denominator for safety on roads irrespective of day or night.
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Old 4th December 2019, 13:09   #20
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

The thought behind this thread is noble. Fear the dark indian roads. This "fear" is thinly veiled in many posts here. Giving in to the fear is of course the easiest thing to do but it is not right, if one has to travel he has to alone or with company. The least thing we can as a community to do is help each other out if in trouble.

How?

Create a new thread like "TBHP Emergency Road Help" or similar. If a member is in trouble on the road he can request the community for help.

If someone from that neck of woods is reading it probably they can quickly go over and check up on the situation. Help is not guaranteed, it is strictly voluntary, but one never knows.

The person asking for help should share the location, also the contact number and the nature of trouble in the post.

This thread should be in a members only section so that only TBHP members have access to the location and phone number, not the public.

Almost everyone has data plan nowadays and this should be as easy as typing a message in watsapp.
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Old 4th December 2019, 13:44   #21
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

As a former night owl who revelled in driving at night with friends and family I would recommend avoid driving at night especially with a female passengers. The risks are too high. I prefer to hit the highway in the morning before the rush hour starts.

If night travel is inevitable some tips:

a) Make sure your car's electricals and mechanicals are in tip top shape
b) Spare tyre is filled to 10% over the recommended pressure
c) Do not stop on highways late at night. The risks of being mugged or even hit by other vehicles is unacceptably high.
d) Plan out the route in such a way that one has access to clean and safe motels/restaurants at regular intervals for a bio break.
e) Highways with traffic are better than empty ones with nobody around to help. Such places attract criminals.
f) Carry pepper spray or chilli powder and if you're up to it a small sharp weapon for self defence.
g) Carry a good torch/flashlight with fresh batteries to help in the unfortunate circumstances of break down or puncture.
h) Get familiar with your car - learn how to replace fuses, bulbs, change tyres and any small maintenance task with only a torch to provide light.
i) Do not drive alone this is especially for lady drivers. A passenger is always a deterrent to would be crooks and will also help you from dozing off at the wheel. Plus it also makes for shared memories as the years go by.
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Old 4th December 2019, 14:43   #22
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by poloman View Post
Flooding of public spaces with women is a good way to stop such crimes. Not more segregation and isolation.
While I agree to this and I myself am a proponent of what is pejoratively known as "feminism" in this country, I believe this would work only in cities and not on highways. Our highways are simple too long and spread out to be able to be flooded with people, let alone women. In cities though, I firmly believe introduction of a night-life culture can deter women-centric crimes that happen at odd hours of the day.
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Old 4th December 2019, 15:27   #23
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

One possible addition to the brilliant suggestions listed above - Services similar to LocatoWeb.

I know there are options live location sharing in messaging platforms and stuff like tracking mobile devices however this is a specialised solution which offers much more than simple location updating use case. I am sure many of us already use this to share it our families when we go out on trips but listing it out would definitely help many others.

Disclaimer : I am just another user who found it useful. I do not get any benefit whatsoever from the dev/owners of the app.
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Old 4th December 2019, 15:57   #24
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

I usually plan in such a way that I reach the destination before sunset. But there can be situations that get created during the day (sometimes traffic jam, road block on highway etc). One of the incidents, I would narrate below:

We started from Jaipur for Indore but we were getting delayed for some reason or the other. Reached close to Indore at around 10:30 PM. Network coverage was an issue. One thing I have observed is that getting in and out of Indore is not straight forward. There are signboards but roads are closed / diversion etc and so on.

The roads were deserted and at one point we really didn't know what to do. A Bolero stops next to us with only driver and asked where we want to go. Told him Indore "city" and his response was follow me!!! When I gave him a surprised look, he said he was police and he took off. Left with no alternative, we followed him and he was driving at 110 - 120 kmph. Asked my 7.5 years old son to open mParivahan app and check the number. The Bolero was registered under the name of DGP and we were relieved. Sometimes, it can turn out to be good as well.



But I repeat that one should avoid travelling at night unless there is emergency so as to avoid untoward incident, irrespective of being male or female.
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Old 4th December 2019, 16:06   #25
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Good thread. All the responses here just reinforce the fact that our safety is in our own hands and clearly the best option is to avoid highway travel at night as much as possible.Even more so if we are out of state and not knowing the local language and not knowing the road.

I know of a couple of incidents from my close friends. One incident happened about a year back when my friend was returning from his office outside the city limits in the industrial corridor around 10pm when 3 drunk guys in bike started causing trouble and tried to chase and block my friends car and he somehow managed to dodge them and was finally able to stop his car next to a police outpost and came out of the situation. He was pretty shaken for a while after the incident.

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Originally Posted by J4J View Post
While driving always download Google maps for the route you are taking.

Don't trust Google maps blindly. It may take you to unknown places where network coverage might be very poor and will leave you stranded thus forcing you to seek help from strangers. I faced this issue once and now I always download the whole map before starting my trip.
Of late google maps lets you know of spotty connection and offers you an option to download the route offline when you look for route option to the destination beforehand. I have opted to download the route when it gave me the option couple of times. I am not sure how accurately google knows about spotty mobile connections but it does give you the option.
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Old 4th December 2019, 16:21   #26
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

^^ I've done only two night drives - one was Vellore-Chennai and the other was Mumbai- Vadodara.

In the former, I was in city by 2145hrs but on the latter, I had to carefully choose a well lit spot on the service road beside the highway to stop by.

A few precautions that I took:

1. Had a few notes in my pocket to pay for the food/beverage
2. Washrooms are generally tucked away in a poorly lit corner - so I stood guard while the others used the restrooms
3. Parked the car away from other buses just to help be away from curious eyes
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Old 4th December 2019, 16:46   #27
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

I don't drive in the night when I have my family in the car. Period. No exceptions. Its simply not worth the risk. I always start between 4 and 5 AM both during onward and return journey and will be home before 6 PM.

By the way, I do enjoy my solo night drives or with male friends. But that happens once in a year or so.

Last edited by veyron_head : 4th December 2019 at 16:47.
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Old 4th December 2019, 17:40   #28
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Am wondering how useful a thread about any woman-related topic will be when there is very, very little chance of hearing an opinion from a female TBhpian (btw are their numbers even in the double-digits?)

But of course, that has never stopped us men before from giving our opinions.

Anyway, lots of good tips here applicable even if there are no women in the vehicle. I concur with what a lot of people have said, I'd avoid driving at night on our roads, irrespective of whoever/how many people are with me in the vehicle. Bad visibility, drowsiness (you and drivers of other vehicles), lack of signage, no chance of help if something goes wrong. Simply not worth it.

Last edited by am1m : 4th December 2019 at 17:50.
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Old 4th December 2019, 17:56   #29
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Feeling so sad to see a thread like this exist in the modern world but it is indeed the need of the hour. A tip from my side would be to avoid cars that attract attention. Even if I have a Merc or a BMW at my disposal, I find myself in my trusty Honda City if I have to venture out of the city at night.
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Old 4th December 2019, 18:13   #30
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by revsperminute View Post
A tip from my side would be to avoid cars that attract attention. Even if I have a Merc or a BMW at my disposal, I find myself in my trusty Honda City if I have to venture out of the city at night.
No offence, but wouldn't it be the other way around? Just wondering if a Merc/BMW could indicate affluence (which is usually equated with better power/influence in our country) and hence act as a deterrent to prospective wrong-doers?
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