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Old 5th December 2019, 15:28   #46
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Life on the highway has become a long dark tunnel and we should keep driving till we see the light at the end of it. Quite literally.

I day (and night) dream about long road trips all the time and most of them are not solo but with my better half. However, night driving and the safety attached to it concerns me all the time. Most times my thoughts sway towards unfortunate incidents. Its weird but reading about so many recent untoward happenings have made my mind very skeptical and I always end up thinking of an escape plan.

Although most of the relevant points have already been mentioned here, I feel we should pre-plan to NEVER stop at any place when it gets dark outside. Even if we have a puncture and, us being car enthusiasts, end up damaging our multi-million dollar wheels, NEVER STOP. Keep driving till we see light at the end of the tunnel.

I also feel that we should be careful about day-time travel as well. Car break-downs during day time at a desolate location can be quite scary and we should take precautions similar to that of night driving.

P.S: I will be going on a 400 Km round trip very soon and this thread has been very useful.

Last edited by Pancham : 5th December 2019 at 15:29.
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Old 5th December 2019, 16:23   #47
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chhanda Das View Post
I am a 60 year old female and have been car camping since 1986, earlier in our Ambassador
So cool to hear! Thanks so much for posting.

My mom used to drive inter-city in her Ambassador in the 80s and early 90s. Single woman and just us 2 kids. I remember trips from Bangalore to Ooty, Goa, Mangalore. After that she got a Maruti.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancham View Post
Life on the highway has become a long dark tunnel and we should keep driving till we see the light at the end of it. Quite literally.

While women's safety is a huge concern no doubt, think this thread has gone a bit pessimistic with people wanting to arm the general populace.

So instead of debating those off-topic and sometimes pretty inexplicably-connected (the posts with the bit about the 'decriminalization of Section 377' and somehow bringing Gandhiji into this) items, would like to share a couple of the many, many positive experiences I've had on the road.

Once we were driving back from the city to Whitefield in the 80s (Whitefield was waay outside Bangalore city limits back then) and that blessed Ambassador broke down again. So there were were, stranded in the center of the road at night. Suddenly a tempo full of men stopped in front of the car. Those good folk got out, spent what seemed to my childhood recollection a couple of hours repairing the car and sent us on our way.

2012, my wife and I were in eastern Arunachal on a bike. Had passed Hayuliang on the way back after spending one night at Walong. We were hoping to get a room at one of the Inspection Bungalows on the way, but unfortunately it was occupied by some VIP. A school teacher directed us to an empty schoolroom. (We were prepared for something like this and had carried blankets, oranges and tinned tuna cans.) When he suddenly realized that the pillion in helmet and riding jacket was actually a woman. Then he said that he could not leave a woman to spend the night in that schoolroom, so he let us have a bed in his own quarters and shared his dinner with us.

2013, we were riding between Jaisalmer and Bikaner, planned to stop at the RTDC at Phokaran for the night. However it was full, occupied with Reliance employees who were working on some project there. The fallback option Phalodi seemed to have only a very expensive resort type place. While it was getting dark and we stopped at a small place for tea, a group of men started talking to us. One of them actually called his relatives in Phalodi and found out about a suitable lodge and gave us directions to it.

Earlier this year, on a drive to Kutch (in the car), again we got help at Kalo Dungar from the locals who directed us in the evening to the temple guest house. And there we got invited to share dinner with a family who were on a pilgrimage visit to the temple.


So yeah, IMHO be careful and take precautions of course. But no need to be paranoid.

Last edited by am1m : 5th December 2019 at 16:29.
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Old 5th December 2019, 16:24   #48
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

I have done a couple of drives of 1200 Kms one side and I follow some very basic rules.

1. Do not drive after dark, strictly.
2. Read your route, plan your stops & stays in advance.
3. Only stop at those restaurants/hotels which have significant number of cars with visible family crowd. I don't mind leaving in a couple of minutes if I am not comfortable.
4. Avoid hotels which serve liquor when in an unknown city or while taking a detour.
5. Keep our family members informed about our where about.
6. Ensure to have entry and exit of washroom in line of my sight when stopping at petrol pumps for washroom breaks when it is my wife or any other female passenger.
7. Keep the doors locked & windows rolled up when driving or taking a short break, strictly.
8. Ensure the wife locks the door as soon as I am out of car and she has to stay in the car.

I am extremely cautious & might even be a spoilsport at times, but I can't risk letting my guard down in the name of being fun. Such is life.
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Old 5th December 2019, 17:09   #49
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by silverado View Post
Your idea is good , but I frankly don't think it will work.
Instead we should have some professional setup, let me try to explain.

For eg : If you are doing Mumbai -Pune at Day/night, there should be some agency which can provide you cover during the entire ride. Its like Term insurance. You take a package, but don't get a refund if services are not used.

It could be a good venture ,since people are willing to pay minimal amount if it guarantees safety for them.

Ideas : Once your car starts the journey, the agency will track you till you complete the route. This can be done by waypoints ( Like on flight paths ), this ensures your safety even when cellphone network is not working. So if you don't cross a waypoint in certain time, it raises a flag and you get help without even asking.
The thread thing may or may not work, help may or may not arrive but it does not cost anything for TBHP or its members. Think of it as an extended circle to ask for help when in dire need, that's all. It is putting an existing resource (TBHP) to use along with other means one has access to.
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Old 5th December 2019, 17:45   #50
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
While women's safety is a huge concern no doubt, think this thread has gone a bit pessimistic
:
So yeah, IMHO be careful and take precautions of course. But no need to be paranoid.
I wanted to reply to this thread, and what you said above is the general feeling I got.

I'd say this safety aspect isn't just women specific. I don't think all of us are thugs to defend ourselves as they show in movies. Nor is this specific to India alone, safety in big cities around the world is as much a concern as it is in India.

I am a family man with 2 kids and I've driven late night and early morning on multiple occasions as a norm than exception for over a decade. Infact I am more terrified to drive at day than at night. The following are some precautions I do take:

1. Plan ahead. You cannot go on long hauls and night drives without preparation. Food-fuel-hotels, important turns. The more you are prepared, the less you need to worry.
2. You should be mentally, physically prepared. Most importantly your co-passengers should trust you. Both happen over multiple drives
3. No fuel/food stops past 2200, 1-2 rare CCD stops have been made in places that are more crowded at 0100 than 1300.
4. No nap stops either, on long hauls, all nap stops happen in the day.
5. Drive slower. For one it preserves your body on long hauls. Without this above 2 won't be possible.
6. If you are sleepy in such a drive, call up a hotel and crash for the day. No point overestimating and dozing at the wheel or side of the road late night.
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Old 5th December 2019, 17:53   #51
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Always be ready for your phone to die out.

Nobody except yourself can help you.

So a bit of common sense points:
  1. Park your car facing the direction you plan to leave. Don’t ever park in a position where you have to back out.
    If you are flagged down by people who look they are cops, be ready to make a quick exit if they aren’t who they appear to be. Have an escape route in mind.
  1. When inside a restaurant make sure you face the main door so that you can keep an eye On new visitors. Try to find out where the toilets and exits are located before you eat food. Try to pre pay the bill so that you can leave in a hurry.
  2. Learn a few phrases in the local language of whichever area you’re traveling
  3. Buy printed maps like the ones by TTK publishers
  4. Clean your vehicle glass and mirrors especially when heading into rain
  5. Carry few copper wire pieces to make a temporary connection
    1. Carry anti vomit tablets (domstal if I’m not mistaken) especially in ghat areas. No need to stop to make omelette in the middle of the jungle.
    Learn how to demist the glass.
    1. Some have recommended keeping knives. Make sure it’s below 6 inches in length. >6 illegal per IPC

Last edited by hangover : 5th December 2019 at 18:06.
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Old 5th December 2019, 17:57   #52
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
The thread thing may or may not work, help may or may not arrive but it does not cost anything for TBHP or its members. Think of it as an extended circle to ask for help when in dire need, that's all. It is putting an existing resource (TBHP) to use along with other means one has access to.
I'm part of a couple of TUV 300 owners' WhatsApp groups. I've seen such help being sought and immediately being offered as well in those groups. WhatsApp is so easy to access and in our faces that it wins hands down when it comes to such an idea.
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Old 5th December 2019, 20:30   #53
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
I'm part of a couple of TUV 300 owners' WhatsApp groups. I've seen such help being sought and immediately being offered as well in those groups. WhatsApp is so easy to access and in our faces that it wins hands down when it comes to such an idea.
Exactly this is what I mean.
I am also part of some WhatsApp groups (non vehicle) and friends there will help if situation arises. But the plus of team bhp is that we have members pan India the audience is wider. It will be useful when the groups don't cover the regions one might travel to.
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Old 6th December 2019, 00:26   #54
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Quite a few excellent suggestions on this thread already.. so not going to repeat.

Personally for me..

1. Avoid driving post 10 pm. It's when the variables become rough to control , visibility is restricted and there are lot less humans around which increases anti social element activity

2. If you have to travel at night, do so by recognising the risks involved and planning things ahead. Fewer bio/ food breaks, planned breaks etc

In contradiction to extreme opinions prevailing in social media, i trust folks in general to behave humanely, but that faith is questioned when we hear of extreme incidents like the recent one..
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Old 6th December 2019, 23:18   #55
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

There was a time long long ago in the 60s and 70s, when my dad would do frequent adventurous drives cross country in the Standard Heralds that are folklore now. One of the routes was Nepanagar (MP) near Khandwa to Amritsar. The only danger zone was in the dacoit infested area- Shivpuri. On reaching Gwalior at 2.00am or so at the designated guest house, the question foremost on the attendants mind was "how did you get through"???.

This was probably the only danger zone for night driving back then.

This was one of the most narrated story in my family. Happened before my birth! Post my arrival on the planet, what I do remember vividly is a drive all across Kashmir in 1978. Then there were several trips between Kanpur and Amritsar in the 80s, besides several others in north India. Day or night, no sweat, no worries.

Cut to the 21st century.

The entire country has degraded into a dacoit/crime zone!

So its a no go for me for night driving. For day driving, I just drive faster than the dacoits ever can.
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Old 7th December 2019, 17:31   #56
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Here a few key tips to keep Women safer and more secure as you head out on the open road:

1. Stay alert

Hijackings tend to be crimes of opportunity, so if you want to avoid becoming a statistic, be vigilant. Make sure to scan your car and its surrounds before entering and after parking, keeping your eye out for anyone or anything suspicious. Remember that not all threats are obvious, so stay cognisant of anything that looks unusual before entering or exiting your vehicle.

2. Easy access to keys

It is also important to keep your keys easily accessible, but not visible, so you can quickly reach for them without presenting a clear distraction to lurking criminals.

3. Stay calm

It is important to be prepared in the event of a hijacking. The best plan of action is to remain calm, keep your temper under control and avoid any threatening language – complicity is your biggest weapon in this type of situation. Should you obey orders and surrender any requested valuables, you will stand a far greater chance of escaping the situation alive. Remember that while you may have seen people talking their way out of these scenarios on TV, the same theory does not always apply in real life. So avoid eye contact, any sudden movements or anything that might be perceived as resistance for a better shot at survival.

4. Put the right foot forward

A less obvious obstacle for women comes in the form of footwear, with high heels and platform shoes not only making driving more difficult, but also resulting in injuries to the feet and ankles. While certain situations undoubtedly demand more decorative shoe formats, it is important to keep a spare pair in the car. Opt for a shoe with a moderate sole, with enough grip to avoid slipping and sufficient feel to maintain optimal pressure. Remember that while heels might look great, they can get caught under pedals and ultimately undermine your ability to control the clutch or brake – and let’s face it, there is no occasion worth risking your life for.

5. Dial down distractions

Between work, ferrying kids around and tending to the various other administrative tasks today’s women face on a daily basis, it can be tempting to take your eyes off the road for a second or two. It is those seemingly harmless interludes that can be the difference between life and death, so it is important to make sure you have all the necessities tended to before setting off. Set your phone to ‘Drive mode’, if it has this function, or silence it completely and insert any necessary GPS co-ordinates before you leave so as to reduce the necessity for split focus. Remove all the necessities you might need from your handbag in advance, rather than fumbling for them on the move – and then store it out of sight while driving. By being prepared, you will be far better equipped to reach your destination safely.
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Old 7th December 2019, 23:19   #57
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

What I’d like to say is this- all these rules apply to anyone, but because of the current times, women, more so.

Here are a few points:

~ Stay at a popular or well known hotel in a major town/city if you’re travelling at night- you can cover so much safer ground during the day. Leave the night to the truckers. Besides, you’ll not hamper your body’s natural sleep rhythm from doing its work. Especially if you’re not used to staying up awake all night. Have local police numbers set up for quick dial.

~ Download Google maps or whatever it is that you use onto your smartphone (pretty obvious, eh? Well, most of us don’t do that). Nowadays, many new cars come with a feature that lets you save certain routes, enable that if you have it.

~ Carry a light shoulder bag with some loose change, pepper spray, retractable penknife, torchlight (with extra batteries) and some biscuits (any snacks). A proper first aid kit doesn’t hurt, either (the complementary one you got when you bought the car might’ve very well expired or lack an item or too, besides being harder to reach when you need it).
Having a physical map is useful too- Don’t always depend on your phone to save you. Have power banks and chargers as well.
I’d recommend a TPMS and a tyre inflator too (Amazon/AliExpress).

~ How many of us know how to change a fuse/fused bulb? Or even a tyre? These are some things every road user must know, for his own safety as well as that of others. Please take a minute and learn these essential survival skills! Carry a couple of bulbs/fuses in a box along with wiper/any other fluids required.

How to change a blown fuse
https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/ca...ge-a-car-fuse/

How to change a spare
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techn...flat-tyre.html (Pictorial Guide: How to change a flat tyre!)

Some general advice on night driving
https://www.popularmechanics.com/car...ng-after-dark/

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/drive...t-driving.html

~ Finally, make sure you keep the above items within easy reach i.e., under the front seats, the rear footwell, etc. This rule especially applies when you have a sedan/any other car where the boot isn’t accessible from the inside. Hatchbacks and most MUVs/SUVs are an exception to this (as long as it’s still possible to access their boot without leaving the car).

Stay safe out there!

Last edited by TheHelix0202 : 7th December 2019 at 23:32.
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Old 8th December 2019, 10:28   #58
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

This may be counter productive to this particular thread and might even be tantamount to blasphemy for the roadies but it's a legit suggestion nonetheless with almost zero effort and precaution needed :

Use train/bus/flights to get someplace outside your current city. Far less effort, not that much to worry about when it comes to safety (sure anything can go wrong sitting just about anywhere but still), and you can take a nap instead of looking at a map. Best option for women any day and all the better when traveling with family.

While the lure of adventure and getting someplace on your own might be a thing for many people, it comes with far more risks than one can comprehend.. risks of puncture, high speed accidents, bad highway elements etc.

Might be a silly thing to say, but rather than pack the car to its limits, take highway breaks, eat in roadside hotels, filling up the tank and driving in our nutty highways from say Bangalore to Mumbai, I'd rather book a business class flight well in advance and arrive fresh and lazy for half the cost in 1/10th the time.

Last edited by dark.knight : 8th December 2019 at 10:29.
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Old 8th December 2019, 14:18   #59
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Most of the important points have been already discussed in this thread regarding Highway safety, but I would like to tell you all about an incident which occurred with me some couple of months ago.

So, it was a normal night trip with family (mom-dad, me and my sister). My dad was driving our humble Indigo Manza and we stopped at a red light. An XUV500 came from behind and stopped parallel to our car even though it had 2 cars worth of space ahead. Above this, it had full black tint on all windows. This woke up my sixth sense. As the light went green we started driving, and so did the XUV. We went through the city roads and entered a NH (NH 21). This XUV guy kept following for 1 and a half hour and to confirm our doubt whenever we stopped that XUV also stopped. So, we reduced our speed from around 90kmph to just 30-40kmph and that guy also slowed. My Dad wanted to stop the car and get outside to see what had happened to that guy but I stopped him because that XUV appeared to be having many people inside as it was nearly touching the wheel arches. In a toll plaza too, he kept his car behind us. We just stopped our car by side and wanted him to go but he stopped just ahead of us, blocking our way. Now this looked like a movie scene but the time, then was around 1:00 AM. All 4 doors were opening and we sensed something bad. 5 tall men came out of the car so my Dad just put the car in reverse and revved the nuts out of the car to get away and soon we were at non-discussable speeds and never saw that XUV again.

So, I would always advice to keep something like a pepper spray or a pocket knife or at least have dashcam in your car.
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Old 8th December 2019, 16:57   #60
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Absolutely agree to all points

Also to pick reputed hotels or resorts on the way with parking facility

To keep a friend or family member apprised of your travel plans
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