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Old 8th December 2019, 21:08   #61
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by THE_DRIFTER View Post
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.
Did you have a dashcam at the time? This truly was something fishy, no doubt. If they were in need of any help (which I doubt), they would have simply lowered their windows and shouted outside. Or even stopped at the toll gate for assistance. But the fact that they even followed you through a toll and then decide to confront you when you stopped is the saturation point. Did you report the incident to the police with the car’s number? Hope you did.
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Old 8th December 2019, 23:41   #62
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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 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.
Good Idea! The only fly in the ointment - the information is public (since our forum is so) and that's a give away for potential thieves to mine data and find your home to break in. Reminds me of folks who check in on facebook when they travel. heh. Can we have a secure area for members only to access such info?

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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.
I don't see the merit of throwing away an idea because it is deemed to not work. The thread can exist and one can simply share the travel plan a day or two ahead - if there is a planned travel. That way, the members in that route can know or even cross check if needed. Ensuring connectivity is the key here and an app can certainly be very useful. For emergency travel, simply update the plan as early as possible before leaving. The business idea you are suggesting is good, but in the current circumstances, unless some entrepreneur comes forward and implements it pan india, it's just on the wish list. No doubt such implementation will have to be on a massive scale also. We need something practical today. Also a lot depends on the how committed the agency will be and how securely such information is handled by them.

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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.
Precisely! It costs us nothing to put in a note on the thread with details such as start, way points, destination, expected stops etc. Once destination is reached, quote and update the thread. No need for any other details. I usually plan my travel and stops well ahead for many reasons and see no harm in sharing extremely basic info.
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Old 9th December 2019, 11:46   #63
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

I do long road trips quite often and I drive during the night only the following conditions:
- I must be able to speak the local language of the area
- I must reach home (not the hotel) by 11PM
- Drive post sunset must be through heavily urban National Highways.

I am from Pune and my wife is from Anand. Hence, I usually do the Kolhapur - Pune stretch while coming from down south or the Surat - Anand stretch while going up north during the night. We both speak Marathi/Gujarati and know these roads like the back of our hand. Additionally we have friends/relatives in every city along these routes. These are the only two stretches of NH that I would ever traverse in the night.

In all other cases, the car must stop by 7PM. I would rather pay for an extra night in a hotel rather than risk it on our lawless highways in the night. SH down south (KA/KL) are desolate post 9PM. The ghats/forest areas in KA/KL are scary enough during the day and you would have to crazy to drive through these areas post sunset with family. During my drive from Kundapur, KA to Sringeri, KA last year via the Agumbe section all I could think of was the desolate road and how a night time drive through this patch is not for the faint-hearted.
I once had two tires on my car blow out due to a pothole on a SH in Hiriyur, KA and fortunately it happened right before the SH meets the NH. A kind rickshaw driver took me to Hiriyur town to buy new tires while my wife and mother waited at the village heads house. I got the tires, installed them at a road side shop and drove back to Pune. To this day I always wonder what would have been the situation if it happened during the night.
Bad stuff happens on the highways to the best of cars and its best not to try ones luck.
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Old 9th December 2019, 12:57   #64
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

I've done the Chennai - Bangalore highway, mainly the Chennai Vellore section, on quite a few occasions at night. Sometimes alone and sometimes with family. This includes several runs past midnight.
I'm starting to get a bit nervous even though this highway is usually considered safe due to the constant traffic. Maybe I'll need to plan more and travel in daylight hours!
Has anyone faced problems on this highway?

Last edited by BenjiRoss : 9th December 2019 at 12:59.
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Old 9th December 2019, 14:24   #65
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
I've done the Chennai - Bangalore highway, mainly the Chennai Vellore section, on quite a few occasions at night. Sometimes alone and sometimes with family. This includes several runs past midnight.
I'm starting to get a bit nervous even though this highway is usually considered safe due to the constant traffic. Maybe I'll need to plan more and travel in daylight hours!
Has anyone faced problems on this highway?
No, it is generally safe compared to out of the way two lane and single roads, ghat roads etc.

Of course as with all problems there's always a first time.

The major non "you might be attacked" problems are that the usual restaurants close down and there are only trucker patronised tea stalls or occasional CCD outlets for meals etc.
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Old 9th December 2019, 15:13   #66
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by TheHelix0202 View Post
Did you have a dashcam at the time? This truly was something fishy, no doubt. If they were in need of any help (which I doubt), they would have simply lowered their windows and shouted outside. Or even stopped at the toll gate for assistance. But the fact that they even followed you through a toll and then decide to confront you when you stopped is the saturation point. Did you report the incident to the police with the carís number? Hope you did.
It was fishy indeed, and also, I do not think 4-5 people would be so "excited" to ask for help from a stranger's car and that too, having family inside.
This is where I lost it. I had no dashcam and in the meantime I just wrote the number of the car and gave it to my local police station and they said they would look out for it and inform me (which THEY DIDN'T).
Also, I would suggest you all to get a dashcam for your car.
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Old 9th December 2019, 15:47   #67
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

I do night drives frequently and I am *always* (I don't do solo night drives as I am afraid of falling asleep at the wheel ) accompanied by my wife and my 3 yr old son. Here is my strategy :

1. I plan the route in detail before commencing the drive. This means I keep a list of at least 3 safe places each for refueling, bio-breaks and 24/7 restaurants if available. I do this at least a few days before I travel. This is where I am grateful to Team-BHPians, for helping me plan this.

2. I start driving at 1.00 AM to 3.00 AM. I hope most of the unwanted elements lurking on the road have retired for the day.

3. The 4 - 5 hours of night drive should be done on NH only where there is considerable bus /truck & pvt vehicle traffic.

4. If I need to stop, I'll do so at a toll booth.

5. I never stop at night to give lift to hitchhikers.

6. I never drive between 8 PM to 12.00 AM
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Old 9th December 2019, 18:16   #68
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by ankan.m.blr View Post
I do night drives frequently and I am *always* (I don't do solo night drives as I am afraid of falling asleep at the wheel ) accompanied by my wife and my 3 yr old son. Here is my strategy :

2. I start driving at 1.00 AM to 3.00 AM. I hope most of the unwanted elements lurking on the road have retired for the day.
Not to be judgemental or anything, but in my last 25 years of driving, I never seen any necessity of travelling at such late nights alone or with a wife and 3 year old, even on NH's. If you are 4-5 men travelling, then its different. Is there any emergency that you have to travel so late in the night? I have seen some final examples of human trash even at 8:00 am in the morning. If you are involved in an accident, tyre blow-out or puncture , you cannot leave your wife and 3-year old at the side of the road while you go search for help.

Recently my aunt was seriously injured in a accident involving a Tempo Traveller they were travelling and a stationary truck at 1 am. She has still not recovered completely after 8 months & multiple surgeries. All this was done to save one night stay at a hotel, which ended up becoming a longtime stay in bed.
We always leave at the break of dawn (>5:00 am) for out station visits for unwell relatives, medical emergencies, etc no matter what. Our engines are off at 7:30-8:00 pm & the trips are planned well in advance with confirmed reservations. Full fuel and air is checked in the previous night itself.

We also make it a point to share our continuous location by Whatsapp with our loved ones.

During travel with family, safety over rules all conveniences & traffic conditions.
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Old 9th December 2019, 18:49   #69
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
I've done the Chennai - Bangalore highway, mainly the Chennai Vellore section, on quite a few occasions at night. Sometimes alone and sometimes with family. This includes several runs past midnight.
I'm starting to get a bit nervous even though this highway is usually considered safe due to the constant traffic. Maybe I'll need to plan more and travel in daylight hours!
Has anyone faced problems on this highway?
Did this stretch two months back in heavy rains at around 9 pm. No issues, quite safe. Do watch out for rogue trucks, mini trucks and buses though.
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Old 9th December 2019, 20:36   #70
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
Good Idea! The only fly in the ointment - the information is public (since our forum is so) and that's a give away for potential thieves to mine data and find your home to break in. Reminds me of folks who check in on facebook when they travel. heh. Can we have a secure area for members only to access such info?
Yes which is why I highlighted that part in my post (which was quoted). Information of that kind should only be put in a members only section.

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Originally Posted by Sankar View 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.
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Old 10th December 2019, 08:44   #71
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
Has anyone faced problems on this highway?
Travelled pretty much all hours of the clock. Activity wise, there's truck-bus-private car traffic all day and night. The only gripe is lack of stops available for such a busy highway. Shoolagiri CCD-McD-Krishna Bhavan was a busy place even at 200 am with a dozen private vehicle stopped. To a lesser extent CCD just after Ambur (the only one that is perpendicular to the road and easy to spot) at about 165th km milestone.
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Old 10th December 2019, 11:23   #72
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Saw this news item about UP police providing security for all women travelling at night. Is this applicable for women driving solo at night too or is it more for people who are returning home from night shifts etc.
https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/up-p...-night-2146230
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Old 12th December 2019, 20:19   #73
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

Came across this thread rather late, then went through 5 pages of interesting discussions and viewpoints.

There is obviously a sharp divide amongst members about whether one should, or should not, drive after sundown, especially late into the night (and right through the night), when accompanied by lady passengers. As a general impression (a poll would have been more accurate), the majority here believe that it is best to avoid driving at night, at least not past 9-10 pm.

Despite that, a small minority of us do drive overnight on highways in India, accompanied by wife and children (in my case, wife and adult daughter). We've driven this way for many years (in my case, longer than many folks' age - my first night drive was in December 1988) - and continue to do it till today (last overnight drives = Delhi-Kolkata, Kolkata-Jalpaiguri & Chalsa-Delhi, in March 2019 - 3 overnight trips).

Now, whether to drive at night on Indian highways, or not, (with or without accompanying lady passengers) is a debate that can continue for eternity. But then, to each his own opinion. It is not a sacrosanct rule that overnight highway drives are safe (or dangerous). What matters is, how prepared and trained are you

- to understand your car and cope with emergencies (Can you change a flat tyre in 10 minutes? Can you restart a stalled engine? What would you do if your headlight wiring blew out?);

- to understand your own psychological frame of mind (Are you the argumentative type who would pick a fight with another car that tried to sideswipe you? Have you shared a few cups of tea with a long-distance truck driver? Do you trust or distrust people too soon?);

- to understand the road you are travelling on (have you travelled this road in the daytime earlier? Do you know anyone else who has travelled this road at night?);

- to understand your body and its responses (Are you a night owl or a heavy sleeper at night? Can you recognize easily that you will doze off in the next 5-10 minutes? Is your vision perfect for night driving?); and lastly

- how experienced are you in night driving? (Have you accompanied and driven overnight on Indian highways with someone who has experience in overnight highway driving? Have you asked him for tips and tricks regarding the activity?)

Disclaimer: I am not encouraging anyone to drive overnight on Indian highways if they don't want to!
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Old 13th December 2019, 09:43   #74
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

^^^
Add 'how is your night vision'.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 13th December 2019, 13:14   #75
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Default Re: Highway safety at night for female drivers & passengers

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
It is not a sacrosanct rule that overnight highway drives are safe (or dangerous). What matters is, how prepared and trained are you

- to understand your car and cope with emergencies (Can you change a flat tyre in 10 minutes? Can you restart a stalled engine? What would you do if your headlight wiring blew out?);
From experience, maybe you can share the things that mostly go wrong aside from having a flat tyre. Your point on a blown headlight is an excellent one. I wouldn't know what to do at that point. I'll make an effort to practise changing tyres at home this weekend and to understand the fusebox/wiring aspect. What else?
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