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Old 22nd July 2022, 09:17   #16
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Default Re: Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)

I'm just reproducing one of my posts in accidents thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibendum90949 View Post
I am a regular and have been driving through this stretch for last 20 years. This steep downhill stretch, 4-5 years ago had plenty of speed breakers along with mobile barricades arranged in a zig-zag fashion. Though it slowed down traffic, it resulted in lot of vehicles getting rear ended. It was very common to see people banging onto the vehicle in front as they carry too much speed and don't maintain enough distance. I myself have witnessed such crashes taking place right in front of me. After they widened this road, they opted for the present set up by removing all speed breakers, presumably to reduce rear end collisions, it now has only rumble strips and warnings. But all of that wouldn't have prevented these sort of accidents.

RSR is bang on here. Couple of curves are really deceptive. Unless your car is extremely good on dynamics and has very good tyres, there isn't much room to do any mid course correction if one is carrying a higher speed into these curves, such is the momentum owing to steepness of the place. Tall SUV's are extremely vulnerable. My friend had nearly lost control and got into a toppling situation of his Scorpio many years back while negotiating one of the curves. I feel the banking of curve isn't that great at couple of curves especially two of the left handers.

Few steps I take when passing through this stretch.

* Drive downhill in 3rd gear and not more than 50-55 kmph.
* Remain highly alert while negotiating those curves.
* Always allow speeding guys behind you pass ahead.
* At times, even music is put on mute.
* Do all of this at a higher degree if it's raining.

It's always frustrating to see people still speeding on this stretch despite all sorts of warnings. Things get even more trickier when it rains, especially the first rains after a long gap.

RIP to the departed souls. The footage was bit traumatic to watch. I'll surely be jittery the next time I pass through this place, due in a week's time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigid Rotor View Post
There does not seem to be any alternate fast routes for vehciles proceeding further south.
One can take a right deviation and hit Avinashi via Mettur which also bypass the Salem city limits. This is for travellers heading to Coimbatore and all. It's a state highway but the roads are really good.
Attached Thumbnails
Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)-screenshot_20220722093236_maps.jpg  


Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 22nd July 2022 at 09:33.
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Old 22nd July 2022, 09:23   #17
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Default Re: Thoppur Ghat on NH-44 Bangalore-Salem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigid Rotor View Post
Possible strategy for tackling this downslope stretch to Salem:
• Stop and inquire about the traffic situation at the toll plaza (which is on level terrain about 2 km before the downslope commences.
• Check on Google or on-board connected nav if there is a traffic pile-up (map route will appear in Red for that stretch).
• Proceed only if reported clear, else its recommended to stop and park just after the toll plaza and proceed only after the pile-up has been cleared.
Thanks a lot of this! I have frequented this route multiple times as my hometown is Trivandrum. And I've always wondered what best could be done.

The thought of some truck losing their brakes and rear-ending me to make a papad always lingers on my mind as I cross this section.

This is a very useful, simple and implementable suggestion.
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Old 22nd July 2022, 09:33   #18
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Default Re: Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)

For those who've seen Thoppur Ghat prior to the 4-laning of NH7, the present day version is a very mellowed down version of what it used to be. I remember the toll for this section at launch was 75 rupees

First time I travelled was shotgun as a teenager in 1994. The road used to be steeper that some vehicles couldn't even negotiate. Delays on this section were a 24/7/365 affair. It used to rank as the top accident spots in TN alongside Zuzuvadi Ashok Leyland plant area.

I don't really buy the lack of awareness or this is entirely a trucker problem argument. This section has a gradient, and maintenance of momentum is key to get through faster. Also bigger the vehicle, the less agile the vehicle will be to pickup momentum on the uphill section. The smaller vehicles (private cars and 2-wheelers in particular) simply lack any sort of empathy for bigger vehicles and squeeze through non-existent gaps, shoulders and what not. This not only makes life difficult for oneself, but also for other following vehicles. The same agility applies to slowing/stopping on the downhill section as well.

Yes there will be the odd truck that lacks maintenance and causing nuisance to others. On every other day, patience and empathy will go a long way to reduce accidents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibendum90949 View Post
One can take a right deviation and hit Avinashi via Mettur which also bypass the Salem city limits.
It doesn't bypass Thoppur ghat right? Mecheri-Pennagaram-Dharmapuri is the only way to bypass, but is not a fast route by any means nor will it handle the traffic from NH7.

Also Bhavani-Ammapettai-Mettur-Mecheri-Thoppur route is high traffic route. Even if you are taking Gobi-Sathy from Avinashi you'll end up at Ammapettai via Anthiyur. Sankari-Omalur used to work as the fastest route to bypass Salem when they were constructing those bridges. Not sure if it still works.

Unless one is driving on peak holiday weekends, such detours are unnecessary.

Last edited by narayans80 : 22nd July 2022 at 09:50.
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Old 22nd July 2022, 12:13   #19
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Default Re: Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post

The route from Salem to Bangalore is a bigger pain, on the inclines. Everyone wants to rush across and the trucks are battling overtaking each other at 21/22/23 km/hour in all three lanes and most cars don’t have the patience for 3-4 minutes. Cutting in and out is something you’ll witness by 90% of the cars/tempo’s/Ace vehicles and that makes it even more dangerous.
Not to mention continuous honking, flashing lights, overtaking from shoulders or even off-roading just to save couple of minutes.
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Old 24th July 2022, 11:12   #20
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Default Re: Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)

https://www.newindianexpress.com/sta...d-2469064.html

The district administration, local RTO, along with the toll staff have definitely has been proactive. This news article dated 24 Jun 2022 states that the accident rate is this stretch has been reduced by half, during the previous six months.

There have a total of 34 accidents resulting in 14 fatalities and 25 injuries in this 'reduced rate' since Jan 2022. That is still a staggeringly high number, considering that the actual 'ghat' section and the accident zone is only about 6-8 km distance!

Also, as I attempted to emphasize earlier, its not a question of one's skill level, patience, empathy, or light vehicles being impatient, etc. Some forum member do not appear to have grasped the essence of the message that is being conveyed.
The deadly accidents in this short 6-8 km stretch are almost always in the downslope section. The traffic in this section till Salem comprises 80-85% heavy multi-axle trucks.
A truck has an accident often due to brake fade near the bridge at the bottom of the gradient section. There is then a long pile-up of very slow moving traffic on the downslope section along the double 'S' bends.
Another jackass driver of another multi-axle truck comes coasting along, turns the corner into an 'S bend, is unable to stop in time and then rams into the rear section of the slow-moving traffic.
A light vehicle, even with the 2022 Euro NCAP 5 Star will not survive this impact in any recognisable shape.

Hence the need to strategize and discuss prudent measures that may be adopted.

Last edited by Rigid Rotor : 24th July 2022 at 11:40.
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Old 24th July 2022, 14:03   #21
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Default Re: Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)

I believe what everyone fears on these long sweeping ghat roads is this happening:



Loaded trucks coasting in neutral to save some time/fuel.

Mainly by young/inexperienced drivers.
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Old 9th September 2022, 00:15   #22
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Default Re: Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)

I received the below text from a friend few minutes back. Posting it here as it may help someone. Google maps update at this moment below.

"If anyone is planning to travel to salem from bangalore, try to avoid. I'm stuck in a bus for more than 2 hours at a place which is 10km away from Thoppur. Traffic is not moving at all. Don't know the reason behind the traffic block"
Attached Thumbnails
Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)-screenshot_20220909002009_maps.jpg  


Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 9th September 2022 at 00:22.
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Old 22nd September 2022, 22:57   #23
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Default Re: Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)

Despite the actions taken by the officials, these accidents have become very common in this 2-3Km stretch. I got stuck in a 20 mins traffic jam because of a truck which toppled on a curve. Thankfully no major injuries to anyone.

Accidents on Thoppur Ghat section of NH-44 (Bangalore-Salem road, 35 km short of Salem)-whatsapp-image-20220922-8.24.20-am.jpeg
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