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Old 18th July 2009, 13:39   #1
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How do you thank the "Leading Car" driver at night?

Mod Note : Please continue the discussion on Our Night Driving Article. Thanks!


During the night drives with my family, I normally try to tail a leading car of similar speed so that my night drive is more comfortable. It helps a lot when you have vehicles coming from opposite side at high beam on a undivided road. In a speedbreaker lover state like karnataka, it helps me avoid the unpleasant surprises which these speed breakers pose.

Sometimes I have found very good drivers who start helping you with right kind of signalling once they are realise they are being tailed.

In one such drive from pondicherry to bangalore, I was following a leading car. The gentleman on that driver seat was giving very correct signals about turns to make. He would flash the harzard light for a short duration to warn me of a speed breaker or on a sudden close of road due to construction. I followed him for almost 2 hours. That was such a great help, especially beacuse it a very long tiring day for me. Suddenly near Vellore the car vanished into the town.
I didnt even got an oppurtunity to thank him. These events have happened several times in my trips. I somehow end up feeling guilty of being thankless towards the end.

How do you handle such cases? Is there anyway you found to thank you Leading driver? I would love to read your experience.

Last edited by GTO : 16th January 2013 at 17:25.
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Old 18th July 2009, 14:48   #2
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Only thing I can think of is to stick your hand out of the window and up, and wave, if you eventually pass him. At night, of course, he may not see it. In that case you will just have to let him go with the satisfaction of having helped you.

Heard from someone that some trucks in the US have a series of lights on their sides, which they flash as they pass a vehicle, to acknowledge their thanks to the vehicle for giving them way or any other favour.

It seems a short honk while overtaking is also used there to say "thank you". That wouldn't mean anything here of course.
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Old 18th July 2009, 14:53   #3
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This has happened to me a couple of times as well, both, being the tail as well as the lead ! I would flash my headlights from behind to get his attention and then wave out with a 'thumbs up' !
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Old 18th July 2009, 16:51   #4
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1) If you want to thank a person who let u overtake you need to hit a single horn and in return they will sound the horn 2 times
2) In case some one thanks you for letting him pass by sounding single horn then you hit the horn twice.

By doing this it is understood that both the drivers are happy.
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Old 19th July 2009, 00:46   #5
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In the road from Guahati to Shillong, the accepted medium to convey a thank you was two short blasts of the horn, lihe saying thank you! It was quite cute really! Enjoyed driving in that route!
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Old 23rd July 2009, 18:21   #6
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what was the car you where tailing. I do a lot of trips to vellore and i have been tailed a lot and i do my best to help out.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 18:52   #7
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Originally Posted by gowda79 View Post

1) If you want to thank a person who let u overtake you need to hit a single horn and in return they will sound the horn 2 times
2) In case some one thanks you for letting him pass by sounding single horn then you hit the horn twice.

By doing this it is understood that both the drivers are happy.
I have seen/ practiced this in the Ghat stretches- Ooty or Kodaikanal. These roads are pretty narrow, and u cannot overtake a slow moving lorry or bus unless he makes sure its safe, and gives you way- thats when this "Thank you" honk comes in
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Old 23rd July 2009, 18:57   #8
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During day time, I raise my left hand to acknowledge the drive who let me pass. If it is a truck and in the ghat roads, I stick my right hand high up. Same would be applicable for night drive as well.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 19:04   #9
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at times i also feel bad about pissing off other drivers unintentionally.

At one point I was seriously considering installing "thank you' and 'sorry' neon signs in the back .

here in US lifting hand like a 'hi' works for sorry as well as thank you. specially because everybody here lets others come in when they have been waiting for a gap in traffic, this flagging is very common.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 19:12   #10
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Sometimes, it can be done by taking turns to become lead driver! I try to do the same whenever & wherever possible. For example, I follow a car for 20-30 km and if the driver allows me to overtake, I'll become the leader for the next strech. Couple of overtakes & followups, both the drivers know what they are doing!
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Old 23rd July 2009, 19:25   #11
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One of the more creative threads here I must say since not many of us would actually think about thanking a Lead Car driver , even if we do , we may not remember it till this post here.

All that I have done is while overtaking , rolled the passenger side window down and smiled or made some kind of a similar gesture like a hand wave or a thumbs up.

But once I got in a fight for "thumbing up" , so I actually drive on by nowadays.

Few things can happen only in INDIA , I LOVE THIS COUNTRY..

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd July 2009 at 20:14. Reason: Hi, Please use a space only after a punctuation mark, not before. Thanks.
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Old 29th July 2009, 10:58   #12
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In The UK, atleast in London Area I have seen drivers use the Hazard signal for 1 second to Thank drivers who have given way (yielded) to merge into a traffic. In the US they usually thank by lifting their hand near their RVM is so that the person can see it. This is of course not possible here with the thick tints that we use it here (against the law).
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Old 29th July 2009, 11:06   #13
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I also use the services of a leading car, or else take up the role of a leading car when on the highways. It makes life a lot easier for either parties.

While returning from Kerala to Bangalore in May, there was a KL registered Swift Dzire and my car who were engaged in such a role. We didnt thank each other or anything, but the feeling was good.
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Old 29th July 2009, 11:29   #14
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IMO best way to thank is to reciprocate. Reciprocate all kindness/gratitude/ help you get from one driver on the road to the same person or some other person. This way I think we can do our bit to reduce Road rage (Which has become a manace now-a-days especially in Bangalore ).
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Old 29th July 2009, 11:35   #15
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Take down the reg number. Find out the address from the RTO and send him a greeting.
No seriously, such guys are a boon. We need more such guys on the roads especially truckers.
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