Driving: Initial learnings vs lessons learnt later & their differences

Do share those things which you discovered late in your driving life and which now you find silly.

BHPian RR96 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

There are many things which we learnt late in our driving journey. These are things which you may discover on your own as the journey progresses. Your driving instructor may not teach you everything correctly or maybe he may teach you things just to help you clear the license test. There are many things which I discovered later in my driving journey. There's a separate thread for things that they don't teach you at driving schools: CLICK LINK.

Through this thread, you could just share those things which you found later by yourself in your driving journey. For example, I discovered many things later like:

  • Whether you should always press the clutch while braking. The rule of thumb told by my driving instructor was to always press the clutch while applying brakes. This might have been told to avoid stalling. But later after driving many kilometres, I learnt that you don't need to do so and only press the clutch while the rpm and speed of that particular gear go down below a limit. I remember discovering this and today feel it's really silly.
  • Other common things which I recollect that I discovered late are how to shift IRVM day and night. How to stop the car on a slope using the half clutch. How to start a car with a dead battery by pushing or moving down a slope etc.

Do share those things which you discovered late in your driving life and which now you find silly.


Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

The biggest thing I learnt and what I now find silly is, it's simply not worth it to fight/argue on the road if you get into an accident. Just go claim your insurance if required & move on. A mad guy recently rear-ended a luxury car I was driving. Didn't even step out of the car. Just smiled, gave him a thumbs-up with smile ("all is okay") and moved on. In my younger days, raging with adrenaline, I'd always be up for road fights. The stupidest thing ever.

There is also the safety aspect. Remember, you never know who is carrying a dagger or a gun under their seat. And there is no doubt that people just need to vent due to other frustrations in life. See the first minute of this video where Sunil Dutt explains to the thief that the crowd wants to bash him only because of personal or professional problems in their lives.

Here's what BHPian Akshay6988 had to say on the matter:

As a newbie driver, I had this habit of upshifting at 1500-1700 rpm before the engine gets in its power band. This resulted in me being very very slow on uphill roads. Many kilometres later and after asking here on the forum, I learnt that I've to upshift at higher RPMs on uphill.

Another thing I've noticed after driving almost 20k km is cruising at 90-100 km/h is better than cruising at 100 km/h. The time difference between both is merely 10 - 15 minutes. You get much better mileage and drive is relatively easy at these speeds. Anticipative braking also helps manage your average speed.

Here's what BHPian RedTerrano had to say on the matter:

In no particular order:

Diesel doesn't have spark plugs.

Safe distance in Pune is a fantasy. The moment you keep your distance, 3 bikes and a rickshaw will squeeze into that space.

Drive defensively.

Rule of thumb: Everyone is an idiot.

Your vehicle, your safety, your wallet, your freedom, your responsibility.

Vehicle language, like body language, is real. If you feel a vehicle is going to overtake you from the left and slide in front of you, it will.

Corollary: The vehicle whose front wheel is ahead of the other always manages to get its way.

Dashcams are well worth the investment.

As per Indian law, the one with the bigger vehicle is always at fault.

Watch out for buses, especially public transport. Anyone can nonchalantly spit out of the window, whenever they feel like it.

If someone halts their vehicle to give you the right of way, most probably they have been to some Western country. A courtesy thank you wave of the hand is absolutely recommended.

Corollary: It is also nice to be waved to instead of just waving to others.

Don't even think of hitting your ignition till everyone is buckled up (Nowadays it includes rear seat pax as well)

If you are a man and spot a woman fallen from her vehicle, do not attempt to physically help her unless you are accompanied by a woman, or there are more people on the scene.

If anyone is itching to overtake you on weekend evenings/nights to gain a few precious inches, let them. Not worth the hassle.

Bookmark the Italian tuneup thread on TBHP.

In case she comments on your speed, shares it with her.

Here's what BHPian narayans80 had to say on the matter:

  1. The importance of planning (start timings, big city crossing timings, hotels, fuel stops, food stops).
  2. The physical and mental toll high speeds take on your body.
  3. How to adjust ORVMs. There was a post from SS-da or Jeroen sometime in 2017-18 which am not able to find now, have been following that ever since. Basically, there is no use looking at your rear bodywork and fuel cap from your left ORVM.
  4. Indicator usage and that using it alone is not the right way. Expect a lot to rush once you turn on the indicators.
  5. Importance of 3-point rear seat belts and child seats and what sort of useless hogwash lap belts are.
  6. The countless occasions rear wash-wipe saves you on a rainy day.
  7. The value of that 30-minute nap over multiple rounds of caffeine.
  8. The amount of peace of mind less honking brings, and when to use it.
  9. The risk of sideswiping in big commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, trailers, pullers). Corollary: Watching the front wheel movement against lane demarcations.
  10. Not to be over-enthusiastic about cleaning our car in monsoon season. Does not include a glass area, reverse cam sensors, lights or number plates.
  11. Car size does not matter (except when parking). The temperament to drive does not change, and driving a small car is not the same as riding a bike.
  12. Driving an AT as a newbie helps in perfecting your steering controls. This is better than giving up driving forcing yourselves to drive an MT and conforming to social norms.
  13. Transitioning from AT to MT is not hard as it is made to be.
  14. Transitioning from MT to AT needs a bit of a learning curve too. You'll learn more about A-pedal modulation and keeping distance to account for the lack of engine braking. Should not forget to move the left leg

Here's what BHPian V.Narayan had to say on the matter:

My learnings from 44 years of driving in India are below. These are not theoretical learnings but what I actually practise while driving on our roads.

  • Drive with an invisible bubble around you. When others poke your bubble slow down a bit.
  • I am not competing with the other folks either on the road or in life achievements. Let the other guy win.
  • Always drive watching what is happening up ahead - several tens of metres in case of a city traffic road and 200 to 400 metres ahead in case of a highway.
  • Every junction, every U-Turn, every bridge, every village is a danger point no matter what.
  • Speeds above 70 in the city and above 90/100 on the highway won't get you earlier to your destination in any meaningful way.
  • Don't daydream while driving. The picture ahead of you, behind you and on your sides changes every quarter of a second.
  • If you are on the left of a bus be alert for jumping jacks who get off running buses without checking the rear
  • If practical avoid night driving on highways.
  • Check the rearview mirrors before starting off. Half the surprises come from the rear.
  • In North India don't be the first to zoom off at the green signal. Allow time for signal jumpers to cross you at right angles
  • And finally, lock your ego in the dicky.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Seat belts save lives