Two-Wheeler Highway Driving
Here are some observations about safe highway driving. In case you have some more, do post it as a comment.
1. Highway driving is not city driving. Period. So no overtaking from left. With the exception of golden quadrilateral roads where there is a separate lane, dont even think of doing it
2. There is no room for ego clashes. Many a times you will find the locals on some 100cc or 150cc crap trying to overtake you while you are on a bullet. For them it is a matter of pride that they overtook a bullet. Just let them do whatever they want to do. You stick to your speed. The moment you let your ego control you the room for error increases. Since the bike we drive is bigger and heavier, the damage caused to us by the bike falling on us is much more thatn what would have been caused to the local guy if his bike falls on him !
3. Always use indicators when you change lanes and when you overtake another vehicle. This serves two purposes. The vehicle coming behind you knows you are speeding up to overtake and the vehicle ahead of you knows you are overtaking and hence he will reduce speed. So start off by switching on your right indicator and once you are halfway through in overtaking switch on your left indicator. Use them even in day time. Nothing wrong in it. In fact, once you start using them in day time, using them in night time becomes a habit.
4. Never ever do double overtaking. If a lorry is overtaking another vehicle do not overtake the lorry.
5. If you find two vehicles in front of you overtaking each other and you have no space, brake and bring our vehicle to halt in shortest distance possible. If possible, try to get off the road. My practical observation is that most day time truck drivers will not force you off road. However, most night time drivers will !
6. Make sure you have two mirrors on your bike. This always helps during curves.
7. A blind spot is a spot just behind you which is not covered when you look into your rear-view mirror. Vehicles in this blind spot have known to be quite fatal for the driver. However eliminating this is pretty simple. While you are driving always keep an ocassional eye on your rear-view mirrors. This helps you to understand the vehicles coming behind you. From practise, i can tell you that this simple technique eliminates the blind-spot problem. While it is tough for the first few rides once you start doing it, it becomes easy.
8. When you dont have enough visibility, don't overtake. This includes uphills, right hand curves and left hand curves. The logic behind this is very simple. On a curve the distance you need to travel to overtake is more (in case of left hand curves) and your visibility is practically zero.
9. Always be patient when you drive. There is no such thing as "I am an experienced driver and i can go as fast as my vehicle takes me". You need just a split second of judgemental error to have a fatal accident.
10. Always leave enough distance between you and the other vehicle. Since we are on bikes, the distance to come to a complete stop is far more that the cars that we see on the roads. So if you dont leave enough distance, you may end up parking you and your vehicle under the vehicle in front of you !!
Ride safe !!
Tags: Highway Driving
Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 3:29 PM