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    Thread: Lane discipline on 4+ lane roads in India - Why the slow lane is safer and better, for fast driving.

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      Lane discipline on 4+ lane roads in India - Why the slow lane is safer and better, for fast driving.

      Some points to ponder.

      1) The fast lane is always choke full of crawling trucks and every other SLOW vehicle.

      2) If a slow moving truck is on the fast lane, dont trouble them, just overtake from the left lane, after loud "honking". (sic) Of course, if you were already in the slow lane, you dont even have to move.

      3) If the road is turning right, move over to the left lane. Gives you better visibility into the turn. Remember, this is not the same as a left turn. When you are turning right, you the driver is sitting on the right side of the car. Way less visibility, compared to a left turn, with the driver sitting on the right side of the car.

      4) There might a tractor/bus/truck/bike coming up the wrong way, in the fast lane. And yeah, they always choose the fast lane to come the wrong way.

      5) Dont drive close to the median, or in the fast lane cause "bush men" jump out from there.

      6) We dont have merge areas/lanes in most parts of the country. Vehicles randomly pop out from the cuts in the divider.

      Thoughts?

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      Good points. I actually prefer to drive in the middle lane, if there is one. I do this always when abroad where it also provides ease to move across lanes for exits.

      Back in India, many cases the side lanes may have slow movers, parked vehicles, debris from some road work, blockades and of course bush men who could appear from both sides. Unfortunately, in most roads here we dont have the luxury to drive on the middle lane since it is almost always a 4 lane road. So the option I follow, especially while taking turns, is to stick to the middle of the road, yes I said it right, keep the lane markings on the center of your vehicle. This gives ability to manage most unforeseen situations such as wrong way on fast lane, slow movers/sudden blockades on either lanes.

      In fact I some times keep the car on the middle of the road on straights as well, if there are no other vehicles on sight and if I am going at pretty high speeds. This gives me more confidence considering the above mentioned dangers lurking at the edges of the roads.

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      Adding few pointers from my side...
      Quote Originally Posted by tadukuttan View Post
      If a slow moving truck is on the fast lane, dont trouble them, just overtake from the left lane, after loud "honking".
      I'd always to blink the headlights (dipper) in addition to loud horn


      Quote Originally Posted by tadukuttan View Post
      If the road is turning right, move over to the left lane. Gives you better visibility into the turn
      Hmm...before I jump into conclusions, some pics are appreciated to help me understand better. Because I'm of the opinion that, for better visibility, one need to get to the inner most circle on turns & outer most circle for speed.

      Quote Originally Posted by tadukuttan View Post
      There might a tractor/bus/truck/bike coming up the wrong way, in the fast lane. And yeah, they always choose the fast lane to come the wrong way
      Sorry to say that, these days they use both left & right lanes But I'd always remain cautious. These days they even start justifying as why they're riding in wrong lane. In few years, I wouldn't be surprised if they demand us to move out of way

      - Spend atleast 40% time on all 3 RVM's, but don't spend more than 50% it becomes disaster
      - At junctions have large peripheral view & take away from gas instead of braking
      - Most important lesson that I learned is...RESPECT, RESPECT & RESPECT others & there're only negligent amount of people who don't give it back. I've always observed that once I respect someone's else speed, they too respond when they're struck behind a truck & when I go pass by them.
      - When someone tries to overtake, STEP OFF the gas, no need to brake. But I've seen most morons only speeding to fullest extent After overtaking they slow down

      Once again "Bush men" -
      Light travels faster than sound, this is why some people appear bright before you hear them speak

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      appuchan Agree on the straddling lanes strategy. Nothing beats that, when there is no traffic on both lanes.

      And as you said, it is not like the left lane is "clean". Just that there is a little more visibility into obstacles coming up when you are in the left lane.

      Aargee I meant (3) mostly for cars, but applies a wee bit to bikes as well.

      Ps. The thread is about lane usage on 4+ lane roads.

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      Well, my post makes the whole subject look like "lane indiscipline" The main issues here is that in our typical 4 lane roads, shoulder is almost non-existent. This may be a design flaw or the builders did not see the reason for it. Some of the issues such as parked vehicles, debris from work, movement of median landscaping personnel etc could have been managed if there was sufficient shoulders for the road on both side. The biggest danger in driving on fast lane is actually its closeness to the median, rather than anything else, giving us no room to do any quick maneuvers.

      Incidentally I noticed that the "bushmen" we refer to are mostly the people who have been tasked to maintain the landscaping on the medians. Unfortunately for them, they cant walk on the median due to the thick foliage and have to get down on to the fast lane to move to the next point. With non-existent shoulders, this makes their and our lives very dangerous.
      Last edited by appuchan; 8th Mar 2011 at 09:40.

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      Quote Originally Posted by appuchan View Post
      my post makes the whole subject look like "lane indiscipline"
      No it does not! What works for us is what is good for us.

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      Wonderful tips to driving safely on the 4-lane highways. I noticed this while following you and have to say it's all true specially point number 3.

      Maybe your videos will help everyone who couldn't see your driving understand it better.
      2003 Acura TL-S 3.2L V6, lowered Koni Suspension, modified headers and exhaust manifold.
      280 hp, FWD with Traction Control and Stability Assist

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      Interesting topic.

      Some methods I usually follow/noticed:

      1. Don't wait for the truck/bus guys to move out of the right lane if the left lane is empty. Indicate (flash lights/honk) just so that they won't move to the left while you are overtaking.

      Often, I have seen people stay in the fast lane and honk like mad trying to get the truck guy to move over to the empty left lane. Apparently, their idea is to overtake only from the right. These truck guys carry huge loads, drive for enormous hours in a day, show them some kindness for they drive really underpowered trucks. Idea is to help them not lose momentum.

      2. Usually the regular truck drivers (specially TN registered) try to move to the left lane to let you overtake on the fast lane. Be extra cautious while overtaking TN trucks from the left.

      3. I haven't experience too many cases of "bush men" in the routes I normally travel, I assume that is because these sections of the GQ are quite old. But like Tadu mentioned, if the GQ is newly laid, it takes a few deaths, few accidents and a couple of years before morons realize that they shouldn't be stepping onto the highway from the bushes without looking.

      4. Also, taking the left lane on the right hander does give better visibility and less chances of being caught by surprise of an oncoming vehicle come the wrong side. Usually I never used to follow this (because I haven't had troubles on my regular routes) but now I do thanks to Tadu.

      5. If you do a route regularly, you will notice a few places where tractors/trucks/bikes usually drive over the divider to cross the road because the U-turn is far away. Identify these spots and make sure you slow down a little.

      6. If its raining stick to the left lane always. Right lanes will have stagnant water and will cause aquaplaning.

      7. Again, vehicles coming down the wrong side of the GQ is usually restricted to *certain areas*. For eg: You will always find buses/trucks coming down the wrong side at the turn off to Innovative Film City on Mysore Road. Identify such spots and slow down well in advance in such places.

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      I aggree with the left lane funda somewhat but i've observed the following

      1. If a Vehicle is moving slowly on a fast lane, the "bushmen" have the tendency to put their hand up and just walk across!! their assumption is hand works like a break . So if one is overtaking from the left side, they need to be extra cautious. Though people can move from Left to right as well but there is still a chance that the driver of the vehicle might indicate to you to slow down if you are overtaking from on the fast lane

      2. At a median/bus-stop people tend to stand on the left lane rather then on the road-side, so if you are following a slow vehicle on fast lane you need to have enough gap between the car and bus-stop to react once you decide to take the left lane

      3. Most of the busses are driven on the fast lane and when its time to stop they cut across lanes and stop on the left, so watch out for such morons as well.

      4. If you are on fast lane behind a slow vehicle and want to move on to the left lane, believe me even after switching indicator and everthing people tend to block you as much as possible to come on to the left lane.

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      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      1. Don't wait for the truck/bus guys to move out of the right lane if the left lane is empty. Indicate (flash lights/honk) just so that they won't move to the left while you are overtaking.
      I also follow the above method, except when the truck/bus in front is overtaking other vehicle I slow down a bit to see whether he will move to the left and I overtake from the left only after confirming that he is not moving to the left lane.


      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      3. I haven't experience too many cases of "bush men" in the routes I normally travel, I assume that is because these sections of the GQ are quite old. But like Tadu mentioned, if the GQ is newly laid, it takes a few deaths, few accidents and a couple of years before morons realize that they shouldn't be stepping onto the highway from the bushes without looking.
      I have experienced many cases of "bush men/women" some times with their vehicles also even on old 4 laners. You can find more bush men/women between 8am and 10am and between 5pm and 8pm.

      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      4. Also, taking the left lane on the right hander does give better visibility and less chances of being caught by surprise of an oncoming vehicle come the wrong side. Usually I never used to follow this (because I haven't had troubles on my regular routes) but now I do thanks to Tadu.
      I usually drive in the middle of the road to avoid any unforeseen obstacles/vehicles/bush men etc., on both the right and left lane, especially in the curves and when passing through villages/towns.

      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      7. Again, vehicles coming down the wrong side of the GQ is usually restricted to *certain areas*. For eg: You will always find buses/trucks coming down the wrong side at the turn off to Innovative Film City on Mysore Road. Identify such spots and slow down well in advance in such places.
      One more place where you can see lot of 2 wheelers, cycles (some 2 wheelers/cycles with boti load extending about 2-3 feet on both sides) and some times cars also on the wrong side is on the bridge after vellore near arcot crossing.

      The best time to drive on these 4 laners is in the night and between 2pm and 4pm.
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