On one side, the Indian highway construction is growing by 23 km each day making the road infrastructure more connected and journeys smoother than ever. While, on the other, it is also the root cause of the maximum number of road casualties, as the highways bear 40% burden of the country’s traffic. The prime reason for these road accidents and deaths are poor driving conditions and reckless drivers.
As driving on the Indian highways can be full of risks, we bring to you the 10 most essential driving tips so that you can always enjoy your highway drives to the fullest.
First things first, for better driving experience on the highways a well-maintained car is vital. You need to make sure that the car hitting the highway has got its brakes, engine, tyres and all the other essential parts in the best condition. Unresponsive braking, tyre burst at high speed, the wayward steering system are commonly seen in cars with poor maintenance record.
‘Keep Distance’ inscribed at the rear is a common sight on most of the transportation vehicles on the highways. This is something that is ignored by most of the drivers in the country. Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and sticking to the 4-second rule not only prevents crashing but also provides the driver with more time to react to a crash-like situation and prevent it from occurring. Simply put, the 4-second rule is a separation of 4 seconds from the car/vehicle ahead of you. Remember, at high speed, you require more room for a safe halt. Hence, a safe distance should be your priority.
Outside rearview mirrors (ORVMS) (also called wing mirrors) and the inner rear view mirror help you to keep a check on what is approaching from behind. You need to stay attentive all the time while driving. Closed or folded wing mirrors are generally seen on the highways. Remember, wing mirrors exist to alert you in advance thereby making your rides safer.
Turn Indicator Is Important
This is not only good for highways, but also for your regular city commutes. Before overtaking, always indicate which direction you intend to move. The indicator is meant to specify the following vehicles about your intentions and make them prepared for your further action. Same goes for overtaking; the vehicle ahead of you should know your intention. For safer commuting, in the daytime, you can blow a horn, while the high beam flash can work during the night drives. Besides the indication of overtaking, this will also avert the vehicle ahead of you from accidentally veering off into your lane.
High-speed driving at highways results in the rise of tyre temperature, which can cause a tyre burst if your car has under inflated tyres. Similarly, overinflated tyres can also be dangerous on the highways and might result in tyre bursts. So make sure that the tyre pressure of your vehicle is always at the recommended PSI level.
If you really want to make the highway drives pleasant enough and free from apprehensions, then a speed between 80 kmph to 100 kmph should be ideal. This legal limit on most of the highways in India will allow you to have enough reaction time in case of any emergency swerve, alongside will also permit you for smooth overtaking. Speedy driving at around 150 kmph under any weather condition, hot or cold, with underinflated tyres or over-inflated tyres, can be a license to uninvited trouble.
Another major killer on the highways, especially witnessed among the commercial vehicle drivers in India, but now, is also seen with private car drivers. It is a fact that fatigue sets in quickly when you are behind the wheels. Hence, timely breaks from driving are vital. Have a breather at least after every 100-150 km to ensure alertness while driving further. Driving under drowsy or sleepy state can prove lethal for you as well as others. Driving for 8-10 hours in a single day is something most people can comfortably manage.
No Blind Spot Overtaking
Drivers, especially the youth, are more seen trying their luck with this life-threatening fixation. Overtaking at a blind spot is one of the major reason of highway mishaps. Overtake only when the road is clear.
When it comes to long route driving, daytime driving is the most convenient one in every aspect. Although, there will be more traffic compared to night, however, the immense visibility that you have in the day will not be at night. You will ditch many hazards that you may face during night drives. Remember, even the most powerful headlamp on the earth cannot replace the beam of the sun.
Speedy Left Lane Drive
Another life-threatening ‘do not’ in the list. The middle and fast lanes of the highways are seen dominated by the heavily loaded slow-moving trucks. And car drivers try to get ahead of these trucks by driving speedily on the extreme left lane of the road, which is highly risky. Avoid taking such a step. Your speeding car may ram into standstill trucks, trailers, tractor trolleys etc., as the left lane is meant for slow-moving traffic and vehicles that face break down.
So, don’t be among the 4.5 Lakh lives that India loses every year due to road accidents. Drive safe and follow these simple measures to shun unwelcome accidents. Because someone on the other side is waiting for you!
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