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RSM 6th November 2009 11:14 PM

Tips For Long Highway Drives in India
 
Preventive Maintenance
When one has to take the vehicle for a long trip the following items have to be taken care of.
Oil Check up
Brakes check up. If any brake are worn out, replace them by new ones.
Air Check up is of utmost important. Tyres without proper air pressure would not give the due mileage. They have to be properly inflated with digital pressure gauges or else they would deflate the purse of the owner.
Grease packing is a must as it would enhance the life of the vehicle from the effects of wear and tear.
It is a vehicle with power steering one has to be very careful. The driver would find handling the steering effortless . The very term 'power steering' indicates that its function is based on the power supplied by the dynamo which supplies the necessary power to the maneuver the steering.

This is possible only when the ignition key is turned on and the engine is running. Suppose the engine is stopped, the power steering would lose its easy handling provision and it would be very difficult to manually handle the steering then. You could not at such times negotiate the curves. This has to be viewed seriously especially when the vehicle moves across the road flooded with water.


  • First of all carry a good map book. You never know when its useful, espicially on new routes. the SH (Statehighways) and NH (National Highways) have lots of village and town names with KMs mentioned rather than the actual destinations where you intend to go.
  • On routes that you are going for the first time, make good use of the toll booths/nakas to enquire about the quality road ahead (espically state highways), when is the next tool booth,
  • For journeys that go across the full night, If at all you want to take a nap in the night, best and safe places to stop are the Tool booths where there is always an activity. Next preferences are the places where buses stops for dinners.... these hotels are abuzz with activity and are safe places..
  • Do carry a good torch and extra batterries.
  • One more important things is to ensure that all mobile phones of all persons are fully charged. An extra mobile is always handy (ofcourse with battery charged)
  • Carry lots of water and best places to keep is under the seats as they donot occupy space and can be easily picked up.
  • If the car is not fully occupied a soft pillow is always handy for a short nap at the back seat.
  • If possible know if you have one extra member who know basic driving..Believe me this could be a life savor.
  • one more best practise is to reset the trip meter to start at zero for end to end KM travelled. You always end up travelling more KM’s that what you anticipate.
  • Its also a good practise to note the start timings and timings (time covered) at know points as a log book. Believe me, next time you travel on the same route you know exactly which sector has taken more time and where it tool long. You can also guide anyone who is travelling onthe same route.
  • When travelling by road, avoid telling everyone. Road travel is considered very risky in India, hence people are more anxious to know where you have reached which can be irritation at times.


"Highway Hypnosis" or "Drowsiness" is lack of sleep or fatigue experienced by drivers usually on highways. It hampers the driving ability of the drivers. Drivers can combat hypnosis by taking frequent intervals while driving, whilst taking coffee, exercise or nap.

Starting

Be careful while pulling out a parked car, on to the road.
The driver's seat is an important place in the car and has to be adjusted for correct driving posture. The rear view mirror is adjusted to a position, which enables the driver to obtain the best possible rear view.
The dashboard panel has indicators which show you oil, fuel and battery power status. Most drivers who drive newer cars take these for granted, but it is a good habit to take a look at these indicators every time you start driving.
You should take a lesson from the BEST bus drivers who go around the bus, checking all the tyres before they start driving the bus. (but not for driving.)
Move your car slowly after you start it. Speedy starts are not only dangerous, but they also burn your tyres and waste a lot of fuel.

Turning

Use correct indications while turning.
While turning left or right use the turning indicator lights. You must ensure that you are in the correct lane so that you don't have to cut across lanes. Something as simple as turning a car causes several accidents in metropolitan cities. You have to be particularly careful and lookout for pedestrians and two wheelers. You should indicate your intention to turn or change lanes at least 30 meters before you do so.

While turning left keep as close to the left as possible - before, during and after the turn.

Right turns are more dangerous

than turning to left, as you have to cross through on coming traffic on the other side of the road. While turning right keep your car just left of the middle of the road. Wait till you find a safe gap in the oncoming traffic and then make the turn.

While taking a U-turn you need to stop and watch for traffic from the left while giving way to the other vehicles behind you. When you find a safe gap in the oncoming traffic, take the turn swiftly, get into the correct lane and accelerate.

LIMIT DRIVING ALONE WHEN TIRED
Driving with someone else in your vehicle can increase your overall alertness. It is well recognized that when driving alone, especially when sleep deprived and at night, your chances of a crash are dramatically increased.

PRACTICE COMMON SENSE SAFETY RULES
Always wear your safety belt and make sure all your passengers are buckled properly, even on short trips. If traveling with children, educate yourself on the many kinds of child safety seats and restraints. Choose which system is best for your child and always follow the directions. Make sure children ages 12 and under are always buckled up in the back seat, the safest place to ride.

Enjoy Driving!

vroom 6th November 2009 11:20 PM

Thanks RSM for sharing this. I just have a suggestion though: Can you please also put in information (if you have this information though) w.r.t car breakdowns, minor accidents.. you know basically what needs to be done if something untoward happens.

Cheers,
Vroom

Crazy cat 7th November 2009 10:40 AM

Those were some useful points.

I've seen some cars tailgating in the highway. Which is not only dangerous, but will use your(you will have a stressful driving, you'll get tired soon) and your car's energy(frequent braking and acceleration) as well. Always maintain a safe distance.

And while overtaking, only if you are 100% sure overtake, no stopping in between or don't think of backing off in the middle of overtaking. Check the on-coming vehicles, check whether someone is about to overtake you, check the vehicle at your front is about to overtake, and then overtake.

cooldhaya 7th November 2009 06:52 PM

keep the tips pouring in guys!!!nice work!! this will surely be of great use for beginners!!

rocky 17th November 2009 01:55 AM

great job man. the only problem is nobody cares any signal, no respect to other drivers.

350Z 17th November 2009 04:05 PM

Thread Moved.

Drive Safe!
350Z

Zinam 18th November 2009 07:57 AM

Hey RSM!

You are the Info master of TAI.

Keep going!

Arun 26th November 2009 09:00 PM

Here is what to do if you have a flat tyre or need to change a tyre for any reason
  1. Take out your jack and wheel-nut spanner and spare tyre (or alloys) from either the boot floor, or under the hood, depending on where it is stored.
  2. Find the jacking points under your car, there will be one for each wheel, and position your jack below them.
  3. Start winding the jack until it just touches the bottom of the car, then carry on slowly and only until the car's weight is off the wheels, but not so much that the tyre is off the ground.
  4. Remove any hub-caps if fitted. Take the spanner and loosen each nut on the wheels for 1 - 1.5 turns of the spanner. We only want to loosen them slightly, and not take them off at this point.
  5. With the wheel nuts loosened, Jack the car up further until the wheel is clear of the ground.
  6. Use the spanner and remove the nuts from the wheel. It is advisable to do opposite nuts, and not just go round in a circle.
  7. Now you can remove the old wheel and put the new one back on.
  8. Replace the nuts, with the rounded end towards the wheel, and tighten by hand as much as you can. Then use the spanner to tighten slightly more. We still want the nuts a bit loose.
  9. Wind down the jack until the tyre is just touching the ground and can't move.
  10. Tighten the nuts with the spanner as much as you can. You don't want them falling off, or the wheel will fall off as well!
  11. Wind the jack down so that you can remove it from underneath the car and stash it away.

Source

Akash 26th November 2009 09:37 PM

Great info RSM and Arun.

cooldhaya 26th November 2009 11:15 PM

Hey nice info Arun!! I just did what all you have mentioned yest for changing my flat tyre!![:)]

Zinam 27th November 2009 08:01 AM

Good lesson for beginners Arun!

Keep going.

Try to add some pictures!

It speaks more :)

RSM 10th December 2009 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vroom (Post 8282)
Thanks RSM for sharing this. I just have a suggestion though: Can you please also put in information (if you have this information though) w.r.t car breakdowns, minor accidents.. you know basically what needs to be done if something untoward happens.

Cheers,
Vroom

Keep some phone numbers always with you -
  • Insurance Helpdek
  • Dealer's 24X7 assistance
  • Some close friends, who can inform traffic police in case of emergency

Crazy cat 11th December 2009 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RSM (Post 14014)
Keep some phone numbers always with you -
  • Insurance Helpdek
  • Dealer's 24X7 assistance
  • Some close friends, who can inform traffic police in case of emergency

They are quite useful.

What should we do, when our headlights fail in the middle of nowhere?

RSM 11th December 2009 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy cat (Post 14219)
They are quite useful.

What should we do, when our headlights fail in the middle of nowhere?

Thats why everybody must put Fog Lamp in their vehicle. Fog Lamp could be life saving.

Auto Hub India 12th December 2009 02:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy cat (Post 14219)
They are quite useful.

What should we do, when our headlights fail in the middle of nowhere?

keeping a spare headlight bulb will be useful, as it is easy to change a headlight bulb of any vehicle, just check that it is properly alligned or not.


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