Tips For Long Highway Drives in India


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Nice article..

Why checking all the things is important before going on a highway drive? Well.. I will narrate my story here happened to be before a year. (Pretty long one. Hope it conveys a message)

I was busy working in office to leave soon at 7.00 PM for catching the train to Karaikudi(train departs at 8.30 PM). Finally left by 7.30. To my horror, traffic started to build up everywhere and I didn't noticed the time and my friend who boarded the train in egmore called me to say that the train left. I am still stuck in traffic in Kathipara. So I asked him to get down in tambaram and wait for me, so that we can go by car. My car was with a known local garage for removing a dent. So I called him and asked him to ready my car for the drive. He accepted as the work was not started, checked the car and gave it to my home. So I went home at 9.30 PM and took the car and picked my friend and started to Karaikudi.

Here the shock begins. I drove in NH - 45 which is pretty good with lights at most of the places. So I was continuously driving and while nearing madhuranthagam(60 to 70 kms from Chennai) I realised that the beam was not good. So I tried switching to high beam, still no use. I smelled something fishy and stopped the car in a nearby petrol bunk and checked the lights. To my horror, the right headlight bulb is missing and in the left side bulb, only the low beam is working and high beam is not working. It was around 11.30 in the night and I am in the middle of the highway and couldn't find a mechanic or a spares shop. I called my mechanic and asked him and he casually answers that the boys in the garage would have missed it.(Then I learnt that they took both the bulbs and changed it to another car in garage and installed one defective bulb alone). I was helpless and drove with a single bulb and fog lamps(Thanks to the powerful fog lamps) till trichy and halted there till morning.

So what I learnt from this incident.

Check all the bulbs, fluids, fuses, tyres etc before leaving for a highway trip.
Its better to avoid a sudden plan of a drive at night and travel by bus instead. Lot of energies saved.
If you are not sure of the car condition, its better to get it checked by a ASC a week before the trip and get all the things sorted out.
Have spare bulbs, tubeless puncture kits and a good air compressor. Also its advisable to check the condition of the spare tyre too.
If your car's service is due in a couple of weeks after the trip, its better to service the car prior to the trip.
Use the trains or bus, if you are not comfortable on the day of the trip(both physically or mentally).
Don't drive after a long day in office. You will be so tired for sure.
If you have other friends who can drive, make sure that they are comfortable with your car. (A person owning a SUV will find it difficult adjusting to your low slung sedan.)
Finally,(Not sure if I can post it in this thread) never give your car to a outside garage if you are not sure of their work.
That was a bad experience for me and I don't want my fellow TAI members to experience such things in a highway trip. So please plan things in advance and have a safe trip.... At last, mistakes are always the best teachers....
 
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Exhaustive list! This is a very relevant topic that you have brought up. Driving on a highway is quite possibly one of the best times to relax your mind.
 
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Hi,

I need a advice from my fellow TAI members. Actually my office timings are quite different, it is half day and a half night work. so on a daily basis i used to sleep only by 2 to 3 am after returning from office. So when we plan for a long drive at home, i will be the one who drives. So at those time we are supposed to get a good night sleep to get up early in the morning to start the journey. But in my case as usual i will be sleeping around 2 to 3 am before the drive. So would like to get some advice on how to get a proper sleep before the day of travelling. i know its a bit weird. Moderators if this post is not relevant to the topic please move to the appropriate thread.
 
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Hi,

I need a advice from my fellow TAI members. Actually my office timings are quite different, it is half day and a half night work. so on a daily basis i used to sleep only by 2 to 3 am after returning from office. So when we plan for a long drive at home, i will be the one who drives. So at those time we are supposed to get a good night sleep to get up early in the morning to start the journey. But in my case as usual i will be sleeping around 2 to 3 am before the drive. So would like to get some advice on how to get a proper sleep before the day of travelling. i know its a bit weird. Moderators if this post is not relevant to the topic please move to the appropriate thread.
This is a either-or case means either you plan your journey later and get good sleep or you try to reach home early prior to d-day and have a sound sleep, if possible?
 
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Hi,

I need a advice from my fellow TAI members. Actually my office timings are quite different, it is half day and a half night work. so on a daily basis i used to sleep only by 2 to 3 am after returning from office. So when we plan for a long drive at home, i will be the one who drives. So at those time we are supposed to get a good night sleep to get up early in the morning to start the journey. But in my case as usual i will be sleeping around 2 to 3 am before the drive. So would like to get some advice on how to get a proper sleep before the day of travelling. i know its a bit weird. Moderators if this post is not relevant to the topic please move to the appropriate thread.
A catch '22' situation for you, welcome to TAI @koushikbalu, because of this BPO boom most youngsters are going through the situation you are in, the body clock goes for a toss.

Let me try and help: Options for you

1. Take half day off from office, [roll] and try getting at least 6/7 hours sleep.
2. Try and swap office duty with colleague, who has day only duty.
3. If nothing works, take medical leave [;)] before date of travel.

All the best
 
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Hi,

Thank you, actually mine isn't a BPO. But the timings are due to seat constraints. Hope as per your advice i should take a half day leave from work at least should return home by 6 or 7o clock in the evening to follow the sleep cycle. [:)] Thanks for your points. It was really helpful.
 
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One More Way You can Prevent Accidents
Take a Break on Long Journeys!

Don’t drive for long hours at a stretch. The human mind’s attention span is short and needs continuous refreshment to keep it focused on a certain task in hand.So, Head out, feel some fresh air, stretch your legs for a bit, grab a snack or take a nap. These little distractions will help a lot in your long journeys! Have a happy and safe journey !:)
 
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Thanks for this vital information. I would also like to add something on this - Checking the tyre condition is must but also make sure to check whether you have a spare tyre or not. And one more thing - In case of a breakdown pull your car to the left, ideally off the road if there is space and turn your hazard lights on while you get help.
 
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I drive on NH8 almost every day as my home is on NH8.
I have seen many fool drivers they never bother to open their ORVMs and drive like they are inherited from snake family. Always remember there is no second chance on highway.

Few rules (as per my experience) before hitting NH
1. Check air pressure (Major reason for tyre blast)
2. Check Indicators
3. Open both L & R ORVM (and use them).
4. Never Use short/Hard/Sudden braking (trucks can not stop in short distance).
5. Never try to overtake on curves (its NH, you don't know whats there after that curve, may be a borken down truck or no road )
6. Never overtake from Left side, wait for you side.
7. Never try to hurry on NH. (Biggest mistake done by car drivers and they endup reaching no where.)
8. stay in one lane, (I have seen many drivers they change lanes suddenly but don't want to slow down, many of them ended up in accident (Losing life).)
9. No Drinking and driving (many died in front of me)
10. Never use Mobile on NH (1 Sec is enough for accident)

These are basic and for every day.
 
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A proper well lit powerful headlight, but it must not be glaring the opposing traffic but it must be bright for us to view the roads.
 
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Very helpful points.
Check required tools for tyre change are proper, Car jack is functional and properly lubricated.
Proper light bulbs and fuses
service center details on the route

Happy Driving....
 
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Filling up your car:-

If you are doing long drives strictly on highways then no problem. But most of the times you need to leave highway at some moment and enter into other roads. You need to drive long - long on these internal roads.

So i would suggest to check your route on maps and try to locate fuel pumps on it. Plan your fillings accordingly. Its better to be tankful when you leave highways and go for internal roads.
 
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