Tips For Driving SUV in Narrow Roads


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I drive a Tata safari in Kollam,Kerala and that explains the title. I have been driving almost exclusively SUVs right from my twenties now I am almost 35.
I am giving some rules of the jungle acquired from my experiences

Rule no 1- U turns - Scary for any Safari owner especially in kerala. Never try to take u-turns from the right track. Always shift smoothly after checking mirrors from left track. Always give priority to others and turn only when the coast is clear. This is the only way to take turns. This is not practical at signals so unless the road is wide enough avoid U turns at signals. Three point turns can be used but they are cumbersome and are best used as a last resort.

Rule no 2-Judgement of length- It's always nice to have a reference upfront. A pike or even a logo upfront on the bonnet helps us in navigating thick traffic. They are very essential for such long vehicles.

Rule no 3- Drive slower than smaller vehicles especially at intersections. Bigger cars have a bigger foot print than smaller ones so we get less space to move around.

Rule no 4-Always use a horn at junctions when autos are in vicinity they run wildly from lane to lane and if they do not see us things can be bad. I always use horn before overtaking and even my headlights just to make sure.

Rule 5- Always drive in such a way that we can see the tyre of the car ahead this way we can change lanes safely and effortlessly if he comes to a sudden halt.

Rule 6-Never use bull bars upfront it is dangerous and will almost cause serious injury to others in the case of an accident.

Rule 7-Never use high beams in the city since suvs have greater height they cause more inconvenience. I drive with my parking lights only in well illuminated urban areas.

Rule 8-Be responsible while parking never cause inconvenience to others. If parked on the street leave your cell no also. Never park on the footpath.

Rule 9- If possible give hand signals also. Very effective in Indian context.

Rule 10-Suvs have huge blindspots. Turn head and check over the shoulder.

SUVs have huge road presence but they are to be driven with great caution.
 
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Thread Starter #2
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Re: Tips for driving suvs in narrow roads

well said. most suv owners don't care about others safety you are different.
May god bless you. by the way lancer is a good car
Thank you. May god bless you too. What's with Lancer I never mentioned anything about it?
 
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Re: Tips for driving suvs in narrow roads

well said. most suv owners don't care about others safety you are different.
It is not that the SUV owners don't care, but most SUV owners worry about the maintenance and repairs after any damage to their vehicle than any other Vehicle Owners. As the damage might be little but the repair expenses costs a bomb still i agree with you that atleast 50 - 75 % SUV owners in India don't care about other safety. (Apologise, No Offence meant to SUV Owners here)
 
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Re: Tips for driving suvs in narrow roads

well said. most suv owners don't care about others safety you are different.
May god bless you. by the way lancer is a good car
Sir, sorry but I don't know if it's only me who has noticed "Lancer is a good car" in many of your posts! [lol] :stupid:

PS. Correction : In 2/3 of your posts.

@Roman:

A good list, brother. The 'No bull bars' point needs a special thread I think. Many people in Haryana (Delhi, Gurgaon, Punjab and nearby areas) have bull bars even in small vehicles like Nano, WagonR, etc. and many SUV owners have added bull bars to their must have list. Some of them can even be seen having bars along the side steps of the vehicle. I can imagine that cages (for vehicles) will be locally manufactured in the near future for owners with such thinking (to protect the car from any type of damage)! [lol]

Regards,
Nikunj
 
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Thread Starter #5
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Re: Tips for driving suvs in narrow roads

@Roman:

A good list, brother. The 'No bull bars' point needs a special thread I think. Many people in Haryana (Delhi, Gurgaon, Punjab and nearby areas) have bull bars even in small vehicles like Nano, WagonR, etc. and many SUV owners have added bull bars to their must have list. Some of them can even be seen having bars along the side steps of the vehicle. I can imagine that cages (for vehicles) will be locally manufactured in the near future for owners with such thinking (to protect the car from any type of damage)! [lol]

Regards,
Nikunj
Bull bars are metallic rigid structures which will not bend on impact and transmit the entire force of a collision to the human body, which is lethal. My vehicle which was bought used had these fitted and I removed them considering pedestrian safety. In India issues like pedestrian safety is not even discussed. We Indians say Westerners lack culture and they are imperialist monsters etc but In their countries they value human life much more than us. I have seen motorists zip pass zebra lines without any intent to stop even when pedestrians have right of way. Some pedestrians ignore zebra lines and jump on to the road risking an accident. I still can't understand how people completely disregard safety. It's only because I lived and worked in another country I can notice the difference significantly. Even in U.K I have seen narrow tight roads but people drove with courtesy and knowledge about traffic rules, So driving was safer and easier compared to India.
 
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Re: Tips for driving suvs in narrow roads

As a safety feature, traditional bars are built to protect the vehicle, which is considered less safe than allowing controlled deformation to absorb kinetic energy during a collision. Modern design of bullbars and roo bars has advanced so some vehicle manufacturers and aftermarket companies now offer impact bars which integrate with the vehicle safety system, such as activation of airbags after collision with the bullbar. Plastic bullbars made from materials such as polyethylene are designed to act like a spring and deflect due to the force of a collision so that the vehicle is still driveable after striking an animal. These designs are more "pedestrian friendly" than the same vehicle without any bullbar.

Reference:Wikipedia
 
Thread Starter #7
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Re: Tips for driving suvs in narrow roads

Bull bars are used in India without any restrictions. It's a daft and idiotic thing to do. Some are so heavy that a little nudge can kill instantly. None of the RTO officers in kerala is noticing it.
 

raj_5004

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Re: Tips for driving suvs in narrow roads

I drive a Tata safari in Kollam,Kerala and that explains the title. I have been driving almost exclusively SUVs right from my twenties now I am almost 35.
I am giving some rules of the jungle acquired from my experiences
A very well written post but I do have a few objections as below -

Rule no 4-Always use a horn at junctions when autos are in vicinity they run wildly from lane to lane and if they do not see us things can be bad. I always use horn before overtaking and even my headlights just to make sure.
I have noticed this, especially in Kerela. People honk like nobody's business! They literally stand on their horns while approaching a junction or while overtaking.

I have driven in Kerela and while I agree that sometimes honking is absolutely necessary but trust me, it can be avoided to a large extent.

We should not be promoting honking, instead we should find ways to curb that habit.

Rule 9- If possible give hand signals also. Very effective in Indian context.
Not at all advisable for private car owners. Again, we need to stop this habit of hand signals. Every city and driver has his own style of giving hand signals which is confusing for others. Instead the standard turn indicators are much more safer.

I am a huge SUV fan and the benefits of driving an SUV is huge - better seating position, better visibility, etc. But all you need is a little more patience and judgement.
 
Thread Starter #9
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Re: Tips for driving suvs in narrow roads

Regarding horn- I think it is absolutely a need in busy streets else the autos, even pedestrians will jump into us, at the same time it should not be used through out or near hospitals just a few taps on the steering wheel is what I advocate. While overtaking flashing of headlights and just a few short pulses of horn will ensure safety.

Regarding Hand signals- In crowded urban areas I give hand signals as well as turn signals because a heavy vehicle's driver will not pick up indicators if he is following too closely. I meant hand signals coupled with turn signals ensure more safety than just turn signals alone.
 

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