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Safe Driving
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Safe and Responsible Driving
Driving along
Be alert to the traffic around you as you drive. Make a routine of looking behind and from side by checking your mirrors every few seconds. Check your blind spots by turning your head to look over your shoulder. Try to keep other vehicles out of your blind spot by changing your speed and try not to drive in other vehicles' blind spots. Be extra alert at dawn and dusk when drivers have problem adjusting to the changing light.

Keep some space around your vehicle. Anticipate other vehicles' movements and make allowances for possible errors. Slow moving vehicles especially cycles, rickshaws, carts have the tendency to turn without giving signal or signaling at a very short notice. Watch for people in parked vehicles they may be about to pull out in front of you or may open the door without noticing your vehicle.

Steer smoothly
Steer smooth and precise. Do most steering and lane changes having both hands on the steering wheel. You should try to steer in a straight line while shifting gears, adjusting controls or checking your blind spot.

Imaging the steering wheel as a clock and keep your hands at nine o’clock and three o’clock or at 10 o’clock and two o’clock. This gives you better control while driving.

Cars with air bags: Keep your hands at nine o’clock and three o’clock position otherwise air-bag can cause injuries.

Know how air bag works
Use indicators/signals

Indicators inform other drivers what you want to do so they can make adjustments accordingly.

Use your indicators, brake lights or hand and arm signals to signal before turning, changing lanes, slowing down, leaving the road or coming out of a parking area. Give the correct indication well before your maneuver and ensure other drivers can see it.

Check that the way is clear before you act — giving indication does not mean the road is clear.

Arm signals

For use when direction indicator signals are not used, or when necessary to reinforce direction indicator signals and stop lights.

I intend to move in to the left or turn leftI intend to move out to the right or turn rightI intend to stop.
I intend to slow down.Indicating the car following you to overtake.

Keep left

Keep to the left of the road or in the left-hand lane on multi-lane roads unless you want to turn right or want to overtake another vehicle.

Obey speed limits

Watch for the maximum speed signs along the road and obey them. Drive at a speed that allows you to stop safely. Vary your speed depending upon weather or traffic conditions but never exceed the speed limits.

 

Obey police
If police constables are directing traffic, follow their instructions even if they are different from traffic lights or signs. There might be an emergency situation.

Bring your vehicle to a complete stop when a police official signals you to stop.

Keep a safe distance
 

Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Drive at the same speed as traffic around you without going over the speed limit.

Whenever you follow another vehicle, you need enough space to stop safely if the other vehicle brakes suddenly. A safe following distance is at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. This is the minimum reaction time you need to stop safely.

 

To calculate a two-second space, follow these steps:
  1. Mark a point on the road ahead, such as a road sign or telephone pole.
  2. When the rear of the vehicle ahead passes the marker, count "one thousand and one, one thousand and two".
  3. When the front of your vehicle reaches the marker, stop counting. If you reach the marker before you count "one thousand and two," you are close and need to maintain more distance.

Depending upon the weather and traffic conditions, try to maintain more than two-second space. If a lighter vehicle is ahead of you it will take lesser time to stop while if a heavy vehicle is ahead of you it would be blocking your view of the road ahead.

The factors that affect the stopping distance are load, condition of the road surface, tyres, brakes, driver skill and type of vehicle.

The vehicle travelling at a higher speed will take longer distance to stop.

Drivers have to understand that however good a driver they think they are and however good their car is, a vehicle at a higher speed will take much longer distance to stop.

SAFE STOPPING DISTANCE
Speed Thinking distance Braking distance Total stopping distance
40 kmph 8 meters 14 meters 22 meters
60 kmph 12 meters 30 meters 42 meters
90 kmph 16 meters 72 meters 88 meters


Sharing the road with other vehicles
We, in India, have a large number of small vehicles on the roads. These vehicles are harder to see because of their size. Drivers of these vehicles may turn suddenly without indicating making it an accident prone situation.  They are less protected so are more likely to be injured in an accident.

Slow moving vehicles like cycles, rickshaws, mopeds, three wheelers should try to keep as close as possible to the left edge of the road. While driving, treat scooters and motorcycles like other vehicles.

 

Sharing the road with large vehicles
The length and width of large trucks create special driving situations. Do not consider them as any other vehicle when they are turning or backing up. For example, a driver of a long truck that is turning left may move into the right lane to avoid hitting the curb as he turns.

A truck being larger and heavier needs a longer distance to stop than cars. Give an indication well before turning, slowing or stopping so that the trucks behind you get enough time to brake.

If there are two or more lanes, trucks must use the left lane to allow the slower vehicles to overtake them.

 

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