High alert on highways to prevent mishaps

NEW DELHI: Driving on a highway might not always be a joyride. Motorists, who are not careful to abide by the traffic rules, may land in trouble. Experts say it is extremely important to adhere to the norms, once one hits the fast lane.

Says Institute of Driving Training and Research (IDTR) director R K Parimoo, ‘‘The drivers on the highway need to be extra cautious.’’ Here are some of the precautions:

Overtake or right-turn?: ‘‘When the truckers blink their right dipper, the drivers trailing them usually get confused,’’ said Parimoo. The truck drivers generally blink their right dippers when they want the vehicle behind to overtake them. But, drivers of these vehicles generally think that the truckers are wanting to take a right turn. ‘‘Sometimes the opposite may happen. The trucker might want to take a right turn and show the right dipper. Any driver, accustomed to their habits, might try to overtake them and crash into the trucks,’’ he said.
High-beam headlights: Vehicles on highways tend to travel using high beam of the head lights. ‘‘The high beam lights from the oncoming vehicles generally dazzle the drivers. This might lead to accidents,’’ Rohit Baluja, chief of Institute of Road Traffic Education, said.
The danger is no less from the vehicles which are coming from the rear. ‘‘The high beam headlights might reflect on the rear-view mirrors. They also dazzle the drivers,’’ Parimoo said.

Unmarked speed breakers: Very often speed breakers on the highways are not marked with fluorescent paint. They are seldom painted with white paint. ‘‘Since they are invisible at night, they can not only damage the car, but also dislodge the vehicle from the road,’’ Parimoo said.

Similarly, the barricades which are used for checking during day are not removed by the traffic police. This cause hindrances in the flow of traffic.
Dearth of signages: There is also a dearth of signages on the highways. ‘‘There is hardly any system of signages which warns the motorist about what lies ahead. In United Kingdom, they have warnings even about temporary fog or construction work almost a mile ahead,’’ Maxwell Pereira, joint commissioner of police (traffic) said.
Braking distance: One must always keep a braking distance between the vehicle in front and itself. Experts say there should be a distance of at least three seconds of travelling time, between itself and the vehicle in front.
For vehicles travelling at a speed of 40 kmph, there should be a distance of 28 metres. Similarly, for 50 kmph speed, there should be 40-metre distance. For 60 kmph, its 54 metres and for 70 km, its 70 metres.

 

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