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Roadtrips... long drives... holiday to the hills driving our car, gives a high to all the drivers. Driving to the beaches or to the unexplored hills with our family or friends is an all-time favorite activity. Driving is fun, but a single error makes it a disaster.
All drivers know the feeling - a frightening realization behind the wheel of the car when a wave of drowsiness hits, that you may be too tired to go on. A blink of an eye is all it takes for one to end up trapped inside a toppled car or a badly mangled car in the opposite lane.
20% of the accidents on Indian Highways are caused by driver fatigue says a survey. It all happens in seconds, as said above, in a blink of an eye. Drowsiness is extremely dangerous.
Pushing yourself beyond the limits, just to make it on time or just to boast to your friends of your achievements of "non-stop 800kms drive" is the last thing you would want to do.
You Can’t Afford to Drive on Through Fatigue
Fatigue is a serious concern for everyone on the road. Feeling sleepy makes a driver, less attentive, and affects the driver’s ability to make quick decisions. You need to be able to navigate, merge safely, respond to unpredictable drivers, accidents, potholes or even the sudden appearance of a cattle.
Delayed reaction time can mean the difference between life and death – for you, or another person on the road. A tired mind also has more trouble concentrating, making it difficult to judge speed and distance.
Entering a trance-like state while driving is a trait we notice quite often while driving on highways at a constant speed, at constant cabin temperature. This is known as Highway Hypnosis. Becoming attuned to your body and its need for rest and sleep will make you a safer driver.
Warning Signals that It’s Time to Get Off the Road
Driving requires your undivided attention. If you notice one or more of these signs, it is time to get off the wheel and rest.
Frequent yawning & fidgeting
Frequent lane changes without knowing
Delayed reaction time
Missing on turns and signboards
Missing to check on ORVMs IRVMs
Missing to use indicators
Rolling down the window for fresh air
Blurred vision or frequent blinking
5 Tips to Combat Fatigue
1. Surveys show that a short nap can increase alertness and significantly lower the risk of driver fatigue. Take a short twenty-minute nap, preferably before you become too sleepy.
2. Avoid medications that may induce drowsiness.
3. Eat a healthy and balanced meal at regular intervals. Lack of proper food leads to a drop in blood sugar levels which makes us drowsy. Also, heavy meals make us lazy and sluggish increasing the drowsiness.
4. Coffee, smoking, turning up the volume on the radio and fresh air only work for short periods of time. Do not rely on them to keep you alert. (Personal experience, play those songs that give you a good feeling. Not too loud and not too much music. Play it at a medium volume, this will help you cruise at a constant speed making you feel attentive.)
5. Stay hydrated and also keep switching between ‘recirculating’ and ‘fresh-air’ modes on the air-con. A change in temperature helps you stay more alert. (Personal experience, roll down the window and allow fresh air and those traffic sound to enter the cabin. Hearing those makes us attentive and lets us drive till we find a good tree to rest under.)
Above all, never forget to take naps at regular intervals. It's not only beneficial to you, but also to your car, its engine, and tires. If you are really tired, never attempt to drive beyond the limits. It's your maturity and safe driving habits that ultimately call you a good driver, not your "800kms non-stop achievements".
This Dussehra holidays we planned a long road trip to Coimbatore in our EcoSport.
Thanks to India-Drive members, especially @sagar @Ranger for suggesting trip route and staying food options along the route.
We started around 4 AM from Miyapur, Hyderabad. Drive till Anantapur is quite familiar to me, as i have driven this route many times.
Drive was excellent with good pleasant weather, around 9:30 AM We reached Anantapur for breakfast at Club RuRu.
Food was good as well as the service and atmosphere. After some nice breakfast we started towards Bangalore, as we approach the outskirts of the city traffic made us slow down, and also the fear of over-speeding and getting fined made me cautious, kept at 60-80 speeds reached Devanahalli around 12:30 PM.
Our EcoSport flyaudio gave us this route which bypassed the traffic areas of the city (silkboard, electronic city) and took us to the sarjapura main road and joined on the NH just after the electronic city. The route we took to bypass the city is quite scenic and some places were narrow roads. and in some parts very rough roads (2-4 KM) with construction work is ongoing. I am attaching the route map for reference.
Around 2:30 we reached Hosur outskirts, despite being a Sunday afternoon the road is filled with heavy vehicles occupying all the lanes and made us slow down, managed to reach a good restaurant which serves good tamil meals by 3:00 PM.
The food was good and hot. after staying so long out of Tamilnadu we always look forward to eating in Tamilnadu hotels, glad we could make it for lunch.
After lunch started the journey towards Salem, Roads were quite good and smooth but not as wide as Hyderabad-bangalore highway. Not a pleasant experience as the vehicles seems to be in hurry and not giving space occupying all lanes, had to be very patient to outmatch the city buses.
Kept a average speed of 60-80 KM reached Salem, thought have a break at Salem, but due to some politicians visit (i am guessing its CM visiting his native Town) the roads were filled with cops asking us not to stop and keep left. At some places the cops were confusing us with their directions, over all a confused environment, but good thing is they reroute the heavy vehicles like lorries and trucks to some other route, so we had a clear road ahead of us.
The only catch is we couldn't stop for the tea break. And it started drizzling once we past Salem, it's almost 7 PM, and those rerouted trucks joined us back while we are nearing Coimbatore making our last leg of journey more interesting At Komarapalayam we stopped for some hot Badam Milk and much needed break.
After that it was nice to drive to the coimbatore city with with lit wide roads, reached around 9:15 PM to Sungam cross roads, Coimbatore. After parked the vehicle and went inside the house all of us were feeling that still we are moving. From morning 4 to night 9 this makes my longest distance driven in a day. (960 KM says speedometer)
We visited the famous GeDee Car museum, Coimbatore. the beauty of the museum is we can see so many vintage cars at one place which are maintained so good.
Checkout few pics:
Hyderabad to Tuni : Good
Tuni to Chilka : under construction
Chilka to Kolkata : Good
Information shared by @ARAY
***NH 16 - Route update***
Folks planning for a road trip via NH16 to WB next weekend for Durga Puja, please be aware of the latest road conditions. Post Tuni till South Chilka is getting a major road expansion for last 8+ months as we all know.
Diversions and all are manageable, however with the recent torrential downpour in the region the soft soil has washed off exposing the cemented Culverts and small bridges that are constructed at the first phase of any NH build or expansion.
Due to the absence of proper markings and boards this is more risky. Absence of soft soil or temporary soil in general will further make the cemented bridges even more harder to climb and slush and soft mud can make the situation tricky.
People driving low slung sedans and hatchbacks please be careful, there is a high probability of underbelly hits while making the ascend to and decent from the bridges. People with FWD SUV be careful of lateral torque steer in the slush making the car go sideways and out of control.
A close friend of mine while driving to Assam has severely damaged the front left lower arm, track rod for steering and partially the ball joints of Honda city. He took that ascent at roughly 32kmph as per his GPX data.
Use caution drive slow post Tuni and have a very safe trip everyone !
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