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Drive-o-pedia - Art of Car Driving

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At Indian Blue Book it is our endeavor to improve the overall driving experience in this beautiful country having varied landscapes. This requires good cars and more importantly good drivers. We introduce a series called “Drive-O-Pedia” which aims at enriching car driving experience with useful and relevant tips.

 Driving is an art and road travel is a fine blend of driving technique, the road, the fellow travelers, the car and the destination.

Like a crafts man creates his craft, every journey is a craft. Driving on Indian roads is a challenging as well as an alluring experience. India is a country of diversity, Diversity exists in roads too. At one end of the spectrum, it offers you world class highways, beautiful and well paved country roads, scenic hilly roads with countless hairpin bends which makes driving pleasurable.

However, on the other end of the spectrum we have roads infested with pot holed, tarnished by monsoons and ruined by heavy traffic and poor maintenance.

Throughout this series, we will be deliberating on various factors like improving driving techniques, difference between highway and city driving, driving in a group / convoy, off-road techniques, basic car know-how, basic car maintenance, international travel and driving etiquettes etc.

City Driving

Vehicle populations in cities are exploding year after year. The city roads have become more or like a battle ground where the reckless biker, inconsiderate bus driver, the average Joe (who is always late to office) and the rickshaw Walla jostle for space.

City landscape is a perfect socialistic environment where a V6 Ferrari moves as fast a two cylinder Tata Nano or an auto-rickshaw. Most of the cars catch-up dents and scratches during city escapades and we can fondly call them the battle scars. Here we give some insights and tips on how to survive the “Great Indian City Traffic”- G I C T.

  1. Inspect your Car: Always make it a practice to just walk around the car before you crank it up every morning. That simple ritual has many benefits.

    1. A flat tyre: The tubeless tires can retain air pressure for quite a long time even after a puncture. So the tyre only goes flat overnight if you got a puncture the day/ night before.
    2. Scratches/ Dents: A visual inspection can help you to identify the scratch/ dent. This is helpful if your car was used by a friend/ driver the night before.
    3. A two wheeler or a low slung car parked behind yours which is normally “not-there”: A two wheeler or a low slung car parked closely to your car, especially if you are driving an MUV or SUV cannot be seen from your driving seat.
    4. Kids playing behind your car.

  2. Ergonomics: Adjust your seats, steering and mirrors before you start. You do not want to struggle adjusting it at the next traffic light or on the road.
  3. Be nice to your fellow motorists and pedestrians: Be courteous and considerate when you are at the wheels.
  4. Do not cut lanes, use horn sensibly, overtake from the “right” side and don’t tailgate. Just try smiling to a fellow motorist; most probably you will get a smile back.
  5. Avoid Traffic GPs: For some of us the traffic signal lights instigate that F1 driver feelings and as the green goes its “Ready to RACE”. Please do not indulge in a race
  6. Maintain safe distance with the vehicle in the front. Avoid tail-gating and allow the car that tail-gates you to overtake, While stopping at signal maintain ample space in between cars.
  7. In an unlikely even of the car in front of you breaks down, you should have enough space to turn and continue the journey rather than getting stuck up.
  8. Avoid using mobile phones while driving. You may be a good multi-tasker at your office desk, but do not do it when you are on the driver’s seat.
  9. Be extra cautious about two wheelers. They can gift you a dent or scratch anytime.
  10. Use both wing mirrors and inside rear view mirrors.
  11. Learn the art of parallel parking. Don’t park at places creating obstructions on the road.
  12. Don’t react to aggressive drivers. Keep calm and carry on!!!
  13. Always expect that a passenger can disembark a running bus. Maintain safe distance.
  14. Keep calm on traffic lights. Some traffic lights can keep you held up for a couple of minutes. You can utilize that time for
    1. Plan your day ahead
    2. Listen to music/ audio cds
    3. Meditate, but don’t fall asleep
    4. Observe people
    5. Organize your wallet
  15. Use voice assisted GPS maps when venturing into an unfamiliar city.
  16. Most important of all Start early, as the saying goes “Early bird catches the worm”, In city parlance-“Early driving helps you reach the destination safely and peacefully”
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