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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:30 am Reply with quote Back to top

Intersections

The intersection is perhaps the most dangerous place we go through while driving. Going through an intersection at a GREEN light carries a high risk of a lateral collision (front to-side) with a deadly potential. The doorframe is not so well designed to sustain such blows and the lateral jerk of the head causes injuries as it contacts the upper beam of the doorframe or the window. Here are my suggestions:

1. Treat the green light as a recommendation. It does not ensure a clear intersection! Every single intersection we go through requires our utmost attention, so we need to stop dealing with any hazard, even casual things like talking with a passenger (remember the magic words: "Just a sec."), and devote our whole concentration to the intersection.

2. In most countries, the law does NOT prohibit running a red light! Instead, it ONLY permittes crossing the intersection when green. Both the red and yellow lights are illegal and dangerous. The most dangerous phase in crossing an intersection is when it has just changed back to green, especially if you have just came up to the intersection.

3. Fast intersections on highways are tenfold dangerous. Slow down significantly before them (say, from 60mph to 48 or so) and if there are no other cars around you, prefer stopping even at a flashing green light.

4. Learn to asses stopping distances in emergency stops (which you should have mastered by now). Based on that, as you see an intersection in the distance, visualize a certain "Point of No Return." Before or on the point of no-return, you should be able to perform an emergency stop and halt before the intersection. If you passed it, you will stop inside the intersection.

5. Well before the PoNR, slow down by easing off of the gas and ready your foot to brake if nessecary. As said, slow down more in fast intersections.

6. You need to have all of the details "covered" before the PoNR: Is there a car following closely behind you? Is there a clear alternative route you can veer to while braking? Is there any traffic coming to the intersection that doesn't seem to be stopping as it should?

7. Deal with traffic behind BEFORE the PoNR. If there is a car closely behind you, try shaking it off to enter the intersection with "clearence" all around. If you can't, slow down a bit more and consider a possible escape route should you have to brake. If you can't find such a route, slow down more to avoid hard braking.

8. If you passed the PoNR go through the intersection even if it turned yellow. Hesitation in this phase is dangerous.

9. If a car seems to run the intersection and cross your path, brake. Even if you passed the PoNR and you believe the stopping distance would not suffice, brake hard first and only after slowing down as best as you can, veer. In this light, the PoNR can be viewed as the point beyond which one needs to perform avoidance braking rather than simply emergency braking. Traffic behind should have been dealt with earlier (stage 7).

10. When stopping at a red light, stop a bit BEFORE the point where you intend to stand and make sure traffic behind is slowing down and won't ram you. Progress once a car behind you seems to stop and "cover" your rear.. Keep a gap from standing cars (you need to see a bit of road betwen you and it) and remain in gear.

11. When you wait and the green light appears, if you are the first or second car in-line, scan the intersection while crawling gently into the intersection and only than accelerate through.

Crosswalks
In most countries, the majority of casualties in collisions are not driving in cars, but are rather pedestrians. Some of them are killed near standing cars on the shoulders of highways, but most are killed in residential streets and in speed under 30mph and sometimes under 15.

1. Like with an intersection, slow down gently before a crosswalk. Well befoe it, take your foot off of the accelerator and place it in front of the brake pedal. If traffic is following closely behind, slow down MORE. Stop a few feet early.6

2. Change your position in the lane: Move closer to the center of the lane. This increases the lateral gap from pedestrians, and makes it easier for the driver behind to see them as they begin crossing and makes it harder for him to pass you when you stop.

3. Beware in narrow streets with columns of cars in both sides, or near schools. Even if the speed limit is 30mph, place a mental speed limit of 15mph. Sometimes the appropriate speed is even less. In those kind of roads, place yourself automatically in the center of the lane.

4. Be courteous to pedestrians. If a driver is following too closely behind or seems like he might pass you, try to give up on being courteous. Many collisions are caused when one driver weaves the right of pass to a pedestrian, and another driver behind passes the stopped car and hits the pedestrian.

5. If the situation above seems likely to you, and you must yield to the pedestrian, stop a few feet early and try to place the car in a position that makes it harder to pass you. It might be a good idea to open the window and put out your hand.

6. Beware around stopped school buses or large vehicles. A child will often be ready to cross the road just behind it. Any pedestrian that seems to be walking straight up the crosswalk, is likely to cross it.

Two-lane roadways
The most dangerous type of road is a straight road in rural areas, with one lane in each direction, no divider and sometimes with no hardshoulder. The main risk is a head-on collision which is the most desasterous of crashes.

1. Do not stand on the shoulder of the road.

2. Stick to the right edge of your lane. This opens up extra distance from oncoming vehicles.

3. Look up to the furthest distance ahead and observe. Look for obstructions on your own lane (stopped car, pothole, a pool of spilt oil), alongside the road (standing car) and for oncoming drivers, especially if they seem to behave peculiarly or agressively.

4. Keep in mind the conditions, especially the shoulder: How wide is it? Is is paved or made of gravel? If made of gravel, how steep is the drop from the road to the shoulder? Is the shoulder clear? The shoulder is your getaway route if things go wrong.

5. Maintain proper following distance from the car ahead. Two full seconds in the dry. Most people don't intentionally tailgate, they don't know that they are too close and actually think they are two seconds behind the car ahead. You need to wait untill the car ahead goes over a fixed landmark on the road itself and count back "two-one thousand, three-one thousand."

6. Try to manage the traffic behind. In rural speed, the least you need to see in the mirror is part of his wheels. If you don't see it, he is surely too close to you. There are several options to get him off:
a) First, try scaring him off with your hazard lights.

b) If that does not work, find a safe spot where you can stick the right shoulder and allow him to overtake. This requires a clear, paved shoulder and that the opposite lane be clear for an overtake.

c) if you can't do that, try iritating him by "blocking" him. If he seems to drive to your left, it means he is trying to get a better view ahead. Moving yourself left momentarily might push him back.

d) If none of the above is applicable, slow down gently and keep twice the following distance from the car ahead.

7. Sometimes, one side of the car drops over the gravel shoulder to the right. If this happens to you, don't panic. Just straighten the car, slow down gently and ease the car back onto the road. Trying to go back to the road in a hurry will spin you or get you to the opposite lane. If there is an obstacle on the shoulder, you can perform an emergency stop even when two wheels are on the gravel. If you see an oncoming car that dropped to the gravel shoulder on the other side, be carefull, it might end up coming towards you.

8. If you want to overtake a car ahead, use your signal, check to mirrors and move to the left edge of the lane. There is no need to get closer to the car ahead. By keeping a proper following distance from it, you earn a clear visual field into the opposite lane, and you can begin to accelerate eariler, in your own lane and before moving into the adjecent lane. Accelerate as hard as possible to minimize the time in the adjecent lane and move back to your own lane once you gained a nice distance from the overtaken car. Remember, it's never wrong NOT to overtake! If you can observe this type of road from a safe position, see how many cars go by in one minute. If you were driving that road, you would have to overtake ALL those cars to gain just one minute of travel!

9. If you find yourself coming up towards an oncoming car while overtaking, perform a sudden emergency stop to allow the car you are overtaking to gain on you, so you could go back to your own lane.

10. If you are driving in your own lane, another car might come towards you. You need to detect hazardous drivers in the distance. There are several signs:
a) a driver that seems to wiggle across his lane
b) a driver honking or flashing lights at a car in front of him
c) a driver that slipped towards the gravel shoulder and pull back too sharply in panic.

Upon the appearence of any of these signs, slow down and stick further to the right. Maybe a short flash of your own lights will help too. Let off of the gas and ready yourself for braking. If he does veer towards you, perform an emergency stop at once and wipe off speed. When the shoulder is clear and wide enough, veer to it (after braking in a straight line). If in doubt, brake hard and wait to the last possible second to veer right. Prefer hitting anything on the right, even rolling into a ditch, over hitting the oncoming car.
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myownworld
Site Admin
Site Admin



Joined: Jan 06, 2010
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:49 am Reply with quote Back to top

I will also link this post to another thread where someone has asked a related question about traffic lights and whether its safe to stop at yellow light or not. Thanks! Smile
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Samual007
Member
Member



Joined: Mar 07, 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:23 am Reply with quote Back to top

i was looking for the information about Intersections, crosswalks and two-lane roadways from last 7 days, but here my search get over. thanks for sharing here!!
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newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:57 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
Intersections

The intersection is perhaps the most dangerous place we go through while driving. Going through an intersection at a GREEN light carries a high risk of a lateral collision (front to-side) with a deadly potential. The doorframe is not so well designed to sustain such blows and the lateral jerk of the head causes injuries as it contacts the upper beam of the doorframe or the window. Here are my suggestions:

1. Treat the green light as a recommendation. It does not ensure a clear intersection! Every single intersection we go through requires our utmost attention, so we need to stop dealing with any hazard, even casual things like talking with a passenger (remember the magic words: "Just a sec."), and devote our whole concentration to the intersection.

2. In most countries, the law does NOT prohibit running a red light! Instead, it ONLY permittes crossing the intersection when green. Both the red and yellow lights are illegal and dangerous. The most dangerous phase in crossing an intersection is when it has just changed back to green, especially if you have just came up to the intersection.

3. Fast intersections on highways are tenfold dangerous. Slow down significantly before them (say, from 60mph to 48 or so) and if there are no other cars around you, prefer stopping even at a flashing green light.

4. Learn to asses stopping distances in emergency stops (which you should have mastered by now). Based on that, as you see an intersection in the distance, visualize a certain "Point of No Return." Before or on the point of no-return, you should be able to perform an emergency stop and halt before the intersection. If you passed it, you will stop inside the intersection.

5. Well before the PoNR, slow down by easing off of the gas and ready your foot to brake if nessecary. As said, slow down more in fast intersections.

6. You need to have all of the details "covered" before the PoNR: Is there a car following closely behind you? Is there a clear alternative route you can veer to while braking? Is there any traffic coming to the intersection that doesn't seem to be stopping as it should?

7. Deal with traffic behind BEFORE the PoNR. If there is a car closely behind you, try shaking it off to enter the intersection with "clearence" all around. If you can't, slow down a bit more and consider a possible escape route should you have to brake. If you can't find such a route, slow down more to avoid hard braking.

8. If you passed the PoNR go through the intersection even if it turned yellow. Hesitation in this phase is dangerous.

9. If a car seems to run the intersection and cross your path, brake. Even if you passed the PoNR and you believe the stopping distance would not suffice, brake hard first and only after slowing down as best as you can, veer. In this light, the PoNR can be viewed as the point beyond which one needs to perform avoidance braking rather than simply emergency braking. Traffic behind should have been dealt with earlier (stage 7).

10. When stopping at a red light, stop a bit BEFORE the point where you intend to stand and make sure traffic behind is slowing down and won't ram you. Progress once a car behind you seems to stop and "cover" your rear.. Keep a gap from standing cars (you need to see a bit of road betwen you and it) and remain in gear.

11. When you wait and the green light appears, if you are the first or second car in-line, scan the intersection while crawling gently into the intersection and only than accelerate through.

Crosswalks
In most countries, the majority of casualties in collisions are not driving in cars, but are rather pedestrians. Some of them are killed near standing cars on the shoulders of highways, but most are killed in residential streets and in speed under 30mph and sometimes under 15.

1. Like with an intersection, slow down gently before a crosswalk. Well befoe it, take your foot off of the accelerator and place it in front of the brake pedal. If traffic is following closely behind, slow down MORE. Stop a few feet early.6

2. Change your position in the lane: Move closer to the center of the lane. This increases the lateral gap from pedestrians, and makes it easier for the driver behind to see them as they begin crossing and makes it harder for him to pass you when you stop.

3. Beware in narrow streets with columns of cars in both sides, or near schools. Even if the speed limit is 30mph, place a mental speed limit of 15mph. Sometimes the appropriate speed is even less. In those kind of roads, place yourself automatically in the center of the lane.

4. Be courteous to pedestrians. If a driver is following too closely behind or seems like he might pass you, try to give up on being courteous. Many collisions are caused when one driver weaves the right of pass to a pedestrian, and another driver behind passes the stopped car and hits the pedestrian.

5. If the situation above seems likely to you, and you must yield to the pedestrian, stop a few feet early and try to place the car in a position that makes it harder to pass you. It might be a good idea to open the window and put out your hand.

6. Beware around stopped school buses or large vehicles. A child will often be ready to cross the road just behind it. Any pedestrian that seems to be walking straight up the crosswalk, is likely to cross it.

Two-lane roadways
The most dangerous type of road is a straight road in rural areas, with one lane in each direction, no divider and sometimes with no hardshoulder. The main risk is a head-on collision which is the most desasterous of crashes.

1. Do not stand on the shoulder of the road.

2. Stick to the right edge of your lane. This opens up extra distance from oncoming vehicles.

3. Look up to the furthest distance ahead and observe. Look for obstructions on your own lane (stopped car, pothole, a pool of spilt oil), alongside the road (standing car) and for oncoming drivers, especially if they seem to behave peculiarly or agressively.

4. Keep in mind the conditions, especially the shoulder: How wide is it? Is is paved or made of gravel? If made of gravel, how steep is the drop from the road to the shoulder? Is the shoulder clear? The shoulder is your getaway route if things go wrong.

5. Maintain proper following distance from the car ahead. Two full seconds in the dry. Most people don't intentionally tailgate, they don't know that they are too close and actually think they are two seconds behind the car ahead. You need to wait untill the car ahead goes over a fixed landmark on the road itself and count back "two-one thousand, three-one thousand."

6. Try to manage the traffic behind. In rural speed, the least you need to see in the mirror is part of his wheels. If you don't see it, he is surely too close to you. There are several options to get him off:
a) First, try scaring him off with your hazard lights.

b) If that does not work, find a safe spot where you can stick the right shoulder and allow him to overtake. This requires a clear, paved shoulder and that the opposite lane be clear for an overtake.

c) if you can't do that, try iritating him by "blocking" him. If he seems to drive to your left, it means he is trying to get a better view ahead. Moving yourself left momentarily might push him back.

d) If none of the above is applicable, slow down gently and keep twice the following distance from the car ahead.

7. Sometimes, one side of the car drops over the gravel shoulder to the right. If this happens to you, don't panic. Just straighten the car, slow down gently and ease the car back onto the road. Trying to go back to the road in a hurry will spin you or get you to the opposite lane. If there is an obstacle on the shoulder, you can perform an emergency stop even when two wheels are on the gravel. If you see an oncoming car that dropped to the gravel shoulder on the other side, be carefull, it might end up coming towards you.

8. If you want to overtake a car ahead, use your signal, check to mirrors and move to the left edge of the lane. There is no need to get closer to the car ahead. By keeping a proper following distance from it, you earn a clear visual field into the opposite lane, and you can begin to accelerate eariler, in your own lane and before moving into the adjecent lane. Accelerate as hard as possible to minimize the time in the adjecent lane and move back to your own lane once you gained a nice distance from the overtaken car. Remember, it's never wrong NOT to overtake! If you can observe this type of road from a safe position, see how many cars go by in one minute. If you were driving that road, you would have to overtake ALL those cars to gain just one minute of travel!

9. If you find yourself coming up towards an oncoming car while overtaking, perform a sudden emergency stop to allow the car you are overtaking to gain on you, so you could go back to your own lane.

10. If you are driving in your own lane, another car might come towards you. You need to detect hazardous drivers in the distance. There are several signs:
a) a driver that seems to wiggle across his lane
b) a driver honking or flashing lights at a car in front of him
c) a driver that slipped towards the gravel shoulder and pull back too sharply in panic.

Upon the appearence of any of these signs, slow down and stick further to the right. Maybe a short flash of your own lights will help too. Let off of the gas and ready yourself for braking. If he does veer towards you, perform an emergency stop at once and wipe off speed. When the shoulder is clear and wide enough, veer to it (after braking in a straight line). If in doubt, brake hard and wait to the last possible second to veer right. Prefer hitting anything on the right, even rolling into a ditch, over hitting the oncoming car.


I get very nervous at intersections and panic easily. At the moment, I am struggling with how slow or fast my speed should be when approaching an intersection. I am worried that if I slow down, the lights will change to red, so I try to speed up when I see the green light from a distance. But sometimes, just when I reach the signal, the lights change and I end up breaking hard. Please, what do you suggest in such situations? Thanks.
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Contrary to what I said in the original post, you do not necessarily have to slow down before a junction. You need to slow down mainly in junctions where you come carrying a high speed, or when you cannot see clearly into the intersecting road. In these cases, a subtle slow down would suffice. Also, when you enter the area of the junction itself - let off of the gas for just a moment, this will make you ready to brake upon need.

Now, for your problem: Many drivers struggle with the decision wheter to stop or go. This can become hazardous, when drivers either decide that they go through the junction at all costs, ending up houling at full speed through a red light, or when drivers hesitate and often end up stopping in the middle of the junction when it's red.

So, don't leave room for doubt: Decide on a "point of no return" where you should be able to stop with strong braking just short of the junction. You might need to practice such braking to learn how to estimate the distance better when driving. Also refer to the car behind you to know whether you can stop this way and readjust your point of no return.

If you reach the junction before or at the point of no return and the light changes: Stop. If you are past it - go through. You might even accelerate very gently, provided that you let up the gas at the moment you enter the junction itself.
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newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:20 am Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
Contrary to what I said in the original post, you do not necessarily have to slow down before a junction. You need to slow down mainly in junctions where you come carrying a high speed, or when you cannot see clearly into the intersecting road. In these cases, a subtle slow down would suffice. Also, when you enter the area of the junction itself - let off of the gas for just a moment, this will make you ready to brake upon need.

Now, for your problem: Many drivers struggle with the decision wheter to stop or go. This can become hazardous, when drivers either decide that they go through the junction at all costs, ending up houling at full speed through a red light, or when drivers hesitate and often end up stopping in the middle of the junction when it's red.

So, don't leave room for doubt: Decide on a "point of no return" where you should be able to stop with strong braking just short of the junction. You might need to practice such braking to learn how to estimate the distance better when driving. Also refer to the car behind you to know whether you can stop this way and readjust your point of no return.

If you reach the junction before or at the point of no return and the light changes: Stop. If you are past it - go through. You might even accelerate very gently, provided that you let up the gas at the moment you enter the junction itself.


yes, I see what you're saying, but for me at the moment, the difficulty is in assessing what and where the Point of No Return exactly is.

I have been practicing a lot lately, trying to assess this from a distance, but I still end up braking abruptly or just driving on through the changing lights. Man, driving is hard work!
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:38 am Reply with quote Back to top

Practicing emergency stops in an empty lot will help you brake properly in emergencies and help you gauge stopping distances better. You can start at slow speeds like 20mph and work on braking hard and kicking down the pedal without hesitation. This won't damage your car.

Slowing down gently before intersections can also help, because you as a learner will find it easier to gauge your stopping distance in a slower speed.

A few other good rules of thumb can help:

1. If in doubt - don't be in doubt!

2. If you have to accelerate mildly towards the junction to make it through - you should stop rather than go through.

3. The amber light should last for three seconds and than another one second before traffic from other directions get a green light and before cameras flash. If the green light flashes - it does so for three more seconds before the amber turns on.

Driving isn't hard. It isn't easy, but once you get the hang of it and drive properly - it isn't hard. Anyhow, I am always willing to advise and help, particularly to learners!
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newbielearner
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Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:49 am Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
Practicing emergency stops in an empty lot will help you brake properly in emergencies and help you gauge stopping distances better. You can start at slow speeds like 20mph and work on braking hard and kicking down the pedal without hesitation. This won't damage your car.

Slowing down gently before intersections can also help, because you as a learner will find it easier to gauge your stopping distance in a slower speed.

A few other good rules of thumb can help:

1. If in doubt - don't be in doubt!

2. If you have to accelerate mildly towards the junction to make it through - you should stop rather than go through.

3. The amber light should last for three seconds and than another one second before traffic from other directions get a green light and before cameras flash. If the green light flashes - it does so for three more seconds before the amber turns on.

Driving isn't hard. It isn't easy, but once you get the hang of it and drive properly - it isn't hard. Anyhow, I am always willing to advise and help, particularly to learners!


Cheers for this mate! Your advice has been amazing. For the first time, it seems someone knows how to explain things without over complicating them. Yeah, so been trying out the emergency stop. Also, am sticking with slowing down and stopping at the junction instead of trying to rush through in time. So, far, only one day when I had to make a dead stop right on the junction. Got lots of beeps from behind, but hey, am used to that by now! Laughing
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

So long as you are also aware of what is up behind you and adjust yourself to it. Stopping very roughly when a car is close and up behind is not likely to be the best idea. Just recently I had interviewed a collision caused in such circumstances.

Check your mirrors far in advance before any junction and if another vehicle is too close for comfort, reduce your speed coming up to the junction even more, and move your "point of no return" accordingly.
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newbielearner
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Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:30 pm Reply with quote Back to top

right, I see. Slowly getting there, I think. Cheers again!
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DaughterOfEve
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Member



Joined: Apr 19, 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:23 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Wow! This is a great post. When I was learning to drive intersections were a huge problem for me. Especially the intersections where there was only a stop sign and multiple people would hit the stop sign at the same time...who is to go first? You know? That always made me nervous!
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