For small groups of upto 5-7 cars, designate one vehicle as Lead (also called Head) and one as Sweeper (also called Tail). If the convoy is larger, it is good practice to have a Marshal as well. The Head, as the name suggests, leads the convoy and the Sweeper ensures that no vehicle goes behind him. A Marshal is generally in middle of the convoy, however, can keep switching places to ensure that convoy practices are being followed. For all other vehicles (Let us call them Members), the most important thing to remember is not to let either the car in front or the car behind him is out of sight (or lets say Windscreen and Rear View Mirrors).
So here are some general guidelines considering the above:
- DO NOT overtake the vehicle in front of you at any moment. NEVER the lead car.
- If at a signal or toll, you go ahead because your lane clears early, pull over to side, put hazard lights on and wait for the Lead vehicle to come in front of the convoy.
- Only the designated Marshal shall move positions in the convoy - Never to overtake Lead neither to tail the Sweeper
- DO NOT let the vehicle behind you get out of your rear view mirror.
If required, slow down. The vehicle ahead of you should also do that.
- DO NOT Tailgate
Maintain at least 3-vehicle distance in front. You'll be thankful in the case of sudden braking by the vehicle in front.
- Use Light Signals generously
- Flash your headlights if in trouble so that the vehicle ahead of you notices, and put hazard lights on.
- Follow the turn indicators of the vehicle in front. Copy turn signals and turn them on as per the car in front.
- A generous use of indicators when changing direction is good.
- If a vehicle gets in trouble, nobody in the convoy stops EXCEPT for the Sweeper.
Sweeper may call anyone to stop and turn back for help or inform the lead vehicle to stop the convoy. Park only where space is available and you're not obstructing the road.
- Keep the smaller headlights on.
This helps other vehicle in the convoy identify and distinguish non-convoy vehicles. Make sure you're not on high-beam.
- Communicate - Use WhatsApp voice message / call.
- Always communicate anything to the Lead vehicle only. Let the Lead take a decision on what to do.
- DO NOT call the driver - EVER. Always call the co-passenger.
- Disperse at Traffic Lights.
Ensure that the convoy is shortened at signals and then let the Lead vehicle go ahead. Fall in lane gradually.
- If a vehicles comes between the convoy and you're not able to see the trailing vehicle:
Slow down gradually and let the intruder move to a faster lane.
- To change lanes in traffic, use Blocking Technique
The Lead vehicle signals lane change by turning on the appropriate indicators. All vehicles follow suit and turn on the indicator. The tail is the first one to change lane and slows down blocking other non-convoy vehicles so that the vehicle in his/her front can change lane. Followed by every vehicle till the Lead changes lane.