Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Dodgy drivers

Tootling down the M1 and just in front of me a car is joining the motorway from a slip road. The driver appears to be dithering and isn’t matching her speed to the motorway traffic. Not sure what she’ll do so I’m not unduly surprised when she suddenly flips on her indicators and darts onto the motorway, apparently just hoping for the best.

It wasn’t a problem. I’d seen her, expected something erratic and although I had to brake there was no great danger. It seems to be common this. Poor drivers effectively hand over the job of avoiding an accident to other road users.

Round here cyclists do it all the time. They don’t so much take their life in their hands as put it in yours. I’d rather they didn’t because I know where the blame will fall in the event of an accident.


Sam Vega said...

Also annoying are the ones who actually have matched their speed to the motorway, but are on a side-swipe collision course with you and expect you to brake, accelerate, or shift over to your right in order to allow them on. Perhaps I'm in their blind spot, and they are adjusting their speed and position relative to the car in front and the one behind me. Whatever the reason, I give them priority. Life's easier that way.

DCBain said...

Driving ability has been legislated, signposted and speed limited out of today's drivers in the UK. Look on Youtube for fantastic video of roundabouts and junctions in Latin America and South East Asia. Without traffic lights or police waving their arms, unbelievable numbers of streams of traffic converge, hardly slow down and go off to their various destinations. There are rare prangs but the drivers riders and pedestrians employ traffic skills. Given similar circumstances here the place would be gridlocked and most vehicles damaged in twenty seconds - on a quiet day!

Michael said...

I prefer to hang well back, and let them get away for their accident well clear of me and Mrs Scroblene!

If they'd got up earlier, they wouldn't be in such a tearing hurry too!

wiggiatlarge said...

Joining the motorway as described above has become the norm in recent years, signal look adjust speed and join when a safe gap appears has long gone.
Today in a maneuveur started by lorry drivers who do not have the change of pace that cars do ie moving out a lane to make access easier we now have every vehicle joining expecting any other vehicle on the M way to move for them regardless.

Many years back I had a classic version of this happen to me on the M11 when a car without signalling just kept coming over, I had nowhere to go as the outer lane was full and cars were in front and behind, when I lent on the horn he still kept coming and having noticed his position started gesticulating that I should somehow disappear, this method of joining is now the norm.

A K Haart said...

Sam - in those cases I think you may well be in their blind spot and giving way is the only sensible option.

DCB - I drove across Nottingham for twenty years and whenever traffic lights had failed at a major junction or crossroad the traffic probably ran a little smoother. It certainly didn't snarl up and there were no accidents.

Scrobs - I hang well back too.

Wiggia - you are right, it is the norm. I think people have trouble matching their speed to a gap in the traffic. Instead they match their speed to another vehicle and then get angry when it doesn't work. Sometimes though, you may be in their blind spot which can be pretty large.

Anonymous said...

Joining a busy motorway is a bit stressful for the timid. Looking for a gap as you join at 55mph is hopeless and you will run out of slip road. This is a defect in UK practice, au continent the assumption is that the joiner has a right to join and motorway traffic gets out their way - better for everyone. The UK situation is a hangover from ancient times when motorways were not so congested and a lack of clarity (or sense) from parliament. Anyway, best to think ahead and make life a bit easier for other people, more civilised that way.

A K Haart said...

Roger - yes it's best to think ahead and make life a bit easier for other people, but in my experience they often dither and slow down instead of simply easing into the space I've left.

Flyinthesky said...

As a lifelong motorcyclist and surviving to my mid sixties my fundamental rule is to assume everyone is trying to kill me.

Demetrius said...

This morning when driving around for household needs I remarked to The Lady that the time when we went round the Old Nurburgring long ago, as one could in those days for a modest fee, it was a great deal safer.

Woodsy42 said...

Roger, I travel a lot in France and I have never seen or detected any such assumption. The slip roads joining french motorways have give way signs instructing the vehicle on the slip road to give way. The fact that their motorways have far less traffic simply makes it much easier on everyone to be accommodating but the rules are the same as here.

A K Haart said...

Fly - I often fancy another motorcycle but these days I don't think I'd have a good enough sense of balance.

Demetrius - I had a go on a race track just over a year ago. I enjoyed it and felt completely safe.

Woodsy - I like French roads. As well as having less traffic they seem to be more consistently laid out in terms of entry to and exit from major roads.

wiggiatlarge said...

You can still go round the old Nurburgring (nordschliefe) for a fee and compete with the coaches and Transit vans.

And Woodsy is correct about the slip road signs in France, mind you in Italy if the traffic is at a standstill you are as likely to have traffic coming up the slip road as happened to me on the Rome Grande Raccordo Anulare, ring road, some years back, one of many deviations from "good practise " noted on that occasion !