Get out of my way.

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Tonyf33 » Fri May 30, 2014 3:53 am

I must admit I get very annoyed by motorway middle lane hoggers doing 55mph (JUST WHY, you SELFISH bleeps!!) and occasionally frustrated at times on a NSL carriageways when someone is pootling along at 35-40 when the conditions are perfect, 50 yeah, I've no sweat with that and clearly when conditions/road design dictate slower of course.
I don't think get out my way, I just think that if there is an opportunity to pass safely I will because if you're holding up traffic that are doing at or just below the speed limit and you're clearly not able to get even close to that limit then I'm left to think you either have a mechanical problem or you're just not confident or capable enough to do so, in which case I'd rather be in front of than behind. if I know the road and there isn't going to be a passing point for a while I hit Classic FM and kick back.

Obviously with HGVs they're only allowed to do 40 on NSL single lane carriageways and in many situations can be at or near the limit of their safety anyway especially with some of the banked/twisty sections that our oads throw up and their lack of ability to brake anything like a car.

I watched with a little amusement/bewilderment (50/50) a Fiat of some sort doing about 35mph up the A1 from Stevenage toward Welwyn, luckily it was a Saturday mid morning so not heavy traffic but some doddery old fart behind the wheel clearly not able to have the reactions to go any faster..another day, another time and he'd be an accident waiting to happen. If he wants to drive at that speed, fine but stick to the other roads that will get you to where you're going without you breaking out in a sweat because you've hit the dizzy speed of 40mph :roll:

Simple facts are that passing a learner test is too easy (& always has been), there are too many people on the road not competant to drive a motorvehcile both in mental attitude/aptitude and also purely from a physical (eye sight etc)/motor skills POV.
Blanket re-test for everyone with a much higher pass level including compulsary training on vulnerable road users and the actual law regarding such. Medical certs to be produced to prove you are fit to drive everytime you renew your insurance. If we are serious about road safety then these must be minimum requirements of the persons behind the wheel.
Tonyf33
 
Posts: 2868
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Chris the Sheep » Fri May 30, 2014 12:22 pm

I don't think the test is too easy - the first time pass rate averages out at just under 48% and tends to be lower in urban areas. Four London test centres (Wood Green, Barking, Wanstead and Belvedere) don't even manage 32% while Kendal hits over 67% (Kendal is 12th in the table but the ones above it are all rural Scottish locations with low numbers taking the test). Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/car-practical-driving-test-operational-statistics

However, what these statistics don't show is the number who failed because of some vehicle control issue, such as touching a kerb when reversing around a corner - for the life of me I don't understand why that's even in the test.

Had an interesting chat with my stepson the other day - 24, passed his test three years ago, berating 'old' drivers (by which he meant me) having poor reactions, and holding him up by just slowing down for lights rather than brake hard closer to the stop line. He genuinely didn't understand my argument that drivers should be anticipating, not reacting! That includes anticipating the need to stop; red lights are a pretty good clue.

On the speed + 10% thing, I got caught out by that when I replaced my motorcycle. The new one only over-read by around 1mph, so as a 'cute' rider I got caught out when I went past a speed camera at an indicated 38mph, which on the previous bike and car would have been about 34mph and therefore 'OK'. Quite rightly, I was nicked.
Chris the Sheep
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 1:20 pm

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby OnYourRight » Fri May 30, 2014 12:44 pm

In fairness to other young drivers, when I got my licence I drove like an outright idiot for two or three years. I was lucky to get away with the risks I knowingly and unknowingly took.

My risk-taking went down in proportion to my insurance premiums, which shows just how well the insurance companies have done their sums!

I got my licence in 2001 and my parents marvelled at how hard the tests were then. I recently helped someone get her licence here in France, and I in turn marvelled at how difficult it has become since I went through the process. The low pass rates mentioned above don’t even tell the whole story, because the driving schools don’t allow their students to attempt the test until they’re at a much greater state of readiness than I was when I took (and passed!) my test just 13 years ago.

The tests are definitely getting harder, which is quite right. They probably should get harder still. Driving a car safely is harder than flying a plane, but it’s much easier to get a licence for the former.
OnYourRight
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:53 pm
Location: Paris

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Kenn » Fri May 30, 2014 12:49 pm

I think we need to be tolerant and accept that the the old and infirm may drive more slowly. What are the alternatives? Ask them to drive faster and risk an accident? Stop driving and become a burden on others to do their shopping, trips to doctors etc.?. Stay at home watching daytime TV and waiting to die? Our society is ageing and we need to adapt to that.

I believe that accident statistics show that older drivers may have a few slow-speed accidents, but cause death and serious injury much less often than accidents involving younger drivers, where excessive speed is often a contributory cause of accidents. Speed kills and cyclists are amongst the most vulnerable road users.
Last edited by Kenn on Fri May 30, 2014 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kenn
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 6:04 pm
Location: South Devon

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Tonyf33 » Fri May 30, 2014 12:54 pm

Chris the Sheep wrote:I don't think the test is too easy - the first time pass rate averages out at just under 48% and tends to be lower in urban areas. Four London test centres (Wood Green, Barking, Wanstead and Belvedere) don't even manage 32% while Kendal hits over 67% (Kendal is 12th in the table but the ones above it are all rural Scottish locations with low numbers taking the test). Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/car-practical-driving-test-operational-statistics

However, what these statistics don't show is the number who failed because of some vehicle control issue, such as touching a kerb when reversing around a corner - for the life of me I don't understand why that's even in the test.

Had an interesting chat with my stepson the other day - 24, passed his test three years ago, berating 'old' drivers (by which he meant me) having poor reactions, and holding him up by just slowing down for lights rather than brake hard closer to the stop line. He genuinely didn't understand my argument that drivers should be anticipating, not reacting! That includes anticipating the need to stop; red lights are a pretty good clue.


As it stands 'touching' the kerb is likely to get you a minor, mounting the kerb or hitting it with any force should be an automatic fail.
It shows a lack of control, if your vehicle hits or mounts a kerb there is a liklihood you aren't doing your observations properly as well as not in complete control..what if there is a child standing on that kerb and you go over it, what if there's a pram or a wheelchair..given how many pedestrians die as a consequence of drivers not being in control of their vehicles near footways/footpaths there's a very good reason why hitting a kerb is frowned upon.

As for the % of passes, that reflects to the present standard set, if those going for a test, fail it that doesn't make the test too easy, far from it. It reflects enormously on the people taking the tests and the level of training they have being given..far too many cowboy instructors out there. I'd be happy with any figure so long as the test is difficult enough to ensure that not just the motor skills but attitude is good enough to pass. Afterall driving is a very dangerous activity as can be seen by the tens of thousands of people seriously injured every year and the countless lives lost.

The braking thing apparently is now considered to be the norm, brake to a stop and change gear en bloc, not change gear to aid slowing down
Tonyf33
 
Posts: 2868
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:31 pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Vorpal » Fri May 30, 2014 1:14 pm

Kenn wrote:I think we need to be tolerant and accept that the the old and infirm may drive more slowly. What are the alternatives? Ask them to drive faster and risk an accident? Stop driving and become a burden on others to do their shopping, trips to doctors etc.?. Stay at home watching daytime TV and waiting to die? Our society is ageing and we need to adapt to that.

Yes, but we also need to ensure that drivers are competent, and should undergo regular retests. IMO, all of the elderly people I know who still drive would fail a driving test if they had to take one today. Not because they are slow, but because they are no longer competent drivers.

Yes, they should be a burden on others for shopping, errands, etc. Because the alternative is to risk killing someone else. That's not to suggest that they should sit at home, watching day time television. They should walk, or cycle if they are able, or take exercise by other means, if they are not. They should have opportunities to socialise or go out and do things that they enjoy.

But in order to allow that, we need decent public and community transport, and more help for those who are infirm, so that people don't feel that they have no option but to drive, long after even they know they shouldn't anymore.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Vorpal
Moderator
 
Posts: 6252
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:34 pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby [XAP]Bob » Fri May 30, 2014 2:05 pm

Ban everyone from driving. Get google to mass build their latest cars and put them on the road.

Job's a good'un
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
A good pun is it's own reword

Rode the WWC 2014 Raising money for Bliss. 11 hours 20 (including stops) no pushing.
User avatar
[XAP]Bob
 
Posts: 9876
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:12 pm

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Vorpal » Fri May 30, 2014 2:17 pm

Tonyf33 wrote:The braking thing apparently is now considered to be the norm, brake to a stop and change gear en bloc, not change gear to aid slowing down


I had an argument with a driving instructor over that. She said that I should brake in the gear I was in, then shift into a lower gear to accelerate again when I was nearly at the junction/hazard, etc. She seemd to think that it required an exceptional amount of critical thinking and anticipation to do this correctly :roll: I pointed out that the highway code implies that drivers should use engine braking to assist deceleration
122

Coasting. This term describes a vehicle travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down. It can reduce driver control because
engine braking is eliminated
vehicle speed downhill will increase quickly
increased use of the footbrake can reduce its effectiveness
steering response will be affected, particularly on bends and corners
it may be more difficult to select the appropriate gear when needed.


But she insisted that I could use engine braking without downshifting. I tried to explain that in 5th gear at 25 mph, that engine braking was no longer effective, but it became clear that I could not win the argument, so my solution was to not downshift when I was driving with an instructor or during my driving exam. I forgot a couple of times during my exam, and the examiner commented on it, I justified it with rule 122 of the HC, and nothing more was said about it.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Vorpal
Moderator
 
Posts: 6252
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:34 pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby beardy » Fri May 30, 2014 2:33 pm

Vorpal wrote:
Kenn wrote:I think we need to be tolerant and accept that the the old and infirm may drive more slowly. What are the alternatives? Ask them to drive faster and risk an accident? Stop driving and become a burden on others to do their shopping, trips to doctors etc.?. Stay at home watching daytime TV and waiting to die? Our society is ageing and we need to adapt to that.

Yes, but we also need to ensure that drivers are competent, and should undergo regular retests. IMO, all of the elderly people I know who still drive would fail a driving test if they had to take one today. Not because they are slow, but because they are no longer competent drivers.

Yes, they should be a burden on others for shopping, errands, etc. Because the alternative is to risk killing someone else. That's not to suggest that they should sit at home, watching day time television. They should walk, or cycle if they are able, or take exercise by other means, if they are not. They should have opportunities to socialise or go out and do things that they enjoy.

But in order to allow that, we need decent public and community transport, and more help for those who are infirm, so that people don't feel that they have no option but to drive, long after even they know they shouldn't anymore.


However, knowing a lot of these older drivers, they are well aware of their slower reflexes and drive well within their limits.
Not just my opinion, the insurance companies are experts on this subject and their premiums are probably the best measure of who is a high risk driver.
beardy
 
Posts: 508
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Ben@Forest » Fri May 30, 2014 2:37 pm

Vorpal wrote:
Kenn wrote:I think we need to be tolerant and accept that the the old and infirm may drive more slowly. What are the alternatives? Ask them to drive faster and risk an accident? Stop driving and become a burden on others to do their shopping, trips to doctors etc.?. Stay at home watching daytime TV and waiting to die? Our society is ageing and we need to adapt to that.

Yes, but we also need to ensure that drivers are competent, and should undergo regular retests. IMO, all of the elderly people I know who still drive would fail a driving test if they had to take one today. Not because they are slow, but because they are no longer competent drivers.


Yes I'd put my father in the above category, he is simply no longer competent. In the last few years he has done things like reversed into bollards, forgotten to put a handbrake on and rolled forward into another car etc and just ten years ago he'd have been aghast at such bad practice. Also he's a dreadful driver at night, a consequence of deteriorating eyesight. I don't see him that often (live 275 miles away) but nowadays make sure I never have to be in a car with him driving at night. Really he shouldn't be driving but despite there being a medical check at 70(?) there doesn't seem to be an effective mechanism to stop people driving when they are no longer really able to do so.
Ben@Forest
 
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:58 pm

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby MikeF » Fri May 30, 2014 3:20 pm

So even amongst cyclists it seems that the adage that "I'm the only good driver and everyone else is incompetent" pervades! Tolerance seems to be totally disregarded by most sitting behind a steering wheel even on this forum. Just look at some above posts criticising other drivers and saying they shouldn't be on the road! Exactly the same response from many motorists regarding cyclists - holding up traffic, causing tailbacks etc!

Many people will justify all sorts of reasons why they don't want to drive "slowly", ie below the limit, from personal to mechanical (supposedly). These reasons are often trolled out when say 20mph limits are proposed.

Shortly before I retired, possibly 5 years ago, anyone who drove a vehicle in the course of their work had to attend a "Driving Awareness" course which involved a test with giving written answers or drawings and also a drive with an instructor as passenger. I think they were intent on showing us all that we were all poor drivers whatever our driving experience, if only to help us improve!

One point made was always allow enough time for your journey!

A Japanese friend occasionally visits us and he finds our driving far too fast apparently compared with that in Japan. Why is it that in the UK most of regard the speed limit as the speed target? Even exceeding the limit is regarded as a minor offence eg "Have you been convicted of any offence ... except speeding?" is on some forms.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master
MikeF
 
Posts: 681
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:24 am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Bicycler » Fri May 30, 2014 3:41 pm

MikeF wrote:Many people will justify all sorts of reasons why they don't want to drive "slowly", ie below the limit, from personal to mechanical (supposedly). These reasons are often trolled out when say 20mph limits are proposed.

Yep. Don't forget how lower limits "remove the judgement of the driver" and the people who suggest that it would be safest if all limits were removed. The last time speed limits were removed in the UK it resulted in many deaths and that was with far fewer cars, much less powerful than today. Conversely, the introduction of 20mph limits drastically reduces road casualties. Given that NSL single carriageway main roads have the highest KSI stats of any roads, I predict that many lives could be saved by lowering the national speed limit.
Bicycler
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:33 pm

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Chris the Sheep » Fri May 30, 2014 3:43 pm

Re the braking to a stop point - I've been misunderstood. My 24-year-old stepson believes 30mph-ish should be maintained for as long as possible, only interrupted by hard acceleration and braking. He sees decelerating in anticipation of a hazard as being 'slow driving', because his brain can't compute the maths. The same thinking, incidentally, that sees it as essential to overtake a cyclist in order to get to the next queue quicker. He passed his test first time, and has always had a good example set. But he knows better, and thinks he can dismiss my views because I'm 'old' (49!).

I know all about block changing, I'm married to a driving instructor.

[EDIT] I also want to add - I think many drivers go over the speed limit because they think they're holding others up if they don't, or they think it makes them look less boring (yes, I really have heard that). In other words, perceived peer pressure.
Last edited by Chris the Sheep on Fri May 30, 2014 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chris the Sheep
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 1:20 pm

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Ellieb » Fri May 30, 2014 3:44 pm

Well, having read some of the quoted thread I'm afraid I still don't understand why driving at a speed appropriate to the road and traffic conditions and within the speed limit is 'stressful'. I suspect that is the reason why people are accusing the OP of lacking confidence/competence
Ellieb
 
Posts: 524
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:06 pm

Re: Get out of my way.

Postby Neilo » Fri May 30, 2014 3:56 pm

I did a week long advanced driving course a few years ago.
The instructor (a serving police driving instuctor) asked how many years experience did we have. We all answered 5 years 10 years etc.
He said that we were wrong, and if we hadn't had any training since our test then we all had one years driving experience.
You pass your test, and drive for a year, in all the different weather types of the four seasons, and then the next year we all make the same mistakes all over again, because we don't know any better and have not had any more training.
so most people are bad drivers, just some more bad than others.
My driving improved a lot. better hazard perception, better vehicle control, reading the road.
Yes they taught that gears are for going, brakes are for stopping, but they also taught to use lower gears to slow you down an a long descent and double de clutching when down changing to accelerate. Position, speed, and gear in that order and one at a time.
Lots of other things, to numerous to list here.
I'm not saying I'm a good driver, I'm probably better than some, and worse than some.

Made me a better cyclist as well I think, regarding hazard perception and reading the road.

As for being stuck behind other vehicles. thats life, no point in getting worked up about it, it's not going to make that much difference in the long run.

I see on a lost of posts, people saying that vehicles should be able to stop in the distance they can see to be claear. I was taught that it is 1/2 the distance you can see to be clear, because the vehicle that is just around the corner that you can't see is probably travelling at the same speed as you, thus reducing your stopping distance. For example if both vehicles stopping distance is 100m and you can only see 100m, then if both vehicles braked ats soon at they saw each other, then they would hit each other at 50m. Simplistic I know, but I hope you get the gist.

Neil
If it aint broke, fix it til it is.
User avatar
Neilo
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:15 pm
Location: Swansea Valley

PreviousNext

Return to On the road

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests