PDA

View Full Version : Good grief


fenland787
5th Sep 2013, 09:35
It's almost like being back in Califonia.....
BBC News - Two hundred hurt as 100 cars crash on A249 Sheppey crossing (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-23970047)

Cacophonix
5th Sep 2013, 09:39
What is it about British motorists that they don't get fog and continue to tailgate at high speeds like zombies as they drive towards their deaths...?

The fuel tanker crash on the M4 some years back was an awful example of this kind of stupidity...

A tragedy leads to motorway hazard signs warning of adverse weather - (http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/83589-a-tragedy-leads-to-motorway-hazard-signs-warning-of-adverse-weather/)

Caco

sitigeltfel
5th Sep 2013, 09:44
The compensation claims lawyers will be out in force and it will be discovered that each vehicle had at least five occupants, all suffering from whiplash injuries.

500N
5th Sep 2013, 09:46
What is the rule ?

Drive to the conditions ?

fenland787
5th Sep 2013, 09:51
The compensation claims lawyers will be out in force and it will be discovered that each vehicle had at least five occupants, all suffering from whiplash injuries. and an equal number who were not directly involved but so shocked and traumatised by what they saw that their lives have been destroyed no doubt.

phnuff
5th Sep 2013, 10:26
The rule may be drive to the conditions, but nature and natural selection will always overcome man made rules

DX Wombat
5th Sep 2013, 10:46
Latest from the police is that up to 130 vehicles may be involved. Whilst the incident is, no doubt, due to sheer stupidity and recklessness, please remember that by no means all of the drivers will come into the idiot category and will have suffered unnecessarily.

phnuff
5th Sep 2013, 11:43
True
maybe my comment is heavily influenced by the idiots I saw this morning on the A1M. Is it nessesary to sit 2 feet away from the car in front? Is it not a good idea to drive with lights on? Do I appreciate being flashed at in 10M vis while overtaking a tractor?

A A Gruntpuddock
5th Sep 2013, 11:52
The behaviour of drivers in restricted visibility has always been a source of wonder to me.

I recall hitting really thick fog on a busy single carriageway A road, put on my rear fog light and slowed down to about 20mph, judging how far I could see by glancing at the verge instead of the fog (<50 feet).

Nearly had several accidents as people (many with no lights on) came close to running into the back of my car, blew their horns, then swerved round me to vanish almost instantaneously into the mist at over 50.

I eventually decided it was safer (if terrifying) to speed up to 40 and be ready to hit the brakes.

Worked in an area with regular visibility problems (low cloud rather than fog) and frequently encountered people driving with just sidelights or even no lights at all . You could see the vehicles before you could make out whether they had lights on!

Didn't stop everyone belting along and overtaking though, even in heavy traffic.

Always wondered if the drivers assumed they were safe because they couldn't see any danger approaching.

603DX
5th Sep 2013, 13:04
Just as well that there was not a similar "copycat" mass collision in the northbound carriageway, as sometimes happens when drivers going the other way look at the chaos alongside them. The very high bridge deck is of limited width, just two lanes each way with relatively narrow verges, and clear access for the large number of emergency vehicles required appears to have only been available because the northbound carriageway was relatively empty of traffic at the time, as shown by the photos.

It is clearly very expensive to provide the full-width emergency hard shoulders able to take full traffic loadings on high-specification motorway-standard bridges, and this is after all only an A-class road. But one does wonder whether the extra expense might have been worthwhile at such a location, as the river Swale is a notoriously foggy region, in the midst of extensive flat marshlands.

Wyler
5th Sep 2013, 13:36
We are rapidly becoming a Nation of utter morons.
As has been said, we will now have months (if not years) of compensation claims etc etc.
Personally, I would quadruple the insurance premiums for all involved and increase them by a further 50% every year.
As to the inevitable claims, OK but if you lose you pay the whole bill. That should 'cure' quite a few necks and backs.
Next, let's start throwing people off this ridiculously over crowded Island and stop the native two legged, track suited, white haired, orange faced rats from breeding as soon as they have been expelled from Primary School....

There.....that's better....time for a cup of tea.

BOAC
5th Sep 2013, 13:50
I got whiplash just reading about it - who do I ring?

VP959
5th Sep 2013, 14:03
As a fixed penalty has been introduced recently for tailgating, and as, by definition, being unable to stop in the distance available between your vehicle and the vehicle in front is tailgating (and a Highway Code breach, I believe), it would seem appropriate to issue fixed penalties to all those drivers who ran in to the rear of the vehicle in front.

Such a mass penalty-fest might get the attention of the press and help get the message across.

Additionally, if all these drivers are charged with tailgating then they should also have any eligibility for compensation for whiplash etc withdrawn.

BOAC
5th Sep 2013, 14:11
Problem with a fine theory,VP959, is that one may have been driving sensibly, stopped in time and got shunted up the kjcksie into the car in front by a moron behind.

VP959
5th Sep 2013, 14:19
Good point, there's always a snag with these bright ideas, isn't there?

MG23
5th Sep 2013, 14:20
What is it about British motorists that they don't get fog and continue to tailgate at high speeds like zombies as they drive towards their deaths...?

But the government has been telling them for years that the only thing drivers have to do to be safe is stick rigidly to the speed limit set by bureaucrats much more intelligent than they are.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Sep 2013, 14:24
Had really bad fog on the M4 once at night. Slowed down to 40, then 30. Nearly rear-rammed several times. Pulled off onto hard shoulder and crept along to next junction. Swallowed pride and went to the home of an ex-girlfriend who lived nearby. She took pity and let me sleep on the floor. Emotionally painful experience, BUT....

The morning news announced a 70 car pile-up not long after I'd pulled off.

If it's not safe, IT'S NOT SAFE.

phnuff
5th Sep 2013, 15:28
Problem with a fine theory,VP959, is that one may have been driving sensibly, stopped in time and got shunted up the kjcksie into the car in front by a moron behind.

happened to me once on the M1 just south of luton in no fog. Crawling along at 20, car in front stops, I bang on anchors and glance in rear view mirror where a minibus of orthodox jews who were going to a funeral was steaming down at me and rammed me into car in front and car in front into car in front of him. Made a right mess of my company Alfa. Both me & minibus were recovered to a lot on the Luton airport site where I was given a rental car The funeral guys had the cheek to ask me for a lift !

fenland787
5th Sep 2013, 17:22
stopped in time and got shunted up the kjcksie into the car in front by a moron

I may know him.....chap I knew was bemoaning the huge hike in his insurance rates because he had been the last car involved in a 'concertina' accident of nine cars, five of which were written off. I expressed surprise because I thought each driver in turn would be liable for the car he hit in the rear. The light dawned when he admitted that the other vehicles had been waiting at a T junction before he hit the back of the eighth......

lomapaseo
5th Sep 2013, 17:34
What is the rule ?

Drive to the conditions ?

but what are the conditions?

obviously drive as fast as you want until you can actually see a vehicle in front of you
http://fromtheflightdeck.com/MEL/1/Keepclearofme.jpg

Lon More
5th Sep 2013, 17:38
Not an excuse for some terrible driving but that bridge is a horrible thing.
Coming on to it it's like passing Vr and rotating into the darkness. If there's low lying fog it's immediate IMC There are no lights on the bridge because they might upset the local bird population.

Fortunately no one killed, this time. Next time they may not be so lucky. Driving standards in UK are getting worse ad it must be one of the few countries where there is no experience gained of driving on motorways before taking the drivingt test

G-CPTN
5th Sep 2013, 17:42
Reports of the visibility distance at the time of the crashes suggest that 30mph would have been too fast to guarantee being able to stop in time.

Suggestions that one of the truck drivers intentionally blocked the carriageway by positioning his vehicle at 45 degrees to the direction of travel.

er340790
5th Sep 2013, 18:09
Presumably the 'hundreds of vehicles involved' does not include all those on the multiple car transporters in the ariel photos.... :confused:

It is scary how thick fog can suddenly materialize - especially at this time of year when the water under bridges is often warmer than the surrounding air.

G-CPTN
5th Sep 2013, 18:14
"One has to question the logic of building a bridge over a river - especially in a location where fog is known to accumulate." :rolleyes:

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Sep 2013, 18:21
The illogical act is giving idiots driving licences, not building bridges.

But then there'd be riots because of the sh!t state of public transport.

A A Gruntpuddock
5th Sep 2013, 19:04
"stopped in time and got shunted up the kjcksie into the car in front by a moron behind"

Yup, had to stop quite quickly one dark, wet morning in the right hand lane because of an accident ahead.

Two cars behind me also stopped safely.

About 10-15 seconds later a large panel truck clips the last car and knocks us together before hitting the last car in the queue stopped at the accident and knocking all them together and into what had been a 2-car shunt.

Fortunately I had stopped short and at an angle so did not hit the car in front, sparing me a lot of anguish with the police and my insurance company.

500N
5th Sep 2013, 20:16
"The illogical act is giving idiots driving licences,"

Without enough driving experience.

They have just brought in a law where I live that you have to have
120 hours of documented driving experience before going for
your license. I think over time it will be good.

Re Fog on the bridge in this accident and the comment of no lights,
In fog, I actually prefer no street lights and just use head lights because
you see any changes ahead faster. With street lights on open roads, your
eyes / brain is always adjusting to the changes.

Just my HO.

Lon More
5th Sep 2013, 20:25
In fog, I actually prefer no street lights

I agree, however the problem here is that the approaches to the bridge are well lit leaving Sheerness over the roundabout, although in daylight this is not relevant. The bridge climbs steeply and there is a bend in the middle.
Just too many people driving too fast for the conditions on, apart from the old bridge seen in the background, the only way off the island.

radeng
5th Sep 2013, 20:28
It's not just the UK. Hotel arranged minibus transfer to Venice Marco Pole airport. Turns up 15 minutes late. Thick fog - maybe 10 metres. Doing 130km/H in a 80 km/H zone. Eventually get on to motorway, visibility maybe 80metres, and doing 180 km/H. Didn't know a minibus could go that faast, but I was in the front and that was what the speedo said. Overtakes on middle lane, screaming "Cretino" at cars in the outside lane going at the speed limit or just above.

Never used the hotel arranged minibus again!!

G-CPTN
5th Sep 2013, 20:28
I haven't had to drive in fog for about 20 years.

When I did, I remember a couple of times when the visibility was down to a car's length.

I actually followed a car into his driveway the last time (in the late 1980s) and on a previous occasion in the early 1970s (before the days of streetlamps on motorways) it was eerie being 'marooned' on a deserted M1 with no visible signs other than the white line at the edge of the hard shoulder.

500N
5th Sep 2013, 20:29
"Just too many people driving too fast for the conditions on,"

Applies to a lot of things driving, not driving to the conditions.

Rain after a dry spell like we had here the other day, the roads were like grease !!!

500N
5th Sep 2013, 20:30
radeng

Jesus, that is scary.


2 years ago up in Northern Australia, I was driving to Darwin
and I had to slow to 20 - 30kmh because the rain was so heavy
it was like fog and vis was about 50 yards !!!

parabellum
5th Sep 2013, 21:49
They have just brought in a law where I live that you have to have
120 hours of documented driving experience before going for
your license. I think over time it will be good.

We have had that system quite a while, only now are they taking the logging of the hours seriously! Still get P platers out there, Holdens HSVs etc. base ball cap on backwards. Frightens me the number of people who won't put their lights on in reduced visibility, "Oh I can see alright" is the usual response, sure you can, c*&t, how about giving us a chance to see you?

500N
5th Sep 2013, 22:06
Oh yes, I drive with my headlights on a lot of the time.

In the country on country roads / drives, 100% of the time.

Didosdadsdogsdead
5th Sep 2013, 22:18
Same thing happens in NZ, how hard would it be for the car makers to wire vehicles in such a way that park lights only worked when the vehicle was 'parked'.:confused:

500N
5th Sep 2013, 22:22
Oh yes.

On one road near my house, dark road alonside a footy ground and
flats / units, 2 or 3 GREY cars are parked, no lights, no relectors,
nothing.

Even a reflector would be good, a park light even better !!!

ExSp33db1rd
5th Sep 2013, 22:45
Same thing happens in NZ, how hard would it be for the car makers to wire vehicles in such a way that park lights only worked when the vehicle was 'parked'.

or better still - ensure that when the wheels start to turn, dipped headlights are switched on - and can't be turned off.

A million years ago the Greyhound Bus Co in the USA decided to use headlights at all times - their accident /incident rate dropped remarkably, 'cos - a bus with it's lights on is - wait for it .... MOVING ! so don't pull out, step off the kerb, in front of it.

Remember that UK invention of around the same era ? i.e. a little green light placed in the centre of the radiator ( remember cars with radiator grilles ? ) that came on with the ignition, ergo an illuminated light meant that the car was MOVING the were called 'driving lights" IIRC - but what's wrong with the lights that God gave us anyway - headlights ?

I seriously worry about drivers who only put parking lights on in fog and heavy rain, don't they realise that the bulk of the car is visible before the Toc H candles that they think are protecting them ?

pigboat
5th Sep 2013, 23:24
or better still - ensure that when the wheels start to turn, dipped headlights are switched on - and can't be turned off.
All automobiles sold in Canada have been so equipped for 30 years.

Cacophonix
5th Sep 2013, 23:32
**** the fog.

I arrived at Biggin Hill on my quest to earn an IR rating and that day was as foggy as a tyro could ever see. A Falcon flew the ILS, went around and then diverted to Bournemouth. The next customer was a light aircraft fresh from the coast of France and contact was lost one mile from the threshold...

I didn't fly that day and they found the wreckage in trees and the rest and I realised how serious the whole damned thing was and still is...

Caco

ShyTorque
5th Sep 2013, 23:34
or better still - ensure that when the wheels start to turn, dipped headlights are switched on - and can't be turned off.

Mine does this when the ignition switch is turned - even before the engine starts.

So does the one on my motorbike - there is actually no light switch on the bike, only a dip/main switch. The parking light is put on by turning the key one notch "backwards" before removing it from the ignition switch. Suits me, I began riding my bikes with the headlight on dipped beam in the 1970s and have done so ever since. Also wore a helmet well before they were compulsory, seemed like common sense to me.

Still, even when there is something that you thought was idiot proof, you eventually just meet a better class of idiot.

I was almost taken out one foggy night when the driver in front missed his turning on an unlit A road. Instead of finding a safe place to stop ahead and turn around, he reversed at speed on a corner and came rushing back towards me, on my side of the road. Even with my headlight on main beam, my horn blaring and me stopped after my emergency braking into the gutter, he shot past my offside going backwards at about 20 mph. I still remember the horrified, wide eyed look of his passenger as she shot past me about two feet away from me and my bike.

doubleu-anker
6th Sep 2013, 02:40
The rule is this.

Drive 2 seconds distance behind the car in front. If it is wet, it is 4 seconds. Simple? Well you would think so, wouldn't you?. Nothing about speed in that simple rule. Speed for the conditions??! Makes not sense, as even 20 mph is far too fast, if you are right up the backside of the car in front.

When you see the chevron's on the road in the UK, at the maximum speed limit, 2 chevron's apart is the equivalent of 2 seconds, dry surface. When you see the chevron's, you know for sure there has been a pile up in the past. Talk about closing the door after the horse has bolted!

Even the cops don't stick to this simple, 2 second rule.

"Tailgating is the greatest cause of accidents and road rage in the UK" and a lot of other countries. Not speed. How often is it policed?

reynoldsno1
6th Sep 2013, 02:50
Had really bad fog on the M4 once at night. Slowed down to 40, then 30. Nearly rear-rammed several times. Pulled off onto hard shoulder and crept along to next junction.

I think I may have been on the M4 that same night. Couldn't understand how so many people could have no sense of their own mortality, or anyone else's for that matter.

Krystal n chips
6th Sep 2013, 05:01
It's far too simplistic to lay the blame entirely on the "speed / wx / no lights / tailgating" brigade, irrespective of their contribution to the causal factors of the accident.

As Dx said, many of those caught in the middle could be entirely blameless...so we can dispense with the asinine "pour encourage" suggestion of mass prosecutions for tailgating.

Driver education....now virtually unheard of in the UK by the use of public service adverts on television and post the driving test.

Vehicles

Modern vehicles are far too complex in terms of ergonomics and the range of drivers abilities.

The advances in safety features and designs are commendable, and essential in comparison to the death traps of the past, but, these advancements also lead drivers into a false sense of security, the vehicle being perceived as being more than adequate for protection of the occupants.

Ergonomics.

I recently had the misfortune to drive a courtesy car, a B-Max....the large chunk of radio in the centre alone was a distracting nightmare, the useful bits, such as heating controls being located under this and below the top of the gear lever...very small switches and you had to physically look to make a selection.

The stalks ?....just about viewable, but again, some of the operations required you to visually look at the selector.

And then there were the lights...the controls being located in such a way they were impossible to view without moving your head....now that's a truly brilliant ( NO pun ! ) piece of "thinking".....that's only one vehicle.

How many others have similar ergonomic nightmare designs that distract a driver, rather than allow ease of use / access and thus allow the Mk1 eyeball to be used to convey to the brain the simple fact of potential dangers.

I'm with Fox3 here about pulling over when the wx / idiot combination sets alarm bells...or my survival instincts to be more precise, ringing. Did so on the A1 once and was there "for some considerable time", thankfully, as the heavy rain / idiot factor duly proved to be prominent with a multiple accident shortly after I stopped.

True, it's not an aircraft and you can pull over, but the well known "press on itus" condition is just as applicable on the ground as in the air.

A Squared
6th Sep 2013, 05:24
In my experience foggy driving conditions rarely occur in a manner which allows you to look ahead and say, "Hmmm there's a patch of reduced visibility up ahead there a quarter of a mile. I think I'll pull over here and stop in the sunshine and clear visibility and wait safely for the fog up ahead to dissipate." Rather, by the time you realize visibility has dropped to about your front bumper, you're in it. Now, obviously, the best thing would be for everyone to stop as soon as possible, and what few collisions occur would be at relatively low speeds. The thing is, that doesn't happen. If you stop, chances are good you get hit from behind, if you keep blazing along chances are good you as the one ramming into people. Slower increases you chances of being hit, faster increases your chances of hitting someone else. So given that in reality, you'll have drivers coming to a complete stop and others continuing on without slowing, what's the safest strategy?

onetrack
6th Sep 2013, 05:29
The advances in safety features and designs are commendable, and essential in comparison to the death traps of the past, but, these advancements also lead drivers into a false sense of security, the vehicle being perceived as being more than adequate for protection of the occupants.

:D:D:D:D

These developments are also the leading cause of the "dumbing down" of the average drivers,vehicle control skills - thus leading to people thinking their driving skills are far greater, than what they really are. :ugh:

Krystal n chips
6th Sep 2013, 05:49
" In my experience foggy driving conditions rarely occur in a manner which allows you to look ahead "

Really ?.........:ugh:

Presumably you have a less than basic understanding of met. .....allied to driving then.

This equates to the oft heard "excuse" in the past here in the UK, when multiple accidents in fog were far more common, that "the fog suddenly appeared"......one of the best interviews I ever saw was with a Traffic Police Inspector who said exactly what he thought of this "excuse" and the reasons why he was so condemnatory of those offering it.

TWT
6th Sep 2013, 06:24
Cars that don't have self parking capabilities are looked on in vehicle reviews as 'lacking basic equipment' these days.Driving skills are eroding at a great rate.

And there seems to be a lot more idiots on the roads too.I was reverse parking a Transit Van into a spot in a narrow road near my house 2 nights ago,about 4 hours after sunset.I looked in the rear view mirror before I stopped the vehicle for the manoeuvre to check for following traffic.None there,so starting reversing and swinging when all of a sudden a dark shape swerved around me at speed.An idiot driving ridiculously fast along a narrow road with NO LIGHTS ON at all :ugh:

A A Gruntpuddock
6th Sep 2013, 07:13
"I haven't had to drive in fog for about 20 years"

Back in the '60s/ '70s a local village used to regularly suffer from really bad fog.

Remember one occasion one night when we were driving slowy up the road just outside it and we couldn't see the verges!

Never happens nowadays, and hasn't for decades.

Lon More
6th Sep 2013, 07:20
The advances in safety features and designs are commendable,

But why are some cars equipped with two rear fog lamps? It's impossible to see the brake lights; OK, it encourages you to drive even further behind the other car but hardly a commendable feature.

ExSp33db1rd
6th Sep 2013, 07:28
All automobiles sold in Canada have been so equipped for 30 years.

Always ahead of the pack, those Canucks.

A A Gruntpuddock
6th Sep 2013, 07:34
Mind you, in our area you don't need fog to bring out the dafties.

Driving along an uphill dual carriageway one dark night I noticed cars suddenly swerving about half a mile away, clearly visible because the road curved upwards.

I assumed there was something lying on the road but instead found a black Ford Escort with no lights!

I pulled up behind it and the driver said his battery had died; his erstwhile passenger had just turned up with a new one.

I advised them to push the car onto the verge or they wouldn't live long enough to replace the battery!

Whilst this was happening, I had on
normal lights
brake lights
rear fog lights
hazard warning lights
full flashing roof bar with reflectors and at least two orange, high visibility lights.

Despite excellent visibility (road geometry meant I could be seen for about 1 mile) there were several near collisions as drivers didn't seem to notice me until the very last second.

Very glad when the Escort was off the road and I could drive away.

Stewie1982
7th Sep 2013, 05:01
[quote]Presumably the 'hundreds of vehicles involved' does not include all those on the multiple car transporters in the ariel photos.... [\quote]

But what nobody is saying is that the car transporters were empty before the crash :p
It actually scares me the people that pull out in front of me when I'm at work - 'cause upto 44t of artic is going to stop quick isn't it :rolleyes:

Cacophonix
7th Sep 2013, 05:17
These developments are also the leading cause of the "dumbing down" of the average drivers,vehicle control skills - thus leading to people thinking their driving skills are far greater, than what they really are.


I know this is not a subject that should lend itself to levity but I can't help posting that "it must be all those automatics"... ;)

Another old R&N chestnut emerging in another form here on JB...

Caco

Lon More
7th Sep 2013, 06:31
Spoke to my friend in Sheerness last night. She drove over the bridge a couple of minutes before it happened on her way to work. She realised something had happened because nobody was screaming past her.

603DX
7th Sep 2013, 11:28
Even before this multiple crash, I didn't like this particular bridge much. I watched it being built, and wasn't impressed by its narrow width, the sweeping bend combined with the steep southern approach/descent ramp, and the lack of wind-shielding provided on the very high and exposed deck.

I haven't yet driven across it, even out of curiosity, and am certainly not encouraged to do so by this recent event. Southbound traffic probably contains a fair proportion of fully laden articulated car transporters mixed in with the usual tidal flow traffic of off-island morning commuter workers, because Sheerness is a major car-importing dock from all over the world.
The returning transporters on the northbound side are more likely to be empty, going back for a fresh cargo of new foreign cars.

Lon More
7th Sep 2013, 13:34
Sheppey Bridge - YouTube
No hard shoulders, no lighting, and why was the bend in he middle necessary?

Fox3WheresMyBanana
7th Sep 2013, 19:41
Sometimes coming back from night-flying, around 2-3am, half-moon or better, I would ride my motorbike up my remote dale with no lights at all in the low-lying fog. One could see significantly further this way. Easier to spot the sheep too.

vulcanised
7th Sep 2013, 19:49
Not driven in fog for years but I recall forward vision often being much better without headlights which just seemed to make the opaque even worse.

Also remember the proper fogs when you had to lean out of the window and follow the centre line.