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View Full Version : Car Pile up, M40. Tailgating?


Don_Apron
14th Feb 2015, 10:08
Huge pile up on the M40 this morning. One word cause. TAILGATING. Put a pension on it.

There needs to be 2 second delay between cars in the dry and in the wet 4 seconds.. Simple really. Anything less is tailgating, period.

The greatest contributor to accidents and road rage is tailgating.

gorter
14th Feb 2015, 10:37
My theory as to why that happens is poor road discipline. Once you have overtaken you must return to the most inside lane you can. Yet how often do we see people just sat in the middle lane. I don't think not allowing learner drivers on to the motorway helps the situation. Motorway driving is a very different kettle of fish for the inexperienced driver.

RedhillPhil
14th Feb 2015, 11:10
Impatience, pure and simple. Everyone thinks that they're a better driver than they are and very often believes the cr4p that car manufacturers throw at them in their advertisements. The current Audi Quattro one suggests that you can drive the car as normal in any weather - yeah right!
"My car has ABS, TC, ASC, seven airbags etc etc..". But the driver is still a tw4t.
The way to deal with a tailgater is simply to lift your foot off the throttle pedal, let the speed bleed off by 10 mph then gently accelerate back to where you were. You'll only do it twice before chummy gets the message.

Windy Militant
14th Feb 2015, 11:26
I was on the M40 yesterday evening, as usual people were tailgating despite the spray. As for returning to the left lane after overtaking the usual thing is to see lane three with a road train at 80 plus nose to tail with occasional people dropping back to lane two when flashed at by people wanting to go faster, those that were not undertaking at speed.
Only me in the works van and a few others in lane one with the HGVs!

I was surprised there wasn't an accident at the Oxford junction which was tailing back due to an accident on the A34 Southbound at Weston on the Green.
People hooning past the queue and then coming to a stop trying to push in at the front. I wouldn't want to try that with the heavies stomping past!

Windy Militant
14th Feb 2015, 11:31
The way to deal with a tailgater is simply to lift your foot off the throttle pedal, let the speed bleed off by 10 mph then gently accelerate back to where you were. You'll only do it twice before chummy gets the message.

Round Oxfordshire that only seems to piss them off. According to the nice man that does our driving assessments at work the best way to do this is leave a larger space so you can stop for them or they can overtake you.

Effluent Man
14th Feb 2015, 11:35
The trouble is with the two second rule at 70mph is that it puts sixty metres between each car,and of course restricts the traffic flow to around 1700 vehicles per hour. I have been in the outside lane at seventy. If you back off to leave that kind of gap someone just goes in it.

Discorde
14th Feb 2015, 11:36
Speed itself is not necessarily dangerous, but inappropriate speed might be. The French brought in a very sensible idea: reduced speed limits in wet weather. Perhaps similar rules should be applied in poor vis or strong winds.

The majority of family saloon cars are vastly overpowered, with typical top speeds approaching twice the UK national limit, because car manufacturers sell their products by exploiting macho tendencies.

Poor and selfish driving techniques (including failing to signal) also increase traffic congestion. I would support those who call for repeat proficiency tests every so many years, with the interval between tests decreasing with increasing age. I would also introduce the concept of a 'basic' licence, restricting drivers to, say, 60 mph, and an 'advanced' licence, with higher speeds permissible.

Another potential improvement would be fitting autothrottle, so max speed would be limited by fuel governors signalled by GPS or mobile network triangulation, with the option of override when higher speed was appropriate or the autothrottle was malfunctioning. It would actually make driving less stressful - you could put your foot to the floor without worrying about busting limits. If that means longer journey times - reschedule your appointments!

Six people will be killed on Britain's roads today, if today follows average statistics, and many more will be injured, mainly because driving proficiency standards are unmonitored after a person has passed their original test.

Effluent Man
14th Feb 2015, 11:40
I had to laugh about the French bit. I remember being on the Autoroute near Lyon when a sudden torrential downpour hit. I could feel the tell tale signs of aquaplaning as mt front tyres lost contact with the road surface. I dropped from 140kmh down to 80. Parisians with caravans hitched on the back started to come past.

Flying Lawyer
14th Feb 2015, 11:41
Don ApronThe greatest contributor to accidents and road rage is tailgating.

I know nothing about the circumstances of the particular accident but, if we are generalising:

The greatest contributor to accidents and road rage is lane hogging.
And not only the outside lane.

Windy Militant Only me in the works van and a few others in lane one with the HGVs!
SOP, unfortunately.

Many British drivers travel entire motorway journeys in the middle lane - even when there is little or no traffic in the left lane.

SpannerInTheWerks
14th Feb 2015, 11:45
There needs to be 2 second delay between cars in the dry and in the wet 4 seconds.

According to the nice man that does our driving assessments at work the best way to do this is leave a larger space so you can stop for them or they can overtake you.

All sound advice.

The ridiculous thing is that drivers who have only just passed their test can be let loose on roads, and in conditions, which they have never had experience of - motorways, in the wet, in poor visibility and at night, for example.

It's the equivalent of letting a PPL/RT fly in airways, on instruments at night!

Where in aviation are you ever allowed to fly in conditions for which you have received no training, are not licenced and have no experience?!

I appreciate the above examples are extreme, but the principle is the same.

SpannerInTheWerks
14th Feb 2015, 11:49
The trouble is with the two second rule at 70mph is that it puts sixty metres between each car,and of course restricts the traffic flow to around 1700 vehicles per hour. I have been in the outside lane at seventy. If you back off to leave that kind of gap someone just goes in it.

With all due respect, that's the idea - defensive driving.

Someone pulls in, you drop back.

If the accident was caused by tailgating, maybe the thoughts going through the driver(s) head(s) was that they musn't let anyone in - whatever the cost?!

SpannerInTheWerks
14th Feb 2015, 11:55
The greatest contributor to accidents and road rage is lane hogging.

Many British drivers travel entire motorway journeys in the middle lane - even when there is little or no traffic in the left lane.

Yes, that too.

... and most if not all of these examples of poor driving could be eliminated by a couple of hours of motorway driving instruction (whether before or after the driving test).

Whilst it is difficult to change peoples' attitudes, you can increase their knowledge - which in itself would probably reduce the problem to a greater or lesser extent.

Effluent Man
14th Feb 2015, 11:57
No, I think you misunderstand the point I am making. You are in the outside lane at 70mph leaving a two second gap. Someone slots in it from lane 2. You drop back to maintain the gap, someone else slots in it. Now you are getting tailgated and flashed from behind. Next time you are on a busy motorway try it.

RedhillPhil
14th Feb 2015, 12:05
No, I think you misunderstand the point I am making. You are in the outside lane at 70mph leaving a two second gap. Someone slots in it from lane 2. You drop back to maintain the gap, someone else slots in it. Now you are getting tailgated and flashed from behind. Next time you are on a busy motorway try it.


You're not wrong there. I'm off to Carmarthen on Monday to collect a car to take to Chiswick. I'm sort of dreading coming up the M4 on a Monday morning. If you see a white Peugot with trade plates on it might be me.

racedo
14th Feb 2015, 12:11
Was on M40 last night, only bugger giving me problems was someone in a works van.....

Travelled on it too fast (as always 80 plus) but traffic was definitely less than normal.

Normal Friday is a 5 hour slog home but left at 8pm from up north and did it in less than 4 where as returning on Sunday it will be 3-3 1/2 hrs.

Even when going just above limit I pass cars stuck to middle lane when inside is completely clear, 2-3 cars going from ot lane to inside lane with indicators on seems to get a message sometimes.

Always find it interesting at those drivers who were sitting in middle at whatever speed and soon as they get passed they feel they need to speed up to unpass themselves.

One section of M40 where heading north past Oxford ( and fromer RAF Oakley) where the sharp left hand band catches people out is one where I have seen people race past into it then realise it is a long bend and slam on the brakes.

Windy Militant
14th Feb 2015, 12:12
You're not wrong there. I'm off to Carmarthen on Monday to collect a car to take to Chiswick.

You could always take the A40! Especially since they've put in by passes round most of the towns! ;)


Was on M40 last night, only bugger giving me problems was someone in a works van.....
Not me then I was back at base by 20:00hrs. :p

ShyTorque
14th Feb 2015, 12:20
Many British drivers travel entire motorway journeys in the middle lane - even when there is little or no traffic in the left lane. Yes, that seems to be true. I drive over 90 miles on the motorway every working day. Much of it is under roadworks, with a 50 mph limit monitored by average speed cameras. Many drivers (cars) seem to be totally preoccupied with maintaining 50 mph, or just below (in case the speed cameras are set a bit low, as one elderly driver once said to me).

Trouble is, most car speedos read slightly high at 50 mph. So, if a cautious driver maintains an indicated 49/50, he/she will actually be travelling at a little over 45 mph. HGVs have more accurate speedos and those drivers know that the cameras also have a margin of "forgiveness". So they can actually go at a true 50, or possibly at times up to the speed limiter, at 56 mph, which is the best speed for them to drive at with regard to fuel economy and driver duty time. In other words, they just want to drive as efficiently as possible. However, they cannot use the outer lane. So if they encounter a "middle lane muppet" doing 45 - 50mph (and they are everywhere, especially at weekends), they are going to be unnecessarily held up. Over the course of a day, when they probably encounter this many times, they will understandably become very frustrated and/or angry. So there is the recipe for tailgating.

If people could just get into their thick, stubborn, self righteous heads that they don't own the middle lane, just because they are driving at what they believe to be the speed limit, things would run smoother and more safely.

No, I don't drive an HGV, but I watch what goes on. No-one gets to tailgate me, because I don't allow it, or give reason for it to occur.

racedo
14th Feb 2015, 12:26
No-one gets to tailgate me, because I don't allow it, or give reason for it to occur.

You mean you just going tooop fast for them.

Don_Apron
14th Feb 2015, 12:33
shytorque

You seem to me to be an aggressive type of driver.

Would you happen to drive a German made car, by any chance? There is something about German cars that seem to attract a lot of aggressive (accidents waiting to happen) drivers, IMHO.

What's wrong with owning a German car? Not a lot really but I prefer to keep residents of the UK in work, rather than foreigners.

SpannerInTheWerks
14th Feb 2015, 12:45
No, I think you misunderstand the point I am making. You are in the outside lane at 70mph leaving a two second gap. Someone slots in it from lane 2. You drop back to maintain the gap, someone else slots in it. Now you are getting tailgated and flashed from behind. Next time you are on a busy motorway try it.

I know - like most people, I've been driving on motorways all my adult life.

But the fact remains, and the Police will always agree, defensive driving is what should be taught and practiced.

Personally I try and avoid these situations by letting these 'clowns' past - I'd rather have them in front rather than behind. However, with motorways and driving standards as they are (especially in busy urban areas) it's never easy to practice what you preach.

My father always taught me to allow even more space if someone was tail-gating to allow for both your and the other driver's thinking and braking distances, but that advice in this day and age would only compound the problem.

Some of the most relaxed driving I have done recently has been sat in the inside lane, at 60 mph - but then you have the goods vehicles to contend with!!!

I don't like motorway driving as much as I did and try to travel in the quieter times where I can.

But for the majority it's not a relaxing way to travel, whether the statistics say it's the safest or not.

The biggest issue for me, particularly when driving in the inside lane, is that other drivers seem to think they have right of way when joining the motorway - they don't judge their speed and distance and expect you to move out of the way, either by adjusting your speed or changing lanes.

In this situation lorry drivers KNOW they have (weight) and right of way whether you like it or not.

I've had more near misses through this aspect of poor driving than any other recently.

Windy Militant
14th Feb 2015, 12:45
Don Apron you could get one of those little German cars. Body pressings made in Swindon, assembled in Cowley! ;)

Cpt_Pugwash
14th Feb 2015, 13:29
Spanner, I totally agree with you regarding poor driving when joining the motorway.
Remember that big pile-up of the M5 at Taunton a few Novembers ago? They tried to stitch up the organiser of a firework display adjacent to the motorway for causing drifting smoke. Well, it was a misty night anyway, and reduced visibility may have been a factor, but the primary trigger for the incident was a vehicle coming off the entry slip, causing traffic on the motorway into sudden braking and hence a multiple pile-up.

Effluent Man
14th Feb 2015, 13:50
Phil,
I'm Bristol - Suffolk on Tuesday. Also on trade plates. Because I have to get there by train I cant get away until 1530 so I am envisaging M25 grief. I think that once before I went M5 and across to join the A14 and it was only +20 miles. I may do that again.

charliegolf
14th Feb 2015, 14:37
You're not wrong there. I'm off to Carmarthen on Monday to collect a car to take to Chiswick. I'm sort of dreading coming up the M4 on a Monday morning. If you see a white Peugot with trade plates on it might be me.

100 and a couple of train tickets and you can have a day in bed- I'll deliver it for you Phil!:ok:

CG

airship
14th Feb 2015, 14:49
Let me get this straight: you may well have spent a lot of your hard-earned (perhaps tax-avoided) cash in buying the latest, most expensive motorcar equipped with all the latest gadgets including long-range radar sensors etc.

BUT WHEN DRIVING ON A BUSY MOTORWAY AT TIMES OF LOW VISIBILITY, UNLESS ALL THE OTHER CARS IN THE LANE IN FRONT OF YOU ARE ALSO SIMILARLY WELL-ENDOWED...

...IT'S ALL A WASTE OF MONEY?!

Except for whatever kudos or improved self-esteem of having the other letters/numerals in addition to whatever the bog-standard model badge carried... :p

RedhillPhil
14th Feb 2015, 15:15
Let me get this straight: you may well have spent a lot of your hard-earned (perhaps tax-avoided) cash in buying the latest, most expensive motorcar equipped with all the latest gadgets including long-range radar sensors etc.

BUT WHEN DRIVING ON A BUSY MOTORWAY AT TIMES OF LOW VISIBILITY, UNLESS ALL THE OTHER CARS IN THE LANE IN FRONT OF YOU ARE ALSO SIMILARLY WELL-ENDOWED...

...IT'S ALL A WASTE OF MONEY?!

Except for whatever kudos or improved self-esteem of having the other letters/numerals in addition to whatever the bog-standard model badge carried... :p


My post #3 refers and would you believe it, I've just read to-day's motoring section in the Torygraph reviewing the latest tank from Volvo and yes, it's got radar this, infra red that, collision avoidance gizmos et al.
It'll still be a body-containing heap of twisted metal when it hits a stationary lorry in fog.

G-CPTN
14th Feb 2015, 15:18
My daughter recently bought a second hand car from a branch of a national chain of dealerships.
They offered 'free delivery' to a branch nearer to her home location.

I assumed that this would be done as part of a transfer of stock by transporter, but, in fact, it involved a human driver who collected the vehicle and drove it to the other dealership.

RedhillPhil
14th Feb 2015, 15:18
Phil,
I'm Bristol - Suffolk on Tuesday. Also on trade plates. Because I have to get there by train I cant get away until 1530 so I am envisaging M25 grief. I think that once before I went M5 and across to join the A14 and it was only +20 miles. I may do that again.


Anything to keep off that blasted M25 between 15.15 and 19.15. I left Luton yesterday at 14.25 for what should have been a 65" drive to Redhill.
I opened the front door at 16.25.

RedhillPhil
14th Feb 2015, 15:25
My daughter recently bought a second hand car from a branch of a national chain of dealerships.
They offered 'free delivery' to a branch nearer to her home location.

I assumed that this would be done as part of a transfer of stock by transporter, but, in fact, it involved a human driver who collected the vehicle and drove it to the other dealership.


This is almost certainly what's happening with the Peugot I'm driving on Monday. It's going from a dealer in Carmarthen to a dealer in Chiswick. Brand new, unregistered. I did a similar job with a Fiat 500 (all 6' 3" of me!) from Fishguard to Shepperton last year.

ATNotts
14th Feb 2015, 16:25
Don Apron

There is something about German cars that seem to attract a lot of aggressive (accidents waiting to happen) drivers, IMHO.

You make a very valid point, and whilst you absolutely cannot tar all BMW / Mercedes Benz drivers with the same brush, I have made a conscious decision not to buy a BMW simply because of the aggressive way in which they are far too often driven, and they way that I may well be viewed by other road users as a result.

As far as today's debacle is concerned I know nothing of the circumstances, but have noted that apparently several LGVs were involved. I wouldn't mind guessing that some of the allegedly "professional" drivers were slip-streaming 3 metres or so behind another artic which is nothing short of stupidity, and proves, if it proves anything that those drivers are certainly not professional.

Driving on the UK's motorways is generally appauling, lane discipline is almost non-existent and tailgating is far too common. Personally I feel safer on German autobahns, where, with the exception of the few idiots driving at 200 km/h (usually in BMWs, Mercedes Benz and Porsche equipment) speeds are sensible - though higher than the UK, the lane discipline is pretty good, as it the compliance with speed limits - without the employment of speed cameras. The police there actually police tail gating and lane hogging.

The UK really does need to include motorway driving in the driving test and toughen it up considerably, so that a driving licence isn't some sort of right of passage. "Experienced" drivers should also have to retest at least every 5 years as we all, to a man (or woman) fall into bad habits all too easily.

Krystal n chips
14th Feb 2015, 16:36
Many British drivers travel entire motorway journeys in the middle lane - even when there is little or no traffic in the left lane

Christmas Day. On the A14 heading West at about 14.00. Empty road. Sat quite happily at 70mph.....overtaken by a BMW "tank" who was in the outside lane before he overtook and remained there afterwards.

Even when driving at 00 silly hrs, there were always those who were in the outside lane on the Motorway.

Today's accident, as many have said, seems to have comprised of numerous causal factors, including the old "favourite".....fog.

Education as we know costs money.

However, the expense of producing public information adverts that a lot of us remember, would be money well spent.

Thus unlikely to happen and you can only imagine the wailing and whinging from the motor industry whose marketing depts. have done such an outstanding job in convincing drivers that, with all the technology now fitted, the driver is invincible.....rather than being a mere mortal and fallible human being.

Or a complete pillock in many cases.

Effluent Man
14th Feb 2015, 16:36
I drive a Peugot 207 Diesel,MrsEM has a C220Cdi Merc. I notice that when I drive that people don't give way to let you out.

ShyTorque
14th Feb 2015, 16:44
You mean you just going tooop fast for them.

No, I mean I don't get in the way of other drivers who wish to overtake me. :ugh:

ShyTorque
14th Feb 2015, 16:52
shytorque
You seem to me to be an aggressive type of driver.
Would you happen to drive a German made car, by any chance? There is something about German cars that seem to attract a lot of aggressive (accidents waiting to happen) drivers, IMHO.So you assess drivers by something they write on a website? What an amazing driving examiner you think yourself to be.

I actually commute in a sub 1 litre Japanese car. It's quite ancient and has no ABS (and not even an airbag) so I drive with due caution.

I passed my motorcycle driving test in 1975 and my car test in 1976. I haven't had an accident yet. You obviously consider yourself a far better driver than I so no doubt you have a longer unblemished record.

P.S. you sound like a middle lane hog. Are you one of those rather elderly chaps wearing a tweed cap, driving a Rover on Sundays, with water coming out of the exhaust pipe because the engine never gets up to temperature?

RatherBeFlying
14th Feb 2015, 17:16
In North America, you can pass on the outside lane. The usual drill when I was in Ontario was to use the outside lane which was largely unoccupied.

Alberta gets its share of challenging weather and pileups. My preference in those cases is the outside lane with a careful eye on the terrain if escape is needed. Once you stop in poor visibility, you're a target even if well off the road:uhoh:

As for tailgaters, I just keep reducing speed until they pass me. A pickup truck behind you can kill your night vision. Lots of deer and the odd loose cow lurking about. Insurance premiums are higher out in the country than in town because of the deer.

Interested Passenger
14th Feb 2015, 17:22
I find motorway journeys to be most relaxing, if you give yourself an extra 15 minutes, stick cruise to 55, and stay in lane 1 (#1). I can watch all the cars in lane 3 or 4 stomping on their brakes while a foot off the car in front, and getting very stressed while making no more progress than I am.


in other news, nasty crash on M1 near me, coach into car on the hard shoulder, 3 killed.
However it was a section of multi purpose additional lane/hard shoulder, which I have always been very skeptical about. Firstly it's controlled by the same people who warn of fog on a afternoon in June, and secondly, even if the cameras/gantries do work, there is a big gap between them. A vehicle could break down in front of you, after you have passed the last gantry, and you would get no warning. If forward vision was impaired by an HGV for example, that managed to pull out and miss the car, the coach behind may get very little warning.

#1 i consider these multi purpose lanes to be hard shoulders, for the above reason, so my cruising then moves to lane 2.

BMW driver, btw :)

Windy Militant
14th Feb 2015, 17:29
Years ago I was doing shift work and at that time there was a subsidised bus scheme, for the nightshift they arranged a taxi to work. About the time of the big Pile up and fire at Membury on the M4, in fact you could still see the burnt patch on the side of the carriageway, I was being driven into work. The taxi diver was keeping strictly to the limit as the Police were having a purge on speeding on that section at the time, we were passed by a car who was travelling just slightly faster than we were, in fact we were the only two vehicles on the road at that time. What made the other guy memorable was that he was taking the racing line on the curves from lane one to lane three and back again. The taxi driver and I watched in slightly baffled amusement for some time till he disappeared over the crown of one of the hills. What put the cherry on top of this was that when we came over the top of the hill he'd been pulled over by the police car that had been waiting on one of those raised pull in's that are used by the highways agency bods nowadays.
Oh to be fly on the wall for that conversation!

Effluent Man
14th Feb 2015, 17:30
Shy, That water coming out of the foo-foo pipe on Rovers is usually because the head gasket has gone. My mechanic jokes that Rover drivers hold up their fingers to one another to indicate how many head gaskets they have had.

MG23
14th Feb 2015, 17:30
Let me see: could two decades of government anti-speeding propaganda (and the absence of any other road safety campaign) have anything to do with it? When was the last time you saw an anti-tailgating campaign, or a tailgating camera?

When I first started driving in the UK, people ignored speed limits, and tailgating was rare. By the time I left, most people vaguely obeyed speed limits, and tailgating was the norm.

And, yeah, it appears to be one of the main causes of road accidents over here. Last winter, for example, on the way home from work someone had crashed into a car turning left, the car behind had crashed into them because they were too damn close, and the car behind them crashed into the third car because it was driving too damn close.

Effluent Man
14th Feb 2015, 17:39
As has been observed "tailgating" is largely the result of poor lane discipline with most people thinking it's easier to just stay in one lane.

Don_Apron
14th Feb 2015, 17:52
shy torque

"I haven't had an accident yet"

Maybe that's because everyone else on the road they share with you, have managed to get out of your way, before there was an accident. :}

You are only as good as your last drive. Your impeccable record could be shattered in an instant. Some people's first accident is their last.

I got my licence in the late '60's I have to admit. You perception of me is more accurate than mine of you.

ShyTorque
14th Feb 2015, 17:56
I agree, some lane hog drivers appear not to have their rear view mirrors set correctly and aren't aware of what is going on around them. So they stare intently ahead and simply daren't try to change lane. It seems to me that a lot of them are either elderly men or female. Some of them don't know how to set their heater controls correctly and seem quite happy to drive with the side windows misted up. Crazy people.

ShyTorque
14th Feb 2015, 18:01
Maybe that's because everyone else on the road they share with you, have managed to get out of your way, before there was an accident. :}I doubt it's that because many motorway drivers don't even see other cars coming.

Next time you're on the motorway, try turning up the heater, and then you could take off your tweed hat, as well as demisting your side windows.

Your impeccable record could be shattered in an instant. Some people's first accident is their last.


So are you just disappointed I don't actually seem fit in with your bigoted stereo type you assumed I came under?

Saintsman
14th Feb 2015, 18:07
I do a fair bit of motorway driving and I like to use cruise control.

So I travel at a constant speed, but regularly come up behind people who once passed, then speed up and overtake me, only to slow down again.

Repeat...

Or more annoying, when I am in the midst of overtaking, speed up on the inside.

MG23
14th Feb 2015, 18:21
As has been observed "tailgating" is largely the result of poor lane discipline with most people thinking it's easier to just stay in one lane.

Uh, no... it's due to... people driving too close.

It's not hard to count two seconds between your car and the one in front. Many people just won't do so, and believe they can sit perfectly safely six feet behind the car in front at 80mph in the rain.

Interested Passenger
14th Feb 2015, 18:35
another issue is people only looking at the car in front, rather than the cars 5 or 6 ahead - evidenced by the linear progression of brake lights. What could have been a throttle lift, becomes an emergency stop.

MG23
14th Feb 2015, 19:31
another issue is people only looking at the car in front, rather than the cars 5 or 6 ahead - evidenced by the linear progression of brake lights. What could have been a throttle lift, becomes an emergency stop.

That's the other peculiar thing about tailgaters around here. I'll be sitting a few seconds behind them, watching them tap their brakes every two seconds so they don't hit the car in front.

Surely must be easier to just drop back a few feet.

John Hill
14th Feb 2015, 19:46
Daft idea number 327698....:8

All vehicles to be fitted with electronic devices that network with vehicle in front and behind. When the vehicle at the front of the networked vehicles applies brakes brake lights indicators light in all vehicles behind, maybe even applies brakes if certain thresholds are reached.

MG23
14th Feb 2015, 20:02
All vehicles to be fitted with electronic devices that network with vehicle in front and behind. When the vehicle at the front of the networked vehicles applies brakes brake lights indicators light in all vehicles behind, maybe even applies brakes if certain thresholds are reached.

Didn't the US government just say all new vehicles in future will have to transmit and receive data like that? BTW, a lot of new ones already have systems that will automatically apply the brakes if you're going to hit the car in front. Though they don't seem to work terribly well in the real world, despite the Google fanboys believing our cars will be driving us within a couple of years.

ZOOKER
14th Feb 2015, 20:29
I'm with interested passenger.
I usually cruise at 60, in lane 1. If things go pear shaped, I can get further left if necessary. Also, setting off a bit early is part of the pre-planning. The mental effort involved in driving at 70mph seems much higher than at 60 for some reason, with very little time-gain. Also at 60, the ubiquitous 50mph restrictions are less of a hinderance.
A couple of days ago, I was early for a lunch-date, so I sat on the M6 over-bridge just north of Knutsford Services and watched the traffic for a while, which was flowing at normal speed, in good conditions. There were several vehicles in all 3 lanes that were so close together, front entry parking between them would have been hard. There were a fair number of 'heavies' in lane 1 that were so close that reverse-parking between them would have been hard.
I did 20 years as an approach radar controller. Traffic on final approach was flying at about 3 times the speed of traffic on a motorway, and the minimum spacing was 3nm.
One summer morning shift, I sat in the car at 0600 on my way to work. The Radio 2 Sally Traffic lady was on, and it was like a broken gramophone record....."An accident, an accident, an accident..." 7 in total, in countrywide good Wx. Should these people be out?
Somewhere I remember reading a quote from a former Red Arrows pilot that "driving on a motorway is like flying in close formation with people you've never met before".
Keep a sharp lookout and stay safe y'all.

Hyph
14th Feb 2015, 22:06
If there's one thing that scares the s#it out of me, it's motorway driving in thick fog. You never know whether the accident is going to come from the front or behind - but you know it's highly likely.

On one occasion last year, UK motorway in moderate fog, all of a sudden I ended up in a section of pea soup.

Driving; in hard IMC. Visibility was considerably less than a car length. What now? Maintain previous speed? Slow down? Stop in hard shoulder?

Fog lights on, I slowed down to a speed that I felt gave me some chance of stopping should I see a stationary vehicle in front of me. It was a weird feeling. Very uncomfortable. There was no other traffic. That didn't last - I almost got wiped out by a lorry that came racing up from behind me. I was as much of a surprise to him as he was to me. I know I vocalised the fear. :eek:

Not wishing to experience a closer call from the next truck behind, which I felt sure was coming, I accelerated a bit but wasn't brave enough to keep up with him and he disappeared into the murk within a second or two.

Longest few of minutes of my life until I got out of the soup and back into regular fog with around 100m vis.

FullOppositeRudder
14th Feb 2015, 22:22
Tailgating annoys me immensely.

I have found (by accident) that operating the windscreen washer caused one pest to fall back to a safe distance - there appears to be enough water blown past to impact on the car behind. More research is needed.

If you come to Canberra Oz, be warned. A lovely place but tailgating appears to be mandatory - everyone does it. Fortunately the road system is so good that there is normally no need for anyone to stop unexpectedly. The sudden entry of a large kangaroo into the traffic flow is obviously something else - I'm not sure what happens then. Perhaps they've learned to tailgate along with the rest of the commuters.

(there's probably a pun in there waiting to be explored but I can't be stuffed)

FOR

G-CPTN
14th Feb 2015, 22:26
Thick fog is truly frightening. As you state, you don't know what is in front of you (and whether it is moving or stationary - and, maybe unlit) - or what is bearing down on you from behind, probably blindly aware of what is ahead of them.

I've had my share, and have no desire for any more.

Gertrude the Wombat
14th Feb 2015, 22:33
The sudden entry of a large kangaroo into the traffic flow is obviously something else - I'm not sure what happens then.
"Kangeroo damage at renter's expense" stamped in red on the hire form - I'd slam the anchors on, being hit from behind is at least covered by the insurance.

RedhillPhil
14th Feb 2015, 22:38
Tailgating annoys me immensely.

I have found (by accident) that operating the windscreen washer caused one pest to fall back to a safe distance - there appears to be enough water blown past to impact on the car behind. More research is needed.

If you come to Canberra Oz, be warned. A lovely place but tailgating appears to be mandatory - everyone does it. Fortunately the road system is so good that there is normally no need for anyone to stop unexpectedly. The sudden entry of a large kangaroo into the traffic flow is obviously something else - I'm not sure what happens then. Perhaps they've learned to tailgate along with the rest of the commuters.

(there's probably a pun in there waiting to be explored but I can't be stuffed)

FOR




I have just the thing for you.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAx7UO9Sajk&feature=player_detailpage#t=4

Windy Militant
14th Feb 2015, 22:51
That's not tailgating you could still see his headlights in the mirror, not the whites of his eyes! :}

Don_Apron
14th Feb 2015, 22:53
Redhillphil

Nice one!! Haha!! :}

parabellum
14th Feb 2015, 23:13
Possibly not the case all over Australia, (not in Canberra, it seems), but here in Victoria tailgating is now an offence and you can expect to be pulled over, if caught. Still haven't worked out how the police produce their evidence though, how they measure the gaps etc.

bosnich71
15th Feb 2015, 03:06
Para .... tail gating may well now be an offence but if the Plods aren't out there enforcing the rule you might just as well not have it. I drive the Melbourne to Geelong road frequently and since the installation of the fund raisers Police vehicles are noticeable by their absence....... and the straight 3 lane highway is littered with skid marks many of them of the truck variety no doubt driven by sanctimonious truckies who believe that their mode of transport can stop as quickly as the average saloon car.

crewmeal
15th Feb 2015, 06:15
Try driving in Birmingham. Last year The Mail and Express pointed out it was the unsafest city in the UK for bad driving. It's even worse on the M6 between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Tailgating is the norm with most private taxi drivers. No wonder there are so many bogus insurance claims. Guess if you want to write off your car do an emergency stop.

That good old cliche where there is a blame there will be a claim applies so well around here!

M.Mouse
15th Feb 2015, 16:58
You are in the outside lane at 70mph leaving a two second gap. Someone slots in it from lane 2. You drop back to maintain the gap, someone else slots in it. Now you are getting tailgated and flashed from behind. Next time you are on a busy motorway try it.

I currently drive 112 miles on the M4, M25 and M23 several days of the week. I maintain a two second gap. If someone fills the gap I drop back, it doesn't happen that often and so what anyway it barely makes much difference to my journey time?

Not maintaining a sensible gap is more about macho behaviour or ignorance than anything else.

John Hill
15th Feb 2015, 18:51
You need my super bright brake lights and rear suspension lift anti-tailgater modification!;)

SpannerInTheWerks
15th Feb 2015, 22:06
Ironically the one 'vehicle' which would probably be the most effective for raising public awareness of these issues is 'Top Gear'.

However I don't imagine road safety would do the viewing figures or Mr Clarkson's credibility much good?!

ShyTorque
15th Feb 2015, 22:29
In the early 1980s, in what was then West Germany, there was a 5 minute educational slot after the late evening TV news on various road safety topics.
It was an excellent idea. Trouble is, these days, TV is all about profit, so who would foot the bill?

sitigeltfel
16th Feb 2015, 06:42
The car hit by a bus on the M1 at the weekend, killing three men, was stopped on the hard shoulder at the time. This is a not uncommon occurence as following drivers are mesmerised into thinking that anything ahead of them is in a legitimate lane, and moving. I'm not sure how long it had been stationary, but there has been plenty of info telling people that in such an event everyone should get out and over the other side of the crash barriers. It does not excuse the the possible negligence of the bus driver (who was arrested), but self preservation has to be the responsibility of the car driver and his passengers.

Effluent Man
16th Feb 2015, 08:11
Even with current hours restrictions long motorway journeys can lead to a much lower level of driver vigilence,it's just inevitable with mile after mile of featureless driving. I have driven from where I live to Dover,crossed the channel,then driven to the Cote D'azur non stop. It was sixteen hours I think.

You just go on to auto pilot. I have no idea how I would have reacted had a situation arisen,probably not very well.

M.Mouse
16th Feb 2015, 08:47
There is the common phenomenon of sub-conciously steering where you are looking. It happens in aircraft (I learned that age 16 when flying a glider straight towards the double decker bus used on the airfield as a base), in a vehicle and even more so on a motorcycle. On a motorcycle if you find yourself a little fast in a bend for whatever reason you MUST look at where you want to go i.e. the exit otherwise you will hit whatever you are trying to avoid!

It is why vehicles hit stationary vehicles on the hard shoulder with monotonous regularity. In the 1970s a friend of mine was changing a wheel on a coach in almost the same place as the M1 tragedy at the weekend and was hit by a truck. He survived but was very seriously injured.

redsnail
16th Feb 2015, 10:09
The M1 crash happened near where I live. The motorway has that optional extra lane section around there. When travelling northbound, the hard shoulder becomes an extra 4th lane around the entrance to the services and continues until past the Jnct 12 entry point for the M1. If you don't notice the gantry sign instructing you to move to the next lane, i.e. it is now a normal 3 lane motorway then you'll blithely carry on in what is now the hard shoulder.

We don't know (yet) how long that car was on the hard shoulder nor do we know (yet) how far along the hard shoulder it was from Jnct 12.

I have seen people driving along the hard shoulder in spite of red Xs and instructions to move over.... :ugh:

panda-k-bear
16th Feb 2015, 14:08
I have found (by accident) that operating the windscreen washer caused one pest to fall back to a safe distance

This actually really does work. I found the idea on this very forum probably a decade ago. An extended burst of windscreen washing does tend to make a tailgater move back and looks innocent enough that, in my experience, it has never caused aggression from the receiver.

Effluent Man
16th Feb 2015, 14:21
It's seems a bit tough on the bus driver. The situation is one any of us could have found ourselves in and got caught out just like he has been. On a separate note we had a three car two death crash at 2330 Saturday. A driver got onto the dual carriageway traveling the wrong direction,killed herself and another lady going the right way.

Curious Pax
16th Feb 2015, 14:54
I thought Dave had fixed all this 18 months ago: Careless drivers across Britain who hog lanes or tailgate can now be punished with on-the-spot police fines. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23713732)

However since it would require the police to patrol the motorways there may be a flaw in the plan. I drive from Manchester to Cornwall 4-5 times a year, and it is unusual to see a police car at all on such a journey.

barry lloyd
16th Feb 2015, 15:50
The M1 crash happened near where I live. The motorway has that optional extra lane section around there. When travelling northbound, the hard shoulder becomes an extra 4th lane around the entrance to the services and continues until past the Jnct 12 entry point for the M1. If you don't notice the gantry sign instructing you to move to the next lane, i.e. it is now a normal 3 lane motorway then you'll blithely carry on in what is now the hard shoulder.

We don't know (yet) how long that car was on the hard shoulder nor do we know (yet) how far along the hard shoulder it was from Jnct 12.

I have seen people driving along the hard shoulder in spite of red Xs and instructions to move over....

I regularly use the stretch of 'managed motorway' between J14 and J10. Sometimes the emergency lane is open, sometimes it isn't. Driving down two weeks ago, I noticed that initially, the e-lane was open, then closed for a stretch, then open again just before J11. There appeared to be no logical reason for this - no broken-down vehicles or other obstruction. The signs above were clear, but is this a safe management system? As redsnail says, there will always be those who ignore the X or simply don't see it and I wonder if this constant 'lane management' was a contributory factor in this case?

Krystal n chips
16th Feb 2015, 17:05
If you don't notice the gantry sign instructing you to move to the next lane, i.e. it is now a normal 3 lane motorway then you'll blithely carry on in what is now the hard shoulder..

I have seen people driving along the hard shoulder in spite of red Xs and instructions to move over

That is very true and you see it a lot on the M6 through Birmingham. Again, as BL said, the lanes "chop and change" for no apparent reason associated with traffic flow or an obstacle.

A lot of people do get confused as to what, and where it begins and ends, with the hard shoulder now that parts are being used as an active lane, including me the first time I encountered it, at night.

As a new aspect to Motorway driving, you would have thought it would have made sense to make the public aware of the changes. No doubt the unfit for purpose Highways Agency thought otherwise and the signs were self explanatory.

That, and as I said before, as indeed did Shy, education costs so no chance of any public information films to highlight the changes.

I see the latest reports about the M40 crashes are now focussing on...fog.
For those of us who remember all to well, and too often, the regular multiple pile ups in fog from years gone by, you get the impression there is now a whole generation of "drivers" who fail to comprehend the effects of reduced visibility.

The best interview I ever saw was with some cretin who told the reporter " the fog just suddenly appeared", thereby introducing a hitherto unknown met. condition.....the police officer who followed didn't mince his words and with enough disdain, made it very clear it was the fault of the drivers.

Effluent Man
16th Feb 2015, 17:23
The problem is that fog can be very localised. There is a river valley near me where it lies in a thick blanket when everywhere else can be clear. This presumably happens on motorways where most drivers don't have specific local knowledge with often disastrous results.

G-CPTN
16th Feb 2015, 17:31
WRT the 3/4 lane section of the M1 where the bus crashed into the stationary Audi car, is it possible that the Audi stopped when the motorway was operating as a 4 lane highway, and that there was no acknowledgement of the obstruction which would have switched on the lane closure signs?

Of course, it is also understandable that the coach driver was not expecting a stationary vehicle in what is sometimes a traffic lane.

That isn't meant to justify the crash, merely the confusion.