A rant about bad driving

  ened 17:01 04 Jun 2009

Do people not realise the danger they are in when they follow too close to the car in front.

I followed a woman in a flashy black and sporty Audi all the way from Bicester towards Aylesbury (approx 18 miles) and she was so close to the caravan in front that she could not possibly have been able to see the road ahead to anticipate any trouble. The stupid part of it was that she didn’t appear to want to overtake. There is a dual carriageway and I overtook them both but she stayed behind. However by Waddesdon she had obviously got passed (Or the caravan had stopped) because she came haring up behind me and sat on my tail for the rest of the journey.

This happens almost everytime I go anywhere and, given the large audience this forum has, I thought I might manage to educate a few people and they in turn might desist.

Obeying the speed limit has become a nightmare because there will always be somebody you are holding up who then try to climb into your boot!

I can only assume that these people do not realise the sheer stupidity and futility of driving in this way.

As I mentioned in another thread I was hit from behind a few years ago and the insurance company refused to repair it because it would cost more than the car was worth. Thus I found myself with a car I had nurtured and which had many thousands of good motoring miles left in it which they wanted to write off!

Now I’ve got that off my chest I hope somebody might read it and change their ways!

  carver 17:12 04 Jun 2009

Sorry to disappoint but you have no chance of doing that, you have to realise that every body has a safe distance in their mind that they drive to and no amount of talking will change it.

The only thing that will change their habit is when they run into the back of an artic.

I have the opposite problem when driving the horse box, I always leave a big gap so that I don't have to brake hard, (you can't tell a horse to brace himself) and the amount of times some prat has cut in front and leaves me with no safe braking distance I have lost count of.

  Cymro. 17:16 04 Jun 2009

I agree very much with what you are saying,
but I don`t think I ever came across a driver who would admit to being a bad driver.

  Cymro. 17:21 04 Jun 2009

Come on admit it there must be a few bad drivers out there. What are your worst bad driving habits?

As for myself, well I do have a clean driving licence but that is more by luck than good driving. I always try to keep to the speed limit in town centres etc. but on the open road I am apt to travel above the speed limit.

  BT 17:22 04 Jun 2009

It happens all the time. How often do you see several cars in line doing well over the legal limit in the outside lane of the motorway, probably only about a cars' length apart. Scary!

  laurie53 20:31 04 Jun 2009

Worst habit?

Misjudging speed of traffic approaching from the right at roundabouts.

So far, by a bit of good luck and good reactions, sometimes by me on a second look, but mostly by the other drivers, I've got away with it.

However, sooner or later .............!

  AL47 21:12 04 Jun 2009

i leave a big gap, you can see more, more reaction time and you can put your foot down and get to overtaking speed as the gap arrives, spending as little time of the other side of the road as possible,

plus stone chips!!

  Jim Thing 21:40 04 Jun 2009

Next time anyone tailgates you at speed, try switching your lights on for a couple of seconds and observe the amusing result.

  OTT_Buzzard 22:00 04 Jun 2009

I'm pretty much with your philosophy - I also have (and have always had) a clean license, but am not adversed to driving at a speed I justify when out on an 'open road'.


That said...I spent many years testing car braking systems and ride & handling. What scares me most about drivers on public roads is a sheer lack of respect for the energy and dynamics that a car has when travelling at speed. Automotive technology has gotten to (or past?) the point where the driver has too much comfort and faith in their driving ability. In reality, however, a car will make most of the decisions for you during an emergency manoeuvre. On a new well spec'd car this will include:

Steering torque
Individual wheel brake force application
Suspension bump & rebound rates
Seat belt tension
Engine revs & torque
Gear selection (in some cases)...

When a driver has a narrow escape they congratulate themselves on how good they were to get out of it. The reality couldn't be further away from this.

Personally, I think a driving license should only be valid for a *maximum* of 10 years before full retest, and possibly if a driver has too many speeding tickets / points accumulation in too shorter period of time (kinda similar to the laws that already aply to young drivers).

There are still 3000+ people a year die on Britains roads - that's over 750 Hatfield Train crashes every year. Sorry for the comparison, but that's the way the death tolls add up*. Cars are too easy to license.


*the statistcians amongst you will be crying out that there are less train services every day than car journeys. I know! It's just making a point that on train crash resulted in a national outcry and 25m in fines. That's not heard of in a car crash.

  Scorpion Bay 23:07 04 Jun 2009

You'll probably find that the Audi driver probably had a VERY IMPORTANT reason for tailgating everyone. Possibly a VERY IMPORTANT meeting that she could not POSSIBLY be late for.

Apologies to anyone here that drives one, but I seem to find that BMW, Audi or Mercedes drivers seem to let the sparkly badge go straight to their head and think that it gives them carte blanche to do whatever they like on the road without regard for any other drivers. I've lost count of the times I've seen one of these people cut someone up because, in their mind, someone that drives an 'executve' car HAS to have priority over oher road users because nobody can possibly be more important than them.

I can't help but smile when I see one of them on the side of the road, speaking to a nice friendly policeman. I can only imagine the sense of impotent rage they must be feeling...'HOW DARE the police stop me for speeding/talking on my mobile, can't they see how important I am just by the badge on my car?!'

  peter99co 23:41 04 Jun 2009

I always seem to get a Tail-end Charlie. I have a large tow hook and I think it must attract them.

It is also possible that they think I may go faster if they get close. I find it actually makes me go even slower.

I do try to observe the speed limit and maybe the nut behind the wheel of the chasing car has other ideas.

I got tailgated down a narrow street once and decide to stop and ask why they where in such close proximity. The repy was unprintable!

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