Why do drivers join snow blocked motorways?

  peter99co 19:21 18 Dec 2010
Locked

The M5 was blocked and drivers still joined the queue.

Why?

  spuds 19:59 18 Dec 2010

Since the formation of motorways, some people have lost the instinct to read maps. Then there might be another reason, that they believe motorways have a far better chance of being cleared throughout the full length, before any other routes. All pure speculation of course!.

Perhaps going off subject, but around our way the conditions haven't been really bad. Not far from where I live is a major road which leads to motorways, so that road is very heavily used. Yesterday someone noticed a motor vehicle down the slight embankment, upon checking there was a young male in the wrecked car dead, apparently he had been there for four days without anyone noticing that there had been an accident. The irony of that, was the fact that the police headquarters is a short distance up the road, and police vehicles are constantly using this road, yet no one suspected anything.

  VoG II 20:44 18 Dec 2010

Sometimes there is no alternative. Came back from Adinkerke this afternoon, out of the tunnel and onto the M20 - no real choice. Got home eventually after some manoeuvring around Heathrow.

  namtas 00:32 19 Dec 2010

Would they all be aware that it was blocked or where it was blocked?

  carver 11:25 19 Dec 2010

The question should be, Why are our motorways allowed to become snow bound?

If any roads should be made safe and passable it should be the motorways and I suppose that is the thinking behind it.

Another reason HGV's can lose traction in snow and cause these hold ups is this click here

They can have less depth of tread than a car.

  karmgord 13:11 19 Dec 2010

More is the point why does not the Police/ highways agency prevent motorists joining the jam by putting road closed signs on the slip road before the jams,and the signs should also direct people already on the motorway to leave an exit before the tail back.
At least if you are stuck off the motorway you can find food,a toilet & warm shelter

  spuds 13:14 19 Dec 2010

Perhaps not a motorway, but a major road as such. Many years ago I use to follow snow ploughs from Ashbourne to Buxton and vice-versa. There was usually a number of vehicles involved in a convoy status, but it still didn't stop some idiot trying to do the unexpected, possibly for a little bit of fun.

One car ended up on its roof, and we rescued the occupants. On another occasion, a lead motor vehicle kept swerving off the very recent snow-ploughed road and kept getting fairly well stuck on the verges. A number of us kept getting out of our vehicles to the delight of the 'stuck' driver and his mates, and were able to push the vehicle back onto the road.

After about the 4/6 occasion we all gave up, and left the driver and his mates to get themselves out of the mess they kept getting themselves into. I don't think that they were happy bunnies after that, because I and the other drivers never bothered to stop to find out, whether another snow plough found them later, or they got themselves was another question.

  ukpostcode 13:16 19 Dec 2010

Unless the matrix signs are flashing drivers may nott be aware their is a problem on the motorway. The signs joining a motorway only normally give basic info such as speed, fog, snow etc.

If a junction has a roundabout on it then it's sometimes wise to go round it to see if the motorway is ok, but sometimes this is not possible!

  ella33 10:27 20 Dec 2010

I think people believe that motorways are the safest option and that they will soon be cleared.

If the motorways are blocked then the side roads may be worse. That's not always true, of course. Can tom tom help? In my driving days I used to love the smaller roads in snoe, because I had them to myself. Unfortunately, I was stopped by a police car one day and advised the motorway was a safer option. But not as pretty of course ;-))

May I say that I thought railway networks managed to struggle through the chaos pretty well, yesterday. But I am glad I wasn't going to Peterborough!

  spuds 10:36 20 Dec 2010

Tom Tom wouldn't help at all, but tuning into a radio station might.

With regards driving around lonely back roads, then a change in the weather might bring fatal results?.

  ella33 11:24 20 Dec 2010

I thought the most up to date (and expensive) sat navs did tune into obstructions ahead, but local radio certainly should be the answer.

I see your point about back roads but In fact this was a specific, not too long journey and I didn't attempt it if a blizzard or vision hazard was happening. It seemed safe enough to me but I had obviously been "seen" doing those roads in the snow, so was stopped!

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