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Travelling in Lane 1
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Charles
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Travelling in Lane 1 Reply with quote

I was going for an economy record (for my car) yesterday evening so I travelled from the M42 to home down the M40 & A34 with the car running at 2000rpm (62mph) on cruise control - mainly because I wanted to reach a Shell station near Oxford without having to top up in between.

An interesting experience and here are some of my comments:

- The reduced speed was very relaxing as I could take in the scenery a bit more than when travelling at higher speeds

- The speed differential between me and the lane 3 boys and girls was quite substantial and it gave me a very useful perspective on closing speeds when it comes to manouevering (particularly when I revert to faster speeds)

- It also demonstrated to me how limited the vision of most drivers is, particularly when they are asleep in the middle lane and are approaching a vehicle in Lane 1 which is about to want to move out and pass something

Perhaps this last point is the most worrying one because there were numerous occasions where (in my mind) it should have been obvious that the Lane 1 car needed space and so the Lane 2 driver should be anticipating this and making space by either speeding up, slowing down or using Lane 3.

Sadly, there were too many morons on the motorway last night. This forced me to pull out to Lane 2 earlier than required to ensure I had my "space" or to start indicating in anticipation that they would respond in plenty of time and when they didn't I had to blip the throttle to move out, pass and get back in again safely

If drivers anticipated more and better than they currently do (and recognise lane discipline) then the congestion we experience on roads would be substantially reduced. It certainly adds weight to the sci-fi ideas of having computer controlled vehicles that slot into and out of spaces automatically without causing others around them to change their chosen velocity.

Talking of which, I am still gobsmacked by the attitude of the woman in the Suzuki Jiminy Cricket (or whatever it was) on the M65 yesterday morning who decided it would be a smart idea to pull out at 40mph from Lane 1 to Lane 2 (2 lanes only) with a cursory flick of the indicator halfway through the action and then wonder why the green BMW estate was having to perform an emergency braking manouevre from 70mph (honestly it was) in the suddenly reduced space in front of him and was making his presence known with full headlights.

As I then passed her once she had pulled back in she clearly had full use of hand and voice faculties but the rest of her brain must have been missing. She had absolutely no idea whatsoever of the potential mayhem she had just caused to others around her Evil or Very Mad
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Dunk
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a theory that all drivers should be made to spend the first 12,000 miles of their driving career in a MK2 Escort with bald cross-ply tyres.

That should be sufficient to teach people about how to drive using their brain rather than their arse.

In addition, there should be a new RTO - LO10. Anyone convicted of 'Lacking Observational Skills' should be made to drive around with a 12" x 6" perspex sign nailed to the leading edge of their bonnet with the legend "LOOK UP" written on it.

Should prevent those idiots who never look more than 20ft in front of the car, even at 80mph.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take your point about the importance of anticipation, Charles.

It's interesting though that you expect cars that are overtaking you to change their speed to allow you to pull out when you want to, especially as they are entitled to be in lane 2 if they are overtaking you, however slowly.

Playing devil's advocate and looking at it from the perspective of overtaking cars, are they not entitled to expect you to change your speed to avoid pulling out until they have passed?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't recall anything in the Highway Code that says cars in lane 1 have right of way to pull out into lane 2.
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Charles
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair comments, Graham and perhaps I didn't explain myself as clearly as I might.

I don't expect anyone on the road to do anything for me. I hope they might because that is what I would do but I have no expectation of their abilities to keep the whole road flowing rather than just themselves.

For example, when someone pulls in to let me pass, I look at the gap they have before they need to pull out afterwards and to make life easy for them I will boot it rather than drift past so that they have space to come back in without braking.

As such, you are absolutely correct when quoting the HC. However, my blog is more about anticipation and appreciation of other road users around me. The pulling out scenario is about them seeing that I need to come out and moving to Lane 3 to let me do so - whilst they continue travelling at their chosen velocity. Obviously this depends on whether someone is coming up quickly in Lane 3 but it won't come as any surprise that when I was looking in the mirror I was assessing Lane 3 activity as well as what the prat in Lane 2 was or wasn't going to do.

In terms of anticipation, many a time do I find myself moving from Lane 2 to Lane 3 because I am anticipating the car or lorry in Lane 1 needing to pull out. Sometimes this gets embarrassing because I have passed them before they actually pulled out but pull out they did and so I had made their life easier. I had also made my life easier because I had chosen to change lanes in my own time rather than suddenly being forced to do so without, perhaps, fully assessing upcoming traffic.

This isn't about the written rules - it is far more about courtesy to other road users and about making life easier. Unfortunately, anticipation means the driver has to be thinking all the time and this is clearly hard work for the majority of people.

I haven't, of course, mentioned the fact that had they been following the HC and driving on the left then they would have been behind me in Lane 1 rather than hogging Lane 2 and causing the aforementioned problems - but that's another story.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did miss your point about keeping the whole road free flowing, Charles, and I think I mostly agree with you. I like to think I anticipate in much the same way you do as a matter of courtesy and safety, although I must admit I haven't consciously thought of it as keeping the whole road flowing.

I entirely agree with moving out if there's room, although I don't necessarily feel obliged to slow down to allow somebody to pull out and I think whether I do or not depends on the particular circumstances.

Fair comment that it's not just about the highway code.
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Charles
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think where this comes from for me is that I hate to see people using their brakes when a little bit of anticipation would work wonders.

The impact of someone braking rather than just lifting off is well known and causes most of the congestion problems we see on the roads. How many times have you met a blockage and when the traffic clears there's no obvious reason for it?

The reason, I believe, is because some numpty has decided to not leave enough space to allow for simply lifting off and has braked hard resulting in the domino effect back down the line.

These are the people I would blame for congestion - but I would make an exception for the RX8 drivers who have no engine braking with their Wankel engines Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with most of comments, but one that has not been made is minimum speed limit, we keep hearing about the maximum (which IMO is too low) but I think a minimum should be put in place.

40 mph on a motorway is a shooting offence.

Lane 1 56mph mimimum (for trucks)

Lane 2 70 mph mimimum (notice it is also current max)

Lane 3 90 mph mimimum (what a novel idea ...)

Anyone caught below those speeds, would be shot on site ....
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dunk wrote:
I have a theory that all drivers should be made to spend the first 12,000 miles of their driving career in a MK2 Escort with bald cross-ply tyres.

Nice one dunk but I'd go a step further and suggest that you should only get a licence for a car once you've spent a year or two on a motorbike. That would greatly improve driving skill and anticipation on our roads.

Natural selection would take care of the rest - with much less impact on other drivers Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chas wrote:
Dunk wrote:
I have a theory that all drivers should be made to spend the first 12,000 miles of their driving career in a MK2 Escort with bald cross-ply tyres.

Nice one dunk but I'd go a step further and suggest that you should only get a licence for a car once you've spent a year or two on a motorbike. That would greatly improve driving skill and anticipation on our roads.

Natural selection would take care of the rest - with much less impact on other drivers Wink


Given i fell off motorbikes 8 times in two years, and have yet to fall off a car properly - limited to merely sticking a 97 323i through someone's hedge, which I managed all on my own without any outside intervention* - then I think you may have a point.

*although, if you've ever got a boggo 323i SE Coupe sideways with the ASC switched off, you'll know that with 800 turns lock-to-lock, an open diff, and underdamped suspension, when you catch it's initially sudden kick out, the resultant flick back will be so violent you've not got no hope of winding the lock back out quick enough.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have my vote Tinker! Have you ever see someone try to overtake at the same speed as the near side traffic? Maybe they forget the outside lane is for overtaking only. When they do so they need to have full throttle instead of same pedal pressure for what ever speed they are travelling. Strange world, isn,t it?
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chas wrote:
...and suggest that you should only get a licence for a car once you've spent a year or two on a motorbike. That would greatly improve driving skill and anticipation on our roads.


I disagree because when someone is learning to drive from a motorbike to a car they keep tying to get into gaps where a motorbike can get into to but not a car. Also they keep trying to cross the white line.

Anticipation has been mentioned frequently within this thread. Part of the advance driving test is to drive progressively but defensively therefore one must anticipate other driver’s actions. I also try my best to never to be driving in someone’s blindspot.

What I enjoyed about the last two Alpina trips is that on the continent the lane discipline is outstanding. On certain pats of the non-speed limited stretch of the autobahn there are only two lanes, and I still managed to drive at 140mph Very Happy

I think for 48 hours the government should have lane 1 has a hard shoulder therefore a two lane hard shoulder, and with a high profile police presence to fine undertakers and just general bad driving. I would like to think that during the 48 hours drivers may start to reeducated themselves.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nealpina wrote:
I think for 48 hours the government should have lane 1 has a hard shoulder therefore a two lane hard shoulder, and with a high profile police presence to fine undertakers and just general bad driving. I would like to think that during the 48 hours drivers may start to reeducated themselves.


Hang on though - why do people undertake?

They generally do so because some plonker has failed to pull over to the left after passing something - thereby causing congestion in the passing lanes.

These are the drivers that the police should be targetting.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did cover myself with general bad driving Wink

I however am also thinking along of the lines that lane two will be filled with coaches, LGVs, and slow vehicles. Therefore lane three will be clogged with cars. People that do want to go faster in lane three cannot and this will cause rage. Then the Department of Transport will then say: “The average speed with a two lane motorway is the same (or faster) as three. If motorists wish to have three lanes open then all motorists will need to accept and understand that lane two and three are for overtaking only”.

For whatever reason the motorways are not being used correctly for overtaking. Therefore IMO the only way to re-educate the motorists is some form of direction action. No matter how draft my idea may be, it is practical and it will annoy a lot of people which may make people think!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anyone frustrated by poor lane discipline should travel on the A127 and A13 in Essex for a week

I guarantee that within the week you wil have either

a) become a crazed vigilante with front mounted cannons/ wheel spikes
b) developed a stomach ulcer
c) started undertaking the morons sitting at 40mph in the fast lane.

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nealpina wrote:
If motorists wish to have three lanes open then all motorists will need to accept and understand that lane two and three are for overtaking only


I seem to recall that this is exactly what the Highway Code says anyway - inasmuch as we must drive on the left unless overtaking.

So that takes us back to generally bad driving, poor anticipation and non-existent lane discipline - sounds like the A127/A13 to me ...
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