/ British motorists part II

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teh_mark on 02 Jan 2019

I've observed a few behaviours this evening on my drive down the length of the M1 that have left me a bit confused. I'd be very grateful if anyone is able to explain any of these:

  • People overtaking and then slowing down to a speed slower than you were originally travelling. This invariably results in the endless game of you then overtaking them, them re-overtaking you and slowing down again, you overtaking them...ad infinitum.
  • People overtaking at a reasonable pace but then slowing to match your speed when the rear of their car is level with your front wheel arch, as if they're taking up position in formation.
  • People speeding up (usually from well below the speed limit to something somewhat above the speed limit) when you attempt to overtake them, only to slow back down and disappear into the distance behind you when you do manage to get past them.
  • People (the aforementioned middle lane hoggers, presumably) managing to begin their motorway journey in the correct lane, but inexplicably changing lane well into their journey, no traffc to their front, no obvious reason to do so.

With points 1-3, I tend to sit on cruise control at 70mph when conditions allow, so the speeding up/slowing down behaviours are incredibly obvious. And really quite annoying. And really quite pointless.

Anyone got any clues? None of these common manoeuvres were covered on my driving test, so I'm at a bit of a loss...

Fredt on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

I get really annoyed at motorists who doggedly stick to the same speed regardless of the changing traffic conditions and behaviour around them.

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Andy Hardy on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

There's nowt so queer as folk.

Trangia on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Drivers on their phones? They don't have a clue what speed they are doing, or what lane they are in and can be very erratic.

wbo - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark: Human nature - it's very easy to believe that when you're following someone they're dithering along, you overtake and then realise that you're not so comfortable going faster.  The fact you're at the legal speed limit as well will partially explain 1,2 and 3.

 

 

 

1
Bobling - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Last motorway drive I had I had this one.

Busy motorway, I'm in the fast lane overtaking a steady stream of traffic.  White van screams up behind me lights blazing and starts flashing me and indicating left.  OK they're in a desperate hurry to get past I think and speed up to get to a point where I can get out of the fast lane, due to the middle lane being pretty busy this is not instantaneous.  

I get out of the fast lane only to have white van scream past and then immediately change lanes to come in front of me dangerously close before burning off up the motorway in its own personal race with the devil.  I see it repeat this pattern a few more times on its way to the horizon.

What on earth would inspire someone to drive so recklessly?  Terrifying.

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Rigid Raider - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Couriers on desperately unrealistic schedules, that's what.

3
profitofdoom on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> Anyone got any clues?

As wbo said, I think 1, 2, and 3 are explained by people sticking to the 70 speed limit. No. 4, middle lane hogging, continues mightily to baffle me. But I've finally concluded (could be wrong) that people do it [1] to pass someone slower than them in the inside lane when they finally reach them, although that other vehicle could be far ahead and only going a bit faster, or [2] in case someone appears in the inside lane sometime, or [3] they wrongly believe that the middle lane is a fast lane and that if you're doing 70 you should be in it

Bulls Crack - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

I find that the middle lane gives me more space to drive erratically whilst  phoning. 

althesin on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Standard peleton behaviour for cyclists in cars, it's obviously rude to not take your turn leading the pack, crosswinds need careful road positioning for maximum drafting  and when nearing your destination it's time for the break away.

Neil Williams - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

People who aren't using cruise control often just keep the accelerator held at one position, so they slow on hills and speed up on descents.

Better to have adaptive cruise control then it's not an issue.  Regular cruise control is only really any use on a near-empty motorway.  It also poses a safety issue in the event of inattention making rear ending more likely.

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Neil Williams - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Re middle lane hogging, I noticed that sections of the A55 have signed "crawler lanes" on hills.  These caused some confusion with some people staying in the middle and some not.  Why on earth isn't it just a regular "lane 1"?  It was no different from that.

jkarran - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> With points 1-3, I tend to sit on cruise control at 70mph when conditions allow, so the speeding up/slowing down behaviours are incredibly obvious. And really quite annoying. And really quite pointless. Anyone got any clues?

It's just human nature. We judge and to some extent choose our speed by what we see around us, if there are cars around us our speed relative to them is easy to judge, on open road with nothing ahead the control loop opens and speed control becomes a bit less reliable, more susceptible to hills, headwinds, slipstream draughts, tyre noise etc. Your cruise control doesn't suffer this so it highlights the imperfect human control systems around you.

Cars speeding up when you come alongside can be instinctive human competitiveness but also as you pass through the lead vehicle's wake/slipstream you unload it and load your engine up slightly, unless both parties are on cruise control or attentively watching their dials (which isn't really where your attention should be at that moment) then there is a natural tendency for the closing speed to reduce as you come alongside before the effect is noted and a correction is made.

Passing relatively quickly then slowing down can be a deliberate decision to clear someone's blindspot swiftly, to clear the overtaking lane, to decisively pass traffic ahead before getting boxed in, to make some space around yourself at a speed you're comfortable with. People often do have good reasons for doing what seems from the outside odd but then often they're just bored and drifting along on a few functioning brain cells.

jk

teh_mark on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

> As wbo said, I think 1, 2, and 3 are explained by people sticking to the 70 speed limit.

I don't think they are. Number 3 particularly; I once overtook a car who, I estimate was doing 60mph. By the time I'd finished the manoeuvre I was doing 90mph(!), and the instant I pulled back into lane 1 he resumed his previous speed. Quiet motorway, no real traffic about.

No good driving brownie points for me on that occassion, I admit, but I didn't expect to have to accelerate to quite such a speed when I noticed he'd sped up to match my speed as I was alongside. The mentality escapes me. Impeding my progress on a quiet motorway, but very obviously  not wanting to be overtaken? It's not a competition.

I understand people aren't going to be 100% aware of their speed all the time, and that it will vary without cruise control. I'm noticing what must be deliberate (or shockingly poor) driving. Car overtakes at ~80mph, slows to 65mph. I overtake. He then re-overtakes at ~80mph, then slows to 65mph...?

teh_mark on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Bobling:

I had that once. Top tip: don't drive like a cock in a van with your mobile number plastered over the back. A brief (hands-free) phone call later...

jkarran - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Bobling:

> I get out of the fast lane only to have white van scream past and then immediately change lanes to come in front of me dangerously close before burning off up the motorway in its own personal race with the devil.  I see it repeat this pattern a few more times on its way to the horizon. What on earth would inspire someone to drive so recklessly?  Terrifying.

They're making a point about moving left unless you're passing, badly but I'd wager that's what they want you to take from that encounter.

jk

teh_mark on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Rigid Raider:

That doesn't explain or excuse cutting Mr. Bobling up in his quest to deliver Mr. Smith's new kettle though. Couldn't have continued in lane 3 just a few seconds longer to avoid filling someone's windscreen with the back doors of his van?

I'm glad the majority of these idiots don't fly.

GrahamD - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

>   Regular cruise control is only really any use on a near-empty motorway. 

I find it really useful through long sections of 40mph roadworks.  40 mph is an awkward speed to hold for a long distance with the current car's gearing.

1
teh_mark on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Regular cruise control is only really any use on a near-empty motorway.

I disagree. If you're aware of the traffic around you and plan in advance (ie keep a good overall mental picture of what's happening around you rather than taking a look at the lane enxt door half a second before you'd like to change lane), you can spend a good amount of your journey on cruise control - only disengaging it to occasionally ease off while awaiting a suitable gap to change lane into.

> It also poses a safety issue in the event of inattention making rear ending more likely.

The solution to that is to not drive while distracted or unable to concentrate.

Neil Williams - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> The solution to that is to not drive while distracted or unable to concentrate.

 

Good to hear that your concentration is perfect - unfortunately everyone's mind wanders for a second from time to time.  Nobody of course should be pratting with their phone etc, whether on cruise control or not.

Adaptive cruise control with anti-collision systems are the best option and are increasingly common in new cars.  Even so, I think there should be a railway-style driver vigilance device or "dead man's handle" type thing to prevent the car continuing with an incapacitated or otherwise inattentive driver until it hits something and people die.

Post edited at 14:17
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Neil Williams - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

> I find it really useful through long sections of 40mph roadworks.  40 mph is an awkward speed to hold for a long distance with the current car's gearing.


Yes, true, in camera-fitted roadworks where the limit is under 56mph traffic tends to move at a constant-ish speed anyway.

Martin W on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

The behaviour that I utterly fail to understand is the driver in lane three who takes ages to pass traffic in lanes one and two - for which the best explanation seems to be that they are paranoid about exceeding the speed limit* - but who then speed up to 80mph+ after finally completing their overtake and pulling in to lane two.  I can see no logic in that at all, but I see it fairly regularly.

The commonest explanation for most of the behaviours you describe IMO is that an awful lot of drivers are extremely poor both at monitoring their absolute speed, and at judging their speed relative to other vehicles.  Slowing down on uphills and speeding up on downhills is often a reflection of this: they have no idea that they're doing it (and there are some folks allowed behind the wheel who probably wouldn't know how to correct it if it was pointed out to them).  Of course, voluntary distraction by mobile phone is another all-too-common explanation these days.

Something else I struggle to understand is the reflexive tapping of the brake pedal every time a vehicle passes the other way on a single-carriageway road.  Unnecessary application of the brakes for obvious hazards like bends, where a simple lift off the throttle would be more than sufficient, is a widespread fault, but this apparent flinch every time someone comes the other way baffles me.

* Usually they're not even particularly close to doing so, as is easily verified using a GPS speedo.

Post edited at 14:55
Trangia on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Re middle lane hogging, I noticed that sections of the A55 have signed "crawler lanes" on hills.  These caused some confusion with some people staying in the middle and some not.  Why on earth isn't it just a regular "lane 1"?  It was no different from that.

I think it depends on the hill, but some are so long and steep that lorries really are "crawling", almost stationary, and the speed differential is so great that some drivers can be taken by surprise, and if they are boxed in by middle lane traffic there is the potential ingredient for a crash. 

2
timjones - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

>  Regular cruise control is only really any use on a near-empty motorway.  It also poses a safety issue in the event of inattention making rear ending more likely.

Regular cruise control is a great asset on any road as long as you have the ability to use it. 

I can't see how it makes rear ending any more likely than it is when the you are driving along like a fart in a daydream without cruise control, you are either watching the traffic in front or you aren't.

 

Pursued by a bear - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> People overtaking and then slowing down to a speed slower than you were originally travelling. 

I've done this and will do it again in the right circumstances, which are when a driver is needlessly driving in the middle lane on a road that's otherwise empty.  Overtake, pull in front of them, gradually slow down so that they move into the right hand lane to overtake you, then pull into the left hand lane and drive off. 

> People overtaking at a reasonable pace but then slowing to match your speed when the rear of their car is level with your front wheel arch, as if they're taking up position in formation.

That's usually because they're judging their position relative to what's in front of them.  You're not part of that equation as you're the chap that's been overtaken (almost); like an ex with whom you parted on bad terms many years ago, you mean nothing to them now. Alternatively, they've just seen a rozzer and are attempting to hide.

> People speeding up (usually from well below the speed limit to something somewhat above the speed limit) when you attempt to overtake them, only to slow back down and disappear into the distance behind you when you do manage to get past them.

You assume that everyone in a car is a sensible, reasonable, well-adjusted person.  They aren't and even the ones that are can sometimes get bored.  Playing the 'guess how many miles that car will take to overtake us' game can be a useful alternative to playing 'I spy...' when you've listened to all the music you want to, there's nothing on the radio and you're still over 100 miles from your destination.

There is surely an essay about motorway driving that's a close cousin to 'The Games Climbers Play' . . .

T.

 

8
Neil Williams - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to timjones:

Because if you're unattentive driving normally you'll naturally lift off the accelerator and slow.  If you went unconscious, you would even more so.

Neil Williams - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

> I've done this and will do it again in the right circumstances, which are when a driver is needlessly driving in the middle lane on a road that's otherwise empty.  Overtake, pull in front of them, gradually slow down so that they move into the right hand lane to overtake you, then pull into the left hand lane and drive off. 

 

Much, much more fun is approaching them in the left hand lane to a safe distance, then indicating to pull out correctly and safely to the right hand lane, then having passed them returning past them to the left hand lane, again indicating to make the point - basically, do everything 100% perfectly, smoothly and correctly.

Not only do you get the joy that can only come from being sanctimonious about such things, I also find that they very often actually do get the message.

On this point, though, I really dislike people who consider that about 12' is an adequate spacing for cars on the motorway, and do either this or overtake on the left when I'm in the middle lane because to pull back left would leave me with inadequate spacing to the car I'm overtaking.  Only a fool breaks the two second rule.  There are a *lot* of fools on the motorway.

 

 

Post edited at 17:25
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Timmd on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Much, much more fun is approaching them in the left hand lane to a safe distance, then indicating to pull out correctly and safely to the right hand lane, then having passed them returning past them to the left hand lane, again indicating to make the point - basically, do everything 100% perfectly, smoothly and correctly.

> Not only do you get the joy that can only come from being sanctimonious about such things, I also find that they very often actually do get the message.

Do you really do that?

 

Neil Williams - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Do you really do that?

Yes, it's quite fun and of course completely legal and safe too.  Just like the best way to deal with someone being really rude on the phone is to be incredibly polite, the best way to deal with bad drivers is to work around them while driving 100% correctly.  It can be fun to be passively sanctimonious

Post edited at 18:14
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Timmd on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Yes, it's quite fun and of course completely legal and safe too.  Just like the best way to deal with someone being really rude on the phone is to be incredibly polite, the best way to deal with bad drivers is to work around them while driving 100% correctly.  It can be fun to be passively sanctimonious

If it doesn't spark a road incident I guess. I've read on here of people doing it repeatedly until the person twigs.

I'd probably rather ponder 'the meaning of something or other' instead, life's busy enough. 

Post edited at 18:43
Blue Straggler - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Orbit them!

 

I don’t condone this but it sounds like you’d love it

Pursued by a bear - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Orbit them!

> I don’t condone this but it sounds like you’d love it

It's especially good if everyone in the car waves enthusiastically at them every time you pass.  It has been known to make the people in the car being orbited try to ignore you, look pointedly away and even, eventually, pull over into the left hand lane and let you go off into the distance just to stop being waved at.

I believe; not that I've ever done or would condone such a thing, oh no, not me guv. Especially not on the M6.

T.

Neil Williams - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> If it doesn't spark a road incident I guess. I've read on here of people doing it repeatedly until the person twigs.

> I'd probably rather ponder 'the meaning of something or other' instead, life's busy enough. 

I'm not talking about doing it unnecessarily (or "orbiting" as others suggested), I'm talking about when I need to actually overtake them, and it is the correct and safest[1] way to do that so I'm not quite sure why it'd spark an incident any more than any other form of overtaking.

If they aren't doing 70mph I don't see why I should just sit behind them.

[1] You can just stay in lane and "undertake" - this isn't illegal per-se - but that's more likely to cause an incident as they may move left without realising you're there.

Post edited at 19:21
Blue Straggler - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I'm not talking about doing it unnecessarily (or "orbiting" as others suggested

 

Nobody ever suggested that you were talking about orbiting.

mrphilipoldham - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Yes I've noticed that too, with the crawler lane illustrated to show HGVs and caravans. No wonder everyone moves to the middle lane.

Timmd on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I'm not talking about doing it unnecessarily (or "orbiting" as others suggested), I'm talking about when I need to actually overtake them, and it is the correct and safest[1] way to do that so I'm not quite sure why it'd spark an incident any more than any other form of overtaking.

> If they aren't doing 70mph I don't see why I should just sit behind them.

Aaah I see, that's much more 'agreeable and normal'. I vaguely imagined you meant orbiting for some reason, I'm not sure why (possibly it's the amount of time I've spent on here).  Pardon me and fair enough.

Post edited at 20:36
capoap - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

I have given up on Motorway,s here, See my reply's on the 1st tread if you can be arsed.

I have to drive to Rock in Cornwall and back to Llanberis every other week for personal reasons.            My answer is to drive at night so I leave at 0200.  No one holds me up and no one pass's me either come to that.   And still you see them in the distance, sitting in the middle lane cruise set at 69-9 mph totally on there own and asleep, even a quick flash from the left hand lane wont move them so I have to go out 2 lane's to get around them. Look in the mirror and they are still out there. 

timjones - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Because if you're unattentive driving normally you'll naturally lift off the accelerator and slow.  If you went unconscious, you would even more so.

I'm not so sure that it works like that, just what percentage of rear endings are the result of people using cruise control and  how common is it for drivers to fall unconcious at the wheel?

 

capoap - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to timjones:

Had I guy have a stroke in front of me, the car suddenly picked up speed and went into a wall. I can only think that his foot went down on the pedal as he had the stroke. Had to break the glass to get at him to give F/A

Jon Stewart - on 02 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Maybe they're absorbed in some music with various crescendos and pianissimos? 

Ridge - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to capoap:

> And still you see them in the distance, sitting in the middle lane cruise set at 69-9 mph totally on there own and asleep, even a quick flash from the left hand lane wont move them so I have to go out 2 lane's to get around them. Look in the mirror and they are still out there. 

You could always orbit them a couple of times, out into lane 3, overtake, back into lane 1, slow down and let them go past, then repeat.

Dax H - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> I had that once. Top tip: don't drive like a cock in a van with your mobile number plastered over the back. A brief (hands-free) phone call later...

Second top tip, if you do this make sure you are correct, occasionally we get one of these calls about a driver and maybe 50% of the time the dash cam fottage shows my drives was acting correctly and the other driver was at fault. I even submitted the footage to the police once when a lady rang up totally going off on one re my driver cutting up her husband in his BMW (she said the car name as though it gave him extra rights). I felt compelled to ring her back later when I had seen the footage of her husband in the wrong lane jumping the que and trying to bully his way in at the last second joining a motorway. She went off one one again when I told her the footage had been taken to the police station. 

jonnie3430 - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Download a GPS speedo app for your phone and calibrate your car speedo, it can be anything up to 5mph slower than the actual speed. This will take you over 70 and you'll no longer be competing with everyone else with 70 set on their cruise control.

jkarran - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to capoap:

> I have to drive to Rock in Cornwall and back to Llanberis every other week for personal reasons.            My answer is to drive at night so I leave at 0200.  No one holds me up and no one pass's me either come to that.   And still you see them in the distance, sitting in the middle lane cruise set at 69-9 mph totally on there own and asleep, even a quick flash from the left hand lane wont move them so I have to go out 2 lane's to get around them. Look in the mirror and they are still out there. 

That I have no problem with at all. The left lane usually has the worst surface, rippled and grooved by heavy traffic, I can totally understand why people choose the empty middle lane when there is no external pressure whatever the highway code might have to say on the matter. A double lane change planned and executed with minutes of warning on an otherwise empty motorway to pass them is near as damnit zero hassle and additional risk vs a single lane change.

jk

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Ian W - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to timjones:

> I'm not so sure that it works like that, just what percentage of rear endings are the result of people using cruise control and  how common is it for drivers to fall unconcious at the wheel?

Cruise control - a vanishingly small percentage. As soon as you touch the brake pedal the cruise switches off. If you accelerate and then lift off, you return to the previous speed. So its down to not leaving adequate space between you and the vehicle you hit the rear end of, whether using cruise or not. 

Loss of consciousness - it happens in more cases than I though before googling; in Finland, a study found that in 2011, 11% of road deaths were attributable to what they call "disease attack" (55 out of 488).

Jon Read - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

 

> On this point, though, I really dislike people who consider that about 12' is an adequate spacing for cars on the motorway, and do either this or overtake on the left when I'm in the middle lane because to pull back left would leave me with inadequate spacing to the car I'm overtaking.  Only a fool breaks the two second rule.  There are a *lot* of fools on the motorway.

^^^ This! ^^^  The danger posed by middle lane cruisers is far outweighed by the vast number of people who change lanes far too late when overtaking. Often it's drivers that normally leave a reasonable gap, but seem to think that it doesn't count when you are changing lanes to overtake.

 

timjones - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> Cruise control - a vanishingly small percentage. As soon as you touch the brake pedal the cruise switches off. If you accelerate and then lift off, you return to the previous speed. So its down to not leaving adequate space between you and the vehicle you hit the rear end of, whether using cruise or not. 

There must also be an element of well used cruise control increasing safety margins too.  These days I tend to work out what speed i believe that I can comforatbly and safely drive at and then set the cruise control a couple of MPH slower, it's amazing how it increases your ability to watch what is happening around you and reduces fatigue levels when driving on busy motorways and dual carriageways.

> Loss of consciousness - it happens in more cases than I though before googling; in Finland, a study found that in 2011, 11% of road deaths were attributable to what they call "disease attack" (55 out of 488).

The low total number of road deaths is notable there, I wonder if they are better drivers or are their roads quieter leaving them more likely to die from "disease attack" than a collisions with another vehicle?

 

 

Post edited at 09:46
johnwright - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> I don't think they are. Number 3 particularly; I once overtook a car who, I estimate was doing 60mph. By the time I'd finished the manoeuvre I was doing 90mph(!), and the instant I pulled back into lane 1 he resumed his previous speed. Quiet motorway, no real traffic about.

> No good driving brownie points for me on that occassion, I admit, but I didn't expect to have to accelerate to quite such a speed when I noticed he'd sped up to match my speed as I was alongside. The mentality escapes me. Impeding my progress on a quiet motorway, but very obviously  not wanting to be overtaken? It's not a competition.

> I understand people aren't going to be 100% aware of their speed all the time, and that it will vary without cruise control. I'm noticing what must be deliberate (or shockingly poor) driving. Car overtakes at ~80mph, slows to 65mph. I overtake. He then re-overtakes at ~80mph, then slows to 65mph...?

That sounds like your typical French knob head that doesn’t like being overtaken by a GB car.

5
jkarran - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> Loss of consciousness - it happens in more cases than I though before googling; in Finland, a study found that in 2011, 11% of road deaths were attributable to what they call "disease attack" (55 out of 488).

Probably says more about the remoteness of Finland's roads and low traffic density than the rate at which people fall unconscious and crash. Illness that renders you unconscious or suddenly physically incapacitated tends to need prompt treatment. Long empty country roads probably aren't the best place to be suddenly afflicted.

jk

john arran - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

A question for the thread.

Say I'm cruising along happily, being the only vehicle in the inside lane, doing close to 70. The outside lane contains a steady stream of closely packed cars doing a similar speed, tailing back quite a way behind. They're all bunched up behind one driver who's crawling past a middle lane hogger doing a few mph less. As I get close to the middle lane hog do I:

a) stay in the inside lane and undertake?

b) indicate and then push my way into a small gap between the bunched cars in the outside lane?

c) sit in the middle lane for ages indicating right, watching everyone in the outside lane pull up as close as possible to the car in front to try to stop me getting in?

Stichtplate on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john arran:

You’ve not deliberately pulled left to undertake. You’re not speeding. To remain in the same lane following a faster stream of traffic is fine. But I’d be hyper vigilant for a non-indicating numpty pulling into me.

profitofdoom on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john arran:

> A question for the thread. > Say I'm cruising along happily, being the only vehicle in the inside lane, doing close to 70

My answer is (d): stay cool, stay in the inside lane for a while and stay away from the other cars i.e. gradually slow down and let them all disappear, and as a result have the best chance of arriving at my destination safely

1
teh_mark on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john arran:

Depends on what's happening further down the road for me. If lane 1 is clear, I'll remain in my lane and pass them on the inside, remaining very aware of any movement towards my lane as I do so. Other than the traffic in lane 1 ahead, other factors which might make me reconsider this approach are being close to an exit (increases the chance the car might manoeuvre into the side of me), there being no hard shoulder (no ability to manoeuvre to avoid a collision should they do something stupid), etc.

If I'm not 100% confident I can pass them on the inside without having to slow or try to squeeze out for slower traffic in lane 1 or the situation doesn't pass my quick mental risk assessment then I'll join lane 2, and if there really is no obvious safe gap to then join lane 3 I'll begin indicating as a passing car is level with me (so as to hopefully not scare anyone into thinking I'm about to drive into the side of them in my blind spot). I've found it's very rare someone won't let you in - if not the immediate car behind then very often the car following them. And of the times people haven't, its mostly been in the South East...

Which I suppose leads to another question: why are people more aggressive and inconsiderate in the South East?

jkarran - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john arran:

> ...do I:

I tend to sit it out behind the dawdler for a minute or two until the line has passed or a gap arrives. Alternatively assuming there is a hard shoulder as a bailout option, coast past in the slow lane left, thumb over the horn. Either works but the undertaking option sets me up for a fall when I later nag my partner about doing it! Really don't like being boxed in with fast moving frustrated people on my bumpers and no option to the side(s) leaving nowhere to go if it all goes wrong.

jk

Post edited at 13:56
MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> Depends on what's happening further down the road for me. If lane 1 is clear, I'll remain in my lane and pass them on the inside, remaining very aware of any movement towards my lane as I do so. Other than the traffic in lane 1 ahead, other factors which might make me reconsider this approach are being close to an exit (increases the chance the car might manoeuvre into the side of me), there being no hard shoulder (no ability to manoeuvre to avoid a collision should they do something stupid), etc.

> Which I suppose leads to another question: why are people more aggressive and inconsiderate in the South East?

It's because of all the other aggressive and inconsiderate people rubbing off on them.

Timmd on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to profitofdoom:

> My answer is (d): stay cool, stay in the inside lane for a while and stay away from the other cars i.e. gradually slow down and let them all disappear, and as a result have the best chance of arriving at my destination safely

Have a like. It's what family members do. 

MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john arran:

> A question for the thread.

> Say I'm cruising along happily, being the only vehicle in the inside lane, doing close to 70. The outside lane contains a steady stream of closely packed cars doing a similar speed, tailing back quite a way behind. They're all bunched up behind one driver who's crawling past a middle lane hogger doing a few mph less. As I get close to the middle lane hog do I:

> a) stay in the inside lane and undertake?

> b) indicate and then push my way into a small gap between the bunched cars in the outside lane?

> c) sit in the middle lane for ages indicating right, watching everyone in the outside lane pull up as close as possible to the car in front to try to stop me getting in?

Planning on being on the M4 east of Reading soon?

Ian W - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to timjones:

> The low total number of road deaths is notable there, I wonder if they are better drivers or are their roads quieter leaving them more likely to die from "disease attack" than a collisions with another vehicle?

I think an element of all of these factors. 

The roads are certainly quieter for the most part, the standard of driver training is way higher (no license until you can instigate and control a powerslide), - and they are used to driving in far worse conditions than we ever see, so are so much better prepared for normal conditions. and there are less of them. 

Neil Williams - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Download a GPS speedo app for your phone and calibrate your car speedo, it can be anything up to 5mph slower than the actual speed. This will take you over 70 and you'll no longer be competing with everyone else with 70 set on their cruise control.

Or just use sat-nav, most will show the accurate GPS based speed anyway, and can be set to warn you if you exceed it.

Post edited at 15:12
Neil Williams - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> It's because of all the other aggressive and inconsiderate people rubbing off on them.


Probably true.  London does have this way of making you aggressive even if you aren't normally.  How DARE someone stand on the left of the escalator and make you wait 30 seconds and miss a train, having to wait a whole 1 minute for the next one. 

1
timjones - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

I take GPS speed with a huge pinch of salt,  my current GPS speed record is just over 6900mph in a 40 mph limit ;)

 

capoap - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john arran:

Nail on the head there.  Would not apply to me as im one of the many stuck in the outside lane because of the knobhead in the middle lane

ian caton on 06 Jan 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Even more fun, when being the driver of the car in the middle lane in the otherwise empty motorway, is as the sanctimonious car swings across your front into the left hand lane is to swing into the right hand lane. I love that moment of puzzlement when they can't see you where they thought you were and imagine the thoughts they are having about such reckless behaviour. But that was in the days of empty motorways sigh. Such fun.

Post edited at 20:12
7
Jim Fraser - on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

All pretty tame compared to A9(T), Inverness to Perth, behaviours.

wercat on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to ian caton:

surely on an empty motorway you play the game of shortening the distance travelled on the curved sections whenever possible?

Timmd on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to johnwright:

> That sounds like your typical French knob head that doesn’t like being overtaken by a GB car.

Have a Dislike - there was no reason to imagine it was a French person.

Post edited at 12:59
2
Robert Durran - on 07 Jan 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> All pretty tame compared to A9(T), Inverness to Perth, behaviours.

Really? since the introduction of the average speed cameras, I've found the A9 a pretty civilized and relaxing drive.

It's when down south that I'm generally taken aback by the more aggressive driving.

1
Jim Fraser - on 10 Jan 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

There are 4 types of highway in the 100+ miles between Inverness and Perth if you include both sides of overtaking lane. It is fairly common for people to not keep track of which type they are on. That accounts for some pretty bizarre behaviours and several of the fatalities. 

Then there is the fact that the majority of trucks are on flat out 56 against the limiter which brings us the same truck behaviours as on motorways but with less space! (Speed limit 50 on most of the road but they need to be doing 57 before they get prosecuted.) One calibration is not the same as the next and trucks are trying to overtake with tiny speed margins.

Misunderstanding of what average speed actually is causes some other strange behaviours. The commonest is the failure to overtake. Obviously, if you have been behind a slow vehicle for several miles your average speed is now low and it is irrelevant what speed you achieve in the 500m it takes to overtake. But no, dozens of them all in a line sitting there at fifty-something for mile after mile of clear road.

 

Jim Fraser - on 10 Jan 2019
In reply to timjones:

> I take GPS speed with a huge pinch of salt,  my current GPS speed record is just over 6900mph in a 40 mph limit ;)

Wow!. I thought my 1620mph in Kyle Lifeboat was pretty excessive but that is stellar!

johnwright - on 11 Jan 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> Have a Dislike - there was no reason to imagine it was a French person.

I you ever thought I might have been driving on French autoroutes and that 99% of French registered car might be driven by french drivers and a very small proportion of said french drivers are knob heads.,

grumpyoldjanner - on 12 Jan 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

Can I add start-stoppers in heavy traffic. What's wrong with keeping moving forward at a slow but steady pace? Instead they accelerate forward then break when they are about to drive into the car in front then they sit and wait a few seconds for a new gap to appear before accelerating into only to come to a stop again and repeat. It can't be good for their fuel economy or their clutch.

I try to keep a sensible distance behind and keep a slow and steady pace so that as they accelerate the gap opens up a little and when they are stopped it shrinks a little. Pain in the backside though when they drive a large vehicle that you can't see ahead of as every time they break you never know if its one of the regularly brief pauses and they'll move forward again before you reach them or if they've finally reached what ever is causing the tailback and come to a complete stop for good!

teh_mark on 12 Jan 2019
In reply to grumpyoldjanner:

Agreed - and my uneducated opinion is that this exacerbates motorway traffic greatly. If everyone aimed to keep moving, whatever the speed, I hazard a guess that the tailback would be greatly reduced.

Unfortunately doing that requires developing a healthy gap to the vehicle in front, and for some bizarre reason people see this as a great excuse to change lane despite making zero extra progress. Which I suppose is at least better than those who try to change lane by randomly sticking the nose of their car into your path with no warning, no indication, and no safe space in which to do so...


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