Any - Close shaves on the road - argybargy

Non car buying/ technically related, but prompted by something I read on another thread where a contributor witnessed a blowout in a car next to him on the motorway.

What was your closest shave with disaster whilst on the road? Tempting fate perhaps, but in my case I've had a couple of bumps, thankfully without serious injury, so reckon I'm allowed just one mention of a near miss without tempting the Gods of motoring who sit around waiting to punish complacency.

About 15 years ago I was in the inside lane on the M6 near Warrington, when some large drums containing Lord Knows What were shed by a flatback wagon in the outside lane just ahead of me. They bounced all over the road in my path with absolutely no chance of avoiding them, and yet I missed every single one. I'll never know to this day how that happened. Maybe one actually bounced over the top of the car: I can't remember. I don't think they did anyone else any harm either, because I was still composed enough to look in the rear view mirror and everything behind me seemed normal.

I'm not religious, but I know someone was looking after me on that day.

Any - Close shaves on the road - SLO76
Funny timing but my closest shave after 24yrs driving came on Sunday there. Sitting at the end of a row of traffic in Polo with bambino in back seat watching as the t***** flying up behind me while I was stationary was clearly not slowing down, most likely texting on his phone! He spotted us at the last minute and just as I was about to swing into the inside lane to get out of his way he violently swerved into that lane barely missing us. Whole family was a second from being wiped out by a m**** on his phone. Fines are clearly not enough as I see idiots still at this daily, an instant ban is required combined with new technology in cars which block hand held mobile phone use.
Any - Close shaves on the road - RobJP

One of my closest calls was very similar, SLO.

Sitting on a slip road on the M61, waiting to get off the motorway at Bolton stadium. It was 2002, and we were on our way to watch the Commonwealth games badminton. Some prat did the same trick as you described, and I'm watching him in the mirror, wondering how many of us are going to end up in hospital tonight, and just how well built is this Volvo 850 that I'm driving ...

In our case, said fool noticed the standing traffic, jammed on, and managed to get onto the hard shoulder without hitting anyone. But it was decidedly lairy for a couple of seconds - which felt like a few minutes.

Any - Close shaves on the road - corax

I had similar on the A12 with a flatbed lorry in front of me. There was a sofa in the back, completely untethered by the look of it because it was bobbing up and down in the backdraught created by the cab. Suddenly the whole thing floated out of the bed on a cushion of air and tumbled across the lanes in front of me. Luckily it was a quiet time and I was far back (a good example of how keeping your distance works), so I managed to swerve around it but not too violently as to cause the car to break traction.

Another one was down to exuberance of youth I'm afraid. I was driving a bit too fast down a hilly country road, came around a blind bend and there was a queue of traffic sitting there on a down hill. Slammed the brakes on and went sideways towards them and managed to stop within inches of the back car. I was in a Mk 2 Escort with 2.0 pinto engine conversion before the introduction of ABS.

But those early cars certainly taught you what can happen the hard way.

Any - Close shaves on the road - bathtub tom

Going into a right hand bend there was a brick lorry (remember them? A flat bed stacked with bricks) coming towards me. I noticed the bricks start to move and accelerated into the bend while watching bricks fly across the road behind me. I was in an early Vitesse with swing axles going too fast to make the bend so lifted and braked and subsequently half spung.

Coming down the M6 (in the Vitesse) a beetle was slipstreaming me. I accelerated away as he wouldn't overtake and was far too close. Came up behind a stionary car in the outside lane. Braked, but then realised I'd be stationary, so swung into nearside lane and back into outside. Looked in miror to see a beetle cartwheeling down the road!

Any - Close shaves on the road - Bolt

I was driving through Sundridge park this morning, had to stop at a mini roundabout, and had just pulled onto it as road -was- I thought clear, when another car came from the left off of the hill, very handy the anti collision braking on the civic, other car was going so fast not even the camera caught it, just a red blurred streak going across the lens

Problem is drivers are getting worse in that they are concentrating on the phone instead of the road, then I read this

Any - Close shaves on the road - RickyBoy

...Did a 360-degree spin on black ice in an MG Midget one cold December evening back in, ooh, 80something!

Would undoubtedly have been (a little) under the influence back then and I'll never understand to this day how I didn't hit anything (parked or oncoming) in a fairly heavily populated urban street at around 22:45?

Anyway, upon stopping, and finding that I was facing the correct way, I calmy parked-up and went in search of my large bag of chips...

Any - Close shaves on the road - badbusdriver

Nothing in particular springs to mind for me with regards to my own safety, but witnessed plenty of utterly idiotic driving back when i was a bus driver (i'm sure GB has had the same) with impatient car drivers desperate to get past. Being in the bus, most of these 'near misses' wouldn't have really affected me too much had they gone wrong.

Probably the most terrifying near miss i heard about was from my Dad, who, while driving a truck on a long straight had to swerve on to the wrong side of the road to avoid another truck coming towards him on his side of the road. As they passed each other my Dad could see the driver was asleep and blasted his airhorn. That woke the driver up, and my Dad witnessed a couple of violent swerves in his mirror, before the other truck settled back on the correct side of the road.

Edited by badbusdriver on 01/11/2017 at 11:44

Any - Close shaves on the road - SkodaIan

A few years back, I had three in three months all involving someone else's tyres.

First, and closest was when a car I was about to pass on the motorway had a blowout, spun across the front of me (in lane 3), hit the crash barrier, and then bounced off and hit the car behind me which had just about managed to stop so fairly minor damage. Somehow I'd managed to brake and move enough to the left to avoid him. Nobody was hurt, but it was very odd to see the airbag of the car which spun going off and the drivers head going into it as I was right next to the car. It looked just like one of those slow-motion crash test Volvo adverts, despite obviously happening much faster.

The second involved a Volvo XC90 which did had a blowout and rolled onto its roof a few cars in front of me on a very busy M4. Everyone else came to a stop rather rapidly without hitting each other, though I was fortunate the car behind me had a low bonnet (Honda S2000 if I remember correctly). I was towing my sailing dinghy on a trailer at the time, and the Honda ended up under the back of the boat by a couple of feet, and millimetres away from the frame of the trailer. Perhaps more impressive though was the Volvo driver who had rolled was able to open his door, get out completely unharmed, and then with a rather dry sense of humour ask whether the drivers of the other cars could help him roll his car back over onto its wheels so he could carry on.

The final one was when I met what looked like pretty much a complete lorry tyre coming towards me bouncing across the barrier from the other side of the A63 just outside of Hull. My side of the road was pretty empty, and I almost managed to dodge it apart from clipping it with the side of the front bumper. I stopped, expecting the bumper to be completely smashed up, but instead only found what looked like a minor parking scrape.

It's certainly focussed my mind on checking my own tyre condition and pressures regularly since then.

Any - Close shaves on the road - ED731PDH

Not here, but in the USA many years ago. Sitting at a roadside picnic site in the middle of nowhere, enjoying a bite to eat when we heard a muffled "POW" followed a few seconds later by the wheel from an artic go screaming past the table just feet away.

A very close shave that one.

Any - Close shaves on the road - Bolt

It's certainly focussed my mind on checking my own tyre condition and pressures regularly since then

Seems to be a dying art now, walking through a supermarket car park and was surprised how many tyres were illegal or very close to/ or split sidewalls, you would think drivers would check more often

Any - Close shaves on the road - argybargy

I also did the "360 degree spin" thing a few years back but in a fire engine on wet cobblestones when arriving at a call to a dockside warehouse, much to the merriment and scorn of all other crews in attendance. No harm done, but had I been slightly closer to the edge of the dock and 25 feet of dirty water when it happened, I'm sure that everyone would have baled out rapidement, just in case.

Never had the experience of a tyre flying by, but I used to know a chap whose wife had been struck by a stray lorry tyre whilst they were out walking, and she was very badly injured.

Any - Close shaves on the road - Old Codger

A long time ago I was driving south along the A1 in Northumberland in the early morning with frost on the ground. I noticed behind me a Mini which as I was going 'fast' in an old car I kept 'station' with it a couple of hundred yards behind me. The road was otherwise clear. I knew the road, having driven on it this way for a number of years. We were coming up to a 200 yd straight stretch which was slightly downhill. I knew that at the bottom the road bent to the left with, as I knew from experience, water cascaded from the right across the road, it would be icy. I slowed up not wanting to reach this area too fast and as I did so the Mini passed me going like the clappers.

As I took the left hand bend and straightened up the Mini to my utter astonishment was in the air revolving anti-clockwise. I was transfixed. I definately remember black discs shooting out from the back window along with the window rubber. Then what appeared to be a long coat shot out of the drivers door and high over the car to disappear to my right. By the time I pulled myself together the Mini had 'landed' and was smashing it's way down the road. Luckily I avoided it and stopped futher on. I ran back to the car which was on the correct side of the road as if it'd been parked there. I opened the door and saw nobody. Perplexed I looked around and saw nothing, where had the driver gone? Eventually I saw him face down 10 yds! into a ploughed field. He'd gone over 6 yds of grass verge and 'flown' over a 4 ft stone wall . It was him I saw as a coat being ejected, the black things were records. Ambulance took the lad away, he was lucky to be alive. So was I to have missed him.

Any - Close shaves on the road - argybargy

Final one from me, and entirely my own fault.

Not long after passing my test, and still having the road sense of the average carrot, I'd taken the family to visit rellies, again in Warrington.

I hadn't driven after darkness up to that point, it was early evening in winter and I was unsure of the way back to the motorway. When the time came for us to leave, my sister in law volunteered to drive ahead of us in in her car and said she would flash her hazards at the point where I needed to turn right on the last leg of the journey to the M6.

Ten minutes or so into the journey she flashed her lights, and taking her instructions literally I immediately turned right, and found myself going anticlockwise on a roundabout with cars coming at me. Fortunately I avoided them, they avoided me and I came out of the other side of the roundabout with family and car unscathed.

Nearly 30 years ago now, but I've had occasional horrors ever since at how differently and how badly that situation might have gone for us, and for other people too.

Any - Close shaves on the road - daveyjp

Shortly after passing I learnt about aquaplaning - hit a large puddle under a bridge doing about 60 and the left hand side of the car just let go. Managed to save it before ending up down the embankment.

I also once had a 4x4 with large trailer pull straight out from the hard shoulder as I approached at speed. It was close to jcn 33 slip road entered the M1 and the driver must have thought he couldn't accelerate as the hard shoulder ran out!

As the middle lane was occupied I managed to undertake using the hard shoulder.

Any - Close shaves on the road - Bromptonaut

En route Calais to Le Mont Dore on a camping holiday with then quite young children. All way down the Autoroute radio was warning of thunderstorms in the Massif. Got through Clermont Ferrand and onto the old N89 Col de Ventouse. By time we got to summit of Ventouse and turn of for Mont Dore via Col de Guery we were in a violent thunderstorm with hailstones size of peanuts.

Stopped in lea of an abandoned hotel while the worst passed and then set off on last leg. Approaching a sharp bend I remarked to Mrs B who was driving that road was obviously slippery. Next second a BMW 3 series rounded a right hander (left to him) ahead and pirouetted in front of us. First I thought he'd hit us broadside on and then we'd escape with damage to rhs of out car. In fact when he missed us altogether albeit my millimetres. Driver's face was a picture - clearly no idea about RWD handling in limited grip. Ascertained from mirror that he'd remained on tarmac and carried on our way. My French not good enough to deal with follow up chit chat and he was twice my size so no help with clean undies he probably needed :-)

Edited by Bromptonaut on 01/11/2017 at 16:04

Any - Close shaves on the road - bathtub tom

One May morning. I'd been given a moped and was using it for my commute. A left hand junction could be easily taken at full throttle, unless there was some frost! I held it on the ice, but when I hit the tarmac it 'topsided' me. I remembered my RAC/ACU training and flipped onto my back. I recall the features of the driver in the following Mercedes van as he sawed, uselessly, open mouthed, at the wheel.

We ended up, sitting on the kerb having a fag, talking about how unusual it was to have frost that late in the year. No damage or injuries, even my clothes escaped relatively unscathed.

Any - Close shaves on the road - concrete

About 25 years ago going on a half term break with the kids to Devon. It was absolutely persisting it down. We came off the M4 to join another motorway. A very long and curved slip road and halfway round there was a queue of traffic at a standstill. I stopped alright but when I looked in the rear view mirror all I could see were other cars coming round at speed and clearly unaware of the queue. I had my foot on the brake and switched on my hazard warning lights and just waited for the bang. Two cars mounted the verge on my left and went past us. Another two came down between me and the crash barrier and several cars behind were slipping and sliding all over the place. Not a soul was hurt or a vehicle damaged by collision. The traffic suddenly cleared and as I drove off past cars on my left and right there were some very relieved drivers and passengers. I think that was my luck for the year used up and theirs too.

Cheers Concrete

Any - Close shaves on the road - ED731PDH

One back in my early driving years and for those who know West Norwood (Ernest Avenue)bus garage in London. Buses used to park round the corner in Knights Hill one way, alongside the railway station when they exiting the garage.

So there was me, coming along that stretch of road when suddenly the front end of the car went and I'm sliding sideways with no grip on any of the wheels, straddling both carriageways, trying like merry hell to straighten up and fly right. Came to a stand with the nose of the car pointing at the kerb and me in fits of nervous laughter. Turned out a bus straight out for mantenance had dumped it's fuel tank across the roads literally seconds before I blundered into it. The only skid marks I have to report were in my pants.

Any - Close shaves on the road - gordonbennet

How long have you got? literally hundreds.

The majority of times i have to take evasive action in the lorry these days is incompetent verging on suicidal overtakes.

One on the A road from Worcester to Hereford, Golf overtook me just before a blind bend dark road, luckily i saw the headlights on the road approaching from the other way so braked heavily and the two cars missed by inches, the Golf had to stop at the traffic lights round the corner and i got out to give this bloke a piece of my mind, he opened the door still terrified and was most apologetic, i hope he learned form that lesson which saved his and the other driver's lives.

Last year i think, A420 (Oxfordshire, how unusual) just past the BP garage on the left after Kingston Bagpuize, morning early peak period, half wit in Avensis 1 overtakes just before that fast right hander after the garage, no room for such an overtake, i'm in artic, artic coming the other way round the corner, both of us had to brake heavily to let this twerp live...Golf behind him i noticed had dropped right back so suspect he'd already seen what matey's performance was like so self preservation rules.

There have been hundreds of instances like these over the years, often the only evasive action is to get over as far to the left as possible, that applies whether i'm being overtaken or am the unfortunate coming the other way, i try not to make a drama out of such things so don't bother braking if moving over to the verge will allow room and going to see the Golf driver was most unusual for me, but i was really annoyed cos the chap coming the other way was in a very old small car and he would have been slaughtered without a doubt had the met head on.

I wouldn't mind but i've never been a 40mph merchant on the open road, because 40 is mind numbingly slow and people behind get undertandably frustrated which ends up with people who shouldn't attempt overtakes doing so, not a good combination.

The one accident that does stick in my mind, probably 25 years ago i was travelling northbound around 4pm on the M6 just before Spagetti jct, the southbound carriageway was blocked solid all three lanes, wet road very slippery surface...the other side a Rover 200 hatch was slowing for the traffic and behind him was an artic tipper travelling at breakneck speed with all wheels locked solid, the artic sliding without seeming to slow into the outside lane, hit the car which then spun round so the drivers door was wedged up against the front bumper of the lorry, being pushed sideways...still travelling at an estimated 50+ mph and on into the stationary traffic...what has never left me is that i locked eyes with that poor man in the car just before the could only have been seconds but seemed a lifetime that we looked at each other, i can still see him now.

Edited by gordonbennet on 01/11/2017 at 19:34

Any - Close shaves on the road - bathtub tom

Just joined a dual carriageway on a motorbike and accelerating up to NSL, when the back tyre deflated. Closed throttle and de-clutched to minimise effect of back end whilst using front brake only. The back tyre would alternately flop from one side of the rim to the other, thus making me snake left or right. I was lining up suitable places to impact, away from 'hard' objects, but fortunately folowing traffic realised my predicament and didn't try to pass. Managed to pull up by the kerb with soiled pants!

Any - Close shaves on the road - primus 1

A few years ago I was travelling home on the a64 from Scarborough to York, a couple of cars in front of me was a land rover towing a largish horsebox, we were all travelling at a steady speed, not fast, when the trailer started to wobble, getting progressively worse until the inevitable happened, the horsebox did a complete 360, eventually coming to rest on its side with the rear of the landrover, a few feet in the air, I initially thought that whatever was in there couldn't have survived, however, about half a dozen cows staggered out onto the road, ( the road was at a complete standstill), a few of us then tried to herd these animals into a nearby field, just then, a minibus travelling to Scarborough, pulled up and a dozen burley coppers piled out, ( they'd been on a training course in York) and promptly set about righting said vehicles, in what seemed like a few minutes, the car and trailer were right side up and we were all on our way again,

Any - Close shaves on the road - argybargy

My brother lives in Scarborough, so I travel the A64 every now and again.

Not a challenge in daylight, but I remember travelling there once in the dark and the rain and on one particular section, a narrow single carriageway without lights, finding it almost impossible to ascertain where the edge of the road was.

Took what felt like superhuman concentration to keep between centre line and the ditch, and I was mighty glad when I left that unlit section behind.

Any - Close shaves on the road - ED731PDH

Regarding idiocy on the roads, lorry drivers are not immune to it either. A29 near Hardham, the road goes over the railway line on a tight S bend. Usual signs up stating you may come across a vehicle straddling the road because the bridge width is so tight. Look it up on Google Earth, and marvel at how tight it is. The road really is unfit for HGV traffic but they use it as a short cut to avoid going the easier way via Worthing and the A24, home grown drivers and continentals alike.

And, yes this does happen on a regular basis, we end up with two lorries at the same time, of varying width, both on the bridge at the same time with inches between them, and the parapet wall in danger of ending up on the railway line below, because both of them felt it was their god given right to go first and b***** anybody else. Road has been locked up for anything up to half an hour with a long stream of traffic behind, all because of pride.


Value my car