Life flashed before my eyes! - martin
Driving back on a lovely stretch of route national from Lyon to Grenoble, France yesterday (it\'s 26C here, not that I want to rub it in or anything), I was costing downhill past a procession of lorries crawling up on the opposite side. My speed was about 100Kmh, the opposite side traffic was doing about 30kmh. All of a sudden as I turned a slight bend in the road which was blinded by trees there was a Peugeot 205 heading straight for me, he was trying to overtake the two lorries on his side of the road, but he was doing this on a steep hill, on a bend and with no chance of nipping in behind one of the lorries as they were too close. Also he was driving a 205! I slammed on the brakes but considering our joint speeds I found my self in front of the 205 in what seemed like milli seconds. \"Life flashed before my eyes.\" I pulled hard on the wheel and drove up on to the inclining verge of grass at the roadside, still doing 80Kmh or more, the 205 pulled in within millimeters of the lorries, who horned vigorously. Some how, with me on the grass embankment, the 205 traversing the white line at the roads centre, we scraped past. It was all over in a flash and I pulled back into the road again.

Needless to say, l could still here a barrage of lorry horns and other car horns as the loony probably braked hard and tried to slip in behind the lorries again. I stopped my car at the next available place and took a deep breath, laughed and realised that life can be treacherously fragile!
Life flashed before my eyes! - CM
Glad you survived! Unfortunately those mountatin roads can be a real death trap.

PS it was 26ºc (or nearly) here in London yesterday as well.
Life flashed before my eyes! - volvoman
Yes it can be Martin and I'm glad a tragedy was avoided. I wonder if the the other guy's business was so important it was worth risking a fatal accident for !
Life flashed before my eyes! - martin
what I realised only afterwards was that if we had hit head on at say 110-120kmh, we would have both died instantly, no car can seriously withstand an impact like that, and I don\'t no how much good my air bag would have been. Even an off collision, me hitting the right hand side of his front would have probably been fatal. Also, goodness knows what after impact trajectory our vehicles would have taken, they may have smashed into the traffic on the left hand side, probably so in fact. It could have been a fatal accident involving more than our two deaths.

Like you say, I hope what he had to do was important!
Life flashed before my eyes! - andymc {P}
What a close call, martin. Very unpleasant and traumatic experience to come through, even when you survive unscathed. I've been in a couple of similar situations, so I know how shocked and disconnected you must feel. Funny thing is, when it happened to me I should have been angry, but couldn't be as I was too relieved just still being around. You might find it helps to go out & celebrate being alive!
Life flashed before my eyes! - THe Growler
Hopefully the other guy will have at the very least lots of trouble cleaning his cloth upholstery....

Life flashed before my eyes! - Obsolete
A similar thing happened to me in the New Forest.

This sort of thing makes me really angry (and frightened when I am involved). It seems that no matter how many defensive driving techniques you learn, and how careful and observant you are, it is impossible to protect yourself against these idiots.
Life flashed before my eyes! - martin
Yes, very true, you can't protect yourself against this kind of madness, it's sheer irresponsibility.

Does anybody know the actual statistics for head-on colisions? I wonder how much of it depends on car build, VW, Mercedes as opposed to Ford or Fiat?

Also what about air bags, do they really make a difference in the more serious road accidents, I can't imagine they have that much effect at 100kmh plus impact speeds!
Life flashed before my eyes! - KB.
Haven't got statistics but in the course of my work (now retired after 28 yrs) did see the results at close quarters and had the job of releasing the occupants of many. One or two images relevant to the thread stick - one of a Sierra versus a Volvo (240 shape) head on and the difference between the two had to be seen to be believed (and it wasn't the Sierra you wanted to have been in). And A Carlton versus a Metro. Again, no prizes awarded for which one came off worst. It really does make a difference what you're in and what you hit. The one thing you *really* don't want to do is hit a lampost or tree 'side on' - the penetration in to the cabin is painful to see and even more so if you're in it.
Life flashed before my eyes! - martin
that's hartening news KB, all those punds on air bags, impact bars, not for nothing then!

Of course it stands to reason that a Metro versus just about anything else, (hedgehog for example) and your a gonna. In your line of work did you find that air bags really did diminish the risks of serious bodily injury, to the chest/head region in most road accidents of the not too serious kind?

Life flashed before my eyes! - KB.
Your views on the Metro, martin, are spot on. Seen far too many come to grief generally but especially in Metros.

The answer is 'yes' to the airbags - although some speak of the deployment being quite frightening in itself (the noise and drama of this big white *thing* suddenly appearing in front of you) as well as the "smoke" and dust following deployment which can, apparently, shake you up.

It's the absence of seatbelt wearing which continues to amaze and annoy me (well, irritate in the case of adults not using them, but *annoy* in the case of youngsters carried in the car - back or front and occasionally carried in the lap of adult passengers).

I can only speak as find but....... all cars have them yet it seems 'uncool' for several categories of driver to use them. The baseball cap brigade are top of the list - obviously red, lowered Nova's with big bore exhausts have an inherent fault in the belt mechanism which prevents their use - and from what I see, it's them that need them most. Van drivers seem exempt most of the time and, locally, young 'trendy' women in small hatchbacks seem more concerned with having the correct make of sunglasses and the continuation of phone conversations, than with belting up.

However, from what I could see and hear, when the head makes contact with the screen or the(rather sharp) edge of the roof where it meets the screen, it seems that it hurts quite a lot and would tend to make one wish that they *Had* used the belt.

Trouble is, I'm regarded as a do-gooder by one or two here, judging by the bullbar thread - but having seen, at close quarters, the yelling, screaming and (sometimes quite dramatic) results following the things I grizzle about, it gives me something to reflect on.

Veered slightly off course there, martin, sorry about that.


Life flashed before my eyes! - Flat in Fifth
"The one thing you *really* don't want to do is hit a lampost or tree 'side on'"

and sometimes, you know KB, its just not the drivers day.

True story follows.

HGV steering link fails; cause lousy design and manufacturing (ref. my acc inv report), driver no longer able to steer all that well, driver unable to stop vehicle before it goes off on the outside of a gentle bend, driver manages to avoid substantial tree but can't manage to stop it hitting lamp post, driver thrown out of windscreen, survived all that to be killed by the falling lamp post.

And they still put lamp posts on the outside of bends.
Life flashed before my eyes! - KB.
Chances of that, FIF, are pretty remote. He must have really upset his maker. There are occasional incidents of 'pure luck' good or bad and that was certainly one of them. Just yesterday, I was helping a tree surgeon in our garden and the (30foot)ladder which was resting against the(80foot)tree got snagged by a heavy branch being lowered by a line. The top of the ladder got pulled off the tree trunk and commenced it's descent on to all sorts of garage/shed/fence based damage/expenditure. It was a million to one chance that the ladder could have its descent halted by the very line that was lowering the branch....but it did and remained upright and just needed lifting away from the line and back over to the trunk. Question is - what did *I* do that pleased *my* maker so much?

Life flashed before my eyes! - mozzer

... or shining his chrome Bullbars...? [ouch!]

PS. T'was 26degC here in sunny Shropshire yesterday, and 28degC here today!! (Lot's of hot headed kids in 205's too, sharks fin's and blaring stereo's et al...)

... But so what?... Plus ca change, plus cest la mem chose!!

Life flashed before my eyes! - clariman
That Peugeot driver was brave. He obviously wasn't French!

Seriously ...........

The number of times I have seen this type of manoeuvre (sp?) is just absolutely scary. I can understand the impatience (even if I see a lorry ahead in the distance I go into Victor Meldrew mode), but is it worth risking your own, and many other, lives just to save a few minutes.


Life flashed before my eyes! - Ian D

I sympathise totally, about 15 years ago I was travelling west towards London on the A303 on a 60 mph single carriageway road when I came round a bend and was met head on with a white Sierra where the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel on a sweeping left hand bend. We were both doing 60 mph and the reason I am alive today is that the passenger of the Sierra leaned across and yanked the wheel over to the left, at the same time I steered to the right off the road and mowed down a 300 yard section of low hedge. The only contact was that we both lost our drivers side wing mirrors, the force was so great his wing mirror smashed through my drivers window.

Since then I like motorwqys, but on single track A roads i am constantly looking to the nearside for a way out... Keep your vigilence out there.


Value my car