Pleasure or danger ? - volvoman
Whilst I don't drive just for pleasure there have been occasions when on a lovely day and an clear/open road I've truly enjoyed driving. I am conscious, however, that some people seem to derive great pleasure from pushing their cars to the absolute limit whether it be in terms of pure speed, handling or whatever. What is the pleasure in this? Is it just the knowledge that they have the skill to handle their cars properly in any legal circumstances or is their pleasure derived from the 'buzz' they obtain when they're right on the limit ? If the latter, isn't this as good as an admission that these people know they're behaving dangerously but quite like it and enjoy taking the risk?

A good friend of mine used to spend much of his time racing his Kawasaki z900 he loved the thrill of high speeds and rapid acceleration. The added danger of other traffic simply spiced it all up a bit and he thought nothing of having a good old burn up on the local main road. For him it was just fun and excitement - a real buzz - but for his parents, it was the start of the end. They lost their precious son accelerating rapidly into the side of a van.

Does driving pleasure have to include danger or could we all enjoy motoring safely and reserve the antics for race days and private tracks?
Pleasure or danger ? - Phoenicks
Well as i've noticed from your previous threads you are anti any speed that is in excess of the limit, whether that limit is too low for the road or not.

I think your question is a little bit too loaded and perhaps we should once again seperate speed from dangerous driving. going fast isnt always dangerous.

Personally i live near the New Forest and there are some fantastic back roads that are empty a lot of the time, i know them very well and 'enjoy' them very much.

Speed when the conditions are right is not wrong. Speed when the conditions are wrong is fatal.
Pleasure or danger ? - joe
Volvoman, its very simple.

Driving fast can be fun. If it wasn't, there would be no motor-racing, no track days and no powerful cars. I'm not saying its big, and I'm not saying it's clever, but it's undeniably true.

There is also pleasure to be taken in driving well. Do you recall the government TV ads from a long while back, where we were all exhorted to drive as if we were chauffeurs ferrying V.I.Ps? If memory serves, the chauffeur on the film was driving 2 newly weds from their reception, and demonstrated his skill by driving so smoothly that neither of them spilt their champagne. Sometimes I pretend to be that chauffeur, seeing how smoothly I can pull away and slow to a stop. It is not as easy as it looks.

I must also confess that sometimes I pretend I Graham Hill, althopugh this happens much less now than it used to. I must be growing up.

Pleasure or danger ? - volvoman
Good answer Joe - I tend to agree nd thinking about it I do enjoy giving passengers a comfortable ride

Phoenicks & RF - why would I take offence ? We're all entitled to a view and mine is not a Bogush type crusade (too busy for that) just a reflection I suppose of events around me. I'd guess you're both in the same position and talking from your experience which, to date, has been safe. I'm happy about that and my question was genuine. I want to know why people take chances that would scare the pants off me. As for speed limits, I'm not a scientist and can't tell you what limits are 'safe' on which roads, and which circumstances so my argument about limits is more to do with observing the current law than sticking to a particular figure at a given point. I agree that some limits in some places seem absurdly low but they are still the limits and should be obeyed IMO. Better to campaign to change the law than break it.

I would ask all of you not to assume you to read what I say and not what you think I might mean because you think you know what my motives are. I'm trying to be a plain and unequivocal as possible and if I really thought cars should be banned or limits reduced to 30 on motorways I'd say so.

Furthemore my post was not about speeding, that was just one factor amongst several so let's not all get drawn into why we have the limits we do - that's all been discussed elsewhere 'ad nauseam'. You have your views I have mine. Mine result partly from death and tragedy yours don't and you are indeed fortunate.

My real point is about the mindset of people who take chances of whatever sort when driving - yes speeding may be one example but there are others - tailgating, ignoring red lights, overtaking on bends, etc. etc. There are numerous examples of what I mean. I asked the question do we need to take unnecessary chances to enjoy driving and do those who push things to the limit do so because it is dangerous and creates a buzz?

Thus far only one reply has addressed that.
Pleasure or danger ? - volvoman
Sorry all - Para. 3 should read "I'd ask you all to read what I say and not what you think I mean because you think you know what my motives are".

As for my mate who died - it may be in poor taste but true nonetheless and a lesson learned the hard way. You see I was another biker at the time and also taking silly cha
Pleasure or danger ? - Phoenicks
Having re-read the post as per your request i would have to say your question is pretty much a no brainer. Of course no one agrees with tailgating,ignoring red lights, overtaking on bends and dangerous driving etc. I dont understand what the point in posting this is as it is literally unquestionable or argueable.

p.s I didnt think you would take offence. After all if you post you should expect people to disagree.

Pleasure or danger ? - Altea Ego


I realise that this is going to be inflamatory, may seem to be personal, and will probably lead into a series of arguments, so I will try and be detached about this and hope its taken in the spirit given.

This post of yours is the latest of many in various guises and forms, telling us how to behave on the road. Now I realise your personal situation may make you think you appreciate our fragile grip on life better than most of us, but please will you stop preaching and telling us how to drive.

There - said it. No offence meant. Hope none given. If you wish to berate me, I shall give you my email address so we can take it offline.
Pleasure or danger ? - Phoenicks
Pleasure or danger ? - Canon Fodder
Pleasure or danger ? - blank

RF\'s was carefully considered and expressed a valid point of view, as was the original from Volvoman.
We all carry baggage from our lives and experiences which inevitably colour our opinions and viewpoints.
If you read VM\'s thread carefully it is clear that he is trying to ask a tightly defined, not so say interesting, question which many have failed to notice.

If I have the time I will try to think up a constructive answer to it!

Pleasure or danger ? - volvoman
RF - Please be assured I have sincere views but do not need and would not wish to berate anyone who held a different view. People getting all worked up is what causes a whole lot of our problems on the road.

CF - check out my overall contribution to this site and see how many of my threads have been about speeding. You may be surprised.

All - please don't sidetrack this thread onto speeding - that was not my intention an there's another place for it.
Pleasure or danger ? - Altea Ego
Volvoman, as befits a couple of old timers who have been around a bit and think we have probably seen it all, its good we can accomodate differing opinions and air them constructively together.

So bang on topic here is my view and its based on recent (this week) experience.

I used to have a scenic. Not a drivers car by any means but pleasant enough. I now have a laguna that handles nicely with a bit of poke. Work means I recently had the chance to drive on some east northants roads early (5.30ish) in the morning. The light was just up, the roads were empty, and it was an area of some great roads, smooth, fast sweeping bends, dips and peaks. So I went for it (despite seeing a place where flowers lay obviously at the scene of something fatal).

Did I break speed limits? yes. Did i drive fast? yes. Did i drive outside the limits of safety? I dont think so, I could see for miles, the road was dry, traffic was light. I was comfortable with my skill, knowledge, experience, car abilities and prevailing conditions..

And it was truly truly satisfying. Enjoyable. Fun.
Dangerous? No i dont think so. Certainly less so than crossing the road on foot.

Does this mean I shall rush past the school at 60mph in the future? NO. Does this mean I shall drive past the school at 30mph NO. When chucking out of school times come I shall drive past at 20, 15 if required.

Given the right conditions I will drive with spirit and enjoy. I shall also drive with care and caution where required, and you know what? that gives almost as much satisfaction as driving fast.
Pleasure or danger ? - volvoman
Old timers RF ????? - I'm only 44 for God's sake ;-) Yes I can see how what you describe might be fun and sadly there's not much of that to be had in these parts due to the amount of traffic around.
Each to his own though and all that.

Ps - In case anyone's wondering I'm not ready for my bath chair just yet!
Pleasure or danger ? - Andrew-T
RF - glad you enjoyed your early-morning blitz - it's easy to imagine it from your description. But despite your certainty of your safety, would you (for example) have been able to cope with a large animal suddenly crossing the road, as they often do at that time of day?

I know that there seem to be too many arbitrary speed limits posted in strange places these days. I suspect more than a few of them have appeared following a fatal accident caused by someone driving rather too fast for safety in a 'surprise' situation.
Pleasure or danger ? - Altea Ego
Probably not, certainly no more than a 35 ton artic breaking thro the central barrier and hitting me on the motorway. I dont suppose the people of Lockerbie had much chance of running away from a 747 either. The point here is I was not driving in a way that would endanger other road users.
Pleasure or danger ? - cabsmanuk
Do it in safety and keep your licence, go for a track day.

Keep upright

Pleasure or danger ? - owen
I don't think that it is necessary to have to go on a trackday to enjoy spirited driving. As people have said, driving fast is fun - surely the majority of people on a motoring forum such as this appreciate this fact. Hopefully, also people on a forum such as this are able to learn a lot about the ways in which they can improve their driving to enable safe, swift progress when conditions allow.

I really do not understand people who do not exceed speed limits simply because they are told not to. The classic example is someone who drives at 30mph past a school and hometime, and then goes on to drive at 45-50mph on a NSL road, thinking that they must be really safe drivers. An appropriate speed is the key.

Having said that, driving on the limit on public roads is not a good idea (i can say this after exceeding the limit several times due to youthful stupidity). However, the limits of modern road cars are such that a reasonably skilled driver should be able to have fun driving quickly staying well within the limits of the car.
Pleasure or danger ? - edisdead {P}
I agree cabsmanuk, a track day is indeed the place for experiencing the ultimate in adrenalin fuelled driving.

I took a tiny single seater for a blast around knockhill a couple of years ago. I am no speed freak, but I was quite surprised how much closer to the edge I could go after just a few laps.

There is a time and a place for pushing a car/bike and yourself to the limit. I think we all agree that public highways are not appropriate for this although there is (and probably always will be) a minority who don't seem to recognise the boundaries.
Pleasure or danger ? - SR
There is a lot of pleasure to be had form driving to the limit, whether that be the limit of your own ability, the car or the road. The key is being able to recognise where that limit is, and unfortunately history tells us that many drivers are unable to do so.

The benefit of track days is that it lets you experiment and find out where those limits are without endangering others who have no desire to be involved in your idea of fun and it's associated risks.

And by the way, Owen, not exceeding speed limits is also not breaking the law, not getting fined, not getting points and therefore keeping your licence. Appropriate speed is the key - within those limits. No individual has the right to decide a particular law doesn't suit them, so what qualifies any one person to decide a speed beyond the legal limit is safe? It's unfortunate that you choose one particular characteristic and decide for yourself to apply it to everyone who drives legally - a totally different grouping.
Pleasure or danger ? - tunacat
There is no excuse for going through red lights or overtaking on a crest or bend which is plainly blind, though I have my own theories about why I see increasing examples of this.

As for other issues, I reckon the reason many cars aren't so much fun these days is because they're so darn competent.

If you want to have fun, go and drive a Mini 850, a 2CV, a Skoda Estelle 105, a Morris Minor on crossplies. Find out what 'seat-of-the-pants' feels like with foot to the floor, snatched gear changes, no servo or ABS brakes, unassisted steering - all without exceeding the speed limit and within their (for the most part) low-but-gently rather than high-but-abruptly reached limits.

Then compare it with going round a bend quickly in a Vauxhall Corsa... it's fine, safe, transport. But it rarely feels fun.
Pleasure or danger ? - Nsar
Pleasure or danger ? - joe
With apologies to Volvoman if I have got this wrong, but I understood the point of this thread to be the question: Can driving be fun without taking unsafe risks?

It was not supposed to be a rant about poor driving, although I concede that this may have become a little bit of a theme for V'man of late (sorry V'man).

I am surprised that no-one has talked about motorcycling more. There is no car I have ever been in that is capable of giving as much driving pleasure as can be gotten from the lowliest restricted 125. If only Mrs Joe would let me have one.
Pleasure or danger ? - Nsar
Pleasure or danger ? - Mark (RLBS)
You know what, if you don't like the question, don't answer it.

Whining about it because you think it is not relevant, or boring, or obvious is silly.

If someone wants to ask a question, and if Dave and/or I and/or HJ think its ok, then there really is little else to be said.

And one thing more boring than an irrelevant question is a bunch of whining about it.

I'm going to go through this thread and take out the silly stuff. No doubt you'll get over it.
Pleasure or danger ? - volvoman
Not ranting or preaching just expressing a valid point of view as I believe we're all entitled to do and although I've done it a bit recently, I don't think it's excessive given the seriousness of the issue. Also, I don't think I've ever told anyone how to drive RF - what I have done is argue that speeding is reckless as are all other forms of dangerous driving.

Anyway, I think some here have finally hit the nail on the head. It is possible to enjoy motoring without driving dangerously. There is a time and a place for everything but who decides when/where that is when we're talking about public places ? Apply the freedom some drivers seem to insist upon to any other other aspect of our lives and you'll see what I mean and ironically it is the actions of the same minority which will eventually see us all forced to drive electric buggies limited to 30mph!
Pleasure or danger ? - joe
So V'man, what is your recipe for fun and safe driving? Apart from the chauffeur thing and the bike thing, I am mow at a loss. All the things that I can think of that are fun are also a bit risky, including the fun things one can do with passengers in darkened lay-bys....

Going quick is fun, but that's out. Racing is fun, but that is obviously out. Fast and accurate cornering on twisty roads is fun. No good. Handbrake turns in the snow in safeways car-park, nope that doesn't work either.

That's it then. Safe driving is no fun.
Pleasure or danger ? - spikeyhead {p}
Have you ever tried lifting of the throttle halfway round a bend when you're close to the limit in a Corsa. The back end is so light it can let go. Unless your used to this its easy to be travelling backwards down the road, in my case towards an ambulance! I only let it happen once and fortunately got away with it.
In answer to the original question, There are a few bends where I will push a car to the limits of its grip, often just to see what traction is like on any given day. It makes the rest of the journey safer if I know this.
Yes its fun, but I'll only do it where I can see it is safe to push a car hard.
I read often, only post occaisionally
Pleasure or danger ? - tunacat
See? If the Corsa handled like a Minor on crossplies you might have been too scared to push the envelope to the final extent!
Scared, but giggling like mad all the same!

It's like that old adage about how we'd all drive more carefully if there was a big sharp spike in the centre of the steering wheel. A hoary old chestnut, but you can't deny it's true!
Not what you'd call fun though. Unless you're into that kinda thing.

; )
Pleasure or danger ? - spikeyhead {p}
When I spun teh Corsa I wasn't pushing it to the limit, just not paying as much attention as I should have been. Knowing how your car handles on teh limit is very useful. Found a vary large area of spilt oil on the road home from work today. The car slid, yet I kept control without batting an eyelid as it went sideways. If I didn't practice occaisionally on the few bends where the visinility is good enough to do this safely, I'm not sure how I would have reacted.
I read often, only post occaisionally
Pleasure or danger ? - Marcos{P}
Spikeyhead has hit on a very good point. An awfull lot of people don't know how to react or react wrongly to a dangerous situation. As mentioned above in a few posts Track days are a good way of finding out how to control cars on the limit.
I'm sure an awfull lot of accidents could be avoided if only people knew how to control a vehicle properly.
As for finding the limits on public roads that is up to the individual, personally I don't push my car on the roads because of other road users as they are so unpredictable but I do speed.
If I know a road well and there is very light traffic and conditions are right I will speed but not to the point of endangering myself or other road users.
There is a time and place for this type of driving and people need to learn this.
Unfortunately this is the problem and I doubt the problem will go away untill people are educated properly.
Pleasure or danger ? - 8 ball
I'm sure an awfull lot of accidents could be avoided if
only people knew how to control a vehicle properly.
As for finding the limits on public roads that is up
to the individual,
There is a time and place for this type of driving
and people need to learn this.
Unfortunately this is the problem and I doubt the problem will
go away untill people are educated properly.

Not just a reply to Marcos, but to a number of opinions expressed in this (really worthwhile) thread. There is NO TIME & NO PLACE on public roads for some dipstick to find the limits of a vehicle. What happens when those limits are over-reached? He/she wipes out an innocent road user normally travelling in the opposite direction. Most accidents could be avoided if people drove within their limits, at a sensible speed for the ambient circumstances, without driving too closly to the vehicle in front. Most people have no idea whatsoever of how quickly things happen when loss of control occurs - ALWAYS as a result of driving too quickly, too closely, leaving no room for an escape, given the circumstances prevailing.
Today I used the A55 expressway in North Wales (went to climb Snowdon - lovely day). Forgive me but I thought there was a speed purge in N. Wales, courtesy of Chief Constable Blunderbuss, with 000's caught so far this year. What a swine he is. Maybe they were caught because the speed limit signs were sneaky, discreet, or hidden? I have to tell you not. All speed signage was A1; and I stuck to the speed limit. What about the hundreds of drivers who overtook me at speeds 80+ in 50 mph zones? Or the idiot in the black Escort who only just managed to stop behind me because I had kept a safe distance from the car in front and had time to put on my hazard lights in the Conwy tunnel when a trailer lost a wheel that went bounding through the traffic? No sympathy from me for idiots who drive on the edge on public roads.
I wonder if Mr Blunderbuss will allow me to sponser a speed camera on the A55 (just give me 20% of the revenue and I'll sign up for at least five).
8 ball
Pleasure or danger ? - spikeyhead {p}
There is NO TIME
& NO PLACE on public roads for some dipstick to find
the limits of a vehicle. What happens when those limits are
over-reached? He/she wipes out an innocent road user normally travelling in
the opposite direction. Most accidents could be avoided if people drove
within their limits, at a sensible speed for the ambient circumstances,
without driving too closly to the vehicle in front.

I fully agree with most of what you say. I already know pretty much where the limits of my Cavalier are. I enjoy, when there is sufficient visibility on a bend, to practice controlling the car close to the limit. It helps.
I, and any other sensible driver, will drive to the limits of my vision and ability, not just to the limits of adhesion.
Last winter I drove home from work when there was a few inches of snow on the ground. Two people I work with had accidents, fortunately no-one hurt. I was confident driving in the snow because I know how to handle the car once it started to slide.
I currently have no idea where the true limits are for my Imprezza, I need a track day in it and am happy to admit this. Better still a day out on a disused airfield, there is just so much more run off area.
i wish everyone on this forum safe driving, and will leave this thread with the thought that if you are driving within the limits of your vision and capability then you are driving safely.
I read often, only post occaisionally
Pleasure or danger ? - volvoman
So despite the efforts of some to stifle debate and prevent others expressing views they don't like we managed to get there.

I should answer Joe's question about what I consider fun driving and I suppose the easiest way to do this is to say that depends on when/where.

On a busy road I enjoy staying out of trouble and anticipating the antics, errors and/or needs of other drivers. I enjoy getting from a-b unstressed and in safety. I enjoy the fact that my kids have had a pleasant ride and haven't turned white and been sick. In town I enjoy not making the lives of others miserable, letting drivers out of junctions, letting pedestrians cross the road (where safe, of course), reducing all that congestion and rage building up ahead by NOT blocking that exit. I enjoy driving in a way that is courteous and doesn't annoy others to the point where they then take risks. I let people overtake even when they're speeding. I'm not going to put myself or anyone else at risk by trying to stop them. If someone tailgates me I let them pass as soon as is safe. I never touch the brakes or just carry on going regardless thereby adding to the danger.

On the open road, sun shining, visibility clear I enjoy driving within and up to the speed limit. I find this fast enough and don't see it as some sort of challenge to my manhood. The sort of roads RF talked about are still fun to drive on at 70 or with whatever speed limit applies. Taking bends, driving over undulations etc. can be fun without pushing it to the limit.

I've done a Rally Course a Brands Hatch and found driving around a very tight and rough course in an RS200 exhilarating. I can see the benefit in learning how to handle our cars in emergency conditions and feel this would be a good addition to the test if it weren't impractical.

I don't however feel it's right to try to get my fix of excitement on public roads where my actions might well affect others.


Value my car