My worst motoring moment - frostbite
I realise that, to some people, this will seem pretty trivial, but it still sometimes comes back to haunt me after several decades:-

Driving down what was then a nsl country lane at around 35-40mph, I rounded a sweeping left-hand bend and spotted a family of four walking on the raised grass bank on my offside. What I could not see was their lovely old spaniel exploring the ditch amongst the long grass on the nearside.

From the way he emerged I would guess someone instinctively called him without thinking, but it gave me no chance to avoid him - I simply managed to miss him with my wheels and he went under the centre of the car.

I just wanted to get away from the scene, so I promised the tearful family I would phone the police for assistance for the dog, and headed for the nearest phonebox.

It never crossed my mind to look at my car until hours later when I spotted a severely dented valance. Even if I had seen it at the time, I could never have contemplated claiming against the dog owners.

It couldn't have been worse if I had run over one of their kids....... which I suppose is what I did, in a sense.
My worst motoring moment - Clanger
From the way you describe it, you are not to blame. An incident 30 years ago haunts me likewise but it's not motoring-related. Give yourself a break FB.


Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
My worst motoring moment - hillman
My worst moment was about ten years ago when I delivered my son to University in Sheffield on Jan 14th. I went over the Snake pass from Glossop. It was damp but OK for a couple of miles until a steep hill with a bend at the bottom. There were a number of cars in a jumble, and I realised why. The road was iced over and I only just managed to get through the mess and miss vehicles coming the other way. They did not want to stop, because it would have been impossible to restart. I could not return so I slitherd on to Sheffield. When I got there I was hit by another car, totally out of control. I could not get any headway, so I got the last hotel available room for the night. Next day I was not allowed on the Snake or Woodhead roads, so I travelled back via a single lane of traffic over the M1 and M62. Took me 5 hours. Not to be repeated!
My worst motoring moment - hillman
Second thought. I did an elk turn to avoid a rep. who swerved into the middle lane without looking. I was just one of very many cars in the middle lane, doing 70, passing a full inner lane of lorries doing less. If I hadn't elk'd I and my passenger would have been dead meat. Didn't get chance to think, just act. Fortunately I had seconds before looked and checked my mirror, absolutly nothing in sight in the outer lane. I would recommend the Renault Laguna 2.0, my bosses car, which I was driving for the first time.
My worst motoring moment - pdc {P}
Hillman, I think that the spot you describe is where the driver of a pug 406 over took both myself and the car infront of me, on a very sharp blind s-bend, crossing the double white lines, in the rain, last Tuesday night. Had anything been coming the other way I am certain that a minimum of 4 vehicles would have been involved in a serious accident.

Think it scared the guy because after passing us he kept to a sensible 40 mph and didn't attempt to race off ahead.
My worst motoring moment - David Horn
I was travelling home one day along a single carriageway A-road. About a mile along, the road widens with chevrons to allow people to turn right.

I was behind a lorry, and there was a dented black Mazda (N-reg) behind me, who'd been tailgating me for 5 minutes. I seized my chance to overtake the lorry; signalled, pulled out and floored it in 3rd gear. I got up to about 65MPH as I was passing (this is a stretch of road that regularly sees people doing over 85), looked over to my right to see the Mazda attempting to overtake ME and the lorry in the wide bit of the road. I stamped on the brakes (as one does) and fell back in behind the lorry, who blasted the Mazda with his horn.

In better news, two weeks later I say the same Mazda wrapped around a tree further down the road with ambulance and police in attendance. Serves him right.
My worst motoring moment - BazzaBear {P}
In a similar but quite opposite event, I was once following a large BMW which was following a quite slow Bedford Rascal. When we came to an overtaking place, I hesitated, thinking that the Beemer would surely overtake, but he made no move to do so, so I indicated out and started to pass them both.
As I got my front quarter past his rear quarter, with no indication at all, he turned out to overtake, luckily I saw the move coming, and luckily it was a wide road, so I was able to swerve to the side.
At this point I made a terrible decision, but it was a split second thing. Since I was already going a bit faster than him, I chose to continue to accelerate past him, thinking it would be the quickest way out of the danger-zone.
Unfortunately, he had a powerful car, and an apparent desire to kill me and my passengers. I had beeped at him when he pulled out, but he contiued to accelerate, and while I was overtaking him, it was agonizingly slowly, we were past tht Bedford, and he was back on the rigth side of the road, while I was in the centre, but even with my nose well ahead of his, he was determined not to let me in.
In fact, it came to a point were further up the oroad you could see a car in the centre waiting to turn right, and he still made no move to let me in, although I got past him and turned in with a lot of spce to spare, it was damn scary at the time.
Anyway, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and obviously in the same circumstance nowadays I'd just brake and let them sail off. I honestly thought when I made that split decision that it was the best route, not realising the psycho I was dealing with.
The nutter had me so worked up that after I turned off onto a side road shortly after, I had to come to a halt because I was having a back spasm.
My worst motoring moment - pdc {P}
Have had that several times. You are half way along side a car when they decide to overtake the vehicle infront of them and they just pull out without checking over their shoulders or in their mirror.
My worst motoring moment - HF
Frosty,

Two things to say on your post. First, it's not trivial at all. It reminds me of the first ever horrible motoring incident I was involved in. I was not the driver at the time, but the vehicle I was in ran over a dog, and the picture will never leave me - not a pleasant experience at all.

But second, and more importantly, it's time to stop torturing yourself about this. As Hawkeye says, it sounds like you were not to blame, and although it must have been an awful experience, it's one that you have a right to lay to rest now.

Take care
HF
My worst motoring moment - SteveH42
This one can work both ways though. I prefer to make sure the overtake is safe before I go for it. Where I don't know the road this can mean waiting a few seconds longer than someone sat behind me who does or is simply less patient than me. I do tend to check but the danger point is that short while when you have begun the overtake where you are in my blindspot. I do always indicate but often people take the line that they are out so they'll just keep going without thinking that I can't necessarily see them.

While it is down to the one pulling out to make sure it's safe, the car behind can help by being patient and thinking about what the other car is likely to do...
My worst motoring moment - hillman
I think that I've almost done the same as pdc{p} described, by forgetting the blind spot that all cars have.
On the German autobahn once a tatooed string vest wouldn't let me in after I'd overtaken him. He matched my speed when I went up to 90mph to get in front, and when I went down to 10mph to try to get in behind him again. Everything I did he matched. He had an absolute doll of a girl and a baby in a carry cot with him. She suddenly snapped at him that he was passing their turning, and he swerved off across the rumble strips. Thank you very much madam!
My worst motoring moment - Mickey Dora
Hi BazzaBear, I have been in this scenario a few times in my motoring career (who hasn't?). Now, when following two slower cars and reaching a safe place to overtake I check the mirrors, signal and then, give a couple of quick flashes of the headlights to ensure that I have been seen. Even so, I still do not take it for granted that the car in front has seen me, or that he may not pull out anyway, just to be awkward. It's part of defensive driving technique;- never assume anything! This tends to work well but there are some people out there that are just beyond any logical system.........Safe driving,MD.
My worst motoring moment - AlexD
Hi everyone. About 18 months ago I learnt a very effective lesson, very quickly. I was driving down a small town centre road with parked cars on each side and only room for one vehicle to pass through the gap between them. I'd just pulled in to allow another car to pass, and as I was moving off again while selecting second gear a small boy ran out from between the cars. I didn't see him until he was in front of the nearside headlight because he was no taller than a car bonnet. I slammed the brakes on and swerved to the right, but hit him with the nearside mirror. Thankfully he was fine - I'd hit the plastic lunchbox he was holding and he fell to the ground. But those moments I sat in the driver's seat were the worst of my life. I left all my details, and the child's mother (he was only 2years old) kindly telephoned me over the next two days to see if I was ok. But it was awful. I went from shock, to anger (he'd run straight out of his nursery and into the road), to relief. Both the police and the mother said it was a good job my speed was appropriate, but it really makes you realise how important it is to restrain children and animals near roads - no matter how well behaved they may be. Further testament to this is the dog that ran out in front of me just a few weeks ago in hot pursuit of a squirrel on the other side of the road - it's owner was happily walking it with no lead on! I don't know how I avoided it, but did. People have to realise however, that there's only so much even the most responsible motorist can do.
My worst motoring moment - nick
Alex, the other lesson is that speed should be appropriate, as yours thankfully was. Appropriate is often below what is legal. Some drivers don't seem to understand that the speed limit is just that, the maximum permissible under ideal conditions. Heavy rain, parked cars, traffic control or just being tired are all good reasons for slowing down. It would be great if all those who spout that pedestrians should get out of the way and if they get hit, it's their own fault, should read this thread and hopefully learn. It's not just the pedestrian who can be the victim, but the driver too. Killing or injuring a person or animal can be haunting for years, despite well-meaning advice to 'pull yourself together, it wasn't your fault'.
My worst motoring moment - patently
Nick's comment re "just being tired" reminds me of my worst motoring moment ... suddenly realising that the A-class right in front of me was stationary. And I wasn't, by a long chalk. This was a few short weeks after the birth of my second child and first thing in the morning, so no prizes for guessing what had happened. What took me by surprise was that a minute earlier I was wide awake and alert, taking in the clear morning view along the country lane that I am lucky to have as my daily commute. I first saw the A-class with about 15 yards to go, despite the fact that (when awake) there is a clear view of its location for about half a mile. I can still remember the sickening feeling that I was going to seriously injure someone (or worse). No one did get hurt, thank heavens, but that outcome was thanks to the engineers at Merc & BMW, not me.

Funnily, I was below the speed limit at all times. I thought it was just speed that was the problem?
My worst motoring moment - oopnorth
Sleep played a part in mine, too... driving back up the M1 in the early hours from a job in Portsmouth, passenger asleep beside me, suddenly woke to find the car at 45 degrees, thrashing through undergrowth on the embankment. Thankfully didn\'t snatch at the steering wheel and seconds later found ourselves back out in the middle lane of the motorway, still doing 80mph. It\'s a good few years ago, and not something I\'m at all \'proud\' of (ALWAYS stop now when dozy), but I still can\'t believe we didn\'t hit any of the bollards/lighting boxes/bridge supports etc which seem to line the M1 these days. Or any other poor motorist, for the that matter. Car looked like it had been on safari...
My worst motoring moment - oopnorth
\"work\" should read \"woke\" of course....

{It does now. DD}
 

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