Why are we such bad drivers? - Thommo
This morning I had to drive from the Midlands to Surrey. I woke up to heavy rain, please note I said heavy not torrential not monsoon just heavy and lets remember this is Southern England not Western Australia so rain is not unheard of here.

Now seeing the heavy rain I KNEW there would be chaos on the roads and indeed there was. I avoided the motorways as I knew they would be shut as indeed the M1 was from some hours but even going cross country some lorry driver overturned his truck on the roundabout over the M40 and someone drove in to the central barrier on the A34 near the Botley turn causing at least a 5 mile tailback on the Oxford bypass.

Luckily for me these incidents were all on the other carriageways and I made my way along relatively unscathed.

The point of this rant is that I PREDICTED all this from seeing the heavy rain, just as I can confidently predict that the whole country will grind to a halt at the first sign of snow.

But the question is why are we now so bad drivers that we can seemingly not cope with any conditions other than perfect without chaos ensuing?

Its not like we're all driving around in Cortinas with bald tyres there is not one modern vehicle that can't cope with heavy rain now there is there?

Rant over.
Why are we such bad drivers? - Nsar
Could it be that we live in a pretty benign climate so we are lazy and don't show respect to the weather so when it does misbehave even slightly we are just feel invulnerable in our safe little ABS cocoon and imagine that we have no need to moderate our own behaviour.

If we lived somewhere like W Australia where your car breaking down in the heat might kill you or in Norway where your car breaking down in the snow might do the same, we might notice the conditions outside our windscreen and deal with that added risk like an intelligent adult.

Fat chance.
Why are we such bad drivers? - Buster Cambelt
Still no excuse for the steady stream of "too important people" in (mainly) 4x4s, BMWs, and M-Bs using the hard shoulder on the M1 this morning when the aftermath of the accident near J9 caused long tailbacks.

Wilful and purposeful bad driving with no regard for the safety of anyone else.
Why are we such bad drivers? - Lud
Yeah Thommo, the infantilisation of the British driver... We may not have thought much of deerstalkers or tweed caps and string-backed gloves, but the baseball cap is a huge step downmarket in every sense...

To be less frivolous, South-East England is fairly saturated with vehicles. There are so many drivers that a fair number, however small the actual proportion may be, must be pretty well hopeless. And a fair number, on any given day, will be having physical or emotional crises, moments of distraction or one of the other things that make good drivers like us cock up occasionally. And the traffic densities are such that accidents often cause bad holdups.

Actually I believe the authorities with the sort of approach taken in the driving test, safety and traffic management policies and so on are infantilising drivers - and God knows most of them don't need it - by suggesting that driving is simpler than it really is and something that can be done by numbers, like colouring in a picture book.
Why are we such bad drivers? - Xileno {P}
Stress of living in Britain today.
Why are we such bad drivers? - mss1tw
Some cow in a Range Rover beeped me this morning as I idled up to the lights at the A3 roundanout at Painshill. They were red.

8.30am is not the time to critisize my driving when for once I know I am 100% in the right. An Italian driver would have blushed at the gesticulations and language that came out of my window...
Why are we such bad drivers? - Pugugly {P}
Thommo,

Can't agree more. I spent the whole weekend out polishing up my motorcycling skills. Given the weather was more suitable for the Defender and the bike would normally have stayed locked up in a shed, nevertheless I spent around 10 hours riding on every type of road you could imagine in horrendous weather conditions. Put it like this I was paying for this.....What I saw was generally abyssmal driving, two accidents (another of the group saw a third more serious one) and any number of Sunday afternoon drivers. It was a wake up call for me not only on a motorcycle but for when I waft along in the cosseted comfort of my everyday tin box. I am firmly of the opinion that every car driver should be forced to go on similar courses (on a bike in the wet) for them to appreciate how weather conditions can make a big difference to them.
Why are we such bad drivers? - mss1tw
No no, let's just load up cars with even more 'safety features' so we can leave our brains firmly in neutral.
Why are we such bad drivers? - Group B
My Mum has had people run into the back of her car 3 times within the last 5 months. In December she was hit in the courtesy car while her Micra was being repaired from the first shunt. Last month she was hit hard, writing the Micra off and giving her whiplash. Three accidents caused by people not looking where they are going.
So you get drivers lulled into a false sense of security by traction control, ABS, ESR, and ESP. And then you get drivers not paying much attention to their surroundings, or letting their concentration lapse, while driving a car.

Driving down the M1 tonight it was quite dry and clear, but there was someone in an old Mondeo happily cruising in the middle lane at 75mph, with the rear screen and all the side windows totally misted up...
Why are we such bad drivers? - Leif
Standards aren't that bad. Most people are okay. But when traffic is dense, it only takes less than 1 in a 100 to create mayhem.

Perhaps the exceptions are lane hoggers who happily amble along in their own lane creating congestion around them. I see it often and wonder if the police do anything (by which I mean do the powers that be allow the police to do anything).
Why are we such bad drivers? - Civic8
>>Its not like we're all driving around in Cortinas with bald tyres there is not one modern vehicle that can't cope with heavy rain now there is there?

Which proves its the driver at fault,they get hidden in their own world not much else exists.

I drove from Orpington to Sheffield on Saturday,then back again,Rather surprised at having only the odd motorist doing or making a silly move,which could have produced an accident.

Also most of these drivers were in older cars trying to look flash,common sense seems to be amiss on younger drivers.

once passed the test,they do as they please

--
Steve
Why are we such bad drivers? - Pugugly {P}
From what I saw from my perch on Sunday, I would say that mobile phones, squaking kids and SatNav all play a part.
Why are we such bad drivers? - Civic8
>>From what I saw from my perch on Sunday, I would say that mobile phones, squaking kids and SatNav all play a part.

I agree with that,But whats going to be done about it??.

probably nothing
--
Steve
Why are we such bad drivers? - Pugugly {P}
You're right. Traditional law enforcement has all but died a death.
Why are we such bad drivers? - Lud
Does traditional law enforcement stop kids from squeaking or the phone from ringing?

If people drive up trees etc. as a result, traditionally law enforce by all means. Otherwise take it easy.
Why are we such bad drivers? - L'escargot
Its not like we're all driving around in Cortinas with bald
tyres there is not one modern vehicle that can't cope with
heavy rain now there is there?


A deep patch of water at the edge of the road can make a car pull violently regardless of the car or the tyres. I went over such a patch yesterday and I was just pleased that I had a firm enough grip on the steering wheel to be able to maintain control. If I'd only had a light grip on the steering wheel it would have been snatched out of my hands and I would have been off the road.
--
L\'escargot.
Why are we such bad drivers? - jdc
Yeterday I had to deal with approximately 30 accidents that were as a direct result of standing water, no other vehicles involved.

Business levels at the RAC, where I work, are increased directly in relation to the weather situation, yesterday being a good case.

Several of the accidents I dealt with involved the car being 'tugged' off line after hitting standing water and wither going off the road or spinning round.

jdc

Why are we such bad drivers? - teabelly
People's ignorance of standing water amazes me. My driving instructor warned me of the danger of big puddles. Everyone I know of my age knows if you hit a large puddle in a car then the front wheel in the puddle gets tugged. How ignorant are today's drivers if they don't understand this? We seem to have a nation of thickos.

I've also driven through unexpected puddles at speed and kept the car on the road without trouble so I don't understand how other can't manage such a simple task.
teabelly
Why are we such bad drivers? - henry k
>>We seem to have a nation of thickos.
I've also driven through unexpected puddles at speed and kept the car on the road without trouble
so I don't understand how other can't manage such a simple task.

>>
Just try it with one hand at 12 o'clock cos thats the way quite a few "control" their vehicle.
How else can you chat on the phone to tell everyone you are late cos it is raining?
Why are we such bad drivers? - Andrew-T
"How ignorant are today's drivers if they don't understand this? We seem to have a nation of thickos."

I'm not sure that thickos are necessarily unable to drive properly. Fifty years ago I would suggest (perhaps non-PC) that lorry drivers might have been classed as 'thickos', but I don't remember traffic shambles like today's. I suspect that may be partly because vehicles then were mostly underpowered and underbraked, thereby making it harder to generate one's own danger, and also encouraging care to avoid hitting other objects. And there were no mobiles, etc....

But most of all, I think the root cause is today's me-me culture. As Maggie said, there is no such thing as Society any more.
Why are we such bad drivers? - cub leader
A deep patch of water at the edge of the road
can make a car pull violently regardless of the car or
the tyres. I went over such a patch yesterday and I
was just pleased that I had a firm enough grip on
the steering wheel to be able to maintain control. If I'd
only had a light grip on the steering wheel it would
have been snatched out of my hands and I would have
been off the road.
--
L\'escargot.


To be fair the amount it will pull you off course will depend on the speed you are going, i generally try to slow down if it is a particularly large patch of water or avoid it completely if safe to do so.
I personally think that a skid pan session should be part of the process of learning to drive. It would probably make drivers realise just how they do need to adjust their driving for wet conditions and would stop a few accidents


--
Temporarily not a student, where did the time go???
Why are we such bad drivers? - LHM
Driving has become such a necessity (or expectation) that the spread of people's ability is more apparent than in most other situations.

Someone can discover pretty quickly that they are useless at football, dancing, public speaking, cooking etc, and can readily take steps to avoid doing them. If forced to, (dancing at a wedding reception, for example) their inadequacies become readily apparent.

Today's 'lifestyle' makes it very difficult for a large percentage to avoid driving - putting all their 'skills' on show to the public.
Why are we such bad drivers? - Malcolm_L
Nice analogy, however if you're forced to dance at a wedding reception every day or address an audience every day then those inadequacies are compensated for by gaining experience.

I still believe the best driving lesson I had was a year on a moped, hones your awareness and anticipation beyond measure.



Why are we such bad drivers? - L'escargot
Driving has become such a necessity (or expectation) that the spread
of people's ability is more apparent than in most other situations.


Good point. And on top of that I think that some people just don't have the right mentality for driving. It's a pity that learners don't have to pass a test for psychological compatibility.
--
L\'escargot.
Why are we such bad drivers? - barney100
The reason is human nature. We all notice the things that go wrong but take no notice of things that go well. Tousands of lorry drivers on your journey day had uneventful trips but the one you notice is the one that overturns.
Why are we such bad drivers? - greenhey
Interesting the original poster mentioned the M40 and A34.
I reckon the A43 from the MI to the M40 , then the A34 to the M4, has become in effect an outer M25 , but wasnt engineered that way .
Listen to the traffic reports as to how often accidents are around J10 M40 or between 10 and 9, where people doing this route get off the M40 again, and from my obeservation dont allow for the short distance 10-9 and don't get over early enough
 

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