Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - Ashley
Hi all,

I went to pick up my 'new' car today. Whilst on the M4 i passed the scene of an accident, it was on the opposite carriageway and the police had closed the motorway completely. The scene was not a pleasant one. The emergency services were literally picking up the pieces. From what i could see an articulated truck had smashed into the back of a VW van (it may have been a camper but it was so smashed it was hard to tell ). There was debris everywhere and they were clearing the road as i passed.

Two people died on that road today. May they rest in peace.

The reminder ? Life is precious, lets stay safe out there.

Re: Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - honest john
I'm more concerned about the true cause of the accident. Was the camper travelling excessively slowly? Did it have inadequate rear lights? Did the truck driver fall asleep? I am a firm believer that any vehicle travelling unimpeded on a motorway or autoroute or autobahn or autopista or any other high speed trunk road at less than 50mph should display an orange flashing strobe light. The way to save lives is not to get emotive. It's to discover the true cause of the deaths and to do something about it.

Re: Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - Roger Keene
Remember, speed limits are just that: maximums, not targets!

Just because a road has a limit of 70MPH, it does'nt mean we all have to travel at this speed. We cannot blame slower moving vehicles for our lack of observation and anticipation.
Re: Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - Chris
Absolutely right, Roger, but I for one would not feel safe driving at fifty on a fast flowing motorway. Having said that, if we choose to drive at high speed we have to anticipate that there may be obstacles in the way whether we like it or not. Many trucks drive at less that sixty, after all. Anyone who assumes that there is nothing in the way and that people will move over (because "I'm very important and I'm in a hurry") is on a one way ticket to oblivion. I don't mind that - natural selection will eventually weed out those least suited for survival. But they tend to take others with them.
Re: Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - Malcolm
So who are you disagreeing with, has anyone mentioned anything about driving slowly in the middle lane?. Have you read the thread ?, I have and I agree with Roger. I myself rarely travel at more than 60 mph the only occasions being when I am forced to for reasons of safety or to sometimes get the engine hot to give it a "tonic".I never go above the speed limits no matter what they are, and no I am not a "saint"!!!!!!!!!
Re: Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - Ashley
It seems that the camper van broke down on the inside lane of the motorway, at a point where the road narrowed to two lanes. Both occupants got out, and the chap driving started pushing the camper onto the hard shoulder. He was then struck by a passing peugeot 106, and the camper was then hit from behind by the truck. It appears that the couple died instantly. They were also accompanied by a dog, which unfortunately died from shock. The reason for the road being closed for so long was that there were fears that a baby was being carried in the camper as it had lots of baby equipment in it. Thankfully there was no baby involved.
I know these details as i have spoken to the father of one of the firemen that first arrived on the scene. It was one of the worst things that he has ever seen.

Let's hope that they investigate this accident and find out the true reasons why it happened.

Sorry for getting too emotional, but i thought i'd share my thoughts with you all,


Re: Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - John
so its ok to travel at 55 mph in the middle lane then?. I'm sorry i disgree. It's the slow middle lane hoggers who cause far too many holups and frustration on the motorways. Not the faster drivers.
Re: Just a reminder -- the slow driver - Roger Jones
If I understand advice on good driving correctly, you should drive up to the speed limit where it is safe to do so. This may even be in the Highway Code. Driving significantly below the speed limit shows lack of attention to law, road signs and conditions, and lack of consideration for those around you (driving without due care and consideration being an offence, I believe). It causes congestion and frustrates other drivers, two major factors in the accident statistics.
Re: Just a reminder -- the slow driver - Martyn [Back Room moderator]
I agree with what's been said in this thread -- up to a point. But not all the way.

I am allowed to drive on the public highway at whatever speed I choose, as long as I don't break the speed limit set for that stretch of road (and that could be either a maximum or a minimum limit). The factors which I should take into account include not only the condition of the road and the prevailing circumstances (time of day, visibility, weather etc.) but also the speed of those around me. Let's interpret this by saying that I should not drive in the middle lane (and certainly not the fast lane) of a three-lane carriageway at a speed which impedes other drivers. But there is certainly no requirement upon me to adjust my speed UP TO the limit, as you suggest, whether it is safe or not.

If I have time in hand, and I choose to drive at a speed which is comfortable to me, my passengers, my vehicle and the needs of my journey, and that speed doesn't cause other drivers to have to slow down (bearing in mind that if I'm in the inside lanes they can always overtake me if they need to pass), then who is to say that I am wrong? Yet if you come up behind me, flash your lights and sound your horn in your effort to drive up to the limit, you are in effect intimidating me, and you are very definitely in the wrong.

None of us knows the circumstances of the M4 collision which sparked this thread, so we can't impute blame to either driver (previous posters please note), but we've all of us seen the tailgater in action, whether it be redneck truckdriver, frustrated rep or testosterone-fuelled spotty youth, and we all of us know that this is what causes accidents. Whatever your view on speed limits, there is NO excuse for this kind of driving.

The prime advice on good driving is to drive with consideration for others. This means: not needlessly holding other drivers up; not forcing them to change speed or direction without adequate warning; anticipating as far as possible what they are going to do. It also means not forcing them to drive more slowly -- or more quickly -- than they need to.

We've had this topic in The Back Room before, and it's one that leads to lost tempers (does that tell you anything, in this particular context?). Everyone's entitled to an opinion (even me), and as far as I'm concerned this is a forum in which they can express their opinion freely, up to (but not at) the point where insults are exchanged. Let's hope it doesn't happen this time, ok?
Re: Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - Brian
The critical criteria is:- If a lane to the left of you is vacant then move over into it.
There are no fast, overtaking, lorry, granny, truck, suicide, or whatever you want to call them, lanes.
If the inside lane is empty then use it, even if you are doing 70 mph. In this way if someone comes up behind at 120 mph, which may or may not be safe according to the road conditions, you do not impede them, do not frustrate them, don't get them running into your back end and don't hold up the police car on their tail either.
On the original topic, if someone runs into the back of a broken down vehicle then they are culpable for either driving too fast for the distance that they can see to be clear or were guilty of careless driving due to inadequate observation. Unfortunately it is often the innocent, in this case the camper van couple, who pay the ultimate penalty.
Re: Just a reminder ( if we need it ). - Kevin Alder
I have only just noticed this thread so my contribution is a little delayed.

I think it is extremely significant that a licensed/qualified driver is prepared to offer road safety advice to others, and at the same time reveal that he does not know the contents of the Highway Code.

Value my car