Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

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Vorpal
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby Vorpal » 28 Jan 2019, 9:21am

Humans like to put each other in groups.

I think it's easy to class some groups as bad drivers because of the situations in which we encounter them.

Those who drive their children to school, for example, are sort of predisposed to favour motoring. Most (but not all) primary school aged children live within walking or cycling distance of school, yet huge numbers are driven there. The parents who are driving their children, clearly prefer that to walking or cycling, whatever their reasons. In addition, they are likely to be in hurry, taking children to school, sometimes more than one school, then going on to work, afterwards. It's busy around schools before school start time, and many schools have limited parking and / or access. It's a bad combination of factors, and I don't think it's possible for anyone who experiences it on a regular basis to have a good opinion of school run mums.

The other thing is that knowing someone in the 'group' can mitigate bad feelings or experiences. If one has had a bad experience with BMW drivers, and doesn't know anyone who drives a BMW, it's easier to think that they are all rubbish drivers who pointlessly spend silly money on cars, etc. On the other hand, if a cycling friend has a BMW that mostly sits on the drive, but is reasonably driven when they use it, it's harder to generalise about BMW drivers.

I've had plenty of bad experiences with Ford Escort drivers, but Ford Escorts are ubiquitous. One can hardly generalise about them, and almost everyone knows someone with a Ford Escort.
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londoncommuter0000
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby londoncommuter0000 » 28 Jan 2019, 9:54am

robing wrote:Having just ridden the length of the country I have found hgv drivers to be the best - give nice wide passes could teach most motorists a thing or two .


I find HGV drivers to be among the worst. Appalling behaviour. This is just one example, I have seen many more..

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6631321/Driver-narrowly-avoids-crushed-HGV-changes-lane.html

I showed that to a friend who is also a lorry driver. His response..

Yep, the car was in his blindspot on the left. There is no vision for a truck driver in the front left corner of the truck. Most trucks have mirrors that look down, but in this case the car was ahead of that mirror and too short to be visible in front of the cab. In almost every lane-change incident this is the case.

It was the car driver at fault, but not necessarily to blame. There is no training in driving cars around heavy vehicles and the stupid "don't blame the victim" propaganda that has infested so much public discussion makes people think that it's always someone else's job to protect them.

It's a salutary lesson for cyclists, don't you think?


I am aghast. I asked him ..

Let me just get this in writing, for future reference …

You believe that if the driver of a large vehicle activates his or her indicators, then it is the responsibility of other road users to ‘get out of their way’?

Any incident that occurs after a failure of those other road users to ‘get out of their way’, is in no way the responsibility of the operator of the large vehicle?

Is that what you’re saying?


His response ..

No, I'm saying that if I indicate my intentions with sufficient time for those who are in a dangerous situation to get out of the way, then they are responsible for the outcome if they choose to ignore that.

It's a simple precautionary principle application.

Everyone makes mistakes and relying on the guy behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle to be 000% perfect is a sure way to get yourself killed. Get out of the way just in case.

Standing on your "rights" in the face of probability is not just silly, it's Darwin Award worthy.
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby londoncommuter0000 » 28 Jan 2019, 12:36pm

Driving in the UK is appalling nowdays.

There are several phenomena that I identified as far back as 1990 in the UK, and which I am now sad to say are ’normalised’ in that the drivers who don’t do them, are the exception.

One is where there is a motorway or an ‘A’ class road, and a driver is driving in lane 1 - as required by law when one is not overtaking. If there is a slip road, people are now so used to everyone pulling into lane 2 to let them enter the motorway, that this has become almost unwritten ‘law’. If you don’t do it, you will get horns, gestures and threats. Should there be a collision, then strictly speaking, the courts should find against the one who caused the collision. But of course, we now have Alliston, so the reverse is probably now true.

The second is illustrated here: https://ibb.co/HxFVy6z. The blue arrows represent the direction of travel. Driver of red car wants to come out and cross the carriageway to continue right. But the road is busy. So rather than wait for a space, he drives out onto one lane, completely blocking traffic in that lane, and eventually, one of the green drivers will flash their lights to let him join the carriageway. Meanwhile, this has become so accepted, that few of the drivers of the black cars will complain. I’ve been in one of those black cars several times. I usually just give an exasperated shake of the head, and that always - always - merits abuse being screamed at me through two layers of side window. Once, near the big Asda superstore in XXXXXXXX, that same shake of the head merited the driver in question stopping his car, getting out and chasing my car with a crowbar in his hand. If there had been red traffic signals, I would have had no choice but to go through them to avoid a physical confrontation.

And so we come to the present. Down from where I work, there’s a small Tesco. It’s a city centre supermarket, so is just essentials only. And to get into it, there is a small staircase, and there is a wheelchair ramp to the left, as you’re facing the façade of the building.

And when popping downstairs, I’d come out of a door immediately to the left which is where my company has its premises, and turn left to walk up the ramp. If there was someone already on the ramp, I’d wait. If it was free, I’d start to walk up it. And the thing I have noticed is that if I am at the mid-point when someone exits the shop, rather than waiting at the top for me to clear the ramp, they’ll just walk straight at me. I either have to barge them out of the way with a shoulder, or else I turn sideways and flatten myself against the side of the ramp to let them pass. The one time I didn’t do so, my shoulder hit the guy coming towards me, and he snarled, ‘You got a [self-censored] problem, [self-censored]?’.

This behaviour has translated itself to driving. If driving along and one comes to an obstruction like a parked car, or a large refuse bin, the rule is that the driver of the vehicle on the same side as the obstruction, must give way. Does it work that way? Nope. They drive straight towards me, and I have had to mount the grass verge, to avoid a collision. This is no longer ‘occasional’.
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby Bonefishblues » 28 Jan 2019, 12:53pm

The car in the video was in the absolute reverse 'sweet spot' to be invisible to the driver. I agree with some of the spirit of what your acquaintance said regarding defensive driving, but 'I indicate, therefore I move' is a dangerous attitude indeed.

That said, I think the overwhelming majority of commercial drivers exercise skill and care in their driving - to a higher level than the average motorist.

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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby robing » 28 Jan 2019, 1:33pm

Highway maintenance vehicles can be pretty shocking

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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby londoncommuter0000 » 28 Jan 2019, 1:40pm

robing wrote:Highway maintenance vehicles can be pretty shocking


Agreed. I'd go so far as to say that when I see a 'Highway Maintenance' vehicle, I won't have long to wait, and they'll do something stupid and dangerous.
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ambodach
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby ambodach » 28 Jan 2019, 7:10pm

Tour bus drivers are the worst. They give way to nobody and reckon everybody else should just get out of their way. No patience tho’ I admit this may be down to tight schedules not necessarily of their own making. They also never use passing places on single track roads. These are only for sissies.

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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby brynpoeth » 28 Jan 2019, 8:03pm

ambodach wrote:Tour bus drivers are the worst. They give way to nobody and reckon everybody else should just get out of their way. No patience tho’ I admit this may be down to tight schedules not necessarily of their own making. They also never use passing places on single track roads. These are only for sissies.

Plusminus, can well believe that, but there are not many tour buses where I live :wink:
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby Sweep » 29 Jan 2019, 7:40am

Cugel wrote:
reohn2 wrote:According to some the worst drivers are those with the better brakes :?


Sadly, it can be the case. Long ago my father-in-law acquired a new Audi (!) with the then novel ABS. He often drove like a fool and would dismiss expressions of doubt concerning his behaviour with a reference to the ABS, which he believed would not just stop him skidding but also enable him to get his great clumsy foot off the deck and on to the brake pedal in no time at all - assuming he was looking out of the windscreen to see the approaching hazard, which he often wasn't.

No, the prangs and bangs did not disabuse him of this notion concerning ABS. Luckily, he never harmed anyone. Pure luck, to be exact. Or perhaps the compensating avoidances of his potential victims as they saw him careening down the road?

Did he drive like a fool before the ABS? Yes. So perhaps the point is moot after all?

Cugel

A certain amount of truth in yours and reohn's posts. Years ago I had an almost new audi with ABS and it is true that the ABS can give you rather too much confidence. Better not say what I eventually did to that car, but it is kind of linked to my rediscovery of the joys of cycling.
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby flat tyre » 29 Jan 2019, 2:35pm

My experience is that the best drivers are HGV drivers, they always seem to wait until it is safe to pass and do so with a wide gap, this was not always the case but seems to have changed in the last 5-10 years. Also, surprisingly, taxi drivers, might overtake a tar too close for my liking for time to time , but generally do so when it is quite safe.
The worst and most abusive drivers I encounter seem to be on the road between 3pm and 4pm, plenty of dangerous overtakes often just before or on a blind bend. Are these parents rushing to collect their little darlings from school?

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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby londoncommuter0000 » 29 Jan 2019, 7:21pm

flat tyre wrote:My experience is that the best drivers are HGV driver


I must live in a parallel universe, then.

Unless ... unless by 'best' you actually mean 'skilled in the handling of their vehicle'. In that respect, yes. They spend so long driving, that it becomes almost second nature. Just like taxi drivers.

But when the holders of that skill are arrogant and self-entitled, I don't think the epithet 'best' is appropriate.
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby Sweep » 30 Jan 2019, 7:33am

flat tyre wrote:My experience is that the best drivers are HGV drivers, they l

Agree if you mean the big artics. Well trained I assume and also conscious that they often have the branding of a big high street company down both sides so wouldn't be great PR if they squashed someone. Must be very stressful driving one of those in towns with cyclists whizzing around.

Only a minority, but some of the worst road users in london are cyclists.
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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby Cugel » 30 Jan 2019, 8:09am

londoncommuter0000 wrote:
flat tyre wrote:My experience is that the best drivers are HGV driver


I must live in a parallel universe, then.

Unless ... unless by 'best' you actually mean 'skilled in the handling of their vehicle'. In that respect, yes. They spend so long driving, that it becomes almost second nature. Just like taxi drivers.

But when the holders of that skill are arrogant and self-entitled, I don't think the epithet 'best' is appropriate.


A lot of motorists think that to be skilled they need the skills of a racing driver. They go about trying to emulate these skills, very badly since they are untrained in doing so. Of course, such skills are not appropriate anyway on public roads. In fact, they are the epitome of unskilled public road driving, as in "boy racer with go-faster stripes and a heavy right foot".

Some of these "boys" retain their infantile driving beliefs and behaviours well into old age, right through middle age....... The normal laws of driving on public roads don't apply to them as they know better and believe themselves to be "a very good driver" able to deal with excess speed and difficult blind corners. "Why can't the public get off my race track", they ask, often in an angry yet puzzled fashion. "Those speeding fines and points are unfair, as I knew I was safe, what with my tremendous accelerating and cornering skills".

Jackie Stewart, an ex racing driver, once did a series of drive-well TV programmes in which he demonstrated the skills required for public road driving. They were many and all based on understanding of the dangers on public roads, the potentially dangerous aspects of a moving car and a set of car-control skills based in consideration for, and caution of, others.

For example, he used the egg-in-a-dog bowl on the bonnet, which egg had to remain in the bowl for the whole journey (no foolish boy-racer accelerating, braking or screaming around corners). The passengers were used as final judges of the driving, via the question: "Did you feel safe?" I know very few drivers among my own acquaintances for whom my answer would be "Yes". Many seem obliged to show off macho-style with the boy-racer stuff.

Cugel

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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby Airsporter1st » 30 Jan 2019, 9:16am

I think a lot has to do with intelligence - of the natural variety; not that dubiously demonstrated by academic qualifications. The less intelligent seem incapable of anticipating the consequences of their actions (or inactions) and frequently drive well beyond their and their vehicle's capability.

If you type 'dash cam accidents' or similar into the Youtube search engine, you will see numerous compilations of crashes caught on camera. In so many of them, you can see the situation developing where a collision could be very easily avoided by someone who is looking ahead and driving to conditions and within their and their vehicle's capability. Quite sobering.

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Re: Who are the best/worst drivers on the road?

Postby Vorpal » 30 Jan 2019, 10:19am

Airsporter1st wrote:I think a lot has to do with intelligence - of the natural variety; not that dubiously demonstrated by academic qualifications. The less intelligent seem incapable of anticipating the consequences of their actions (or inactions) and frequently drive well beyond their and their vehicle's capability.

If you type 'dash cam accidents' or similar into the Youtube search engine, you will see numerous compilations of crashes caught on camera. In so many of them, you can see the situation developing where a collision could be very easily avoided by someone who is looking ahead and driving to conditions and within their and their vehicle's capability. Quite sobering.

I've noticed, in various things (tutoring engineering students, teaching Bikeability, explaining these things to my kids) that there is a difference in how people perceive things. Some are better at anticipating and avoiding situations, while others are much better at understanding the spatial relationships. Lastly, some people have a much stronger capability to react appropriately when faced with hazards.

To a certain extent, the logic of these things can be learned, but, IMO, it is a rare person who has a strong aptitude for all of the aspects that allow one to understand how situations develop, how things move in space and in relation to one another, and finally, how to react appropriately without either panicking or freezing, which may be a combination of instinct and training.

The first two require some intelligence (i.e. understanding, analysing, and intrepretting things around them), but the latter is a different kind of thing, perhaps a combination of instinct and training.
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