It’s Driving Me Mad!


The Highway Code's Braking Distances

Julie, Janice and Ruthie from North Wales said of Hanover House ( – ‘On a week’s cycling tour, our favourite stay…’

This unashamed ‘rant’ was initiated by my drive into work yesterday in wet, drizzly conditions and only fair visibility. Traffic was quite heavy during my commute along the A40 from Cheltenham to Oxford and there were two sections of road works and long delays at temporary lights where one of the carriageways on a rare overtaking section had been closed. Not conducive to improving the temper of impatient drivers already late for work or appointments. However these circumstances are no excuse for some of the examples of bad and dangerous driving witnessed.

The very recent disastrous accident on the M5 at Taunton on November 4th where 7 people died and a large number seriously injured should have been a warning to all drivers – particularly those of a hasty nature. The accident itself is most likely to be primarily due to bad driving habits, speed, complacency and driving too close, no matter what the conditions were like, including the probable additional hazard of the smoke from a nearby Guy Fawkes bonfire at Taunton Rugby Football Club (RFC) ground. It was pitch dark on a section of motorway renowned for foggy patches and the road was wet, yet when somebody braked hard due to sudden loss of visibility the ensuing mayhem was the result of people not driving in accordance with road conditions and general road safety principles.

Returning to my own observations, this morning was thankfully not typical, but also not very rare, in that at least two cars were driven past me in poor driving conditions on a single carriageway at speeds in excess of 90mph. One cut in in front of me dangerously close (good job my front bumper’s not an inch thicker!) and another overtook a car in front of me on a blind corner, also at speed and narrowly missing an oncoming car. It’s just a general observation , but the majority of cars driven by ‘offenders’ just happen to be relatively high performance German cars such as BMWs, Audis and Mercedes in contrast to the second most numerous group consisting of young men driving ‘souped-up’ old cars of about 15 years of age (the cars not the men – although the latter probably have less commonsense than a 15 year old!)


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