Category Archives: Cars

Tyres

Heard an advert on the radio today …tyres

“Kwik Fit offering Pirelli tyres at discount price”

My thought, I’m not surprised.

Will anyone buy them?

No offence, but if their tyres are shredding on F1 cars halfway round the track on their first lap, would I seriously want Pirelli tyres on my car?

I don’t think so ūüėČ

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Motorway Madness (Part 2)

Well, after a stiff drink I feel fully refreshed to continue one’s “letting off of steam” regarding motorway driving.

First off today – overtaking. Why is this a gripe? Mmm, let me see now. My biggest pet hate is those drivers who seem to think everyone else has psychic ability and fail to indicate when they are pulling out – this does include the lorry drivers that do it too I hasten to add – and they’re worse – they’ve got a bigger vehicle in which to make a bigger splat! We are not mind readers and just because you are on a motorway does not mean you should forget that golden rule which every learner driver has to learn (albeit we subsequently forget) – Mirror, SIGNAL, Manoeuvre! If you fail to signal and pull out into the path of some poor driver concentrating on every little detail to the nth¬†degree, do not give him the birdie when he honks his horn because you have been a complete plonker and narrowly escaped causing a major accident because you were stupid, ignorant and downright selfish!

Also on the point of overtaking, why do so many drivers seem to think it necessary to be DUMB and get as far up the person they are trying to overtake’s backside before swerving out and overtaking (probably without signalling as well)? It’s all well and good them doing it in all these dire Hollywood movies – they are films, and the drivers are professionally trained stuntmen, but we are mere mortals and should respect life – ours, but more importantly everyone else on the road.

So please, please, please unless you know you have Uri Geller in the car approaching on your right SIGNAL BEFORE YOU PULL OUT!

Oh, my! Another good one is those poor souls who are so tuned into the music blaring out from their super-woofer sub-base speakers they actually forget their turning, or take the turning and then realise it’s the wrong one! How many of us have actually seen a real life re-run of the Hugh Grant moment in 4 Weddings when he reverses up the dual carriageway?? I’ve actually seen one driver swerve across 3 lanes of heavy traffic, literally less than 100 yards from the junction, take the junction and then just as it starts moving away from the motorway, screech back over the lined markings onto the hard shoulder and rejoin the main carriageway because it was the wrong junction. Why are these people let loose on the road and where are the Police to catch them instead of standing with a speed camera increasing revenue by catching people¬†doing 71mph! I do know of someone who actually missed the M6¬†turning completely and had to then go to the next junction to work out how to get back to the M6. Excuse was – stuck in lorry sandwich – plausible, we’ve all been there, praying to God that sometime soon there will be a break in the traffic so I can pull out and overtake the lorries – but for more than a mile???

Motorway junctions are not hard to spot and you are generally given at least 1 miles notice. If this is too difficult for you to work out……

Finally, road works. Don’t we all love them? Average speed limits, cones, cones and more cones and then the icing on the cake when suddenly 3 lanes are brought down to 1. Again, we are generally given more than a mile’s notice for this in order to prepare ourselves mentally for the challenge of driving in single lane traffic, but why do some people (next time note the make of cars they generally drive!) seem to think advance preparation does not apply to them and they carry on their merry way all the way to when the cones start marking off the lanes and then wonder why other drivers are not too happy at their just inching their way into the single lane traffic. We are all on a journey to somewhere, matey! No one likes being stuck in a single lane of traffic at 30mph¬†for miles, for sometimes seemingly no reason at all, as proved by the absence of workmen. Unfortunately it’s a fact of life, and one we have to deal with.

It’s like that advert for car insurance says we don’t behave as selfishly in real life when walking along a pavement. So why do we turn into “Super-human, selfish, DUMB, arrogant Idiot Person” the moment we get behind the wheel of a car?

If we behaved as we do in normal life when we drive and show a little courtesy to our fellow road users (and I include bikes and motorbikes in that) I’m sure there would be less road rage and hopefully fewer accidents.

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Motorway Madness (Part 1)

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. We all drive on the motorway and totally forget everything we were taught in the Highway Code.

Obviously, the main thing is speed, we’re all guilty. Isn’t it about time they changed the limit. 70mph was all very well and good when the first motorway was opened in the 1970s (guessing at this), cars were lucky to reach this speed. However, nowadays cars are being built that do greater speeds and 70mph feels very sluggish. In Germany I believe there is no speed limit on the autobahn and they have fewer accidents as a result. Food for thought.

Speed brings me nicely onto my pet peeve – DUMB! Which quite clearly means all you drivers who Drive Up My Backside, and not necessarily in the outside lane either. Traffic flows at a greater speed on the motorway, therefore I need slightly more room than a gnat’s hair breadth between me and the car in front – just in case the car in front is one of those who brakes…..for no particular reason. If you are DUMB you will go into the back of me and be the exact reason why the motorway snarls up and people get hot and bothered sitting in a traffic jam whilst the police clear away the mess because you were DUMB.

Talking of traffic jams and accidents – rubberneckers. WHY? The accident is on the other side of the road, there is already a big queue one way and you cause another long hold up – in some cases longer than the queue on the side of the accident – by slowing down to crane your necks to see what’s going on. Please don’t!¬†Just be thankful it’s not you and stop causing a traffic jam. The French have the right idea, they have something down the central reservation so you can’t see what’s going on, on the other side of the road. Seems a sensible idea to me – besides if you slow down to have a good look you may have a DUMB driver behind you – resulting in???

Middle lane hoggers. Oh you are just sooooo annoying. Sitting there in the middle lane, totally oblivious to everyone else doing 50mph. WHY? The Highway Code clearly states:

“You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past. Slow-moving or speed-restricted vehicles should always remain in the left-hand lane of the carriageway unless overtaking.”

How difficult is that to understand? And you don’t just do this when there is a lot of traffic and you can annoy thousands of motorists. Oh no! For some strange reason you do it when the motorway is totally¬†clear and you are the only car for miles. Why?? And why 50mph, why not go slower and grind the traffic to an even bigger halt? I read someones explanation of why they sat in the middle lane once and they said they did it because “once I’m there I don’t have to think about anything else and can switch off!” DVLA, please remove their licence. Clearly no idea at all. No you cannot switch off in the middle lane. You are on a motorway. You have traffic passing – probably at your speed – on both sides of you. You need your wits about you – lorries pull out, cars swerve in. It’s a veritable jungle of madness out there.

On that note, I need a large drink to calm my nerves. Back for Part 2 soon.

Drive safely.

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A Tale for Moped Users Everywhere

Or more specifically teenage moped and bike users.

I had one of these moped users behind me the other day, and he was so close that if I had to apply my brakes suddenly he would have smashed straight into the back of me, or more horrifying been thrown over my car only to land in a crumpled heap in front of me.

But my real gripe about these teenage moped riders is more the fact that they think it is OK to just wear a crash helmet. I have also seen some motor bike riders donned this way too.

It may be cool on the continent to ride around on your moped with the sun beating down on your bare arms and legs, but what is not cool is not being properly protected.

Mr Wrong No. 1 rode bikes and before he would even let me ride pillion I had to purchase a set of proper bike gear.

And for why???

Not just to save me getting too horribly crumpled, should an accident happen, but as he explained “Imagine you are not wearing proper clothing and have a smash at 30mph and end up skidding down the road, what is the likely outcome?”

Any guesses from the moped users who like to wear jeans??

Nope?

OK, here goes.

You skid down the road for however long it takes for you to slow down – say 300 yards. But here’s the warning, not only are you skidding down the road, but so is your clothing.

And what happens to clothing if it gets abrased? It starts to get bare!

And if you are still skidding when the material of your jeans have all been worn away, what will be next to start wearing away as you skid?

That’s right? Your skin – and we’re still skidding. So all your lovely skin is wearing down until we reach?¬† Yes, bone.

Are you following me?

That tale of how I could end up at the end of a skid with not just a gash in my leg but a flippin’ great¬†hole with exposed bone and flesh was enough to send me running to the nearest bike shop!

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That’s a silly looking car mummy!

is what SC blurted out as we drove to school the other morning.

It just so happened that we were following one of those new Range Rover Evoque.

Full sized range rover, that looks as if an elephant has just sat on the roof and squashed it down flat – doesn’t look like there’s much headroom in there, from the outside.

It was pure white, which didn’t help! Who has a white car these days? And why on earth would you choose white for a 4×4 vehicle designed to go off-road in muddy conditions, and get completely dirty?

Anyway, I digress.

SC looked at the car and said, “that’s a range rover, mummy, but it’s very silly looking!”

I had no answer.

He is so right!

What do you think?

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Top 5 Driving Gripes

I love cars and driving. I am by no means a perfect driver and have plenty of faults. I do try though not to ever do any of my top 5 gripes.

#5 – Braking for no particular reason – this drives me insane. I was driving down the road the other day following someone, and not up their backside, and every 100 yards they would brake. WHY??? There was nothing in front of them, I was a safe, comfortable distance from them, there were no road turnings and we had not just gone through a lake of water. Again, I ask for the love of God why? Testing to make sure your brakes work should not be done on the public highway.

#4 – Pulling out at the last-minute – why do people do this? They are waiting at a junction and can see you approaching (and if they can’t then they really shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car!). Why then do they wait until the very last-minute before pulling out either into your flow of traffic, causing you to brake suddenly as you have to slow the car down to a grinding halt as they pull away at a tortoise’s pace? Or wait until the very last-minute and then pull right across your path, again causing you to brake suddenly and hope that you don’t get hit! Seriously, if you don’t think you can make the gap, stay put.

#3 – Driving Up My Backside –¬†if the speed limit is 30mph, then driving up my bum will not make me go any faster. I got a speeding ticket for doing 38 in what I genuinely thought was a 40 limit. I stick to the speed limit because¬†I don’t want¬† another ticket and also speed limits are there for a reason. And judging by the number of really bad drivers out there it’s a jolly good thing too. To be honest, I think the 70mph on the motorway is a wee bit out-dated now. It was imposed when the first motorway opened in the 1970s, and back then cars rarely went above 70mph. It’s a little bit obsolete now, when a car’s maximum speed is somewhere in the region of 120mph. Not that I’m saying the speed limit should be raised to that, but a little bit higher wouldn’t hurt. Although I also think that motorway driving should also require a test before using a motorway. The outside lanes are for overtaking only, not sitting there at 55mph, totally oblivious to the queue of traffic¬† building up behind you. But I digress, driving up the car in front’s boot is not clever. You are not allowing yourself a safe braking distance. What if the car stops suddenly? What if the car in front has an accident? And also you cannot see any potential hazards either!

#2 –¬† Not using indicators – what do you think we are all psychic or something? I believe the technical term in the Highway Code is “Mirror, Signal and then Manoeuvre”, not just “Brake and Go”! Doesn’t it drive you nuts, especially on the motorway, where clearly we all become psychic as no one appears to signal before just pulling out in front of you at 55mph, when you’re doing 70mph (clearly, obviously wouldn’t be doing any higher officer!) and yes, I am also having a pop at the HGV drivers who sometimes do this too. When anyone is travelling at speed in a tin can, that could crumple upon impact, the last thing we want is some idiot pulling out into our flow of traffic without any thought or regard for anyone else. It’s like pushing into a queue! We are not psychic, so please give us all a bit of warning beforehand.

However, my top gripe of all times – and it’s a big one is those complete imbeciles who don’t switch their lights on in the fog or in driving rain. I just have one question WHY NOT? If you can’t see when you step out of your front door, why on earth would you then step into a tin can and not send warning lights out to all and sundry? Seriously, this one gets me every time. It’s a foggy morning, you wake up to the sound of the local radio station and it’s traffic report, “… and remember it’s foggy out there so put your lights on!” Now if the entire human population had brains, surely we wouldn’t need reminding to put lights on, but even with this reminder the number of brainless idiots still fail to light up and wonder why they cause a 10 car pile-up! I was driving down the motorway on Friday, and it was raining. Not just heavily, but a torrential downpour, couple with high winds. I had lights on, and when visibility was down to less than¬†200 yards I popped the fog lights on as well, just for good measure. There were a lot of lorries about and I had precious cargo – me and SC. I peered out of my rear view mirror and saw a shadow bearing down on my car. It was a 4×4 WITH NO LIGHTS ON. I could barely make out the car, and if it had been coming up on the outer lane and I had to pull out, due to lorry, I would have stood no chance. It would have ploughed into the back of me at 100mph (it was going that fast). I would not have seen it, because the brainless moron had no lights on. So next time it’s foggy, please remember your lights. It’s not rocket science, just common sense. Something I¬† fear the human race is losing!

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