Tag Archives: speed

Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Aerodynamics!

Well, we were driving along the motorway today and SC pipes up, “Mummy, do you know why our car is faster than lorries and vans?”aerodynamics

“No…” (obviously thinking that the reason is probably because my car is a lot smaller and not quite as heavy!)

“It’s because we’re streamlined!”

“Streamlined?”

“Yes, our car is lower to the ground and smoother, not like that van over there with its big windscreen going up”

(Am I hearing correctly???)

“See that car is not as streamlined as ours as it isn’t going as fast as us.”

(Mmmm, hold on, maybe that car is just going slower to conserve more fuel, after all I am in the outside lane doing no more than 70mph ūüėČ )

“But that lorry is really tall, and going really slowly, that’s why we’re streamlined!”

(Move over Adrian Newey!)

“Isn’t that right mummy?”

“Yes darling, in a roundabout way, of course it is!”

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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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