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 Post subject: Incident Diary
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:27 
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One important way that we should all be improving and refining our driving skills is to learn from our mistakes.

One tool that facilitates learning from our mistakes is an incident diary.

While driving, whenever you get a nasty surprise, carry out emergency braking or steering, hit something, skid or lose control, or cause another driver to take evasive action, there has been an incident. All of these should be carefully considered in order to avoid repeating the mistake.

A good tool to trigger careful consideration and to spot any patterns of error is an "incident diary". I keep one as an Excel spreadsheet. I had well over 7 years of zero incidents up until 2002. In fact I don't recall the last incident before 2002 at all. I do know that I hadn't used the brakes in anger since 1986. A 2002 incident prompted me to start an incident diary. There are three entries as follows:

30-Jul-02: Two vehicles ahead, travelling close together. I plan to overtake. After strong acceleration the rear of the two (a light van with no rear windows) swoops into my path. Full panic braking saves an accident - just. I was too busy braking and holding the steering straight to honk or flash.

10-Sep-03: Medium sized deer ran out from left while I was checking the dash. Braked hard with some slight ABS and easily passed behind the deer.

02-Aug-03: I decided to overtake with perfectly adequate time to pass in the face of an oncoming white minibus. When I was fully committed the white minibus started to move to his right crossing the centre line by about 3 feet. He moved back and I completed the overtake.

[this last one would hardly have been noticed by a passenger - but it had the potential to turn very nasty indeed. My guess it that the oncoming minibus didn't believe I had time to overtake and steered right towards my intended path looking for his own safety space.]

Does anyone else keep an incident diary? Do you think you should?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 13:41 
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I have the same thoughts SS. I have kept (what other would probably call a serious) incident diary for a few years now. It was, like yours, prompted following an incident free driving period of 5 years (from passing my test) to 2001. I started by logging a serious accident I was involved in (someone elses fault) in which I was extremely lucky.

As time has gone on though, I have started to log more "near misses" in this diary. As I travel more and more each year, I am finding a lot more entries for my diary.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 19:14 
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The fact that you are keeping incident diaries tells me, without knowing anything else about you, that you are aware - and increasingly so - of the reasons for these incidents. As such, your increasing skill at avoiding the possibility of these incidents occurring should result in you recording fewer and fewer as time goes by.
But you're recording more. Why should this be?
One possible reason is that the general standard of driving is deteriorating.
In fact, that's the only reason I can think of.
Can you think of any other reason?

Regards
Peter


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 09:44 
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Pete317 wrote:
The fact that you are keeping incident diaries tells me, without knowing anything else about you, that you are aware - and increasingly so - of the reasons for these incidents. As such, your increasing skill at avoiding the possibility of these incidents occurring should result in you recording fewer and fewer as time goes by.


I doubt that there's a statistically significant change in my recorded experience. I do think I see more incidents involving other vehicles "from a distance".

Pete317 wrote:
But you're recording more. Why should this be? One possible reason is that the general standard of driving is deteriorating. In fact, that's the only reason I can think of. Can you think of any other reason?


I do believe that the general standard of driving is deteriorating. I don't see any other possible explanation for the failure of fatalities to reduce given ongoing vehicle safety improvements (etc).

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 22:08 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
I do believe that the general standard of driving is deteriorating. I don't see any other possible explanation for the failure of fatalities to reduce given ongoing vehicle safety improvements (etc).


Todays Express carried a short piece on our old friend Road Rage, citing increasing congestion for a recent increase in this nastiness.

IMHO the increasing number of vehicles using our roads is leading to greater impatience on the part of frustrated drivers. During a recent 800 mile journey around Southern and SE England I observed numerous occurences of irresponsible road behaviour, much of it seeming to be perpetrated by drivers trying to make their way through overcrowded roads at the expense of other drivers safety and in contravention of the highway code.
Additioanlly, in the recent report produced by the AA, impatience was cited as being amongst the biggest failings of male drivers.
So, perhaps increasing impatience is to blame for falling standards?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 00:03 
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I have to agree - I think the overall stadard of driving is deterioraing. This is for a number of reasons, including complaicency and frustrcation and anger.

The reason I think I've started recording more is because I've started noting down less serious incidence and because aI've started covering more milage. Either way, this is cause for concern!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 00:24 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
I do believe that the general standard of driving is deteriorating. I don't see any other possible explanation for the failure of fatalities to reduce given ongoing vehicle safety improvements (etc).


Funny - you should say that. Some of the wife's relatives (the ones who live abroad) have been touring here.

Guess it is more noticeable to them than us - and we noticed it - more so for ourselves - when we came back to UK last week after just two weeks away driving over there! :roll:

Quote from the one of them over dinner:

"Aggressive nasty Lane hogging. Never seen anything like it! Managed to get boxed in by L2 hogger and L3 boxer. Ended up making unplanned visit to some god-foresaken dump as they refused to let anyone into L2 at point where your L1 turned into exit slip road" (Might have been OK if place had not led to industrial zone which took him in circles - it was that Runcorn place in Cheshire and he wanted to go to the Beatles museum. He got completely lost and as far as I can make out from his rather heated lingo blast eruption thingy - he still has not been on his Magical Mystery Tour of Beatle-Land - but had one he did not particularly want or enjoy of the Runcorn Expressway! :roll: Poor lad! :lol: )


He went off on one over lane discipline as well as overtaking etiquette - he noted one of my own pet hates --- too many obstruct the overtake which leads to the speed limit break too :roll:

His list of things he had seen was enlightening - amazing what a "stranger" sees and we miss cos of being used to it!


Rigpig wrote:
Todays Express carried a short piece on our old friend Road Rage, citing increasing congestion for a recent increase in this nastiness.


Yup - read that - and would agree that jams create stress. Bit daft really as you cannot do anything about it. I tend to listen to the radio or just one fave CD - usually classical music as that is more calming than rock and jazz. But then - am civilised chap really! :roll: :wink:


Rigpig wrote:
IMHO the increasing number of vehicles using our roads is leading to greater impatience on the part of frustrated drivers. During a recent 800 mile journey around Southern and SE England I observed numerous occurences of irresponsible road behaviour, much of it seeming to be perpetrated by drivers trying to make their way through overcrowded roads at the expense of other drivers safety and in contravention of the highway code.


Wildy and me drove up from Dover last week. We can both agree with that. Cutting up, two second distance, failure to MSM, overtaking on double whites, on blind bends, on appraoch to road narrowing....... It got better as we came Northwards.


Rigpig wrote:
Additioanlly, in the recent report produced by the AA, impatience was cited as being amongst the biggest failings of male drivers.
So, perhaps increasing impatience is to blame for falling standards?



Impatience seems to be in everything. Everything has to be "now!" When we were on holiday - it was highly amusing to see fellow Brits and Yanks rushing around to "see everything in sight" in five minutes!
If you asked them what they had actually "seen" and what the sigificance of what they had actually "seen" was - they have no idea - because they have not taken time to "see it" In fact, they did not even know name of building or Church they had been to "see"! Only that it was a "must see!" :? :?

Kids? "Are we nearly there yet?" Five minutes after setting off! :twisted:
They all do this! Why do they all do this! :twisted: Even ours have done this on occasion! :twisted:

Learn foreign language? They expect to open a book and - bingo - they are fluent. Believe me - it has taken me 18 years of life with Wildy to get to stage when I know what she is on about half the time! :roll:

Hospital treatment? Operation one day! Even had one chap complaining that he had not healed up two days later! :roll: Um!

I prescribe a course of treatment - one week course of tablets to clear up whatever. One day later - they complain that "nothing has happened!" Well - of course nothing has happened yet - it would take time for tablet to take effect! And results would only start to show and be apparent halfway though said treatment lasting 7 whole days!

Microwave cooker! Hands up all those of you who put the little microwave quicky in there to warm up for 20 seconds and then pace the floor whilst it is in there looking at your watch! :lol: Dammit - I do this! :oops: :oops:

The computer? I am there at keyboard going "Cmon c'mon! faster! faster!"

Then they wonder why some get impatient in their cars? :roll:


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 Post subject: The First 50 Got Dinner!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 20:56 
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First of all - agree that keeping such a diary is a good idea - keeps you focussed on driving and self-evaluation.

On subject of impatience .... this little article appeared in Sunday's Express paper by the Editor's Column .. Martin Towsend.


he was on about the Caravanners being limited to the slow lane of the M5 as "they cause congestion!" :wink:

The caravanners pride themselves on "tidy outfits" - the matching car and caravan and Martin Townsend asks "Who exactly are they holidng up!"???

Well - vast majority will be sensible drivers who find caravans an irritating obstacle ... "but among these being held up by caravanners is a minority of tear 'em up lane hoppers! The red-faced "don't get in my way I want to enjoy myself" merchants who spend a significant part of their journey making rude gestures at all other road users and blowing their horns!"

"Bl****y caravanners!" are their softest targets 'cos "everyone 'ates 'em don't they! Fair game innit!" :roll:

These - according to Express Editor - are the ones who make congestion unbearable. The wannabe Schuhmacher Bruvs who cannot slow down and always want to be the car in front - no matter what road they are on! (So true -- sighhhh!) You know the type - we have all discussed them - they sit on the rear bumper just to gain a few feet at next set of traffic lights! :roll:

And I know people :wink: Mad Lads! :lol: who are even worse when they get on the saddle of a bike which cost thousands of pounds - cos these bikes are not naff and sad like .... c...c.c.aravans!


However, like my good self and the Mad Lad - Mr Townsend claims he has never tripped a red light nor ridden on the pavement or done anything so daft! And the Editor asks the very same question we do

Why do these born again cyclists speed up behind pedestrians tinkling their bells ...

He reminds us of that blissful era when cyclists knew their place - taking in the scenery and taking time to think whilst doing so! :wink:

He passes same remark as we all do and have done on here - they never bother to look around and there is certainly no thinking going on!

He blames this militancy on fact that cyclists have been cut up by motorists and are now using said bike as weapon of revenge! Speeding, pedalling furiously and hard faced under their helmets and sweating through all that lycra! :lol: (His words! :lol: ) They have become part of the rushing frenetic fraternity! (Oooh - like that one -- almost as good as the Mad Lad's Muesli Munchin' :lol: )

Which brought Mr Townsend back to his caravanners...stuck in the slow lane with the HGVs, watching the fly boys rush past whilst they have another sucky sweet out of that dusty tin they bought at the last services (you know the one you would never otherwise buy!)

When they arrive at caravan site - someone has got there first and nabbed their pitch and all the available food in the shop has now been sold out. The fate of those compelled to take life slowly - per Mr T.

Mr Townsend then talks of trip he made to Devon/ he stopped off for lunch in Wiltshire. He had been delayed by road works - and by his own decision to "go the leisurely scenic route!" But ... everything on the menu was now ORF! And all tables were TAKEN!

And if you want a roast - first 50 had those!

He concludes

"A leisurely holiday has now become a RACE"!


=======================================

I was going to place this in the chat forum - but somehow - reading this thread - it seems to fit here - and I am sure we can all identify with the Editor of the Sunday Express! :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 08:53 
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On the subject of caravans, I can see the sense behind the ruling.

That is, I heard that the ruling is that the highways agency is encouraging caravaners to stay on the inside lane on uphil stretches of the M5. This is because they have been identified as causing congestion when, they sit in the outside lane overtaking at 50-60mph and you get bunching of cars behind them on these stretches.

I followed a (particularly senfish tw*t) caravanner in a Vaxhaul Frontera on the A68 on Friday (31 July 2004). This is a which is noted for it's accidents and it is very difficult to overtake. The guy in the caravan (several cars in front) cruised for about 20 miles at speed somewhere between 25 and 45mph in at 60 limit, blissfully unaware of the half mile queue of traffic behind him. (He was probably unable to see it as he didn't have extended wing mirrors on!!). As I say, this went on for about 20 miles until he hit an extremely long, steep downhill stretch when his speed hit in excess of 60mph (he was speeding away from me at 60). It was on this strecth that the caravan started to bounce wildly and was even bouncing into the path of oncoming traffic - it was clear he was not fully in control of the vehicle and caravan. Eventually, the car infront of me overtook the caravaner on double white lines through frustration!

I know this driving is not representitive of all caravaners (my father used to be one and would frequesntly pull over to allow other cars past and rarely used the overtaking lane). I also know there is no excusing the wreckless driving of the mororist who overtook on double whites. But this particular caravaner is why the HA want to clamp down and why motorists are against caravans on the road.

How about a ruling which sees caravaners penalised for not pulling in when there is a queue of traffic behind them!?!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:45 
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In Gear wrote:
These - according to Express Editor - are the ones who make congestion unbearable. The wannabe Schuhmacher Bruvs who cannot slow down and always want to be the car in front - no matter what road they are on! (So true -- sighhhh!) You know the type - we have all discussed them - they sit on the rear bumper just to gain a few feet at next set of traffic lights! :roll:


Yep, absolutely. When I find myself in a queue of traffic that stretches into the distance I, along with many others, resign myself to a slow drag to my destination, there's often no time nor safety advantage to be gained by trying to overtake. That doesn't make me:
A Lemming
A sad muppet
A sheep
Or anything similar, just because I don't try and push my way up the queue, force other drivers to move into the guttter, give them heart attacks by overtaking directly in their face, etc etc. The snag is, the muppets who do this actually think they are gaining huge amounts of ground :roll:

BTW, sorry Paul, your thread appears to have been hijacked and I think I started it. :oops:

BBTW, I'm not insinuating anyone here is a pushy, impatient overtaker.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 13:44 
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For me, this points to a simple conclusion. A long queue of traffic is no excuse for driving like a dick head and overtaking where it is dangerous!

However, being below the speed limit and well within your rights is no excuse for cruising at 40 in a 60 limit with half a mile of traffic behind you. If you are driving carfully and you're aware of other road users, you should pull over where it is safe to do so and let other road users pass.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 14:38 
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Rigpig wrote:
BTW, sorry Paul, your thread appears to have been hijacked and I think I started it. :oops:


Such is the nature of threads. Please don't worry about it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 15:40 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
BTW, sorry Paul, your thread appears to have been hijacked and I think I started it. :oops:


Such is the nature of threads. Please don't worry about it.



Phew, thanks Paul :)

Devils Advocate wrote:
For me, this points to a simple conclusion. A long queue of traffic is no excuse for driving like a dick head and overtaking where it is dangerous!

However, being below the speed limit and well within your rights is no excuse for cruising at 40 in a 60 limit with half a mile of traffic behind you. If you are driving carfully and you're aware of other road users, you should pull over where it is safe to do so and let other road users pass.


You put that better than I did, thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 19:32 
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back onto incident diaries ;). i don't keep one myself, although i might consider it now.

I was involved in what I would call a close near-miss a few days ago. Initially, I was quite angry with the other driver, but after my annoyance had subsided I started to think about the near miss.

Unfortunately, I think the root cause was failure to judge the speed of the other vehicle accurately as he came around a large roundabout. The perspective wasn't great, but that's no excuse. Anyway, I emerged onto the roundabout in front of him. I was going staight on, the van was going to exit to my left. The van driver didn't give me any latitude and forced his way in front of me with feet to spare. He just avoided me and just avoided the kerbs on the exit. I can't help but think that maybe the driver should have considered passing me from behind, which due to the size of the circular part of the roundabout would have provided plenty of space.

It kinda scared me, as it would have been quite a nasty high speed accident (me being in a smart car) with a side impact. Anyway, hopefully some more lessons learnt and more experience to keep me safer in the future.


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 Post subject: incident diary
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 18:11 
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I think keeping an incident diary is a good idea, and to read through it from time to time will serve as a reminder that none of us are beyond making a mistake and that we are not immortal (unless you're name is Captain Scarlet).

Maybe it would help to also list the evasive actions that we took and those we could have taken.

This recent incident springs to mind, and if anyone would like to comment on the course of evasive action that THEY would have taken please feel free, as I have gone over and over this one in my mind during the last two weeks...........

I was driving along the M5 near Gloucester, the traffic was heavy but moving freely. I was on the inside lane doing around 65 mph. I had seen a car and trailer on the hard shoulder in the distance, as I approached the car it indicated and started to move along the shoulder, then suddenly when the car and trailer had reached approx. 25 mph the driver pulled out into the inside lane. Instinct had already told me to check the mirrors but there was a Vectra on my right hand side coming up near to my bumper so all I could do was brake. There was no way that I could avoid running into the back of the trailer unless I moved over. In a split second the Vectra must have seen what was happening and swerved into the third lane allowing me just enough room to squeeze past the trailer. I just hadn't expected the guy with the trailer to pull out in front of me.

I keep thinking that maybe I could have gone for the hard shoulder to avoid the trailer............. if the Vectra hadn't moved over there would have been nowhere to go and there could easily have been a major pile up. I was lucky and thanks to my ABS, a dry road and the skill of the driver of the Vectra no-one was hurt.

Another question.......... If I'd have taken the reg. number of the car towing the trailer could I have reported this person to the police for dangerous driving?

My wife was in the passenger seat at the time and saw the whole thing unfold.

Regards,

Ric.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 14:16 
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Incident diary - sounds like a good idea, I can think of a couple of things that I could put in one, and it can't hurt to have something to remind me of when things have gone wrong, and to analyse what I could have done differently.

The one that comes to mind was overtaking a middle lane-hogger on the motorway about a month ago. I was on the inside lane, but gaining ground on said middle lane-hogger, so I indicated right, checked mirrors and moved over to the middle lane, and then the outside lane. What I had failed to do was to wait in the middle lane for a couple of seconds and check my mirrors again, so I ended up pulling into the outside lane with a VERY fast car bearing down on me. Fortunately this car saw me in time, but it was very unnerving to move into what I thought was an empty lane to see someone rapidly closing the gap. Had the other driver been a bit more asleep, it would quite probably have been a nasty accident.

Lesson learned: never try to move across two lanes in one go, no matter how much of an idiot the person in the middle lane may be.

Edit: Another incident, slightly less serious... Was in Asda car park, with mother shouting conflicting instructions at me as to where to go (bloody women... :P), and didn't realise I'd come to a point where I was meant to give way. Had to accelerate briskly to avoid another car which made no indication of realising that there was a car in its path. Odd, considering it was what looked like a brand new Mercedes - wouldn't really have expected them to be inobservant in a £x0,000 machine!

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