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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 09:55 
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I drive 50 mins on the M6 (Junc 20-30) to work + 10 minutes a side from my house to M6, and M6 to the workplace.

After I come off the motorway and start my final drive in 30/40 zone I sometimes lose concentration. I tell myself to concentrate, turn off music, open window etc. but something just falls lose and my hazard perception drops - like I am on autopilot.

I have been driving for 1 year and to be honest find driving unpleasant. Although ironically, I find the M6/motorway driving (with the Thelwall and rush hour bumper to bumper traffic for the duration) no problem whatsoever. Its the transition from motorway to ordinary roads that is a problem and a stress.

Any suggestions on how I can improve?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:38 
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GrantsV wrote:
Any suggestions on how I can improve?


I wouldn't mind betting that your loss of concentration is a symptom of something else - quite possibly due to the way you observe ahead.

I REALLY recommend advanced driver training. A good advanced trainer will spot anything "less than optimal" in your driving and advise. See you local IAM or RoSPA groups. Most people enjoy the training and enjoy driving much more afterwards.

Do let us know how you get on.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 14:25 
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GrantsV wrote:
I have been driving for 1 year and to be honest find driving unpleasant. Although ironically, I find the M6/motorway driving (with the Thelwall and rush hour bumper to bumper traffic for the duration) no problem whatsoever.


Hi GrantsV,

You are right, I find it ironic that the motorway conditions you describe cause you no problems.

Personally I now detest driving on motorways, in fact I'm not over enamoured by the driving experience as a whole. And I'm not alone, a few work colleagues also commented recently that the stress in dealing with some of the disgusting attitudes people adopt when they get behind the wheel of a car makes them wish they could give it up :cry:

On two recent trips down the M5 and up the M6 (from Telford) I made a mental catalog of the things that turn the stress level up one notch each time it happens...

Tailgating
Lane discipline (this is quite frankly appaling)
Driving at extreme high speed in crowded conditions and expecting the traffic to part like the red sea
Using hand held mobile phones (and drifting across the carriageway in the process)
Drivers accelerating up your inside after you have nearly passed them having moved over to allow them in off the sliproad (just plain ignorance)
Dashing across from lane 3 to lane 1 then jamming the brakes on right in front of you because they want to exit and get in L1 at the 100m marker
Using indicators as an instruction i.e I am moving over now, when you are nearly alongside
Drivers who decide to play silly buggers with one another
Charging up behind traffic that is obviously slowing causing red light braking

I recently read a couple of comments (in newspapers) suggesting that, as the people doing all the tailagting and lane hogging are honest hard working citizens, we should excuse it :roll: Well BULLSHIT, I say. Is it too much to ask that people just drive properly and selflessly??????


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 16:40 
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Although the M6 is a pretty dangerous road, after 12 months of driving 70 miles a day its behaviour becomes somewhat predictable - such as lorrys pulling out on you, cars overtaking on the inside near junction exits etc. I kind of get into the flow of things, keep my distance from the car ahead and change lanes at key times to give the traffic on the inside lanes a space to pull out. Basically staying out of hazards way.

But when I hit the minor roads its like driving becomes a completely different discipline with lots to take in, quickly stopping and starting. The complete lack of flow (like you have on a motorway) seems to be a different driving skill for me with hazards being much more unpredictable.

Tailgating escalates the problem as you feel constantly under pressure to push yourself on the road. This pressure takes away thought processes from the real job of what is ahead.

And those cyclists on fast narrow country lanes full of bends near my house...

Best regards,
GrantsV


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 18:55 
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GrantsV wrote:
I have been driving for 1 year and to be honest find driving unpleasant. Although ironically, I find the M6/motorway driving (with the Thelwall and rush hour bumper to bumper traffic for the duration) no problem whatsoever. Its the transition from motorway to ordinary roads that is a problem and a stress.

Any suggestions on how I can improve?

I would second Paul's advice to take the IAM or RoSPA advanced driving course - you've now got enough experience to benefit from it.

Also if you get more experience of leisure driving on non-motorway roads you'll probably find the commuting less unpleasant.

I have to say I always found long-distance commuting on busy motorways pretty stressful because you never knew when you would come across a mammoth jam around the next bend :(

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"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 21:14 
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I would also encourage you to get some further training. Contact your local IAM - available on-line. The training will help your general observation anyway.

They also organise some fun things - like track days ... :lol:


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