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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 22:55 
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I feel quite sorry for you truck drivers when I see the antics of some 'fellow' motorists.
There's an increasing nimber of car drivers who believe that they should enter a motorway at no more than 40mph - even though all but the most gutless cars can easily attain 60-70mph on most on-ramps.
The trouble is, if you have the misfortune to be behind one of them, then you're also caught up in all the ensuing flak.
Don't they realise that, besides the safety aspect, accelerating briskly on the on-ramp can actually save fuel - as most on-ramps are downhill, so you have gravity helping you.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 09:54 
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I had a classic joining the M6 at J13. A Fiesta with two old boys (inevitably wearing cap and hat respectively), chatting away at 40mph in the OUTSIDE of the two "joining" lanes with trucks bearing down on them.

In the interests my (and my wifes) safety I staying in the inside joining lane and undertook them - didn't like it but it enabled me to match speed and join safely.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 17:44 
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Pete317 wrote:
The trouble is, if you have the misfortune to be behind one of them, then you're also caught up in all the ensuing flak.


since they cant see past the truck, they generally blame us too. admittedly, we do slow car drivers down sometimes but not intentionally. our limits are lower AND monitored. sometimes we get stuck behind cars though and how annoying do you think THAT is? being stuck behind something that is not restricted like a truck is.
strangely enough, i dont get frustrated at getting stuck behind a truck. is this down to understanding? is this a clue as to how we can resolve the problem amongst the average car driver?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 18:17 
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is how to join motorways/dual carriageways from sliproads even taught to anybody....when i was learning to drive a few (ahem) years ago i did one trip on a dual carriageway rest of the time was all spent doing town driving


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 18:35 
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i dont think you are taught anything other than passing a test!

i cant remember being taught about motorway joining but it is in the highway code so no excuses really :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 05:22 
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Hi Scanny77,
As a fellow truck driver I agree with your actions and would only differ in one way, I'd have driven over the rear car...lol.

Nah, It does not matter what you say or what evasive action you take, you will always get someone telling you that you should have done it differently. This someone is usually the type of person you see being employed as a "traffic officer" or other never driven a HGV so called expert in the field. They are merely experts on paper and this is why our roads are full of lunatic self obsessed prats.

One little point here, had you flashed them to invite them to join the main carriageway and then hit the back of them then you would have been held fully liable. You were right to let your horn rip and give them the full beam to let them know you "were here" after they made their stupid move.

As in a previous post, someone trying to tell you that you don't have to give way at the end of a slip road.....two words spring to mind here, the first one is my and the second begins with A.

Take a look at the white lines at the point where the slip road meets the main carriageway, these lines are "give way" markings as per the highway code.

Take a look at most of the hold ups on our motorways. They always occur at junctions, either by the muppet who thinks it is up to the motors on the carriageway to move over to lane 2 or by the planks who are wanting to exit and stay in lane 3 until after the 100 yard marker before slamming all on and cutting accross all 3-4 lanes thus causing everyone behind them to take evasive action.

I think education is the answer and the highways agency should start putting them silly new signs to good use. Advising people not to drink and drive is a little silly really when in order to be able to read the signs the person drinking will have driven some distance before seeing the sign.

Why not have messages such as: Turn off your front foglamps, turn off your rear foglamps, drive in left lane, don't hog middle lane, trucks are limited to 56 mph, give way at slip roads, get in lane 1 well before exit, your car can do 70mph...honest! and so on.

No I am not a maniac and have been a class 1 driver for 12 years without blemish or incident up to press. It just winds me up when you get the do gooders trying to justify bad driving. In my eyes, ALL drivers should spend a week in a truck as I'm sure this would open a few eyes to the real world outside of lane 3.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 08:07 
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_BOSS_ wrote:
Hi Scanny77,
As a fellow truck driver I agree with your actions and would only differ in one way, I'd have driven over the rear car...lol.

Nah, It does not matter what you say or what evasive action you take, you will always get someone telling you that you should have done it differently.


Almost every incident that takes place on our roads could have been avoided by either of the involved parties.

As a professional, it is you duty to avoid incidents by driving around the mistakes of others whenever possible.

When you're hurt in the wreckage it is entirely unimportant who was to blame. It's a thousand times better to use your professional skills to avoid the crash in the first place.

We advocate an 'advanced' / 'defensive' approach to driving that applies to all drivers. Assume the other guy's a fool, and make space for his mistakes. You know it makes sense.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 03:38 
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It's all well and good driving defensively and reading the other drivers minds, but when are people going to start taking responsibility for their own driving?

If we carry on compensating for other drivers mistakes then how are they to know that they are driving in a dangerous manner? It's all well and good flashing the lights or blasting the horn but all this normally does is warrant the middle finger or wan*** signals from the offending muppet.

I really think there should be tighter rules for drivers and they should ALL be made to sit regular theory and practical tests as us truckers are forced to do, even though we have been proven to be amongst the safest and highly skilled in the world.

One day people will stop making excuses for bad drivers and stop trying to blame everyone else for their bad driving or at least expecting them to compensate for it.

I live in hope.....lol.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 07:06 
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_BOSS_ wrote:
It's all well and good driving defensively and reading the other drivers minds, but when are people going to start taking responsibility for their own driving?


If you mean 'everyone', then the answer is never. There will ALWAYS be people out there who make dangerous mistakes. The art of truly good driving is to be prepared for their mistakes.

But we do need to focus our road safety objectives on raising standards and using the Police to sort out the small minority who regularly cause danger. Of course present policy is tending to make drivers worse...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 19:41 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
As a professional, it is you duty to avoid incidents by driving around the mistakes of others whenever possible.


a little off topic but there is something i would like to clarify regarding this comment although this is not having a go at anyone :)

in MY opinion, there is a difference between a truck driver and a professional which you should all be aware of. i wouldnt like you making assumptions out there regarding actions which will or will not actually happen.
i see the difference as a truck driver is someone who drives a truck, goes home and thats it. a professional has a distinct interest in the job and related issues such as road safety. i suspect that one of 2 members here have come over here following my link in a discussion to offer their own comments and advice etc. i have the utmost respect for them as i have for those here who have asked questions regarding our profession and vehicles. there is a distinct air of respect both ways which i am sure we as truck drivers see as a surprise. i certainly did and i made a point to praise the members here for it. most non truck drivers despise us and want us off the road whereas you lot seem to accept us as equals.
unfortunately, there is the other side of the coin which in our case, has a detrimental effect on how most of the public view us. some arrogance is displayed on the road and some truck drivers will deliberately use their vehicles to make your life difficult and that is the brush that we are all tarred with. i can assure you that we would like to see these cowboys removed from the road as much as anybody. they do create unnecessary dangers to all of us and we would not knowingly associate ourselves with them. we are 2 different breeds within the same profession

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 22:10 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
scanny77 wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
I also think there's a common misconception that merging traffic must 'give way'. That's NOT what it says in the Highway Code - and even if it did, it wouldn't be worth risking an accident to take your 'rightful priority'.


i would suggest you take a quick look at the relevant section. i dont have my copy to hand but one thing that i am adamant about and this is it:
when joining the motorway (or any type of highway for that matter), you should not cause any other road user to change speed or direction!
i think that you will find that the lines at the end of the slip road mean GIVE WAY!


http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/23.htm#233

Joining the motorway

233: When you join the motorway you will normally approach it from a road on the left (a slip road) or from an adjoining motorway. You should
* give priority to traffic already on the motorway
* check the traffic on the motorway and adjust your speed to fit safely into the traffic flow in the left-hand lane
* not cross solid white lines that separate lanes
* stay on the slip road if it continues as an extra lane on the motorway
* remain in the left-hand lane long enough to adjust to the speed of traffic before considering overtaking.


I don't rate 'give priority to' as the same as 'give way to'. It's more like 70/30 rather than 100/0 if you see what I mean.



Geez they changed a word from way to priority and people dont think it applies any more. Its exactly why these occurances happen.. At the end of the day at the end of the slip roads you have the broken white lines the same as you do at junctions..which mean you give way/priority to the vehicles already on the road that you are about to join.

Give way lines
All locations
White
Transverse broken
20+20
0.60
0.30

Someone mentioned that surely if he had seen them. Perhaps if he was in a car with 6 windows and 3 mirrors he would of but we are not and we only have the benefit of a couple of mirrors and when at slip roads you are approaching most of the way in our blind spots. And quite often you are not seen until you are already quite close to joining no matter how much attention we put to the mirrors.

As the joining vehicle its is your resposibilty to check the traffic and adjust your speed to allow you to adjust your speed to safely join. If that means you slow down to join behind a vehicle whether it be a car or truck that is what you are supposed to do. Not pull in front of the vehicle forcing it to take action to avoid hitting you.

Most of the time we will move over and let people out but there are times when it is just not possible so use a bit of common sense you might end up behind us but it wont be for long.

Whilst i am at it 1 more thing i would like to point out on something else that was said within this thread.

Quote:
As a professional, it is you duty to avoid incidents by driving around the mistakes of others whenever possible.


Yes 90 percent of us are professional but as in all walks of life you get your odd idiots. But can i point something out. 1 in 3 of us are gonna get killed whilst at work, We stand a 1/250 chance of being killed in a traffic accident compared to an average car driver who stands a 1/8000. Those odds are bad enough without taking more risks to ourselves and other road users because of 1 idiot. Yes if we can avoid the accident we will, many drivers have in the past and it cost them the lives, but dont have the misconception that it is our Duty to do it. My view on it is this. If i can take action to avoid the accident without putting myself or anybody else at risk then i will, if not then i am afraid you got yourself into the mess you get yourself out of it because we Lorry Drivers only have 1 duty and that is to make sure that we make it safely home to our families. And that comes above anything else. And remember we are car drivers too so we do know both sides of the coin :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 07:03 
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HERE BLOODY HERE!!!!!!!!!

AGREE 1000% AND YES I'M SHOUTING.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 07:59 
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Cranky Trucker wrote:
1 in 3 of us are gonna get killed whilst at work, We stand a 1/250 chance of being killed in a traffic accident compared to an average car driver who stands a 1/8000.


Are these numbers really correct? If so I am surprised anyone wants to drive trucks. Do you have a source for these numbers?

I am surprised that there is so much greater risk of dying in a truck than a car in the same accident.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 08:10 
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:welcome:

Cranky Trucker wrote:
As the joining vehicle its is your resposibilty to check the traffic and adjust your speed to allow you to adjust your speed to safely join. If that means you slow down to join behind a vehicle whether it be a car or truck that is what you are supposed to do. Not pull in front of the vehicle forcing it to take action to avoid hitting you.


I hope I can give you a better way of looking at this. It doesn't matter how wrong or right the other driver is. It doesn't matter how many times you ask for better behaviour. When you're driving you're ALWAYS going to come across folk doing it wrong. Saying (or thinking) 'he shouldn't be doing that' won't stop it happening or lessen your risk.

But you CAN lessen your risk if you make it your responsibility to be prepared to deal with idiots. Of course we all do it in practice to greater or lesser extents.

I'm suggesting that dealing with idiots should be a matter of personal skill, responsibility and ultimately pride. And never anything to get worked up about.

I view other road users as 'hazards to be negotiated', in much the same way as a bend is a hazard to be negotiated. You can't trust other road users to get out of your way, and when they are in your way it isn't personal.

Cranky Trucker wrote:
... 1 in 3 of us are gonna get killed whilst at work, We stand a 1/250 chance of being killed in a traffic accident compared to an average car driver who stands a 1/8000.


Those figures are odd. You might want to check the source.

With 450,000 HGV drivers in 40 year careers and about 120 HGV drivers a year dying on our roads the lifetime risk facing an HGV driver is about 1 in 100. With 32,000,000 licenced car drivers and about 1,500 dying in each year and a driving lifetime of 60 years, the risk affecting a car driver is about 1 in 350.

But take heart - those are the risks affecting an average person. To a large extent it is the worst drivers who tend to get it. The working estimate is that 60% of the crashes are caused by 10% of the drivers - and 80% of crashes are caused by 20% of the drivers.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 19:25 
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an example of another trucker who was killed by the actions of idiots.

a few months ago, maybe longer there were 2 BMWs who were suspected to be racing at the time on the A1 (i believe, not sure). it was a dual carriageway and one clipped an artic when he was passing and somehow the other got involved. the artic went over and all 4 lanes were blocked by this accident. the driver was killed while the 2 BMW drivers walked away.

what about the one not so long ago who missed losing his life by inches. he had to brake sharply for whatever reason and 2 lengths of steel shot past his left ear and out the windscreen. he was very lucky but it is another risk involved.

engine fires. in a car, the engine is in front of you so you can see a problem. we are sat on top of it so if we see the flames, it may be too late.

the risks are varied and we face them every day

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 19:36 
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And of course, there are no crumple zones at the front of a truck. Anyone else see that poor sod who'd gone into the back of a crane on the M62 on Thursday?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 20:23 
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malcolmw wrote:
Cranky Trucker wrote:
1 in 3 of us are gonna get killed whilst at work, We stand a 1/250 chance of being killed in a traffic accident compared to an average car driver who stands a 1/8000.


Are these numbers really correct? If so I am surprised anyone wants to drive trucks. Do you have a source for these numbers?

I am surprised that there is so much greater risk of dying in a truck than a car in the same accident.


I wish i still had the source to give you but i dont. As part of a training course i did for my HGV these were the statistics that were giving to us. And at the time they were the latest figures available. The same as when i did my dangerous goods you are giving the reasons behind why things are done the way they are.

But i can help with this.. lorry driven is the 10 most dangerous job in the uk..

1. Fishermen
2. Merchant seafarers
3. Aircraft flight deck officers
4. Railway lengthmen
5. Scaffolders
6. Roofers and glaziers
7. Forestry workers
8. Quarry and other mine workers
9. Dockers and stevedores
10. Lorry drivers

source http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2195847.stm

Also let me try and explain. lets say a car hits a bridge support at 40 mph..The front will crumple, the engine probably move, if a newish car airbag will deploy, but the engine will take most of the force and the driver will most of the time walk away feeling foolish.

Now same thing but with a truck. A lorry hits a bridge support at 40 mph, he has up to 45 tons following him forcing it home. The only thing between that lorry driver and the bridge support is a window screen and dashboard because everything that helps to protect you in a car is underneath us not in front. Which one would you prefer?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 20:54 
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But you CAN lessen your risk if you make it your responsibility to be prepared to deal with idiots. Of course we all do it in practice to greater or lesser extents.

I'm suggesting that dealing with idiots should be a matter of personal skill, responsibility and ultimately pride.


Dont disagree and trust me we have to deal with the idiots day in day out but you also have to draw the line somewhere. If he is the idiot then he should suffer the consequences. Not other innocent road users.

What i am getting at is lets say any of you with wifes and kids out there. Lets hope it never happens but just suppose you get a knock on your door and there is a policeman standing there wishing to inform you that whilst trying to avoid a complete idiot a lorry lost control and wiped out the car carrying your wife and kids but its ok cause the idiot was able to carry on his merry way home whilst you are left to pick up the pieces of losing your family and the lorry driver has to live with the fact that he has killed a couple of kids if he survives.

thats why i say if you are going to get yourself into that situation then be prepared to get yourself out of it because sooner or later the option to take any other action aint gonna be there.

Quote:
With 450,000 HGV drivers in 40 year careers and about 120 HGV drivers a year dying on our roads the lifetime risk facing an HGV driver is about 1 in 100. With 32,000,000 licenced car drivers and about 1,500 dying in each year and a driving lifetime of 60 years, the risk affecting a car driver is about 1 in 350.


you cant work it out in years. lets for easy maths say a car driver does 10,000 miles a year. He is gonna do 600,000 miles in that 60 year period. Now take a lorry driver doing an average 500kms a day. convert it into miles and then times it by that 40 years. He covers 3,120,000. In that 40 years he does 5 times more mileage than the car driver does in 60 so the risks are greater.

but forgetting that and going with your statistics alone. we have to face the car drivers risks and those for a lorry driver. we loose out no matter which way you do it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 09:27 
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Cranky Trucker wrote:
Quote:
But you CAN lessen your risk if you make it your responsibility to be prepared to deal with idiots. Of course we all do it in practice to greater or lesser extents.

I'm suggesting that dealing with idiots should be a matter of personal skill, responsibility and ultimately pride.


Dont disagree and trust me we have to deal with the idiots day in day out but you also have to draw the line somewhere. If he is the idiot then he should suffer the consequences. Not other innocent road users.


Nice theory (?). But in practice you don't get the chance to decide who will suffer. When it's all going wrong anything can happen - or in other words, crashes are extremely unpredictable and uncontrollable.

The best a good driver can do (in any vehicle) is try to minimise risk. When risk bites anyone nearby might pay the price.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 15:32 
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Nice theory (?). But in practice you don't get the chance to decide who will suffer. When it's all going wrong anything can happen - or in other words, crashes are extremely unpredictable and uncontrollable.


Yes there is always a chance that other people are going to get caught up in it. Thats is unavoidable and totally out of your control but you can minimise it.

In this senerio the way i see it a car pulls in front of you into a virtually none excistant space. You have 3 options:-
1 Brake Hard
2 swerve around them
3 Hit them

If you take option 1 you have to hope that all the vehicles behind you are gonna be able to do the same without slamming into the back of you or having to take actions which could lead to another accident.

If you take option 2 you have to hope you dont loose control which is quite likely at speed and that there is no-one at the side of you ( which if you are a decent driver and are doing you mirror checks you should have a rough idea wether there is or not )

Option 3 is self explanatory. Now because you are both going in the same direction and at roughly the same speed the impact is going to be a lot less than someone hitting something thats is stationary or under heavy braking.

That is your options. Option 1 + 2 will prevent you from hitting the idiot but increase the likelyhood of getting someone else hurt.

Option 3 may result in the idiot getting hurt but there is a little less chance of someone else getting hurt too although you are right its not guarenteed.

What i am saying is that if option 1 + 2 are ruled out because you cant do them without the risk of getting someone else hurt then you have to take option 3 everytime. Ok they may still end up getting hurt but at the end of the day you have done everything in your power to reduce it. The rest is in the laps of the gods.


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