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Today was a good day, Karma made me smile:-) Scene: Driving along a country winding road I had this 'turkey' come racing up behind me & fill my rear view mirror darting from side to side. The moron sat there for a few K's then finally overtook me on a crest of a hill double lines, sprayed me with stones....grrrrr

Estimated speed 120k's + Type of idiot? The usual tradie type moron with the fluro vest, you know see these idiots all the time, young, low IQ & awaiting their demise on some lonely country road, late model expensive (waste of money) Hilux, ladders etc & what seemed like the obligatory mongrel dangerous breed dog, bull Mastive or some such 4 legged walking killing machine going crazy on it's choker chain in the back of the ute. I rounded the next bend a few K's down the road only to find the idiot pulled over with colorful flashing lights from Mr plods cop car! I felt like tooting my horn but carried on with the biggest smile on my face for a long timeūüėĀ There is a God after all!:-)

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I was contract earthmoving about 1981 around Ravensthorpe (W.A.), and we had a couple of brothers (Erwin & Josh White) in competition to me, working in the same area with their machines.

These brothers were noted somewhat, for always in being in a tearing hurry on the roads. Then again, most contractors always are.

 

One of the brothers had a near-new Valiant Drifter van, and anytime I saw it, he was "motoring". The terrain around Ravensthorpe is a bit more hilly than the rest of the W.A. wheatbelt.

The main South Coast Hwy is a bit windy, each side of town, and in some sections, at 110kmh, you need to be on the ball, because the curves limit your vision somewhat.

 

I noticed this older traytop Landrover getting around town, with a huge bend in the middle of the chassis. I thought the bloke had overloaded it, and it had bent under the excessive weight.

It was still quite driveable, it just had this very noticeable droop in the middle, a good 100mm, right behind the cabin. I was wondering what kind of weight he must have dropped on it, to bend it like that?

 

The old bloke who owned the bent Landrover ran the motel, and I ended up staying there for a few days. I started up a conversation with him one day, and asked, "What happened to your Landrover? Did you overload it?"

 

He says, "Oh no! I got hit up the rear on the highway!! Do you know those mad White brothers? Well, I was just tootling along the highway about 25kmh a few months back, checking the sheep in the paddock - and that mad Josh White came tearing around the bend behind me - he must've been flying! - and he ran straight up the back of the Landrover!! What a madman he'd be!! I hit me head on the back windah - and all the stuff I had on the tray, ended up on the bonnet of Whites Valiant!!"

 

I could barely stifle my laughter at the thought of this scenario - but it got even funnier when I got talking to Josh White, a week or two later. I said, "I heard you ran up the back of an old blokes Landrover on the South Coast Hwy?"

 

He exploded, "The bloody old fool!! Who dawdles along the main highway at 25kmh, just around a bend, when the speed limit is 110kmh and most people are doing 120kmh!! I didn't see him until the last minute, and I couldn't swerve around him because there was a car coming the other way! I tried to stop in time, but I couldn't, so I cleaned him up!! All the farm crap he had on the back of the tray landed on the bonnet of the Drifter, and I thought for second, half of it was going to come through the windscreen!! I wrote off the Drifter, and bent the chassis of the Landrover with the impact!! Geez, some people!!"

 

Once again, I could hardly stifle my mirth at the thought of the scenario from Josh's view - a dawdling old cocky, totally oblivious to the rest of the world, checking the sheep like he does in the back paddocks, and next thing! - KAPOW! - you're wearing a load of farm junk on the bonnet of your wrecked van! I think they could each share 50% of the blame for the accident, because I reckon Josh would probably have been doing 130kmh, and it was fortunate they both weren't seriously hurt.

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8 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

One wise driving instructor said to me, don't go faster than it would take to stop in the distance you can see in front of you... Wise words.

Wise and very correct words, the corollary of which is "don't drive into a space that you cannot stop within". The problem is that when we are teaching student drivers, we never let them experience how long it actually takes to stop from a certain speed.

 

The stopping distance of a car is given by

d = v² /(2fg)

Where v is velocity in metres per second

f is the coefficient of friction

g acceleration due to gravity - 9.81 metres per second per second

 

 

On the average Australian sealed bitumen sealed road, the coefficient of friction (f) between the tyres and the road surface is about 0.7. Sixty kph is 16.62 m/s. Therefore, the distance to stop once the brakes have locked the wheels and they start to skid is 19.8 metres. You also have to add the distance travelled before the driver recognises and reacts to the need to brake hard. It is usual in accident reconstruction calculations to ignore the time taken for the brakes to lock the wheels.

 

So, how good are you at KNOWING how long 20 metres is while you are in a moving environment?

 

Have you ever noticed that young women regularly travel well within safe stopping distance? It's not that they can't estimate distance, it's just that men have given them a false idea of what 6 inches is.

 

 

I 

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You also have to add the distance travelled before the driver recognises and reacts to the need to brake hard

This is 95% of the cause of most prangs, switched-off drivers, and people with "pedal-to-metal" mentality who have a mental resistance to lifting their foot whenever dangerous situations are evolving. Add in erratic behaviour from a driver in front, and we have the perfect recipe for disaster.

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Another similar crash I recall, which was in a somewhat similar vein, happened at a place called Bendering, which is just North of Kondinin, W.A. 

I came across this old farmer who lived East of Bendering, and he was probably the worst junk hoarder in the W.A. wheatbelt.

 

This bloke was almost certainly afflicted with some type of mental aberration that was possibly tied to some kind of major loss in his early life. He could not see anything go to the tip, he had to save it - because everything had a value to him.

This compulsion led to his hoarding every imaginable household item you can think of - from worn-out pots and pans, through to broken TV's and washing machines, and even old newspapers. 

 

One day when I was canvassing for contract work, he invited me into his house. The front and back yards were full of useless junk - and the inside of the house was worse!

He had old newspapers stacked to the ceiling in the hallway, so that you nearly had to turn sideways to get into the house! Every room was full of junk, and all it was "just in need of a bit of work".

 

This bloke made runs to the local rubbish tips every few days with his Falcon wagon and trailer, and brought them back, filled to the brim with all kinds of rubbish. It was pretty sad, really.

Then came the day he was coming back from doing a trip to the Bendering tip, and the Falcon and trailer were loaded to the hilt.

He was travelling East on the Bendering Rd, which was a good, wide gravel road - when the Falcon stopped with a fuel blockage.

 

He pulled up in a cloud of dust and didn't pull off the road, just essentially parked in the lane that everyone drove in, on the left of the road.

He obviously thought no-one else used the road. He climbed out and opened the bonnet to examine the source of the fuel blockage, and was bending over the radiator, when a local farmer in a traytop Landcruiser ran straight up the back of the trailer and Falcon - because they were hidden in the cloud of dust, that hadn't dispersed!

 

Once again, I got the story from the old hoarder - and later on, I got the story from the bloke who ran into him!  The old hoarder complained about the, "mad bugger who ran up the bum of me trailer!  I nearly went through the firewall of the Falcon! All the stuff I'd just collected, went all over the road, and even into the roadside bush!"

And the bloke who ran into his trailer told he got the shock of his life when, "this explosion of rubbish" appeared in front of him, when he drove into this cloud of dust!

 

I have no doubt it was a shock to both of them, but they were both equally to blame - the old hoarder for not pulling off onto the shoulder when his Falcon stopped - and the farmer for driving blind, into a thick cloud of dust!

The old hoarder was most upset about the writing off of his trailer, because that stopped him from collecting more junk, until he could acquire a new trailer!

 

Sadly, the old hoarders house burnt the ground a few years later - aided by all the rubbish piled inside the house. The firies reckoned it was nearly impossible to put out, it burnt like a fuel depot! The old fella got out unhurt, fortunately.

 

Edited by onetrack
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13 hours ago, old man emu said:

Wise and very correct words, the corollary of which is "don't drive into a space that you cannot stop within". The problem is that when we are teaching student drivers, we never let them experience how long it actually takes to stop from a certain speed.

 

The stopping distance of a car is given by

d = v² /(2fg)

Where v is velocity in metres per second

f is the coefficient of friction

g acceleration due to gravity - 9.81 metres per second per second

 

 

On the average Australian sealed bitumen sealed road, the coefficient of friction (f) between the tyres and the road surface is about 0.7. Sixty kph is 16.62 m/s. Therefore, the distance to stop once the brakes have locked the wheels and they start to skid is 19.8 metres. You also have to add the distance travelled before the driver recognises and reacts to the need to brake hard. It is usual in accident reconstruction calculations to ignore the time taken for the brakes to lock the wheels.

 

So, how good are you at KNOWING how long 20 metres is while you are in a moving environment?

 

Have you ever noticed that young women regularly travel well within safe stopping distance? It's not that they can't estimate distance, it's just that men have given them a false idea of what 6 inches is.

 

 

I 

 

3 seconds.

 

All you have to remember.  Doesn't matter what speed you're doing, whether it's 40 or 200.  Just start your mental stopwatch when the car in front passes something (shadow of a power pole is good), end it when your car passes the same thing.  If you're at 3 seconds or more then you're at a safe stopping distance.

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We’re told to keep at least four car-lengths behind, but I seem to be one of the few who exceeds that. Even at the recommended spacing, I seriously doubt most drivers could avoid an unexpected road hazard, such as a sudden stop, animal jumping out, huge pothole, dead wombat, etc.
I hate tailgaters with a passion, but these days I just pull off the road and let the buggers go past. 
 And no, I’m not a slow driver; I set my cruise to the exact legal speed, as per GPS. 

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7 minutes ago, Marty_d said:

Just start your mental stopwatch when the car in front passes something

Marty_d, I have to say that that was once thought to be a good idea, but there are many practical faults with it. It needs to be reassessed.

 

What you have to remember is that, at 100 kph you are covering 27.7 metres per second. If you add a safety fudge factor to make the mental arithmetic easier, then at 100 kph you travel 30 metres per second. That comes down to 3 metres per 10 kph. So at 40 kph you are covering 12 metres per second, while at 200 kph it's 60 metres per second. 

 

As you can see from d = v² /(2fg), the distance to stop depends on the square of the initial velocity. Double your speed and it takes four times longer to stop on the same piece of road surface. 

The time to stop can be calculated from 

Final velocity = initial velocity - (rate of deceleration x time)

0 = Vi - fg.t

fg.t = Vi

t = Vi/ fg

Where v is velocity in metres per second

f is the coefficient of friction between the tyres and road surface

g acceleration due to gravity - 9.81 metres per second per second

Simply put, the faster you go, the longer it takes to stop on the same piece of road surface.

 

Let's say you are travelling at 60 kph (~ 18m/s) on a road surface where the coefficient of friction is 0.7. Therefore, fg = 0.7 x 9.81 = 6.8

Therefore the distance to stop  is 18²/ (2 x 6.8) = 324/13.6 = 23.8 metres.

The time to stop is 18/6.8 = 2.6 seconds

 

While it's correct that you could stop if you were 3 seconds behind the car in front, but to do that, your reaction time and the time for for the brakes to lock the wheels has to be within 0.4 seconds.

 

It is interesting that driver examiners are placing great importance on what they call "Clear Air Space", which is the amount of free space a drive maintains to the front and side of the vehicle while moving.

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Old Koreelah said:

We’re told to keep at least four car-lengths behind

My current practice is to place my vehicle behind another so that I can see the  V-shape gap between the lead car's left hand external mirror and its left hand A-pillar, and then I back off a bit further.

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The problem is, you leave a safe braking distance, and some other jerk changes lanes into it. Near us, there is a long stretch of road with nothing parked at the kerb except for one inconsiderate so and so who parks his 4wd ute outside his business. People who know the road move into the second lane well in advance, but there is always this no-hoper who comes barrelling down the left lane and pulls into the lane in front of you. In a hurry to get to his own funeral.

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8 hours ago, red750 said:

The problem is, you leave a safe braking distance, and some other jerk changes lanes into it

But most people only drive along the same routes all the time. When was the last time (pre-COVID of course) you drove from your local area to some location across your metropolitan area that you don't normally go to? Therefore, most people, as in your example, know what to expect along the route, and have developed plans to deal with things. Part of that plan is expecting the P-plater to do what you describe.

 

The other thing that years of driving experience tells you is that no matter how much ducking and diving through traffic the Hare does, at the next set of lights, he'll have to wait for them to change longer than you will, and will be only about two cars ahead. If you leave a goodly space in front of you as a matter of habit, then you will also come to expect that someone will cut in. So all you do is restore the gap. 

 

There is a term in traffic management called the "platoon". This refers to a group of vehicles travelling at the same speed in the same direction. In city traffic, platoons form up at traffic lights, and move off in an orderly fashion to the next set of lights. The following platoon is separated from the first by the cycling of the original set of traffic lights. If you use the satellite images from Google Maps of a length of main road with traffic lights, you'll pick up platoons forming at traffic lights, or moving between sets, with long vacant spaces in between. 

 

And you also learn that the best way to get an uninterrupted run on a long stretch is to sit on the speed limit. However, sometimes you get out of sync and cop every red light along the way.

 

 

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The old man used to say when teaching me to drive (in an old Riley Pathfinder) "always drive for the other car", works for me with no accidents & no ticketsūüĎć My current rig an old Ford ute done close to 1/2 Mill K's with an untouched eng/tranny I never take over 3000rpm & has had 2 sets of brake pads in it's life. Today's roads are a dangerous place with so many idiots trying to kill you &anger/road rage now common place!

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3 hours ago, facthunter said:

They've gotta be ON Something. That's the only explanation I can think of. Nev

It's a drug saturated world now, no such thing as clean foods unless you go organic, it's all chemicalised and when you add the air and chemicals in urban water. It's not wonder anger is becoming the norm on roads and in the streets, since the pandemic, life on the roads of Tas have returned to how it once was before the chinese tourists invaded and turned the roads into dangerous trips.

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