Friday, December 10, 2010

Turning corners

Am I just getting curmudgeonly and noticing it more or is it increasing? I'm talking about cars turning corners and ending up on the wrong side of the road. If that happens you were travelling too fast. If the bend was sharper than you thought - you weren't paying attention to the road; and if the corner was hidden then you should have slowed down anyway.

Now sure larger lorries etc. need room to swing out; and occasionally they might veer slightly onto the wrong side either entering or leaving the corner, but even there they seem intent on travelling too fast for the circumstances.

What causes this? Hmm well last night driving along the Dunley Road I crossed the Bridge out of town with nothing behind me. I was travelling at 30mph (the maximum limit), when I reached the Rough I had four cars behind me; the one directly behind me so close we could have decided to just car-pool instead.

Turning a corner I indicated well in advance and started to slow down, still right on my arse. Now I can imagine how intimidating this could be and the urge to not slow down as much as you normally would and take the corner quite fast. Once you get into the habit of that I can see how you judgement could be impaired even without the intimidation.

So yeah a whole other thing - back off; seriously tempted to get one of those light-up signs saying exactly that or perhaps "I'm a cop" let's see if they give me the correct amount of room then.


Steve Severn said...

Following on from my comments about indicating, yes, another pet hate of mine! Its as if they think they are driving an artic and must swing out right before turning left. Arr, I see you mean something different, but this is annoying too. The worst cases seem to be turning left into the Esso garage or Lidls carpark. People seem to be fine indicating, then they reach the turn and swing out to the right slightly, sometimes they manage to go into the 2nd lane! Then swing left and the worst bit, slam on the brakes! So even though you were hanging back at a safe distance, the closing speed can be alarming. Then they creep into the garage forecourt. Its almost as if they are looking for a free pump to fill up at, before even leaving Vale Road properly! I realise the Esso forecourt is slightly blind, because of the old Shell pay kiosk, but even so. But this swinging to the right, before turning left, bugs the hell out of me. I know cars are not forklifts, which can turn on a dime, because of rear wheel stearing, but surely cars are capable of turning left without this extra movement. The only case I can think of that could be justified is this. You know if you travel from Swan hotel up Lickhill Road and then turn left down that really narrow road down to the Civic Center? That left turn is blind and narrow and you have to slow down as turning, because if someone is coming up from Civic Center, my cavalier's nose does tend to poke over their side. Maybe also in that case, using all the road up to the middle to give you a better turn in angle could be justified. But the Esso garage and other basic left turns? I think not. I sometimes wonder what is in the minds of A) People in 2nd lane on Vale Road when someone does this. B)On a two way direction road, the thoughts of a driver traveling in the opposite direction, when someone decides they need three quarters of the whole road width to complete a basic left turn.

Steve Severn said...

Oh, and another off topic thing. When I leave a comment for you, I am glad to see that the "Word Verification" is simple, clear and short. Some of the ones I see on major web sites are horrendous! About 15 letters, blended into each other. Can't tell what are capitals and what are not. Sometimes I have just given up! Why is this? Surely to stop automated systems you only need a few letters, clearly displayed in non standard text.

Steve Severn said...

Actually, your post brings something else to mind. The long debated point over the juction at the top of Vale Road and Gilgal. Arguments go back and forth over why people stop at the top of Vale, waiting for a gap in traffic coming from the lights before entering Gilgal. Myself included! I have commented before on this and this is my opinion. Because people are still accelerating from the lights, going downhill toward Gilgal turn and its narrow for two lanes, my concern is that someone will misjudge the corner and wonder over into the right hand lane. I see it all the time (Apart from rush hour!), so thats why I wait. But it ties in with your post. People go too fast and misjudge things. We have to be mindreaders all the time!

FlipC said...

That narrow road is Moorhall Lane otherwise known as how to avoid the town mess; a bit like Lichfield Street. In that instance you make my point - you slow down.

In terms of swinging out I do it from Worcester Road to Mitton Street, but I stay on my side of the road and make use of the cross hatch (broken lines) at the splitter so I can come out facing in a straight line as well as slowing down. For the top of Gilgal I simply slow-down, same going into Lion Hill.

It's the same there as the top of Gilgal, people stop to let the town/lights traffic come down. There's definitely no need for this at Lion Hill, but Gilgal - yeah as I keep saying something needs to be done about that; it just doesn't work with the current levels of traffic.