Quick stop

Discussion in 'Driving/Incidents/Roadrage' started by Pontoneer, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    I ended up having to apply my brakes this morning a bit quicker and harder than I would normally like .

    My morning run to work takes me across Glasgow on the M8 , down the recently completed section of M74 and off at the Raith Intrrchange for Hamilton . The skies were bright and clear , but the road surface was wet with the light drizzle that was still falling and some spray was being thrown up by traffic .

    Nearing the end of the new section of M74 there were signs advising a hold up on the M8 , then a tailback of standing traffic on the exit lane for the M73 and slower moving traffic in lane 1 , so I found myself in lane 2 making reasonable progress .

    A short distance on , the M74 opens back out to three lanes and a fair amount of traffic coming down the slip from the M73 in two lanes and taking up lanes one and two of the three lane M74 , so I am now passing them in lane three , maintaining a steady 70 with a safe gap in front .

    My exit is now a couple of miles ahead , so I am starting to look for a way over to the nearside ; both other lanes are fairly busy so I proceed down lane 3 for a mile or so until I find a large and safe enough gap between two artics to move over into .

    Once in lane two we are passing even slower traffic then I find a gap to move into with about 300 yds ahead to the next vehicle .

    No sooner had I joined lane one than the brake lights of the van ahead come on , and I start to brake gently - expecting that he is slowing for the exit , still half a mile ahead . Next , I see the tail of a car ahead of him slew sideways across the hard shoulder , then snap straight again , and I realise the traffic hidden in front of the van has stopped , and the van is braking HARD .


    Thankfully , I still have about 200 yds available , but had to brake pretty hard myself , bringing ABS into operation on the damp surface for a second or so before pulling up safely - then checking my mirror , heart in mouth , to see if I was about to be rear ended . I was ready to floor it and escape down the hard shoulder , but could see the van I had moved over ahead of seconds earlier slowing safely behind me .

    I felt bad because I had not seen the queue of traffic in lane one ( a tailback here is unusual ) because of the other traffic in lane two blocking my view , and because of the larger vehicle ( Sprinter van ) ahead of me in lane one ; also because I was probably concentrating too much on making sure I was safely past the slow van I pulled in ahead of during the brief period I might have seen further down lane one .

    Just goes to show how suddenly things can change on the road .
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
    3 people like this.
  2. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The worst moment I had, similar to this was when I was changing a CD in the Espace. The van that was in the front was coming onto a stationary queue, and (to this day I am convinced deliberately) did not brake, but at the last moment jinked into the left lane.

    Definitely an "Oh ****" moment, I had no choice but to also do the jink, as I was not going to stop in the space available. Completely unprepared, my own fault, although some brake lights would have assisted.

    Espace for a tall vehicle stood up to the lane change extremely well.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    The thing that bothers me most about this morning is that , as an advanced driver , my observation ought to have been better and I should have seen and recognised the queue of traffic sooner , thus avoiding the need to brake hard to avoid the vehicle in front .

    Had I seen the queue , I might even have stayed in lane two and carried on to the next exit .

    Still kicking myself over it .
     
  4. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Everyone makes mistakes, even advanced drivers. I think what makes the difference is recognising that there was a mistake, and knowing where to do better next time.
     
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  5. BoyracerAU

    BoyracerAU Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I had a similar situation on my way to display my Citroen DS at a classic car show about 100kms from home. Roadworkers had three lanes merging into one after a blind corner. Without warning, traffic went from 110km/h to a complete standstill in the blink of an eye.

    Mindful that I could be rear-ended, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw a Pantec that was close on my tail and the driver was not yet aware of the situation ahead. He was looking at his passenger! :eek:

    Fortunately I was in the nearside lane and I gave the throttle a bootful and scooted into the breakdown lane. I heard screeching behind me and remember being distinctly displeased to see that the Pantec driver had taken in the situation and was still bearing down on me as he too had swung into the breakdown lane!

    Luckily the old girl had just enough power to keep ahead of him until his brakes finally pulled him up. For me at least, that was real heart in the mouth type stuff!
     
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  6. Troon

    Troon Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You pulled up safely because you had sensibly left enough room to stop. Don't feel bad, treat it as one of those continual wake-up calls to renew your concentration.
     
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  7. D-18

    D-18 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Absolutely. You made an error, analysed the situation and recognised how to correct it - lesson learned.

    I worked with a lady who commuted between Glasgow and Edinburgh for 6 years, averaging 1 accident per year on the M8. After her fourth prang, I asked her if there was anything she could have done differently to avert an incident. Her reply was that in all cases the accident was not really her fault and was completely unavoidable. Don't think she had taken a IAM course as it happens......
     
  8. mbdonny16

    mbdonny16 Member

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    That new extension has made some difference to the traffic on the Kingston Bridge now Left Erskine today and got to other site in Cumbernauld in less than 1/2 hour. I know the bit you nearly came to grief at as used to travel that way for a while Its easy to get distracted there due to volume of traffic.
    Maybe a wake up call for you but alls well that ends well

    :)
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    Yes , it certainly was a wake up call , and I ended up needing most of the safety margin I had left myself ; if I hadn't had that couple of hundred yards to the van in front it could have been quite different .

    This was only from a speed of maybe 50 mph , but in the wet conditions and on a road surface where a lot of rubber had been deposited , I needed most of the available distance to stop .

    Mindful of how suddenly this had all happened , and of following traffic , I tried to leave as much room behind as possible before being hit from behind .
     
  10. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    I'm confused.
    Speed.......... Distance to Stop
    50 mph......... 53m 175ft
    70 mph......... 96m 315ft


    Has your car not got servo brakes?
     
  11. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    I had a similar event last Winter, fortunately as I watched in the mirror he went left so I went right.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    It has , and I momentarily locked up , causing the ABS to come on before backing off , but I rather think those are optimal figures , based on a dry road surface , not the wet and greasy surface I had this morning . Tyres are almost new Conti Premium Contact 2's all round , so no problems there .

    Moreover , I didn't need the full 200 yds to stop - I had something like 50 yds to spare , but then closed up the distance to leave room for the vehicle behind to stop without hitting me .

    I pulled up straight and true , unlike the car ahead which lost control big time on the same bit of road .
     
  13. Clivefa

    Clivefa Active Member

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    Seconded.
    I hold an advanced cert for motorbikes - the system of IPSGA - Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration used is doubly important.
     
  14. prprandall51

    prprandall51 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That's a great way of handling Pontoneer's situation, he should have applied that system without a doubt:
    Information: Van ahead is braking - hard.
    Position: 200 yards and closing fast.
    Speed: About 50mph
    Gear: drop a cog, for sure
    Acceleration: Give it the full beans
    :dk::dk:
     
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  15. PXW

    PXW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Reminds me of a 'moment' I had on the M25 a few years ago. Heavy rush hour traffic, me in the outside lane at about 50mph, and the line of traffic suddenly did a 'cascade stop'...probably caused by someone way down the line squeezing in, causing the car behind to dab the brakes and so on back up the line.

    I stopped in full control and with a couple of car lengths to spare; glanced in the mirror to see a car about five back screwing sideways and hitting the small van in front. I pulled forwards into the space I had left in front of me (nowhere else to go) and watched the accident unfold. Ended up with the little hatchback behind me being shoved into my back bumper gently enough to touch but not cause any damage...close call but could have been so so much worse. Thankfully no-one was injured, though there was a fair bit of dented metal.
     
  16. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Perhaps one of the rare instances where one of these Brake Assist/ "Distronic Plus" ACC with "Presafe Brake" electronic gizmos might have saved your bacon in a modern car ???
    They cost a lot of money and 90% of the time are unnecessary but maybe this was one of the 10% times -----?:dk:
     
  17. Troon

    Troon Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  18. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Pilots call this 'options'... if you drive slowly, leave ample space, and check your mirrors regularly you are in better position to react quickly, as there are a number of things you can do (brake hard, go on the hard shoulder etc). The less safety margin you leave when driving, the less 'options' you have when things go wrong... almost every enquiry into fatal plane crash carries the ominous line '...the pilot ran out of options'.
     
  19. prprandall51

    prprandall51 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Well, I have flown in many aircraft and I don't reckon any of the pilots have ever bothered checking their mirrors. They are pretty rubbish with the indicators, too. Perhaps they all drive BMWs when they are not in the cockpit.
     
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  20. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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