The A42 - 'The *Wild* West Midlands'

ALFAitalia

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I think that many of you moaning about the standards of driving in the UK have not driven outside this country very much. Many Euro countries have driving standards that make me scared to be on the road......and outside Europe it just gets worse. I doubt Ill ever be brave enough to drive in India again........bloody terrifying. Your side of the road too potholed for your artic?.....just drive on the other side....the cars will get out of your way! (I saw this happen more than once). Safer and more reassuring to use taxis......and just trust in the drivers experience of the conditions......and keep your eyes tight shut until you reach your destination.

As a side story someone said I should try booking a Limo instead of a taxi....a better car for only a few Rupees more.....so I did. All the taxis where I was were Hindustan Motors Ambassador taxis and they were bright yellow....when my "Limo" arrived it was exactly same car....but in Black ....and the driver wore a hat...they were the only differences............LOL!
 

E55BOF

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Just because things are worse elsewhere does not mean that we should not express our concern at how they are here, though. I've driven in Sri Lanka, and it was just like India, but it could still be much better here.
 

ALFAitalia

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I dont think standards or driving are any worse here than they were when I was young (70s)....we probably just notice it more as time passes.....or the rose tinted specs we tend to use when remembering times gone by just get a bit thicker!
 

MrGreedy

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The worst I've seen is Istanbul, where nearly every car (not an exaggeration) has massive amounts of panel damage.
Taking a taxi, there are seat belts, but the clips at the base of the seat - missing in literally every cab.
We worry about a chip on the windscreen; they have no worries about multiple cracks the full height of the windscreen that look like a deer (or human) has been bounced off.

But the A42 does seem to attract a lot of undertaking maniacs.
 
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sgregory124

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I think that many of you moaning about the standards of driving in the UK have not driven outside this country very much. Many Euro countries have driving standards that make me scared to be on the road......and outside Europe it just gets worse. I doubt Ill ever be brave enough to drive in India again........bloody terrifying. Your side of the road too potholed for your artic?.....just drive on the other side....the cars will get out of your way! (I saw this happen more than once). Safer and more reassuring to use taxis......and just trust in the drivers experience of the conditions......and keep your eyes tight shut until you reach your destination.

As a side story someone said I should try booking a Limo instead of a taxi....a better car for only a few Rupees more.....so I did. All the taxis where I was were Hindustan Motors Ambassador taxis and they were bright yellow....when my "Limo" arrived it was exactly same car....but in Black ....and the driver wore a hat...they were the only differences............LOL!
I've been to and driven in plenty of places outside of the UK (including the USA, lots of Western Europe and Africa) and trust me when I say, the UK is HORRIFICALLY BAD.

Sure you get the odd tailgating lunatic in France or Belgium, but at least on an Autoroute you have the space to get out of the way when someone is driving erratically, here you have three choices -

1. Be a participant in the accident caused by said driver
2. Have your own accident with the scenery (or others) whilst trying to avoid the first
3. Stop, start arguing with a stranger, who ultimately pulls a knife or resorts to physical violence (the latter happened to me on Coventry a number of years ago)

I'm sorry but - Nowhere else do you see the kind of aggression on display on your average UK road, heck I even got threatened with violence by a van driver outside my own house 2 weeks ago, for daring to try and reverse into my own driveway.
 
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sgregory124

sgregory124

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I think you missed out the 4th option, which is the one most people would take - carry on making progress, but be aware of the other driver and his possible actions.
That does kind of depend on fate. Sure you can carry on driving, assuming you haven't already been taken out...
 

m80

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That does kind of depend on fate. Sure you can carry on driving, assuming you haven't already been taken out...

I find the closer to London the more inconsiderate and aggressive the the driving. Every inch seems to be fought for.
Driving toward Brum from Derbyshire and the manners become less. The space between cars reduces, the dangers increase. M/cr is possibly marginally better.

I don't share the view that we can ease back and stay out of trouble. Much danger is from the exhaust sniffer behind, and often they can be hauling 40 tons.
As I get closer to London I expect those joinng a m'way to decide last second wether to squeeze in front as they go faster than I, or surrender to joinng behind me, annoyed that they have to reduce to my speed. Then most of the erratic wuck fits must get to the middle lane/s at all costs.

Darn Sarf there is far less opportunity to drive in a chilled manner, 360 degree vision is essential.

Mind I might have enjoyed the M25 race track when I was younger, and invincible like they are.
 

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That does kind of depend on fate. Sure you can carry on driving, assuming you haven't already been taken out...
According to your options, you have an accident involving the other driver, you have an accident not involving the other driver, or you stop and become involved in a violent confrontation. I find that a little pessimistic, and not representative of the experience of most people.
 

MEMERC7

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Been to and from Birmingham and environs in the last 3 days, ferrying family from/to BHX and on days out.

Today I witnessed some of THE worst driving I have ever seen, on the A42 in the Kingsbury area. Lots of traffic, most of it in lane 2 due to trucks in lane 1, so lots of bottled up impatient people in big blocks of passing traffic. A fully liveried van decides he's going to undertake me and 3 other cars behind, prior to us passing a full size artic on the inside, which somehow he manages without crashing.

He's now barreling at some speed down lane 1, in front of said artic, catching a train of fast moving traffic in lane 2 and fast approaching two more trucks in lane 1.

From about a 1/2 mile back, I watch with heart firmly in mouth as he tries to muscle his way into lane 2 (unsuccessfully at first due to a plucky Vito driver), then succeeds on the second attempt, massively cutting up the Vito in lane 2 and driving he/she onto the central reservation, narrowly avoiding the barrier. Queue huge cloud of dust, stones and a metal bar kicked by the Vito rejoining lane 2.

Luckily I was far enough back to swerve into lane 1 to avoid anything nasty, I then move back into lane 2 because of a truck in lane 1. But things weren't over, some clown in a silver C200d wagon (if you're on this forum, you might want to make sure you have an up-to-date will written) who'd been tailgating me for miles decides today was also the day he would risk meeting his maker - he pulls out at the last minute and undertakes me, narrowly avoiding hitting both me and the rear of the truck as he swerved violently into lane 2.

Finally, on the way home this afternoon I was cut up by a liveried Transit pickup at a junction on the A444 in Nuneaton - who then proceeded to drive slowly alongside me down a duel carriageway (he'd seen me call him call him something less than complimentary as I passed him) before cutting up a huge line of traffic at the next island.

All in all, an eventful day for all the wrong reasons. The silver lining to the A42 incident however, was my wife calling the company who's van it was, speaking to the owner and suggesting he might want to 'have a word about the two accidents he nearly caused'. By the sounds of it, the owner had had a few calls already as once he knew what road we were on, he 'knew exactly who the driver was'......

I am beginning to think that maybe some of today's shenanigans were due to my car - probably the worst part of owning a performance car, are the people who think they are (inexplicably) 'getting one over on you' by passing/cutting you up and having a story to tell their mates etc etc

Don't think i'll ever understand it - but I know driving standards in this country and at rock bottom (and got even worse today!).
Apparently fatal accidents are at an all time high, but as already noted this report merely reflects what is "normal", much of it out of sheer bloody frustration that our roads are overcrowded, but then so is the country & the globe. Breeding is the limit of too many of the worlds human abilities & daily we ALL have to pay the price. Owning a "performance" car, especially one that from it's appearance brags power & costs will always be a magnet for the envious so get over it or lose the ego & the need to pose & buy something more subtle. Maybe just be content to 'potter' & let everybody else get frustrated.
 

E55BOF

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Apparently fatal accidents are at an all time high, but as already noted this report merely reflects what is "normal", much of it out of sheer bloody frustration that our roads are overcrowded, but then so is the country & the globe. Breeding is the limit of too many of the worlds human abilities & daily we ALL have to pay the price. Owning a "performance" car, especially one that from it's appearance brags power & costs will always be a magnet for the envious so get over it or lose the ego & the need to pose & buy something more subtle. Maybe just be content to 'potter' & let everybody else get frustrated.
Apparent to you, perhaps, but not to statisticians. There are estimated to have been 1,390 reported road deaths in the year ending June 2021, a decrease of 11% compared to the year ending June 2020. There was a decrease of 22% compared to the 3 rolling year rolling average for 2017 to 2019.
 

Bellow

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Owning a "performance" car, especially one that from it's appearance brags power & costs will always be a magnet for the envious so get over it or lose the ego & the need to pose & buy something more subtle. Maybe just be content to 'potter' & let everybody else get frustrated.
The thoughtless don't give toss what you are driving. Thoughtless - absent of thinking. Not thinking about what you are driving - they really don't care. Nor envy you.
The narcissism though, is all yours.
 
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sgregory124

sgregory124

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According to your options, you have an accident involving the other driver, you have an accident not involving the other driver, or you stop and become involved in a violent confrontation. I find that a little pessimistic, and not representative of the experience of most people.
Pessimistic? - Realistic in my opinion, i've done a lot of driving in the last 24 years and its definitely got worse.
 
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sgregory124

sgregory124

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Apparently fatal accidents are at an all time high, but as already noted this report merely reflects what is "normal", much of it out of sheer bloody frustration that our roads are overcrowded, but then so is the country & the globe. Breeding is the limit of too many of the worlds human abilities & daily we ALL have to pay the price. Owning a "performance" car, especially one that from it's appearance brags power & costs will always be a magnet for the envious so get over it or lose the ego & the need to pose & buy something more subtle. Maybe just be content to 'potter' & let everybody else get frustrated.
Why do you assume I want to 'pose' or 'brag' to other motorists? Because I buy a nice looking car I must want to lord it up over everyone at every opportunity?

Ridiculous comment.
 

ALFAitalia

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Apparent to you, perhaps, but not to statisticians. There are estimated to have been 1,390 reported road deaths in the year ending June 2021, a decrease of 11% compared to the year ending June 2020. There was a decrease of 22% compared to the 3 rolling year rolling average for 2017 to 2019.
There might have been some sort of illness going around that affected those figures .....cant remember what it was called though! But before that it was pretty much the same between 2012 and 2019.
 

Dippo

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Pessimistic? - Realistic in my opinion, i've done a lot of driving in the last 24 years and its definitely got worse.
So you are saying that in your world, if you encounter an agressive driver, then the only possible outcomes are an accident or a violent confrontation?
 
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sgregory124

sgregory124

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So you are saying that in your world, if you encounter an agressive driver, then the only possible outcomes are an accident or a violent confrontation?
No of course i'm not - what i'm saying is that sometimes the choice is taken out of your hands and your choices become limited.
 
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Tonygw

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The driving standards are pretty bad these days.

The governments solution though is to mix pedestrians, cyclists, lorries vans and cars all up into one lovely safe smooth transport system. :wallbash:
 

suty455

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I think that many of you moaning about the standards of driving in the UK have not driven outside this country very much. Many Euro countries have driving standards that make me scared to be on the road......and outside Europe it just gets worse. I doubt Ill ever be brave enough to drive in India again........bloody terrifying. Your side of the road too potholed for your artic?.....just drive on the other side....the cars will get out of your way! (I saw this happen more than once). Safer and more reassuring to use taxis......and just trust in the drivers experience of the conditions......and keep your eyes tight shut until you reach your destination.

As a side story someone said I should try booking a Limo instead of a taxi....a better car for only a few Rupees more.....so I did. All the taxis where I was were Hindustan Motors Ambassador taxis and they were bright yellow....when my "Limo" arrived it was exactly same car....but in Black ....and the driver wore a hat...they were the only differences............LOL!
Dont be daft I lived in India for years once you get the idea thats its a free for all it does surprisingly work and work well, however the trucks are to be treated with a wide berth as the drivers are usually underpaid, have not slept due to long hours and full of drugs or booze to cope. In India one rule is above all might is right its a caste system for the road.
We go back to India regularly as my Wife has relatives there as she is half Indian we have a Royal Enfield that we use whenever we are there. The limo though LOL yes its true!
 

ALFAitalia

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Yeah....their system works really well....which is why they have about ten times the road death rate per capita of the UK!
This link below is interesting. All of those that think we have such a low driving standard might like a look at it.......based on deaths alone we are about the four safest country (so that would tend to be reflected in driving standards) in the World to drive in. I was surprised that the USA is so bad too....about 5 times our road death rate. You can separate male and female drivers on this site too....quite interesting results!!....but I only am comparing all drivers.

 

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