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People running into stationary objects

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by modern_ninja, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Rant on.

    WTF is up with that? Its not like it jumped out at you...

    My housemate backed straight into my fiancee's car the other night... Its not so much the damage that is the problem, more how it happened.

    Its like at the shops once, I watched someone try to pull into a car park and end up running the side of their car into a wall. Ooops, there goes your passenger door, yep thats got a massive dent.

    A friend tried to defend it saying "it was just a laspe in concentration, its an accident". But really, those "laspes" could end up being someone dead/maimed. What if my housemate backed over the neighbours cat? Awesome. What about the neighbours young son? Not so awesome.

    It just makes me wonder about the "skills" people on the road actually have. Do those "skills" qualify them to be in command of a vehicle? Certainly from what i've seen (and that isn't much), 8 out of 10 shouldn't be behind the wheel.

    Wish there was some way to get this through to community.

    Rant over.

    Flame suit on.
  2. No flames - agree with you.

    Trouble is, we're busy making at harder to get a license, but that's being implemented in a way that you need 7,000 hours of logged tuition in the company of a JP, and must be able to recite the minimum legal parking distance from any and every conceivable piece of roadside furniture, and the chemical composition of the red paint on stop signs. All of which tells me precisely pharghin narthing about whether or not you can drive or ride safely.

    I mean - honestly! The fact that you can note the day and date, the number plate of the car, the name of the supervising driver, his/her license number, address, DOB, the start time, start km, end time and end km, for every single 10 minute trip for a year, without making a single mistake in your transcript tells me only one thing - you are a good and careful liar, who can do basic arithmetic with few simple mistakes. That and the fact that you have older relatives ready to tell big lies on your behalf. Neither of these facts fill me with confidence that you can drive.
  3. Worst I've seen was someone trying to park a Ford Falcon in a supermarket parking space clearly labelled "compact cars only". The reason for the sign was the high stone wall on one side of the park and everyone around could clearly hear the car scraping down as the driver tried to keep as close as possible to the parked car on their right without touching it.

    Not that the driver noticed the sound of the entire LHS of their car scraping on slate, the elderly driver was out the door and halfway to the shop entrance before realising his wife couldn't get out of the car. When he realised what he'd done he started ranting to me (the closest person to him) about how the supermarket should not have put a wall there, how he was going to sue them, etc, etc.

    I let him go on for a bit, then politely pointed out the compact car only sign, and that if he was too f*&king stupid to realise his car clearly wouldn't fit he should get the f*&k off the road. He didn't say anything after that, and I think he realised everyone else standing around was thinking exactly what I'd just said.

    I didn't bother sticking around to see how he managed to extricate his car, but judging by the damage I saw to the wall a week later I'm sure it wouldn't have looked pretty.

    But hey, at least he wasn't speeding right :roll:.
  4. Agree totally - Victoria (my wife) had her new car backed into the other day by someone even dumber than that.

    COming up Lygon St northbound we got to the intersection of Brunswick Rd & Lygon St in the inside lane. Someone in an Astra was propped out in the intersection waiting to turn right so Victoria decided she wouldn't get across since the lights were orange so stopped behind the white line.

    On the change of lights for some reason known only to himself dumbo in the Astra decides not to continue his turn but reverses back and stops a couple of metres in front of us (the line is a significant distance back and he wasn't blocking anything).

    A while later I noticed his reversing lights were still on - Victoria hit the horn a couple of times to try and catch his attention about this but he ignored her. We had nowhere to go - cars in the left lane, a long queue behind us and the tram safety zone on the right. - and sure enough a few seconds later when the light changes he slams his foot down for a fast take off - straight back into us!

    Fortunately there were witnesses... Otherwise I suspect he would have claimed that we ran up his backside.

    Our car has surprisingly little damage - the front RHS panel is out of alignment and a few marks on the bumperbar. It's just a damned nuisance having to go through the whole insurance/repair process.
  5. Proposed driving test: (Note - I'm half joking about this, but only half.)

    During your L-plate time, you will attend a gokart hire place at least 8 times and spend at least 4 hours on the track. You will not be timed, but you will be assessed. You will be expected to demonstrate some minimum standard of competence in basic car control, including things like understeer, oversteer, figuring out line and speed for corners, and develop a basic visceral sense of what the cart is doing and react to it appropriately.

    Test: You will go to a gokart track with a small front engine rear drive sedan. (Gemini, 120Y, 808 ... Escort...) The instructor / test officer will do ten laps in the gokart, and the times for the quickest 3 laps will be noted and averaged. That is your target time. The narrow crossply tyres on the test car will be set to 12 psi and you will then have 1 hour to get it around the track in not more than double the target time at least ONCE. Any lap on which you put a wheel on the grass does not count. There is no penalty for understeer, oversteer, locked brakes ... only running off the track. If you want a manual license, the test car obviously has to be a manual.

    Now, ditch 2/3 of the academic / arithmetic / careful liar questions. Extend the on-road driving test to about 1/2 an hour, and rather than count the number of times you failed to hold the wheel with both hands, actually assess whether the person has car control and situational awareness skills. The number of petty "Gotcha" mistakes you make should not be the point. Can the person competently drive a car or not? You might verbally quiz the person a bit about basic road rules during the test. Again, it isn't about getting 90% right - it's about whether the person can manage their attention.
  6. Lol. This reminds me of the time I knocked about 50 garbage bins over trying to do a uturn in my car once. I only drive a few times a year so my spatial awareness when driving is shot, no idea where the left of the car ends. As a result I hate parking the car and pretty much refuse to doso unless its an easy park :]

    Fortunately I almost never have to drive those nasty cage things.
  7. As another, slightly more controversial move, I'd like to see a minimum age of 15 for mopeds and cycles up to 150cc, 16 for bikes up to 250 or LAMS approved, and 17 for cars. I'd even like to make it a requirement that you get and hold at least a LAMS / 250 license for 12 months before you can get your L-pates for a car, or no car license until you're 21.

    If EVERYBODY had to go through bikes as kids, their awareness of bikes would be infinitely higher, and their understanding of the characteristics of bikes would be better. And it might just be their own bratt they run over. Maybe then they'd look.

    Would there be more motorcycle related injuries? Yes. Quite a bit more, I think. But what would the overall effect be - long term - on road safety?
  8. First thing to do is get the word 'accident' out of the vocabulary.

    There's no such thing as an accident. It's a 'someone farked up'.
  9. Playing devil's advocate for a moment...

    ... it doesn't help that modern cars have extremely high waistlines and bonnets nowadays compared to 10-15 years ago. Bonnet heights have increased for pedestrian safety and the rest of the "waistline" and rear boot increased in height to keep the aesthetics in line. All this adds up to a situation where we just can't see the extents of the car the way we used to.

    Visibility from the driver seat is ****ing atrocious in modern cars.
  10. I used to work in St Leonards. Fark me, people can't reverse park to save themselves on the north side. A day didn't go by that I didn't watch 2-3 cars reverse into another car.

    Almost always old farts in expensive cars too, like mercs and BMWs.
  11. Agreed, but given that most people are (or at least should be) aware of the visibility issues with modern cars, you'd think people would drive accordingly. Oh, wait, that's right it's not their fault, it's the car manufacturers fault, or engineers fault, or the governments fault, or, or, or, or
  12. +1 ! All this 'intellectual' stuff mean Fark all, when you out on the road, lacking a sense of judgement, common sense, and have failed in developing it, but can answer all the questions correctly.

    We breed robotic drivers that are marginal at best and out of depth the minute things don't go the way they are supposed to.
  13. Actually the blind spot caused by the A pillar in commodores is genuinely a big fkup by Holden IMO. They install a pillar airbag as a 'safety feature' in the event of an accident. But the huge amount of visibility that is lost surely increases the chance of an accident in the first place. Going around sharp right hand corners corners you have to move your head to the centre of the car so that vision isn't obscured.
  14. Try property renters who don't give a flying fudge about anything (and own an old beat-up car)...

    My parents had part of their complex rented out to what appeared to be a sensible/reasonable middle-aged woman. My father noticed small dings appearing in one of his roller doors which had him puzzled. A few days hence (and a few more dings), he was around to see the woman come home from work in her car. She reversed up to the garage and ONCE SHE TAPPED IT AND STARTED TO DISTORT IT she put the car in drive and moved forward slightly. Now it turned out this was how she parked every bloody day saving her the inconvenience of turning around to see how close she was getting. Soon after she bought a newer car and magically, she no longer had the urge to park by "feel".
  15. in canberra they call it touch parking when they bump the car next to or in front of them.
  16. On the subject of visibility out of the car, the XD Foulcan was a horrible poxy thing that drove just well enough to suck you into something it couldn't do. They were a death trap. But the visibility out of the car was about the best I've ever experienced. Now if you managed to tip one over (not all that hard) the roof would collapse with just the static weight of the car on it - let alone the car being dropped on it from a couple of metres up, so a bit more thought could have gone into that, but the pillars were small and narrow and aligned so as to offer best visibility for the driver. It was the car's one redeeming feature.

  17. I've been saying this for years....I don't like to admit it, but I have spent most of my adult life (over 20 years) in the transport industry, whether that would be riding, driving or flying (I LOVE operating machinery!).

    At least half the drivers on the road DO NOT deserve to be there, yet the Goverment allows it. Without these so called 'drivers', the Goverment would lose out on a huge amount of revenue. Regardless if it costs people their life.
  18. Shit happens. People make mistakes. All the time. Sometimes they are driving a car when they make a mistake. Or a riding bike.
  19. Way to sum things up nicely.

    But most people use cars as their primary means of transport. A large percentage of people would drive >300ks a week. You would think that they would learn their car...

    I think cars and motor-vehicles have become so heavily entwined with modern life that having a license is more of a right than a priviledge. With this mindset comes the belief that driving is easy or not something you have to worry about. And it is, the only problem is, complacency steps in because the majority get away with poor habits and skills because of their exposure.

    For example, my housemate also leaves her manual car in neutral when parked. Thats fine for adelaide where the entire friggin city is flat. But I grew up in Newcastle, the car was always left in gear. My exposure means I always leave the car in gear. Another example is commuting to and from work in a car. Heavy traffic. Traffic Lights. Cars sit in blind spots, don't check intersecting roads and when merging, don't head check. They fiddle with their radio, or mobile. They do their hair, have a shave, concentrate on everything but the road. And they get away with it because nothing ever happens on the commute.

    But what if someone suddenly merged into you? Couple of times i've been driving with people and spotted a car about to merge and was able to alert the person driving before a collision. Motorcyclist's 6th sense? Or just watching for dangerous situations?

    More and more people will be forced onto two wheels because of the price of petrol, insurance, increasing congestion on the roads, decrease in size of urban allotments, lack of parking space... The reasons go on. We need an effective education program for L-platers of all vehicles...

    I don't think raising the minimum age for licensing OR increasing the number of driving hours will improve the standards upon the road. As Raven said, it just breeds moar robots. What we need is an interactive course where new drivers/riders are taught how to avoid situations, react to situations and generally have good road craft.

    EDIT: @akaluke, i'm not talking about a coincidence of circumstances out of ones control resulting in a prang. I'm talking about laspses in concentration or judgement that end in a bad result.
  20. So was I.

    Sadly, shit happens.