Road Deaths ...a Thought

Yes that's right Alexander, it wasn't metal but a kind of felt/metal compound type stuff with a plasticy finish if I recall. Water poured in, even when the sun shone ! The battery was behind the drivers seat between the rear wheel arch and the drivers car door. It was a death trap to say the least. The final insult to the vehicle was the installation of an eight track machine which was more valuable than the mini van ! The eight track ate virtually every tape I had...

Ah yes, the good old days..........

I enjoy driving in France a whole lot more than driving in the UK because the roads that I drive on are much quieter than in the UK. Something to do with France being a much larger country and (possibly) the same number of cars spread out. Also the pay as you go autoroutes split the motoring public between 'pay for quick and easy' & 'I'm not paying to drive on french roads' factions.

The foibles of driving habits and regulations are different but no less frustrating in either country.

UK families now have 3-4 cars per household, suburban streets are blocked solid with parked cars, and front gardens are almost a thing of the past!

A neighbour in France flew in to Bristol airport, hired a car and drove to Cardiff to watch an international rugby match. The volume of traffic alone resulted in him swearing that he would never come to the UK again!!

On average I can complete the 340 miles from Caen (Ouistreham) to the Dordogne in 6 hours. It can easily take 6 hours+ to drive the 250 miles from Wiltshire to Manchester.

I’m pretty sure my saloon had wind down windows, but I could be wrong.

My graduation?? was to a Morris 1100 which had a 1300 engine in it, go faster stripes, a black vinyl roof, a detachable gear lever that slotted in to place and a racing steering wheel. The gear lever often fell out! Must have had my rose tinted specs on when I bought it…

The big problems with that range of mini van and I don't know if it was the same system with the mini saloons of the time but the side windows were the sliding type housed in metal slots so, living on the east coast only a few metres from the sea caused the metal bits to rust very quickly so water came in from just about everywhere !

Mind you, the van did it's job until I 'graduated' to a wonderful Morris Marina (white) - Doh !!!

Didn’t I read somewhere that manufaturers would have to put some kind of sound generating equipment in them?

My first car was a standard issue '66 mini, bought in about '73. Great fun, but the rust…
Rainwater came through the floor etc. I remember patching up the door sills and discovering they contained combs and various other stuff that belonged in a rubbish bin!

My willow green peril was F Reg so it would have been about 1967 ish I suppose. I started driving in 1971 so it was quite a new machine ! No idea what I (or rather my dad) paid for it. I still recall that day I managed 55mph in it ! It's a bit like recalling the first ciggy or sexual encounter, but MORE fun !! The 55mph was done with two passengers so maybe it's not so bad after all....

I just wonder about he 'silence' of electric cars ? Could they end up peversely becoming death-traps ?

My first car was a beat up mini van (willow green) - it's fitted the Flintstones model with holy floors mainly due to a leaky battery in the rear 'passenger' area. The 848cc of thobbing power heped me attain a top speed of 55mph wind assisted and downhill.. (it's true !). The noise was amazing but it remains to this day, the only true driving experience !

Barry, the increase in radars at traffic lights is mega dangerous for me. Now i'm not a particulalry quick or impulsive driver and i'm not bothered if I have to wait at the lights but i'm fearful of causing an accident by braking strongly to avoid crossing on an amber light.

I would like to know what 'tolerance' the radars employ, if any to avoid honest 50/50 mistakes occuring.

A good friend was coming back from the UK about ten days ago and was 'trapped' by a radar near Paris. He drives a rather large campervan with a reduced stopping distance. He arrived level with the lights when they changed and couldn't stop, even at the relatively slow speed he was travelling. He has just received notice of a fine and points loss (if I recall correctly). He isn't a happy bunny !

I agree ....I always leave 1 1/2 times the recommended distance ...the bike was 25 years old .... the police were satisfied with my distance , you cannot factor in a brake lever snapping, the skid marks were well back from the car ...BUT ...even if you leave 3 km , the law and the insurance laws are different . The bike , minus me , slid and touched the bumper ...but the police did bawl out the instructor for dangerous driving !

Often someone comes up behind me at a tremendous lick, perhaps at 110 or 120 on a national road and then just sits on my bumper notwithstanding opportunities to overtake me. The same man, when we go through a few corners, disappears from view only to get plugged into my bumper again when the road straightens out. I go into a roundabout and I see that he is signalling left - he goes straight on, still signalling left. We approach an avenue of plane trees and I note that he starts driving right down the middle of the road... He approaches a bridge, which is wider than the carriageway before or after the bridge and again drives right down the middle of the road when going over the bridge. Whenever there is a blind corner to the left he crosses the white line. Going down the motorway he covers two lanes. If you went up the back of a car then you were too close, by the way. There is never an exception to that one.

Having driven in Southern Italy, I'd have to say they are possibly worse than the French.

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Me too Mark! Our daughter will be starting to learn to drive this summer, I am interested to see how they teach them. I've already told her we're paying extra for the lessons that include indicators too ;-)

I always thought that indicators were optional extras in france

From the same job Richard, and all the points you made are absolutely right.
Another one which gets me is that they don't indicate to turn off but they will indicate to stay on a road that's going round a bend? And I have no idea what they have been taught about signalling for roundabouts.....

I agree with Richard. The state is trying to introduce traffic calming measures to reduce the number of serious accidents. My feeling is that they must not be taught enough safe driving techniques as part of the test. Some French drivers do love speeding. More than in the UK I would say. There is a lady in my village with a sporty Mini Cooper. She bombs around in it far too fast. She is also a nurse.

As a former officer of the law, I think the driving habits of the french are every bit as bad as they are in the UK..although I agree with Trevor Hayes...Tailgating is the worst I have seen in any so called civilised country...have no idea why they do it...are they taught to dive in this manner...also most drive right on the epex of the road...again i wonder why, lack of signallling is another bad habit, overtaking at speed and then turning right or left just after...totally bonkers..personally i have a preservation order out on me and drive with that in mind!!

I think Trevor is probably right. Along with having normal junctions/roundabouts then just the odd random "prioritie a droite" one thrown in with no warning and for no obvious reason.

Reckon it is down to just 'bad driving' and the French habit of being to close to the vehicle in front.

I always thought that it was “I must be in front of you at any cost” attitude , rather than the tailgating that was more dangerous

Cyclists are their own worse enemy. I ride daily, competitive and for pleasure. I see, on a daily basis riders ‘jumping lights’ undertaking, riding on pavements; you name it. These people are vulnerable but act as if they are immune to accidents. Motorists are in a protected bubble and take time to react, often not even checking around them. If you ride two wheels you have to take the responsibility for your safety not rely on others.

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