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Driving-A Forgotten Skill???


warren t claim

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I was talking to a friend who has recently returned from overseas and he told me his experiences of working for BINI. As part of their BMW dealer training all new employees are taken to a skid pan as a bit of a reward, all good fun. One of the exercises on the skid pan involved driving a 330i around two consecutive 90 degree wet corners at reasonable speed with all the driver aids turned off. Nobody under about 35 years old managed to negotiate the two corners without sliding off. My friend, being a 40 something managed it first time and said the exercise was no more difficult than sliding his Sierra into my old driveway where I used to live at the bottom of a farm track.

 

As humans are we collectively forgetting how to drive unless we have low powered engines and front wheel drive?

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Modern driving aids are reducing the amount of skill needed to drive safely. Some cars have run flat tyres which could make the uninformed think that all tyres can be driven on with a puncture. A worrying scenario. And the number of cars you follow where the brake lights come on when they are half way around a bend is indicative that some people have never been taught to drive properly in the first place.

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Modern driving aids are reducing the amount of skill needed to drive safely. Some cars have run flat tyres which could make the uninformed think that all tyres can be driven on with a puncture. A worrying scenario. And the number of cars you follow where the brake lights come on when they are half way around a bend is indicative that some people have never been taught to drive properly in the first place.

 

All of this +11111

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The standard of driving the average Brit now has is almost down at the level of Americans. The problem I reckon is that it's now so uncool to be 'into' cars and motoring that taking a pride in your driving, and driving well is now seen as a bit sad and geeky, so most people are only too happy to demonstrate how unconcerned they are about it all. Right up until the point where they fall off the road and wonder where it all went wrong.... :roll:

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I think it's fair enough to rely heavily on driver aids, as all cars in the future have them. If somebody went from a new Fiesta to a mk1, then they'd probably be in the canal by the afternoon, but obviously very few people will. It's the OMG POWAH I WILL OVERTAKE ALL and "I'm so skilled I can drive whilst on my phone" that irritate me most.

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Personally I think it's that modern cars are so easy to drive that people who would have been put off by the difficulty are sitting and passing their test.

Unfortunately it means that they remain uninterested in driving and treat it like another chore, rather than the sheer delight it should be.

If you're not interested by something you aren't going to be good at it. For the same reason I make undrinkable coffee...

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Driving should be a privelege not a right. Most of the morons on the road these days can't drive, they are happily cacooned in their modern safe car completely detached fom the driving experience and couldnt give a shit about anyone else on the road. I have spent 4 hours on the motorway today and the level of driving is bloody appalling. It is so easy to drive modern cars that people don't need to engage their brain and therefore don't. The number of people trundling along at 60 in the mIddle lane completely oblivious to anyone else on the road is beyond belief.

 

I take great pleasure in driving, to me it is an art, reading the road, conditions, other people and making my driving as good as it can be but those fecking idiots ruin it for me half the time. I think everyone should be retested every 5 years and I would be happy to pay more than my fair share to get half the so called drivers off the road.

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I have nothing to add, other than I'm always distracted by Studebaker's current avatar which impacts my ability to navigate this forum safely :D . Where did you get it?

sadly, I have spotted a Trojan 200, an Isetta and a Fiat Multipla in his avatar

 

Sorry guys, I have no idea where it came from, and a Google image search only brings up the smaller copies of it on this website, but here's the original in all its glory! 8)

 

kCSlU.jpg

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There's no golden age we can look back to when everyone drove competently, but that decade of easy credit really did shift the absolute dregs of society onto the roads. For quite a while now I try to avoid the roads for the first week of the month, payday brings the bottom feeders out in droves, the real scum, a whole week of dribbling morons crawling everywhere as if lost, barry arseholes craving attention with their ridiculous oompa loompa 'music' etc.

I've been baffled by the lack of frequent collisions, but suddenly now noticing a hell of a lot, not bad enough for casualties but adequate to kill the cars. Average traffic speed does increase once the untermenschen spend their payday loans, and it appears those average plodders, you know the sort, the ones who slowly pull out right in front of you from a side road, causing you to brake sharpish, always looking straight at you and waiting until you're on top of them because they can't possibly wait half a second when it will be clear and safe, no, they want you to watch their interpretation of a particularly inept drunkard weaving all over the shop at 25 in a 40 for the next 10 miles. Well with the slightly faster traffic those fuckers don't seem to get away with it as easily and are starting to get boned. Good.

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I bet if there was an autoshite 1965 and the same question was posted,the replies/views would be the same.

Quite - because people are people! We love driving, and we love cars. To the majority of people, driving is a means of getting from one place to another, and once they've passed their test don't need to learn anything else about it, nor need to remember the rules as laid down in the highway code.

 

Cars designed in the last 20 years or so are developed to have safe handling characteristics and thus understeer as a matter of course - so anyone who is used to driving this sort of car will not know what rear-end breakaway will feel like.

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Yes.

 

Really, that's it. The standard of driving as exhibited by the general public is falling (off a cliff) and has been for decades. Cars are too easy to drive, much too powerful and capable and too gadget-laden. Easy credit and the company-car boom put far more "civilians" on the roads than the system could possibly cope with, and these people don't understand how to cope with the resulting levels of traffic. The test needs to be harder, and conducted in S2A Land Rovers. Then there needs to be some determined enforcement of the Highway Code and the rest of the traffic laws we already have. And I don't just mean speed limits!

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Personally, I reckon this. 6 months on a Honda C90, 6 months in a Triumph Herald/Morris Minor/Insert 40 year old car here, and then take the test in a Series 2a, just like Eddy sez. I would pass, I drive one of those darn things daily. The missing elelment is called "Roadcraft". It was taught to me, I taught it to my Wife, with the opening line of "Now, remember this. Everyone else on the road is trying to kill you." It's worked so far, and she even uses the horn correctly..... She can reverse park, parallel park, and also do a correct and efficient 3 point turn. None of this was taught to her by her "Official Instructor". She even used our then Family car to take her test, as she hated the Rover 200 he had, opting for our Fiesta Mk3 Diesel... She's a Ford fan, as her Dad always had them. She remembers a Yellow Anglia with a white roof. For a new driver (last 10 years) she has some good habits. Her worst one is lane discipline. "I'm turning right in three miles, I will stay in lane 2" kind of thing.......... But we will get over that small thing.

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I think whatever people drive in daily life after passing their test, they should have a refresher and re-test every five years or so, to include basic competence on a C90 and with a 7.5-tonner. That should sort out a few!

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I'd just be happy if people would...

 

A) Hold the wheel with at least one hand at a time, preferably two.

B) Use the mirrors once in a while.

C) ... but not for reversing ... :roll:

D) Not assume that everyone else will give way to you or move out the way for you even if they don't have to, because you're you, and you're speshul and you're used to getting your own way...

E) Not assume I'm saying I want to butt-fuck yo' mamma if I dare to overtake you.

F) Get off the fucking phone. Unless your car is actually on fire or you are bleeding profusely, there is no reason to phone anyone from your car...

G) Just generally pay at least some attention to the task of piloting a ton and a half of weaponry at speed through crowded streets.

 

 

aaaand breathe..... :oops:

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I) dont assume a front spolier makes your saxo a sports car

J) get your own insurance, dont use your mammys

 

 

I have to agree with almost everything that has already been said in this thread.

 

I learned to drive on gravel and muddy farm tracks in a cortina, perkins transit, mk1 escort and a mini. But when it came to taking official driving lessons it was in a nova :shock: - the driving instructor even had little stickers in the rear window to help you line up the kerb when reversing around a corner - no motorway lessons, no driving in heavy traffic at rushhour, or in bad weather conditions.

I passed my driving test at the 1st attempt, but not due of driving lessons, they only taught me the vosa approved way to drive. There is no substitue for experience, or awaremess.

i got my 'respect' (if thats no too ponsy a word to use) for the road by riding a DT50 for a year before venturing into 4 wheeled transport, so i look out for bikes, read the road ahead and make eye contact with other drivers who look like they might pull out in front of me.

 

Too many drivers today dont give a shit for anyone else on the road, dont know what to do when things go wrong and they are so isolated from the road in their armchair chariots they dont notice flat or bald tyres or if their car has a major mechanical problem when driving.

 

I like to drive fast, i like to overtake slow traffic, accelerate out of corners and away from roundabouts, i enjoy driving. That doesnt mean I treat other drivers badly (unless they are being arseholes). Motorway driving is always a PITA, unless you want to drive at 90mph+ behaving aggresively in the outside lane then you have to deal the indecisive middle laners too frightened to drive faster and too stubborn (or dumb) to take the inside lane. City driving is just as bad; nose to tail with most drivers distracted by phones, text messages or satnav. and now i see in the press 40mph limits for country roads are on the agenda. perhaps the 60 limit should stay and a regular driving test, in your own car, should be introduced.

I know people who are terrible drivers, frightened drivers or just careless drivers, but they all passed a test so continue to use the roads making them a whole lot more dangerous and frustrating for the rest o us.

 

Driving should be a privelege not a right.

Thats what the magistrate said almost 20 years ago :twisted:

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Before I moved to Doncaster and got married, I used to drive here regularly from Lincoln in a Mk1 Sierra 2.1 Estate. I could do the journey in a touch over 33 minutes. Now, its nearly an hour, spoilt by average speed cameras and 50mph wankers. Did anyone ever see the gouges out of the tarmac near Torksey bridge? (Holds hand up!) That was my towbar on mnore than one occasion. A good road was spoiled when they added "safety cameras" to it. I remember travelling the Fosseway many moons ago, when overtaking three trucks at once was the norm, and hitting 90 wasn't really frowned upon. I could travel from Lincoln to Swindon on 7 quid's worth of 4 star...... (1979 Opel Kadett Estate) There are too many cars on the roads these days. Even Sunday morning drives are gone. You get in a traffic jam at 8:30 on a Sunday morning? WTF???!!!

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I haven't been around for all that long on this planet so I don't really know about "then" but "now" seems pretty awful... I just spent a week in France with a mate from school, 20 yo student with 2009 VW Polo, he'd passed first time and was a total liability.

 

1) On the way too Dover he cut up a fully loaded arctic going at pace and was surprised when the trucker and I were somewhat displeased.

2) Repeatedly distracted himself with a variety of electric shit which meant that he focused on calling friends, not learning routes and changing the track on his ipod every 30 seconds as well as additional distractions which meant he was constantly drifting out of lane at circa 80mph with no eye on the road.

3) Could not corner properly, he was always having to make severe corrections on long corners.

 

My opinion of the general "yoof" driving standards is that they are appalling. There's plenty of people I know my age who I won't get in a car with because they are downright lethal behind the wheel. I think TBH the problem is threefold:

 

1) Cars can be lethal in the wrong hands but the drivers don't comprehend it. If you stuff a Polo into the central reservation at 80 mph it's going to be nasty, factor in other vehicles hitting you and it's a recipe for disaster, no Euro NCAP rating will ever guarantee the safety of those in the car when an arctic etc squishes you.

2) Electronic gizmos have increased distraction levels significantly, handsfree gear is still distracting, so is Satnav and various music systems.

3) The instruction/testing isn't adequate enough to produce safe drivers. Plenty of people also assume that if they pass their test than their is nothing wrong with their driving, basic driving skills are often lacking. (In this case the aforementioned character believed he was a good driver as he had never failed his test!)

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I've grown up with cars, and with the line Albert has above, something that's helped me be a more cautious driver I think. I'm not the best driver in the world, I don't like going fast, but I'm not the worst either, as my housemate demonstrated on many occasions. Slowly, I think I'm getting through to him, but more often than not he has his music so loud he can't hear anything else and he's very often talking on his hands free kit. He'll drive flat out wherever possible but won't always leave good stopping distances and his lane discipline is... interesting. Add to that the fact that a lot of the time he's tired from working erratic and often long hours and his weird over-reaction when faced with an oncoming bullying driver and you begin to understand why his little car has its fair share of scratches and scrapes down the sides.

 

But it's not all bad. He is learning essential skills through my nagging as a passenger, in particular his concentration. It's amazing how much smoother and relaxing his driving becomes when the radio is turned down and his phone is turned off.

 

I was astonished the other day by a lady driver who had two babies in car seats a toddler and a young child in the car. That's not the astonishing bit, the astonishing bit is that she was leaving the supermarket, heading towards a roundabout and pulling her seatbelt on while having a good chinwag with her passengers. She obviously spent the extra time to get everyone else belted up safely, so why couldn't she spent two seconds putting her own seatbelt on before leaving the car park? It's that sort of behaviour that really makes me cringe.

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ON the "look in your rear view mirror ossasionally" I had a good laugh today. Driving the bus today I followed a car going very slowly down the road for some time, approaching the bus stop and the driver obviously thought it would be a good place to stop for a while, so pulled with me nearly touching the back bumper. And stopped. Optares have a loud horn. The passenger waiting on the stop(and laughing more than I was) said that the driver nearly had a heart attack !! Why not even a glance in the mirrors in 2 or 3 minutes.

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I think the last Autocar road test I read, about a year ago, was focusing on the car's bloody connectivity, bluetooth, driving aids etc etc. Handling and roadholding seemed to be relegated to a small paragraph. When the main motoring magazine, which used to focus on a car's drivability, follows the trend then you know the writing's on the wall.

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K] introduce a law to try and stop (a minority of) truck drivers 'accidentally' speeding up/swerving to the middle of the road when you're overtaking them.

 

Fully agree with making people start on a small motorycle where possible too, it's the best road skills test you could ever get imho. Had a similar thing with my driving instructor Albert, he said to expect everyone else on the road to be an idiot. Been teaching my son this when driving to work etc, pointing out cars in side roads that might suddenly pull out, people behind who may overtake in a stupid place etc, and this (I think) makes you more aware of your braking distance etc.

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The problem here is that most drivers assume they are good, especially males. Who is to say that this isn't what is happening with the posters on this thread?

 

Granted though, I reckon a quick route to being a good road user is realising you are shit and vulnerable, because you are in a zero NCAP shitter, on a motorbike, or on a pushbike.

 

Lots more policing required on the roads.

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Knohheads are everywhere, on the pavement, in the supermarket aisles, in the pub, at work, on the telly etc etc. I try not to be surprised that they are on the roads too but there seems to be a plethora of them in these parts. :roll:

 

For some reason, I have seen a lot of people indicating the wrong way recently. Especially on roundabouts. Best not indicate at all if you can't tell left from right...

 

There was a letter in Viz once:- "I never indicate, it's no-one's business but my own where I'm going" :lol:

 

Tailgating is my particular gripe. However, the French truckers are the worst in the world for that. Having 40 tonnes of Scania on the arse of a 1960s Fiat 500 is fecking scary :twisted:

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