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to think that when you're driving in heavy rain you should have your lights on???

(34 Posts)
pointythings Fri 26-Aug-11 18:25:10

Driving home from work today - horrible conditions, dark clouds, heavy rain, lots of spray - and all around me were cars and lorries without any lights on!

Who are these people? What are they thinking? Why are they allowed driving licences?

And we wonder why car insurance costs so much money...

LineRunner Fri 26-Aug-11 18:26:31

Of course they should have lights on.

FabbyChic Fri 26-Aug-11 18:27:12

I always do.

trixymalixy Fri 26-Aug-11 18:27:32

YANBU, I tend to drive with my lights on all the time anyway as my previous car was a Volvo and I got used to them being on all the time automatically, it's much safer.

fruitshootsandheaves Fri 26-Aug-11 18:27:42

They should all be forced to drive Volvo's. They have lights on by default and you have to have them reprogrammed to switch them off!

But then you also get the numpties who turn their fog lights on in a bit of spray and then you drive along being dazzled behind them.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 26-Aug-11 18:28:32

It's because they think that you only put your lights on if you can't see. hmm They don't realise that you need lights in order to be seen. Even if it is not dark and you can see the road ahead of you, if it is a dark day, or like you say, raining, etc.

My own niece actually asked me why I had my lights on once. - she's a driver! I explained what I've said above. She had no clue.

My question is - what are the (some) driving instructors doing not teaching this fairly basic thing?

I mean, it would be great if everyone had enough common sense to work it out for themselves, but...

pointythings Fri 26-Aug-11 18:33:32

Well, of course we MN-ers will always drive safely and have our lgihts on!

Bathykolpian (luuuurve your name btw) you have put it so wel!

And then there are the ones who cut in front of you because 'there's a gap' - no, you plonker - that isn't a gap, that's my braking distance!

I worry about the driving instructors too - could someone clarify this for me btw? Where I come from originally (Netherlands) you aren't allowed to drive before getting your licence unless you are with a qualified instructor in a car with dual controls. Over here it seems you can drive as long as you have L plates on your car and someone with a licence with you - is that still true? If so, then could it be that in theory there are people who have had only a tiny handful of lessons before passing their test, or possibly none at all? Could this be?

LadyThumb Fri 26-Aug-11 18:35:17

My Dad used to say: 3 Golden Rules for Driving

Always be the first to put your lights on, and the last to put them off.
Always indicate.
Assume everyone else on the road is a complete idiot.

I've always followed this advice, and never had an accident yet.

LadyThumb Fri 26-Aug-11 18:37:54

pointythings - my brother is a long distance heavy goods vehicle driver. He says NO-ONE can understand that a 44 ton lorry needs braking distance and people are always pulling in front of him.

And, yes, you are correct in that you can drive in the UK as long as you have L Plates and a licenced driver with you.

trixymalixy Fri 26-Aug-11 18:38:48

It's perfectly possible to pass your test without ever having a formal lesson. Several of the farmer's sons round where I used to live had their tests on or within days of their 17th birthdays.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 26-Aug-11 18:39:42

thank you smile

Oh gawd, pulling into my (only a fool breaks the two second rule grin) gap leaves me chewing the bloody steering wheel. Idiots.

Yes pointy, that's true. You can be taught by anyone 21 and over and who has had a licence for 3 years (unless they've changed the rules in the last few years.) you don't have to have had even one single lesson with a professional instructor!

Mitmoo Fri 26-Aug-11 18:43:11

There was a spate of 35 mile an hours in a 40 zone overtaking absolutely nothing on the outside lane today.

WTF do they do that? It's an overtaking lane, it's illegal to undertake, so if you're going 35 and you are not overtaking anything, get on the INSIDE LANE YOU FREAKIN IDIOTS.

There I feel better now.

Empusa Fri 26-Aug-11 19:03:54

"Yes pointy, that's true. You can be taught by anyone 21 and over and who has had a licence for 3 years (unless they've changed the rules in the last few years.) you don't have to have had even one single lesson with a professional instructor!"

Seems crazy doesn't it? I think everyone should have to be taught by an instructor. With the system at the moment you can even work as a driving instructor without actually being registered (AFAIK it's not enforced) the pupil just has to know to look for one of these in order to know if their instructor is registered or not. sad

sparkle101 Fri 26-Aug-11 19:11:17

pointythings are you me? I have been having these thoughts to and from work today, it annoys me so much, please can I add to the list drivers that sit in the outside lane of a two lane motorway, I undertook approximately 20 cars today ( whilst doing 60) that couldn't be bothered to move over!

pointythings Fri 26-Aug-11 19:11:53

OMG am even more terrified now... I think at the very least we should have legislation enforcing a minimum number of lessons, and instructors should be registered!

LadyThumb thst is pretty much the same advice I live by.

So things that leave toothmarks on my steering wheel then (in no particular order):
- Undertaking
- Hanging in the outside lane driving people to so much frustration that they end up undertaking our of sheer rage
- Not indicating (yes, I know you know where you're going, but the rest of us would quite like to know as well)
- Not dipping high beams for oncoming traffic
- Jumping into my braking distance
- Tailgating
- And the aforementioned not turning lights on when it's wet/dark/foggy.

Am I too intolerant for the UK's roads?

Empusa Fri 26-Aug-11 19:14:06

"and instructors should be registered!"

I imagine any decent instructor would agree. My dad is one, and it drives him mad that there are so many people out there charging to teach when they've not got the skills/qualifications. He does extra exams fairly often to make sure he is still fit to teach, and up to date.

Worrying that so many don't. It's not like being in control of a car is a minor thing!

sparkle101 Fri 26-Aug-11 19:15:31

Ooops. can I just say I wasn't undertaking to prove a point or anything just my lane was moving quicker than the ouside lane am hiding from pointythings now!

Empusa Fri 26-Aug-11 19:15:37

pointy Those things drive me insane too. They are all so unnecessary, and the solutions add no extra time or effort into driving, but they can be the difference between safety and accidents.

Empusa Fri 26-Aug-11 19:16:49

"Ooops. can I just say I wasn't undertaking to prove a point or anything just my lane was moving quicker than the ouside lane am hiding from pointythings now!"

If you are going the speed limit, and the other cars in the other lane just happen not to be, then I don't believe it counts as undertaking. <considers phoning dad to check>

pointythings Fri 26-Aug-11 19:23:27

Empusa don't worry! The scenario you describe doesn't count. Neither does undertaking evil outside lane hoggers who won't move over. What I hate is the scenario where I'm in the outside lane a queue behind two overtaking lorries (with one overtaking the other at 2 mph faster, knew I'd missed something off my list) and then someone comes tearing up the inside lane, undertakes me and nips into my braking distance. That kind of undertaking drives me nuts!

YABACC Fri 26-Aug-11 19:30:11

I had a driving lesson yesterday in the gloom and then torrential rain and my instructor told me to put sidelights on. Apparently the highway code says dipped headlights but she disagrees because they are too dazzling and hazardous because many people flick onto main beam by mistake when indicating.

Not sure about that but she did say that the examiner can't tell wtf lights you have on when he's in the car but I would still like to know.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 26-Aug-11 19:32:22

I thought it was only a fool breaks the four second rule?

Empusa Fri 26-Aug-11 19:35:03

"I thought it was only a fool breaks the four second rule?"

Apart from in rain or ice of course. smile

pointythings Fri 26-Aug-11 19:35:53

YABACC I'd be going with the Highway code, especially with what I've just learned about instructors and registration.

VivaLeBeaver seems there are a lot of fools on our roads...

redexpat Fri 26-Aug-11 19:38:57

Actually OP I'd go a step further. Car lights are always on where I am and it is SO much easier to spot which cars are moving, and which are parked. Also you can spot them from further away. I get a bit anxious when driving in the UK now, partly because of this.

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