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to think that if you nearly cause an accident.....

(34 Posts)
TandB Thu 08-Nov-12 14:17:07

...your instinctive reaction should be to apologise/indicate remorse, not to shout and scream and wave your arms at the person you nearly drove into?

I was driving to work this morning and I had been following a slightly irritating driver through the town centre. She didn't do anything massively dangerous - she was just one of those very wafty, hesitant, drivers who drift about the road and make you a bit nervous because they don't seem to know what they are doing. I passed her on a stretch of dual carriageway on the outside of town and didn't expect to see her again.

I got onto the single carriageway and was trundling along in a row of 3 cars, all doing about 50 - its a 60mph road but people tend to go a little bit slower because it is a bit bendy in places, with side entrances and there tend to be a lot of cyclists on it. There is a long straight on this road and towards the far end of it there was a car broken down. The three of us therefore obviously stopped to wait for there to be nothing coming the other way before going past. I glanced in the mirror and saw this woman enter the straight, several hundred yards back. I glanced up again and saw her still going quite fast about halfway along but not close enough for me to be alarmed. The next thing I knew there was an almighty screech of tyres and I looked up and saw her close behind, still going fast, swerving all over the place, dragging at the wheel, obviously trying to get the car back under control. I had assumed she was about to hit me and braced myself against the steering wheel, but she managed to stop sideways across the road, a few inches off me.

There was a huge stink of rubber and she had obviously ripped the tread of her tyres trying to stop. I turned round and lifted a hand in a 'what the actual fuck was that?' type gesture and she went ballistic, screaming and shouting and waving her arms and tooting her horn.

After I drove off she was still sat there trying to get herslf back onto the road properly. It looked as though she might have done some damage to her tyres as she seemed to be having problems moving.

So am I being unreasonable to think that if you entirely fail to notice stopped traffic on a clear, straight road in full daylight, when you have several hundred yards to realise that said cars aren't moving, and nearly run into them at high speed, your response really should be an indication of apology and acceptance of fault, not to try to blame the other driver?!

It seems like noone ever just says 'oops, my fault, sorry' anymore. If I make an error while driving and it affects someone else, I immediately make an apologetic gesture. Maybe I should start shouting and waving my arms.....

quoteunquote Thu 08-Nov-12 14:20:18

That must of been quite scary,

I bet she doesn't take responsibility for anything in her life.

IamtheZombie Thu 08-Nov-12 14:21:16

Zombie couldn't agree with you more, kungfu. What you describe seems to be becoming more and more common sadly.

maddening Thu 08-Nov-12 14:21:44

Yanbu - she was probably in shock - some folk react like that.

Fwiw if I am at the end of randomly stopped traffic I put my hazard lights on - equally if in fast traffic e.g. motorway and it becomes apparent that we are grinding to a halt.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 08-Nov-12 14:23:26

I would of put my hazards on having seen her approach. Still doesn't make it your issue but if she were a new driver that would be a clear indication of the situation

mutny Thu 08-Nov-12 14:27:19

yanbu but she probably scared the shit out herself and someone being aggressive/ pointing out what a dick she is, (even if it was her fault) may have just tipped her over the edge.
everyone has got made at the wrong person before.

Sparklingbrook Thu 08-Nov-12 14:27:37

That actually sounds terrifying kungfu. wine

OHforDUCKScake Thu 08-Nov-12 14:27:56

Id have probably put my hazards on the warn the driver behind if only for a few seconds but YANBU at all. I dont even know if hazards woulf have stopped her she sounded very eratic and possibly unclear if she even understood that she was wrong.

Stevie77 Thu 08-Nov-12 14:28:52

This seems to be the way people react nowadays on the road, especially when they are in the wrong.

freddiefrog Thu 08-Nov-12 14:30:29


I had a cyclist zoom out of a side turning without looking, straight into my car - I was sitting in a queue of traffic and was stationary, just clear of the turning so he scraped all the way up from the rear bumper, ripping off the wing mirror in the process.

Did he apologise? Did he heck, he ranted and raved, told me I was a stupid bitch and a fucking idiotic driver.

I put it down to the fact that he was a fuckwit he'd scared the shit out of himself and was in shock and was lashing out

Sparklingbrook Thu 08-Nov-12 14:32:55

I agree that shock causes people to behave like that freddie In the OP I bet that driver's heart was thumping. No excuse though.

MaxPepsi Thu 08-Nov-12 15:06:03

Does shock make you act like a knob or is it the fact you know you are actually the fuckwit that makes you lash out?

Having very recently suffered from shock, non car related, I can honestly say that aggression was the last thing on my mind.

maddening Thu 08-Nov-12 15:31:52

Mrspepsi - shock affects different people differently.

maddening Thu 08-Nov-12 15:34:19

Massive amounts of adrenaline can have an astounding effect.

TwitchyTail Thu 08-Nov-12 15:48:40

Well, look on the bright side. Her stupidity probably cost her some damage to her tyres and a good old fright. She'll be a better driver because of it. Consider it your gift to the universe smile

But yes, you are totally in the right and she is an idiot.

valiumredhead Thu 08-Nov-12 15:49:46

I agree mad

schobe Thu 08-Nov-12 15:54:38

Nowt so queer as folk.

That's the only explanation there is. Are you going to publish your road-related adventures into a series kungfu? I'd buy them.

Chopstheduck Thu 08-Nov-12 15:57:31

You should have had your hazards on. She prob wondered why on earth you had stopped and maybe not even clocked the broken down car at that point. She was a numpty though, she must have realised you were at a standstill so late!

TandB Thu 08-Nov-12 16:00:41

It wasn't really a hazard light situation - I always do that if I am on the motorway or of it is a very sudden stop, but this was a clearly visible obstruction with a long, clear run-up to it, and there are quite often obstructions on that road as there are a lot of warehouse type business yards and you get lorries stopping, or tractors going slowly - its not a clear road where you can do 60 most of the time. There's always a lot of slowing down and speeding up, and usually at least one or two stops for people turning.

It was just a normal traffic stopping scenario and she for some reason didn't notice.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 08-Nov-12 16:04:09

Yes perhaps because she was a new driver? Who cant read the road well or is new to the area? If I saw someone approaching at speed enough to alarm me I would put my hazards on and if i was bracing for impact id of gotten out of the car... Not saying your wrong just points to consider, doesn't excuse the rudeness though

Chopstheduck Thu 08-Nov-12 16:07:13

It is a 60mph road, single carriageway, and you even you even said you saw her going quite fast halfway down to you, I'd have put them on.

She might not local and not realise the road is prone to obstructions.

She is still in the wrong, ultimately though.

RunnerHasbeen Thu 08-Nov-12 16:20:58

YANBU to think that is the better reaction, to apologise and take some responsibility - however, instinctive reactions should be judged a bit less harshly. I don't think your "what the actual fuck" reaction was very appropriate either, an "are you okay" reaction would have been better, given she was already in a state. You just fuelled the fire and didn't actually do anything to help the situation, either in warning her or settling her down afterwards. Maybe her car was playing up or she was scared about a car up her rear and gesturing at them, she was probably a bad driver or an idiot, but you don't know it as you didn't ask.

I think she was obviously in the wrong but you don't deserve whatever boost you are hoping to get from this thread. You can't claim that you are genuinely wondering if people will think screaming and shouting is correct etiquette, of course they don't.

freddiefrog Thu 08-Nov-12 16:20:58

massive amounts of adrenaline can have an outstanding effect

Yes, back in the summer we were crabbing and I knocked my eldest daughter off a pontoon - I was helping her sister and without me realising, she'd walked right up behind me, as I kind of stepped back and turned to check on her, I knocked her over. Luckily the water was only a couple of feet deep and I fished her straight out. It scared the shit out of me and I ended up letting rip and giving her a bollocking. Totally my fault but I was shaking and my heart was pounding, once she was safe I just reacted without really thinking

FatimaLovesBread Thu 08-Nov-12 16:40:44

Well I definitely wouldn't have ot out of the car strawberries In to oncoming traffic? And if she'd swirved to avoid the car she could have quite easily hit you!
I'd have said it was far safer to stay in the car.

Sometimes if I'm in a queue of traffic after a bend I will keep my foot on the brake so if anyone corners to fast it's more obvious that i'm stationary. I wouldn't have put my hazards on sat in traffic on a straight road though

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 08-Nov-12 16:48:41

From the way I'm picturing the road the OP describes, it sounds like there would have been space to move ahead or to one side hence my comment, if that isn't the case then sensible to stay in the car obviously.

Hazards / No hazards / break lights its all personal preference I suppose but break lights is the least I would doing.

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