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AIBU to think this isn't good driving?

(31 Posts)
jevoudrais Tue 22-Mar-16 16:15:05

Imagine you're turning onto a slip road to join a very busy dual carriageway in rush hour. The slip road is quite short as far as slip roads go and you have to merge on, don't get your own lane as you join.

So, there is a car in front of you and a car behind you all wanting to join the dual carriageway. Who should join first?

I've seen a few near misses. What happens, is that the driver at the front is a bit hesitant, and the car at the back gets impatient waiting in their car (which can get up to 60 in less than 7 seconds) and joins by pulling out and slamming their foot down. My issue with this, is that it takes so little time to pull out and slam your foot down, that you're risking the cars in front crashing into you because their blind spot was clear, but you suddenly pulled out as they looked forward to go, and you are essentially relying on them looking at their blind spot in that split second. Also, with the car at the back going it then means the middle and front car have had the gap they could have used, filled, so they then haven't even got a shot at joining.

I am the middle car in this situation, btw. AIBU thinking it isn't good road sense to do what some cars at the back do?

Collaborate Tue 22-Mar-16 16:27:02

It is the responsibility of those joining to match their speed to the prevailing traffic, and manoeuvre in the slip road so as to be next to a gap in the traffic. So what you describe wouldn't happen if the front car didn't, as you describe, drive too slow and dither.

The car behind should join the motorway if safe, and only accelerate if they need to in order to match speed with the prevailing traffic. sounds like they might have needed to accelerate as they were joining at too slow a speed.

Neither the front or middle car should join the carriageway if unsafe to do so, and both should be aware of their blind spot so checking there's nothing there.

Buzzardbird Tue 22-Mar-16 16:30:36

The one at the front is causing the problem. If they all stop then they are all in danger of pulling onto a dual carraigeway from a stop. Very dangerous.
But you are right, the one at the back shouldn't do that either.

GlindatheFairy Tue 22-Mar-16 16:30:55

I don't know what to suggest in that situation, OP, except that if there are two lanes on the slip road and the car in front looks like they are slow and dangerous, I get the fuck out of their way in the right hand lane and let them do their thing.

If there is just one lane you are bloody stuck with them.

jevoudrais Tue 22-Mar-16 16:42:53

There is just one lane. The slip road is not as long as some are.

It feels inherently wrong to pull off behind another car because the car in front has even less chance to go..? I guess I feel bad for them! They aren't hesitating badly usually. It is a matter of there is a gap, but they are in a Fiat 500, and someone in a BMW 7 series is at the back. The Fiat has to weigh up if they can go or not, but then when the BMW launches out, the gap is smaller and they definitely can't go. Does that make sense? The back car can also see the gap appearing and therefore get into it first, which is why I think is a bit dodgy I suppose. Forces front car to stop.

My method is to leave a big ass gap behind the car in front, turn the corner in second gear and be ready to slam my foot down if there is a gap, otherwise you have to creep along the slip road waiting for a gap/someone to let you out. There is no way you can go round the tight corner at more than 30, and then if there is a car in front on the slip, you have to slam your foot on the brake.

It isn't the most enjoyable part of my morning commute I must say.

NotGonnaAnswerThePhone Tue 22-Mar-16 17:08:35

as a new driver, I have a question. What do you do if you are going along a slip road and cant get a break in traffic and you run out of slip road?!

GlindatheFairy Tue 22-Mar-16 17:14:20

Drive into an HGV in a ball of flame.

No, I guess you have to wait, in that case.

GlindatheFairy Tue 22-Mar-16 17:17:26

Collaborate Tue 22-Mar-16 17:26:35

The car at the back, if it's heavy traffic, should maintain the same speed, thereby allowing the gap to reach the car in the middle. The dithery driver at the front can give up driving.

jevoudrais Tue 22-Mar-16 17:52:04

Right, daft logic says the slip is 70m. That means if you turned the 90 degree corner at 60mph, you would only have a maximum of 3 seconds at that speed before you ran out of slip road.

Obviously people go round the corner at no more than about 30, but whilst accelerating it doesn't give much time before you run out of slip road.

The car at the front has to slow down to 40 to get a gap. It's physically not possible to join before they run out of slip. Is it really OK for the back car to slam their foot down and take the first gap that appears, essentially forcing front car to become stationary?

Most do what I do and leave space in front and don't overtake cars in front of them on the slip, that's what makes me think it's a better method I suppose.

whois Tue 22-Mar-16 18:00:59

Car in front should be indicating like crazy, match the speed of the traffic and merge into a tiny tiny gap.

DisappointedOne Tue 22-Mar-16 18:10:08

My car is more like 0-70 in 3.8 seconds, so if I were the driver at the back I'd have been long gone!

Ginmakesitallok Tue 22-Mar-16 18:12:50

Madness to try to merge onto busy dual carriageway without a decent slip road. It's NOT a motorway!

malmi Tue 22-Mar-16 18:31:31

My partner failed her test because of one of these extremely short slip roads leading onto a very fast dual carriageway.

If the road is busy you really have to wait at the start of the slip road until you see a suitable gap coming, then start to accelerate such that the gap arrives just as you get up to speed (end of the slip road rapidly approaching) and merge across.

If you start trundling along the slip road waiting for a gap to appear on the horizon then you will not leave yourself enough room to accelerate when the gap appears.

If you just start accelerating and then look for a gap you are taking a chance because if a stream of lorries are alongside you when you get up to speed then you may not be able to safely merge.

Those with more powerful cars can just floor it, get up to speed very quickly and still have a decent amount of slip road left to complete the merge.

Some people will just start to accelerate with the indicator flashing and expect traffic on the dual carriageway to get out of the way (which, to be fair, they usually will).

All in all it's pretty dangerous with no-one really knowing what the correct technique is, and if a stream of multiple vehicles arrive at once then they may well have different approaches based on their assessment of the road conditions and knowing how much acceleration power their car has.

Generally I would say it's poor form for drivers to pull onto the carriageway before the cars in front have done so, unless they then keep their speed down in order to maintain a gap.

VelvetSpoon Tue 22-Mar-16 18:45:33

You have to allow cars in front to join first, doing otherwise is potentially dangerous. Just because someone has an oversized car with an unnecessarily powerful engine doesn't make them more important on the road and entitled to jump the queue!

tiggytape Tue 22-Mar-16 19:12:11

If you're the car at the front you will assume that the first gap is yours so a car pulling out from behind you to jump into that gap would be unexpected.

If the slip road is really short and the carriageway it joins is very busy though, it will always be tricky. But that's probably all the more reason for people not to do unexpected things.
In an ideal world you get up to speed really quickly on the slip road and merge seamlessly at the end into a gap. But if there's no gap at all, or it's not a big enough gap or if your car doesn't get up to speed very quickly then some people probably do become a bit worried and dithering.

jevoudrais Tue 22-Mar-16 20:34:48

Glad I'm not alone in my perspective. Seems to be something quite a lot of people aren't fond of. FWIW, people at work agree with me too.

I was waiting for someone to ask what road it is grin it has only been stationary once when I've joined in the last six months. Half term makes a massive difference. Roll on Easter hols...

DisappointedOne Thu 24-Mar-16 16:04:40

You have to allow cars in front to join first, doing otherwise is potentially dangerous. Just because someone has an oversized car with an unnecessarily powerful engine doesn't make them more important on the road and entitled to jump the queue!

Car is the same size as any standard 4 door saloon car. And it's not really jumping the queue when you nip through the traffic in lane 1 and go straight over to lane 2........ The dawdler in front could be there for another week!

wasonthelist Thu 24-Mar-16 16:38:21

it's not really jumping the queue when you nip through the traffic in lane 1 and go straight over to lane 2.
Most of the time I see people doing this, it's aggressive, risky and dangerous. A lot of this type of drivers fail to realise how much slack the rest of us are cutting them.

Collaborate Thu 24-Mar-16 17:14:02

But if it's a ditherer at the front of the queue that can be incredibly dangerous. You'll end up with a queue of stationary traffic on the slip road, with new traffic behind all looking over their shoulders.

HopIt Thu 24-Mar-16 17:24:15

I think it's incredibly dangerous for car 2 to pull out (I've got a car capable but I don't believe it's safe) I'd be interested to see who would be to blame in an insurance claim as effectively your over taking when it's not safe to do so

HopIt Thu 24-Mar-16 17:25:30

It depends if it's a ditherer or just a slower car waiting for a bigger gap.
I know if I'm in my mums smart car I need to wait, if I'm in my car I can go earlier

Collaborate Thu 24-Mar-16 18:41:53

Everyone should be able to floor the accelerator to get up to the maximum speed a car is capable of on a slip road. I'm not advocating excessive speed - merely that to enable the driver to match the speed of the prevailing traffic.

Many a time I've been behind someone pootling along, slowly increasing speed so that at the end of a downward sloping and long slip road they're achieving 50mph. Dangerous stuff when joining a motorway. Then, when they join the motorway, suddenly they acquire the ability to shoot up to 70. I accept this isn't the situation described by OP, but it does prove to me that there are plenty of people who should just either avoid slip roads entirely, or simply leave the car at home. They are a menace.

VelvetSpoon Thu 24-Mar-16 18:54:52

Depends on your car though. I have a very small car with a small engine. Even my boyfriend, who is an excellent driver with over 20 years experience, wouldn't be able to get my car to over 50 by flooring it on a short slip road of the type the OP describes.

Jumping the queue in this way isn't good driving, and is much more likely to result in an accident than someone being slightly hesitant/having a slower car. I agree it's in essence overtaking when it's not safe to do so.

iamaLeafontheWind Thu 24-Mar-16 19:46:39

I reckon the inner ring road in Leeds? Short, fast & surrounded by high concrete walls.

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