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How can you NOT get onto a motorway?

(383 Posts)
purplecurtaindog Tue 31-Oct-17 22:15:05

I have driven on motorways for many years and avaerge 15,000 miles some years as I drive for work. I consider myself a very confident yet safe driver. I have experience driving lorries and an extended professional license.

Never in my 20+ years of driving have I had trouble getting onto a motorway...

Yet my friend told me today that she was not able to join a motorway today, that she matched with speed of traffic but there were 'no gaps.' She got stranded at the end of the slip road, DC in car, and ended up getting a vehicle recovery service to come out and get her car as she was too scared to move onto the motorway from a stop.

She says it was not her fault and that this was not due to fault of her driving.

However I can't see how you could fail to get onto a motorway if you were merging correctly?

I've always matched my speed with the traffic, indicated right, ended up on carriageway. If the traffic is slower, you still match your speed! My guess is she want too fast or slow. Yet she insisted this was not her fault.

So AIBU to not see how a safe and competent driver can get stranded at the end of a slip road? And AIBU to ask if this has ever happened to anyone/ if they've witnessed it?

I personally never have in all my years of driving.

Friend has been driving for ten plus years. I did mention that this shouldn't happen and that it was very dangerous, but I wasn't harsh or rude.

Thank you.

WipsGlitter Tue 31-Oct-17 22:17:57

It can be tricky if there is no obvious gap. Even from from a stop you should still be able to get in without a breakdown service though.

You sound a teeny bit judgy..,

Theromanempire Tue 31-Oct-17 22:18:34

I've come close only a couple of times (and i drive on motorways on a daily basis and been driving for over 20 years) if cars don't move over into the middle lane to create gaps.

The Highway Code tells you to carry on driving on the hard shoulder at the appropriate speed until a gap appears...you should never stop confused

stella23 Tue 31-Oct-17 22:20:48

I can understand what you are saying, however the other day I pulled onto the motorway and the other cars just wouldn't make a space, they did in the end, but thy made no real effort to move over like they should.

I've seen motorway driving deteriorate over the years, so many middle lane hangers a under taking going on.

And don't get me started on average speed cameras

ThePinkOcelot Tue 31-Oct-17 22:21:53

I can't imagine how she actually couldn't join the motorway. How did she call breakdown services, she hadn't broken down. There must have been a gap in the traffic for her to join whilst waiting for the breakdown?! The mind boggles tbh!

grobagsforever Tue 31-Oct-17 22:22:41

Was it a particularly short slip road?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 31-Oct-17 22:23:14

You are joking I assume?

Of course it’s incredibly easy to reach the end of the slip road without finding a gap! The fact you use motorways frequently & yet claim to never have done so leads me to the conclusion that you are one of the twats who just goes whether there is a gap or not.

However, one does not call the RAC! One just waits until there is a gap surely? confused

olliegarchy99 Tue 31-Oct-17 22:23:37

I always understood that you continue along the hard shoulder if you are unable to join - certainly do not come to a stop shock.

LindyHemming Tue 31-Oct-17 22:24:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

purplecurtaindog Tue 31-Oct-17 22:24:14

I probably do sound judgy blush

This stems from me seeing so many motorway accidents caused by drivers who panick. Or slow down. Or stop on a motorway.

This is purely anecdotal, but the fatal motorway accidents I have seen have been from a driving going at a low speed not a high speed. Those who ruin the flow of the traffic on the carriageway interfere with other high speed traffic and this kills people.

So I may be judgy, but it's only because my friend seems so casual about her driving when she could be threatening lives.

And I didn't say anything judgy to my friend. I said that shouldn't happen, but that was it.

WorraLiberty Tue 31-Oct-17 22:24:26

Poor thing, must've been a horrible experience for her.

Noofly Tue 31-Oct-17 22:24:32

I almost did once in rush hour outside Boston. All the traffic there is hideous, but I had to merge from one highway onto another and the cars were speeding along nose to tail. There were absolutely no gaps and I had to pretty much force my way on (that’s just how it’s done there). I was pretty scared!

picklemepopcorn Tue 31-Oct-17 22:24:36

Some motorways are unfeasibly busy. I’ve known it be close. I’ve also seen other people getting into trouble and been unable to help because I had nowhere to go. On my last trip, people were travelling at a decent speed but with only a Car length between them. Every t8me I tried t9 leave a safe distance, someone moved into it. It would have been a struggle to join, it really would.

BriechonCheese Tue 31-Oct-17 22:26:09

This is my literal worst nightmare.

Katinkka Tue 31-Oct-17 22:26:20

Poor woman. This is my worst nightmare. I hate slip roads and joining motorways.

HoneyIshrunkthebiscuit Tue 31-Oct-17 22:26:22

The slip way I need to get on home from work is a nightmare. Jammed packed, and the left hand lane turns onto another motorway 500m after my entry point. It can be difficult as busy commuters don't want to make way for merging traffic or move into the next lane as they will have to return back onto that lane again. I also have to push through to the third lane as well to ensure I am going in the right direction. Madness and most people have to stop and wait until someone is kind enough to let you in.

alfagirl73 Tue 31-Oct-17 22:26:58

Sounds to me like she's possibly been too hesitant; cars would probably have adjusted a bit to let her in as they normally do but if she was too hesitant and didn't take the opportunity and it was busy, the drivers would have soon lost patience.

I too have been driving many years and never once not made it onto a motorway. I've seen a few people struggle but it's always because they're being too hesitant. There are times when you have to be quite assertive (not aggressive) or you'd never get anywhere. A few times I've seen people come down the slip road, slow down too much, signal, cars already on the motorway will see them and give room but the driver then won't actually move and get on with merging - they sit there almost wanting the traffic to stop for them - that's dangerous.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Tue 31-Oct-17 22:27:45

Of course you have to stop sometimes.
If there isn’t a space or no one moves over, are you supposed to just crash into someone?hmm

feral Tue 31-Oct-17 22:28:22

I ended up driving down the hard shoulder once as I couldn’t get in as it was practically bumper to bumper lorries.

I just slowed up and went on behind them further down shoulder. Wasn’t fun but I didn’t have to stop.

BakedBeans47 Tue 31-Oct-17 22:28:40

There’s a bit I have to go on sometimes where you join in the outside lane, that’s a fun experience

But no in nearly 25 years of driving I have never not been able to get onto the motorway. Yes it can be tricky obviously but having to get towed off because you can’t join the motorway is plain weird.

thecatfromjapan Tue 31-Oct-17 22:28:47

How come you've seen so many fatal accidents?

notacooldad Tue 31-Oct-17 22:28:51

I've been driving for neatly 35 years and I've never had any real issue about getting off the slip road. Sure sometimes people don't want to let you on but like you said, you match the speed to the flow and if you run out of slip road you never stop but make your intentions clear.

TheyDoItOnPurposeLynne Tue 31-Oct-17 22:28:53

I used to be a super relaxed and confident motorway driver. Then a couple of things happened, none my fault as I wasn't even driving then I lost all my confidence. Embarrassing but true. Now I can totally.imagine how over-hesitancy can lead to this. It sucks to feel that way.

BarbaraOcumbungles Tue 31-Oct-17 22:29:11

Sounds like she's a danger to herself and everyone else on the road tbh.

purplecurtaindog Tue 31-Oct-17 22:30:05

I have honestly never had it happen to me. Maybe I have just had it lucky. And I don't consider myself a twattish driver either. I have driven lorries on motorways a few years back and since then I have found it much easier to judge my speed and slot in safely, especially when driving a car which is considerably smaller, leaving a suitable gap in case I did have to stop.

I really don't think I am a twattish driver as my previous line of work meant I regularly saw many accidents, making me very vigilant.

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