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To think you don’t drive down the middle of the road

(39 Posts)
Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Thu 11-Apr-19 12:06:18

Braving AIBU so please be kind! I IABU I’m happy to hear it.

We live rurally. I’m a non-driver.

The other day a friend (A) and I were given a lift by friend of a friend (B).

The road was a very winding one. B drive down the middle of the road spanning both lanes and sometimes on the wrong side of the road. When a car came in the opposite direction she returned to her own side of the road.

I wasn’t happy and wanted to get out of the car. A and B found it funny and called me an old woman.

A said afterwards that this is the safe and normal way to drive down this road and that she drives in the same way. She says that taking the straightest route down a winding road is the safest way to drive and that it reduces risk of skidding.

Asked friend C, who says WTAF and that this isn’t a thing, that visibility isn’t good and they might not spot a car coming the opposite way until too late.

So AIBU or is this a normal driving technique? Am I being silly not wanting to accept a lift from A or B again?

BiscuitDrama Thu 11-Apr-19 12:07:22

I’d consider it normal. Probably not correct, but pretty common.
I’d return to my side of the road as soon as I saw another car.

mbosnz Thu 11-Apr-19 12:09:47

I just about needed a new pair of knickers after driving down a long stretch of B (and possibly C - do they exist?!) roads on the weekend.

DanielRicciardosSmile Thu 11-Apr-19 12:13:44

According to the information I've found online, YANBU, and they should have stuck to their side of the road not driven in the middle.


bumblingbovine49 Thu 11-Apr-19 12:18:12

I never do this but I am not a particularly experienced countryside driver as I have always lived in cities .

I have observed this sort of driving, usually on long windy/ mountainous roads. Usually it is locals who like to go as fast as possible but who l know all the bends etc.

Having said that, in the area in the mountains I have most experience of, people do drive off the road on accidents. Several of my relatives who live there have done his over the years. Whether this is just because they do a lot of country road driving so the risk of coming off the road is higher than mine just because of how much they do it compared to me or because they drive like lunatics, I couldn't possibly say . wink

Celebelly Thu 11-Apr-19 12:19:48

On fairly narrow country roads you tend to be more central when the road is clear ahead and move over further to your side when you have to squeeze past another car. If visibility is OK then it's not really an issue. Was it a narrow road or was it a wide road with two discrete lanes? If the road is a wide one then there's no need for it, but if it's narrow then sticking rigidly far to the left means you're sometimes on uneven ground and at risk of going into a sudden ditch if the roadside isn't very well maintained (well round here anyway!).

Socksey Thu 11-Apr-19 12:21:17

1st rule of driving "you must always drive so that you can stop on your own side of the road within the distance you can see to he clear" ... paraphrased from Police Drivers Handbook. There is no requirement to only drive on your side of the road, just that you can stop there. It is often safer to drive straddling the white line etc on some roads if it increases how far ahead you can see. However, you should be driving at a speed where you can safely return to your own side of the road if another car approaches.
It shouldn't terrify you if the driver is generally driving safely. This is not taught to learners initially as the whole idea with that is to get them driving in a safe but basic way. It is taught by the Institute of Advanced Drivers etc.

Socksey Thu 11-Apr-19 12:22:53

Sorry Institute of Advanced Motorists

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Thu 11-Apr-19 12:23:53

It was a ‘main’ road (for these parts, hardly the M25!). Not a dirt track. Wide enough to have two discrete lanes and markings down the middle.

Ok, it looks like it is just driving style rather than being totally not done.

AyeitstheCaddy Thu 11-Apr-19 12:24:21

....except range rovers and Audi q7s - they sail down the middle and everyone else is consigned to the verge

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Thu 11-Apr-19 12:25:04

That’s incredibly helpful socksey thank you

KnitterOfSocks Thu 11-Apr-19 12:25:04

Where I live it is safer to stay away from the edge if you can as there are a lot of potholes. So I tend to drive leftish but towards the middle until I see another car. Round tight bends I would slow down and keep hard left, but if there is decent vision I would be more to the middle.

thecatsthecats Thu 11-Apr-19 12:25:10

A lot of the roads up to my parents are less than 2 cars wide at many points - blind bends included.

Driving more slowly and more centrally can improve your visibility to other cars on the road in those circumstances.

Steamedbadger Thu 11-Apr-19 12:25:14

Sounds wrong to me unless the road was narrow as pp mentioned.

PeggySueOooOo Thu 11-Apr-19 12:28:15

My driving instructor taught me to drive in the middle of rural roads where there are no lines. I only do it if I can properly see ahead as I don't think it is particularly safe.

bellinisurge Thu 11-Apr-19 12:33:34

I drive on narrow country lanes in the middle of the road mindful of inclines, bends and where the last passing place was (if it's that narrow).

Damntheman Thu 11-Apr-19 12:36:47

Oh no no no! I live in a place where a lot of roads wind along the coast. They're narrow and twisty and you should never drive in the middle of the road unless you have excellent vision forward. If someone else came around the bend you'd have nowhere to go but a head on collision!

Damntheman Thu 11-Apr-19 12:38:28

As previous posters have stated though, if the road didn't have a middle line on it - so there was actually no lane division, then the middle is more expected. Although if you're doing that then you also need to be driving slowly enough to be sure that you can react in time should someone come the other way. It should not be hair raising.

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Thu 11-Apr-19 12:48:48

There was a middle line

BiscuitDrama Thu 11-Apr-19 12:49:15

Damn Obviously you would only drive on the wrong side or the middle if you can see far enough ahead.

frasersmummy Thu 11-Apr-19 12:53:01

If there is a middle line you should drive in the left hand lane. Not straddling the white line and most certainly not in the right hand lane.. Thats just plain dangerous

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Thu 11-Apr-19 12:55:21

At risk of outing myself, this is the road

bellinisurge Thu 11-Apr-19 12:56:28

I might take a "racing line" (it's a term) on a corner on a white lined road if I have an uninterrupted view of oncoming traffic - usually down hill with no blind bends and no other cars in the road coming towards me for about half a mile. There's a spot where I do this but only in those specific circumstances and not routinely.

bellinisurge Thu 11-Apr-19 12:58:50

If they cross the unbroken line that is wrong. There's a fairly sharp blind bend there that I wouldn't take chances with.
At night you can see oncoming headlights but that still doesn't mean there are no other hazards.

Seeline Thu 11-Apr-19 12:59:19

If there is a solid white line on your side of the road, you shouldn't be crossing it.
If it's dashed lines it's ok to cross if you can see it's safe etc

Nacreous Thu 11-Apr-19 12:59:27

I would definitely expect to drive on my side of the road on a road like that. It's not a narrow, rural, barely more than single lane job. It's a proper, fully functioning road. I would potentially expect that someone might cross onto the other side if they were somewhere without walls or hedges obstructing their view and it made for an easier corner. Otherwise, no.

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Thu 11-Apr-19 13:02:19

It’s definitely a fully functioning road. Round here that’s as major as the roads get. We were on a bendier part.

kalopali Thu 11-Apr-19 13:03:10

It’s an advanced driving technique, where there is a broken white line you should use all the available road when safe to do so. Usually used to improve your lines of sight but also for example on a little left/right sequence of bends that you can see completely through, you could be fully on the wrong side of the road to maximise your speed through them.

bellinisurge Thu 11-Apr-19 13:03:32

That looks like an A road. Likely to have a fair bit of traffic on it. Unsure what skidding risk they are talking about unless it's icy generally in which case you don't drive like a twat (another term grin) when it's icy. But it's not icy at this time of year generally. If there is a problem with say mud that you know about, again, you adjust your driving for that spot and the risk of oncoming traffic.

user1471590586 Thu 11-Apr-19 13:03:52

Which side of the road were they on. Have just taken this from a driving test tips website. "DOUBLE WHITE LINES WHERE THE LINE NEAREST YOU IS SOLID
Solid white line on your side of the road means you must not cross the line except for the above circumstances. Vehicles in the opposite lane may cross the line."

bellinisurge Thu 11-Apr-19 13:06:03

Solid white line is there for a reason. Don't cross it.

Whatdoesitmatteranyway Thu 11-Apr-19 13:07:52

If you straddle the white line in that picture you can see what is coming far earlier than on the left side of the road.

Therefore its safer so long as you can move back.

PineapplePatty Thu 11-Apr-19 13:14:15

Sounds like the best way to do it.

bellinisurge Thu 11-Apr-19 13:15:46

Depends which direction you are driving

Damntheman Thu 11-Apr-19 13:17:04

Not that obvious biscuit, given the OP's driver was doing it on a twisty road with no visibility.

Seeline Thu 11-Apr-19 13:34:36

The Highway Code states:

Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.

akkakk Thu 11-Apr-19 14:52:16

driving on the other side of the road is known as off-siding...
- where you cross a solid white line it is illegal
- otherwise legal
- you should only do it if by doing so you increase your view - making it safer - not where it closes down your view
- therefore you would only ever do it approaching a left bend (you can see further around the bend)
- you never do it approaching a right bend
- you always leave more than enough room to return to your side
- you don't do it to avoid skiding - if that is a risk - the driver should slow down
- you do it only for observational reasons
- the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) no longer tech it - though you won't be penalised if you use it as a skill

is it wrong - no, but it is an advanced skill and you need to know what you are doing to use it - the issue comes with those who think that they know what they are doing but don't and it all goes wrong...

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Thu 11-Apr-19 17:42:29

Thanks all! Really useful feedback! That was a pretty painless venture into AIBU!

NuclearReactor Thu 11-Apr-19 18:01:39

I drive down a road which seems very similar to the one you talk about. Driving in the middle of the road is ok (and common) as long as you can see well ahead what's in front of you and able to move back into your lane well ahead of time.

If it's winding with blind corners then no it isn't ok.

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