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to believe that there is in fact no such thing as a dangerous road?

(25 Posts)
HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 25-Jun-09 12:36:51

article here

Now, unless I am missing something, a road is simply a long piece of tarmac, or in some cases concrete. It does nothing more than lie there.

It doesn't leap up and hit you in the face, it doesn't move just when you travel over it, it doesn't try to talk to you, hurl abuse at you or distract you by asking you questions.

A road is not safe or unsafe. People are either driving safely or not. Instead of talking about 'dangerous' roads like somehow the road itself is to blame for the morons who decide to travel along it at 100mph, the focus should be on drivers who do not drive appropriately for weather conditions, or road surfaces, or corners and who cause accidents, harming themselves or others.

Or are you going to tell me about the time the A6 rose up under your wheels and threw you into a field? wink

Reallytired Thu 25-Jun-09 12:41:32

Depends how many potholes the road has. I know of a road in Hayling island where you have to really watch where you put your feet otherwise you will end up with a sprained ankle.

I agree that drivers are responsible for their actions. There is no way I would take a car down the dirt track road in question.

Paolosgirl Thu 25-Jun-09 12:42:47

I think there are some roads which have been poorly engineered, so that they become more liable to surface water or icing, or the camber is wrong, or lanes merge incorrectly - that type of thing. These roads can become more dangerous given the wrong conditions, and of course drivers are only human so mistakes can happen.

However, I totally agree - I think poor driving (speeding, tailgating etc) is so often excused by "it's a dangerous road" when in fact the accidents are caused by poor and dangerous driving. I bet there's no-one on here that doesn't witness this type of driving almost every time they are on the road - it's become insidious.

dweezle Thu 25-Jun-09 12:43:35

Totally agree. DH drives to Edinburgh on A7 every day. It is a reasonably bendy in some parts, but except in a couple of short stretches, is perfectly fine to drive at 60 along it. However every day, he is passed by idiots on blind corners and on the brows of hills. 60 is not fast enough for them. Most of the accidents where there are serious injuries of fatalities are down to young men driving at ridiculous speeds and taking stupid risks. Such a waste.

Rubyrubyrubyinthegame Thu 25-Jun-09 12:44:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OrmIrian Thu 25-Jun-09 12:45:57

Agree hecate. They were talking about this on Today this morning. And according the interviewee the risks are when the driver stops concentrating. Yes, well don't then!

As soon as you hear people talking about dangerous rural roads you just know that sooner or later there will be demands for road widening and extra 'road furniture' and the lovely winding country road will end up looking like the M4 sad.

HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 25-Jun-09 12:46:36

drive slower, don't overtake. still not the road that causes accidents, imo. These are just factors to take into consideration when driving along the road - safely!

Woooozle100 Thu 25-Jun-09 12:47:19

there's dangerous roads though when yr the pedestrian trying to cross, innit?

HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 25-Jun-09 12:49:55

oh yes, orm - folks are always on about the "dangerous roads" round here.

The narrow, winding ones with blind bends.

That people drive along at 60 or 70 or more, overtaking on a bend, rounding corners on the other side of the road and going like shock when there's a car coming the other way!

hmm oh yes, really dangerous roads they are. forcing these poor people to drive like that. It must be terrifying to be forced by a road to travel at 60 on the wrong side round a blind bend. Someone should do something about these malicious roads.

squilly Thu 25-Jun-09 12:51:43

There are some roads that are inherently more risky to drive down, but it is ultimately the drivers that make it unsafe. Unfortunately, without extracting individualism and carelessness from every driver (which would actually be a good thing, but anti-human rights) 'dangerous' roads will exist.

Outside our school you're near the bottom of the hill with lots of side roads from residential streets leading to a fairly arterial route through to a major city just over a mile away.

There are lots of parked cars on the streets as most of the houses are terraced/have no parking. The natural inclination is to speed up towards the end of the road, just because it's such a steep hill. And there are often people pulling out onto the road who can't fully see what's happening because of the parked cars.

All in all, that makes it a dangerous road.

pushmepullyou Thu 25-Jun-09 12:52:27

Hmm well I have never posted on an AIBU thread before, but this is a topic close to my heart! (I am rather dull blush)

I agree with the sentiment (and possibly the semantics), but do think YAB(slightly)Unreasonable.

I commute 40 miles each way through the Peak District every day and have seen a lot of roads closed/fatal accidents etc. I think there are a few factors at work here.

1) some roads encourage people to drive like twunts. Think rally stage type country lanes etc. Whilst this is the fault of individual drivers the road is still more dangerous than average for you to be travelling on even if you are a safe driver.

2) Some roads have poor visibility. I have lost count of the number of times I have come round a blind corner on a steep bend(at a stately pace grin) to find a sheep/horse/cyclist in the middle of the road about 3 m from my bumper. However carefully you are driving this situation makes an accident more likely.

3) Even if you are generally driving well people do make mistakes and accidents do happen (trite, sorry!). If the road in question rewards a blown out tyre, skiddy patch of diesel or similar by dropping you off a cliff into a yawning abyss then it is the road that is dangerous IMO.

...not to mention the time during the floods when I was driving home in the pouring rain to round a corner and find the road had disappeared shock

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 25-Jun-09 12:54:04

No, I think that there are such things as dangerous roads. Roads which are poorly designed and engineered, combined with bad planning and execution.

The road from the M5 to Barnstaple is about 15 years old and has always been notorious in Devon for being incredibly badly designed. It is a part time dual a carriageway, so when there is a steep bit of hill there are two lanes, when it comes to a brow of a hill the lane switches to the other side. It should have been designed as a dual acarriageway the whole way, this is the main thoroughfare to North devon and gets particularly busy in the summer.

Also, there are side roads swhich merge onto the main road at bottoms of hills etc. There have been so many accidents on this road.

Another one is the merge onto and off the M5 at Filton which I have to go through every day. Nobody can say that having 4 lanes of traffic crossing paths is a good road design.

You can obey all the speed restrictions/laws etc, however if you chance of having an accident increases significantly on a particular road due to its inherent bad design, I think that is something that should be addressed, don't you?

There are many other roads in the UK which have also been badly designed. I read somewhere once that as cars are now classified for safety, roads should be as well.

Paolosgirl Thu 25-Jun-09 12:54:04

Yes, of course you should drive slower etc etc but it's not always possible to adjust your speed so quickly if a road has been poorly engineered.

I'm thinking of the A71 that I drive to work each day - it's 60mph most of the way, and it's a good, though rural road. At one point, you go over a hump backed bridge, totally bind, and immediately afterwards there is a staggered junction with slow moving lorries leaving one road from a small quarry. That's badly designed imo - no warning signs, and why the hell was the entrance into the quarry put there??

Morloth Thu 25-Jun-09 12:58:51

You have clearly never experienced the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Nelson Bay.

Blind spots, poor maintenance, strangely place barriers, variable speed limits. It can be bloody terrifying.

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 25-Jun-09 13:00:07

I am not talking about rural roads with high hedgerows, btw, they are a different story and care should always be taken driving on these.

I am talking about new roads which have been design badly, and on the cheap. Such as slip roads on to fast moving A roads and motorways being shorter, in order to save on road building costs.

The slip roads on junction 11a on the M5 (pretty new) were laid so badly the road surface is bumpy. There is a bumpy road sign, however it is too late and if you are travelling at normal speed the bump can make you fly into the other lane. There have been accidents there as well.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Thu 25-Jun-09 13:05:27

there's a road near here, about 200m above the Usk river with no hedge etc to catch you, that has a sudden negative camber that could easily send a car straight in, it's round a bend so you don't see it

It's not a dangerous road per se but if you were met with a dodgy driver coming the opposite way or another hindrance (ice, rain, etc) you could easily fall foul of it.

thre's also that road Orm might know out near Meare which sinks from time to time: I know to drive ever so slowly in case there'spoyholes this week but it's guesswork.

And when tehre weas a massive ader on it and I had a panic attack... oh OK maybe not the roads fault LOL.

OK there's no such thing as a dangerous road, tis inanimate, but tehre are roads which amssively exaccerbate your chances or danger if something hits- and whilst I try to drive carefully one can never be sure person around next corner ahsn't been on a bender for threee days and has just split up with his widfe after being diagnosed as psychotic

So when weather looks dodgy, or I feel tired, I take the less risky route

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Thu 25-Jun-09 13:07:33



<<ponders what else could be>>

Vader (as in darth), raider (you'd ahve to know Glastonbury carnival) or panda with a somerset accent

No I think I could safely assume poeple would guess what was intended wink

OrmIrian Thu 25-Jun-09 13:07:44

Ah yes the incredible sinking road! You never know which way you are going to bounce.

But with care it's OK and there are warning signs.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Thu 25-Jun-09 13:09:13

It is Orm, though DH ahs afew tales to tell of late nights down Meare <<eeek>>

talbot Thu 25-Jun-09 13:19:44

Morloth, you are so right, Pacific Highway extraordianily terrifying.

Whilst I agree that poor driving is a far bigger problem I can't agree that there aren't unsafe roads.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Thu 25-Jun-09 13:27:14

Getorf- Dh commuted to Filton way every day for years, agrees about that junction.

'A road is not safe or unsafe. People are either driving safely or not. Instead of talking about 'dangerous' roads like somehow the road itself is to blame for the morons who decide to travel along it at 100mph, the focus should be on drivers who do not drive appropriately for weather conditions, or road surfaces, or corners and who cause accidents, harming themselves or others.' Hecate whilst that is true, often the cause of an accident is another driver: therefore we're all at risk no matter how careful we are, and roads should threfore be as safe as possible. Fences, decent condition etc.

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 25-Jun-09 13:32:39

Peachy - I am glad it's not just me. It puts the fear of god into me. 4 lanes of traffic crossing sides at about 50mph <shudder>. Hate it.

You're also right when you say that even though we do have a responsibility to personally drive safe, we are all at risk of another driver if they are driving erratically, if the road is designed so that a bit of speeding/dodgy driving is exacerbated thus causing an accident, we are all at risk.

Ewe Thu 25-Jun-09 13:34:00

BBC have reported today that road deaths are lowest since 1926 as part of this study which is positive.

I agree that it is more about the drivers than the road.

talbot Thu 25-Jun-09 13:38:05

Well better roads are one of the reasons behind the drop. The accident rate on Motorways is low precisely because they are so well designed.

Snorbs Thu 25-Jun-09 13:49:24

The original article cited the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton as the most dangerous stretch because of the number of motorcycle accidents.

That particular stretch of road, also known as the "Cat and Fiddle" (named after a pub at the top) is notorious famous among English bikers as it's a glorious but very unforgiving road. Get it even a little bit wrong along there and you're heading into a dry-stone wall. That's not really the road's fault, although some of the corners are a bit deceptive. It's more about pillocks riding too fast and taking too many risks on a public road.

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