My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

To wonder why so many people crash on a straight stretch of motorway?

132 replies

ColonelBrandonsPiano · 30/01/2024 01:43

After another motorway crash, involving road closures and delays etc, I’m once again wondering how so many people seem to crash on a straight stretch of motorway.

junctions - yes, built up traffic in a city - yes, roundabouts- again yes.

but why motorways? Is it due to lack of familiarity? Tiredness from a long drive? Lack of motorway experience. Absolutely baffles me.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

172 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
69%
You are NOT being unreasonable
31%
HumanbyDesign · 30/01/2024 01:47

Any number of reasons! In fact you could almost argue straight stretches are most dangerous as your attention can wander... On longer/motorway journeys my OH usually drives and as passenger I often can see drivers we are overtaking not paying attention on the road - either looking away or obviously down at their phones.... Scares the crap out of me but am no longer shocked, it happens so often.

ColonelBrandonsPiano · 30/01/2024 01:58

I wonder if a minimum speed limit would help by reducing overtaking. Realistically you shouldn’t need to overtake unless there’s a slower moving vehicle I.e lorry, caravan etc. But often you have drivers travelling much lower than the speed limit, and then also slower moving vehicles in the middle lane who seem afraid to change lanes.
So much safer if we could set the adaptive cruise control, and then only occasionally change lanes.

OP posts:
HussellRobbs · 30/01/2024 01:59

People are stupid and in a rush. It’s not baffling at all.

doilooklikeicare · 30/01/2024 02:00

People lose concentration, overtaking, undertaking, irrational moves.

All lead to accidents and once one accident happens, often a pile up because others didn't leave a safe distance,

TheShellBeach · 30/01/2024 02:00

Speeding! And the concomitant loss of control.

VelvetandLace · 30/01/2024 02:35

Tiredness? Texting?

LanisHouseLot · 30/01/2024 02:42

The one I was nearly in was caused by a huge ladder in the fast lane that only became visible when the lorry in front suddenly moved into the middle lane to avoid it. I did the same but the guy behind ploughed straight over it and went spinning off into the central barrier. So I guess people who don't correctly tether loads to their van would be the cause.

Keepingittogetherstepbystep · 30/01/2024 02:47

Where I live there's a constant stream of idiots driving up to 150mph and filming themselves doing it. One's just been sent down after posting the footage on social media.

They obviously have more faith in their driving ability than then have actual ability. It's unerving if you happen to be on the road at the same time.

We were overtaken by an idiot that killed a pregnant lady and injured her son and nephew. Was sad to realise it was the same car as both my mum and myself commented on his speed as he went past.

DdraigGoch · 30/01/2024 02:54

These days motorway planners deliberately design curves into the route to keep you paying attention. Long, straight sections have noticeably higher accident rates

Chichimcgee · 30/01/2024 03:03

I think it’s more likely to have a crash on a motorway, on a regular road you could get away with a bump or a late break or a hundred other things that on the motorway would lead to a serious crash

Thedogscollar · 30/01/2024 03:05

Speed.

MariaVT65 · 30/01/2024 03:09

The 3 near misses I had or my friend had were:

-Friend fell asleep at the wheel

-Lorry pulled out in front of me while i was overtaking it and I had to slam on my breaks

-Drunk driver swerving across all lanes and eventually stopped by police

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 · 30/01/2024 03:19

I remember reading that it is believed a significant amount of single vehicle crashes are deliberate.

Whatcolou · 30/01/2024 03:31

I witnessed one at 70mph. Car in fast lane overtaking a car in the middle lane pulled back in too soon, rear of car hit front of middle lane car. Middle lan car spun 360 degrees in front of me. I had cars each side of me, so emergency stop, stopped within a metre of her. Could have been multiple cars if I’d not left adequate distance.


people drive too close to the car in front.

Flufferblub · 30/01/2024 04:27

Lapse in concentration, not leaving enough space, tyre blows out, brakes fail, error of judgement... could be any number of things really

Alphabet1spaghetti2 · 30/01/2024 04:37

All the above. Plus it’s hard on straight stretches without significant features to judge speed of traffic ahead. So if traffic is slowing or stopped, it’s often too late to stop yourself. It’s a mix of a lot of different factors which make a perfect storm.

MidnightSerenader · 30/01/2024 04:41

Gosh, it’s a strange thing to be perplexed about. Sorry, but you did ask.

A momentary lapse in concentration while travelling at speed, and game over.

MrsPatrickDempsey · 30/01/2024 05:11

Driving too close to the vehicle in front, particularly in the overtaking lane.

DoAWheelie · 30/01/2024 05:16

The easier the drive is the more you switch off into auto pilot which slows down your reaction times. It happens to me in video games all the time - I breeze through the hard bits because I'm paying full attention and then mess up constantly in the easy bits when my brain switches off. I also trip over more in long empty corridors vs more busy places.

It's not something anyone does deliberately it just sort of happens. Anything overly simple and boring causes our brains to just file it away as useless and not pay attention. It's how we breeze through morning routines half asleep and not thinking.

Natsku · 30/01/2024 05:17

LanisHouseLot · 30/01/2024 02:42

The one I was nearly in was caused by a huge ladder in the fast lane that only became visible when the lorry in front suddenly moved into the middle lane to avoid it. I did the same but the guy behind ploughed straight over it and went spinning off into the central barrier. So I guess people who don't correctly tether loads to their van would be the cause.

One of the first times I drove after passing my test, not on a motorway but a country road so only one lane each way but quite fast speeds, and there was a bloody rake in the middle of the lane! No time to stop, luckily I had just enough time to go into the opposite lane, get around it, and get back again before a lorry that was coming towards me got close enough.

penjil · 30/01/2024 05:23

Speeding, zooming about like a lunatic and flicking about from one lane to another. That causes crashes.

Meadowfinch · 30/01/2024 05:29

phones,
inattention,
too close to the car in front,
aggression,

Or a combination of the above.

Naimee87 · 30/01/2024 05:36

I drive a truck and sitting up high i can tell you almost 1 out of every 3 cars i pass has the driver scrolling on a phone… not even in a hidden way sometimes even on a blatant video call. What people don‘t seem to realise is how far you still travel with your eyes off the roads at those speeds. I echo a pp that said straight stretches are where people concentrate less as there isn‘t a lot grabbing their attention so you can fall almost into an ‚auto-pilot‘ an get easily distracted by whats going on in the car rather than whats on the roads…an over reliance on sensors/cruise control and simply not keeping any distance

LanisHouseLot · 30/01/2024 06:13

Natsku · 30/01/2024 05:17

One of the first times I drove after passing my test, not on a motorway but a country road so only one lane each way but quite fast speeds, and there was a bloody rake in the middle of the lane! No time to stop, luckily I had just enough time to go into the opposite lane, get around it, and get back again before a lorry that was coming towards me got close enough.

That sounds terrifying especially as a new driver!

StanSaid · 30/01/2024 06:29

A lot of times it's the monotony of the drive, miles of the same scenery sometimes switches your mind off so you're not concentrating, particularly on other traffic.
It's amazing how many people fall asleep while driving on a motorway.
Then there's other reasons of course, such as having a medical episode, being on the phone, being distracted by kids or pets, having a row with your passenger ( more common than you think ) speeding, not driving to the conditions and in rare cases, a mechanical fault.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.