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#1 05-09-07 21:35:09

Angel
Verified Member
From: Maidstone, Kent
Registered: 23-08-06
Posts: 284
Website

motorway lorry nightmare

My husband had a lucky escape yesterday on the M20 when he was side swiped by a lorry. The lorry had found itself on the inside lane that turned into the slip road for the channel tunnel so came back on to the main carriageway. teh outside lane was coned off and traffic was slowing as there was only the one lane, hubby trapped between vehicles front and back, the one behind flashing lights as the lorry came out and hit him with the side of his cab, wing mirror disintegrating. Hubby moved over towards the cones but the lorry kept coming and hit him again so he drove into the coned lane, luckily it was empty, as the lorry carried on blissfully unaware. Not one to let someone get away with something like this, he set off after the lorry, got in front of it and persuaded it to pull over. The driver was Polish and had no idea what had happened and had no English apart from 'very sorry' so the police were called and the Highways Agency came out to translate and get the insurance details. If the lorry had hit his car any further back it would have been much worse, even fatal as the car would have spun in front of the lorry-and both my boys were in the car. I could have lost all my family in one go...my blood runs cold thinking about it.  yikes


I'm teetering on the brink-please push!!

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05-09-07 21:35:09

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Re: motorway lorry nightmare



#2 05-09-07 22:01:13

Dimmy
Guest

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

I'll put my head above the parapet here.

Was your partner aware that the driver of the truck wasnt able to see him?
Driving in the blind spot of a truck is one of the most hazardous places of the carriageway.

Slip lane terminating, coned lane to the right, I'd say there was plenty of clues to the potential hazard developing and to be in a trucks blind spot at that time is  hardly the safest place of the motorway, especially a left drive truck.

I'm not saying your hubby was responsible, but I am saying the truck driver wasn't solely to blame. He did react incorrectly to the cars inappropriate signal that was following your husbands, and is an example of why such signals should not be used.

Did your husband sound his horn? Did he attempt to slow down or did he attempt to defend his road position by moving slightly closer to the cones?

Your forum tag suggests you are an instructor, what is your take on defensive driving and positioning ones car in the blind spot of an LGV truck especially when you have no escape route to your right?

#3 05-09-07 22:26:48

Angel
Verified Member
From: Maidstone, Kent
Registered: 23-08-06
Posts: 284
Website

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

I went all through this with him today. As far as he knew the lorry wanted to go to the channel tunnel, he just changed his mind at the last minute realising he was in the wrong lane. The slip lane was not joining the carriageway, it was going off, the inside lane became the slip lane!  My husband was in a queue of traffic slowing down into one lane, nowhere else for him to go. If the lorry had been waiting to join he would have left him a gap. I think the car flashing probably confused the lorry as this is what lorries do to each other to let them know they have enough room to pull in. He didn't sound his horn as he didn't have time, it all happened so quickly, he knows about the blind spots with lorries but could do nothing about it as the lorry put him there rather than vice versa. As far as I can see the lorry was totally at fault for just changing lanes without looking for a gap and for not reading the signs properly. It is the first accident my husband has been involved in in 30 years of driving-not bad I think. He is a defensive driver who on more than one occasion has taken evasive action to avoid being hit by people on phones etc either in a car or on his m/bike.

As for my take on defensive driving re lorries, I say give them a lane's distance if you can or get right passed as quickly as you can, especially foreign ones, what did you expect me to say? :?


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#4 06-09-07 18:12:54

kev elliott
Guest

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Slip lane terminating, coned lane to the right, I'd say there was plenty of clues to the potential hazard developing and to be in a trucks blind spot at that time is  hardly the safest place of the motorway, especially a left drive truck.

Not sure what you are sying here Dimmy -Where does the original poster say that the slip road was terminating?

The lorry had found itself on the inside lane that turned into the slip road for the channel tunnel so came back on to the main carriageway.

Just based on this statement alone the lorry did not give anyone a chance. The driver who flashed his lights was acting as advised in Driving the Essential Skills Page 84

" ..If you think a warning is necessary, flashing your headlights can be particularly useful in situations where the horn might not be heard ...".

Therefore on the insurance claim form the question what warning was given " I flashed my headlights" could be classed as giving a warning.


Angel hope you have all calmed down now smile


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#5 06-09-07 19:06:40

Luchell
Verified Member
From: Salisbury
Registered: 12-06-07
Posts: 1,661

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

You say he is a defensive driver yet on more than one occasion he has had to take evasive action due to other road users actions. From that statement i would put it down to poor anticipation and not using 'what if' scenarios.True a driver may be on the phone but we need to anticipate other motorists 'worse case scenarios' just in case.

Keeping space as far as possible is essential, that means in front, behind and too the sides in event of an emergency you have a small safety blanket just in case. I saw similar a few weeks ago, car sat in lorries blindspot, lorry goes to change lanes pushing the car in the blindspot into the central barrier. The lorry cannot be held totally responsible for this as theres no way unless they are psychic that they would realise someone is sitting in there blindspot. From the posts above it doesn't sound much like defensive driving to me  neutral I suspect the lorry drive may well have checked for safey before changing but what hope did he have in spotting your partner in his blindspot  neutral

Kev, read the first post again and it clearly says it turned into a slip road where the lorry was leading to the channel tunnel  neutral

Sorry guys I'm sure it isn't what you might want to hear, I can only go by what is written here and so far i cannot see any evidence of a defensive driver yet.

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#6 06-09-07 19:13:05

Dimmy
Guest

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Dimmy wrote:

Slip lane terminating, coned lane to the right, I'd say there was plenty of clues to the potential hazard developing and to be in a trucks blind spot at that time is  hardly the safest place of the motorway, especially a left drive truck.

Not sure what you are sying here Dimmy -Where does the original poster say that the slip road was terminating?

That would be the bit that says

Angel wrote:

The lorry had found itself on the inside lane that turned into the slip road

Kev wrote:

The lorry had found itself on the inside lane that turned into the slip road for the channel tunnel so came back on to the main carriageway.

Just based on this statement alone the lorry did not give anyone a chance. The driver who flashed his lights was acting as advised in Driving the Essential Skills Page 84

" ..If you think a warning is necessary, flashing your headlights can be particularly useful in situations where the horn might not be heard ...".

Therefore on the insurance claim form the question what warning was given " I flashed my headlights" could be classed as giving a warning.

Do you believe the lorry driver took the flasding of the headlights to mean "I AM HERE" or do you think he took the flashing headlights to mean " I AM LETTING YOU OUT IN FRONT OF ME" ??? at a time when Angels partner was in the truck drivers blind spot and it is fair to assume the truck driver was unaware at that time of the taxis' position.

The fact the truck driver found himself in the normal driving lane that then turned into a filter lane slip road which required him needing to change lanes to remain on the carriageway. he checked his mirrors and presumably signalled which prompted the driver behind the taxi to flash a beckoning signal. The truck driver took this to be a beckon and acted upon it.

Defensive driving would require the driver to not be in the blind spot area any longer than is absolutely necessary. Had the taxi driver given himself enough space ahead so that he wasnt in the blind spot whilst another vehicle was beside the truck then he would be maintaining enough head space to gain speed as he passed the truck.
Likewise, he did not plan for the eventuality of the truck possibly needing to change lanes as its lane filtered off. Personally I would have held back from the truck as I approached such a lane filtering location. To place yourself in the blind spot of a truck at such a hazardous location, compounded with no escape gap to the right (due to coned lane) was, I'm sad to say, extremely poor planning and anticipation on the part of the taxi driver.

I hope this clarifies MY position on this incident. The incident was WHOLLY avoidable if the taxi driver had been able to anticipate the actions of the truck driver and not placed his vehicle in such a vunerable position at such a hzardous location. Easing off of speed for a few hundred yards and remaining in the truck drivers mirrors until AFTER the filter lane exited the carriageway would have either confirmed the trcuck driver indeed intend to exit or allowing the truck to change lanes into a safe gap created by the taxi driver. now THAT is defensive driving.







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#7 06-09-07 19:16:37

kev elliott
Guest

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

As far as he knew the lorry wanted to go to the channel tunnel, he just changed his mind at the last minute realising he was in the wrong lane. The slip lane was not joining the carriageway, it was going off, the inside lane became the slip lane!

Hayley the left hand lane turned into an off slip, the lorry driver was in the wrong lane would you change lanes that late in the day in a car let alone a lorry with limited vision in heavy trafiic?


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#8 06-09-07 19:19:00

kjs
Verified Member
From: Rossendale Lancashire
Registered: 20-05-06
Posts: 976
Website

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

watched a Polish lorry driver this afternoon on a spiral roundabout. Swapped and changed lanes at the last minute almost taking out a couple of cars. This is one of the reasons why I don't like to drive abroad myself, never to sure of the rules of the road in that country.

kjs

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#9 06-09-07 19:37:33

Luchell
Verified Member
From: Salisbury
Registered: 12-06-07
Posts: 1,661

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Yes i know Kev, at the end of the day he obviously didn't see the car in his blindspot. Whether he did check well enough or not the fact remains that he didn't stand a chance of seeing the car at that point.

If you saw a foreign left hand drive truck Kev what would go through your mind? 1/ He's foreign and will probably get lost. 2/ His visability is likely to be even worse than a right hand drive lorry. It takes two people to have an accident, just my opinion you understand  smile

Its irrelevant that the lorry shouldn't have moved over at that point in time and that late, he did therefore we have to be able to deal with these motorists safely by anticipating and planning well. I am not defending the lorry i am pointing out that no matter what we have to be prepared and ready for these situations.

How would you describe defensive driving Kev? As said above i see no evidence of it  neutral

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#10 06-09-07 20:14:16

kev elliott
Guest

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Without seeing the incident none of us can say but from where the car was hit it looks like the car was actually past the lorry

Defensive driving is reducing the risk to yourself and others as much as is practically possible given the constraints of the road.

In this case it looks like the lorry put the car in the blind spot byu virtue of the decrease in speed of the traffic in lane 2. Not clear on the original post of what the relative speeds were but if the car was in front of the lorry to start with and the lorry was in a clear lane and therefore able to put the car in blind spot as suggested how on earth could that avoided by the driver of the car that was hit? You have both appear to have assumed that the car was sat in the blind spot of the lorry. Just another angle on it for you to ponder. How would you have dealt with that situation?
   

#11 06-09-07 20:25:23

Luchell
Verified Member
From: Salisbury
Registered: 12-06-07
Posts: 1,661

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Likewise i wasn't there  smile I would keep space to the front back and sidces, i ALWAYS do. That would have helped massively. If someone boxed me in a would create space. I would have been watching the lorry and thinking up the scenarios so should they happen i can react quicker having thought out a plan.This is just an opinion as to what i would have done  smile

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#12 06-09-07 20:49:43

Angel
Verified Member
From: Maidstone, Kent
Registered: 23-08-06
Posts: 284
Website

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

I can't see how you can keep your sides clear. If the traffic to your left is on an off ramp what kind of a gap can you keep ahead before someone jumps into it from the right?

Where was the taxi?

With the traffic slowing ahead and the other lane going to another destination and only one lane, how much room should he have left, enough for a 30 tonner? As he was just ahead of the lorry it wouldn't have helped him much, he would have still been hit even with a gap ahead.

The guy behind backed off but the lorry was too close to hubby's car.

I think we are all missing the important question here - what can hauliers do to the mirrors on the lorries to eliminate this particular blind spot?  The brother of one of my pupils was side swiped going back to uni, again on the M20, after Easter. Again they were lucky as the outside lane was empty but the lorry carried on unaware of what it had done so no insurance details were obtained .There are so many foreign lorries in Kent, this must happen frequently so we should work towards a solution to solve the problem, not just learn to deal with it.

Thanks for your support Kev. It was scary knowing I could have lost my sons-the hubby (ex) was out with new girlfriend so perhaps this has put her off. :evil:


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#13 06-09-07 20:55:19

Angel
Verified Member
From: Maidstone, Kent
Registered: 23-08-06
Posts: 284
Website

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Dimmy, inside lane turning into slip road means inside lane turning into slip road, not slip road turning into inside lane! the lorry's lane was going to the Channel Tunnel, the lorry was leaving the motorway (unbeknownst to him as it turned out!)  roll


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#14 06-09-07 21:15:34

EKAL
Verified Member
From: East Kilbride
Registered: 23-04-06
Posts: 1,050
Website

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

I think we are all missing the important question here - what can hauliers do to the mirrors on the lorries to eliminate this particular blind spot?

LGV's are now(new) required by Law to have "blindspot" mirrors fitted to BOTH sides of the vehicle, the visability we now have is far better than the standard one blindspot mirror on the passenger side, BUT NOT all LGV's have to have them fitted yet, its just the new ones for now. with this in mind even the foreign LGV's should have better visibility of the "standard" blindspots, if the LGV in question had a blindspot mirror fitted to "his" passenger side, he should have seen the car in question.
if I am in lane 2 and moving to lane 1, I first check my blindspot mirror then the main mirror (both on same arm), I have very good vision and must admit never to have missed a vehicle in this area, whereas, when moving from lane 1 to 2, I have to actually lean forward to get better vision in my main mirror, then a shoulder check to make sure its clear (but when using the new vehicle we have with the extra b/spot mirror, I feel a lot more comfortable when changing lanes)


DSA ADI, DSA Fleet, RoADAR Diploma, RoADAR Gold.
SAFED for LGV/HGV - SAFED train the trainer
Driver CPC Trainer
www.agnewdrivertraining.co.uk

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#15 07-09-07 12:34:00

VandADI
Administrator
From: Coulsdon, Surrey
Registered: 29-02-04
Posts: 7,592

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Dimmy, inside lane turning into slip road means inside lane turning into slip road, not slip road turning into inside lane! the lorry's lane was going to the Channel Tunnel, the lorry was leaving the motorway (unbeknownst to him as it turned out!)  roll

There are quite a few of these on the M25 where the inside lane BECOMES the slip road, Junct 6 - A22 turn off to Caterham (anti-clockwise) as an example.  Very heavily laden with foreign lorries always chopping and changing lanes at the last minute, looking well ahead and anticipating early enough you can predict (most of the time) which ones are going to cut you up and plan your escape route accordingly.
100%+ focus on driving must be given, especially when on the motorway, inside the car distractions eg kids could possibly be fatal in circumstances such as this.

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#16 07-09-07 18:44:19

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,297

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Hi
It isn't just lorries swapping lanes late, a lot of people using Sat Nav are doing it as well.
I have found that the SatNav gives a nice early warning "Prepare to change/follow this, motorway shortly" it even gives a second warning giving a distance (Those 2 might be the other way round) However the "Change Carriageway NOW" instruction is IMHO far too late, well into the seperator markings and within about 100yds of the actual divergence.

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#17 09-09-07 10:30:30

spikeyperch
Guest

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Angel I had a very similar situation on a pass plus lesson a couple of years ago. It was the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me on the road as a driver or instructor. I am just glad that your husband is ok, I had flashbacks for days afterwards.

Whilst we can all be as careful as we can on the road, anticipating and planning as much as we can, sometimes things go bad.

I hope all the people who have so much ''text book'' knowledge and ''experience'' will be able to apply it, if God forgive, the same unfortunate situation happens to them, as happened to Angel's husband.

I know when it happened to me, I think the two things paramount on my mind were keeping myself and the pupil safe and hoping neither of us s hit ourselves, it really is that frightening.


As I say I do hope your husband is ok Angel. SP

#18 18-09-07 07:47:51

hayzy
Verified Member
Registered: 17-05-05
Posts: 176
Website

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

Seen lots of lethal eastern european drivers very unpredictable.


oh dear

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#19 18-09-07 12:26:41

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,690
Website

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

...It isn't just lorries swapping lanes late, a lot of people using Sat Nav are doing it as well...

I have read up a lot on sat navs but never used one myself (one day soon I'll get a Tom Tom), I have often wondered about the effects they have on general road safety.
I can envisage drivers doing things on the spur of the moment "because their sat nav said to do it".

What are your thoughts (or should we start a different thread on this) ??


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#20 18-09-07 12:40:06

kev elliott
Guest

Re: motorway lorry nightmare

pegasus wrote:

...It isn't just lorries swapping lanes

What are your thoughts (or should we start a different thread on this) ??

Go for it zipprer the thread and the tom tom

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