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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
jonm BS: Fast car worship (61* d) RE: BS: Fast car worship 20 Nov 07


I've had sparks from the running boards of a 2CV while cornering. Yes, they cannot be rolled. By the way, that was on a circuit.

I have always felt there is more thrill and skill in driving a slow car quickly and safely than in driving a very fast car above normal speeds. To get some sort of challenge to your driving ability in terms of planning your cornering and braking, judging distances and keeping momentum through a series of bends, you could be doing 50mph in an old 2CV or 150mph in a new Porsche. In the former case, there are admittedly times when you have to back off due to the inadequacies of drum brakes and narrow tyres. In the latter, there are few roads which offer suitable sight lines to know the road remains unobstructed for a safe stopping distance at that kind of speed, even with exotic brakes. It's when the unexpected happens around the next bend that accidents occur.

Basically, all road accidents result from excessive vehicle speed in relation to the driver's competence and physical condition and the prevailing road and surrounding conditions. However, many of them would still occur at lower speeds, due to the factors mentioned. There are some drivers who are an accident waiting to happen at any speed.

What about the removal of all speed limits? People would then have to make informed decisions about their own driving and competence and the conditions around them. Currently, there is an attitude that if the limit on a motorway is 70mph, then it is ALWAYS safe to travel at 80mph. The reality is that sometimes it might be safe to travel at 180mph and sometimes 35mph would be unsafe. A small minority will never get the hang of it, but if we could get them to take each other out without killing any of the rest of us.....

The Dutch have adopted a similar approach to urban signage, removing the lot and letting driver/cyclist/pedestrian courtesy and forethought govern rights of way at junctions. After some teething difficulties, but no injury accidents, the urban networks in question are now flowing more freely and journey times have gone down in comparison with the old-style forest of signs, white paint and traffic lights.

Do we as a driving nation have the skills to apply them to a situation like that, though?


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