Road rage!

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Mandrake
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Road rage!

Post by Mandrake » 06 Mar 2014, 00:18

Just had a very scary experience tonight - on the receiving end of some serious road rage. :shock:

Dark, raining, driving on a dual carriage way passing a trailer truck, was roughly parallel with the cab when I suddenly noticed road works cones merging my lane into the left lane - I'd just been along the same road two hours earlier with no cones anywhere so I was caught a little by surprise, especially as the cones were just over the rise of the hill where it started to go down so there was little forward visibility of the cones - at least at a car drivers height, I'm sure the truck driver saw them well before me.

As I was nearly past the truck I made a snap decision to floor it and squeeze in ahead instead of hitting the brakes hard to drop back a full trailer truck length and potentially be rear ended by someone else in the process. One of those spur of the moment decisions we all have to make at some point. Neither flooring it or braking hard were good options and I fully admit that I should have seen the cones sooner.

Well that truck driver took some serious umbrage. Not only did he not make any attempt to slow down to help me squeeze safely in, I got about 10 seconds worth of constant horn and flashing headlights as we descended the hill which was two lanes but coned off to only one lane. By this point I was already a bit shaken by a near miss and an angry truck driver bearing down behind me down hill. Not much I can do though.

At the bottom of the hill the two lanes divide into three at a roundabout with traffic lights, but with the right most lane coned off. I pull into the middle lane behind one other car and the truck pulls into the left lane. While we're stopped at the lights the driver opens his door and starts shouting abuse at me, I wind my passenger window down to try to shout back that it was an accident, that I didn't see the cones until the last second and had no choice but to squeeze past, and that I wasn't trying to cut him off.

He wasn't having any of it though and continued in a mad abusive rant, and I'm sure I said a few choice words back after giving up trying to apologise. At this point the car in front of me drove off due to a green light and the truck driver closed his door and we both started to move forward slowly. As he was angling slightly towards my lane I stopped with the intention of letting him pass, he pulled diagonally into my lane just missing the corner of my car and stopped completely blocking my lane. Before I could figure out what was happening he swung the door open, jumped out of the cab and started running towards me.

I had no doubt in my mind from his manner and size that he was coming to try to grab me through the window and beat the **** out of me after deliberately blocking my car in, so I instantly turned sharp right and floored it in between the road cones into the right most lane and made a hasty escape. On the way by he kicked the side of the car pretty hard and kept yelling abuse in the distance. (I'll need to check for dents tomorrow in the light of day :? )

To say that I was shaken was an understatement, two hours later I'm still shaking. :( The initial near miss and evasive action was enough to give me the willies for the rest of the night, but actually having an aggressive truck driver deliberately try to block my car in so he can get out and have a go at me was terrifying. Thank god for the coned off but empty lane or I don't know what would have happened...It all happened so fast, I guess I would have locked the doors but chances are I would have ended up with a broken window or a kicked in door at the least, assuming I'd had the sense to get the doors locked and the window wound back up again in time. Doesn't bear thinking about. :(

I'm not the fighting sort, nor am I good at defending myself so had I not been able to get away I don't think things would have gone well for me...

Anyone else had experiences like this ? I have to say in 23 years of driving this is only the 2nd time I've had someone get out of their vehicle and have a go at me!

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Road rage!

Post by addo » 06 Mar 2014, 00:56

I've had a nutcase drive all over the road (wrong side, illegal U-turns, all that sort of stuff) in the middle of the city because he felt he'd been given the arse in a merge. When the police hauled him in (I'd lost him in back streets I knew, parked undercover and gone straight to the cop shop with his plate) to request an explanation, he tried the "Nosepick Inglis" routine. They were less than impressed and read him the rules very firmly.

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Re: Road rage!

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 06 Mar 2014, 08:41

Nasty one, Simon. I am not surprised it left you shaken.

I would seriously consider letting the police know about this. It is unlikely they can do much (I am NOT criticising the police) as they won't have much to go on (I doubt you got his registration or any vehicle markings; I wouldn't have been able to under those circumstances), but if there were cameras in the area they might get lucky. That lorry driver is a danger on the road, having shown he is prepared to block traffic (to the point of potentially causing an accident) to continue an argument (and, possibly, worse). He has (probably) committed criminal damage by kicking your car. The police might question your choice about going for the gap, but based on what you said I cannot see how it can be an issue. You were caught by surprise by a very recent change in the road conditions, you were driving a vehicle that gave you two good options, and you made a snap decision. You could not have known what would follow.

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Re: Road rage!

Post by Mandrake » 06 Mar 2014, 10:07

Thanks James.

Yes I was quite shaken last night, I feel a bit better this morning. As I said the near miss had me shaken already so I wasn't prepared for what happened next. No, no chance to take a number plate, and I wouldn't recognise either the truck or the driver now.

No cameras at that roundabout as far as I know, and although there must have been road works crew somewhere I couldn't see any at the time - its one of those huge 200 metre diameter roundabouts with a centre section full of trees and also a dividing line of trees between the in and out section of the exit we were on, so no real visibility to any other part of the roundabout from where I was stopped.

I didn't realise until later but there must have been a queue of traffic behind us blocked off by the truck as there was a decent queue of traffic in front of us as we came down the hill, so there must have been people behind watching, but I never had a chance to look back during the whole incident.

I don't claim to be free of fault here, I accidentally (not with malice) did what was a pretty dangerous overtaking manoeuvre, and the fright I got from that was enough of a wake up call. I'm generally a very conservative overtaker - on a single lane road I'll hang back for ages until its really safe even though I now have a car with enough grunt for more "adventurous" overtaking. In this case I was along side the truck for some time (maybe 20 seconds or more) doing a drifting overtake, only to get up near the cab, come over the rise and have an "oh **** my lane is disappearing" moment. We've all been there before.

I don't know how long those trucks are (a full truck and trailer unit) but they must be at least 6-8 car lengths, in the dark and wet coming down from the rise in the road I didn't have enough visibility behind me to see if I had 6-8 car lengths worth of space behind me to slam on the brakes without being rear ended. Maybe I made a bad call, I don't know. Split second decisions to accelerate or brake hard are always difficult to make.

The thing that annoyed me is that the truck driver got on the horn before I had even passed him and made NO attempt to slow down to help avoid a collision. When I'm in the situation where someone dangerously merges in front of me after overtaking and there isn't enough room for them to do so safely I ALWAYS back off to let them in, no matter how in the wrong they might be or how reckless they were.

Being in the right but dead is NOT worth it, especially if its the other person that's dead because you were too bull headed to let them in in an emergency. (Imagine having to live with that)

I see this kind of bull headed stubbornness on the road all the time, especially at roundabouts. People who have technical right of way will continue at full speed with no attempt to slow down or avoid someone who may have cut in front of them or pulled out when they shouldn't have, regardless of the fact that it causes a near miss. I've seen near misses of inches where its clear the person who was in the "right" could clearly see what was happening and had SECONDS to avoid a collision. Did they slow down or steer to avoid a collision ? No, they kept going as if the other car wasn't there in the bull headed conviction that they're in the right, collision be damned.

Again in those situations I might get annoyed if it was a particularly egregious cut in, maybe honk the horn but I will ALWAYS slow down or take evasive action to avoid a collision due to someone else's recklessness or lapse in judgement (sometimes its simply poor judgement, not malice) regardless of the fact that I may be in the "right". Being right doesn't prevent a collision or reduce the damage or risk of bodily harm to both parties.

I can certainly accept flashing lights and honking horns from the driver (although I still think he should have braked to reduce the chance of a collision) and even a bit of verbal assault through the window - I've certain been shouted and sworn at through car windows before... but to drive a semi-trailer truck diagonally in front of me to block the road at a busy roundabout and then jump out of the cab to make a threatening break towards my car is well over the line. I certainly wasn't sticking around to take license plate numbers and see what happened next!

Northern_Mike

Re: Road rage!

Post by Northern_Mike » 06 Mar 2014, 10:25

I've had similar a few times over the years. It's not pleasant at all. It's a shame you couldn't involve the police. Firms take less than kindly to their drivers behaving like this.

I got chased by someone in a 5 series BMW when I was driving a 2CV once. Not a lot of chance to escape there!

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Re: Road rage!

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 06 Mar 2014, 10:33

Simon, I would still let the police know. There might be cameras that caught the action, or maybe one of the people in the cars behind got his number plate.

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Re: Road rage!

Post by Mandrake » 06 Mar 2014, 10:35

Northern_Mike wrote: I got chased by someone in a 5 series BMW when I was driving a 2CV once. Not a lot of chance to escape there!
What on earth could you have possibly done in a 2CV to offend someone ? Failed to accelerate to 60mph in under 2 minutes ? :-D

Yes, you don't see too many 2CV's used for bank robbery getaway vehicles... :mrgreen:

Northern_Mike

Re: Road rage!

Post by Northern_Mike » 06 Mar 2014, 11:01

He was under the impress I'd cut him up at the Handicross roundabout near High Wycombe. I hadn't, he was in the wrong lane (heading towards the M40 Northbound). My 2CV was not VTOL equipped, so I could not get out of his way when he suddenly tried to swing into my lane and got a warning toot. He took offence at this and chased me for about 1/2 mile until I decided enough was enough and pulled into cinema car park. He pulled up about 20 yards behind me and got out.

He then became frightened and somewhat surprised and ran back to his car, reversed away quickly as I slowly advanced and buggered off. He probably thought twice about chasing anyone else. (No contact with him or his car was made, no injuries).

I've had a few, all within the M25 where I've not stopped. I wouldn't normally! I've other folk to consider and you never know what sort of nutcase you might be getting involved with.

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Northern_Mike

Re: Road rage!

Post by Northern_Mike » 06 Mar 2014, 11:04

Mandrake wrote:
Northern_Mike wrote:
Yes, you don't see too many 2CV's used for bank robbery getaway vehicles... :mrgreen:
Back in 1981 or 2 when the first Escort XR3s had come out, my dad's colleague in Eire had one. My dad had a 2cv that he bought new in 1979. Colleague was laughing at 2CV. Dad said he'd race him to the other side of the square (In Limerick if memory serves). About a mile on the road. Colleague said yes. Dad won.

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Northern_Mike

Re: Road rage!

Post by Northern_Mike » 06 Mar 2014, 11:05

Hell Razor5543 wrote:Simon, I would still let the police know. There might be cameras that caught the action, or maybe one of the people in the cars behind got his number plate.
Yes, I'm with James on that one.

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Re: Road rage!

Post by evilally » 06 Mar 2014, 22:46

Do you remember anything about the truck, a logo? I would report it, you might be lucky and get one of those rare officers who are interested in investigating crime. There might be CCTV or another member of the public might have already reported it. I once reported a road rage incident (not directed at me) committed by a forestry commission driver. The officer in question took all of the details, found the guy and ruffled his feathers somewhat. He said he was satisfied the guy took it on-board, otherwise he would have charged him.

Not specifically for this reason, but I recently fitted an HD dash cam which records when the ignition is live. They are very affordable these days and certainly would have given you ammo to do something about this.

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Re: Road rage!

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 06 Mar 2014, 23:05

They are getting cheap! Look at these;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HD-720P-Small ... 4ad14851a8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1280P-Hd-2-5- ... 5af384a4a2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There are more, but I just popped these up to help.

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Re: Road rage!

Post by ACTIVE8 » 20 Mar 2014, 19:27

On the programme on BBC2 about banger racing, which is still on the iplayer for a few days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... Episode_2/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

One of the drivers said something about how when they come to race that the drivers change mood and are out to get each other, and damage the other car(s) to get people out of the race.

They become really aggressive, and determined to get the other driver(s) come what may.

The thing is nowadays on the road there are too many who drive like they are the only ones on the road, and as if they are the only ones that matter, and as if the road is a race track.

This truck driver should have shown more respect, and also not used the size of his vehicle to intimidate.

He should be sent off to do Ice Road Trucking, where he would have to drive more carefully, and where there is less traffic, he not fit to be on the busy roads where he can't deal with traffic, and what happens with many vehicles on the road.

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Re: Road rage!

Post by ACTIVE8 » 08 Apr 2014, 23:30

So Mandrake as you where here, then went to the southern hemisphere.

What did you think of the quality of driving here before going south?

Also what was it like when you got there, any better or worse?

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Re: Road rage!

Post by Fake Concern » 09 Apr 2014, 09:25

I'd agree that getting a cheap dash cam is the way to go. Mine cost about £50 with front & rear cams.
I had a close call with a truck the other day & have it to mull over (in fact I put it on Pistonheads for evaluation, most people thought it was the truck driver being an idiot, but several blamed me although I can only see how I could have prevented it by either keeping behind the truck in the first place or by coming to a standstill on the sliproad to the M25 or by racing in front of the Focus & cutting him up!).
Anyway here we are, from the front you see me come from the A2 going East to turn onto the M25 South. I go past the truck & it never gets in view of the cam again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H5pmTdvpdw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
From the rear cam, you see that after I am well in front of it and once we are on the sliproad to the M25 which we all know is going to 1 lane before merging, the truck comes up the inside, getting the front of his cab about level with my B post. He then flashes & gesticulates when I don't either stop to let him through or take off & fly out of his way! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWIF2FICwec" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Edit, I've just read the original post again & if it was me I would still be shaken up now about a Month later, so how are you Simon?
Usually I think truck drivers are professionals & act accordingly, unfortunately as with all things, there are exceptions.