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Viewing entries tagged with 'safety'

Respect

Posted by on 2 February 2015 | 0 Comments

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Size Matters

A few weeks ago, I decided that I would save money by buying a little Ka for short journeys instead of using the 4x4 when not towing the caravan.  Having driven large cars for the last 25 years, if not more, it came as a bit of a shock to be looking up at the wheels of the 4x4 as I reversed off the drive.  So, first gear engaged, I set off onto the streets of Leicestershire, heading for the city, and the market.

I hadn't gone very far when I discovered that little Ka's are invisible to white vans at roundabouts.  Amazing! If I'd been in the 4x4 they would have had enough respect to stay in the correct lane, but as I am now so tiny and vulnerable it seems that white van can ignore all lane discipline and simply cut from the inside lane to turn off at the second exit in front of me.  Still, being so tiny, I was able to pull hard left, keeping my bumbers intact - just.  That got me thinking - does size matter?  And if so, is large the only way to go?  I've been watching ever since.

One of the leviathans of the road has to be the bus.  Whether it is a single or double decker really doesn't matter, they have their very own lanes and heaven help anyone who happens to be level with them when they come to the end of a bus lane.  To be fair, it is not difficult to understand why they have to pull out and if you read the road, it is very obvious where the lane ends.  So, white van, what were you doing? Trying to overtake the bus in much the way you did me?  What a good job the bus driver has huge mirrors and made good use of them - or perhaps white van did not notice. It does seem to bear out the idea that the big vehicle has right of way.

It's not just the other drivers that cause problems for the bus, though.  Look at the beast - it can't bend, so one end or the other is going to stick out as it changes direction - and that includes pulling into a bus stop.  Why do so many pedestrians walk straight into that area where they can be hit by the wing mirrors as the front of the bus overhangs the pavement when it pulls in.  Have a little patience, you can't get on the bus until the driver opens the doors, and s/he won't do that until the bus stops.  Stand back, show the driver the respect s/he deserves for handling so large a vehicle safely, and wait to be invited to hop on.

Cyclists can't claim the moral high ground either.  How often have you seen someone on a bike, legitimately sharing the bus lane, cycling up on the inside of a bus which is already indicating either to pull into the bus stop, or even to turn left?  Yes, the bus driver has big wing mirrors, but the profile of a cyclist is not large and the most dangerous place to be is on the inside of any large vehicle. Surely, the realalistic rule of the road must be have respect for others and take care for your own safety - don't take silly risks.

I have to say that either side of articulated lorries (or rigid ones for that matter) is one place that my little Ka just does not go.  I prefer to hang back for the few seconds it takes for the lorry to negotiate the turn or the roundabout - especially the mini-roundabouts that seem to spring up at every junction these days.  Try sitting in the driver's seat and looking into his mirrors and you will see just how vulnerable small cars (including sports cars), motorbikes and bicycles really are.  Not to put too fine a point on the situation - we are virtually invisible.  Again the rule must be if you can see it, avoid it, because if you are tiny, you just might be invisible.

So, where does the little Ka really score, apart from things like fuel consumption, road tax and insurance?  On a car park.  It is genuinely fun to park and not have to worry about finding somewhere wide enough to swing the bonnet round, or shuffling into a gap only to find the boot is sticking out.  I really should apologise to the 4x4 who followed me into the multi-storey car park.  I should have let you have the use of the two empty spaces next to each other, instead of just jumping into a space the way only the little Ka's can do.

The morale of these tales must simply be RESPECT.  We need respect for each other on the road, whether walking, cycling, motor-biking, or driving cars, buses or lorries.  We need to make ourselves visible to others - turn the lights on, wear reflective clothing, and stop taking chances.  Better to be a few minutes late in this world than many years early in the next.

 

 

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Staying Upright

Posted by Sharon Eason on 3 June 2013 | 0 Comments

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Ready for the off? Once more onto my high horse, dear friends, once more. 

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Crash Dummies

Posted by Sharon Eason on 31 January 2013 | 0 Comments

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Earlier this week I received an e-mail asking if I was interested in a guest blog on what to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident.  My immediate reaction was ooooh yes please!  Then I looked more closely, the e-mail came from a litigation company in the USA - hardly relevant to our laws, so politely I declined.  That then set me thinking - what should you do if you are involved in an accident? 

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Microwave Alert

Posted by Sharon Eason on 12 December 2012 | 0 Comments

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Take a look at this information on a potential hazard when using a microwave.  Read the article carefully as it does point out that the phenomenon is rare and needs very specific conditions to occur.

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Are you up to date with towing regulations?

Posted by Sharon Eason on 11 December 2012 | 1 Comments

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On 19 January 2013 the rules governing the size of outfit you can drive will change again.  If you pass your test after 19 January 2013 you will be able to tow *"trailers weight*.

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Get Ready for Winter

Posted by Sharon Eason on 30 October 2012 | 0 Comments

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The clocks have gone back, nights are getting longer and colder, but still there are places to go and people to meet.  More and more of us now use the caravan literally all year through, with Christmas and New Year parties being top favourites - after all you just fall into the caravan and sleep, no need for a taxi home!!

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Speed Limits

Posted by Sharon Eason on 19 October 2012 | 1 Comments

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Listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 recently, it became painfully obvious that few people are aware that different speed limits apply to different vehicles travelling on the same roads.  It seems that some of those people pull trailers of varying shapes and sizes.

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Keep your roof on!

Posted by Sharon Eason on 10 October 2012 | 0 Comments

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Last week, travelling down the M6, I saw something that was so close to disaster, that I decided to make it the moan and grumble this week.

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Don't Trust the Sat Nav

Posted by Sharon Eason on 2 October 2012 | 0 Comments

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We've just come back from a holiday in North Yorkshire, just outside Whitby.  I had heard horror stories in the past about the roads in this area, particularly that there is "a road somewhere outside York going up to the coast that is unsuitable for caravans".

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Emergency Planning

Posted by on 31 July 2012 | 2 Comments

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We have just returned from the Derbyshire Centre's 3000th rally and 50 year anniversary weekend.  First and foremost, I have to thank the Committee for a really enjoyable weekend with something for everyone.  I must also commend them for their planning for emergencies during the rally, which, sadly were brought into action. On Saturday afternoon, a rallier suffered a serious medical emergency.  The contingency planning went swiftly into action with a team headed by a retired paramedic giving CPR.  Chairs were put around the victim and the first aid team to shield them.  The compere for the afternoon's events asked everyone to move back, which request was immediately obeyed, and the crowd...

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