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Driving standard slipped?

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Yesterday for the first time since October we did a good few miles in the Kia that I use for towing.
We drove to the farm where our caravan is stored to check it over, it was the first time we'd seen it since last September.
The caravan is ok, nothing wrong that a good exterior wash and wax won't solve, and because yesterday was a nice warm and sunny day I decided to take a bit of a roundabout drive back home to give the Kia a run back up the motorway.
I noticed that my standard of driving wasn't quite as good as it was before my long absence from trunk roads and motorways due to lockdown.
As an ex Class 1 HGV driver I've always done my best to maintain a good standard of driving and awareness, to the point where every few weeks I'd imagine that a driving test examiner was in the car watching how I was driving.
I've often tested myself with a mental 'talk through' as Institute of Advanced Motorists do to keep their situational awareness high.
Yesterday, I felt that things that I'd normally see well in advance and begin to react to seemed to be happening just that little bit quicker, and my own reactions, although not unsafe, were not really as smooth or well executed as before the lockdown limited my driving to just five minute supermarket hops.
I think that I'll need to do a few more trips out in the car to tighten up my driving skills a wee bit before I begin to tow the caravan up and down the country this coming summer. 😯
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Yesterday for the first time since October we did a good few miles in the Kia that I use for towing.
We drove to the farm where our caravan is stored to check it over, it was the first time we'd seen it since last September.
The caravan is ok, nothing wrong that a good exterior wash and wax won't solve, and because yesterday was a nice warm and sunny day I decided to take a bit of a roundabout drive back home to give the Kia a run back up the motorway.
I noticed that my standard of driving wasn't quite as good as it was before my long absence from trunk roads and motorways due to lockdown.
As an ex Class 1 HGV driver I've always done my best to maintain a good standard of driving and awareness, to the point where every few weeks I'd imagine that a driving test examiner was in the car watching how I was driving.
I've often tested myself with a mental 'talk through' as Institute of Advanced Motorists do to keep their situational awareness high.
Yesterday, I felt that things that I'd normally see well in advance and begin to react to seemed to be happening just that little bit quicker, and my own reactions, although not unsafe, were not really as smooth or well executed as before the lockdown limited my driving to just five minute supermarket hops.
I think that I'll need to do a few more trips out in the car to tighten up my driving skills a wee bit before I begin to tow the caravan up and down the country this coming summer. 😯
When lockdown 1 relaxed I took the car over to a Subaru dealership about 20 miles away on Salisbury Plain, on a route comprising A roads and rural B roads. Even though I had been taking the car out during lockdown it was only on a local bypass which I just went up and down a few times to keep the battery charged.

But like you on the run to the dealership I felt exactly the same. Despite my eyes being okay I didn’t feel as” sharp” as normal. This time around I’ve been driving some more but for our first trip out in May I’ve booked an overnight pitch in Derbyshire to reduce daily mileage. As Yorkshire is 280 miles which normally is a days towing range. I am aware of the fact that I’ve done no long distance since Leicester and back in a day late December, and Norfolk to home with the van in late October.
So better to recognise that things may not be the same and plan for it.

See my post #4 on the link below where described my initial feelings.


https://forums.practicalcaravan.com/threads/even-the-dog-is-social-distancing-me.60818/#post-492613
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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I brought up the same subject a couple of months ago regarding other drivers on the road. At roundabouts cars are pulling in front of you when they should not causing you to brake when you have right of way on the round about. Overtaking in a 30mph zone when you are doing 30mph. The favourite is a vehicle coming up to a yield or stop sign, misjudging and pulling out in front of you causing you to brake.
I am no angel by any stretch of the imagination and like Parksey I do the AIM theory in my head as I am driving along to help sharpen my senses. Even so yesterday driving to the surgery I was looking towards my right towards a road than enters the main road and missed a road works warning sign. Luckily I was not going too fast when I came across the roadworks around a bend.
 
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Sep 26, 2018
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In lockdown 1 we still had to drive to help out the aged in-laws taking shopping etc... The driving standards then were execrable. One day, going south on A12, I'd glanced in my mirror as I was overtaking, to check what was behind with regard to pulling back in... Nothing in sight as far as the eye could see (about 0.75 miles) checked again as I was ready to pull in to be undertaken by a performance car doing well over a ton, followed by another. This wasn't a single instance, and there were several instances of very high speeds over the 2 months
 
May 7, 2012
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The main difference I have noted is an increase in speed by drivers on motorways and duel carriageways. A lot of drivers seem to have taken advantage of the quieter roads to drive at often quite lunatic speeds.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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Of course, the other explanation is that we are all 6 months older and not many of us were spring chickens to begin with.............

Just saying and making a run for deep cover now. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

mel
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Of course, the other explanation is that we are all 6 months older and not many of us were spring chickens to begin with.............

Just saying and making a run for deep cover now. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

mel
Folks may underestimate what this 12 month period has done to their cognitive and physical senses. Whether they be young or old.
Last year for our first three trips out I booked sites within 70 miles, and when on the motorway tended to stay below HGV speed at around 52 mph solely as I had no real measure of what a 8 month layoff may have done for my towing ability and concentration. As I posted last May my first real drive post L1 felt quite strange.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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I bought some new prescription sunglasses that are varifocals and I was wearing them during our drive.
I drive wearing varifocals anyway but at first I wondered if the new sunglasses were affecting my distance and spatial awareness.
The motorway traffic was quite heavy but moving freely, and I noticed one or two fast and furious types belting along in the third lane.
I decided that discretion was the better part of valour in the end and stuck mainly in the inside lane at lorry speeds.
We're lucky to live at the heart of the western motorway network so as holiday time approaches I'll take a few trips around the Midlands to get back to driving smoothly using defensive driving tetechniques that I used as an HGV driver carrying bright steel bar which was very oily and slippery.
 
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May 24, 2014
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It could just be age thing Parksy. Kidding mate.

Just think though, if your driving really deteriorates, there is always bus driving.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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It could just be age thing Parksy. Kidding mate.

Just think though, if your driving really deteriorates, there is always bus driving.
Do you really want Parksy to be driving a bus if his driving has deteriorated? :laughing:
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Do you really want Parksy to be driving a bus if his driving has deteriorated? :laughing:
I think Parksy opening up about driving references are great and totally agree, him being an Ex HGV licence driver, is admirable. The HGV drivers are very astute about road traffic, and probably much more capable at asseing his own " deterating " driving skills. .His driving is probably to a level much higher than the avearage Car driver.
I am a motorcycle rider and as such we have to wach out for total idiots.
And there are lots, just think your invisible.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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Mind you thinking of Parksy with any thing oily as an HGV lad makes the mind boggle.
Ok My round first. πŸ˜‚
 

Parksy

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Mind you thinking of Parksy with any thing oily as an HGV lad makes the mind boggle.
Ok My round first. πŸ˜‚
πŸ˜„ I'm no stranger to getting my hands dirty Hutch.
I left school at 15 years old and was an apprentice motor mechanic.
I kept the lorries clean though.
Best bitter, cheers Hutch 🍺
 
May 24, 2014
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Oh if only they new what the job really entailed, eh Parksy. Most people think we just sat around all day driving and troughing bacon sarnies.

Back in the old days, I could find myself dealing with 3 different currencies, three different languages, three different sets of customs and traffic laws per day. Add to that the loading, driving, general maintainance, liasing with drops and collections, planning distances between bunkered diesel and your nightly stop, and fit it all in with driving hours. Add to that being away from home for up to 3 months in cabotage work.

And to cap it all off, some idiot straight from uni without a driving licence asking you how long it would take fully freighted from Milan to Prague and then telling you that you ought to be able to do it by lunchtime, after all, its only two inches on the map.

And just as you wrestle all the gears of a twinspitter to achieve 56mph, some fool with a caravan pulls out in front of you and does forty in the central lane......

Oh joy.
 
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Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Oh if only they new what the job really entailed, eh Parksy. Most people think we just sat around all day driving and troughing bacon sarnies.

Back in the old days, I could find myself dealing with 3 different currencies, three different languages, three different sets of customs and traffic laws per day. Add to that the loading, driving, general maintainance, liasing with drops and collections, planning distances between bunkered diesel and your nightly stop, and fit it all in with driving hours. Add to that being away from home for up to 3 months in cabotage work.

And to cap it all off, some idiot straight from uni without a driving licence asking you how long it would take fully freighted from Milan to Prague and then telling you that you ought to be able to do it by lunchtime, after all, its only two inches on the map.

And just as you wrestle all the gears of a twinspitter to achieve 56mph, some fool with a caravan pulls out in front of you and does forty in the central lane......
Oh joy.
My life as a wagon driver was never quite as complicated as yours Thingy, because I was UK only.
Nevertheless I'd be away from home for the greater part of the week, often finding loads if the gaffer hadn't got one, getting them loaded legally, dealing with different loads and keeping them secure and dry on the back of my flatbed trailer and sorting out my overnight stops while keeping the wagon in good order and ready to go anywhere.
There were no limiters in my day, but the British tractor units were never as comfortable as the Scannys and Volvos of our European brethren.
We had ratchet straps or chains and chain dogs with timbers for the slippery stuff, with ropes and sheets to keep it all dry.
No mobile phones back then, GPO payphones and reverse charges were our method of communication with the office and with home.
I enjoyed my life as a wagon driver, I wouldn't fancy it now with the road congestion, timed deliveries and GPS trackers following your every move.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Yesterday for the first time since October we did a good few miles in the Kia that I use for towing.
We drove to the farm where our caravan is stored to check it over, it was the first time we'd seen it since last September.
The caravan is ok, nothing wrong that a good exterior wash and wax won't solve, and because yesterday was a nice warm and sunny day I decided to take a bit of a roundabout drive back home to give the Kia a run back up the motorway.
I noticed that my standard of driving wasn't quite as good as it was before my long absence from trunk roads and motorways due to lockdown.
As an ex Class 1 HGV driver I've always done my best to maintain a good standard of driving and awareness, to the point where every few weeks I'd imagine that a driving test examiner was in the car watching how I was driving.
I've often tested myself with a mental 'talk through' as Institute of Advanced Motorists do to keep their situational awareness high.
Yesterday, I felt that things that I'd normally see well in advance and begin to react to seemed to be happening just that little bit quicker, and my own reactions, although not unsafe, were not really as smooth or well executed as before the lockdown limited my driving to just five minute supermarket hops.
I think that I'll need to do a few more trips out in the car to tighten up my driving skills a wee bit before I begin to tow the caravan up and down the country this coming summer. 😯
I think that it will not be just about how we conduct ourselves while travelling, I think that that statement covers alot of our daily life. Meeting up with people both in our family and others will take some getting used to. Its about accepting the fact that this period of lockdown will have and impact on many areas of our lives and will need to build up to getting back to a normal state where what we once took for granted needs extra concentration and patience. Like you I will be conscious of my first trip on the motorway with my outfit and thankyou for pointing this out, not being on our own in this matter and being aware of it, Good luck and safe travels.
 

PTA

Mar 5, 2020
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It's good to read of people admitting that their driving might need an element of "polishing." rather than the usual boasts about how skilled posters are compared with other road users-as often seen on another forum. Recognising one's weaknesses is the sign of a skilled driver in my opinion. Constant attempts to improve, no matter how experienced we are, are the signs of good road craft. I worry about those who claim to" know it all."
After 50+ years of incident free driving. (bar one rear shunt which was not my fault) I have to admit that I have not felt as skilled at night driving recently as I did pre lockdown. Practice needed!
 
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May 24, 2014
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For the first time since lockdown was lifted, we went for a drive yesterday, up the Manifold Valley as it happens. I have to say to level of driving skills I encountered was simply atrocious. I can understand people being a bit rusty after a layoff, but it really was awful. On one occasion we were nearly hit by a woman (was going to say lady, but her language decried that) in a Mercedes taking a blind bend on the wrong side whilst on the phone. This is a car that undoubetdely has hands free built in, but the phone was to her ear. Had I not been in a vehicle suitbale for running up the bank, we would have had a nasty one. On the same road two or three miles farther on, I was overtaken by boywonder in his little Citroen, also on a blind bend, and had to slam on myself to prevent him running heady first into an eight legger and of course he would have cannoned off into us. The final straw was a Transit van, doing a three point turn, in a dip in the road, unseen from either direction. Im afraid my language put even Mercedes girl to shame, and he just sat looking bewildered at me. He really had no idea how dangerous his actions were.

The other thing noticeable was just how bad the parking was on these country lanes. For those that dont know the area, it attracts walkers in droves, and even in comparison to normal times, it was massively busy with cars just abandoned everywhere. In many places it would have been difficult for the emergency services to get through.
 

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