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Old 11-11-2011, 05:17 AM   #151
trans
 
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

It seems that this timidity factor was taken into account in my wife's professionally-taught driving lessons in Germany. She was taught that under normal weather/traffic conditions etc. she should always drive at the speed limit.

That's fine in itself, but there are lots of places where even as an experienced driver I would not want to drive at the speed limit.

For example the general speed limit in built-up areas in Germany is 50 km/h. In narrow twisty cobblestoned streets of old cities that can be too much. Some are marked as special low-speed zones (apparently called "living street" or "home zone" in English), but not all.

Outside of built-up areas the general speed limit is 100 km/h, and there, too there are plenty of narrow twisty roads with limited visibility on curves etc. where I would want to stay under the speed limit, even if conditions were otherwise ideal.

Last edited by trans; 11-11-2011 at 05:21 AM. Reason: add "home zone"
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:24 AM   #152
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

Shameless plug bit:

The final rally of World Rally Championships will finish this weekend.

Various 'branded' cars with bits added to them race around Wales for the final rally of 2011.

This is a race by time trial and driving sideways. Even Ken Block has a go :)

Currently they are chasing a French man, Loeb, he's good, if not the best driver in the world but most certainly for that sport anyway.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:52 AM   #153
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

These men have something like Driving - 20. Which means that they can have a -6 penalty (at least) before feeling like us.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:51 AM   #154
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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It seems that this timidity factor was taken into account in my wife's professionally-taught driving lessons in Germany. She was taught that under normal weather/traffic conditions etc. she should always drive at the speed limit.

That's fine in itself, but there are lots of places where even as an experienced driver I would not want to drive at the speed limit. ...
Here, the speed limit is almost always formally reduced on curves, twists, narrow lanes, curvy freeway offramps, etc. There's a sign warning of the curve/narrowing/whatever and a reduced speed limit attached. Here we sort of have the opposite problem - speeding is so habitual that it can actually be dangerous to respect the speed limit.

If the limit is 100 km/hr and the traffic is moving at 120-130 km/hr (!) driving at 100 results in people making sudden aggressive lane changes at 120+ km/hr out from behind you to overtake (often while taking one hand off the wheel to gesture rudely, and looking away from the road to give you the evil eye), or suddenly breaking as they come up behind you and realize at the last minute that you really are driving that "slow"... and so on. It provokes already somewhat not-very-good drivers into to do stupid risky things out of impatience.

My driving school actually taught us to drive at the overall speed of traffic, not at the speed limit, if there were enough cars on the road anyways. If the road is almost empty, drive at the speed limit because if some impatient jerk comes up behind you he has lots of room to maneuver and overtake.

I got tailgated for about eighty KM by a police transport van once. We were driving on a rural single lane highway through woodland and hills, so it was all marked "no passing" - the road was too narrow and there was no visibility around curves. I was doing the speed limit because with the curving road I was much too scared to go faster, but apparently the cop behind me thought I was MUCH too slow :P
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:04 AM   #155
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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Here, the speed limit is almost always formally reduced on curves, twists, narrow lanes, curvy freeway offramps, etc. There's a sign warning of the curve/narrowing/whatever and a reduced speed limit attached.
There are places where even that reduced suggestion marker is overly optimistic. Several switchbacks here suggest speeds of 10mph (16kph) but actually taking those curves at that speed will put you over the cliff.

Quote:
Here we sort of have the opposite problem - speeding is so habitual that it can actually be dangerous to respect the speed limit.

I got tailgated for about eighty KM by a police transport van once. We were driving on a rural single lane highway through woodland and hills, so it was all marked "no passing" - the road was too narrow and there was no visibility around curves. I was doing the speed limit because with the curving road I was much too scared to go faster, but apparently the cop behind me thought I was MUCH too slow :P
This is unfortunately common here. Anyone with a truck seems to think that they can intimidate you into going faster by riding your bumper (and in a few cases actually tapping you). And this in an area where the flow of traffic tends to be 5-10 mph above the speed limit. So if you're going about 70mph (113kph) in a 65mph (105kph) zone, you'll get someone who wants you to be doing 80mph (129kph).
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #156
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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I got tailgated for about eighty KM by a police transport van once. We were driving on a rural single lane highway through woodland and hills, so it was all marked "no passing" - the road was too narrow and there was no visibility around curves.
In that case I would pull off the road if at all possible.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:58 AM   #157
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In that case I would pull off the road if at all possible.
I would have, if there was anywhere to pull over. :/ It eventually got resoved when we hit a "passing lane" area, about a 150 meter stretch of the highway with an extra lane on one side, so impatient people can pass. :P
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:19 AM   #158
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

Excuse me if I am being too pedantic, but if you put on your right turn signal, slow down, and pull to the extreme right of your lane, then whoever is behind you will generally get the idea that they can pass you.

Last edited by trans; 11-11-2011 at 09:21 AM. Reason: various
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:32 AM   #159
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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Excuse me if I am being too pedantic, but if you put on your right turn signal, slow down, and pull to the extreme right of your lane, then whoever is behind you will generally get the idea that they can pass you.
I don't think you're visualizing this correctly. My tires were already on the extreme right of my lane, and on the extreme left of my lane. It's a narrow road - all that would achieve is that I'd have a blinking light and woudl be going slower in exactly the same place.

Not every road has a shoulder you can pull over on, paved, unpaved gravel, dirt - sometimes you just dont have that - you just have tree branches or rocks or hedgerow or "dont fall over the cliff" fences.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:40 AM   #160
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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This abstraction is not that useful IMO. If I was to push my car (laughs to self about many funny comments regarding that statement) to the limit, it has a natural limit it can be pushed to. It can only accerlate to X, stopping distance is Y/v and top speed is set at about 115mph (and I have only ever touched 111mph once, it was not nice).

Open roads are great for going fast but soon as another road user pops up then the game totally changes... caution is the better part of valour here.
Well, sometimes you wish you had a faster car, last weekend I was coming back to Napoli from Firenze, and cruising* down the A1 at a comfortable 170-185 kph (105-115 mph), staying to the right, except when passing of course, when as I came into the left lane to pass a few vehicles and a car wooshed up behind me.

Naturally, I immediately floored it while signalling out of the left lane, moving right to allow the car to pass, he wooshes by me, while I continue to accelerate to try to keep up with him, but as I hit 210-225 kph (130-140 mph) my passengers commented that we weren't even coming close to reducing the speed at which it was leaving us in its dust as it wooshed away, it had to be doing at least 275 kph (170 mph), and my friends commented that my windshield wipers weren't going to be very happy if I went much faster, so I slowed down back below 200 kph (125 mph).

It was pretty nice Ferrari that passed me like I standing still, they ride real well at 200-300 kph, I'm going to have to go rent one for a drive at real speeds.




*When cruising the A1 along Italy one has to slow down from time to time to 130 kph (80 mph) as one passes speed cameras. They also have a "Tutor" camera system which averages your speed out and fines you for exceeding speeds between different cameras, so it's very possible that even though I slowed for the cameras I'll still get a nice fat fine in the mail for this little trip. I may just take the train next time.
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