M5 closed after major accident

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ivo, 5 Nov 2011.

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  1. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Make it 0 and nobody will even need to run their engine at all.

    Anyway, given the speedo offset on modern cars, people doing 60mph incidicated are probably doing around 56mph actual (well, nearer 58, but still close to the 'optimum' speed that is only that purely because of benchmarking).
     
  2. Oswyntail

    Oswyntail Established Member

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    Who knows, but possibly. Most drivers, including (especially?) those who claim they are good ones, will find their nervousness increases with speed. A combination of this, with the decreased reaction time and a sudden unexpected phenomenon may have induced a panic-style reaction of slamming on the brakes. Speculation, of course. But driving within one's limits should be the norm.
     
  3. Kernowfem

    Kernowfem Member

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    I'll refrain from speculating about the accident untill all facts are known. I just want to say that every one of them are in my thoughts and prayers. Its brought back a lot of bad memories for me, There will be difficult times ahead for those injured and those who lost loved ones.

    God bless them all.
     
  4. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    A lot of people probably concentrate more at speed, and shut off when cruising along quite slowly.

    If you're carrying along on an uneventful drive, at quite a low speed, will you be ready to react if something out of the ordinary happens? I bet a Formula 1 driver, or someone in a WRC in the Welsh countryside is far more alert than someone who has stuck cruise control on and is falling asleep (not literally) from miles and miles of straight and boring roads.

    I certainly don't get nervous at speed. If I did, I'd sooner give up driving than simply slow down. If I am driving in particularly bad weather, or fog, I'd get off the road and stop if I felt in danger. But, you might not get the chance to do so easily.
     
  5. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Yet again we have a topic that involves driving and yet again Zoe pipes up about how driver-less cars are our saviour and reducing national speed to that of HGVs is the way foward:roll:
     
  6. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    But didn't you know we must sacrifice all personal freedoms we have to the alter of climate change?
     
  7. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

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    Train drivers also have long and boring sections of line though and if they were in danger of going into zombie mode due to sections of line like Carlisle to Glasgow then I'm sure the media would be all over it. Why is it not the same for the roads?
     
  8. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    When electric cars have a suitable range (and no doubt they'll have diesel/petrol/LPG generators to recharge the batteries on the go - but not driving the wheels) then I am fairly certain I will change.

    There's the issue of how to recycle the batteries, but maybe we'll develop batteries with a longer life that could transfer from one car to another - saving money and chemicals going to scrap.

    We will have cleaner vehicles in the years to come, so there's no need to simply cut speed limits. Just as it's silly to turn off streetlights at night in towns, so nobody feels safe going out, when you can invest in LED lighting - motion sensors - variable brightnesses and so on.

    Let's look for long-term solutions, not knee-jerk reactions! And I am not even going to reply to any comment about <d......s c...s> as the thread will soon be 100 pages long!
     
  9. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

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    Although of course these are the long term solution. As for electric cars, the issue here is the use of rare Earth metals.
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    One problem isn't unique for cars, but technology in general - we're living in an age where we're throwing out things that aren't broken.

    Recycling is good, but recycling something in perfect working order because we want someone new and shiny?

    Cars obviously have wear and tear issues, but I wonder if we might see upgradeable cars one day - built in a modular fashion that means you could refresh the interior, or change bodywork panels, to keep the car going for many, many years - and keeping things looking fresh. Swap out the current ECU with a new one with new safety features, new software etc.

    Car makers currently want to keep a car for around 7 years before lauching an all-new model, with parts eventually becoming hard to obtain - and expensive too.

    Could the motor industry learn something from the aviation and railway industries? Imagine the savings for the environment here.
     
  11. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

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    The most stupid idea was the scrapping of 10 year old cars in return for £2000 towards a new car. Some of these cars would of had nothing wrong with them at all and this scheme was very wasteful.
     
  12. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    But surely for someone as keen on environmental issues as yourself you can see that modern cars would be far more environmentally friendly than older models
     
  13. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

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    It's not as simple as that, it takes quite a bit of energy to actually produce the cars and it is also wasting resources.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2011
  14. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    :-/ Production of vast numbers of new cars (which may not be altogether necessary) produces a vast quantity of Emissions and uses up enormous quantites of natural resources. Really, I think the car industry is one of the most profligate in terms of producing vast numbers of very expensive items that aren't really necessary, just bought on the grounds of fashion. That's one reason why I approve of BMWs and Mercs and so on, since they are built to last a decent lifespan, rather than wearing out after less than 10 years simply because they were built so cheaply.
     
  15. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    Cars are only produced because someone wants to buy them. And I am pretty sure no car is built to wear out after 10 years if it is looked after.
    I dread to think what the death toll in this accident would have been if everyone had been in a car more than 10 years old. It's increased safety requirements on cars that is driving down the casualty figures in accidents, not better driving
     
  16. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    This is why it's not an open and shut case. Some old cars needed to be taken off the road, others were just fine. The scrappage scheme didn't seem to care either way.

    Unless the chassis is actually falling apart and could become dangerous, I am sure cars could last a lot longer than they do. But we want something new, and a new car also shows your 'status'. Some people wouldn't be seen dead in an old car, however advanced it was.

    Even cyclists are likely to want a shiny bike here, while in other countries where cycling is more popular, they'll use bikes that are many, many years old and are just seen as a tool to get you about.

    Now, I'm somewhat of a hypocrite here as I have a pretty new car and loads of modern gadgets. At least I know it's not good - so that's the first step. :)

    I expect even a cheap car will last far longer than 10 years, if serviced properly.

    I am sure that many people who aspire to own a decent BMW, Audi or Merc are exactly the people who wouldn't keep it for anywhere near as long as the car is designed to last. The only positive thing is that there's a good second hand network, so hopefully the cars will still be on the road for a while as they move down the chain.

    I found (when I was younger) that once a BMW or Merc became affordable to younger drivers, they were obviously thrashed about, modified and allowed to fall to bits by simply not looking after them. Oh, and crashed!!
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2011
  17. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

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    What about the issue raised by XCDriver above? As time goes on there are large safety improvements and even if you buy a new car today, in ten years time it will likely be a lot more dangerous than cars produced in 2021.
     
  18. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    But if you had a basic chassis and a modular design that could be upgraded, some new safety features could be added.

    Don't forget that some safety features may exist now on luxury cars as an optional extra, then become standard in 5-10 years.

    There's an awful lot of tech in a modern car - but car makers usually don't let you easily retrospectively upgrade it. Look on forums and you'll find that many people have found ways to add new things (or simply add extras that cost a lot as an extra, but are cheap as spare parts). Often the wiring is there for some things, while the ECU will have the software to work with new hardware as it's added.

    I don't believe a car now is automatically going to be more dangerous than one made in 2021, and if it is - let's look at how we could change that without making you ditch the entire car.
     
  19. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

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    What key safety features have been added in the last ten years that would have made the M5 crash much worse had they not been? I know a lot of safety improvements were made in the 1990s, some 1980s cars were real death traps but what has been done in the last ten years?
     
  20. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    Which prompts another train of thought; do people drive with less care & Attention than they might perhaps do, since they know that they have ABS, Airbags, station-keeping radar, infra-red night vision and whatever else they might have nowadays? Might there not be a tendency for people to get a bit complacent, and forget that even with all that, if they go into the side of a 44 tonne artic it's going to make a bit of a mess?
     
  21. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    I am inclined to say yes that is probably true. Thats why yummy mummies take little Johnny a mile to school in a Chelsea tractor as they see it as safer
     
  22. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Your proof for this statement!
    You 3 talk way too much sense, you will be expecting people to take responsibility for their own actions next!
    As sad as this accident is (and it is an accident) I was taught to expect the unexpected and if there was a "wall of smoke" why didnt the drivers see it ahead and react BEFORE getting to it?
    Yes I know its easy after the event to say what SHOULD have been done but I cannot see the alleged "wall of smoke/ fog" being 10ft high and invisible.
    But it will still be as safe as the day it was built (within reason), it is just that the new cars are safer which is not the same as the old car being dangerous!
     
  23. Zoe

    Zoe Established Member

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    But the point is that it will be more dangerous than the newest cars in 2021. I still think that the car scrappage scheme was a stupid waste of resources but improved safety would be a valid reason for not wanting to use a car more than 10 years old. I would still like to know what the major improvements to safety there have been in the last ten years considering that ABS and airbags were available for some time before 2001.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2011
  24. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Is the road lit? What time was it? (I don't know as I didn't see the story until the next day).

    I am not providing evidence for something the police is investigating and has been written in the press. My question, starting 'if' covers me for it being true or false. It's merely for discussion.
     
  25. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    As a driver, I can assure you that motorways can induce a kind of zombie mode - you forget what you've driven sometimes...! Quite a weird sensation. I drove a section of the M6 last night though, and it amazed me how many people had gone into a proper trance just driving up the middle lane at 70 despite not actually overtaking anything.

    Been discussing this accident with Mum this afternoon, and we're both convinced that this fireworks display was just one factor among many - another of which was probably poor driving, and not driving to the conditions. I guess we'll never know what really happened though....
     
  26. Temple Meads

    Temple Meads Established Member

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    There's no actual lighting for the motorway, IIRC there is a little bit from Taunton itself, but not particularly much.
     
  27. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    1. it was dark
    2. it was foggy, while only slightly most drivers were driving accordingly by the accounts* from the BBC.
    3. it was unlit

    So that would acccount for the sudden, change in conditions... i honestly can not see how on gods earth they should predic that? The impact didn't kill people the fire did which may indicate that the speeds were not high.

    * by accounts i am talking about people who have actually survived the crash who have been interviewed on the BBC
     
  28. 90019

    90019 Established Member

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    For once I agree with you.
    I absolutely loathed the scrappage scheme, and still do.
    It completely decimated the cheap used car market, and meant that when I came to buy my first car, there was pretty much nothing available nearby.

    Except that the majority of the emissions a car produces in it's lifetime are during production and disposal. This is also one of the main reasons why the Prius is a complete con.

    The cleanest possible car you can run is an old diesel running on used veg oil.

    It's mainly to do with improvements in the structure of the car itself, and the safety cell around the passenger compartment.
    That doesn't make old cars unsafe, though.

    Old cars are just as safe as they were when new (dependant on maintainance and things), they don't get more dangerous as they age, it's just that newer cars tend to be safer. That's always been the case, and always will be.

    There are plenty of 80s and 90s cars I'd rather have than newer ones :D
     
  29. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    The same goes for trains infact.
     
  30. Temple Meads

    Temple Meads Established Member

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    Lots of superb points made there mate, I totally agree about the scrappage scheme, it might have made a short term boost to the new car market, but it took far too many usable cheap cars off of our roads, and if your paying for it out of your own pocket, there's no big bills and you do about 6500 miles per annum, a 1998 BMW 523i at 28 mpg should cost less to buy and run, than a 2011 Hyundai i20 that costs £11k to begin with, when the BMW will cost £1200 to buy, you've then got £9.5k to run your BMW, and I know what one I'd prefer.
     
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