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Premium Member 2009 SLK55 AMG
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Isn't this the same guy that famously made a reporter hurl by launching an SL into the air?
 

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Sadly Gregg has passed away
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2,432 Posts
70mph and 55mph are just arbitrary numbers.....25mph would surely be even safer!

I think a major issue is lack of proper initial and refresher driver training. In the US, at age 15 kids receive an elementary driving course and are good to go for the next 70 years The initial driving test covers only the basics and even very low competency results in licensure. I'm 56 and have not been re-evaluated for safe driving skills in 40 years. Public schools everywhere are curtailing school based driver training because funds are not being made available by the states. So, many new drivers will only have driver training provided by mom or dad.

Road and bridge maintenance is also a problem. We still have a lot of 2 lane highways with unrestricted access. These roads invite life threatening collisions. In Illinois, something like 70% of the bridges are deemed unsafe and in need of repair. Many rural railroad crossings are unmarked and have no stop arms. :td:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hill has lost the plot. Even HGV's run at 56 mph Imagine the chaos with cars running 1 mph slower than the trucks !!!!!!!!
 

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Registered 2012 SLK250-gone
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1,212 Posts
Proper road maintenance will improve safety as well. California is well known to have the worst roads in America. Most of the drivers here are also discourteous. No one uses their signals when lane changing or turning since it gives other people advanced notice to try to position their car in the location where you intend to go. Of course, when I signal, I also flash my huge smile and do a dainty "please let me in the other lane" expression. Always works around guys.
 

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As much as I think he's pretty much saying what his manager/publicist tells him to say, it's hard to argue with some of the quotes. "Most people aren’t safe to drive over 55" is probably accurate. Hell, most people aren't safe to leave their driveway.

Also, this "Mostly they drive too fast, too close to the car in front, and they think they know what they’re doing" is VERY true.

I think he would agree that most of the statements don't apply to enthusiasts (like most of us I imagine) that take an interest in driving. But that's a small proportion of drivers.
 

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Our speed limits were set when cars A: Needed to be forced to save gas and B: When safety was an afterthought..

More rigorous testing would be welcome in my opinion though..
 

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aka John
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13,012 Posts
I think the problem is with the statement "Most are not safe to drive over 55". I suspect most are not safe to leave their driveways, much less 55. I'd love the see the statistics behind his statements.

Texas is about 800 miles wide, and I've driven across it more times that I want to remember. Thank god it's now 85 across west Texas.
 

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Registered 2012 SLK250-gone
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1,212 Posts
I know quite a few drivers who are 55+ who are excellent drivers. As far as the ones who tailgate go, they view their vehicles as transportation to get them places, nothing more. They don't care if they grind their wheels when they parallel park, don't care if they get rock chips on their front hood from following too close and put their coffee cups, briefcases and purses on their car. I'm sure most of you will agree with me on this ... We spend an exorbitant amount of time in our vehicles ... Might as well get something we can have enjoyment driving and take pride in owning by caring for it well. When I drive to work in my SLK it makes all the difference in the world if I get stuck in rush hour traffic.
 

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Premium Member 2006 SLK55
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415 Posts
I think the problem is with the statement "Most are not safe to drive over 55". I suspect most are not safe to leave their driveways, much less 55. I'd love the see the statistics behind his statements.

Texas is about 800 miles wide, and I've driven across it more times that I want to remember. Thank god it's now 85 across west Texas.
I agree. I really hate people who tail-gate as I am sure most have no idea of their or their car's capabilities to stop. I feel that the driving tests in the various states need to be much stricter. I firmly believer that driver's education must include a defensive driving school where students would experience, true reaction time, and maximum braking and turning in dry and wet conditions. Most parents are not qualified to teach their children to drive!!

That leaves us with folks who want to make the driving laws and cars conform to the lowest common denominator which will lead to automatic driver-less cars.
 

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Tailgating

Some have mentioned tailgating . . . as a volunteer, I teach the AARP Driver Safety Program class to those seniors in my county who want to learn safe driving habits many years after receiving their driver's license. Years ago the practice was to drive one car length behind the vehicle in front of you for every 10 miles an hour being driven. I could never figure out what this distance would be. The new recommendation is to drive at least three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Obviously, this would work at any speed. The plan is to pick out a stationary spot that the vehicle in front of you is passing, i.e. a shadow on the road, a road sign, etc. and begin counting - one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three. If you are at the marker prior to completing one thousand three, you are driving too close. Back off a little. Be sure and do not rush the count just to make it appear that you are driving a safe distance back. Steady is the count. It may save the front of your precious ride. Give it a try. It works!! Needless to say, you cannot stay three seconds back when approaching and passing . . . . but you get the idea. Now if there were some way to get the jerk behind you to learn how to count, it would be great!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
we have chevrons painted on some parts of some motorways. Your supposed to keep two chevrons apart. What makes me smile is they only paint them on the inside two lanes. Does that mean in the "fast" lane you dont need to keep at least 2 seconds apart. The thinking in the Dept of Transport UK :biglaugh:
 

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Yes it was Damon that made Dom Littlewood throw up in SL while hustling around the hill route at Millbrook.

55mph on the motorway may be safer, but it would be dull, dull, dull. Motorway driving is boring enough already without having to chug along at 55!!

Bottom line is that in the UK we are crap at driving on the motorway:
No one uses the lanes properly;
Very few drivers accelerate up to motorway speeds before they actually join the traffic;
Very few drivers move to the inside lane well before leaving the motorway;
No one uses their mirrors;
The British queue mentality is in full force, where no one will let another driver in or let them pass..

The list goes on...

In Germany, where some parts of the autobahn are deristricted, most quicker drivers cruise at 100mph. They don't hang about in the third lane and they don't tailgate..

In France on the autoroute, they only use the outside lane for overtaking and getvoutbof the way for a quicker car, same in Italy on the autostrada..

As for the speed limit in the UK, it should be 130kmh or 80mph. That's the speed many do anyway. The police usually turn a blind eye up to 80 and get busy over that. I guess the problem comes when Damon is chugging along in the third lane in his Fiesta at 55....
 

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I'll see if I can dig up the study that shows lower imposed speed limits actually increased accidents and decreased lane courtesy..

It was done in Montana when they abolished the "Reasonable and prudent" day time limits and found that imposed limits made people less likely to move out of the left lane for a faster vehicle because "they were already doing the speed limit"...
 

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Premium Member
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882 Posts
I think Damon Hill hasn't really lost the plot. There is some truth in what he says, and some of it may haven been taken out of context. I don't particularly like the fact that I have to share the highway with other people who are not focused on driving. You see them all the time, texting, talking on the phone, reading newspapers, etc. I even saw one person drinking coffee (I assume) with a giant porcelain mug in one hand, and holding a cell phone with the other hand. There is no cup holder large enough for that mug.

Tailgating? I don't understand why people do that. When I drive the family van, I really don't care if that person is too close to me. It matters a lot when I am in the SLK. The 60-0 mph stopping distance is about 115 feet. Guess what that f&^*ing Ford 150 tailgating me has for stopping distance? 194 feet at best. I'm not going to live if I have to slam on my brakes to avoid an accident. Oh, the irony.

I just want people not to hang out on the overtaking lane if they are not overtaking. If it is only a two lane highway, guess what? The fast lane is the overtaking lane. I hate it when people hang out on the fast lane and keep 5 mph below the posted speed. Even worse if they are doing 10 mph below the posted speed and drive side-by-side with the vehicle on the slower lane. That behavior only encourages road rage, and my fear is that some other idiot will do something rash and cause an accident that will involuntarily involve me, and or kill/hurt innocent people around them.

Don't even get me started on people driving in the rain, or even worse, intermittent bright sunshine (driving into the sun, with buildings or trees that block out the sun intermittently). I wish we had StarTrek transporter technology for those idiots.

-K
 

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Registered 2012 SLK250-gone
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1,212 Posts
I think you've run into the same drivers I've encountered!

I think Damon Hill hasn't really lost the plot. There is some truth in what he says, and some of it may haven been taken out of context. I don't particularly like the fact that I have to share the highway with other people who are not focused on driving. You see them all the time, texting, talking on the phone, reading newspapers, etc. I even saw one person drinking coffee (I assume) with a giant porcelain mug in one hand, and holding a cell phone with the other hand. There is no cup holder large enough for that mug.

Tailgating? I don't understand why people do that. When I drive the family van, I really don't care if that person is too close to me. It matters a lot when I am in the SLK. The 60-0 mph stopping distance is about 115 feet. Guess what that f&^*ing Ford 150 tailgating me has for stopping distance? 194 feet at best. I'm not going to live if I have to slam on my brakes to avoid an accident. Oh, the irony.

I just want people not to hang out on the overtaking lane if they are not overtaking. If it is only a two lane highway, guess what? The fast lane is the overtaking lane. I hate it when people hang out on the fast lane and keep 5 mph below the posted speed. Even worse if they are doing 10 mph below the posted speed and drive side-by-side with the vehicle on the slower lane. That behavior only encourages road rage, and my fear is that some other idiot will do something rash and cause an accident that will involuntarily involve me, and or kill/hurt innocent people around them.

Don't even get me started on people driving in the rain, or even worse, intermittent bright sunshine (driving into the sun, with buildings or trees that block out the sun intermittently). I wish we had StarTrek transporter technology for those idiots.

-K
 

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Registered 2012 SLK250-gone
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1,212 Posts
it's only because people can't tell the difference between dry and wet roads

People can't drive when it is dry, they can't drive in the wet. For that very reason, I avoid going to Tahoe in the snow, because if they can't drive in the wet, I'm not even going to want to be around any of them in the snow!

-K
 
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