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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,856 Posts
Ouch!

J8 is my local junction of the M25 and I've been along that stretch many times. You do see a lot of foreign lorries / vans / cars along this stretch as it's the route from the docks/Channel Tunnel to the rest of the UK. That's no excuse though for pulling out like that but as you say, likely the SLK was in the lorry driver's blind spot.
 

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Super Moderator UK SLK 55 AMG 2007
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26,244 Posts
Lorry is totally wrong but SLK didn't help itself.

Defensive driving.

Lorry closing gap on vehicle in front.
Foreign plate.

Either move out or at least do not linger alongside.

Still 100% the other driver, but it avoids the risk.

BB used to ask why I'd move to 3rd lane of motorway when gaining on trucks (if it was safe to do so).

Seen too many drivers rolling fags, on mobile, watching movie on pc and wandering out.
Best defence is observation and space.

It doesn't matter who is in the right if you're the one in hospital, or worse.

Top marks to following driver for pulling up. Many don't.
 

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Registered 1999 slk230-sold
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15,101 Posts
Hope nobody got hurt and yes that looks like a blind spot accident too me. I never can understand why drivers like to hang next to a truck for miles. Stay behind or pass and go in front of the truck if we blow a tires and loose control of the truck not a lot of driver in cars survive that.
 

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Founding Member #2
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19,394 Posts
Hope nobody got hurt and yes that looks like a blind spot accident too me. I never can understand why drivers like to hang next to a truck for miles. Stay behind or pass and go in front of the truck if we blow a tires and loose control of the truck not a lot of driver in cars survive that.
Glad you stated this Daniel.

I've noticed early on (when I first owned the 2006 SLK 280) that the SLK is a small, almost subcompact vehicle that sits low and is difficult for others to see, even for SUV's (small, mod and large). More so for trucks (like the Ford F-150 and the like). Worse for 18-wheelers and lorries.

I've learned to stay in a "checker-board" pattern as much as possible, be it local streets or freeway, if this can be helped. The black are where the vehicles are and the white are empty spaces. If a truck or lorry indicates its intention via its turn signal lamps, I slow down and let it pass (however, I don't know if I should flash my headlamps to let the driver know it's fine).

What is the convention/etiquette among truckers? Flash the headlamps to let them know that one acknowledges their intentions?
 

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Registered 1999 slk230-sold
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15,101 Posts
Flashing the head lights is a tricky thing some people signal us to come over and others flash there head lights and than step on it.:frown: The best thing I can say is when we need to move over or turn stay behind us that way we can see you and when you go down the road pass us as quick as traffic allows it and stay out of our blind spots. Last month i had a loaded car hauler pass me at 70 MPH and as soon as he passed me he blew his right steer tire with an blink of an eye he felt on his side and slit down the road for 1/2 a Mile. Nobody got hurt and all cars stayed on the truck while he was sliding down the road.



STAYING OUT OF A SEMI’S BLINDSPOT

If you’ve ever driven, or even ridden in a car

then there is no doubt you’ve seen the large, commercial trucks that roam our already over crowded highways and byways. Especially right out here in front of Freeman Grapevine on 121 and 114, in fact, you literally see them everywhere, transporting goods to stores and construction sites, but their drivers may not be able to see you.

Now, you get used to dealing with big rigs on the road. The are imposing, they are loud and they always seem to find a way to pin you between the barrier wall and their cargo trailer. I haven’t even mentioned the tsunami that incurs when they hit patch of standing water on the highway. A wall of water is the best way I can describe it. For a seasoned driver, this is tolerable, but for a new driver it’s terrifying.

So, when I found an article about the Street Survival School held at the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center, I was eager to find out what skills they were teaching our young drivers. The idea was to set up a demonstration to show teen drivers the limitations with truck drivers’ visibility and teach the young motorists how to safely maneuver around big vehicles. Something we all could have probably benefited from as young drivers.

During this class session, they parked one of their track-maintenance dump trucks, a 10-wheeled monster, in the parking lot, with shiny new cars arrayed around it as if on a freeway. The kids got to climb in the cab to check which cars they could see. The nearest car behind, barely visible by bobbing your head among the various mirrors, was parked about 50 feet behind the dump truck. This gave the young drivers a real feel for the visibility limitations of commercial truck drivers, and it will hopefully encourage them to think about how they position themselves in traffic.

Seeing what it is like for a truck driver provided valuable insight for these kids, no doubt. The adage about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes really goes a long way when seen from the driver’s seat of a rig. Watch the video below and see for yourself. It might just make you a safer driver, as well.

 

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Premium Member
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205 Posts
Danger spot

Yes that SLK would have been totally invisible to the driver of the truck. Clearly the truck drivers fault fault for not keeping tabs on what is around him but the SLK driver clearly wasn't driving defensively or they wouldn't have "lingered in that classic blind spot.
There is some really helpful info in this thread that all readers should note.

It seems to me that a great many subscribers to SLKWorld are also motorcyclists or ex motorcyclists and didn't get to the age where they wanted or could afford an SLK (or two:wink:) by making such classic bad judgements. So hopefully we will stay safe and alert, and pass on wisdom such as provided by Berlinner Heckflosse to others who have not had that initiation experience on two wheels or witnessed it on eight (or more).
 

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Premium Member 2008 SLK55 AMG "Mabel"
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14,485 Posts
Yes that SLK would have been totally invisible to the driver of the truck. Clearly the truck drivers fault fault for not keeping tabs on what is around him but the SLK driver clearly wasn't driving defensively or they wouldn't have "lingered in that classic blind spot.
There is some really helpful info in this thread that all readers should note.

It seems to me that a great many subscribers to SLKWorld are also motorcyclists or ex motorcyclists and didn't get to the age where they wanted or could afford an SLK (or two:wink:) by making such classic bad judgements. So hopefully we will stay safe and alert, and pass on wisdom such as provided by Berlinner Heckflosse to others who have not had that initiation experience on two wheels or witnessed it on eight (or more).
Good point about bikers. I used to think that everyone should start on 2 wheels first, so as to teach them a better awareness of what's around them on the road and to always expect the unexpected, before progressing to 4.
 

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Registered
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8 Posts
Looking at the point of impact on the SLK, and the timing of the lorry drivers indication, I wonder if he did see the car but thought it was passed his off side bumper?

He's keen to maintain speed, so would have wanted to pull out as soon after the car has passed, so wonder if he saw the car and just miss timed his manouver...
 

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Premium Member
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676 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
We did a couple of 'Bike Safe' events with the police and one thing that they drummed into us was getting out of the 'Danger Zone' as quickly as possible....the Danger Zone being alongside another vehicle during an overtake. Basically they were saying go as fast as you need to to get past, and then throttle back. Very good advice from guys who ride...and very fast...for a living. :smile:

As a passenger I hate being alongside a lorry on an overtake, although I have to say being in the SLK isn't as bad as it was in our MR2 roadster....that was like sitting on the road! :grin:
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK350
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599 Posts
Rather have a wagon driver than an idiot in a sh1tshed or angry white van man.
Vehicles are driven by humans so human error is always a possibility. It up to you to do your best to keep yourself safe.
As long as nobody was hurt metal can be put back together.
Driving a slk is more like riding a bike than driving a 4x4 you have to be aware and keep yourself safe.
 

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Premium Member
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205 Posts
Looking at the point of impact on the SLK, and the timing of the lorry drivers indication, I wonder if he did see the car but thought it was passed his off side bumper?

He's keen to maintain speed, so would have wanted to pull out as soon after the car has passed, so wonder if he saw the car and just miss timed his manouver...
He would have seen the SLK in his mirror previously but once it was in his blind spot I think he forgot about it. The timing of his overtaking manoeuvre seemed more about getting out into the next lane before the car with the dash cam blocked him in!
Very early in the footage the truck looks like it wants to move out to overtake the van but doesn't, perhaps because at that stage he can see the SLK in his rear view.
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,856 Posts
Perhaps it's too easy to assign fault - even blame - when watching a video like this. We're all looking at the video with 100% hindsight at an accident unfolding before us. Many of us would also watch the SLK and think "I wouldn't stay there if I were you" I know I did. But all it takes is a coincidental moment of inattention on the part of both drivers and ... accidents happen.

I agree with the points made about defensive driving - I try and practice it, particularly in traffic, but I've also got many years of driving experience and many of those years spent in this area with the traffic levels as they are, so am perhaps better able to assess the risks. For many people they simply don't have the experience to assess risks like this and then drive according to the conditions.

To be fair to the lorry driver he did signal in good time, must have looked before pulling out and waited. From where the SLK was nudged it was almost in front of the lorry at the time so was not visible in the lorry's mirror and equally the SLK driver may not have been aware the lorry was pulling out until they were clipped. I would imagine a lorry driver is concerned that he maintains his momentum and has enough space to pull out so he concentrates on his mirrors to see the road alongside remained clear while making the manoeuvre.

I just hope no-one was hurt and whoever was in the SLK gets over this and continues to drive - and continues to drive an SLK.
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,856 Posts
What is the convention/etiquette among truckers? Flash the headlamps to let them know that one acknowledges their intentions?
For me I'll flash when a lorry is returning after overtaking to tell him his rear is clear of my front. I've noticed other lorry drivers do that to each other so that's what I do.

In traffic I'll not flash to let a lorry (or any other vehicle) out to overtake as it could be taken as 'it's safe' to make the move and I won't make that decision for him if I can't assess where other vehicles are or what they may be planning. I may hang back or even drop back further, but that's all. If I am the only vehicle around then I may flash to say again that his rear will clear my front.

Any UK lorry drivers around that understand the code and can comment?
 
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