Why We Drive The Way We Do?

My lady wife bought me a book for my birthday (46th on 25/03), called ‘A Thousand Miles From Nowhere’, by a fella called Graham Coster.
Its about Graham, who’s a professional writer, going on the road as a passenger, on a couple of trips. One is with a driver called Tony, taking a load out to Moscow. The other is over in America. I haven’t got round to reading about his American trip yet.
Anyway, before he sets off he does some training on an artic towards taking the HGV1 test. What he wrote about that, along with This thread got me thinking.( Thats the “Our profession getting a slagging…”, thread.)

Why do we drive the way we do?

I’m on about driving a 16.5 metre artic properly, (or a long ridgid or 17.5m wagon and drag), not the mistakes we occasionally make or just plain ignorant things some of us do.

For eg. Approaching a roundabout, on a dual carriageway. The entry onto the roundabout is two lanes, is fairly narrow and has a fairly sharp turn-in.
As we approach the roundabout in the inside lane we assess the situation, taking into account the speed and amount of traffic approaching with us to the roundabout. The amount of traffic coming around the roundabout and the speed we feel will allow us to slow down and drive straight out onto the round about safely.
When we reach what we feel is the right spot, we pull across and straddle lanes 1 and 2. This is to prevent any cars from coming alongside us then getting squashed against the kerb or barrier as we negotiate the bend in the approach to the exit. If traffic is heavy we might pull across to straddle the lanes a bit close to a car which has ignored our indicator signalling our intention to pull across. That car might be able to get around us safely, but it is leading a tight stream of vehicles which will almost certainly not let us over. Then we adjust our speed to suit the conditions and try to judge it right, so that the vehicles in front of us clear the entry before we get there and we can drive straight out into a gap in the traffic without loosing all momentum, safely.

We approach T-juntions in much the same style (and any other hazard come to that).

I think that, if you look at this from an ignorant car drivers point of view, there are several points where it might be considered we have driven in an inconsiderate manner. (Shame :blush: :laughing: ).

Where and what do you think those conflicts could be?
I’m after constructive arguements, like RobKs post there, about overtaking. Not simply slagging off ‘skateboard steerers’, please.

The problem is that no education whatever is given to car drivers about the different handling characteristics of HGVs when they are first learning to drive.

To my mind, a video explaining what to do and not to do around trucks would be hugely advantageous to all of us. The basic car test is not really to a high enough standard, imho.

Incidentally, 1000 miles from nowhere is a book I have read myself, and it’s fascinating, not least because I know a lot of the people mentioned in the book. Did you see the comment from Kepstowe’s traffic planner to him when he approached us, looking for a lift? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


Happy Birthday Simon and I hope you had a good day :smiley: .

happy birthday simon

I think a million and one things affect the way I drive, if I’m honest, like what mood I’m in, what mood the better half’s in, and what mood that’s put me in :laughing: (that’s a big part) and the colour of my socks :unamused:. At the end of the day, you drive to suit the size, weight and controllability of the vehicle and observation is everything. In any form of transport, I feel, it all comes back to the information you gather and respond to. Sure, you’ve got to respond to that information in a sensible way, but to avoid the problem, you’ve got to see it first :p:.

As for my driving style, I just potter. I’ve had too many days of arse chasing to be bothered by it anymore :laughing:, if people don’t like it, then I’ll go somewhere else. So what if I take 20mins more to get somewhere than the last driver. Why stress?

I think it’s down to attitude more than anything, as is much in life.



We drive the way we do to avoid collisions, if we can block a lane to stop someone who doesnt have the same view of the road trying to come past us, then that is correct.

Lane markings are only a guide, Mini roundabouts are only a guide, because most trucks would find it impossible to keep off the painted segment. I have been stopped in a 16.5 artic for going over the roundabout, normally the police car has 2 people in it, one with some common sense and one without

The only lane markings I was taught to obey was Double whites on a bend or approaching a hazard. They taught me to treat those like a brick wall.

Wheel Nut:
Lane markings are only a guide, Mini roundabouts are only a guide, because most trucks would find it impossible to keep off the painted segment. I have been stopped in a 16.5 artic for going over the roundabout, normally the police car has 2 people in it, one with some common sense and one without

This is the problem, lack of standardisation. If it’s OK to pass your test by going over a mini roundabout, then surely it should be within the law? And the police are supposed to know the law, after all. :unamused:

I was told that if you were meant to go round a mini roundabout they would put flowers on it :laughing: :laughing:

You are allowed to drive over a mini roundabout in a truck. This is what the Highway Code says…

Mini-roundabouts Approach these in the same way as normal roundabouts. All vehicles MUST pass round the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so. Remember, there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal. Beware of vehicles making U-turns.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD reg 10(1), 16(1)



Note to Vince’s signature:

I must be a child then cos I much prefer hamsters to children !!!
What does the hamsters prefer ?


Hmmmm…that’s one good question there Simon. Let me think about it for a couple of weeks…LOL.

One thing I have definately noticed affects the way I’m driving is the truck I’m given to drive. If she’s a ■■■■■ I treat her like one…that is off course after I’ve tried if the gentle and respectfull approach could make things any better. If not…well then she’s getting it !
Nothing can make me more grumpy than a rough ride in an uncomfortable truck. Potholes, speed bumps… do I need to say more ?!