Driving struggles

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  • Is driving harder than it was, less enjoyable, slower, more expensive?
    (Or not?)

    I'm interested in stories about difficulties to do with motoring.

    Note: any information posted on this thread may be used (anonymised) for material on drivetoworkday.org

  • I can only comment as a professional shotgun caller, but I can say without a doubt that queuing in traffic jams is a horrendous pain. Also, petrol is not nearly as tasty a fuel as a chocolate bar, but that doesn't seem to work on cars.

  • I can only comment as a professional shotgun caller, but I can say without a doubt that queuing in traffic jams is a horrendous pain. Also, petrol is not nearly as tasty a fuel as a chocolate bar, but that doesn't seem to work on cars.

    Driving's much less pleasurable than even ten years back, I think. Much more traffic and, almost as bad, much more in the way of parked cars, making some city streets a real nightmare to negotiate.

    'Rural' driving hasn't changed much in my experience but everyone does seem to go a lot faster. The big issue in some places is the closure of rural petrol stations over the past decade.

    It's pricey but then again you have to compare that against a time not all that long ago when cars were a real luxury item, instead of something every family has two or three of. They're still very affordable, too affordable for sustainability really.

  • I bought my first car when fuel was 63c a litre. It's now $1.30 in Aus and £1.30L here.

    I can say motorway driving here is much better than driving in Aus but driving in towns or cities here is shit. I would never drive in London during the day.

    No legal on-road driving is ever 'fun'.

  • I work to mitigate car use by parents/carers in the school run and recent years have seen a big move towards an attitude of entitlement becoming commonplace. A typical primary/early years school (one that has not undertaken huge work to tackle the issue) has big congestion problems during drop off and pick up times with many parents parking on zig-zags, obstructing access to residential driveways and much similar selfish behaviour.
    The prevailing attitude is that the right to drop off a child as close to the school as possible outweighs the risks to others. And it is getting worse.
    So the picture has moved into a sort of parking/manoeuvring insanity outside of many primary schools and has been getting steadily more chaotic as each year passes.

  • Nobody takes notice of, or drives at, speed limits anymore. On country lanes people do 40mph all the time, whether the limit is 30 or 60. People are either ignorant of the NSL or just willfully obstructive. They also then get shirty if you dare to overtake. Listen, mate, it's not my fault you are too poor to afford petrol. Speed the fuck up or get out of my way.

    Same is true on motorways. 10 years ago when I had my Rover I would be overtaken by everything when I drove at 70. Nowadays I'm overtaking everyone else. Why do they all now pootle along at 60? This is especially odd when you consider just how much more refined and powerful modern cars are.

    I like my car a lot, and I much prefer cars to trains, but driving is still a chore. I'd much rather be on my bike.

  • ...many parents parking on zig-zags, obstructing access to residential driveways and much similar selfish behaviour...

    In my world I'd have all of the local traffic wardens out at school drop-off/collection times to police these very things - giving out as many tickets as they can[1].

    1. For parking on zig-zags and obstructing residential driveways that is. Not for sitting in a designated parking space without a ticket for a few minutes.
  • Robocars.

    Driving back from Scotland, all I wanted to do was go to sleep on the back seat while a robot did the hard work.

    Sort it out Google!

  • Robocars can't come soon enough

  • I want a robocar! I pay top dorra now!! Please!!!

  • There are these things called 'trains' you might be interested in.

  • Driving at the weekend/evenings in town when quiet, fine.

    Parking at the weekend/evenings in town when quiet, fucking nightmare and expensive.

    Driving in town during peak hours, forget about it, ditto parking unless you want to spunk more cash up the wall or get a fucking ticket because you're 2 mins late back to the cunting thing.

    I don't really want to own a car because of the money and hassle, if that wasn't an issue i'd just have one for driving into the country and buying loads of groceries. The freedom it gives is constantly offset by the total pain in the arse of other humans and money.

  • There are these things called 'trains' you might be interested in.

    Don't run when I need them.

    Don't go where I need them to be.

    Hire car was the next best thing but proved to be a pita getting one when I needed it, hence buy car.

    The irony being, it was bike racing that I had to buy a car for.

  • Driving at the weekend/evenings in town when quiet, fine.

    Parking at the weekend/evenings in town when quiet, fucking nightmare and expensive.

    Driving in town during peak hours, forget about it, ditto parking unless you want to spunk more cash up the wall or get a fucking ticket because you're 2 mins late back to the cunting thing.

    I don't really want to own a car because of the money and hassle, if that wasn't an issue i'd just have one for driving into the country and buying loads of groceries. The freedom it gives is constantly offset by the total pain in the arse of other humans and money.

    I blame the traffic.

  • Is driving harder than it was, less enjoyable, slower, more expensive?

    It is probably easier as the cars tend to just work these days and are generally easier to drive (better brakes, power steering, air con etc,.)
    It is much less enjoyable than it was 25 years ago to the point where I have gone from owning cars that were made for speed and handling to a car that is make for economy as there is no point having a car whose capabilities you can never use
    It is a lot slower as much more traffic than 25 years ago
    It is probably cheaper for me as I am older so insurance is cheap, cars are more economical for same type of car and petrol was never cheap even 25 years ago.

  • this is trolling, right?

    Nobody takes notice of, or drives at, speed limits anymore. On country lanes people do 40mph all the time, whether the limit is 30 or 60. People are either ignorant of the NSL or just willfully obstructive. They also then get shirty if you dare to overtake. Listen, mate, it's not my fault you are too poor to afford petrol. Speed the fuck up or get out of my way.

    Same is true on motorways. 10 years ago when I had my Rover I would be overtaken by everything when I drove at 70. Nowadays I'm overtaking everyone else. Why do they all now pootle along at 60? This is especially odd when you consider just how much more refined and powerful modern cars are.

    I like my car a lot, and I much prefer cars to trains, but driving is still a chore. I'd much rather be on my bike.

  • So in general driving is less enjoyable now to many. More expensive, parking and congestion is an issue.

    How does the behavior of other road users affect the experience of driving?

  • I find driving is innately aggressive and unsatifying, when done on congested roads. It totally brings out the worst in me, makes me stressed, grumpy and — strangely — impatient with slow drivers yet belligerent and obstructive with tailgaters/speeders.

    In the main I observe limits. The exceptions to that are 60mph motorways in disguise A roads like the A12.

    I derive very little pleasure from driving except at odd times when the roads empty, such as during 'must-see' events like the olympic opening ceremony, or at the dead of night. It's a surreptitious pleasure, like wanking. No-one must know!

  • I have to drive a lot with work... Fair amount in London and some long haul accross the country. Driving so much tends to make me very chilled about all the stupid maneuvers - you just get bored of being angry.

    It's mostly the same shit driving I see when I'm on my bike but I don't die if it goes wrong. Well, minus the motorway stuff unless I'm really lost.

    I've noticed lot of lazy driving more often. Not indicating, even not looking and expecting others to make room.

    I second the country Lane 40mph thing. The limit alternates between 50 and 30 near me. Most folk just seem to average it and do a steady 40.

  • Driving so much tends to make me very chilled about all the stupid maneuvers - you just get bored of being angry.

    Great point. I guess cycling is the same for me, but not driving as I don't do it much.

  • ^ Driving so much tends to make me very chilled about all the stupid maneuvers - you just get bored of being angry.

    and I have noticed that being 'chilled' has resulted in experiencing/observing far fewer 'stupid manoeuvres'

  • I don't own a car but am a member of Zipcar and occassionally drive. I do it so rarely I still find it a novelty and enjoy it, even stuck in traffic, provided the car has a stereo. I treat it like a game, can I get through the day without being stung. I'm sure if you drive daily or for a living this is how it feels, which must eventually become a massive PITA.

    With temperatures on buses and underground trains this week reported at 34-35c I absolutely will not use them, I even find cycling too hot in this weather and many times this week have longed for a car with air conditioning, and would have happily sat in one pootling along at 3mph no matter how much it cost.

    Though modern cars are very economical and reliable, filling up with fuel never ceases to make me gasp in horror at the cost , I can't help but think what else I'd rather spend that money on.

    I agree driving near schools at opening and closing times is a major ball ache, schools need to introduce big playground nets and cars need to develop child cannons to fire out children as parents drive past the school without slowing.

    On the whole driving in London is like playing with fire, you will get burned eventually. I have no idea but I'd guess the % of regular London drivers that have never had a parking ticket, been clamped, fined for driving in a bus lane, jumped a red light or been done for speeding is very small. My parents no longer drive to come and visit me instead choosing the train due to being stung by a few of the above, and I consider them careful, considerate drivers. They have also had their car broken into twice, depsite it containing nothing stealable of any value.

    Contrary to what Blue Quinn says it seems to me everyone in the countryside drives at at least 60 and most men under 50 go a lot faster than this. I think this maybe because my parents live in Powys which to my knowledge has no fixed speed cameras (just signs saying they do). Driving nirvana or blood donor heaven?

    All speed limits are not interpreted as the max speed but rather the speed you should travel at. As a cyclist I am much more fearful for my safety when cycling in the countryside than I am cycling in London which my family can't fathom. Pensioners dawdle along at 40mph, and are treated with the same contempt by other motorists as caravaners, speed may kill but driving too slow makes others want to kill you.

  • All speed limits are not interpreted as the max speed but rather the speed you should travel at.

    This. I reckon this is a major barrier to mass cycling in cities. Even if the speed limits are reduced to 20mph motorists will still get annoyed if you're only cycling at 18mph. This is in addition to the twattish car-cannot-be-behind-bike-as-it's-a-viol­ation-of-the-natural-order-even-if-there­'s-a-red-light-40m-up-the-road attitude displayed by some drivers.

  • I typically drive out into East Anglia. Maybe it's just an Anglian thing, the 40 everywhere.

  • I have never had a parking ticket or a speeding fine, been clamped or fined for going in a bus lane in my car. But then I only got my licence a year ago.
    I did get a parking fine for parking my motorcycle in a Westminster motorcycle bay, after they had introduced charges and I didn't know about it. I responded by almost never going to Westminster to shop, see films or go out ever again.
    Nobody from outside London should try and drive in london. They will get beeped at for their curious provincial customs, like waiting for traffic lights to actually turn green. To drive in London you have to be "assertive".
    I don't care about the cost of fuel, even though the best my car has ever got is 29mpg, and more typically it's struggling to make 20mpg. I do less than 4000 miles a year, and the extra cost of buying a diesel version and of the fuel itself will not be recovered over that distance. Even super unleaded is economy motoring for me. I do wish it would go a little further between fillups though, but I feel the same about my Vespa.

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Driving struggles

Posted by Avatar for skydancer @skydancer

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