Pedal-to-the-metal syndrome??

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 13:31

Ron N

One just has to wonder about the driving ability of a fair number of the population, when you see this ....

I dunno about anyone elses style - but I've always approached single-lane bridges with a large degree of caution, and a very substantial reduction in speed. And I give road trains the respect they deserve (and yes, I've got a HC licence, and I've owned a Drake 100 tonne widening low-loader, and dragged overwidth machines all over the country).

To me, this accident appears to have been 100% avoidable and can be sheeted home to a "pedal-to-the-metal" attitude - perhaps on the part of both drivers.
I also know a lot of truckies who won't back off the loud pedal for anything - and I was once forced into the concrete curbing of a dual lane bridge with the float, on the Barrier Hwy, when I was overwidth - and an oncoming East-Wester refused to back off the pedal.
I damaged two wheels in that incident and I sure as hell would have liked to have fronted that truckie.

However, this incident reflects very badly on both truckies and 4WD'ers. 4WD'ers are usually expected to have a better level of driving skills and rural road "nous". I'm thinking that someone with too little time and a need for breakneck speed and an unwillingness to give way was behind this incident - unfortunately, an all-too-common event in todays world.

Good driving skills need to be practised constantly and one has to guard against slackness creeping into driving habits, particularly as we age.
Take it easy out there, and always remember that old cops adage - "it's better to be late, than to be, 'the late" ... "
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AnswerID: 517618   Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 14:12

Gronk replied:

Without knowing the full story it's a bit hard to know who was in the wrong ?

Either way, they both should have stopped somewhere on that bridge ....sat there and looked at each other......and worked out who was going to back up ??

And we all know who that would've been !!

I'm afraid you'll find that 95% of all accidents are avoidable !!!!!!

But teaching people not to get in a situation in the 1st place is the hard bit !!
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FollowupID: 797374   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 07:17

Penchy posted:

Which government department supplied that percentage statistic?
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AnswerID: 517620   Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 16:01

Dennis Ellery replied:

It’s a no brainer.
In risk of head on collision situations.
Sedan gives way to a truck.
Everyone gives way to a train
It’s not about road rules it’s about common sense and survival.
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FollowupID: 797341   Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 17:40

olcoolone posted:

Agree, working in the heavy vehicle, earthmoving and mining industry it is known to always give way the anything bigger that you.

The thing is this is a road train with two to four trailers and maybe more under permit and the Prado driver should of gave way.... end of story.

I don't think speed may of been a factor, it was either a judgement mistake on the Prado drivers behalf or lack of attention.

Yes I am blaming the Prado driver.
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FollowupID: 797349   Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 19:20

Rockape posted:

I can't believe this.

If you weren't there then I wouldn't comment.

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FollowupID: 797351   Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 19:54

Ross M posted:

Yes, not being there makes it difficult to comment with accuracy.
Having been in a potentially similar situation down south of Normanton I checked to observe any road trains and it was only speed which saved us because once you commit to the crossing you have to clear it or get hit because they won't stop.
At many crossings you can't see far enough into the future so careful and slow leaves you vulnerable.
If I had been hesitant I wouldn't be typing this.

Empty Road trains at quite high speed arrive into view after you begin the crossing, speed is the saviour, braking will kill you.

Ross M
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FollowupID: 797355   Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 20:29

olcoolone posted:

Maybe I shouldn't be putting the blame on one particular vehicle.

The issue that I often come across is people in the right don't get out the way of people in the wrong nor do they try to avoid a potentially dangerous situations.

Classic example is when you have to go around a parked car on your left, you move over into the other on coming lane and common sense would tell you if you were the driver of the other car to move over as well to your left...... no they stay on their line playing this game of I'm in the right and you're in the wrong and if you come into my territory I'm going to hit you.

For some strange reason people in the right don't seem to sense safety and think everything will be OK.

So saying the Prado driver was in the right and the truck driver was in the wrong wouldn't you think "hey I'm not going to play with him.... maybe the truck driver got cranky and thought he will give the Prado driver a scare.

Every accident is different, more speed may be good and less spend may be good.

Most people in holiday mode are like people talking on their mobile phones.... they don't care nor know what is happening around them.

No matter who is right or wrong, you always give way to something bigger.

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FollowupID: 797390   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 11:26

Dennis Ellery posted:

As I said it’s a no brainer.
You don’t have to be a forensic scientist to see that had the Prado been travelling slower, or stopped earlier, the accident would have been avoided.
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FollowupID: 797415   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:49

Rockape posted:

Sorry Dennis,
I didn't know you had a video of the event. I tried to work it out from a photo, but came to the conclusion I am not a forensic scientist. Maybe I should get a job like that, and then be able to decide how an accident happened from my office chair. Maybe the Prado had stopped, guess the video showed he wasn't.

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FollowupID: 797422   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 21:53

Dennis Ellery posted:

Hi Rockape
Just going on the way I approach single lane bridges.
And I have traversed a number in my time.
I slow right down, if the vision is limited.
Never seen one that didn’t have a warning sign prior to the bridge.
My speed is such that the trailer wouldn’t have jack-knifed or the Prado would have stopped before the closing the distance shown in the photo.
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FollowupID: 797483   Submitted: Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 21:58

Off-track posted:

Not only is there a fair bit of assumption of events in this whole thread but there's half a chance that the driver of the Prado is an Exploroz member/contributor.

I know I would be pretty pi55ed by people throwing their opinions in...
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AnswerID: 517657   Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 23:04

Notso replied:

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Just have a bit of respect for the other person on the road and we'd be a lot better off.

Driving is not a competition, it's a survival exercise.
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FollowupID: 797391   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 11:27

ExplorOz Team - Michelle posted:

Yes indeed - and how about all drivers adopt this approach to all cyclists too please ;)
Michelle Martin
I.T. Beyond Content & Marketing Director
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FollowupID: 797406   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:08

olcoolone posted:

I don't think anyone thinks driving is a competition and I doubt if anyone who drives or rides looks at it as survival.

If we showed respect to the other person on the road we would be going nowhere....... it would be " NO you can go... NO NO you can go..... NO you can go first..... NO thats OK I wait, you go first...... are you sure!" LOL

When I drive I don't show respect for other road users but I do drive sensible, proactively and pay attention to those around me.

People have all different driving skills and different understanding of safety and danger.

Some have higher skill sets and some lower and some think they are the best until something happens.

Again it comes down to common sense.

Cyclists are not exempt from this rule, cyclists are no different to anyone else and I have seen my share of cyclists ride in a manner that's dangerous....... like many road users who have this driving/riding attitude who has this ability to not sense danger and to put oneself in a dangerous position.

I ride motorbikes and I have learnt not to put myself in danger or add to the chances of something happening and ride proactively ....... I'm sure we have all see bad motorbike riders.

Maybe we should take a leaf out of nature and think "stay away from thing bigger or heavier than oneself".
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FollowupID: 797411   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:29

KevinE posted:

+1 for respecting other road users! Empathy for others on the road goes a long, long way!

It's a bit sad really that some don't understand what respect means & confuse it with manners/politeness.
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FollowupID: 797412   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:30

Notso posted:

Yes well I never did believe "Might is Right". I think showing respect means a bit more than the nonsense at the start of your followup.
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FollowupID: 797413   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:33

Notso posted:

And Michelle, you'llnote I said every other Person, which I think includes most cyclists! :-)
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FollowupID: 797443   Submitted: Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 08:00

olcoolone posted:

I think you need to understand what the word respect really means..... I can't see how respect comes into play whilst driving.

Looking here might be a good starting point.

Empathy ?????? "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another"
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FollowupID: 797446   Submitted: Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 08:45

Notso posted:



2 due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others:

I would have thought that was fairly relevant
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FollowupID: 797455   Submitted: Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 11:06

Notso posted:

"I think you need to understand what the word respect really means..... I can't see how respect comes into play whilst driving."

Cripes, it'd be a pleasant drive for your passengers mate!
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FollowupID: 797469   Submitted: Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 17:45

olcoolone posted:

1- When driving I haven't got the time to pay attention or think about other drivers feelings.... How do you find out what their feelings are, do you ask? what happens when they are sad, do you stop and give them a hug!... when upset offer to buy them a coffee and talk about their reason for being upset.

2- How do you find out what their wishes are?..... again I haven't got time to stop and ask....... might be a new bike for xmas or new socks.

3- Yeah right. are you talking about legal rights like giving way and stopping at a stop sign...... that pretty obvious and you would have to be stupid if you don't abide by the law.

Again when I drive I drive sensibly, to the law and I pay attention of my surroundings.

Maybe too many drivers respect other road users a bit too much and lose the art of driving, this is why so many people can't drive, they are so involved in what others may think or feel that they forget the law, common sense and rights.

Number of times when I have stopped to give way to another car as per the law; only to be flagged by the other driver to go.... according to some respect is higher than the law and this is what causes accidents.

I drive about 60- 80,000K a year and have for the last 20 years, been picked up once for exceeding the speed limit by 3km/h and haven't had a accident, so when driving either I am extremely lucky or I drive sensibly, to the law and I pay attention of my surroundings.

Maybe my understanding and your understanding of respect are two totally different ideas.
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FollowupID: 797516   Submitted: Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 09:07

Notso posted:

At least your reference to the Oxford Dictionary agrees with my definition, since you quoted the reference I would have thought you'd have to agree too! But there again, maybe you only read as much of the definition that agreed with your point of view EH!

I too have an unblemished record so again, by your own assessment, that makes my way correct as well, so I think we'll just have to agree to disagree and I''l make sure I give you a wide berth if I see you coming?
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AnswerID: 517672   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 10:05

Member - Andrew & Jen replied:

The sort of questions this accident raises for me are -
* What is the sight distance for both approaches?
* How long is the bridge?
* Is there a give way sign for one of the approaches?
* Is there signage to indicate that UHF (particular channel) should be used to announce imminent use and direction - eg, Ch 40 / road train north bound (name of bridge/river)
* Did the driver of the 4WD have his radio on and tuned to Ch 40?

It reinforces my practice of always having the UHF on truck channel, be it 40, 29 or some other designated channel on, for example, forestry roads.

Drivers of smaller vehicles need to appreciate the much longer stopping distances of large vehicles. Take the opportunity to have a chat with a friendly truckie and hear the tales of hair-raising situations caused by un-thinking (choose your adjective) motorists.

At sea, by law the vessel in the "right" must proceed on the basis that the other vessel will take action to avoid a collision; however, if it becomes apparent that this is not happening, BOTH vessels must take avoiding action.

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FollowupID: 797388   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 11:16

Ron N posted:

Andrew & Jen - The crash occurred at the Salt Creek bridge, on the sealed portion of the Roper Hwy.

1. The Eastern approach is straight, but the Western approach has a slight curve in it, which COULD possibly lead to a misjudgement of approaching vehicle speeds and position, in relation to the bridge.
The sight distance on both sides, is more than adequate, in my estimation.

2. Just a WAG judging by the satellite pic, I'd say the bridge is around 80-100M long.

3. I do not have information regarding this particular bridges approach signage - but I have never encountered a single lane bridge on a sealed highway that doesn't have a "give way" sign on the approaches.

4. & 5. I don't ever recall seeing signage to any one-lane bridge that says you should use a CB to facilitate crossing. Only a small percentage of small vehicles are fitted with CB, even though most trucks are.

This incident is almost certainly purely speed and impatience related, with a dose of poor judgement added - and possibly a degree of carelessness as well.
All it takes is an approach at high speed, and to be distracted by looking at the countryside or the river - instead of watching for oncoming traffic - and bang, you're in big trouble.

I'd place 90% of the blame for the crash on the Prado driver. You can't stop a road train in 100M from 90kmh. The stopping distance of a road train from 90kmh is 170M.

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FollowupID: 797389   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 11:25

ExplorOz Team - Michelle posted:

"Choose your adjective" - love it! That should be the new bleepometer. Thanks, I'm going to adopt this in my everyday vernacular, its so refreshing!
Michelle Martin
I.T. Beyond Content & Marketing Director
( &
Lifetime Member: My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
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FollowupID: 797392   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 11:52

Bob Y. - Qld posted:


"CYA", another abbreviation? :-)


On the Gregory Developmental Road/Kennedy H'way, all single lane bridges have a numbered sign, advising trucks to call on Ch 40. Lot of ore trains on that road, and most of it is the "old" beef road single lane bitumen.


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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FollowupID: 797399   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 16:38

Ross M posted:

Ron N
Contrary to the title of the meaning of this post and given the description of the approaches it would appear, he wasn't going any where fast enough to make any difference when the situation changed. Less time in the cross hairs means less likely to be caught or shot down.
When there is a gap in freeway traffic it is prudent to quickly across, not walk or crawl.
So the heading should probably be "Not enough pedal to the metal".

We had discussed this issue at length and had heard of cars towing caravans being caught in similar circumstances on causeways.
With insufficient speed the rate of change when required can't be achieved and you have to sit and cop it then because there is no way out.
I entered at 80kmh and exited at around 110kmh, that allowed me to clear the crossing but the danger didn't finish there.

With a good speed up you can achieve something. My experience bears this out with the driver of the road train quite happy to try and run us off the road and into a ravine 20m deep as I exited the crossing. He even came closer to my side of the road, to try and put me in the river. I was completely off the narrow bitumen and running on the outside of the white posts line.
He missed us by 300mm with white posts between us.

The edge of the river/ravine has 1/2 of a caravan tyre tread mark on it.

Speed is good.

Ross M
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FollowupID: 797407   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:11

olcoolone posted:

Ross you sound like a high profile Hollywood celeb at an Oscars party..... more speed...... more speed.
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FollowupID: 797409   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:21

Ross M posted:

They're speed may be slower and dangerous too. Oscar will have to be careful won't he.
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AnswerID: 517817   Submitted: Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 12:32

Hairy (NT) replied:

As usually everyone's pretty quick to pass judgment without any real knowledge of the situation.
Maybe the bloke slowed right down in case someone come from the other direction so they could both stop if needed. Then halfway across the bridge a bloody great truck appears and due to his speed couldn't stop!
No way of moving out of his time to reverse and not his fault?????
Maybe he was a complete idiot too and said he had just as much right of way as the truck and played chicken too........
Ill ask a REAL accident investigation expert who works in that area what the out come was.......
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