Near miss has made me think.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Bartyfixedit, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. Bartyfixedit

    Bartyfixedit Funster

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    Having driven on the continent for many years in or on most types of vehicles I have never forgotten which side of the road to drive on. Hesitated, yes, driven down the wrong side, no.

    Until this summer, then I had a real close shave.

    It was the first day of the holiday and I had travelled from the tunnel down to about an hour south of Rouen. Looking back it was one of those nightmare journeys where everything went wrong:
    Delay on the tunnel.
    Thunderstorms.
    Roads closed meaning I had to go right through central Rouen.
    Kids acting up.
    Sat Nav playing silly irriots and locking up until rebooted. Turns out it was overheating.
    Due to the sat nav locking up I took a single track road which got smaller and smaller.
    Running late for the campsite we had booked.
    I'm sure you all have been there.
    My wife was joining us later in the holiday so I had no "wingman" to spot my mistake.

    To get to the point of the story.
    Having finally negotiated the single track road with both sides and the roof in the trees / bushes I pulled out onto a 2 way road and went on the wrong side. Coming round the next bend came face to face with another vehicle. We missed, just.

    I have now carried out a little modification that I thought I would share:

    I have used each indicator output from the towing relay to feed two secondary standard relays, one for each side, which in turn energise, via a switch, a loud buzzer.

    When in the UK I leave the buzzer switch off and all is silent. When I go onto the continent I make the buzzer switch so that any time I use the indicators, whichever way, the buzzer goes with the indicators.

    My theory is that the time I am most likely to get it wrong is at a junction. Approaching a junction I should be using the indicators and so the buzzer will be going to remind me to drive on the right. As I said, the buzzer is switched off in the UK, it is not a sound I am used to hearing so should help.

    I think this should be particularly useful on the first day or so of the holiday as the buzzer is a "new" sound and the first day or so is when you are most likely to get it wrong.
     
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  2. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Before pulling away out there I always repeat the mantra, "go right stay right" it seems to switch my headnav on.
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I think most of us have done that at least once.. but once you have had the 'close shave' it certainly focuses the mind in future.

    Happened to me once, pulled out of a camp site , first think in the morning, brain not in gear and drove for about 1/2 mile on the left.. jezzzzzzz did it wake me up when I saw a truck coming toward me.. that was back in 1972 .. it has never happened again..

    I've also seen stickers you can put on the steering wheel to remind you to Drive On The Right.. and most sat navs I think have a reminder that can be set to alert you when abroad.

    some ideas here

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=d...o5VOTrGILN7QabtoGQBQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ#imgdii=_
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  4. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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  5. peter marshall

    peter marshall

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    Funny enough I have not done it abroad (yet) but I remember a couple of years back we had been home a couple of Months from Spain, we had a few days away in the UK on leaving the site to come home I got on the Right side for quite a distance before oncomming traffic around a bend woke me up to my error :(:(:(
     
  6. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi, Like most of us ,I had scary episode in holland before I owned a satnav , took wrong turn into a single track road with sloping banks on either side of the track , seemed no problem until a dutch delivery van hurtled towards me , I automatically pulled over to the left only !!!! to see headlights blazing horn blaring van still coming quite fast , luckly I realised and pulled sharply over to the right just as he sped past me with horn still blaring!!!!!
     
  7. Forester

    Forester Funster

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    Been there done that and more than once. Yes very very scary. It really helps to have a passenger to remind you when necessary (but how do you switch them off when not required?).
     
  8. Flyingscotsman2

    Flyingscotsman2

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    Never done that
     
  9. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    We've lived in France for over 10 years and when necessary travel back to the UK to see family etc. Our motorhome is a French lefthand drive and our 2 other everyday transport are righthand drive and depending on who we are visiting depends on which vehicle we take. So yeah, we know it can get a bit confusing as to which side of the road we should be on, but luckily, so far so good although we have had a few moments bit nothing life threatening . . . yet.

    When we first started travelling outside of the UK on our motorbikes an friend who used to often travel with us was so concerned about getting it wrong that his wife wrote in lipstick on the righthand mirror a big "C" on the righthand mirror and the word "Ouch" on the other one.
    It worked fine on the continent the problem was he panicked himself once or twice on the way to the boat at Portsmouth doh!
     
  10. gasman2008

    gasman2008 Read Only Funster

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    I have only done it once in a car, after a stop on a dirt road, soon as I saw another car I knew and got out of the way. More worryingly in Spain on a motorbike, I was on the correct side of the road, but the road was very narrow on had very sharp bends going down to the sea so I had to move out a bit to make the bend. A car came the other way I instinctively went LEFT as a reaction to the danger before correcting myself. I now know that if you only drive on the right occasionally, if something goes wrong you will automaticly go left before you have time to think. I now drive more carefully and keep my fingers crossed at all times.
     
  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    well done.. :clap2:
     
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  12. Flyingscotsman2

    Flyingscotsman2

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    Glad u approve...:notworthy2:
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    no probs.. :lips:

    .. During WW2 a British agent was caught in Paris by the simple mistake of looking left before crossing the street.. someone shopped him to the Gestapo
    so even a highly trained agent can make left/right mistakes.. the book is called... 'I Looked Left .

    take care ..
     
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  14. Flyingscotsman2

    Flyingscotsman2

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    Noted james but I always look.:Eeek:
     
  15. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Some useful lessons in these stories and I've made this mistake too - curiously it was in the UK after living in Germany for a couple of years. Awkward Brits driving on the wrong side.

    My experience has taught me to be very careful driving when tired and to be extra careful when on a road with very little traffic.
     
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  16. Flyingscotsman2

    Flyingscotsman2

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    :doh:
     
  17. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    :notworthy2:
     
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  18. cruiser

    cruiser Funster Life Member

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    yes been there. I turned left at a t jun onto the wrong side. but my boss soon put me right . as she always does.
     
  19. rich g

    rich g Funster

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    i wear a helpforheroes wrist band on my right wrist and make sure it's nearest to the curb.

    (y)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
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  20. Flyingscotsman2

    Flyingscotsman2

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    :Eeek:
     
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