Page 1 of 5

First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:43 pm
by TheInsanity1234
Yep. I'm now a statistic! Yet another young driver involved in an accident within their first 4 years of driving! [insert something about how awful young drivers are] :P

Ran into the back of a taxi on Friday night. Was fairly low speed, as I had anchored up, so wasn't doing more than 10 mph when I hit the taxi.

I was passing a row of parked cars on the left, and there was a car indicating to pull out, so I was off the accelerator ready to brake, but maintained 30 mph or so while passing said indicating car. I was watching it as I passed to make sure the driver didn't pull out into the side of me. I'd just passed it and looked to the front only to see a stationary taxi waiting at the back of the queue at red lights, probably about 2 car lengths in front of me.

Slammed on the brakes, ABS went nuts, but still wasn't enough, and into the back of him I went! :oops:

Pulled over, hopped out, freaking out, as it was my first accident in 3 years of driving. Taxi driver was fine, reassuring me shit happens. Gave him my phone number, and address, and name of insurance company/car reg etc. Told him to text me his details.

And then comes the low blow. (Thick scouse accent) "If it were just me, I'd take it in and get the bumper repaired and just take some cash off you for the repair, but I've got a passenger so I have to report this to the taxi company and they'll likely get insurance involved"

Shit. I can kiss my 3 years NCD bye, and just a month before renewal too! I got myself home and promptly swore for about 10 minutes straight.

Oddly enough, I've ran some quotes on confused, and using a fake name and address (same street) and similar car which I nicked the reg off autotrader, Admiral offered an increase of £200 when comparing myself with a flawless driving record, and someone with the same age and car, with one claim and no NCD.

But, still. Fuck. I can kiss my hopes of getting a very nice car at a young age goodbye. Unlikely to get reasonable quotes until I'm past 25 now :headbang:

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:52 pm
by akirk
Well - it happens! And everyone is okay which is the main thing :)

I suspect that insurance won't be dramatically affected - if you think about it, the premium you pay has an underlying assumption that because you are young and male you will have an accident - proving that doesn't change the assumption! i.e. you have already been paying the weighting for an accident, so you might as well have one and make all that extra payment worthwhile!

From your description, it would appear to be a very good example of how focusing in one place can lead you to lose attention elsewhere - a commonly used analogy for observation is to mimic someone casting a fly rod - throw your vision out into the distance, and then bring it back to the near and repeat, constantly - from the sound of it your vision was so focused on the car, you forgot to keep looking forward...

I would also suggest that in a situation where there were parked cars, and a risk of one moving out - then c. 30mph is too fast, probably 15-20 would have been better...

but don't worry about it - chalk it up to experience and move on...

Alasdair

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:55 pm
by Mr Cholmondeley-Warner
Oh dear. Commiserations. Wait and see what happens, don't prejudge too much, and stop beating yourself up. You don't lose all your NCD at the same time, btw.

Take a very tiny lesson from it*, that observation must continue to be as broad as possible at all times, and we must resist the temptation to become fixated on one particular hazard.

* oops, two tiny lessons. The other is, think about preventative measures. You were ready to brake, but you didn't. You could also have used your horn, to ensure indicating driver didn't follow through. If a situation seems to suggest precautions, don't be shy about actually taking them.

ETA: cross-posted with AK, but see how the suggestions are very similar. Is it time to think about some advanced tuition now?

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:43 pm
by TheInsanity1234
Here is where the accident happened. Said indicating car was roughly where the silver focus was, and the taxi was stopped with the rear approximately just before the front of the bumper of the blue fiesta parked at the end of the row.

I think it happened due to a combination of me being rather tired, I'd only had a cup of coffee that day and frankly I'm a functioning caffiene addict. Caffiene dependency has reached the point where I struggle to go more than a hour or so without a cup of strong black coffee. By 8pm I've usually drunk about 10 cups. I had also just finished teaching a 2 hour sign language class, so tiredness was a factor.

When driving tired, I often catch myself focusing on things far longer than I should be, meaning I often miss hazards due to focusing too much on one particular hazard. This manifested itself in me staring at a parked car and failing to notice the stationary taxi in front!

I was doing 30 mph because of complacency and tiredness, I suspect. It's easier to just speed up to the limit and hold the car approximately there than it is to think about what hazards I see and adjust my speed to suit.

I did have a moment where I thought to myself "Holy shit what if that had been a pedestrian crossing the road? Would I have failed to see them in the way I failed to see the taxi?"

I think another contributory factor is, I have become used to driving in Liverpool and their 'scouse' habits, one of which is ALWAYS holding the car on the footbrake at traffic lights, in traffic, in just about any situation where the car is stationary but not parked. This probably meant I didn't notice the taxi as it didn't have its brake lights on, so it just didn't register in my brain as an obstruction to not hit.

That sounds like I'm trying to excuse my failure to drive safely. I'm not. I've been trying to analyse what I did wrong and thus avoid doing such things later on in my driving career!

On a more positive note, I feel rather pleased that I had successfully completed 3 years of driving without any accidents, so when you look at the trend I must be doing well! Most young men probably would have had a car on its roof by this point... (touch wood!)

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:41 pm
by Mr Cholmondeley-Warner
I think tiredness must have been a major factor here then. Approaching that junction, with its traffic lights, you would / should have been conscious of its presence for some time before starting to focus on the manoeuvring car to the nearside. You would have been aware of the traffic light, what colour it was, how long it had been in that state, and the queue of traffic waiting (which implies it was red, but not necessarily). Then, while monitoring that for change, you can focus on hazards in the near distance. If you'd completely forgotten the traffic lights were there (or never even noticed them) then either your observation needs work, or you were very tired indeed.

I wonder if you really were doing 30 mph. Again, if you were, then it implies your observation standard had dropped. You shouldn't have been doing 30 mph that close to a junction with a red light and a queue of waiting cars.

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:31 pm
by martine
If driving tired, try doing a commentary - it focusses the mind on driving.

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:21 pm
by waremark
Sorry to hear it. I had done worse by your age but it was an easier era for young men's insurance.

How much damage to the Citygo? If there is an insurance claim anyway, you might as well get it properly repaired.

Have you met up with any forum members for a drive? Where are you based now?

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:29 pm
by TheInsanity1234
Mr Cholmondeley-Warner wrote:I think tiredness must have been a major factor here then. Approaching that junction, with its traffic lights, you would / should have been conscious of its presence for some time before starting to focus on the manoeuvring car to the nearside. You would have been aware of the traffic light, what colour it was, how long it had been in that state, and the queue of traffic waiting (which implies it was red, but not necessarily). Then, while monitoring that for change, you can focus on hazards in the near distance. If you'd completely forgotten the traffic lights were there (or never even noticed them) then either your observation needs work, or you were very tired indeed.

I wonder if you really were doing 30 mph. Again, if you were, then it implies your observation standard had dropped. You shouldn't have been doing 30 mph that close to a junction with a red light and a queue of waiting cars.

I can play the whole sequence of events leading up to the impact in unusual detail, but I couldn't tell you what happened in the 5 minutes post collision, other than some vague recollection of having pulled the car over and then jumping out in a state of shock and panic.

I remember looking ahead when I was passing the bus stop here, noting that the lights were green, and then glancing down to see my speedometer at about 30, and then from that moment onwards, I fixated on the amber indicating light of the parked car, lifted off to prepare to slam on if they pulled out, and then let the car coast onwards, and passed the parked car then looked ahead and realised the taxi was stationary, and slammed on.

It was simply a case of being extremely tired causing me to fixate on things and just failing to look ahead. My driving and observation was shit that night, proved by the fact I'd gone into the back of the taxi.

When you say you wonder if I really were doing 30 mph, do you mean to suggest you think I may have been travelling faster?

martine wrote:If driving tired, try doing a commentary - it focusses the mind on driving.

Noted. I do need to read up on what exactly a commentary entails, I try to commentate but often blather on so much that it lags behind what I'm actually thinking and doing.

waremark wrote:Sorry to hear it. I had done worse by your age but it was an easier era for young men's insurance.

How much damage to the Citygo? If there is an insurance claim anyway, you might as well get it properly repaired.

Have you met up with any forum members for a drive? Where are you based now?

Annoyingly, I have a bit of a puncture in the bumper, and some minor scuffing. All typical battle scars to be seen on a lot of abused city cars in Liverpool. The taxi came off far worse, as there is a huge crack along the top, something like a foot long, meaning a full replacement is probably needed. Neither my sister or I can be arsed to deal with getting it repaired, it's a minor scuff and I'd always planned on paying the final payment in full and owning the car and then just running it into the ground, so the effect on resale value is not of much consequence to either of us.

I haven't no. Haven't really had the time to think about advanced driving since starting university. I'm based mostly in Liverpool as I study there.

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:11 pm
by waremark
In the thread called Dangerous Safety Systems there is quite a negative reaction to Autonomous Emergency Braking. Interesting to note that such a system would have prevented this crash.

Re: First accident...

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:26 pm
by TheInsanity1234
waremark wrote:In the thread called Dangerous Safety Systems there is quite a negative reaction to Autonomous Emergency Braking. Interesting to note that such a system would have prevented this crash.

Not entirely sure, as they often don't activate over speeds of approximately 20 mph.

But yes, something that could have prevented this would have been most appreciated by me!