Check Your Blindspots!

, posted: 27-Aug-2011 16:15

I was the subject of magnificent almost-crash today.  

Against my usually better judgement I decided to take the car out for a spin on a weekend, usually I leave the weekends alone because the roads are covered in half blind Sunday drivers, especially on this particular road.

Anyway, I'm humming along, and come up behind a couple of slow pokes, so like a good driver I check my mirrors, and a head check and look in front, and indicate, and pulled out to overtake them, I'm coming up something just short of 70mph passing the first car, a big land cruiser or something.

Suddenly, holy freaking crap the guy I'm overtaking, who I'm right next to, has decided to swing out into me going to overtake the car in front of him!  

Next few seconds are a bit of a blur, but suffice to say in an effort to not die a painful death there was a lots of tyre smoke, a little sideways driving, and eventually I regained control and got it all pointing the right way again.  I don't think it swapped ends entirely.

If I'd been in that situation on my motorbike, one of two things would have happened, 
  a) I'd have had enough room to carry on
  b) I'd be dead

Once I regained my composure I saw that the other driver looked to have stopped on the road a few hundred meters up.  I considered going to have words with him/her, but decided that discretion was the better part of valour and that my state of mind might not be conducive to cordial discussion, hopefully they got enough of a fright that they won't pull out without having a damn good look in a hurry.

So, drivers, 
small low to the ground cars and motorbikes over taking you might be there!

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Comment by rscole86, on 27-Aug-2011 16:47

I enjoyed something similar today... on my way home from work a ute came onto the motorway into lane 1, I was riding my yellow beast in lane 2. Next thing I know he has already crossed the white line into my lane. Lucky for me, I was for some reaon expecting it, so had already checked lane three was clear for me to pull into and salute this most stupid driver.

Comment by Dratsab, on 28-Aug-2011 12:18

Had an almost identical encounter to you James, going up Ngauranga Gorge yesterday. I pulled out to over take a slower moving van and, as I was just coming up to him, the idiotard flicked on his indicator and just came across so he could overtake a slow vehicle in front of him.

My sense of discretion is not at all finely tuned so after a good 10-12 second horn blast from me he pulled back into his original lane. Then he started yelling and gesticulating madly at me over a dumb thing HE did. I gave it all back. Probably looked majorly crazy to other road users at the time.

I'm on the road a fair amount for my job and see this type of thing a lot, but not usually close up like that. I rate the vast majority of NZ drivers as s**t for a few simple reasons:
1. Not looking
2. Ignorant of other road users 
2. Incredibly aggressive over their own stupidity

On a side note, it makes me laugh when I see roads get blamed for peoples deaths - the roads are inanimate, it's idiots doing what they do that's the problem. It'd be fine if they just killed themselves but they tend kill others or take others with them.

Comment by oxnsox, on 29-Aug-2011 08:54

Dratsab is right... theres way too many folk out there who are quick to blame everyone else for their own ignorance and inexperience.

And you probably did the right thing by not stopping James, because whether they fessed up or's most likely you would have driven on even more wound up!

Comment by rscole86, on 29-Aug-2011 12:01

@Dratsab... ditto mine was on Ngauranga Gorge also.
I also find I get abused, solely for the reason of riding a motorbike. I do not even need to do anything wrong/illegal, and drivers still have a go at me.

Comment by Linuxluver, on 29-Aug-2011 13:52

I don't bother passing anymore unless they are doing a lot less than the speed limit and the road is relatively empty and visbility is good. 

Almost every time I've nearly killed myself in a car it has been during a passing maneuver. When I was yonger I was too careless and when I was more experienced the other driver was too careless.

Driving from Kapiti to Wllington daily cured me of passing. I started out passing every time I could....only to find that the first time I hit a slow patch in the traffic all the people I'd passed were sitting on my rear end within about 30 most a minute.  

It became obvious that I could pass as much as possible and get to work in 60 minnutes....or relax and I'd get there in an hour. 

Best not to pass. I'll get there. Please note the caveat above...I do pass if the other vehicle is going SO slow I can pass then easily and safely and still be under the speed limit. Otherwise....I tend not to.  

Comment by d3Xt3r, on 1-Sep-2011 11:39

I was involved in an accident a few weeks ago, when a driver coming in from a side road at an intersection merged into the main road and crashed into my car at full speed (I was on the main road, driving straight). I mean who in the world merges into a busy main road at full speed without looking out for oncoming traffic - in the *city*? The damages to my car amount to around $2800. At the time of the accident he admitted that he didn't see my car. Now he's saying he's not liable, and so his insurance company will not pay me. I haven't filed a police complaint yet. Could someone please advice what to do next? I've absolutely no experience in this matter.

Author's note by sleemanj, on 1-Sep-2011 12:21


If you have insurance - even third party - talk to your insurers, most 3rd party policies will cover some amount of your own damage if you can identify the other driver and were not at fault, check your policy document.

If you are not insured, you'll have to do the leg work yourself, write a letter to both the other driver and their insurers if you know them and set out politely but in no uncertain terms why you believe them to be liable.  

When that doesn't work, time to take the other driver to the disputes tribunal.

f you do end up in the tribunal, be prepared.  Have photographs of damage, and the place it happened, have a prepared diagram showing the road layout, signs, road markings, speeds, lanes, even a traffic count etc, and a prepared statement about what happened so you have it all straight in your head, being fully prepared is VERY important if you are going to the disputes tribunal. 

Author's note by sleemanj, on 1-Sep-2011 12:23

Oh and d3Xt3r - you are going to need written quotes (several) for the repair work when you get to the tribunal.

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James Sleeman
New Zealand

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