Top 10 Things I Hate About Driving

Don't get me wrong, I love driving, but there are a number of things which can make it not so enjoyable.

10. Blind junctions; one in particular

I don't like these purely because they're dangerous and a lot of them are just down to bad road planning. There's various roads around here where you have to stick out half a car's length to be able to see what's coming, and although they may only be in 30-40 limit areas it's still enough to cause a problem, especially if someone is going too fast.

The junction onto the main road from our house is a bad one too. You basically need to have eyes on the side of your head like a rabbit to be able to pull out of it. If you look at it on a map or even drive around the bend itself you wouldn't think the junction is that blind, but it is. The road's a 60 and when cars are doing that speed you have about 2-3 seconds between seeing them and them coming past the junction. It's very hard to know what's coming from the left and the right at the same time when they're doing that speed and you have that amount of time, and it's worse when people are going faster than 60. You have to look left, right, left, right, left; if it's clear, you have to go for it, and once you've committed to it you can rarely back out of it. Far too often I've pulled out heading right and something has come round from the left 0.5-1 seconds after I've moved out; it's too late to stop because I'll be in the way of cars coming from the right, you have to just carry on. Some people realise it's a bad junction and will slow down when they see you're pulling out. Others just honk you and flash their lights, as if it's your fault you pulled out in front of them, and some will then overtake you, whilst still on the bend, because they can't slow down in time, or because they're just angry at you.

What do the council/highways agency do about it? Fuck all. And we've lost count on how many times we've written to them about it. The road from the right used to carry on being a 60 for another 2 miles or so, and a little while ago they changed it to a 50; however, the national speed limit sign at the end of that 50 is still before our junction, and it's right where the road widens out, so people will now be accelerating from 50 to 60, going onto a wider, seemingly faster road, only to then come past this bad junction at that speed. The council/highways agency admitted the sign was in the wrong place and said it will be moved to after the junction, but I can't remember how long ago this was, and nothing's changed.

The danger of this junction is plain to see. We've lived here 6 years and in that time there's been a car on it's roof, a car in the ditch, and an accident on boxing day a few years ago where a flatbed truck was literally ripped in half after hitting another car, where one person died and two air ambulances were needed; the air ambulance was needed for another accident too, and there have been more accidents than these mentioned. Yet the speed limit is the same and there are no extra warnings about the junction. Unfortunately 4 people need to die at a particular location before anything is done about it. The situation is made even worse when you consider the council/highways agency didn't even know the correct location of the accidents because the police told them they all happened at the next junction along; this may explain why the 50 limit ends there instead of past our junction, but also doesn't fill us with much confidence in the people supposedly in charge of our safety and the maintenance of the road. Either way I know it's only a matter of time before there's another fatal accident there and I just hope nobody from my family is involved.

9. Multi-storey car parks

I hate these things. Why do they have to make the ramps so narrow and tight? There's always scrapes along them from people who have misjudged it, wouldn't it make more sense to sacrifice one space per ramp to make them much wider and easier to drive up and down? It's worse in my car as the mudflaps always scrape along the floor and the exhaust often hits the floor too. I always think I've hit the side! Now that I park in one every day I'll hopefully get a bit more practice in so I don't hate them as much in future.

8. Relaying the wrong roads, and using crap materials

A lot of the roads around here are pretty poor. Rough, bumpy, potholed, gaps and patches all over the place. More often than not though, the roads that get relaid seem to be roads that were pretty good as they were, and it's more a waste of materials if anything when OK roads are relaid and roads in need of relaying are not. This problem is made worse when they use rubbish materials, primarily that gravel stuff that means you have to drive at 20 over it for a week before enough people have driven over it to wear it in a bit, and until then you just get stones kicked up at you. Sometimes roads relaid with this stuff just start to deteriorate again very quickly, I mean they're only really covering the road with another layer rather than actually relaying it; one road that was done like this had holes appearing no more than 24 hours after it was done, and within a week it was relaid again with better materials, meaning the first job was a complete and utter waste of time and money. Whatever happened to relaying roads with tarmac and a steamroller? Do they not do this anymore? If you relay it properly and do a decent job of it you won't need to keep coming back to it.

Another road surface I have an issue with is that shiny black stuff they sometimes use. When it is wet, it is a total hazard and has no grip whatsoever. It is terrible stuff and I have absolutely no idea why they use it. It's bad enough having to brake on it when in a car (I usually see it's this stuff and slow down a bit or brake earlier/softer to avoid locking up) but once I was on my bike approaching a junction where the end of the road was covered in this suff, and when I braked, the back wheel instantly locked, I had no grip, and I just carried on across the junction to the other side. A car was coming from the right and if it had been about 2 seconds ahead of where it was I'd have been killed or at least ended up in hospital. I wasn't going fast at all approaching the junction but it was like hitting sheet ice when I tried to brake and I was very lucky not to get hurt. They should stop using this material at all costs.