Thursday 5 September 2013

Sheppey crossing

At the end of July, I went over the Sheppey Crossing for an enjoyable days caching on the Isle of Sheppey. I've never been there before, and it is a great place to visit.

Today, there was a huge crash on the Crossing (which is a big flyover bridge).  130 vehicles involved. It happened in thick fog, on a road with a limit of 70 mph.

I can imagine what happened. People drive *far* too close to the car in front, and stand no chance of stopping if the car in front stops suddenly. Some people stopped in time, and were then hit by the car behind, pushing them into the car in front.

They drive too close in good visibility; when there's thick fog, they're playing Russian Roulette. I really hate it when someone like that gets up my rear.

So what's to be done? I don't think new laws will help - there's already laws against dangerous driving. No, what I think will make our motorways and other high speed roads safer, is self-driving cars.

A self-driving car would, obviously, have some way to see what's happening in front. Radar, maybe, or vision, or both. And it simply would not drive too close to the car in front. So if the car in front does suddenly stop, your car'll be able to slow down and stop in plenty of time. Maybe even giving enough time for the idiot non-self-driving car behind to be able to stop.

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