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Hail and Horns

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caldrail

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There's nothing like lazing in a hot bath. Now that I'm on metered water it's become a luxury, yet the pleasure of lying in hot water and just relaxing for an hour is great. So last night I followed the usual ritual and slid into the water with a satisified sigh.

 

Outside all was not well. The weather reports had warned of showers but what followed sounded like I was under siege. The heavens opened and down came hail, rattling and pinging on the roofs arund the bathroom like incessant arrow fire. I knew the house was a sturdy shelter against ice falling from the sky, but the sound echoes oddly and half the time it sounds like it's coming through the roof and bouncing around indoors.

 

That was pretty savage for a british hailstorm. Mostly we get short spurts, indifferent little pellets that sting annoyingly when they find their target. Most often it's mixed with rain and never lasts long. Yesterdays assault went for ten minutes. Good grief.!

 

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I've just watched the video for that alarming crash by Allan McNish at the Le Mans 24Hr. For those who haven't seen it, McNish clips another car and slides off the track and across the gravel trap, hitting the guard barrier with such force the car lifts into the air spinning as it dismantles itself.

 

Such things can happen in motor races. It only takes a little nudge to spoil a cars balance. At high speed, reacting and coping with sudden unexpected forces tests the best racing driver and even they often cannot react quick enough.

 

Walking back from Commonhead a few days ago I heard a horn sounding on the dual carriageway in the distance behind me. Probably someone moved across without careful observation. Actually that would have been much the same cause as the Le mans crash although in this case no more than tempers were frayed.

 

Then a bunch of cars passed me. The dual carriageway is speed restricted these days but no-one seems to have told the driver of a silver Ford Focus. He was determined to push through the knot of cars come what may. Again he blasted his horn, squeezing between vehcles moving at the speed limit with very little margin for error.

 

Now I do admit I've driven cars speedily in my younger days, but never like that! If the road is blocked, it's blocked. Actually it does remind me of one time when I drove into Wales for a day out in the Black Hills. On a nearly empty dual carriageway I overtook a slower car properly and and at legal speed. A BMW behind me decided he wanted to get by. With a low sun blinding my mirrors I had to be a little patient before pulling back into the slow lane - didn't want to cause an accident - but the BMW pushed past me on the right virtually scraping the central barrier.

 

Bearing in mind what I saw in that visddeo, it's a bit thought provoking how a little impatience can create dangerous situations.

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Reminds me of a similar situation a few years back when we travelling south on the A1. We were observing the speed limit as the roads clogged up with the evening rush hour in the outside lane properly overtaking as black 4 by 4 came hammering up behind us at least 20 miles above the speed limit pushing to get past when we had nowhere to move back in safely.

 

As soon as it was safe we did move back in and the 4 by 4 scrapped past accelerating as it went. 5 miles further down the road we actually passed it or rather what was left of it as a mangled heap in the middle of the central reservation crash barriers. Obviously he had tried it again when there was even less room - made us think but the driver and his passengers were past that stage according to the news reports that night.

 

Call it 'evolution in action' or a 'prime candidate for the Darwin Award' if you wish but just hope they don't take anyone else with them when they go :hammer:

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Unforunately the laws of physics don't always work that way. In some circumstances the vehicle with a higher energy state suffers less in collisions - though it depends what they collide with. I'm thinking of a case where two porsche 911's were racing on a country lane (the drivers both said they weren't but didn't convince anyone) and smashed into an oncoming car. The innocent victim was killed outright and the two porsches, whilst written off, protected their occupants.

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