A Fighter Pilot’s Guide to Surviving on the Roads

Eurofighter up close banking

I had a learner driver return for lessons this week, following a 6 week break after an accident on her moped. Having taken her out for her first 2 driving lessons, I wasn't totally surprised. She'd told me about having been caught speeding at 70mph in a 30mph limit! Not sure this was an accurate statement, but further conversations with her during her driving lesson revealed quite an anxious young lady with very little understanding of how to ride a moped safely. In fact, on her 2nd lesson, I commented that it was good she was having driving lessons with me as I would turn her into a better moped rider!

However, a week later, having cancelled her driving lessons due to being asked to do extra hours at the care home where she worked, (70hrs for that week in fact!), she rang to cancel further as she'd had a collision with a transit van on her moped!  The collision took place at a junction in a rural village, quite busy because of its location and some businesses there. The junction, which has poor vision right and left, is a staggared cross-roads, left into right from this road. My pupil was proceeding ahead, into the staggared junction. 

She told me she was afraid to go too far forward because it's so difficult to see there, but of course she should have moved herself a bit further forward (I know this junction very well). She looked right, then left, then back to the right before pulling out...straight into the path of a transit van! Her explanation of the collision was very confused, but showing me the location on Google maps helped her to explain. Clearly she failed to see the approaching van before she pulled out. Yes, it is difficult to see there, but you should see a Ford transit!

So why did she fail to see it?  What do you think?  Was she over-tired so not thinking? 

Sorry mate, I didn't see you   

This is a very interesting article, written by an RAF fighter pilot (re-titled by me for our purposes), which might help to explain what happened. I am sure you will find this a fascinating read, and may help you to come to a conclusion as to what might have happened to cause my pupil not to see that transit van.

And her explanation as to why she didn't see the van?  No prizes for guessing .........he must have been going really fast!

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