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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving on freeway at 105 KM in right lane.
There was pickup truck just going by me in the left lane,
and to my right, was a lane with a number car slowing to
the exit on an off ramp.
In front me about twenty car length ahead was a Dodge van
and ahead that was a gravel trunk.
Suddenly the van swerved and almost flip over to get into
the left lane. I thought he had blown a tire or something.
Then I saw the reason, the gravel truck’s tailgate had opened
dumping a pile of gravel in my lane
No time to slowdown and I did not want to bury the car nose
in the gravel, so I floored accelerator and when over the gravel
like the old “Dukes of Hazzard” TV show.
It destroyed my Volt Screen and did $700 Canadian lower bumper damage
Nothing else was damaged, just rocks and gravel hung up all over the under
side of my car

Pictures attached

The Volt Screen saved me from the all of the expensive radiator damage
that would have happened without the screen
 

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Glad you weren't hurt. Radiator damage would have been $1200. I made the first Voltscreen from scrap "birdseye" mesh used for masonry work. Been on the car since 2011. But you can buy a premade Voltscreen for $35 from one of the other Volt members. Well worth it as your experience shows.
 

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And then the curmudgeon in me logs on and writes:
So you were not only unable to react in time to the van avoiding the obstacle in front of it, you were unable to react in time to the obstacle ahead of the van.
From where I sit, and based solely on the information presented in post #1, it sounds to me like tailgating.
I have my flame proof suit on, so you may proceed to reply.
 

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2013 Volt - Silver Topaz
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And then the curmudgeon in me logs on and writes:
So you were not only unable to react in time to the van avoiding the obstacle in front of it, you were unable to react in time to the obstacle ahead of the van.
From where I sit, and based solely on the information presented in post #1, it sounds to me like tailgating.
I have my flame proof suit on, so you may proceed to reply.
That’s harsh. When driving on the freeway there is no way to drive far enough back from vehicles ahead to be able to immediately avoid an object suddenly dumped in the road ahead. With traffic to the left and right and something suddenly dumped in your lane you have few choices other than what the OP had, try to brake hard and slow the impact (and risk getting rear ended) or do the best you can going over the object. Tailgating means you are too close to slow down if the vehicle ahead abruptly slows down or stops, it is nearly impossible to follow far enough back to avoid an object suddenly dropped from said vehicle. For one other drivers would constantly fill such a large gap and two, why would you drive in such a manner of anticipating parts falling off of every vehicle ahead? I think the OP did an outstanding job of minimizing the damage given this rare but dangerous situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That’s harsh. When driving on the freeway there is no way to drive far enough back from vehicles ahead to be able to immediately avoid an object suddenly dumped in the road ahead. With traffic to the left and right and something suddenly dumped in your lane you have few choices other than what the OP had, try to brake hard and slow the impact (and risk getting rear ended) or do the best you can going over the object. Tailgating means you are too close to slow down if the vehicle ahead abruptly slows down or stops, it is nearly impossible to follow far enough back to avoid an object suddenly dropped from said vehicle. For one other drivers would constantly fill such a large gap and two, why would you drive in such a manner of anticipating parts falling off of every vehicle ahead? I think the OP did an outstanding job of minimizing the damage given this rare but dangerous situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for backing me up and understanding the situation, I had 18 wheeler about four Volt length behind me. If I had jammed the brakes the truck behind me would have run me over.
I only in the right lane because of our move right law which is heavily enforced. Speeding
is basically not enforced, unless you are going faster than the traffic flow.
I was at 105KM in 100KM zone with a passing lane usually running its 120KM to 140KM.
Our freeways were build in the 1960 with very few improvement over the years for ten times the increase population, as a number of governments want you to ride rapid transit.
Myself for computer business owner that has to visit clients it does not work
So you get to fly down freeway in bumper to bumper traffic even like this at 8 PM
at night or drive the road at other times doing 30 KM due to an accident
 

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That’s harsh. When driving on the freeway there is no way to drive far enough back from vehicles ahead to be able to immediately avoid an object suddenly dumped in the road ahead. With traffic to the left and right and something suddenly dumped in your lane you have few choices other than what the OP had, try to brake hard and slow the impact (and risk getting rear ended) or do the best you can going over the object. Tailgating means you are too close to slow down if the vehicle ahead abruptly slows down or stops, it is nearly impossible to follow far enough back to avoid an object suddenly dropped from said vehicle. For one other drivers would constantly fill such a large gap and two, why would you drive in such a manner of anticipating parts falling off of every vehicle ahead? I think the OP did an outstanding job of minimizing the damage given this rare but dangerous situation.
As a regional safety manager for a large trucking company, I've heard this reasoning hundreds of times. You can always drive in a matter to save your life, others lives, and property damage.
That said, the op did a very good job at not making the situation worse. Many things could have been done to avoid the situation, but as most folks never get proper training, expect the worst, hope for the best. :D
 

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Was your dash cam able to identify that dump truck? Very likely that company's insurance would cover the cost of your repairs and roadway cleanup costs. The driver would/should be charged with unsecured load. There is likely a police report about this incident, hopefully identifying at fault party. Did you do a "Yee Hahh!" as you flew over the gravel pile?
 

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As a regional safety manager for a large trucking company, I've heard this reasoning hundreds of times. You can always drive in a matter to save your life, others lives, and property damage.
That said, the op did a very good job at not making the situation worse. Many things could have been done to avoid the situation, but as most folks never get proper training, expect the worst, hope for the best. :D
Okay, I'm curious. The OP described the situation in great detail. Assuming the report is correct, how could the OP have driven in such a way as to wholly avoid this situation? How much distance do you leave between your vehicle and the next vehicle when you drive? What do you do when other drivers just fill that space? What do you do if a vehicle, or for that matter a truck, follows you closely?
 

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All bets are off, when the lane ahead is suddenly and unexpectedly blocked. No one following at a safe distance is prepared for this event.

I would compare it to being in a line of cars driving at highway speed when suddenly the car ahead tail-ends the car in front. The car ahead stops incredibly quickly, and it will come as quite a surprise to the driver behind, even if following at a safe distance. I know, it happened to me, and I was just barely able to swerve around the car immediately ahead before spinning on the shoulder.

Another similar scenario is following a vehicle that does a snap lane change in front of you, revealing a second vehicle stopped in the driven lane ahead. No way to be prepared for that, just hope to swerve and avoid a hard collision.
 

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The van driver was able to avoid the debris. Better reaction times? More attentive? More distance / time to react between the dumped load and the van? The van handles better?
'nuff said.
 

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The van driver was able to avoid the debris. Better reaction times? More attentive? More distance / time to react between the dumped load and the van? The van handles better?
'nuff said.
You insist on blaming the OP. There was no vehicle in the left lane beside the van. The OP already stated there was a truck passing him in the left lane. I guess you are such an awesome driver you would have been able to avoid the problem, good for you. I think @myvolt2013 did as best he could with the situation he faced, and he was lucky to have the screen to save his radiator.
 

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I feel some of your pain. Yesterday, I was following an older Cadillac Escalade with something hanging down from the end of the exhaust pipe. It turned out to be a custom exhaust tip that suddenly broke loose and came sliding down the highway towards me in my lane, Thankfully, I was in the left lane and was able to get over far enough in the emergency lane to avoid the object. If would have hit it, I would have had bumper and grill damage for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You insist on blaming the OP. There was no vehicle in the left lane beside the van. The OP already stated there was a truck passing him in the left lane. I guess you are such an awesome driver you would have been able to avoid the problem, good for you. I think @myvolt2013 did as best he could with the situation he faced, and he was lucky to have the screen to save his radiator.
Thanks very much for backing me up. See that Dodge Caravan which is no sports car,
went almost side ways I thought it was going to flip over or hit the concrete center divider. I sure the driver of the van needed change his shorts afterwards. I heard the truck beside me ABS brakes come on.
Let you know bit of my history, I drove sport cars on a track, took a number high speed avoidance
courses and did lot aerobatics flying in 1970s. I guess my training cut in “put your eyes on where
you want the car to go…..and put the pedal to the metal”
 

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The statements, just don't add up to me.
I was driving on freeway at 105 KM in right lane.
There was pickup truck just going by me in the left lane,
and to my right, was a lane with a number car slowing to
the exit on an off ramp.
In front me about twenty car length ahead was a Dodge van
and ahead that was a gravel trunk.
Suddenly the van swerved and almost flip over to get into
the left lane. I thought he had blown a tire or something.
Then I saw the reason, the gravel truck’s tailgate had opened
dumping a pile of gravel in my lane
No time to slowdown and I did not want to bury the car nose
in the gravel, so I floored accelerator and when over the gravel
like the old “Dukes of Hazzard” TV show.
The Volt is just a shade under 5 meters long. "...about twenty car length ahead..." is about 100 meters. At 105 km/h that's a very respectable following distance of right around 3.6 seconds.
The van swerves. You have 3 1/2 seconds to identify the rubble in the lane as a hazard, plan what actions you can take to avoid, or mitigate the risk of that hazard, decide which of those plans you'll use, and then execute that plan. You're moving forward.
Can you move left? Not yet, there's a pickup to your left passing (going faster) than you. Slowing will get that truck past even sooner and then you can move left to duck in behind.
Can you go right? There's slower traffic on your right taking the exit. Slowing will get you moving closer to their speed and better able to squeeze over, if not entirely into that exit line, likely most of the way over and clearer of the gravel.
Can you slow and remain in the lane? Likely. The Volt has a reported stopping distance from 60 mph (96 kph, pretty close to the claimed 105 travel speed) of under 40 meters.
You have 60 meters, more than 2 seconds, to delay your braking reaction and you and can still stop.

Oh, wait. This tidbit wasn't important enough for post #1, but as an afterthought in post #7, there is now a truck 4 lengths, (20 meters) behind you?

Let you know bit of my history, I drove sport cars on a track, took a number high speed avoidance courses ...
and you missed the course on identifying escape routes? In the evasive lane change maneuvers, the ones where the instructor calls out for you to go left or right, it's NEVER ok to continue straight.
Look, I'm sorry that you had a bad day, and I'm grateful it wasn't me that had to make a decision under those circumstances, but speeding up to hit the gravel pile even harder is not the decision I would have made.
I still think you made a poor reaction decision.
 

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Okay, I'm curious. The OP described the situation in great detail. Assuming the report is correct, how could the OP have driven in such a way as to wholly avoid this situation? How much distance do you leave between your vehicle and the next vehicle when you drive? What do you do when other drivers just fill that space? What do you do if a vehicle, or for that matter a truck, follows you closely?
1. Follow no closer than 4 seconds (in a car). Increase distance if being tailgated.
2. Look ahead, minimum 15 seconds.
3. Look to the sides and back too, checking mirrors every 5-8 seconds.
4. Always have an escape route.
Usually, on a large multilane road maintaining following distance is said to be difficult, Its not, just slow down 1-2mph. That slowing will open the gap in front of you quickly and encourage traffic behind to pass. Slowing slightly will reduce your stress too while only costing you a minute or two in travel time. 60mph to 58pmh is only 2 seconds a mile, you'd have to travel 30 miles to "lose" one minute.

I could go on for hours, but this isn't a safe driving forums. I think the OP did the best he could with his skills and training, I know truckers who would have flipped the truck while panicking. I'm glad the Volt lives on and the OP wasn't hurt.
 

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Wow... So... Let's not feed the trolls, I mean nuts...

I also purchased the volt screen, best accessory on the market IMHO. The OP made the smart move avoiding possible loss of control...No second guessing here.

Volt screen FTW.
 

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I was driving on freeway at 105 KM in right lane.
There was pickup truck just going by me in the left lane,
and to my right, was a lane with a number car slowing to
the exit on an off ramp.
In front me about twenty car length ahead was a Dodge van
and ahead that was a gravel trunk.
Suddenly the van swerved and almost flip over to get into
the left lane. I thought he had blown a tire or something.
Then I saw the reason, the gravel truck’s tailgate had opened
dumping a pile of gravel in my lane
No time to slowdown and I did not want to bury the car nose
in the gravel, so I floored accelerator and when over the gravel
like the old “Dukes of Hazzard” TV show.
It destroyed my Volt Screen and did $700 Canadian lower bumper damage
Nothing else was damaged, just rocks and gravel hung up all over the under
side of my car

Pictures attached

The Volt Screen saved me from the all of the expensive radiator damage
that would have happened without the screen
Wow... So... Let's not feed the trolls, I mean nuts...

I also purchased the volt screen, best accessory on the market IMHO. The OP made the smart move avoiding possible loss of control...No second guessing here.

Volt screen FTW.
Where do I find the Volt Screen? I'd like to buy one!!
 

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Where do I find the Volt Screen? I'd like to buy one!!
 
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