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A tale of woe, albeit nowhere near as bad as it might have been.

Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I made such a monumental cock-up that I am still left here scratching my head and wondering what the f*ck happened. We went away for the weekend, all fine and dandy. It was a nice day yesterdy so we decded to pop down to the seaside. As you do. Drove up the mile and a half or so hotel drive, pulled out onto the road (a fairly narrow single carriageway) and about 200 yards later hit a Skoda Octavia head on. Why? because for some ungodly reason I was on the wrong side of the road.

Lets get the good bits out of the way first. The four people involved (2 in each car) got away with no more than a serious fright. Airbags, crumple zones and half decent reactions on both of our parts worked together to make sure we all walked away from it.

The bad bits. Both cars are almost certainly written off. I didn't examine the Skoda too closely, but the doors didn't line up properly and the front wheels were a lot further back than they should have been. My M5 lost the nearside front wheel, torn off completely and punched back into the passenger footwell which buckled. The wing on that side moved back past the door. Enormous amounts of debris came out from inside the car - I have no idea where it all came from. Obviously airbags went off so interior trim suffered in places. And the screen broke.

Why am I posting this? Well first of all because confession is good for the soul. I screwed up, I have no idea why (which terrifies me) and I could so easily have killed at least three innocent people.

I don't know if there's a learning point to share. Other than be careful because you never know when some ****** is going to come around the corner on the wrong side of the road.

But I can confirm that with a combined impact speed of probably 80mph, the M5 performed faultlessly. Assuming I get to keep my driving licence (and it seems probable at the moment that the Police won't push for anything too draconian as I have been very co-operative and have an excellent record thus far) then I'll be getting another E39 M5, no doubt.

Which brings me to my last point. Anyone in the UK selling a standard M5 with titanium trim and comms pack? Not worried about the age or mileage as long as it's a well loved and well maintained example... Feel free to PM me or e-mail simon at motorbikestoday dot com.

Flame suit staying in the deawer - frankly I deserve it.

YG

PS Something the policeman said rang true, even though it's hard to put into action. "Don't dwell on what could have happened. Focus on what did happen and thank God."
 

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hard to comment simon ,but glad everyones ok..wont ask about what happend as your so unsure yourself but massive shame
sad day another beast is dead ,they should have organ donor cards to help lighly damaged beasts to live..

all the best in hunting another.
 

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Yo Simon,

Well all is well that ends well mate !! Glad all involved are fine.

I am scratching my head, as I know you are an experienced driver both on 2 and 4 wheels. It was a simple, but unfortunate, oversight....

I know you do a lot of European travel in the M5, and therefore on the other side of the road. frequently. I must admit when I recently came back from Amsterdam, almost 2 days back in London, and I was on a side road, on the wrong side of the road, for a good 100 metres before thinking WTF ?

Good Luck
 
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simon as m5 above said the mind can do odd things
i live right next to a usa airbase in suffolk,we see alot of head on crashes as they just switch of sometimes
they have even been told no overtaking as alot are lhd tey pull out to look and splatt ..it happens
 

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Glad to hear nobody was seriously injured. At least you know the reason as it must be very hard to be in an accident and not know the cause of it.

I applaud you for such an honest post.
 

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I too applaud you for such an honest post. We all make mistakes. Its easy for anyone to say "I wouldnt do that" but the fact is we dont know. What happened to you was a simple mistake, thank god everyone was paying relative attention and you all were able to avoid any fatalities.

Best of luck in your hunt for a new Beast
 

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First, thank goodness everyone is okay!

Second, glad to see the cars protected thier occupants.

And third, maybe I lost something reading this in the U.S. but how do you drive on the wrong side of a single lane road? Dodge to the right instead the left? No flames here, just seeking an understanding.

Take care,

dj
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys,

djazz, it's a UK term I guess. A single carriageway is one road with 2 lanes going on opposite directions, divided by a white line, as opposed to a dual carriageway (like a freeway but smaller) or a single track road (just one lane with passing places if you're lucky or lots of reversing if you're not).

Cheers,

YG
 

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A tale of woe, albeit nowhere near as bad as it might have been.
Holy crap Simon, so sad to read this story, but I am glad that nobody got hurt. Shame about the M5, specially yours with such high mileage and still being loved, but it served its duty by protecting you and your passenger. And everybody walking out of it, is what matters.


I know you do a lot of European travel in the M5, and therefore on the other side of the road. frequently. I must admit when I recently came back from Amsterdam, almost 2 days back in London, and I was on a side road, on the wrong side of the road, for a good 100 metres before thinking WTF ?
Kumaran,

Reason why I am deeply thankful that you came to pick me up at Dover so I could follow you. You cannot imagine how much easier that made it for me after a stressy day at work and arriving late in the UK :)
 

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Blimey not good!
Just metal when it comes down to it, fortunately.
Must be frustrating as you've no explanation as to why you were on wrong side.
Glad everyone is ok.
 

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Glad to hear nobody was seriously injured. At least you know the reason as it must be very hard to be in an accident and not know the cause of it.

I applaud you for such an honest post.
+1

Sorry to hear this happened but glad to see everyone involved is all right. Good luck in finding the replacement car. There is absolutely no need to 'flame' you as I am sure what you are going through is pretty tough already.
 
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So sorry to hear this. We all make mistakes and it only takes a moments lack of concentration for the worst to happen.

The important thing is that you're all OK. I know we love our cars but they are replaceable.
 

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A tale of woe, albeit nowhere near as bad as it might have been.

Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I made such a monumental cock-up that I am still left here scratching my head and wondering what the f*ck happened. We went away for the weekend, all fine and dandy. It was a nice day yesterdy so we decded to pop down to the seaside. As you do. Drove up the mile and a half or so hotel drive, pulled out onto the road (a fairly narrow single carriageway) and about 200 yards later hit a Skoda Octavia head on. Why? because for some ungodly reason I was on the wrong side of the road.

Lets get the good bits out of the way first. The four people involved (2 in each car) got away with no more than a serious fright. Airbags, crumple zones and half decent reactions on both of our parts worked together to make sure we all walked away from it.

The bad bits. Both cars are almost certainly written off. I didn't examine the Skoda too closely, but the doors didn't line up properly and the front wheels were a lot further back than they should have been. My M5 lost the nearside front wheel, torn off completely and punched back into the passenger footwell which buckled. The wing on that side moved back past the door. Enormous amounts of debris came out from inside the car - I have no idea where it all came from. Obviously airbags went off so interior trim suffered in places. And the screen broke.

Why am I posting this? Well first of all because confession is good for the soul. I screwed up, I have no idea why (which terrifies me) and I could so easily have killed at least three innocent people.

I don't know if there's a learning point to share. Other than be careful because you never know when some ****** is going to come around the corner on the wrong side of the road.

But I can confirm that with a combined impact speed of probably 80mph, the M5 performed faultlessly. Assuming I get to keep my driving licence (and it seems probable at the moment that the Police won't push for anything too draconian as I have been very co-operative and have an excellent record thus far) then I'll be getting another E39 M5, no doubt.

Which brings me to my last point. Anyone in the UK selling a standard M5 with titanium trim and comms pack? Not worried about the age or mileage as long as it's a well loved and well maintained example... Feel free to PM me or e-mail simon at motorbikestoday dot com.

Flame suit staying in the deawer - frankly I deserve it.

YG

PS Something the policeman said rang true, even though it's hard to put into action. "Don't dwell on what could have happened. Focus on what did happen and thank God."
Simon,
So sorry to hear of your misfortunate accident....but glad everyone is ok!
It can happen so very easily!
 
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Wow, bollocks indeed.


Firstly, I am pleased that all are ok; that's the main thing. Secondly, I can understand your confusion in what went wrong. I gather from your postings that you are a well experienced, very competent driver who thinks about what they are doing - that must make what has happened all the more frightening. I can only add to the consensus that the mind can do funny things at the most inappropriate times; can you rule out tiredness / lack of food / emotional trauma / recent european driving / anything else that may have affected your mind from the equation?


On the subject of sharing confessions being good for the soul, at about 2am a few nights ago I had decided to pull off the motorway for a sleep mid journey. I exited a roundabout and a few hundred yards later pulled in behind a parked HGV. I wasn't happy about the safety of my position so I did a u-turn and headed back to the roundabout to look for a better resting place. When I got to the roundabout I realised that I was on a two lane, one way road and had potentially u-turned into oncoming traffic. That is my biggest cock up for a long, long time and I am still a bit horrified. Thank God nothing came the other way; I went back to have another look and I can see why I made the mistake, but it is still a bit disconcerting.


It is a blessing that everybody has escaped from your accident relatively unhurt; I suppose the learning point is that even the most thoughtful and competent drivers can make mistakes - please try to not be too hard on yourself as it happens to the best of us.
 
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Very glad to hear you're all fine, and that the beast did it's job and protected you. I'm sure you're going to find a nice new beast soon:wroom:
 
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Thanks guys,

djazz, it's a UK term I guess. A single carriageway is one road with 2 lanes going on opposite directions, divided by a white line, as opposed to a dual carriageway (like a freeway but smaller) or a single track road (just one lane with passing places if you're lucky or lots of reversing if you're not).

Cheers,

YG
Understood. Hope the aches and pains keep to a minimum.

dj
 

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I was really hoping that at the end of the post you were going to say "luckily this was in my second car, and not the M5". But cars are replaceable, lives aren't. We're all just happy that the four of you walked away ok.
 
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Well...as they say, **** happens. Needless to say what matters is that nobody was seriously injured.

I have driven in New Zealand a couple times, opposite of what I am used to here in the U.S., and will readily admit that I nearly had myself t-boned by a semi truck my first time out on the road. Even after a week of getting used to it I would make the occasional mistake, luckily without consequence.

Hope everything works out for you from here on....

cheers
 
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