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Worrying incident on M6

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Worrying incident on M6  Empty Worrying incident on M6

Post by steamdrivenandy on Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:40 pm

We were heading north on the M6 just south of Knutsford this morning, when there was a kerfuffle amongst the traffic about four vehicles in front of us. We were in Lane 2 and just saw lots of brake lights come on and a white vehicle swerve into Lane 1. HGV's in Lane 1 scrambled to move into Lane 2 and for a few seconds it was mayhem. Then as we got nearer the white vehicle in Lane 1 the stench of burning rubber hit the nostrils. It was an old motorhome (not A/S) and the rear offside tyre had shredded, indeed it was running on the rim, though just being brought to a halt by the barrier. We'd not long passed a safety zone layby and the next was a long way up the road.
Of course it was all over in a flash but I formed the distinct impression that there were people sitting on sideways benches inside. I didn't have time to ID the brand or year of van, though it was at least 7m and I'd say early 2000's.
Given the pandemonium around it when it happened you do wonder how something ploughing into it can be avoided in the first few minutes before Lane 1 can be closed off. With no hard shoulder, a very, very scary situation.
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Post by harrysp on Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:12 pm

Thankfully no one was injured. We commented, when on that bit of the newly ‘smart’ M6 last week, that the refuges are a mile apart. The incident you witnessed makes me think they should be much more frequent. As you say, very scary.

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:59 pm

The thing is, we don't know if there were any injuries. We were past in a flash and left it all behind. Lane 1 HGV's were pulling out to get round the motorhome, but they in turn risked being shunted from behind. I doubt any driver would be brave or foolhardy enough to volunteer to act as back stop to the stricken van. The authorities say the road is monitored by CCTV, but how long does it take to spot an incident like that and how long to clear Lane 1 leading up to the stranded vehicle? There could be an awful lot of vehicles closing in at 60 to 70mph, not to mention the risk of Lane 1 vehicles having to move out into Lane 2.
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Post by Milvus on Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:38 am

steamdrivenandy wrote:The thing is, we don't know if there were any injuries.......

A very unpleasant driving experience, glad your okay. Reading the article, thankfully  it appears no one was injured.

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:56 am

That pic suggests the van made it to a layby. It was at least half a mile from where we passed the van as it pulled over. It was running on a rear offside rim then, with lots of smoke coming from the remains of the tyre. 
Two thoughts. If the pic is of the same van, how come the front is burning but the rear, where the burst tyre was, is still not alight. Maybe it's a library pic.
From the state of the tyre when we passed it must've been travelling at near 70mph in Lane 2 for a goodly distance whilst deflated or deflating. Why wasn't the driver in Lane 1 and why didn't they use the layby we'd just passed?
If they did travel half a mile on a rim to the refuge I can understand how it might catch fire. Rock and hard place - go to refuge and risk fire/extensive damage, or stay put and risk being slammed into by an HGV.
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Post by Mike187 on Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:43 pm

I certainly dislike Smart Motorways which seem inherently dangerous when a incident happens. 

We had a horrendous drive yesterday from near Poole to near Tamworth, took 8 hours including a 1 hour stop for lunch. There were two accidents first on the A34 no hard shoulder and the police had a hard job getting through the tailed back traffic. Seconded was on M40, long tail back but easy access for emergency vehicles along the hard shoulder. Luckily there didn't seem to be any major injuries.

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Post by Relaxez-Vous on Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:09 pm

A while back we had a NS/R tyre blow out and tyre shredding at 60mph plus whilst travelling on the Tadcaster by-pass. The Ford manual had 60 psi recommended for the rear tyres, yet 60 psi is the maximum for all rubber valves that had been fitted by Ford. The tyre valve had blown out and the tyre rapidly deflated. Subsequently we had metal sleeved valves fitted by Kwik-Fit which Ford should have fitted from new.

We were able to pull off the road and stop on the grass verge, just, and await the arrival of the AA who recovered the vehicle to a safer place to change the wheel. Even waiting wasn't pleasant, vehicles drove past at 70mph inches from our parked van, whilst we waited on the grass upstream of the traffic flow.
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