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    PSM

    I got a little PSM time this morning.

    I was going 260 km/h when someone pulled out right in front of me - not 100 metres in front but right in front. He was probably going 120 km/h. Cars on the right, Armco on the left.

    Flashed and ABS'ed to about 230 km/h. Mentally started calculating the damage and my chances of survival. I figured I'd survive the initial impact and if the airbag didn't go off and I kept control of the car then I'd be ok.

    He must have seen the light because he then started to move back to the right. Before I knew if there would be room I committed to go to the left. A dangerous decision as it would clearly have been better to head-on into him than sideswipe and likely loose control into the Armco and/or the other cars.

    When I arrived there was just enough room between the Armco and him and I squeezed through.

    This left me with ABS braking at 230 km/h with one set of wheels in a drainage ditch with wet mud and grass growing in it. As soon as I was past him the car went sideways.

    Opposite lock. Got off the brakes and back on the power. PSM kicked in. Next instant I was going down the highway at 260 km/h as if nothing had ever happened.

    When I stopped for gas I had to pull old grass cuttings and leaves that had been trimmed from the trees out of my left wheels.

    One of the problems with PSM is you never get to find out if you had reacted correctly to a major situation. You are always left wondering. But no way I would want to find out. I am a real believer in Porsche's PSM system as on the Turbo!

    That's the closest I've come to crashing in 54,000 km.

    I wonder what the people who saw all of this thought??

    S.

    Re: PSM

    In reply to:
    I wonder what the people who saw all of this thought??



    Most of the other drivers were probably busier with their mobile-phone, kids, nose, etc than with the traffic...

    Anyway, glad to know you (and PSM) managed the situation and got out of it injured.

    Greetings,
    --Pierre

    Re: PSM

    I am glad to see you made it out ok! What did the other driver of the car that cut in front of you do or say when you passed him the way you did ?

    Re: PSM

    Nothing that I noticed as I pased ... but then the speed difference was so great and I was a little busy at the time. By the time it was all over and I looked back in my mirror he was already a speck.

    But certainly he knew he screwed up. He obviously realised that very quickly else he would never have moved back so fast. I had initially thought that there would not be enough time for him to move. When you flash people they usually need to sit and think for a while. He wasn't able to move over very quickly but he started to move instantly. It was almost as if he had checked his mirrors and seen me but not realised my speed until I flashed him. That would be my guess.

    And I would guess that from seeing my slide he would have realised how close he came to being a space shot. I really was fully prepared to hit him hard. Guess he'll check his mirrors next time.

    Whether he also thought I was some crazy loon going to fast I have no clue. Probably. In retrospect, even I think it was a moment's lapse of judgment to be passing that group of cars so fast. If I had been paying better attention I would have seen the risk and slowed. It had been early Sunday morning with very little traffic until then. Usually I'm very good at concentrating 110% when driving that speed but I think I just let my guard down for a moment without realising it. An important lesson me thinks.

    S.

    Re: PSM

    FixedWing, I am really happy to hear you are alright. I, like yourself learned the hard way. I never pass anyone at those speeds. Just think of the dumbest person you ever went to school with, then visualize that could be the person you are passing.

    Re: PSM

    Humm CJ, it isn't that I would never pass anyone at those speeds but rather that I shouldn't have passed that group at that speed.

    There were about four or five cars tightly packed and moving quite slowly and traffic in the slow lane. That's usually a risky recepie and I would normally slow to about 230 km/h for a group like that. At that speed I can slow fast enough if one of them pulls out.

    By European standards, Belgium is pretty bad for this sort of thing.

    S.

    Re: PSM

    Experience from the Autobahn:

    If there is one car or truck on the right, I even pass it with 300 kph.
    If there are two cars on the right, I slow down...especially when I approach them.
    If there are more than two cars on the right, I slow down substantially because one of there guys surely will go to the left.
    If there are two or more trucks on the right, I slow down immediately too because one of the trucks will surely go to the left to pass the others.

    With experienced drivers, this is actually the most common accident when other people are to blame. But this doesn't help you much if you're dead or seriously wounded.

    You've been lucky, Stephen and yes, the PSM might have saved your life. Take it as a lecture of life and be careful.

    The wise sage.

    How can you be such a wise sage Christian?

    My normal practice is very similar to yours. I don't mind passing single cars very quickly but when it becomes multiple cars and they are all bunched up, or worse, there are also multiple cars bunched up on the inside lane, I start slowing down.

    The one exception is that I'm less worried about trucks. They tend to be much better about using their mirrors and indicating. More so, they cannot change lanes as quickly as can cars. I'm especially cautious of bikes as they have lousy mirrors, always think they're the fastest on the road and most importantly, can change direction very quickly.

    It is interesting that you say this is the most common accident involving other cars for experienced drivers. I believe it.

    In the end, during a moment's laps of concentration I broke my own rules and almost paid dearly for it.

    S.

    Re: PSM

    Your story scares the bejesus out of me and only underscores my desire to speed at the track. I agree with the rules of thumb you employ. Yet it must be more than a little scary to contemplate how badly things can go wrong when some ying yang pulls out the way they did. I am very happy you made it Stephen...



    Brooks

    Re: The wise sage.

    In reply to:
    How can you be such a wise sage Christian?




    I forgot to add some wisedom:
    ALWAYS drive with your lights on when driving fast.
    And the Turbo with it's bi-xenon lights has a very nice "feature" too. If you flash the light just for a fraction of a second, it looks like a camera flash coming out of the bi-xenon lights.
    Looks very impressive to the car in front of you and they usually turn to the right immediately. I learned that from CR, didn't know it before.

    Re: Well said Chris....(nt)

    ..

     
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