It is interesting that some roads seem to attract all the bad drivers at once. You can drive miles and miles of motorway or cruise around town only occasionally encountering a bad driver, but then suddenly find yourself on a stretch of road where you feel like you’re fighting for your life with every passing mile.

The A171 between Middlesbrough and Whitby is such a road.

I often use Whitby as a base for exploring the North Yorkshire Moors, but to get there from my house requires driving that stretch of the A171. After today, I’m nearly ready to give up on it, though. It wasn’t even terribly busy at 10:30am, but I was tailgated numerous times, subjected to a couple of reckless 90mph+ overtakes, and nearly hit by someone attempting to cut me off in a roundabout just to get in front.


All this paled in comparison to the lunatic in a Ford Kuga who suddenly decided he didn’t want me to pass him going up Birk Brow, and proceeded to nearly roll his vehicle trying to get around me in the bend pictured above using the inside lane. Little wonder they’ve got a couple of the signs pictured below posted along the route.


This isn’t a one-time occurrence, either. It seems to be the case every time I travel the A171. So what is it that makes people drive like maniacs along a particular stretch of road? The A171 is certainly not a boring road – it has good scenery and enough sweeping curves to make it an involving and enjoyable drive. Hit it on a good day, and you’ll find most cars happily cruising along at the speed limit. What possible reason could people have to drive so recklessly all the time, then? Surely no one can be in a hurry to get to a tourist town like Whitby on a Saturday.

Any ideas?

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