Victim blaming?

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mjr
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby mjr » 30 Dec 2016, 12:53am

irc wrote:
mjr wrote: the best available research suggests that you are more likely to be a casualty if you follow that advice.


Interesting. Any link?

It's not one neat package. It's titbits like the ones Vorpal linked and things like http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/12855/ and some of Ian Walker's research and so on.

mjr wrote:Also assuming this is true can you suggest a mechanism why. I'd suggest that like helmets any effect is so small that it is very hard to measure. Cyclist accidents are rare anyway. So the subset where hi-viz might make a difference is a fraction of an already small number. Then there are many other factors to control for.

I agree it's very hard to measure. My suspicion is that light-coloured clothing is more likely to be camouflage especially out here in rural areas where yellows are common, while motorists classify hi-vis users as "no action required at this time" when they first see them and "already dealt with that" thereafter, so fail to react at the appropriate time.
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pwa » 30 Dec 2016, 9:14am

mjr wrote:
irc wrote:
mjr wrote: the best available research suggests that you are more likely to be a casualty if you follow that advice.


Interesting. Any link?

It's not one neat package. It's titbits like the ones Vorpal linked and things like http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/12855/ and some of Ian Walker's research and so on.

mjr wrote:Also assuming this is true can you suggest a mechanism why. I'd suggest that like helmets any effect is so small that it is very hard to measure. Cyclist accidents are rare anyway. So the subset where hi-viz might make a difference is a fraction of an already small number. Then there are many other factors to control for.

I agree it's very hard to measure. My suspicion is that light-coloured clothing is more likely to be camouflage especially out here in rural areas where yellows are common, while motorists classify hi-vis users as "no action required at this time" when they first see them and "already dealt with that" thereafter, so fail to react at the appropriate time.


Mjr. I respect your willingness to think about what colours work in different circumstances, but on the country lanes around here the most noticeable colour, by a long way, is yellow. It really stands out. Just before Christmas I was driving down to Cowbridge to buy a few things and as I rounded a corner I saw a cyclist wearing a bright yellow jacket. Then I saw his three companions wearing black. He really stood out, whilst they blended in with the hedge.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby AlaninWales » 30 Dec 2016, 9:41am

pwa wrote:
mjr wrote:
irc wrote:
Interesting. Any link?

It's not one neat package. It's titbits like the ones Vorpal linked and things like http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/12855/ and some of Ian Walker's research and so on.

mjr wrote:Also assuming this is true can you suggest a mechanism why. I'd suggest that like helmets any effect is so small that it is very hard to measure. Cyclist accidents are rare anyway. So the subset where hi-viz might make a difference is a fraction of an already small number. Then there are many other factors to control for.

I agree it's very hard to measure. My suspicion is that light-coloured clothing is more likely to be camouflage especially out here in rural areas where yellows are common, while motorists classify hi-vis users as "no action required at this time" when they first see them and "already dealt with that" thereafter, so fail to react at the appropriate time.


Mjr. I respect your willingness to think about what colours work in different circumstances, but on the country lanes around here the most noticeable colour, by a long way, is yellow. It really stands out. Just before Christmas I was driving down to Cowbridge to buy a few things and as I rounded a corner I saw a cyclist wearing a bright yellow jacket. Then I saw his three companions wearing black. He really stood out, whilst they blended in with the hedge.

Last spring I was driving up out of Aberearon, the hedges on the left were all in their spring leaf. The two cyclists climbing ahead of me were only seen at the last safe moment, because their yellow 'hi-viz' was camouflaged against the similar colour of the leaves.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pwa » 30 Dec 2016, 9:49am

AlaninWales wrote:
pwa wrote:
mjr wrote:It's not one neat package. It's titbits like the ones Vorpal linked and things like http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/12855/ and some of Ian Walker's research and so on.


I agree it's very hard to measure. My suspicion is that light-coloured clothing is more likely to be camouflage especially out here in rural areas where yellows are common, while motorists classify hi-vis users as "no action required at this time" when they first see them and "already dealt with that" thereafter, so fail to react at the appropriate time.


Mjr. I respect your willingness to think about what colours work in different circumstances, but on the country lanes around here the most noticeable colour, by a long way, is yellow. It really stands out. Just before Christmas I was driving down to Cowbridge to buy a few things and as I rounded a corner I saw a cyclist wearing a bright yellow jacket. Then I saw his three companions wearing black. He really stood out, whilst they blended in with the hedge.

Last spring I was driving up out of Aberearon, the hedges on the left were all in their spring leaf. The two cyclists climbing ahead of me were only seen at the last safe moment, because their yellow 'hi-viz' was camouflaged against the similar colour of the leaves.


Interesting. My guess is that yellow works best, most of the time, and that your example is one of the exceptions. I'd be surprised if there is one colour that works best in all circumstances. But I will keep my eyes and my mind open.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby reohn2 » 30 Dec 2016, 10:42am

One colour that works best is this:- Image

BRIGHT as a BRIGHT thing anytime of day or night,yet I still get close passes :twisted:
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pjclinch » 30 Dec 2016, 12:11pm

reohn2 wrote:
BRIGHT as a BRIGHT thing anytime of day or night,yet I still get close passes :twisted:


The close passes are not a sign that you haven't been seen though. They're an indication that you have been seen and given all that you need, for a value of "all that you need" that is different for the driver than the one for you.

It appears (at an anecdotal level) to be the case that looking like a "Proper Cyclist" (i.e., having All The Right Gear) is taken as a sign that you'll be quite safe to pass close, because obviously Proper Cyclists can be expected to proceed in entirely straight and controlled lines.
A pal of mine likes to ride in dayglo and a helmet and he has good lights etc. and he complains of close passes. Just before Christmas he got some fairy lights for a club Christmas ride, and he said on the way home he got given masses more space than usual. I find I get more space on the cargo bike or the 'bent. Being unusual appears to get you more space. Hi-Viz and lids (and conventional lighting) aren't unusual, and they seem to get you marked as totally predictable, and thus "safe" to come by at feeler-gauge distance.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pjclinch » 30 Dec 2016, 12:20pm

pwa wrote:Interesting. My guess is that yellow works best, most of the time, and that your example is one of the exceptions. I'd be surprised if there is one colour that works best in all circumstances. But I will keep my eyes and my mind open.


It's contrast that works best. Best colour for contrast in snow is red (which is why Boaty McBoatface has a red hull, and why Hilleberg polar expedition tents are red). Best colour against autumnal foliage? Not sure, but I'd guess electric blue would be a good one. Riding past a road-mending gang in head-to-toe dayglo, black would probably stick out pretty well...

An active light source like reohn2's should stick out from any passive, unlit background, but as noted that's only half the battle. It does have the advantage that it can go on the bike itself, and you don't need to dress like a bin-man in order to take advantage. And while you may be willing to dress like a bin-man, if it puts anyone at all off riding a bike that's an own-goal for public health and the environment, and part of the issue with victim-blaming is it tends to create a situation where riding in normal clothes is considered unacceptable.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pjclinch » 30 Dec 2016, 12:23pm

irc wrote:I'd suggest the number of times when it makes a difference is so small that just trying to remember near misses won't work. I could probably cycle past cars in the doorzone thousands of times without getting doored. It doesn't mean I wouldn't be safer riding further out, all else equal. The number of times when it is critical is tiny.


In other words, it makes a vanishingly small difference that you can't pin down, and yet that's enough to pillory people that don't play along as eeejits with a death wish...
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby amediasatex » 30 Dec 2016, 2:56pm

pjclinch wrote:
The problem with roadkill smeared on HGV tyres is more that people in YELLOW jackets may assume they're easy to see, even when they're in the very considerable blind spots of HGVs. Including the ones turning left at junctions, squishing people in their blind spots.

Well you can't help stupidity. If someone chooses to put themselves in danger what they wear isn't going to matter.


Yes it is stupid that we allow vehicles with such large blind spots to travel around in public spaces where they can so easily cause such harm to pedestrians and cyclists isn't it?

And it's not always cyclists going up the side of such vehicles, often it's large vehicles pulling up alongside the cyclist.

And that's before we even go on about the last couple of decades worth of 'infrastructure' suggesting to both cyclists and motorists that the correct place for a cycle at a junction is to the left of traffic. It may be obvious to you as regular cyclist that it isn't, but normalisation and lack of alternatives or specific training have lead us into this.

One of the worst ever examples of this I've experienced was while waiting at a set of traffic lights, I was on my bike, central in the lane but at the front of the queue, a luton sized van behind me and the driver beeped his horn and was pointing to the side of the road yelling at me to get out of the way (the light was still red!), he thought I was in his way, and that the correct place for me to be was waiting to the left which would have put me nicely in his blind spot for if he was turning left, and would also have meant I was probably in the blind spot in front of the cab of the HGV behind him, but that's where the green painted cycle lane was so that's where he thought I should be...how many other drivers and even occasional cyclists would think the same, that that area is 'safe' and the blind spot issue is void as obviously everyone expects you to be there, even the lorry drivers...

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby PhilWhitehurst » 30 Dec 2016, 4:34pm

pwa wrote:Just before Christmas I was driving down to Cowbridge to buy a few things and as I rounded a corner I saw a cyclist wearing a bright yellow jacket. Then I saw his three companions wearing black. He really stood out, whilst they blended in with the hedge.


Was that before you drove into the back of the black car that was stopped further on or did you crash into the hedge as you couldn't distinguish it from the black tarmac?

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pwa » 31 Dec 2016, 10:38am

PhilWhitehurst wrote:
pwa wrote:Just before Christmas I was driving down to Cowbridge to buy a few things and as I rounded a corner I saw a cyclist wearing a bright yellow jacket. Then I saw his three companions wearing black. He really stood out, whilst they blended in with the hedge.


Was that before you drove into the back of the black car that was stopped further on or did you crash into the hedge as you couldn't distinguish it from the black tarmac?


I also think black cars are a bad idea, for that very reason. But I am not "victim blaming" drivers of black cars for every other vehicle that drives into them.

I have spent my working life in industries where hi-viz is normal work wear, so for me it seems abnormal to be in an area of raised risk without a hi-viz top. Wearing it does not, for me, imply that the activity is too dangerous to be done sanely. It just implies that reasonable care is needed. Which it is.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby Rhothgar » 31 Dec 2016, 1:44pm

pwa wrote:
Vorpal wrote:Or better to also wear some reflectives on the arm signalling the turn and still assume that no one can see you.


Which seems to me to be a sound approach. Nothing to do with putting all the blame or responsibility on the potential victim, but on empowering that potential victim to reduce the risk in the ways that they can. I encourage my teenage daughter to avoid walking dark town centre streets on her own at night, not because I think it would be her fault if something happened but because I think anything that reduces risk is good, even if the "blame" lies with others.


+1 many times over

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jan 2017, 9:41am

pwa wrote:
I encourage my teenage daughter to avoid walking dark town centre streets on her own at night, not because I think it would be her fault if something happened but because I think anything that reduces risk is good, even if the "blame" lies with others.


This sounds sensible, straightforward and easy but breaks down when you look at cases.

If "anything that reduces risk s good", then you'll start seriously inconveniencing yourself. About half of serious head trauma is from motor vehicle crashes, so according to the above if you drive you think wearing a motor sport grade crash helmet is good, so do you do it? I doubt it. And what about a proper roll cage? Nomex suit? Proper harness rather than so-so seat belt? Again, nobody bothers and they don't not because it's safe to go without but because it's safe enough. And in that light the "I wear YELLOW because anything that might make me safer is a Good Thing" can be seen to be a rationalisation. You could notionally get safer with wider tyres, going slower, better brakes, more upright riding posture etc. but that's different!

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pjclinch » 1 Jan 2017, 11:42am

pwa wrote:Just before Christmas I was driving down to Cowbridge to buy a few things and as I rounded a corner I saw a cyclist wearing a bright yellow jacket. Then I saw his three companions wearing black. He really stood out, whilst they blended in with the hedge.


Your take here is it was easier to see someone in yellow: more is better.
My take is you saw the others anyway: enough is enough.

This is, perhaps, related to the twin facts that (a) it's widely believed that YELLOW makes you safer while (b) there isn't any actual evidence in the numbers that that is the case.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 1 Jan 2017, 12:05pm

irc wrote:
mjr wrote:Even if something is matt black, it is still visible!


Well short of total invisibility anything is visible. I think matt black is far less visible at night though. Were night fighters not painted matt black?


profile_A0724_small.jpg

All else being equal light coloured or reflective clothing is more visible at night or during the day.


One can see black things well in the snow.
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