An account worth reading

Mike Sales
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Apr 2018, 1:02pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote: sometimes stuff simply does happen during the many billions of miles driven each year.


That sounds like a dismissal to me.

If one selectively quotes (again) and ignores a subsequent clarification one can make many things sound like what one wants, I'm afraid.


Your "clarification" requires, as you admit, suppositions.
This forum is not a court, and we are free to decide what is most likely, not what is proved beyond reasonable doubt.
In my view your suppositions are unlikely and constructed in order to absolve the driver.
I think it unlikely this elderly pedestrian darted out into the path of the car whilst blinded. A responsible driver, seeing the confusion ahead, ought to slow down to a 126 speed.
The idea that stuff happens on the road, that accidents happen and nothing can be done about it is not acceptable to me and others.
The fact is, risks are taken, and taken often by those who are well protected from the results if something goes wrong. They are given rules to try to keep them from hurting others. This rule 126, I would say by observation is widely ignored. My belief is that the driver in question was ignoring it too.

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mjr
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby mjr » 9 Apr 2018, 1:06pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote: sometimes stuff simply does happen during the many billions of miles driven each year.


That sounds like a dismissal to me.

If one selectively quotes (again) and ignores a subsequent clarification one can make many things sound like what one wants, I'm afraid.

I have noticed that things often read to you in a different way than they do to others.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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AlaninWales
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby AlaninWales » 9 Apr 2018, 1:06pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
mjr wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:I don't know what happened. I think that s126 is absolutely the right maxim to drive by, but sometimes stuff simply does happen during the many billions of miles driven each year.

I am not willing to dismiss this sort of avoidable death off as "sometimes stuff simply does happen" and I'm pretty disappointed that anyone is.

It wasn't a dismissal - I was alluding to s126, as clearly stated, and that requirement to drive within the distance one can see to be clear.

My personal view, based only on supposition, given the paucity of facts, is that the gentleman may have been crossing but was actively masked by the other car's flash, was not present in front of the author's car when he flashed back - or surely he would have been seen in the light of full beam headlights, and stepped in front of the author's car at the last moment. How could s126 rules apply there, I wonder?

I hope that makes the point clear and that your disappointment is diminished somewhat?

How would you prevent this death?

I've told this story here before:
A couple of years ago now, driving to the A484 near Carmarthen on a dark and wet evening, an oncoming bus' headlights dazzled me so that I could not see the road ahead. So I stopped before the point where the road disappeared (and following traffic had to stop too). Once the bus passed, in the road ahead of me was a pedestrian waving her "hi vis" jacket, wearing a white jumper and white gloves. Moments before she had been illuminated by both my headlights and those of the bus and was completely invisible.
As I gave her a lift to her destination, she asked whether the jacket and light coloured clothing has stood out in the darkness. I assured her that it had not.

If only there were some rule that could be followed to consistently ensure I don't drive into somebody in such a situation!

Bonefishblues
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Bonefishblues » 9 Apr 2018, 1:22pm

mjr wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
That sounds like a dismissal to me.

If one selectively quotes (again) and ignores a subsequent clarification one can make many things sound like what one wants, I'm afraid.

I have noticed that things often read to you in a different way than they do to others.

:lol: very good.

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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Bonefishblues » 9 Apr 2018, 1:38pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
That sounds like a dismissal to me.

If one selectively quotes (again) and ignores a subsequent clarification one can make many things sound like what one wants, I'm afraid.


Your "clarification" requires, as you admit, suppositions.
This forum is not a court, and we are free to decide what is most likely, not what is proved beyond reasonable doubt.
In my view your suppositions are unlikely and constructed in order to absolve the driver.
I think it unlikely this elderly pedestrian darted out into the path of the car whilst blinded. A responsible driver, seeing the confusion ahead, ought to slow down to a 126 speed.
The idea that stuff happens on the road, that accidents happen and nothing can be done about it is not acceptable to me and others.
The fact is, risks are taken, and taken often by those who are well protected from the results if something goes wrong. They are given rules to try to keep them from hurting others. This rule 126, I would say by observation is widely ignored. My belief is that the driver in question was ignoring it too.

The parts in bold are incorrect, and I have no agenda. I am trying to understand.

AAIB, widely held to be a model of accident investigation, tries to understand how and why things happen, and avoids blame. I think that's a good model, which we should consider. Then we can work out what we do do about it.

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Cugel
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Cugel » 9 Apr 2018, 4:13pm

AlaninWales wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:
mjr wrote:I am not willing to dismiss this sort of avoidable death off as "sometimes stuff simply does happen" and I'm pretty disappointed that anyone is.

It wasn't a dismissal - I was alluding to s126, as clearly stated, and that requirement to drive within the distance one can see to be clear.

My personal view, based only on supposition, given the paucity of facts, is that the gentleman may have been crossing but was actively masked by the other car's flash, was not present in front of the author's car when he flashed back - or surely he would have been seen in the light of full beam headlights, and stepped in front of the author's car at the last moment. How could s126 rules apply there, I wonder?

I hope that makes the point clear and that your disappointment is diminished somewhat?

How would you prevent this death?

I've told this story here before:
A couple of years ago now, driving to the A484 near Carmarthen on a dark and wet evening, an oncoming bus' headlights dazzled me so that I could not see the road ahead. So I stopped before the point where the road disappeared (and following traffic had to stop too). Once the bus passed, in the road ahead of me was a pedestrian waving her "hi vis" jacket, wearing a white jumper and white gloves. Moments before she had been illuminated by both my headlights and those of the bus and was completely invisible.
As I gave her a lift to her destination, she asked whether the jacket and light coloured clothing has stood out in the darkness. I assured her that it had not.

If only there were some rule that could be followed to consistently ensure I don't drive into somebody in such a situation!


You followed a fine rule for such situations (stopping). Of course, this is an aberration as far as many motorists are concerned since once behind the wheel they are on an important mission, perhaps to catch the next episode of Pobol y Cwm or to get the dinner sausage whilst it's still hot!

Those Welsh roads are particularly difficult in generating the sort of situation you describe. They're often narrow and closely confined between two steep turf-clad walls with nowhere for pedestrians (or cyclists or horse riders) to escape Mr Toad. There are few pathways from A to B in the deeper regions, so folk must often walk on the road if they haven't got access to a car (or a bike). It's very dark at night, with few if any street lights. The bumpiness of the rods can make oncoming headlights glare more as they rise up with the road lumps.

And, sad to say, there are many motorists who travel these roads at too great a speed because they did so for the past 30 days and nothing was coming or in the way. Then day 31 arrives.

Cugel

brynpoeth
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Apr 2018, 6:01am

Bonefishblues wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:If one selectively quotes (again) and ignores a subsequent clarification one can make many things sound like what one wants, I'm afraid.


Your "clarification" requires, as you admit, suppositions.
This forum is not a court, and we are free to decide what is most likely, not what is proved beyond reasonable doubt.
In my view your suppositions are unlikely and constructed in order to absolve the driver.
I think it unlikely this elderly pedestrian darted out into the path of the car whilst blinded. A responsible driver, seeing the confusion ahead, ought to slow down to a 126 speed.
The idea that stuff happens on the road, that accidents happen and nothing can be done about it is not acceptable to me and others.
The fact is, risks are taken, and taken often by those who are well protected from the results if something goes wrong. They are given rules to try to keep them from hurting others. This rule 126, I would say by observation is widely ignored. My belief is that the driver in question was ignoring it too.

The parts in bold are incorrect, and I have no agenda. I am trying to understand.

AAIB, widely held to be a model of accident investigation, tries to understand how and why things happen, and avoids blame. I think that's a good model, which we should consider. Then we can work out what we do do about it.

The same for railway 'accidents', a passenger fatality is very rare
If the driver of the *white mini couper* :? was doing nothing wrong and someone died clearly the law is wrong

Do we want fewer dead, fewer K => more SI, seriously injured?
A bit of tweaking would not be enough
I think I might rather die than be seriously injured and spend 30 years in pain, incapacitated, unable to communicate my wish to be put out of my misery
What do others think?

A SI may cost society more than a K, another reason for the introduction of the three Es
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs

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Cugel
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Cugel » 11 Apr 2018, 8:53am

Mike Sales wrote:........I think it unlikely this elderly pedestrian darted out into the path of the car whilst blinded. A responsible driver, seeing the confusion ahead, ought to slow down to a 126 speed.

The idea that stuff happens on the road, that accidents happen and nothing can be done about it is not acceptable to me and others.
The fact is, risks are taken, and taken often by those who are well protected from the results if something goes wrong. They are given rules to try to keep them from hurting others. This rule 126, I would say by observation is widely ignored.........


The employment of various safety improvements often provides the user with an increased inclination to take more risks. Because we feel safer, we become less risk-averse. This applies to a surprisingly wide range of vehicle safety technologies.

Volvo, as I recall, first illuminated this take-more-risk phenomena when they began to put always-on sidelights on their cars. They were later surprised to discover that this did not result in less accidents involving lit-up Volvo drivers but more! Eventually, they discovered that the always-on lights encouraged drivers to think they were safer therefore could drive faster and with less care, as others would see them earlier.....

Various studies over the years have purported to find that this effect, in various guises, emerges with the advent of all safety aids, including seat belts, air bags and, it seems, bicycle helmets and high-viz.

In some cases the safety aid does, of itself, decrease the chance of harm to the user, in some degree; but only until the point at which the user's increased appetite for risks increases the chance of harm beyond that amount that the safety aid improved.

Worse, in some cases the increased appetite for risk provided by the safety aid provides no increased safety to those involved in the accident but without the safety aid. Thus pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders suffer a greater rate of involvement in vehicle-caused "accidents" as the drivers take more risks and cause more "accidents". The air bag and seat belt-protected drivers have more accidents but themselves suffer less harm than their victims.

*****

The feeling of increased safety often shades into a feeling of invulnerability, which in turn leads to a chronic lack of attention and skill to the daily driving (and perhaps cycling). If a driver or cyclist also goes about for a significant period without being involved in an accident or near-miss, they sometimes become even more convinced that "it can't happen to me" or even "my helmet will save me". .....

No one is immune to these effects of improved technology. No, not even moi!

I recently put hydraulic brakes on a road bike and the greatly improved control (ability to modulate and brake without hand fatigue) did increase my speed down "fast" hills. I told myself that the extra control meant I was "safer" at these increased speeds. You will read this sentiment all about the cycling webs and mags, concerning the pleasures of the disc brake.

Happily I realised that there's a lot more to the risk than those aspects in which better-modulated brakes will help. Increased speed and momentum increase the chance of a bad event materialising then biting. I still have to think about braking then do so in a highly controlled manner. It became obvious to me that the increased speed severely reduces the already very short period for exerting rapid & highly controlled braking in an emergency.

So, as you recommend, I'm back to "go only as fast as the realistic stopping distance to unforeseen obstacles or events allows minus a margin for my probable error in braking".

****

They do say that a spike in the steering wheels of cars would help. Perhaps cyclists should all have a similar thing in place of the steering column top cap? A new item for Kapz to sell us all! :-)

Cugel

Vorpal
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Vorpal » 11 Apr 2018, 9:17am

It makes for somewhat uncomfortable reading, but I'm not sure that the driver learned very much about driving from the incident. We clearly need a new approach to (re)educating drivers.

Just because he was not considered guilty of criminal offence, he has come to the conclusion that he did nothing wrong.

There is an awful lot of room for improvement between those two. He may now be a 'more careful' driver, but would that prevent a similar incident? It's not clear that it would. It seems possible, even likely, the flashed lights from the oncoming driver distracted him.

He completely failed to see someone in the road, yet does not seem to have analysed that in terms of how he could have prevented it. Basic things. the sorts of things I ask myself every time I have a near miss or SMIDSY.
Did he see that the bus had stopped? If not, why?
Should that have been a reason to slow down?
Should he have slowed so that he could stop in the distance he could see to be clear?
Did the flash from the oncoming driver distract him? In what way? And why did he allow it to?
....

I'm sure that he himself could think of more things like that, having experienced it himself. Instead, he seems to have taken the outcome as exhoneration.

I'm not saying that he should have been found guilty of anything. I wasn't there. I don't know what the evidence was. I am saying that nothing in this outcome for him, or any other driver, takes any steps toward preventing another death. That is a failing in our system.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Phil Fouracre
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Phil Fouracre » 11 Apr 2018, 9:21am

Interesting article! A bit 'me! me! me!' No mention of driving a vehicle when he couldn't see where he was going?
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

pwa
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby pwa » 11 Apr 2018, 9:47am

Vorpal wrote:It makes for somewhat uncomfortable reading, but I'm not sure that the driver learned very much about driving from the incident. We clearly need a new approach to (re)educating drivers.

Just because he was not considered guilty of criminal offence, he has come to the conclusion that he did nothing wrong.

There is an awful lot of room for improvement between those two. He may now be a 'more careful' driver, but would that prevent a similar incident? It's not clear that it would. It seems possible, even likely, the flashed lights from the oncoming driver distracted him.

He completely failed to see someone in the road, yet does not seem to have analysed that in terms of how he could have prevented it. Basic things. the sorts of things I ask myself every time I have a near miss or SMIDSY.
Did he see that the bus had stopped? If not, why?
Should that have been a reason to slow down?
Should he have slowed so that he could stop in the distance he could see to be clear?
Did the flash from the oncoming driver distract him? In what way? And why did he allow it to?
....

I'm sure that he himself could think of more things like that, having experienced it himself. Instead, he seems to have taken the outcome as exhoneration.

I'm not saying that he should have been found guilty of anything. I wasn't there. I don't know what the evidence was. I am saying that nothing in this outcome for him, or any other driver, takes any steps toward preventing another death. That is a failing in our system.

I don't think the bus was there when the accident happened. I think it had already gone. The driver learned later that the victim had recently got off a bus.

My reading of the piece gave me me the impression that the driver felt constant guilt, even going to the grave to say sorry.

The driver was and still is confused about how the accident happened. Life is like that sometimes, refusing to give the answers. My own feeling is that darkness on the roads, combined with oncoming lights, can do funny things to the eyes and I would be surprised if some of the explanation doesn't lie there. I'm not sure that the driver did not intend driving safely. I'm not convinced that a really safety conscious driver would necessarily have avoided this. They may have done, but I don't think it is 100% definite.

I know someone will come along and say we should drive according to how far we can see to be clear ahead, but what if you think you can see the road ahead to be clear but that is a visual illusion? A trick of the light. I've bored the pants off everyone before with an account of how I cycled into a collision with a large black bullock on a country lane at night. I thought I could see the road to be clear. I thought my speed was appropriate. But the dark area in front of me that I thought was just a shadow or something was a quarter of a tonne of three dimensional bullock. The only complete solution to that sort of misinterpretation is going to be something built into the vehicle to recognise hazards when the human driver fails to do so.

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Re: An account worth reading

Postby Vorpal » 11 Apr 2018, 12:35pm

pwa wrote:I don't think the bus was there when the accident happened. I think it had already gone. The driver learned later that the victim had recently got off a bus.

I wasn't suggesting that the bus was still there, but surely he must have seen it?
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

wjhall
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby wjhall » 11 Apr 2018, 12:52pm

What immediately crossed my mind on reading the article was actually rule 110, not to flash lamps for any purpose but to show you are there. Flashing in automatic response to the belief that someone thinks your lamps are on main beam comes close to breaching the old advice not to respond to being dazzled by full beams by counter dazzling, but to slow down until you can see. Although the author only experienced a brief flash, he does appear to have been unable to see what was happening in front of him, and should have slowed down until he could.

The extensive discussion below (1) is not official, but reflects wider official advice about headlamps.



(1) https://web.archive.org/web/20090502150 ... hers3.html

pwa
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby pwa » 11 Apr 2018, 1:21pm

Vorpal wrote:
pwa wrote:I don't think the bus was there when the accident happened. I think it had already gone. The driver learned later that the victim had recently got off a bus.

I wasn't suggesting that the bus was still there, but surely he must have seen it?


Don't know. I don't think seeing it was mentioned. If the old man had been waiting to cross for a minute or two the bus could have been long gone.

brynpoeth
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Re: An account worth reading

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Apr 2018, 7:30pm

The cops should get out there and take a 'broken windows' approach to flashing ones lights incorrectly as discussed in my poll elsewhere, (stop signs), the voting result is overwhelming there, +80%

If one may assume that lights are being flashed to warn of 'danger' as per HC, should one generally stop immediately? Should one assume other drivers are obeying the law???? Better to stop a thousand times than to have one 'accident'

Maximum speed limits should be lower in the dark. Was he listening to loud music? Is a mini couper fun to drive?
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs