Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

reohn2
Posts: 40208
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby reohn2 » 31 Jan 2020, 2:11pm

AlaninWales wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:
Very 'sensible' post, if I might say so.

+1

+2. Nothing wrong with recording the facts. It is when the wrong interpretations are made of the facts that the problem arises. 'Ordinary clothing being worn to walk/cycle after dark' may well be relevant to the fact that someone has driven into the walker/cyclist; but when it is, it indicates that the driver was not paying sufficient attention (like when someone drove into the side of me from a minor road and claimed it was my fault because "You didn't have your headlights on" - I was cycling). As things stand, years of indoctrination make victim-blaming the norm.

The sad fact is policing is dire,and courts don't punish motoring offences harshly enough.That's a result of a car culture that any threat to from political standpoint will lose votes.
-----------------------------------------------------------

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3869
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby PDQ Mobile » 31 Jan 2020, 2:14pm

mjr wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:To be visible is just so easy with just a little thought and forethought. Can't see a problem with it myself.

I am visible and I find it easy without any thought or forethought. It seems to be to be an inescapable feature of existing.

How are people being invisible? There could be good money to be made teaching being invisible. I would find it useful sometimes, for moving street furniture off cycleways and similar!

So you don't think there are degrees of visibility?
I think otherwise.

I understand people have heen hit by idiot drivers in broad daylight wearing hiviz.
And there is some doubt about it's efficacy.

My argument however has always been about dark roads and paths.
I think reflective and lights can save lives and injury there.

mattheus
Posts: 1564
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Western Europe

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby mattheus » 31 Jan 2020, 2:15pm

mjr wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:To be visible is just so easy with just a little thought and forethought. Can't see a problem with it myself.

I am visible and I find it easy without any thought or forethought. It seems to be to be an inescapable feature of existing.


You are a bad man, mjr :mrgreen:

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3869
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby PDQ Mobile » 31 Jan 2020, 2:19pm

reohn2 wrote:The sad fact is policing is dire,and courts don't punish motoring offences harshly enough.That's a result of a car culture that any threat to from political standpoint will lose votes.

I am sure you are correct.
But I have to say in the incident I recently came upon, a police accident unit stayed at the scene for a couple of hours measuring up things.
I know this because I saw them there on my return journey.

Police need more resources I guess.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 18506
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby Vorpal » 31 Jan 2020, 2:27pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:
My argument however has always been about dark roads and paths.
I think reflective and lights can save lives and injury there.

But the evidence doesn't support this assertion.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3869
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby PDQ Mobile » 31 Jan 2020, 2:41pm

Vorpal wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:
My argument however has always been about dark roads and paths.
I think reflective and lights can save lives and injury there.

But the evidence doesn't support this assertion.

Well if I didn't need them to see with, then I could save expense and throw all my lights away?
Because they are useless at identifing me as a potential hazard?
I simply don't see it that way (no pun etc) sorry.

I have to say the tragic cases I am personally aware of (but not involved in any way with) contradict your evidence.

mattheus
Posts: 1564
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Western Europe

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby mattheus » 31 Jan 2020, 2:56pm

… err, we're talking about risk here. Uncertainty. Chance.

No one incident can prove anything, nor contradict anything.

If I ride 100 miles in the dark without any Hi-Viz/lights, does that prove anything? Of course not! It's a little more data, but that is all.


And I'd like to remind you that you know very few of the facts about the crash you described here recently.

AlaninWales
Posts: 1608
Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 1:47pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby AlaninWales » 31 Jan 2020, 3:10pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:
AlaninWales wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:There you have it.
Alan thinks I am to blame.

Yet I cycle sensibly and politely, above all politely, to all I meet.

Yes, you are to blame. It doesn't matter how polite you are.

By your own admission you found it hard to see them with the light you were using.
By your own admission you might easily have ridden into them at the speed you were riding.

The choice of light and the choice of speed are your own, yet you ride at a speed where you risk hitting unlit pedestrians; and say you must not be told to slow down.

Your choice, your control of the danger to others as well as to yourself. Certainly you are to blame. Yet you seek to pass the blame on to your potential victims, because they (who constitute no danger to others whilst walking along the path in normal clothing) have not complied with your requirement to make themselves more visible so that you can ride at the speed you choose.

To be frank I think it's incorrect.

You are just selectively interpreting what I said.

I have selected the parts where you described the incident, your light and your speed. In this reply, you said you could barely see them (quoting https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=134910&start=149)
PDQ Mobile wrote:Do you know I think I could have very nearly hit them. My eyes are ok.
Older but ok I just had an eye test in the last 2 months.

Your eyes are OK but you could "very nearly" have hit them. Well you were either able to see them in time or avoid them, but you appear to be putting some blame on them:
PDQ Mobile wrote: They were three teenage girls engrossed in their phone right across the path backs yo me. Dressed in dark clothes as it happened!!

I have a simple Aldi single LED well bright enough on miles of narrow and unlit lanes to see and be seen well.

The path in question is very dark on account of the high 2and a half meter stone wall on one side. It is called The Cob.

It is dead straight, a mile long, totally unlit and commences with a gentle downhill for 20 or 30 meters. So one gains a good lick -perhaps 17mph.
And one has just left street lighting so eyes are not fully adjusted to the full dark.
At the far end away are the not bright lights of a railway yard.
Most folk carry a light.
IMV wisely.

I am used to unlit peds on the route and I have always seen them up to now!
One keeps one's light "dipped" so to speak because of oncoming others.

However the point is, and you don't seem to grasp it, is that they were hard to see.

Because they were hard for you to see and (at the speed you were riding) this made it worrying enough for it to stick in your mind and be quoted as your example of bad practice. Which later in the same post, you used to blame (by associating with these pedestrians) "a man lying badly hurt in the road on a dark wet night." .. in your view "probably avoidably". With of course no evidence whatsoever, except your victim-blaming preconceptions.

Then in https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=134910&start=166, when mjr suggests that 17mph is obviously too fast for the conditions (dark lanes with - let's remember, a light that you choose to use), you reply:
PDQ Mobile wrote:Now you tell me as a cyclist to slow down!
From 17mph downhill! Sorry.
I cycle for fitness, pleasure and practicality.
This is not some Sunday sightseeing outing.

It is patently obvious that you believe that you have a right to ride on dark lanes at a speed of your choice and it is up to others to make allowances for you and adjust their clothing choice (no matter where they may have been going or returning from) for your convenience.
PDQ Mobile wrote:Why don't you address the point about 2 cyclists meeting on a shared path?
One with lights and one without.
What speed is safe?
You now tell me that, seeing as you seem to be so certain.

That's very simple indeed and I am certain who would be to blame: The one who is unable to safely stop, under control, within the limit of what they can see to be clear. If both are able to stop within that limit, no collision. If one is not able to stop within that limit, they will collide.

This is of course the nub of the matter. If the police and "road safety" campaigns repeatedly made this point: That anyone using the road is responsible for being able to safely stop in the distance they can see to be clear. Then there would be no victim-blaming arguments about who else should do what. Wear what you like! Bright glowing pink, green, nothing at all or black (anything apart from a Hogwarts Special Invisibility Cloak). The onus is morally and should legally always be on the person bringing the danger. In the case of the incident at 17mph with a single LED light on dark country roads that you described, the onus is on you.

PDQ Mobile wrote:Who is to blame in any collision?
By your criteria the faster cyclist.
I disagree.
I think the one without lights is to blame.
Then you would be wrong, as I show above. If either cyclist is riding with due care, ensuring that the path is clear that they are riding along, then they are blameless. If either is riding at reckless speed and unable to stop within what can clearly be seen, then that cyclist (potentially both) is (are) to blame.

rfryer
Posts: 771
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 3:58pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby rfryer » 31 Jan 2020, 3:33pm

AlaninWales wrote:.
PDQ Mobile wrote:Why don't you address the point about 2 cyclists meeting on a shared path?
One with lights and one without.
What speed is safe?
You now tell me that, seeing as you seem to be so certain.

That's very simple indeed and I am certain who would be to blame: The one who is unable to safely stop, under control, within the limit of what they can see to be clear. If both are able to stop within that limit, no collision. If one is not able to stop within that limit, they will collide.

Fascinating. So if you have two unlit cyclists cycling toward each other at 20mph, then crashing into each other because they don't see anything until the last minute, they are equally to blame.

But give cyclist A a light, causing cyclist B to stop because they can see the approaching hazard, then cyclist A becomes entirely to blame for any ensuing crash. Because they were making some effort (though not quite enough) to be safe.

Icsunonove
Posts: 56
Joined: 15 Oct 2008, 12:59pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby Icsunonove » 31 Jan 2020, 3:41pm

rfryer wrote:
AlaninWales wrote:.
PDQ Mobile wrote:Why don't you address the point about 2 cyclists meeting on a shared path?
One with lights and one without.
What speed is safe?
You now tell me that, seeing as you seem to be so certain.

That's very simple indeed and I am certain who would be to blame: The one who is unable to safely stop, under control, within the limit of what they can see to be clear. If both are able to stop within that limit, no collision. If one is not able to stop within that limit, they will collide.

Fascinating. So if you have two unlit cyclists cycling toward each other at 20mph, then crashing into each other because they don't see anything until the last minute, they are equally to blame.

But give cyclist A a light, causing cyclist B to stop because they can see the approaching hazard, then cyclist A becomes entirely to blame for any ensuing crash. Because they were making some effort (though not quite enough) to be safe.


The person to blame is the person who made such unsuitable narrow infrastructure a cycle path. Make it 3m wide, ride on the left... no problem even if you do meet a nutter at night without lights.... assuming they also ride on the left of course!

PDQ Mobile
Posts: 3869
Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby PDQ Mobile » 31 Jan 2020, 4:14pm

Matteus and Alan^^

Firstly I accept that I do not know the cause of the incident I came upon.
I will find out in due course if I can and put it honestly on here.
However if the cyclist was lightless on the A road carriageway then he was in contradiction of statutory requirement. Even if other driver factors were present it is not in his favour and in my unpopular view on here correctly.
An online search has only produced other less recent N Wales cycling accidents. Some grim and the cyclists blameless.

The other tragic incidents I refer to just upthread did involve 2 separate unlit and dark clad inebriated pedestrians walking backs to the traffic. If something can be done to help avoid it as I believe is the case then argue for it as I have done.
.....
I do not agree about blame in the case of two approaching cyclists one lit and one not.
An approach speed of 24mph is double what the 12mph cyclist could reasonably expect.
First to appear out of the dark a thin wheel no doubt.
Alan exhorts ME to get brighter lights (although the one I have is perfectly bright and adequate for lanes in pitch black and super steep conditions) but thinks other road users are somehow exempt from any light whatsoever because of some inalienable right.

I just don't accept that.
The cyclist without the light is at fault.
My politely adjusted and bright light identifies me as a presence at a distance of maybe a straight mile, certainly half that. It illuminates perhaps 10 or 15 meters of the road ahead- Îwell, within my stopping distance.
I am not riding a reckless speed as you suggest, alan. I am getting along well - just that.

Regarding clothing.
Of course one can wear what one likes but wisdom says to me if my "glad rags" are dark and I am going to walk on unlit and unpavemented roads then carry a small bright light. It easy if you try.
A bit of forethought might add an anorak with some reflective piping. It might rain you know!

The stranded and lightless scenario I covered above.
It requires,IMV, to be safe on unlit motor roads a modification in walking (or cycling) behaviour.
Super defensive- no assumption that one has been seen.

AlaninWales
Posts: 1608
Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 1:47pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby AlaninWales » 31 Jan 2020, 4:44pm

rfryer wrote:
AlaninWales wrote:.
PDQ Mobile wrote:Why don't you address the point about 2 cyclists meeting on a shared path?
One with lights and one without.
What speed is safe?
You now tell me that, seeing as you seem to be so certain.

That's very simple indeed and I am certain who would be to blame: The one who is unable to safely stop, under control, within the limit of what they can see to be clear. If both are able to stop within that limit, no collision. If one is not able to stop within that limit, they will collide.

Fascinating. So if you have two unlit cyclists cycling toward each other at 20mph, then crashing into each other because they don't see anything until the last minute, they are equally to blame.

But give cyclist A a light, causing cyclist B to stop because they can see the approaching hazard, then cyclist A becomes entirely to blame for any ensuing crash. Because they were making some effort (though not quite enough) to be safe.

You do realise that lit or unlit vehicles are not the only hazard to be found on the road at night? In your scenarion, both should be able to stop in the distance they can see to be clear by the light available to them - whether they are using a road-legal nEver-Ready or illegally riding with only ambient light. Clear means clear of other cyclists, branches (for their own good), animals, dropped luggage, pedestrians .... everything. Clear ... get it?

AlaninWales
Posts: 1608
Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 1:47pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby AlaninWales » 31 Jan 2020, 4:56pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:Matteus and Alan^^

Firstly I accept that I do not know the cause of the incident I came upon.
I will find out in due course if I can and put it honestly on here.
However if the cyclist was lightless on the A road carriageway then he was in contradiction of statutory requirement. Even if other driver factors were present it is not in his favour and in my unpopular view on here correctly.
An online search has only produced other less recent N Wales cycling accidents. Some grim and the cyclists blameless.
So your first assumption, without evidence, is that the victim was not lit and was to blame. Yet you deny you are guilty of vivtim-blaming :roll:
PDQ Mobile wrote:The other tragic incidents I refer to just upthread did involve 2 separate unlit and dark clad inebriated pedestrians walking backs to the traffic. If something can be done to help avoid it as I believe is the case then argue for it as I have done.
.....
I do not agree about blame in the case of two approaching cyclists one lit and one not.
An approach speed of 24mph is double what the 12mph cyclist could reasonably expect.
First to appear out of the dark a thin wheel no doubt.
Alan exhorts ME to get brighter lights (although the one I have is perfectly bright and adequate for lanes in pitch black and super steep conditions) but thinks other road users are somehow exempt from any light whatsoever because of some inalienable right.
No, I exhort you to ride well within the limits of what you can see to be clear. Whether you ride with something as bright as a legal nEver-Ready or a modern, well-dipped German light (when the limit would likely be determined by your brakes and tyre grip); it is up to you to ensure that you can safely stop within the limit of the distance that you can see to be clear. That you continue to deny that proves that you are part of the problem.

As for the unlit cyclist, they could be riding (illegally) and without causing danger to others (in which case that's their decision and they can take any punishement the law prescribes) or illegally and stupidly fast, in which case they too are part of the problem because they are putting their own choice above other's safety.
PDQ Mobile wrote:I just don't accept that.
The cyclist without the light is at fault.
My politely adjusted and bright light identifies me as a presence at a distance of maybe a straight mile, certainly half that. It illuminates perhaps 10 or 15 meters of the road ahead- Îwell, within my stopping distance.
I am not riding a reckless speed as you suggest, alan. I am getting along well - just that.

Regarding clothing.
Of course one can wear what one likes but wisdom says to me if my "glad rags" are dark and I am going to walk on unlit and unpavemented roads then carry a small bright light. It easy if you try.
A bit of forethought might add an anorak with some reflective piping. It might rain you know!

The stranded and lightless scenario I covered above.
It requires,IMV, to be safe on unlit motor roads a modification in walking (or cycling) behaviour.
Super defensive- no assumption that one has been seen.

Wear what you like, just stop complaining when others wear what they like. When operating any vehicle on public roads or shared paths, you are responsible for being able to stop in the distance that you can see to be clear. No-one else shares responsibility to draw your attention and no-one is wearing an invisibility cloak.

Ellieb
Posts: 891
Joined: 26 Jul 2008, 7:06pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby Ellieb » 31 Jan 2020, 4:57pm

I am visible and I find it easy without any thought or forethought. It seems to be to be an inescapable feature of existing.

Human visual cognition isn't just a case of photons reflecting off an object & then directly forming a recogsnisable image in the brain: There is a massive amount of psychological processing going on before you recognise what you are looking it. 'Visible' isn't really the term: 'conspicuous' probably is. It doesn't take an expert to realise that there are things which can make you more easily recognised as something not to drive into. Including colour, shape, movement & being something the viewer expects to see or is particularly looking for. All of these things help to make you be more identifiable as a cyclist. One of cycling's is that the nature of Britain's road use means that the last two items are not prominent amongst UK drivers when it comes to bikes.

AlaninWales
Posts: 1608
Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 1:47pm

Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby AlaninWales » 31 Jan 2020, 5:05pm

Ellieb wrote:
I am visible and I find it easy without any thought or forethought. It seems to be to be an inescapable feature of existing.

Human visual cognition isn't just a case of photons reflecting off an object & then directly forming a recogsnisable image in the brain: There is a massive amount of psychological processing going on before you recognise what you are looking it. 'Visible' isn't really the term: 'conspicuous' probably is. It doesn't take an expert to realise that there are things which can make you more easily recognised as something not to drive into. Including colour, shape, movement & being something the viewer expects to see or is particularly looking for. All of these things help to make you be more identifiable as a cyclist. One of cycling's is that the nature of Britain's road use means that the last two items are not prominent amongst UK drivers when it comes to bikes.

And the evidence is that there is nothing that the victim can do about that. Only the driver can make any difference to these psychological processes (and some people are unable to control this and should not be driving). Being aware that the same visual cortex that is processing what is in front of you is also processing the images you are creating whilst listening to that play on the radio; and that this part of your brain has limited capacity - is a start.

'Common Sense' says that by wearing 'hi-viz' we should be more conspicuous and that drivers should be able to identify us and avoid driving into us. Drivers run into 'hi-viz' objects despite them being "conspicuous", there is no safety advantage that can be identified at population level, from wearing hi-viz.