CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

danhopgood
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby danhopgood » 10 Feb 2015, 10:51am

It's probably worth reminding yourself what a green light means. It means "proceed if your way is clear", not "floor it, screw anyone who's in the way".


I thought I wrote that I stopped on a green light - which is not exactly "flooring it and screwing anyone in the way". In fact stopping was putting me and my family at risk from the car behind running into the back of us. All unnecessary.

We're obviously not getting anywhere here. My view remains all road users need to stick to the rules in order to improve road safety - and that includes cyclists. Better training, enforcement and infrastructure would all help. But the fact of the matter is, cyclists are vulnerable and will come off worse in any collision. I'm sure one thing behind John Armitt's comment and the attitude of the majority of motorists is that cyclists who choose to ignore bits of the Highway Code are more likely to "come a cropper" - which I agree with.

Cyclists get killed by motorised vehicles where the cyclist is innocent and that is completely tragic. But I'm sorry to say some of those casualties are cyclists deliberately doing the wrong thing, and the motorist doesn't or can't respond in time. The law says in those circumstances, assuming the motorist was acting reasonably, that the cyclist was at fault. That's not victim blaming - that's the law.

Motorists making the jump that "all cyclists are a menace" is obviously nonsense, but when their daily experience of cyclists is one of them being reckless, I can understand the way they feel. All I'm saying is the cycling community should be saying vocally and strongly that such behaviour is unacceptable and be seen to try and improve things. Eglobbying government for better enforcement, training and infrastructure. I see action on the latter two of these, but not the first.

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Guy951
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby Guy951 » 10 Feb 2015, 10:54am

kwackers wrote:
danhopgood wrote:I say again - the attitude of the public to cycling is adversely influenced by cyclists breaking the rules.

You keep spouting this nonsense but have you got any evidence?

I have evidence to the contrary and if I remember to dig it out this evening I'll bring it in tomorrow and start a new thread.

I have a collection of Cycling magazines from 1919 and the articles show that motorists (very much a minority group) attitude to cyclists was exactly the same then as it is now, and back then most of the population had never even seen a red traffic light, let alone had the opportunity to ignore one. What *has* changed in the last 96 years is the attitude of the police and the courts shown towards motorists who commit offences. In 1919 even minor offences were prosecuted and the drivers penalised. In 2015 motorists can kill and walk away, collar unfelt.
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honesty
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby honesty » 10 Feb 2015, 10:58am

Bad road behaviour is not dependent on the mode of transport being taken. TfL found that approximately the same number of drivers as cyclists jump red lights for example. No one is saying cyclists should ignore the rules of the road, but focusing on cyclist behaviour is not going to have as big an impact as focusing on the main cause of the accidents and either mitigating that risk or designing out the risk completely. Cyclist poor behaviour does not cause the majority of incidents. Blaming one cyclists poor behaviour as the cause of a completely different cyclists accident is ludicrous and propagates the us vs them mindset. There is no us vs them, there are just good road users and poor road users. Unfortunately the poor road users of 2 tonne metal boxes cause more damage when they go wrong compared to the people using 10kg ones.

stewartpratt
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby stewartpratt » 10 Feb 2015, 11:10am

danhopgood wrote:I thought I wrote that I stopped on a green light - which is not exactly "flooring it and screwing anyone in the way".


You did. But you stated that you didn't want to. My point was that it's not about what you want to do, you are only entitled to proceed if you way is clear.

You're arguing that other people, who present no significant physical risk to you as a driver should you be in a collision with each other, should give you "respect" yet you begrudge the same people's physical safety should they make a mistake. The "respect" seems a little unilateral.

danhopgood wrote:All I'm saying is the cycling community should be saying vocally and strongly that such behaviour is unacceptable and be seen to try and improve things.


Is that like the driving "community" (leaving the suppose definition of that to one side), which is currently out in force decrying grey speed cameras as treating drivers as "cash cows", rather than simply criticising those same people for choosing to break the law?

Come off it. Cycling groups certainly don't defend lawbreaking and often condemn it, but in order to improve matters it's vital to understand and explain the reasons why people break the law. In some cases it's because they simply don't give a stuff about it, but in some—notably some pavement cycling, some red light jumping, some one-way street abuse, etc—it's because they're choosing safety over legality. There are plenty of situations where that's the direct choice, and whilst it's important to recognise the illegality, it's manifestly unhelpful to condemn that choice of safety, and thus if progress is to be achieved it's unhelpful to fully and indiscriminately condemn all legal transgressions.

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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby kwackers » 10 Feb 2015, 11:11am

Guy951 wrote:I have a collection of Cycling magazines from 1919 and the articles show that motorists (very much a minority group) attitude to cyclists was exactly the same then as it is now, and back then most of the population had never even seen a red traffic light, let alone had the opportunity to ignore one. What *has* changed in the last 96 years is the attitude of the police and the courts shown towards motorists who commit offences. In 1919 even minor offences were prosecuted and the drivers penalised. In 2015 motorists can kill and walk away, collar unfelt.

I'm confused as to your point.

I pointed out some time back that motorists have always disliked cyclists - back then of course they had less excuses to use in their post rationalisation but in reality the reasons were the same.

As you say things have changed but that's got nothing to do with cyclists and everything to do with a current feeling that 'accidents happen' and fault shouldn't be found. It doesn't just apply to cyclists, it applies to every road user. We're all badly served by the current system whether as peds, cyclists or car drivers.

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mjr
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby mjr » 10 Feb 2015, 1:04pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:I'm sure you can find me a table of cycle incidents someplace that shows contact by a car on a cyclist as the biggest danger, even moreso than human error or equipment malfunction? I look forward to seeing it.

Im fairly sure human error would come out top, followed by equipment malfunction being significantly higher than cyclist hit by car events. So technically the statement is factually correct.

Sorry but I'm fairly sure it isn't. Here's a table from London https://twitter.com/KristianCyc/status/ ... 40/photo/1 - really the main one there that cycles can avoid is riding too close to doors (2nd place in the list) but even that takes errors by both. IIRC the top completely self-inflicted cause in such lists is usually a cyclist failing to give way but it doesn't make the top five. Crashing with no other vehicle happens but is less seriously harmful - so unless you have some very strange weighting like 3 bruises = 1 fatality then "cyclists are own biggest danger" is false.
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Guy951
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby Guy951 » 10 Feb 2015, 1:28pm

kwackers wrote:I'm confused as to your point.

I pointed out some time back that motorists have always disliked cyclists - back then of course they had less excuses to use in their post rationalisation but in reality the reasons were the same.

I'm not surprised you got confused. You responded to danhopgood asking for evidence that the wrongdoing of some cyclists was colouring motorists opinions of all cyclists. I started to say I had evidence to the contrary (as you had been saying all along) and then my brane dragged me up a side street :oops:

And now I can't remember what I was originally going to say. Oh Well, only two more years until I'm eligible to join the Fellowship of Cycling Old-Timers.
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 10 Feb 2015, 8:27pm

https://twitter.com/KristianCyc/status/530687250410250240/photo/1

Im sorry that isnt a table of risk, thats a table of fatalities. Heres a simple test. Count every time you had an equipment malfunction out on your bike since you first got on a bike. Then count every time you had an off or an oops or other serious mistake through human error. Then count how many times youve been hit by a car....
In my case in the last year. Equipment malfunctions:2 Human Error 18 Hit by car :0 Statistically thats oooh 90%human error 10% equipment malfunction and 0% car at fault. Which is broadly inline with risk management predictions.
Im sorry but anyone who suggests to me theyve been hit more times by a car than have had a puncture,chain come off or other mechanical, let alone factoring cases of human error is either grossly incompetent or extremely unlucky.

People need to understand that "risk" is different to "accident". I know we'd all love to blame car drivers for all the evils on the road but unfortunately it isnt true and never will be. Impacts by cars is significantly lower down the table of risk. If it was number 1 I wouldnt even get on a bike. Why? Because I would have to worry more about being hit by a car than a mechanical or personal failing.

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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby kwackers » 10 Feb 2015, 8:43pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:Im sorry but anyone who suggests to me theyve been hit more times by a car than have had a puncture,chain come off or other mechanical, let alone factoring cases of human error is either grossly incompetent or extremely unlucky.

That'll be me then!

Knocked off on a roundabout by car that cut across as I passed their exit.
Knocked off coming up to a set of traffic lights by a car that tried to overtake and then simply pulled left into my space when they failed.
Knocked off on a roundabout by a car that sailed onto it as I was passing the exit.
Knocked off by a bus that was too close and couldn't stop when I did.

Last puncture (aprox) 1980 (over a typical average of 3k a year).
Last time a chain came off. (Never - I know how to maintain a bike. ;) )
In fact last time anything mechanical happened. (Not to my knowledge.)

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honesty
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby honesty » 10 Feb 2015, 8:53pm

A dropped chain doesn't kill you.

A puncture doesn't generally kill you.

These do not make "cyclists their own biggest danger" in much the same way not tying your shoelaces doesn't make pedestrians their own biggest danger. Your understanding of risk needs to be re-evaluated. Risks can be described as having 2 factors, chance of occurrence and scale of incident. A dropped chain may have a high incidence of occurrence but a very low impact. Being hit by a car may have a lower occurrence but a much higher impact.

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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 10 Feb 2015, 9:10pm

To be fair I do agree that the originial person who made the quote was being insiduous by trying to suggest that cyclists are the problem. And this is to be condemned. However whether its flying a cessna or riding a bike, a good understanding of risk, or the chain of events that often lead to an accident can be invaluable on the road.
Its all to easy with an accident to say x hit y because of z. Its usually an oversimplification. Often whether it was down to the human being or the equipment there is usually a point in the chain of events where an accident becomes significantly likely. A good example is person X who drives a tin can values their time alot. Therefore feel rushed to get out the door at the last minute. (Mistake:Not planning enough time for journey). Then drives fast to make up time to get to work on time (Mistake 2:speeding). Driver then t-bones cyclist at roundabout (Mistake 3:accident) caused by 1&2. If driver had avoided 1 or 2 then 3 probably would not have occured. Cyclist assumes driver is a twonk for not looking, and attributes it to simple t-bone. But the great thing about risk management is that by considering, and being able to recognize risk, and chains of events in progress, we can do something to intervene quite often.
A good one is van cuts up cyclist(1), cyclist chases van and goes up the inside of van round corner(2), van punishment passes cyclist knocking them off(3). Cyclist then has altercation/fisticuffs with van driver(4). By understanding that you can stop after step 1, and take a breather. May well prevent 3&4, rather than 3&4 being inevitable. OK so in this particular case the van driver was an complete nutcase,and in the wrong. But still there is always potential to break a chain of events.

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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 10 Feb 2015, 9:13pm

A dropped chain doesn't kill you.

A puncture doesn't generally kill you.


No but they increase the chances of an accident on the road.

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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby 661-Pete » 10 Feb 2015, 11:44pm

danhopgood wrote:We're obviously not getting anywhere here.
We could say that about this entire thread. Dare I voice the suspicion that the big brass padlock is being fingered even as I post this?

But - dammit - I feel I ought to say this. Some years ago a proposal was afoot to link my home town (Burgess Hill) with nearby Haywards Heath, by a separate cycle path, not running alongside any road, a distance of about 3 miles. This was to run partly along existing bridleway, and partly new path altogether, running across privately-owned land.

The whole scheme fell on stony ground (literally) because several of the good gentlefolk of Sussex, owners of the said private land, naturally objected to the sudden alarming prospect of 'lycra-clad muesli-munching bearded louts pedalling their way across our land'. So it came to nothing.

My feeling, at the time, was that the whole scheme was unnecessary, and I even voiced my objection, when I learnt that the path was to be surfaced in loose gravel, explaining that the proposal would therefore be of no use to me and my road bike. But since then, the business of trying to cycle on roads between these two towns has become an order of magnitude worse. I feel that I can still cycle it, and my son likewise, but my wife is very reluctant to do it now. There are just too many big awkward junctions and roundabouts, and busy stretches of road. With hindsight, I now wish that cycle route had been created, if only to make it easier for some of the less willing cyclists.
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mjr
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby mjr » 11 Feb 2015, 12:00am

fluffybunnyuk wrote:https://twitter.com/KristianCyc/status/530687250410250240/photo/1
Im sorry that isnt a table of risk, thats a table of fatalities.

No need to be sorry. I know it's a table of outcomes.

Heres a simple test. Count every time you had an equipment malfunction out on your bike since you first got on a bike.

Why? Most equipment malfunctions present no danger, so do not contribute anything to the risk calculation.
Then count every time you had an off or an oops or other serious mistake through human error. Then count how many times youve been hit by a car....
In my case in the last year. Equipment malfunctions:2 Human Error 18 Hit by car :0

Blooming heck you've crashed 20 times in a year??? Comiserations and unless you're riding a heck of a lot, please consider seeking help.

People need to understand that "risk" is different to "accident".

People also need to understand that "risk" is different to "probability". Risk is the expected loss. Most of the examples given - punctures, chains, mechanicals - are fairly probable but often produce no loss, ergo aren't very risky.

Impacts by motor vehicles produce a huge loss, so are a risk that we seek to manage much more than would be deserved by its low probability, by such things as being ready to make an emergency turn.
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Re: CYCLISTS ARE OWN BIGGEST DANGER

Postby fluffybunnyuk » 11 Feb 2015, 7:02am

Composite Risk Index = Impact of Risk event x Probability of Occurrence

Human error 1(assume lowest loss)*18 =18
Mechanical 3(assume low loss)*2=6
Hit by car 25(assuming that all impacts are immediately fatal/highest loss)*0=0

Your welcome to check my maths. This still says human error significantly then mechanical then car.
I'm about done with this topic, theres no point explaining to a brick wall.
I was taught that good risk management will save my life most likely one day(flying). Therefore I use it regularly, and may I say it does just that.