Kilometres or miles

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Tangled Metal
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Tangled Metal » 11 Jun 2020, 9:01pm

Interested to know how relevant comparing national road safety stats are between totally different countries. For example UK and I think Belgium are more densely packed than France, Germany and Scandinavian nations. What affect does that have on safety? Just one confusing factor. Any studies into this?

Also, different countries record data differently. The EU statistics body often accepts data from member nations based on the methodology of each nations. I've read published reports by that body where the blurb at the beginning before the data appears that actually states the figures can't be used to compare between nations only direction of movement of each country's data. Not saying that's the case with KSI data from euro nations but it's something else I wonder about. Without methodology being understood the data is not as useful for proving your point.

As to the argument about metric only being needed for scientific stuff that's a load of Imperial codswallop. System choice is personal but IMHO there needs to be standardisation across the world for global trade and research endeavour. Humans will not develop without using standardisation in unit systems. It could have been Imperial but metric has undoubtedly become the standard most widely accepted. It's also part of a more common sense system using base 10. Ten times table is possibly the second table every young child learns after counting in ones.

If you're not doing science then you don't need metric. Anyone here not doing science? Hands up? Get your hands down suffer in the back, you're using science everywhere. You're just not accepting it. Working out your gearing is science, budgeting is science (maths is science). Right now metric is everywhere except driving speed and distance. Height is often in cm or metres. My son rides a frog 52 which has a 52cm minimum stand over height once that was inches. Bike geometry hasn't been Imperial for b years. I'm certain anyone who chooses your bike partly by looking geometry is using science/mathematics and metric.

It's amazing we've not standardized on the fully metric system by now and driving on the same side of the road as most of the world too. It's really making us look a backwards country I reckon. My problem is I'm part of the problem. I use miles and mph, even mpg when looking at cars. I mean, miles per gallon when petrol stations give litre as the unit quantity.. If you're going somewhere working out if you've got enough fuel might be easier if you know your litres per 100km. I know my average mpg but if cars used the metric measure it would be easier I reckon.

Cost? Things cost but if in the long term it's worth it then it should be done. Straw man argument saying the money could pay more nurses. So could trident or devolution or legal aid or libraries or...

While we're at it, what else could do with a change for the long term good? Full metrication and driving on the other side of the road can't be the only outdated hang up to the old ways/days. What else are being held back because of nostalgia?

Peter F
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Peter F » 11 Jun 2020, 9:29pm

Mike Sales wrote:
You are agreeing with me about how the raw casualty figures are a poor guide to danger. People take more care when they perceive danger, and, as I did say, this changes exposure. I am glad we can agree there, but I am not sure why you needed to restate what I said.
The classic book on child independent mobility is One False Move by Hillman, Whitelegg and Adams.
My copy is not accessible at the moment, but it is available on Amazon, or a pdf is at
http://john-adams.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/one%20false%20move.pdf

No doubt you are aware of the difficulty usually ignored by road engineers: if the risks of an action are changed, human beings tend to change their behaviour. Making cars more crashworthy results in driver behaviour changing in a way which maintains their chosen level of risk. Frustrating.
Have you identified the right problem to solve in road safety?
Have you read John Adams's or Wilde's work on risk?


I am neither agreeing or disagreeing, I'm saying they are simply different measures, both useful.
Sharks can be very dangerous I.e. the consequence is high. But because they are dangerous we tend to steer clear of them hence low frequency. So the reality is sharks do not kill many people. Horses however are not viewed as dangerous and indeed relatively speaking they aren't, so consequence of an interaction us typically low, so we interact regularly, very high frequency. The result is they kill far more people than sharks. If we wish to reduce animal related deaths we should focus on horses, not sharks.
Last edited by Peter F on 11 Jun 2020, 9:45pm, edited 2 times in total.

Mike Sales
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Mike Sales » 11 Jun 2020, 9:38pm

Peter F wrote:I am neither agreeing or disagreeing, I'm saying they are simply different measures, both useful.
Sharks can be very dangerous I.e. the consequence is high. But because they are dangerous we tend to steer clear of them hence low frequency. So the reality is sharks do not kill many people. Horses however are not viewed as dangerous and indeed relatively speaking they aren't, so consequence of an interaction us typically low, so we interact regularly, very high frequency. The result is they kill far more people than sharks. If we wish to reduce animal related deaths we should focus on horses, not sharks.


Quite. My original post was prompted by the oft repeated assertion that our roads are the safest in Europe. I replied that it is precisely because their dangers are so apparent that the vulnerable road user classes avoid them or take great care using them.
This does not mean that they are safe for, say, cycling. The claim of safe roads needs to be strictly qualified. It is a very partial meaning of safe.
It seems that our superficially safe record only includes certain road users.

I guess I did not make myself clear enough.

Peter F
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Peter F » 11 Jun 2020, 9:45pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Peter F wrote:I am neither agreeing or disagreeing, I'm saying they are simply different measures, both useful.
Sharks can be very dangerous I.e. the consequence is high. But because they are dangerous we tend to steer clear of them hence low frequency. So the reality is sharks do not kill many people. Horses however are not viewed as dangerous and indeed relatively speaking they aren't, so consequence of an interaction us typically low, so we interact regularly, very high frequency. The result is they kill far more people than sharks. If we wish to reduce animal related deaths we should focus on horses, not sharks.


Quite. My original post was prompted by the oft repeated assertion that our roads are the safest in Europe. I replied that it is precisely because their dangers are so apparent that the vulnerable road user classes avoid them or take great care using them.
This does not mean that they are safe for, say, cycling. The claim of safe roads needs to be strictly qualified. It is a very partial meaning of safe.
It seems that our superficially safe record only includes certain road users.

I guess I did not make myself clear enough.


My response to the rest of your previous post.

I very much doubt the issue you describe of behaviour change is ignored at all. Yes, as you make things safer people may be inclined to take more risks, however the aim of the game is hazard elimination or the removal of the human from the equation. No hazard problem solved, no human involved, much reduced risk. Arguments about car safety features meaning we take more risks have been going on for years and yet those fears have never come to pass. Car safety features have made cars vastly safer and also clever road design does the same thing. Accident statistics show clearly that better car design and improved roads do not result in behaviour change resulting in the same level of risk. This is possibly because our perception of risk is not based on the actual risk and fir many drivers perceived risk us much higher than it is in reality,hence they drive well below the capabilities of both the vehicle and the road.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Tangled Metal » 11 Jun 2020, 9:49pm

Sharks tend to avoid humans not necessarily humans avoiding sharks. In parts of America at certain times of the year you can be swimming in a beach within 100m of a collective of sharks that could number 1500!!!. Great whites could be patrolling areas within reach of humans swimming but we're not prey so they're not interested. Very misunderstood and feared beyond what is merited.

Related to sharks the Stingray has the potential to kill indeed since one killed Steve Irwin people started to see them as dangerous. They are actually very intelligent, inquisitive and unlikely to harm you especially if you're calm and don't make sudden, unpredictable movements. Indeed parts of the world it's a tourist activity to paddle in a bay or harbour with Stingray. Indeed you can feed them by hand they're so unlikely to harm you.

It's ignorance of animals that often cause people to be harmed by them. The fear of animals rarely match the reality of the danger posed.

Mike Sales
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Mike Sales » 11 Jun 2020, 10:02pm

Peter F wrote:My response to the rest of your previous post.

I very much doubt the issue you describe of behaviour change is ignored at all. Yes, as you make things safer people may be inclined to take more risks, however the aim of the game is hazard elimination or the removal of the human from the equation. No hazard problem solved, no human involved, much reduced risk. Arguments about car safety features meaning we take more risks have been going on for years and yet those fears have never come to pass. Car safety features have made cars vastly safer and also clever road design does the same thing. Accident statistics show clearly that better car design and improved roads do not result in behaviour change resulting in the same level of risk. This is possibly because our perception of risk is not based on the actual risk and fir many drivers perceived risk us much higher than it is in reality,hence they drive well below the capabilities of both the vehicle and the road.


That safety belts increased the casualties amongst the vulnerable is clear.
Significantly the Significance article did not make it into the Review’s list of key references on seat belts. A significant omission because the authors, all defenders of the seat belt law, acknowledge an effect of the law of important consequence to vulnerable road users. They say “the clear reduction in death and injury to car occupants is appreciably offset by extra deaths among pedestrians and cyclists.”


This is an admission, by seat belt proponents, that there were negative consequences for vulnerable road users when drivers felt safer.
This is immoral, in my view.

seatbelts2.jpg



[url]www.john-adams.co.uk/2013/03/24/the-biggest-lie/
[/url]

Have you heard of Smeed's Law. This was empirically derived and states that accident rates fall as traffic density increases.
And, as I was saying, the vulnerable road user removes themselves from the danger by not using the roads, and has to take more and more care when obliged to use the road. Hence the well documented decrease in the freedom of children.

In 1971, 80 per cent of seven- and eight-year-old children were allowed to go to school without adult supervision. By 1990, this figure fell to 9 per cent. Road accidents involving children have declined not because the roads have become safer but because children can no longer be exposed to the dangers they pose. Systematic surveys were carried out of how children and their parents behave in response to the risk of accidents in ten areas in Britain and Germany. Clear evidence was found that restrictions on the independent mobility of children were a direct result of the fears of parents. In addition, parents have been steadily increasing the amount of time they spend escorting their children. This further contributes to traffic conjestion and increased danger from traffic.


From One False Move.

andrewwillans49
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby andrewwillans49 » 12 Jun 2020, 7:30am

As tangled metal says, we could try metrication and driving on the right. Perhaps we could have a pilot scheme where hgvs drive on the left for 1 year and all other vehicles drive on the right.

Vorpal
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Vorpal » 12 Jun 2020, 8:08am

Mike Sales wrote:
Have you heard of Smeed's Law. This was empirically derived and states that accident rates fall as traffic density increases.
And, as I was saying, the vulnerable road user removes themselves from the danger by not using the roads, and has to take more and more care when obliged to use the road. Hence the well documented decrease in the freedom of children.

In 1971, 80 per cent of seven- and eight-year-old children were allowed to go to school without adult supervision. By 1990, this figure fell to 9 per cent. Road accidents involving children have declined not because the roads have become safer but because children can no longer be exposed to the dangers they pose. Systematic surveys were carried out of how children and their parents behave in response to the risk of accidents in ten areas in Britain and Germany. Clear evidence was found that restrictions on the independent mobility of children were a direct result of the fears of parents. In addition, parents have been steadily increasing the amount of time they spend escorting their children. This further contributes to traffic conjestion and increased danger from traffic.


From One False Move.

The unfortunately dark side of this is that KSI rates for children in economically deprived areas in Britain is 4 times what it is for those in higher income areas. While there are several reasons for this, the overarching reason is that they are far more likely to be walking, cycling, and playing out than children from areas which are not economically deprived. Due to lack of transport options, lack of infrastructure designed for active travel, lack of safe spaces to play near home, the result is a huge disparity in KSI levels.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Jdsk
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Jdsk » 12 Jun 2020, 9:57am

Kilometres or miles

I was interested in the discussion of units of measure.

Jonathan

mattsccm
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby mattsccm » 12 Jun 2020, 5:56pm

"Humans will not develop " :lol:
And just what is meant by develop?
I haven't seen much in the last century.

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CJ
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby CJ » 14 Jun 2020, 10:54pm

rfryer wrote:
CJ wrote:Most human beings can just about cope with differences of speed of up to 20mph. Closing speeds much higher than that do not allow enough reaction time for the average not-so-very-attentive driver to slow sufficiently, or take avoiding action.

Where does this come from? The number of times I've been passed by drivers with a higher closing speed than this must be in the thousands. Am I monumentally lucky in only encountering above average drivers?

Lucky, but not monumentally. And there are things you can do to improve your chances: wear eye-catching clothes, a long blonde wig, fit a daytime rear lamp, a mirror to anticipate when to get off the road... and NEVER ride into low sun.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

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cycleruk
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby cycleruk » 15 Jun 2020, 9:48am

CJ wrote:
rfryer wrote:
CJ wrote:Most human beings can just about cope with differences of speed of up to 20mph. Closing speeds much higher than that do not allow enough reaction time for the average not-so-very-attentive driver to slow sufficiently, or take avoiding action.

Where does this come from? The number of times I've been passed by drivers with a higher closing speed than this must be in the thousands. Am I monumentally lucky in only encountering above average drivers?

Lucky, but not monumentally. And there are things you can do to improve your chances: wear eye-catching clothes, a long blonde wig, fit a daytime rear lamp, a mirror to anticipate when to get off the road... and NEVER ride into low sun.


20 mph (approx') is the maximum "running" speed that has been natural for human beings for thousands of years. So our natural reaction times are based around our history. Going much faster than this is only possible by other means such as using a mechanical device. With practice and teaching we have learnt to adapt and anticipate the use of higher speeds but our reaction times haven't changed. Rules of the road are the thing that allow humans to travel at much higher speeds in relative safety without injuring each other.
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It's either a headwind, or you're going well.

Jdsk
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Jdsk » 15 Jun 2020, 9:59am

cycleruk wrote:20 mph (approx') is the maximum "running" speed that has been natural for human beings for thousands of years. So our natural reaction times are based around our history. Going much faster than this is only possible by other means such as using a mechanical device. With practice and teaching we have learnt to adapt and anticipate the use of higher speeds but our reaction times haven't changed. Rules of the road are the thing that allow humans to travel at much higher speeds in relative safety without injuring each other.

That's an interesting way of thinking about it. I'd just add that we've been riding horses faster than that for a few thousand years: long enough for both individual learning and that cultural adaptation, although far too short for much change in our neurophysiology.

Jonathan

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby Cyril Haearn » 15 Jun 2020, 10:20am

Riding horses? In many societies only elites did that. Not so long ago poor farmers ploughed with Oxen, horses were more expensive
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kwackers
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Re: Kilometres or miles

Postby kwackers » 15 Jun 2020, 10:20am

Jdsk wrote:
cycleruk wrote:20 mph (approx') is the maximum "running" speed that has been natural for human beings for thousands of years. So our natural reaction times are based around our history. Going much faster than this is only possible by other means such as using a mechanical device. With practice and teaching we have learnt to adapt and anticipate the use of higher speeds but our reaction times haven't changed. Rules of the road are the thing that allow humans to travel at much higher speeds in relative safety without injuring each other.

That's an interesting way of thinking about it. I'd just add that we've been riding horses faster than that for a few thousand years: long enough for both individual learning and that cultural adaptation, although far too short for much change in our neurophysiology.

Jonathan

Running through the undergrowth at 20mph is hugely different than driving down a motorway at 70 or a B road at 30.
Our reaction times are the same in all cases, we "adapt" by making sure we are further apart thus a combination of reaction time and distance balance up to make sure all is well.

Also:
As you get older your reaction times suffer.
Research shows that older drivers compensate naturally by leaving a larger distance between them and the other traffic.

Adaptability is probably the greatest thing evolution has given us - the very thing that does allow us to remain in control of vehicles sometimes travelling at several hundred mph.