“accidental death”

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  • “accidental death”
  • Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    There needs to be a big change in attitudes towards cyclists in this country. I’ve noticed when cycling in France and Spain that drivers consistently give you more room when passing – compare with over here, where you can be pretty much guarantee that someone will come within inches of taking you out on a daily basis.

    One reason why in most of continental Europe cyclists get more consideration is that in law the car driver is assumed to be at fault in any collision with a bike unless they can prove otherwise. this would help greatly IMO.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Couldn’t agree more if I’d written that myself, TJ πŸ˜‰ I thought there was some proposal to bring such a law in – greeted of course with much wailing from the DM readers who seemed to think they’d be blamed even if the cyclist was at fault. IMHO such a law shifts the position to allocating blame in the most likely place by default.

    roper
    Member

    It isn’t just because of the law. it is also an attitude. Where I ride some drivers will beep and cheer you on. Almost all will not overtake on a blind bend but will wait for a safe place to clear. Some have even waited behind until they have been waved on.

    IanMunro
    Member

    Although deaths per km is pretty meaningless, deaths per hour or deaths per journey would better reflect the risk
    Why?

    Because comparing risk by distance when objects don’t travel similar distances gives skewed results. Let’s say I live 100K from work. If I drive I have a 0.00000028 chance of dying, 0.00000295 for cycling and 0.00000448 for walking. So cycling’s would appear to be 1.5 times safer than walking. But in reality people don’t walk 100K to work or cycle 100K to work, they choose a different form of transport. Let’s say the average uk commute is 30 minutes, you average 60Kmh in the car 20kmh on the bike and 5Kmh walking. So the distances travelled are 30km, 10Km and 2.5Km respectively. The death rates for the journeys are 0.000000084, 0.000000295, 0.000000112.
    So taking into account the speeds people move at and the time they’re exposed to the risk you’ll see that cycling is 2.6 times more dangerous than walking, rather than the 1.5 times safer the base line statistics would suggest.
    A moment’s thought will tell you that it’s patently absurd that walking is more dangerous than cycling. Try thinking of all the times that friends and work colleagues have regaled about all the near misses they’ve had walking into work rather than cycling.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Very true Roper, we got cheered up the hills too. There seems to be less resentment of cyclists and I’m not sure that changing the law can do much about this.

    I’m saddened to read comments like 5thElefant’s about cyclists not having any place on certain roads. It’s a circular argument (because the fewer people who cycle, the less aware car drivers are of cyclists) and doesn’t seem to acknowledge that for a lot of people cycling is a practical mode of transport as well as a hobby.

    5thElefant
    Member

    Why?

    Risk is interesting. People think someone riding 2 miles to work is taking a big risk, but someone driving 20 miles to work is not.

    Have a look at the Space Shuttles safety record. It’s deaths pre km travelled make it the safest vehicle in the world.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    A moment’s thought will tell you that it’s patently absurd that walking is more dangerous than cycling. Try thinking of all the times that friends and work colleagues have regaled about all the near misses they’ve had walking into work rather than cycling.

    Another moment’s thought might tell you that’s spurious evidence, as it’s not the near misses which kill you (I’d expect the conversion rate of near misses to hits to be rather higher for peds).

    In reality, without a huge amount of further analysis, trying to compare the risk of a particular journey by different means of transport using these stats is spurious. That’s the problem with stats – they include all sorts of stuff which isn’t relevant to your situation, like children crossing the road, inexperienced cyclists, and people doing very low cycle mileage but most of that in risky situations.

    Good point, 5thelephant – I suggest commuting by space shuttle.

    5thElefant
    Member

    I’m saddened to read comments like 5thElefant’s about cyclists not having any place on certain roads. It’s a circular argument (because the fewer people who cycle, the less aware car drivers are of cyclists) and doesn’t seem to acknowledge that for a lot of people cycling is a practical mode of transport as well as a hobby.

    I didn’t say that, but you would be correct to assume I don’t accept cycling as a practical mode of transport. Neither is the motorcycle. I do both, but generally neither works very well as transport.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I do both, but generally neither works very well as transport.

    That’s a pretty inane comment. Has it dawned on you that what doesn’t work for you might work very well for other people? πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I didn’t say that

    So what did this mean?

    Lets face it, it is not safe to let cycles and cars mix.
    …or you ban cycles from the road and make them use cycle-paths.

    IanMunro
    Member

    I didn’t say that, but you would be correct to assume I don’t accept cycling as a practical mode of transport. Neither is the motorcycle. I do both, but generally neither works very well as transport.
    It’s a far more practical form of transport for my daily commute than a car, no queues, no hunting for a parking space, no walking miles (well a 1/4 mile) from the parking space to the office. Obviously your milage may vary though.

    5thElefant
    Member

    So what did this mean?

    Lets face it, it is not safe to let cycles and cars mix.
    …or you ban cycles from the road and make them use cycle-paths.
    It means it’s not safe, i.e. you’re exposing yourself to risk.

    That’s very different to “cyclists not having any place on certain roads”.

    Don’t forget the context, I was asked ‘what my solution would be’. I offered one, but I don’t think there needs to be a solution.

    If you’re willing to take the risk then I’m not going to tell you otherwise.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I’ll just chip in – I might not use a bike much as transport, but it works just fine when I do. The idea that cycling isn’t a practical mode of transport would be hilarious were it not coming from a cyclist who appears to be clueless.

    I use my bike as a mode of transport. It saves on us needing a second car. I even use it to pick up my daughters and get some shopping so how is it not practible?

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Obviously your milage may vary though.

    Deliberate or accidental comedy?

    Unfortunately here we run into one of the problems with democracy. I think it would be very hard to find anyone who does not accept that driving standards are not as good as they might be – but unfortunately it would be electoral suicide for any government to attempt to improve driving standards for car drivers. It has been done for motorcycles thru stricter licensing and testing – but for cars – no way jose.

    If I ruled the country then mandatory retesting every five yrs would be introduced along with a significantly tougher driving test.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Many people use bikes for transport. In fact, I’d bet more miles are ridden for practical purposes than for pleasure.

    5thElefant
    Member

    I’ll just chip in – I might not use a bike much as transport, but it works just fine when I do. The idea that cycling isn’t a practical mode of transport would be hilarious were it not coming from a cyclist who appears to be clueless.

    If I have to be labeled I’m a mountainbiker. I ride off-road. There isn’t a single journey I do where I could use a cycle. If I could use a cycle, I’d use a motorbike.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    There isn’t a single journey I do where I could use a cycle.

    Either the places where you work, shop and send your kids to school are 50 miles from where you live, or you’re talking out of your arse. πŸ˜‰

    I don’t own a car – my bike is used for practical transport most days

    5thElefant
    Member

    Either the places where you work, shop and send your kids to school are 50 miles from where you live, or you’re talking out of your arse

    My office is in my house.
    We get shopping delivered, but it would be quicker to take the car shopping if we did shop.
    My kid has left school, but he used to walk, it’s 400yds.

    My time is valuable to me, if I could cycle quicker than drive I’d cycle. I did a 220 mile round trip commute to London for 9 months. I used a motorbike, which although a crap form of transport save me 4 hours a day.

    I live in the country. I can’t think how I could do any journey quicker by bicycle, and their can be no other justification to use one (for me, although it may be convenient to double up transport and exercise for some).

    vadar
    Member

    Lets not beat around the bush with statistics…Most car/van/lorry drivers dont give a flying f*** for the cyclist.Unless they cycle themself. Nor do the grovelment ..(government) care about road users unless you pay tax. Wether its for a race licence or through the club fees.
    I have also had a few bumps with veichles .Not my fault…Fing drivers..ACCIDENT MY ARSE. They see you but dont care.. Neeed i go on..

    NO ! my darkside has gone to the forest..forever !!

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    There isn’t a single journey I do where I could use a cycle.

    If you live in the middle of some dale somewhere, with a ten mile trip to get to anywhere, that may be true. Most people do not, so saying that cycling is not generally a useful form of transport is a bit of a leap.

    In the town where I live, 34% of trips within the town could be made by bike instead of by car. These are trips which are less than two miles in length, where there is no heavy object to carry, where the person making the trip owns a bike and they are healthy enough to ride it.

    Obviously, your opinion might be more relevant than a fairly large study carried out by a respected organisation… In that case, you can rule out the bicycle as a practical means of transport.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I can’t think how I could do any journey quicker by bicycle, and their can be no other justification to use one

    I think you are a) wasting yours and your family’s money, and b) missing out on some of the finer things in life.

    5thElefant
    Member

    If you live in the middle of some dale somewhere, with a ten mile trip to get to anywhere, that may be true. Most people do not, so saying that cycling is not generally a useful form of transport is a bit of a leap.

    Yes, it was suggested that I didn’t see cycling as viable transport, and I conceded that I don’t. I’m not suggesting anyone not do it.

    I can see better alternatives in every scenario. But, as always, if you want to, go for it. But accept the risk if you do.

    5thElefant
    Member

    I think you are a) wasting yours and your family’s money, and b) missing out on some of the finer things in life.

    I think a) I can afford it b) I can think of endless finer things than wobbling around with a shopping laden bicycle. Like going mountainbiking for example.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Forgot to add, c) You’re currently living your life in a way that may well be unimaginable in a few years’s time. Along with a lot of the rest of the Western world. I’m sure you’ll be able to adapt though, you sound like an open-minded sort of bloke. πŸ˜‰

    5thElefant
    Member

    Cool. I’m looking forward to nuclear rocket boots.

    Premier Icon barney
    Subscriber

    Cool. I’m looking forward to nuclear rocket boots.

    You’ll get glow in the dark ankles, mind πŸ™‚

    And to be fair, Mr_A, if 5thElefant works from home and he gets his shopping delivered (so do I, BTW; it’s more environmentally friendly than driving, and I’m not cycling to my local shopping emporium for reasons I hope are clear πŸ™‚ then how is what he’s doing less sustainable than the lifestyles of you or I?

    The road is a hostile environment. The fact that it’s hostile because people are inept or careless doesn’t matter. We all know the risks.

    5thElefant – whether cycling is a viable or desirable means of transport for you or not is entirely your free choice, but comments like that are just astonishing. “The fact that it’s hostile because people are inept or careless doesn’t matter.” Of course it matters! That’s the whole point! Driving a car is an activity by which we have the potential to kill people, whether they be on bikes, on foot or in other cars. We have a pretty damn sombre responsibility not to be be inept or careless. We have to undergo tuition and testing, observe a raft of strict laws and pay for a license and insurance on a vehicle that has been tested to meet a minimum standard of road worthiness. All of that should serve as a bit of a hint that the thing we all undertake when we get behind the wheel is something we need to take pretty sodding seriously! Yet the roads are a hostile place because driving standards and attitudes (and i don’t just mean towards cyclists) are at something close to an all time low in this country right now. And that matters.

    Fine, you may not give a sh!t about cycling as transport, but a lot of people do and they have a right to expect to be able to do so without dying at the hands of careless or inept drivers. “They knew the risks” is not a good enough answer. The point of society is that it puts structures in place to enable people to coexist safely and peacefully without one group being left to the metaphorical wolves. “He should have known the risks” from an offending driver is about as valid a justification as “his insurance’ll pay for it” from a burglar. And before you tell me that’s no comparison because the drivers actions weren’t malicious, that doesn’t matter; vaguely good intentions don’t excuse dangerous negligence and, however it comes about, ending someones life is a damn sight more serious than relieving them of their plasma screen TV.

    juan
    Member

    One reason why in most of continental Europe cyclists get more consideration

    Not in France then…

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Well Barney, the sustainability thing is just one issue as far as I’m concerned – it’s one of many reasons to cycle, along with costing less, getting you fitter and being able to stop off at the pub en route. πŸ™‚

    But if we’re talking about the sustainability of a lifestyle that depends on a finite amount of compressed dead sea creatures for nearly all its energy, that’s a no-brainer. I’m not trying to do a holier-than-thou thing here, I quite like the trappings of modern life. But it would be nice to think that we could at least eke our resources out for a few more years and ease the transition a bit, without having to dynamite Antarctica or the like. πŸ˜‰

    As for not being able to cycle to the shops, pshaw. Just because you live somewhere that, in geological terms, is slightly pimply. πŸ˜‰

    5thElefant
    Member

    trailbreak-martin…

    Fine sentiments I’m sure. But back in the real world you can’t legislate against accidents. Which is entirely my point.

    How many inept drivers are there? 10 million? How many kill cyclists? One in 10,000?

    How do you get people to not take a 1 in 10,000 risk (or whatever it might be).

    You can’t. That’s the environment. That’s the risk. You can take revenge against people making mistakes but it won’t change anything.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    5thElefant – you said “I don’t accept cycling as a practical mode of transport.” The context of the quote you were replying to makes it clear that you didn’t consider it practical for anybody, not just you. Are you retreating from that position?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    But back in the real world you can’t legislate against accidents.

    So the HSE are wasting their time and should pack up shop now?

    5thElefant
    Member

    5thElefant – you said “I don’t accept cycling as a practical mode of transport.” The context of the quote you were replying to makes it clear that you didn’t consider it practical for anybody, not just you. Are you retreating from that position?

    Not particularly. I was conceding that was my personal opinion, as someone suggested that was the case (although I hadn’t said so), but it has nothing to do with my view on risk and accidents. I do ride on the road, whether it’s for recreation or travel is irrelevant. It’s the same risk.

    If you think cycling is viable transport I’m not going to tell you it isn’t. I don’t think it is though.

    Premier Icon barney
    Subscriber

    If you think cycling is viable transport I’m not going to tell you it isn’t. I don’t think it is though.

    Beautifully contradictory couple of sentences, that man!

    5thElefant
    Member

    It’s not contradictory. I have an opinion but I’m happy for you to have an opposing one.

    Fine sentiments I’m sure. But back in the real world you can’t legislate against accidents. Which is entirely my point.

    And my point is that your point is too simplistic and dismissive. True, blameless “accidents” are actually incredibly rare. You seem to be under the impression that any incident that did not come about intentionally is an accident that couldn’t have been avoided and that’s clearly not the case. The chain of events that leads to most “accidents” can be traced to positive action, decision or omission in most cases. Maybe you can’t legislate against those rare true “accidents”, but you can legislate against carelessness and negligence; in fact they have. The last time I looked driving without due care and attention was an offense punishable by law. And by a combination of legislation, education and persuasion, you can change things. You can change attitudes and behaviour patterns for the better. It takes time and persistence but it can be done. In fact it is being done in a million different ways all the time all over the world.

    Which is why the father of the Anthony Maynard (and let’s not forget that this debate started with a cyclist who died while apparently doing nothing wrong) is absolutely right to question the decision not to prosecute. Because frankly, I don’t want to be stuck in your version of the “real world” where we should all just quietly accept whatever sh!t gets thrown at us.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    If you think cycling is viable transport I’m not going to tell you it isn’t. I don’t think it is though.

    You don’t think it’s viable for you, or you don’t think it’s viable for anybody?

    5thElefant
    Member

    I’ll re-phrase then. You can legislate but all that will do is enable you to exact revenge.

    The chances of being involved in an accident are so remote that people won’t modify their behaviour to reduce that incredibly small chance of an accident happening. Even if the revenge they face is extreme. So legislation can’t have an impact.

    This leaves you with changing the environment to reduce the risk.

    The only viable solution is to ban cycles from the road and restrict them to cycle lanes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen, but I wouldn’t want it. I’d rather make my mind up about whether the risk is acceptable.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    The only viable solution is to ban cycles from the road and restrict them to cycle lanes.

    Viable for you or for everyone?

    5thElefant
    Member

    Viable for you or for everyone?

    It wouldn’t just reduce accidents for me, so I guess that would be everyone. It’s easy if you think about it.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    It wouldn’t just reduce accidents for me, so I guess that would be everyone. It’s easy if you think about it.

    It’s not viable for me, because there isn’t a continuous route from my house to everywhere that I go by bike which I can use without going on the road at some point.

    As cycle lanes are on the road, how do you ban bikes from the roads while making them use cycle lanes?

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