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Failure to look properly is biggest factor in road accidents

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by twistngo, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. #1 twistngo, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
    This shouldn't surprise us but in the UK the Institute of advanced motorists put in a FOI request to get the data and failure to look properly, not speeding is the biggest factor in accidents for everyone, not just bikes. So SMIDSY isn't just a motorcycle thing. Seems its not us being difficult to see, its us being more easily hurt.

    FAILING to look properly is the most common factor in road accidents, according to government data obtained by a motoring group.
    Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show ‘failure to look properly’ was recorded by police as a factor in over 30,000 accidents in 2013.

    Read more: Failure to look properly is biggest factor in road accidents - Motorcycle news : General news - Visordown

    More than 30,000 road accidents a year caused by drivers ‘failing to look properly’ | Institute of Advanced Motorists | The Institute of Advanced Motorists - The UK’s leading road safety charity, dedicated to increasing skills for road users, raising driving and riding standards and helping to save lives on our roads.
  2. But how can infringements be enforced?
    Subversive radicalism. Must be stopped.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Exactly my thoughts Titus.
  4. Surely this is obvious if you looked you'd probably try not to hit it unless your all manner of crazy.

    In other news failure to not hit stuff results in accidents...
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  5. In my experience, unfortunately there are some who are that crazy.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. I've kind of got an issue with so many motorcycles now having twin headlights. I think this brings an issue. The drama is that when a car driver approaches an intersection and checks for oncoming traffic they do so with just a split second glance. This allows them to vaguely see traffic but does limit their ability to make certain assessments. The most critical is they spend so little time looking that the vehicle does not move much in the glance so they have no idea how fast it is going, they only know distance away.

    One of the ways that distance is judged I believe is the distance between oncoming headlights, even in full daylight. The drama is a motorcycle very close to them looks the same in a split second glance as a car that is much further away because on the motorcycle the headlights are much closer together.

    It would be my belief that using the common strategy of a split second glance, a car driver would most likely be able to give accurate information about cars but be completely wrong about motorcycles in that same glance.

    Kilometres travelled on Australian roads by motorcycles only make up 1.8% of total kilometres travelled, so car drivers just don't get as much practice observing us as they do larger vehicles.

    I think a great solution would be a series of ads demonstrating motorcycles "coming out of nowhere" to educate drivers that it takes more than a split second to assess the speed and distance of a motorcycle.

    I know in close calls I have clearly stunned the car driver by being closer than expected. This has occurred in normal suburban streets where speed is not a factor.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. The limitation on your field of view helmets, especially full face helmets, create may add to a rider not being able to to see vehicles so well. Turning to see behind or next to you is also more difficult when wearing a helmet. A lot depends on having good mirrors. Convex mirrors can also lead to an unrealistic view of vehicles behind you. It just means taking more care and when in doubt.....dont!
  8. I don't think the double headlight issue has legs. A bike's speed is difficult to judge when oncoming in the base case given its small frontal profile. I doubt it has anything to do with dual head lights, but I'm happy to stand corrected.

    HeliHeli 's new bike has an interesting front light set up...
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. #9 MichaelR65, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2015
    I am inclined to agree with you. Many years ago I pulled out in front of an early Land Rover having misinterpreted the close set headlights as indicating a more distant position. Fortunately early Land Rovers don't tend to approach very fast!

    {Mod edit - fix quotes}
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I think what happened to you is quite possible for a car like object with lights close together, but I don't think it explains motorcycles appearing further than they are.

    Google "Time to arrival" illusion.
  11. Personally, I have an issue with the business of headlights being on all the time.

    I certainly believe that the bright light makes judging distance and speed harder.

    I vaguely recollect at least one supposedly scientific research paper that agreed with me.

    But, in general terms, the whole business of seeing, noticing, identifying and classifying what the eyes actually see and the brain recognizes, is fraught with complexity.

    Isn't there a video clip someplace of the bloke in the gorilla suit wandering thru the basketball game?

    To folk in a decent sized car, or larger, a motorbike isn't a threat, so, while the optical business might well actually see a motorbike, it's significance, to the car driver's brain can be zero.

    In the past, I have advocated that arming all motorbike riders with 9mm Glocks would make them more noticeable to car drivers, but I can't see that happening any time soon. :)

    The other way that a motorbike, and its rider become more significant to a car driver is if that car driver rides a bike, or has a close relation, who rides a motorbike, so, perhaps a way of reducing SMIDSYs is to encourage/enable people to learn to ride a motorbike, before they start learning to drive a car.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. CrazyCamCrazyCam If you're right (and I suspect you are) that inattention is a far bigger factor than objective 'visibility', that bodes badly for interventions. Beyond a few things like road improvements (to remove/improve distracting signage etc) and cracking down on mobile phone usage, there isn't much that can practicably be done to improve millions of drivers' attention skills. That puts the ball solidly in our court, at least until driverless cars come along.
  13. Just this morning car started to pull out from parallel park, then stopped. Was @ dawn so could not have missed my headlights if they glanced in the mirror, I put it down to not judging the distance correct from the spacing of my 2 headlights. Narrow back street with parallel parking on both sides & has some traffic so if you lived there you would have to be used to checking or you'd be getting dents pretty regular. Though I suppose is more likely being lazy & not checking until having started moving.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Well actually I think there would be. It would require the relevant legislation though.

    If SMIDSY type perps (found at fault in crashes) were to have their licences cancelled with no "period of cancellation" and given only the option of riding a motorbike for 5 years to qualify for a licence for another type of vehicle. Those who are in most need of upskilling their observation skills and lengthening their attention spans would get their opportunity and plenty of practice.

    Plain, simple message, if you want to want to use the roads, then learn to look out for other road users.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. jstavajstava "Plain, simple" messages don't work in a national justice system, because a nation is nothing at all like a home with a couple of children and a tough-but-fair dad. It would be nice in some ways if life were that simple, but 200+ years of criminal justice stats and research shows definitively that it isn't.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Like your thinking, sir!

    I'd settle for just one year of being allowed to ride rather than drive, but I can't see it ever happening unless there is a revolution and I become the benevolent dictator.
  17. Inattention, distraction, incompetence are far bigger issues than vehicle size, shape or number of headlights...
    driving a 30T tipper and the fcukers in their shitbox suv's still either don't look, couldn't be bothered cause in their minds their shit doesn't stink or are so busy texting, calling or turned around yelling at little johnny, or they just plain have no fcuking idea how long it takes to stop 30T when they pull in front of you without leaving a suitable gap or safety buffer...shits me no end...

    and at the end of the day its everyone else's fault and more and more nanny state laws are enacted to protect them from themselves...fcuk em'

    So for those interested in a longer term solution....

    * all 16 y.o.'s after 20 hrs on 'L' can get their bike 'L's and ride low powered scooters and small bikes.
    * part of the licence test qualification - a learner must spend at least 1 full day in the passenger seat of a heavy vehicle ( +10T GVM ). I would make it at Transport industry obligation to provide said seats at no or minimal cost.
    * At least 10 of the 120 hrs a learner needs to do are done with a professional instructor or licenced mentor ( new qualification added to an existing full licence holder after suitable testing to stop the professional instructors rorting the system ).
    * New classification of licence for large 4x4 and suv vehicles under 4.5T....with proper skills and responsibilities training.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  18. Of course Cris and CrazyCam, it could never be made simple. There are simply too many interests at work:

    The state, which likes people to think they are taking care of people, but it seems like they are mostly interested in the money these days.
    The insurance industry, which is all about the money.
    The legal profession, who will attempt to help anyone, however hopeless their case may be, for a fee.
    (to name just a few)

    It is not really in any of these people's interests to see incompetent drivers simply removed from the roads.

    The government is most reluctant to remove bad drivers altogether or provide serious discouragement for any length of time. It's just not good for business.
  19. Well, it could be simple.

    A wee revolution, a benevolent dictatorship...... actually, I don't think I have the time to do that myself, but I reckon I could talk my wife into that job, and Bob's your Uncle......all sorts of simple things can be done. ;-)

    But, of course, in the present state....... not gonna happen. :-(
  20. I've done some videoing on my own bike along a 2km straight road, which I haven't got around to sharing yet. My headlight was well visible over a kilometre away in overcast conditions. My bike was visible as an object on the road from 500 -700m away. The hi viz vest I was wearing was barely visible as a distinguishable breakup of my colour contour on the footage from 170m away (possibly further in real life due to fluorescence from a fresh vest with minimal wear and tear/use/laundering).

    The bike/headlight combination however was just a dot in the distance and its approach speed was difficult to gauge until it was close and the perspective of the bike shape started to change. This is the key concern/factor in an apparent SMIDSY type called "Time to arrival illusion" - the perspective change happens late. It's not to do with the headlight.

    I also worked out that IF the distance was judged by looking along the road and not at the shape, the approach speed was easier to judge. Driver's aren't taught that.

    Ok so it's not a scientific study, but it sure as hell confirmed my intuitive and riding experience notions about visibility and whether you can rely on being seen... you cannot.

    The gorilla clip is brilliant to explain inattentional blindess/change blindness. A mind otherwise engaged in an activity has a high chance of not recognising a change where the change is not important to them. A non riding driver will fail to see a motorcycle a lot of the time simply due to a lack of awareness or importance attributed to the object. That's why half the population sample failed to see the gorilla which was in plane sight.

    And that's why family members suddenly report seeing bikes all over the place, where previously they pretty much ignored them unless it was an idiot, because now that a family member rides, the bike has been brought into prominence in their circle.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1