Safe Speed Forums

The campaign for genuine road safety
It is currently Fri Dec 13, 2019 23:17

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Visibility and crashes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 00:57 
Offline
User

Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 21:18
Posts: 92
I own and drive a humble 1999 Peugeot 306. In recent months, I have been looking to buy a more modern car with a view to family driving and improved reliability and safety etc...

As such, I have test driven a few new cars - the latest being a Toyota Auris. 5 stars Euro NCAP rating, but in my view unsafe. Why? Because I couldn't see out of it!

The A pillars obscured my vision at junctions so much that I couldn't see a transit van for a second as it moved towards me. In addition, I couldn't see behind me whilst doing a shoulder check on the dual-carriage way because of the pillar and poorly sized / positioned rear windows.

I'd never felt so vulnerable as I knew that even though I'd taken my usual amount of care and then some extra on top, I wasn't confident I hadn't missed a vehicle in one of the numerous and sizable blind spots.

Other cars include:

BMW 1 series - AWFUL vision out of sides and rear

SEAT Leon - same as the Auris but with smaller mirrors.

Ford Focus C-Max - Again, awful!

I feel safer in my nearly ten-year old car because I can see! Which reduces my risk of actually having an accident in the first place.

My point is two-fold:

1. At what point does the increased risk of accidents due to poor visibility caused by the safety features outweigh their usefulness?

2. Does anyone know of a new car with good visibility? I'm especially thinking of A-pillars.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:54 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 15:30
Posts: 643
It's a problem that seems to afflict all modern cars. I know they are stronger and safer if you actually crash, but I would rather see the hazards and not crash.

My C5 has an awful blindspot caused by the right hand A pillar - enough to obscure the whole road when approaching some right hand bends.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:11 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 08:22
Posts: 2618
This is something me and 'im often talk about.

My old (1995) Rover 418 had TINY TINY pillars (and probably the passenger compartment protection of a carrier bag :lol: ), but it had nice, big windows, large square mirrors and flat sides.

My newer (1998) 420 has the beginnings of the problems you're describing - smaller, odd shaped mirrors, wide and shallow angled A and C pillars, smaller windows (particularly rear) and curved sides that taper towards the extremities. When I first got it I hated it, and even 3 months later I really don't feel that confident, particularly when reversing.

Having borrowed a friend's 03 plate Focus, I would agree that the outward visibility was nothing less than abysmal.

I have to say I agree that the protection of the occupants of these new cars must be seriously mitigated by the increase in likelyhood of a collision because of the reduced visibility. In all seriousness, is the likelyhood of a roll-over really so high as to justify the increased pillar size?

_________________
Science won over religion when they started installing lightning rods on churches.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:27 
Offline
Friend of Safe Speed
Friend of Safe Speed
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 23:09
Posts: 6735
Location: Stockport, Cheshire
I have a Peugeot 207 which suffers from this problem as well – particularly when turning a corner, vision in the direction you're heading is seriously compromised. It does seem to be fairly general on modern cars. The little quarterlights in front of the mirrors aren't really much use at all.

I think the phenomenon of thick, thrust-forward A-pillars has as much to do with the integrity of the passenger cell in frontal or three-quarter collisions as with rollover protection.

_________________
"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 21:24 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 17:12
Posts: 618
Location: Borough of Queens, NYC, NY USA
I drive a wagon for a very simple reason: the rear glass is almost exactly where the rear bumper is. Also, the A, B, C, and D-pillars are reasonably slim, given the Caprice Classic's payload. In short, excellent visibility all round makes it easier to drive and parallel park a vehicle that is 5.52 metres long and 2 metres wide.

Having said that, there have been occasions when, to help friends move, the car would be filled with stuff such that I could only see out of my window and the front row passengerside window; effectively making my car a moving truck. This is exactly where I developed the habit of scanning with my head as if to constanly prepare for the possibility of a lane change, since my view to the rear was limited to the outer mirrors.

I am not as worried about the pillars behind the B-pillar. I thoroughly agree that A- and B- pillars are becoming too thick; they seem to be favoring withstanding the crash, rather than avoiding it, which makes little sense to many of us, I'm sure.

_________________
The Rules for ALL ROAD USERS:
1) No one gets hurt
2) Nothing gets hit, except to protect others; see Rule#1
3) The Laws of Physics are invincible and immutable - so-called 'laws' of men are not
4) You are always immediately and ultimately responsible for your safety first, then proximately responsible for everyone's
Do not let other road users' mistakes become yours, nor yours become others
5) The rest, including laws of the land, is thoughtful observation, prescience, etiquette, decorum, and cooperation


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 21:41 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 16:04
Posts: 816
When our old (G plate) BMW died I noticed that our (N plate) Corolla has got much worse outward vision all round. Pulling out onto duals or motorways from slip-roads causes me to move my head so much that I must look like Churchill :)

_________________
Prepare to be Judged


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 23:29 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 16:34
Posts: 4923
Location: Somewhere between a rock and a hard place
Off topic but..

Bikers don't have a vision problem because thay do a, (LS), life saver.

We look behind. I have a neck like a barn owl! I smell like one too :)

Even when I'm in my car or work's pool cars', I look behind if I'm in doubt!

I never trust only to my mirrors if there is the slightest doubt! And of course, (smug mode on), us bikers don't have blind spots because we look around all the time. Our very lives depend on it! car drvers can afford to think fu :censored: it

We don't fiddle with the radio or have a brake actuated by a slow foot - but instead a fast hand! (the hand is quicker than the foot by Paul's, quite correct, account).

So, motorbikes' relieve conjestion, are better for the environment, make for safer road users but, unfortunately, car drivers like to kill us and, if you're a famiy person, you you can't strap the screeming little brat on the back of a motorbike. (sounds like a bonus to me)

I'm a biker BTW :lol:

But on a serious note. I have been in cars whch make me feel like I'm wearing blinkers - really!

So I do know what you mean.

_________________
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe Speed.
You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 00:11 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 22:31
Posts: 407
Location: A Safe Distance From Others
This is probably going to sound like the worst, "I've got some nice cars" post ever, but....(we bought them for a business venture).

Anyway.

Mrs M & I have been wafting around in our 1989 Rolls this weekend (she's for sale, BTW. The Rolls. Not Mrs M :roll: ), and - make no mistake - a Rolls Royce is a big car, even one of that vintage.

Now, I have driven lots of modern cars and the visibility compared to the Rolls is shocking. In my daily driver, when approaching a right hand corner, or when approaching a junction, I'm constantly craning my neck trying to look around the A-pillar. Joining motorways is no better, as the B-pillar blocks most of the vision even with a "lifesaver".

So, the daft thing is, I feel more confident driving a two and a half ton behemoth that contains half the New Forest on the dash, and three cows-worth on the seats, than I do in our Skoda Octavia! Our XJ40 is the same. Wide, long, low but with great visibility.

Buy an older car! Be pro-active about crashes!

See a crash coming before you're in one!

_________________
Simon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 09:29 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 13:55
Posts: 2247
Location: middlish
plenty of nice generalisations there tone :wink:

all bikers are super aware driving gods.. all car drivers are blinkered numpties who dont give a stuff :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 09:48 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 16:34
Posts: 4923
Location: Somewhere between a rock and a hard place
ed_m wrote:
plenty of nice generalisations there tone :wink:

all bikers are super aware driving gods.. all car drivers are blinkered numpties who dont give a stuff :D


Naughty ed_m ;) But many a truth said in jest eh? :roll: I'll bet you've waved your fist at more car drivers than bikers, when you're cycling, and not just because there are more car drivers.

_________________
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe Speed.
You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:53 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 16:34
Posts: 4923
Location: Somewhere between a rock and a hard place
Actually, you got me thinking now ed_m. At what point does a generalization become an ..izm or you become (something)..ist

Even if the generalization is true you just can't say it anymore in these PC days.

I do happen to believe that, (as a generalization), the better drivers are those who have had experience on two wheels simply because you are more in tune with the physics of the road and your vehicle; tyre adhesion on dry, wet or gravel roads - the need to be more spatially aware etc. etc.

Generally, people feel safer in their boxes and will do, or not do, things which could harm others because the consequences of their actions are not likely to result in harm or pain to themselves.

For instance, (and I promise I'm not making this up), last week I nearly got side swiped by a car driver who got fed up of waiting in a long queue of traffic and without warning or indication wheel-spun off to the left down a side road while I'm cycling on the road up the inside. If he'd done it a second later I wouldn't be writing this now - no exaggeration! I'd have had plenty of witnesses mind, not that it would have done me much good lying in a hospital bed :furious:

Am I carist? I don't think so because I drive too.

_________________
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe Speed.
You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 15:10 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 13:55
Posts: 2247
Location: middlish
well clearly what you posted applies to some motorists, just as what you posted applies to some bikers. whether either case is most drivers or bikers who knows.

but its easy to slip into language which excludes anyone from being otherwise.

i think my only limb related gesture to a motorist lately was knocking on his rear passenger window as he carved me up in the snow last spring. :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 09:52 
Offline
User

Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 20:06
Posts: 77
Thinking about the blind spot problem ,I can't say I've concously noticed it so I asked myself why ?

There are 2 options either I am driving along not looking (hopefully not)
or that my driving position aids my vision.

I have long arms so I Drive sat well back in a semi reclinded position which reduces the blind spot area and as a secondary bonus means I look behind the B pillar when doing a 'Lifesaver'

_________________
Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 14:15 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 16:04
Posts: 816
hampshireian wrote:
I have long arms


You a chimp or an orangutan? :lol:

I think that with the design of modern cars the majority of people are placed in such a position that the B-pillar is just where you want to look for the life-saver, hence my Churchill reference.

I agree with Tone too. Car drivers who ride motorbikes (possibly those who bicycle too but I have no experience or references) are more spatially aware and take greater care when changing lanes or exiting junctions. :bunker:

_________________
Prepare to be Judged


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 15:50 
Offline
User

Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 20:06
Posts: 77
R1Nut wrote:
hampshireian wrote:
I have long arms


You a chimp or an orangutan? :lol:



I thought that would get a few monkey quotes :lol:

I am just a large bloke and have a laid back driving position as opposed to a large proportion of drivers who sit 2 inches from the steering wheel

I also agree that motorcyclists have better spacetial awareness.

_________________
Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 17:06 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 16:34
Posts: 4923
Location: Somewhere between a rock and a hard place
Well I think it's like anything whereby if you have personal experience you can empathise and if you can empathise then you make for a more courteous driver.

It works both ways. I had motorbikes for years, before passing my test in a car. I confess in those early days, as a biker, my understanding towards car drivers was poor to say the least. I didn't know about blind spots, (well, why would I as a biker?) Even if I was told I wouldn't have fully appreciated it.

Another for instance: My understanding of HGVs is better since I drove heavily laden 7 ton vans 20 years ago. (Not HGV but same problems). For seven months I took on a driving job for my friend's business. I remember the struggle up hills and desperation not to loose momentum, and so would get too close to the vehicle in front or get nasty towards drivers who pull in front and make me scrub off 5 mph up the gradient of the M6. Because of them now I've got to change gear and floor it to get back up to the 65mph which took me an age to get up to.

As a result of this experience I cut them slack and forgive the odd indiscretion. Most car drivers wouldn't have the faintest idea what I'm on about, until they try it for themselves.

_________________
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe Speed.
You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 00:33 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 02:17
Posts: 7355
Location: Highlands
I would definitely want to look at your :
a) driving position - to make sure that you have proper vision and proper control of your car.
b) glasses - do you wear them and do you have 'wide' rims on them ?

There is a product called 'Bending Light' (http://www.bendinglight.co.uk) that if stuck beside the 'A' pillar it helps you 'see' a bit more around the pillar. It does this, as it is a lens - I think this maybe on the lenticular principal - but I would have to check that.

I have an old (g reg) E30 (3 series) BMW and when I drive more modern cars, I agree that the sloping often wide (or even very wide), 'A' Pillars are bad for vision. Cars vary with the B and C pillars but they do make you feel closed in and 'blind'. Sitting higher can help, as modern cars seem to want you to sit higher, but I feel uncomfortable like this - I like to feel 'in the car'. I drove a discovery recently, and that was higher than the average traffic, and also had quite narrow A pillars, and the feel of an 'open' frame.

I suppose there are the 'soft tops' as an alternative too :D

_________________
Safe Speed for Intelligent Road Safety through proper research, experience & guidance.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 21:15 
Offline
User

Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 21:18
Posts: 92
I don't wear glasses, so that's not a problem. As for my driving position, I can't do a lot about that really and it's fine in my Pug! I'm 5'7" with fairly short legs so I am naturally going to be sitting closer to the steering wheel than taller people, but I tend to sit as far back as possible whilst remaining in control of the pedals. I'm also fairly tall when I'm sat down (torso is tall, legs small - I'm only an inch or so off my 6" mate when sat down!) so in that respect I shouldn't be disadvantaged.

In the Toyota, I couldn't even see properly using a full shoulder check. I could have probably "wiggled" around a bit more but at the cost of not looking ahead of me!

Like SSv2, I like being "in" the car and fairly low down, rather than perched and feeling detached from the road. Perhaps I am unfortunate that I have a combination of short legs, long torso so I seem to get the full brunt of the A-pillar in my eye line. Having said that, it wasn't a problem in:

Pug 306 (S reg),
Fiesta (P),
Toyota Corolla (G),
Mitsubishi Galant (T),
Toyota Landcruiser (S)
Volvo 340 (D)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 13:33 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 16:04
Posts: 816
I noticed this morning, while pulling onto the motorway, that it is possible to "lose" a Pug 306(?) estate in the blind spot caused by my B-pillars.

Good job I haven't got neck problems. :)

_________________
Prepare to be Judged


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.355s | 15 Queries | GZIP : Off ]