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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:40 
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It's always been central to the Safe Speed case that driver behaviour that avoids crashes is really a much bigger part of road safety (as a system) than the behaviours that cause crashes. This is because the 'normal state' of 'not crashing' is commonplace but pretty fragile.

We argue that modern policy is building worse drivers than previous policies and this must be the major factor in the 'trend failure' / fatality gap.

Our roads fatailty rate is 1 per 100million miles - that's amazing given the potential for danger.

Now I want to try and extend our understanding of the biggest factors in not crashing. I've got a few ideas for starting points, but I thought I'd throw it open to a bit of brainstorming.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 14:10 
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Frame-of-mind must be close to the top of my list. It's much less of a problem in me these days, but still (perhaps a couple of times a year) I find that if anything gets under my skin, I may incite aggressive behaviour in others with a poor decision or two. If that happens when I'm caught in one of my rare bad moods, I just might retaliate - and when I'm in one of those (exceedingly) rare moments, bent metal pales into insignificance compared with proving a point, on the grounds that, in proving the point, the metal will survive by the other bloke giving way etc etc. <incidentally before the thyought police attack me, I cannot remember when I had one of these moments last, probably 15 or so years ago - and no bent metal resulted>

Microclimate

Mobile distract (hands free and legal, but with me it is a distraction I have not yet managed to train myself to place correctly in the hierarchy)

Hang on - I'm answering the wrong question :lol: :roll:

I'll leave it now I've typed it, but the above is exactly where Paul was NOT asking us to brainstorm!

:idea: - BACK ON TOPIC!!

Experience - 6th sense - "something doesn't quite compute with what one expects", so one comes a bit slower and covers the brake.

Having an escape lane for perceived crash risks. This is (almost) all unconscious these days, but I'm talking of planning an out for when things go wrong. Approaching a junction, someone "appears from nowhere" in our path. The chances are we will find the gap or least bad off-road to miss numpty and not damage our own car much, whereas slamming the anchors on would reduce the impact to a manageable level, but still be a two-car accident.

Advanced electronics - saves many a novice driver from significant over or understeer in a bend that it turned out was being taken too quickly (either deceptive camber, got tighter or was for some reason of reduced traction).

ABS - subset of the above - people can steer despite being full on the brakes. It's all very well saying to people "if the wheels lock, back off and try again" - and I'm sure all of us on here would do it as a lizard brain thing BUT for the person who locks up once a flood... the ABS is brilliant for them.

Cats eyes - briliant advance warning of road direction, chsange of direction and, occasionally, camber.

Chevron signs - similar notice of a tight/tightening bend.

That'lll do for now from me - and sorry about the rambling (and wrong!) intro. Edit it out if you like, Paul. I don't want todistract the thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 17:08 
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My number one is non-competitiveness.

Because the 'commodity' being competed for is USUALLY space. And having/creating adequate space around us is the critical component that will ALWAYS allows us to avoid a crash.

I suspect we could also express it as co-operation, courtesy and consideration, which are all different facets of the same priceless gem.

I meant to add that on a competitiveness scale of 1-10, I would expect to score around 7-9 (depend who's marking) but, for some reason, it no longer features in my driving (although it probably did when I was younger).

Further thought - I think I do know why it no longer features in my driving. It is because, at some point in the past, I came to understand that co-operation really does produce a positive outcome for everyone.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 17:19 
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Observer wrote:
... because, at some point in the past, I came to understand that co-operation really does produce a positive outcome for everyone.

Observer,

Your comment above would be a fitting addition to the "My Teddy" thread.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 17:28 
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Observer wrote:
My number one is non-competitiveness.


I think you're 'inverting' a crash cause to get there, and I don't think that's valid. We have millions of competitive drivers and although some of them are crashing most of them are not.

I'm more thinking about factors like observation, hazard recognition, risk management, distraction management, where significant failures in these basics lead to more or less instant crashes. (Yet somehow, in the real world, crashes are rare).

I'm also interested in 'super factors' (i.e. whole population factors) like driver quality, training standards, cultural beliefs and so on.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:04 
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Why I dont crash?
1: I get there quicker
2: My car is in one peice ready for the next trip
3: It is cheaper
4: I don't like crashing
5: I enjoy driving

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“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:14 
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anton wrote:
Why I dont crash?
1: I get there quicker
2: My car is in one peice ready for the next trip
3: It is cheaper
4: I don't like crashing
5: I enjoy driving


I don't know how much you're joking, but a desire not to crash may well turn out to be a critically important super-factor.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:19 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
I'm more thinking about factors like observation, hazard recognition, risk management, distraction management, where significant failures in these basics lead to more or less instant crashes. (Yet somehow, in the real world, crashes are rare).


For me, COAST encapsulates the entire driving process. The driver inputs are (C)oncentration, (O)bservation and (A)nticipation. (S)peed/(S)pace is the output. (T)ime to react is the result.

I can't think of any other behaviour attribute that doesn't fall within C, O or A. It also has a natural progression. We can't observe without a degree of concentration; we can't anticipate without a degree of observation. I suppose total concentration failure is the one that is guaranteed to result in a crash so that should be (as it is) first.

SafeSpeed wrote:
I'm also interested in 'super factors' (i.e. whole population factors) like driver quality, training standards, cultural beliefs and so on.


Driver quality is the entire envelope of "driver attributes" that inexorably determine crash risk and is the result of various inputs, such as attitude and skill (not sure if there should be more). Training standards and cultural beliefs are part of one or the other of those.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:29 
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I wasn't joking at all!
If you are driving along and there is debris in the road it is subconcious to swerve around it. It needs the thought process to decide it is safe to go over it.

When you run round the house to get to the phone you do not apply C.O.A.S.T.
There is a calculation to take the shortest route without crashing into stuff. Youcould run faster, but it would hurt. Driving , running it is all the same

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Speed limit sign radio interview. TV Snap Unhappy
“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:36 
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'Experience' is a very important factor.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:37 
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Quote:
... because, at some point in the past, I came to understand that co-operation really does produce a positive outcome for everyone.


Case-in-point:

I drove back from Kent to Essex Sunday evening. The journey down had taken about an hour and a quarter. Thanks to traffic, the journey home woulkd have taken an hour and a half. However, this was punctuated by a further full hour and a half to negotiate a single roundabout between the A/M2 and the M25. It was, simply, gridlocked. This can only happen thanks to selfish people not keeping the exits clear. Three hours to do a 1 1/2 hour journy with half of it in a single spot and traffic free-flowing on the road that eluded me only 150 yards away. I watched the traffic lights change more times than I had fingers, toes.....


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:38 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
'Experience' is a very important factor.


Absolutely. So (in no particular order) attitude, skill and experience are the lowest common denominators of 'driver quality'. Any more?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:39 
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I'm starting to see that these factors fit into a hierarchy. This might turn out to be very useful...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:42 
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Roger wrote:
Quote:
... because, at some point in the past, I came to understand that co-operation really does produce a positive outcome for everyone.


Case-in-point:

I drove back from Kent to Essex Sunday evening. The journey down had taken about an hour and a quarter. Thanks to traffic, the journey home woulkd have taken an hour and a half. However, this was punctuated by a further full hour and a half to negotiate a single roundabout between the A/M2 and the M25. It was, simply, gridlocked. This can only happen thanks to selfish people not keeping the exits clear. Three hours to do a 1 1/2 hour journy with half of it in a single spot and traffic free-flowing on the road that eluded me only 150 yards away. I watched the traffic lights change more times than I had fingers, toes.....


Yes - prime example. I did wonder whether the 'belief' I expressed was a bit 'fluffy'. Whether, perhaps, it needs some external pressure (such as traffic congestion) to make it work. Needs a bit more thinking about.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:52 
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Observer wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
'Experience' is a very important factor.


Absolutely. So (in no particular order) attitude, skill and experience are the lowest common denominators of 'driver quality'. Any more?


Yes. Physical things.

- Good peripheral vision (tunnel vision is a distinct problem unless mitigated by loads of extra mirrors).

- having good reactions and right foot/leg strength for the true unforeseen (or poorly anticipated) occasion when an anchor-slamming is the right call.

- not in the "driver quality" camp per se (although one could stretch the point I guess) but: having a well-maintained car (ditto the above)

- having passengers who are of the right attitude (know when to shut up, not frightened to help with observations to assist prioritising driver attention etc).

Am I helping or diverting?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:54 
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anton wrote:
When you run round the house to get to the phone you do not apply C.O.A.S.T.
There is a calculation to take the shortest route without crashing into stuff. Youcould run faster, but it would hurt. Driving , running it is all the same


Perhaps you do (apply COAST), at least subconsciously. What happens if you don't concentrate (enough) - you walk into the table. What happens if you concentrate a bit but don't observe - you step on the roller skate on the floor. What happens if you concentrate a bit, observe a bit but don't anticipate - you change direction quickly and slip on the rug. Those are still your inputs and speed/space are your outputs.
(Not sure how "(T)ime to react" fits in.)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 19:05 
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Roger wrote:
Observer wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
'Experience' is a very important factor.


Absolutely. So (in no particular order) attitude, skill and experience are the lowest common denominators of 'driver quality'. Any more?


Yes. Physical things.

- Good peripheral vision (tunnel vision is a distinct problem unless mitigated by loads of extra mirrors).

- having good reactions and right foot/leg strength for the true unforeseen (or poorly anticipated) occasion when an anchor-slamming is the right call.

- not in the "driver quality" camp per se (although one could stretch the point I guess) but: having a well-maintained car (ditto the above)

- having passengers who are of the right attitude (know when to shut up, not frightened to help with observations to assist prioritising driver attention etc).

Am I helping or diverting?

-


That helps. Could we describe all of the above as "physical fitness". That covers the ideas you mentioned as well as fatigue/alcohol level etc. It could also (at a stretch) cover 'fitness' of the vehicle although I think that may be a 'given' that falls outside the scope of what we're looking to describe.

So - attitude, skill, experience and physical fitness (so far)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 19:12 
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Observer wrote:
So - attitude, skill, experience and physical fitness (so far)


- a sense of responsibility
- a desire not to crash
(Are they part of 'attitude'? Not quite, I reckon)

- suitable beliefs. Is this an improved substitute word for attitude?

And 'physical fitness' implies something we're not looking for. Perhaps fitness to drive is better?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 19:48 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Observer wrote:
So - attitude, skill, experience and physical fitness (so far)


- a sense of responsibility
- a desire not to crash
(Are they part of 'attitude'? Not quite, I reckon)

- suitable beliefs. Is this an improved substitute word for attitude?

And 'physical fitness' implies something we're not looking for. Perhaps fitness to drive is better?


Fitness to drive (mental state) possibly/probably overlaps with attitude. Perhaps physical capacity is closer to Roger's thought?

I agree sense of responsibility is important but it's definitely part of attitude.

I'm not sure about desire not to crash. The other phrases that come to mind as I'm thinking about where it fits in are: self preservation instinct; sense of mortality; awareness of danger; hazard perception.

Anyway, I'm offline for a bit.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 21:56 
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Self Preservation (and are there other useful instincts involved?)

Visualisation / Imagination (ie being able to visualise the negative outcome of a bad but tempting reaction so as to be able to override the temptation)

Conversely, the ability to disassociate, ie not get distracted dwelling on the possible negative possibilities but instead focus fully on acting positively.

Powers of Logic. Making the right choices based on the available data.

Sense of Proportion / Balance / Judgement. Choosing the right "trade-off" between various possible actions, for example moving slightly to the middle of the road so as to improve visual contact and reaction space with a car emerging from a side road, but not so far as to risk conflict with oncoming traffic, whilst at the same time slowing a little to create more time to react, but not so much as to delude him into thinking I am letting him out. How many thought processes take place to sort a little issue like that out, all in (typically) about a second?

"Filtering", for want of a better word. I mean the ability to instantly discard irrelevant information in order to be better able to process relevant data.

Not sure whether "experience" is a useful phrase here. Surely it is just the process of collecting all the relevant skills and attributes. It's a list of those we need to focus on so that we know what our experience needs to teach us.

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