Safe Speed Forums

The campaign for genuine road safety
It is currently Tue Jul 17, 2018 03:10

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 14:55 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 16:04
Posts: 816
Just a thought, can/should a SMIDSY be prosecutd for DWDCA?

_________________
Prepare to be Judged


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 14:57 
Offline
Member
Member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 22:47
Posts: 1511
Location: West Midlands
R1Nut wrote:
Just a thought, can/should a SMIDSY be prosecutd for DWDCA?

Yes. Or attempted murder?

Personally, I think all accidents (I hate that word - it makes crashes sound as if they're unavoidable) should be DWDCA...

_________________
Pecunia Prius Equitas et Salus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 15:29 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 16:04
Posts: 816
I don't know about attempted murder because that implies intent. If the rider dies then a charge of manslaughter should be brought against the rider as it was not an intentional death.

I asked the question because by their, usually, own admission of "Sorry mate I didn't see you" implies they were not driving with due care and attention and hence my question.

It'd be interesting to get the opinion of In Gear or one of the other police posters and also what the law states.

_________________
Prepare to be Judged


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 15:35 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
I split this from another topic.

The question is difficult and complex.

If someone fails to look properly and this results in a crash then the answer is clear. Prosecution should follow. It remains debatable - and I'd rate it as highly unlikely - that a fine and or points would do anything to reduce the likelihood of repeats or similar 'offences'.

If someone 'looks properly' but fails to see due to some psychological or visual effect then prosecution would seem completely pointless.

If someone 'looks properly' but fails to see due to a physical obstruction to vision, possibly including an A pillar, then possibly we should consider prosecuting those that made the obstruction but failed to deliver an appropriate warning.

The high numbers of SMIDSY type crashes surely indicates a problem with the system rather than typically a problem with an individual. Perhaps we need to do much much more to educate drivers about the risks.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 16:13 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 08:22
Posts: 2618
As an addition to this...

Someone I know on an other forum was the victim of a SMIDSY and the investigating officer told him that had he not had his headlight on he would have been held partly responsible...

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 16:17 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 16:04
Posts: 816
I agree about teaching drivers about the risks and was quite happy to see the recent safety ads on TV where a car driver pulls out with a voice over going "now do you see him".

My own personal experience, when approaching a T-junction with a car driver waiting to pull out, is that you can be seen by moving side to side across the road. This gives the visual effect of making the bike wider as the movement is not straight line and thus the driver notices you more. I learnt this when I was riding a 200 as the height of the saddle meant that tall cars hid my silhouette.

I also use the same technique when filtering by slotting myself into gaps between cars or, in static traffic, weaving the bike from side to side while maintaining a straight line. With my very bright headlights on I can see people a couple of cars up catch sight of me in their mirrors - the ones that aren't texting, reaching into the back of the car to get something or just plain belligerent.

_________________
Prepare to be Judged


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 16:38 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 14:06
Posts: 3654
Location: Oxfordshire
SafeSpeed wrote:
If someone 'looks properly' but fails to see due to a physical obstruction to vision, possibly including an A pillar, then possibly we should consider prosecuting those that made the obstruction but failed to deliver an appropriate warning.


Surely you're not serious Paul!? If someone cannot see past the A pillar then they need to move their head in order to 'look properly', it is the driver's responsibility to be aware of the blind spots on their vehicle and make allowances for them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 17:31 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
RobinXe wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
If someone 'looks properly' but fails to see due to a physical obstruction to vision, possibly including an A pillar, then possibly we should consider prosecuting those that made the obstruction but failed to deliver an appropriate warning.


Surely you're not serious Paul!? If someone cannot see past the A pillar then they need to move their head in order to 'look properly', it is the driver's responsibility to be aware of the blind spots on their vehicle and make allowances for them.


Given the 'possiblys', yes, I am serious, at least in as much as the debate needs to be widened.

There's something particularly risky about A pillar blind spots. Once the A pillar is familiar the brain seems to fill in an imaginary clear road behind the pillar. Without any sort of warning there's a real risk that a competent and careful driver will be unaware of such effects and make a critical error.

So I do think drivers are entitled to appropriate warnings, and if those warnings are not given the degree of blame diminishes.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 18:21 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 15:27
Posts: 683
Location: New Forest
RobinXe wrote:
If someone cannot see past the A pillar then they need to move their head in order to 'look properly', it is the driver's responsibility to be aware of the blind spots on their vehicle and make allowances for them.


That's a valid point, but I think we have the same degree of responsibility to be as certain as we can that we've been seen.

Aiming to achieve eye contact is important. It provides no guarantee that they've seen you, but if we can't see their eyes - it's not good.

_________________
It's tricky doing nothing - you never know when you're finished


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 18:33 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 15:27
Posts: 683
Location: New Forest
SafeSpeed wrote:
So I do think drivers are entitled to appropriate warnings, and if those warnings are not given the degree of blame diminishes.


Whilst I think car manufacturers (and approval bodies) have failed the road user with poor A pillar design, I think it's a bit harsh to remove some of the responsibility from the driver.

We are all ultimately responsible for how we use the vehicle, aren't we? Cars have always had blind spots.

_________________
It's tricky doing nothing - you never know when you're finished


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 19:03 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 14:26
Posts: 4363
Location: Hampshire/Wiltshire Border
BottyBurp wrote:
Personally, I think all accidents (I hate that word - it makes crashes sound as if they're unavoidable) should be DWDCA...


The politically correct term is now "Road Traffic Collision" (RTC rather than RTA) in our non-judgemental age.

I can't agree that all collisions should result in DWDCA. They must all be judged on their own merits as to culpability and then only after consideration of all the facts and not on an "instant" basis.

Do you think that all parties should automatically be charged? Suppose you are in a traffic queue, someone runs into the car behind you pushing them into you. Should you be charged?

_________________
Malcolm W.
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 19:41 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
So I do think drivers are entitled to appropriate warnings, and if those warnings are not given the degree of blame diminishes.


Whilst I think car manufacturers (and approval bodies) have failed the road user with poor A pillar design, I think it's a bit harsh to remove some of the responsibility from the driver.

We are all ultimately responsible for how we use the vehicle, aren't we? Cars have always had blind spots.


I'll tell you about my own experience. This is about 1979. I'm an enthusiast driver. I've been driving seven years but I haven't taken any advanced training. I'm doing well and I have a good record with few incidents and no recent crashes.

Somewhere around Finsbury Park I'm pulling out of a fairly narrow side road - right - into a wide four lane one way system. All the potential traffic is coming from the left so I'm looking left continuously. When it becomes clear I start to move off with a quick glance right (where I'm going) and another look left. A biker approaching from the left quite fast appears OUT OF NOWHERE. I stop and he passes in front - no one except for me really knows that anything strange happened. The biker might have had a moment's scare, I don't know.

But being a curious chap I drove round the block to revisit the scene of the incident. That was the moment that I discovered that A pillars could be a serious problem. I hadn't previously realised that my brain might 'fill in' the hidden part of the scene with clear road.

Of course in those days A pillars were much thinner, and possibly the danger was far less obvious. Nevertheless I had been driving for years before I understood - or experienced - the potential for danger.

I've been worrying about A pillars on and off ever since. Have you seen this: http://www.smidsy.org.uk ?

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 21:41 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 18:41
Posts: 893
RobinXe wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
If someone 'looks properly' but fails to see due to a physical obstruction to vision, possibly including an A pillar, then possibly we should consider prosecuting those that made the obstruction but failed to deliver an appropriate warning.


Surely you're not serious Paul!? If someone cannot see past the A pillar then they need to move their head in order to 'look properly', it is the driver's responsibility to be aware of the blind spots on their vehicle and make allowances for them.

It is very easy not to be aware. You might think that you've looked and made sure it's clear when a conflicting vehicle has tracked the A pillar as you approach a junction or roundabout and continues to track as you peer round the pillar to check.

This happened to me a few years ago in a Citroen Dispatch van. The passenger-side A pillar managed to mask a Gold Wing and trailer. It tracked the combination as we approached the junction, and again as I moved my head to peer around the left side of the pillar. If my passenger hadn't shouted "STOP", I'd have hit either the bike or its trailer. I now make sure that my final check is in the opposite direction - to peer around the inside edge of the pillar - against the flow of possibly conflicting traffic. But if you don't know (or know but don't appreciate how serious this issue is with modern cars) a SMIDSY is all too easy if the road angles and speeds conspire against you.

_________________
Will


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 23:02 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 14:06
Posts: 3654
Location: Oxfordshire
Exactly, you have to move your head for a proper lookout! I can't believe this is really a foreign concept to the wealth of experienced drivers we have here.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 01:02 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 00:15
Posts: 5232
Location: Windermere
RobinXe wrote:
Exactly, you have to move your head for a proper lookout! I can't believe this is really a foreign concept to the wealth of experienced drivers we have here.

This is an incredibly complex problem to be dismissed in so few words.

I am 6' 2" tall, and consequently am forced to have the seat back to accomodate my legs, without banging my knees on the steering column.
The effect is to make the A pillar look further forwards, and even more intrusive.
However, the A pillar slopes back at some angle, so a look left as you go to turn into a side road, has the A pillar slope match the perspective of the side road, and blot it's LENGTH, not just a small width.
Leaning forwards to look around it, lowers your head, and is no improvement, while leaning back pushes the A pillar forward, and lessens
the view into the road still further!!

In actual fact, in practice, you learn to pull over to the right before you make the turn left, to ensure both a better view, AND a margin of safety afforded by the (marginally) longer route into the side road!

A SHORTER driver will have an entirely different perspective on the same car/junction scenario.

As a tall driver, I also find most rear view mirrors too low in the field of view. Vauxhall used to be the only manufacturer who allowed the mirror stem to swing up giving an improved view under the mirror for a taller driver.
In many modern hatches, the view through the rear screen is greatly reduced for taller drivers.

Last week, I nearly got caught out on a mini roundabout, because as I approached it, I did not think a car on the right had time to pull out across my path - however, he did (causing oncoming cars with R.O.W. to brake).
As he moved from right to left, he was obscured by the pillar - but I was performing my A pillar shuffle - a head movement which allows a quick view to right and left of the pillar. But the car's movement matched my head movement, and was obscured from my view until the very last minute.
My speed was low enough for me to stop safely, but if I had struck the car (or a bike) I would be upset at being charged with DWDCA, since I HAD made every effort to look, and was only thwarted by the unexpected exit of the right hand vehicle.

Again, a shorter driver may well have had an entirely different circumstance, and outcome! And imagine the consequences of a driver who is not quite attuned to the problem, or as cautious at such a junction, yet might be held to be driving with appropriate due care.

In the first view below, the side road is obscured...
Image

In the second view, the side road is just visible in the quarter light!!
Image

Passengers also present a problem for tall drivers with the seat back, when you look left at a junction - they are often in the way, especially if they are drivers themselves, as they instinctively lean forward to get a better look!

Incidentally, my Poppy sticker (see above picture) "failed" my recent MOT - for the first time in 5 years! Apparently it obscured the view of the examiner, so he removed it! Not sure why he did not remove the tax disc and rear view mirror, but he WAS shorter than me!! :roll:

_________________
Time to take responsibility for our actions.. and don't be afraid of speaking out!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 01:44 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 14:06
Posts: 3654
Location: Oxfordshire
Ernest Marsh wrote:
Passengers also present a problem for tall drivers with the seat back, when you look left at a junction - they are often in the way, especially if they are drivers themselves, as they instinctively lean forward to get a better look!


Absolutely, I am 6'5 myself, and often bark 'sit back' to my front-seat passengers at junctions, and I still have to lean forwards to get a good view. The fact remains, however, that whatever obstructions to view exist, it is still the driver's responsibility to make sure the road is clear for their manoeuvre; if you don't know, don't go! This may involve leaning forwards, leaning back, leaning out of the window if needs be! Perhaps waiting the second or two it would take for something obscured by the pillar to emerge. Whatever tactic needs to be employed in individual circumstances to get an adequate view, any driver not doing so is clearly not driving with enough care!

I can't honestly believe that you guys are arguing that if a driver pulls out from a junction and wipes out another human life because they couldn't be arsed to move about in their seat a bit to get an adequate view then the car manufacturers should be held accountable! Can you not see how daft that sounds?!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 06:31 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
RobinXe wrote:
Ernest Marsh wrote:
Passengers also present a problem for tall drivers with the seat back, when you look left at a junction - they are often in the way, especially if they are drivers themselves, as they instinctively lean forward to get a better look!


Absolutely, I am 6'5 myself, and often bark 'sit back' to my front-seat passengers at junctions, and I still have to lean forwards to get a good view. The fact remains, however, that whatever obstructions to view exist, it is still the driver's responsibility to make sure the road is clear for their manoeuvre; if you don't know, don't go! This may involve leaning forwards, leaning back, leaning out of the window if needs be! Perhaps waiting the second or two it would take for something obscured by the pillar to emerge. Whatever tactic needs to be employed in individual circumstances to get an adequate view, any driver not doing so is clearly not driving with enough care!

I can't honestly believe that you guys are arguing that if a driver pulls out from a junction and wipes out another human life because they couldn't be arsed to move about in their seat a bit to get an adequate view then the car manufacturers should be held accountable! Can you not see how daft that sounds?!


But if you lean back to get a good view you run the risk of 'opposite tracking' a conflicting vehicle. (A deadly game of 'round the mullberry pillar'!)

And then there's the 'linear tracking' effect. With two vehicles approching a conflict point the second can remain behind the first's pillar for ages.

And several curved path tracking effects.

Some pretty sound American simulator research set up pillar-tracking scenarios and found that 11% of the so called 'active scan' driver type crashed with almost 60% of more common driver types crashing. See: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/minnesota001.pdf

I agree that drivers are responsible for their errors. But the least we (society) can do is warn them of the problems and advise them about proper coping strategies - one of which is: NEVER lean back to get a view around the pillar.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 08:27 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 22:02
Posts: 3266
At 6'2 my self i find the rear view mirror gets in the way and I have to duck to look below it, in 4 door low seated cars, I have the seat so far back the B post gets in the way to the right and the passenger to the left.

As crash tests have become more important to road saftey and car sales. roofs have got lower, and pillars have got bigger and sills are much thicker. It feels like cars are being built for the 90th percentile rather than the 95 Percentile.

When work issue me with a hire car it is a nightmare. Especialy vauxhalls, the roof comes too far down the windscreen and then the put a sun strip through the bit I look through :shock:

It is not just a matter of looking, You have to look at the right time in the right window of opportunity or all you see is pillar or mirror or sunstrip.
Thats why I drive a "popemobile"

_________________
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


Last edited by anton on Fri Mar 30, 2007 08:36, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 08:29 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 00:15
Posts: 5232
Location: Windermere
Quote:
But if you lean back to get a good view you run the risk of 'opposite tracking' a conflicting vehicle. (A deadly game of 'round the mullberry pillar'!)

And then there's the 'linear tracking' effect. With two vehicles approching a conflict point the second can remain behind the first's pillar for ages.

And several curved path tracking effects.

Exactly what happened to me!

Also hesitating can lead to other drivers setting off when they should really wait - a bit like my driver who really should not have pulled out because of vehicles from his right.

_________________
Time to take responsibility for our actions.. and don't be afraid of speaking out!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 09:18 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 18:41
Posts: 893
RobinXe wrote:
Exactly, you have to move your head for a proper lookout! I can't believe this is really a foreign concept to the wealth of experienced drivers we have here.

Believe it. You can look around the pillar and still not see. It's not a matter of carelessness - it's ignorance of the issue, and the event that alerts you to it could be a fatal SMIDSY.

Other drivers have posted their experiences and, like them, I'm tall (6ft 4in) and have the seat all the way back. You think that you're checking for every conceivable conflicting vehicle but there are situations where moving your head for a "proper lookout" ensures the A-pillar tracks the conflicting vehicle and (ironically) you'd have been safer not bothering. This is what happened to me. I thought that I was checking around the pillar by leaning back and it wasn't until my near SMIDSY that I identified the issue. Until Paul's post I have never seen advice to lean forward (i.e. check around the inside edge of the pillar) and not to lean back (i.e. check around the outside edge) because leaning back can cause the A-pillar to track conflicting traffic. This is crucial. Why hasn't this been publicised? I'm sure that ignorance of this is killing people.

Rear-view mirrors can also be a serious visibility hazard. A few years ago, I arranged to test drive a Citroen. I got into the car, drove to the exit of the dealer's forecourt, stopped and got out. The RV mirror obscured the entire road to my left and so the car wasn't safe to drive. By no means is that the only car with the problem.

It seems that the drive for fuel efficiency means that screens are being raked more. The drive for better secondary safety is making those pillars stouter. Both factors make A-pillars and RV mirrors more obtrusive for taller drivers.

_________________
Will


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


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 : 1.005s | 11 Queries | GZIP : Off ]