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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 15:16 
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Rigpig wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
If any of those were really true we'd be crashing every week.


Well not necessarily. The reasons why people speed -as in drive faster than the posted limit - are not absolutely bound to the outcome of their 'speeding'.
I'd certainly agree with Henry that most drivers don't consider what could happen in the event of a crash, and that they feel safe and isolated inside their nice comfy cars. This does not mean that they are accidents waiting to happen - most drivers have some recognition of a developing hazard situation and appear to mitigate the outcome of a crash by adjusting their speed beforehand. By how much, to what effect and whether going slower would make the outcome of any crash less severe remains open to argument.


OK - this is a sophisticated argument, and of course there's a massive range of behaviours out there. But we're trying to characterise the situation in broad generalities - we have to if we're going to understand and improve general behaviours.

None of the points raised by Henrycrun can be usefully applied to majority behaviour - and if they could be we'd not be able to get anywhere near our real world crash performance - drivers ARE able to stop when there's a hazard ahead almost every time. If they were setting speeds as suggested it is absolutely inconceivable that we could get within a million miles of our present safety performance.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:45 
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I don't think it is right to exlude born again bikers and yound and inexperienced drivers from the normal responsible motorists group. IMO the normal responsible motorists is defined as:

* FIT - Good eye sight, alcahol and drug free, no medical conditions that might exclude him or her

* LEGAL - Insured, licensed, MOT'd and taxed, with the owners permission and not on the run from the law or driving dangerously as part of criminal activity.

Born agains and the young and inexperienced IMO count as normal responsible motorists. They may have short coming's in their skill, but if we start excluding fit and legal drivers, then the argument is reduced.

In my view it adds no strength to the article to single these groups out.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:24 
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diy wrote:
I don't think it is right to exlude born again bikers and yound and inexperienced drivers from the normal responsible motorists group. IMO the normal responsible motorists is defined as:

* FIT - Good eye sight, alcahol and drug free, no medical conditions that might exclude him or her

* LEGAL - Insured, licensed, MOT'd and taxed, with the owners permission and not on the run from the law or driving dangerously as part of criminal activity.

Born agains and the young and inexperienced IMO count as normal responsible motorists. They may have short coming's in their skill, but if we start excluding fit and legal drivers, then the argument is reduced.

In my view it adds no strength to the article to single these groups out.


The point is that the base figures include high risk groups. The argument is that we're overall remarkably safe. If we exclude high risk groups we can see that a typical motorist is even safer. I think that's a point worth making.

I also believe that 10% of road users cause 60% of crashes and 20% of road users cause 80% of crashes.

That puts the crash risk of someone in the 80% group at a far lower level than we might otherwise have suggested, and help explain why we encounter so many folk who are able to say that they have never had a crash.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:32 
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I don't actually 'feel' more or less safe in a car than I did before airbags, side impact beams, ABS etc. so I certainly don't want to test these features out in a crash. I don't drive any faster because I think cars are safer. Driving at an appropriate speed for the conditions is the key to driving safely. Setting lower speed limits, enforced by cameras, has not made the roads safer.

Regards,

pmb


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:19 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The point is that the base figures include high risk groups. The argument is that we're overall remarkably safe. If we exclude high risk groups we can see that a typical motorist is even safer. I think that's a point worth making.

I also believe that 10% of road users cause 60% of crashes and 20% of road users cause 80% of crashes.

That puts the crash risk of someone in the 80% group at a far lower level than we might otherwise have suggested, and help explain why we encounter so many folk who are able to say that they have never had a crash.


I don't dispute this, however:
we can draw a thick red line between unfit and illegal drivers and only a very fine grey line between the other high risk groups with a series of shades of greay (how far do you go). It's also worth noting that the govt. has started to exclude mental illness and medical conditions that cause RTAs from the stats. i.e. 2003 data includes suicide and heart failure. 04 didn't.

If you want to influence the legislators they need to be able to make a clear distinction. I don't think we can if we include drivers and riders who are fit and legal, but fall in to the high risk groups. At the end of the day their problem is not speeding but attitude, skill and judgement.

It's highly likely that the fit, legal, low riskers who drive a few mph (say 15% or less) over the limit when safe to do so by definition will never cause a fatal accident due to their choice of speed. The high riskers will occasionally misjudge the situation and cause 80% of the 3-5% of true speeding related accidents, with the rest causing the other 20%.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 13:04 
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diy wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
The point is that the base figures include high risk groups. The argument is that we're overall remarkably safe. If we exclude high risk groups we can see that a typical motorist is even safer. I think that's a point worth making.


I don't dispute this, however:
we can draw a thick red line between unfit and illegal drivers and only a very fine grey line between the other high risk groups with a series of shades of greay (how far do you go).


Absolutely. But that's an entirely different argument.

diy wrote:
It's also worth noting that the govt. has started to exclude mental illness and medical conditions that cause RTAs from the stats. i.e. 2003 data includes suicide and heart failure. 04 didn't.


Apert from the fact that we haven't seen 2004 figures yet, that does not match my information. I believe that medical crash causes, suicides and murders have been excluded from road accident stats for very many years.

However I have verbal information to suggest that consequential medical death causes were first excluded in 1998. (this would be deaths from hospital contracted infections following a road crash for example)

Note that 1998 saw the ONLY significant fall in road deaths in a decade.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:55 
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This in today by email:

Peter R Callil wrote:
My name is Peter Callil, an experienced flying instructor and commercial pilot. I find that I’m in total agreement with your website and I would like to contribute my bit of knowledge to help with understanding “Why drivers speed”.

As a flying instructor during training we were introduced to two very important concepts that were not well understood back then, either by us as instructor students, or the instructors teaching us. They were Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the relationship between stress and performance as described by Weller by the inverted U-shaped curve. I should point out that aviation authorities in Australia have lately been following the same path that road safety has unsuccessfully pursued for decades now, proving the idiom, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, ….”

Weller’s inverted U-shaped curve described graphically the relationship between stress, or demand, and performance. The inverted bell curve showed an increase in efficiency as stress is increased, to a maximum level of performance at the optimum, followed by a steady decrease in performance as stress is increased past the optimum level. It is ESSENTIAL TO NOTE THAT WE DON’T ALL ENJOY THE SAME LEVELS OF RESISTANCE TO STRESS, and unhealthy individuals, whether physically or psychologically impaired, will have a smaller inverted bell curve than a robust and mentally sound individual. The inexperienced, the elderly, and the incompetent will also score poorly on this curve when it is related to the task of motor vehicle operation.

First of all, people speed simply to put themselves squarely in the centre of the inverted U-shaped curve or at least on the up side of the curve. To allow them to stay at too low a level of intellectual demand would undoubtedly result in increased drowsiness, poor mental alertness, and reduced visual acuity as the eyes tend to relax into a state termed empty field myopia. Too high on the curve and they might be very alert, but with modern policing the way it is, the level of threat is usually very uncomfortable, resulting in an unnecessary diversion of attention, or focus on the job at hand. By inference then, drivers do actually speed to become safer, more alert than is practicable at ridiculously low speeds. That should explain why more people are now dying from fatigue related crashes than they have in the past. I think it is now passing speed as the major factor! As we all know instinctively, LACK OF ALERTNESS OR SKILL KILLS, speed is only relevant when considered in context – something the anti-car lobby regularly ignore.

Young drivers often speed simply in an effort to improve their skills in a benign learning environment – something that is impossible to achieve with a real driving instructor or your average parent. They speed in an attempt to improve their skills because driver training is so woefully inadequate, in this country at least, that they quite correctly recognize their inadequacies and try to correct them. Responsible youngsters do this without endangering other people, while those who do endanger others’ lives or simply disturb their comfort levels are in need of some positive adult guidance. There are a few individuals who are blatantly irresponsible, however, these people would also respond better to positive corrective action than the fine system.

Second, the typical driver is a human being. This means that they are subject to Maslow’s celebrated hierarchy of needs. With impossibly slow traffic, unenlightened traffic management bureaucracies, and other low level stressors, drivers are often regressing to their lowest level of behaviour as their stress levels increase. In these conditions, it is folly to think that drivers are always going to react logically to threats, particularly those imposed by a government which seems totally oblivious to their needs. If you have kids, you will understand the effect of long term stress on your level of consciousness which is directly related to
your position on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Therefore, for punitive enforcement systems to work at improving road safety, they must assume that the target individual is comfortable, unstressed, and in a suitable mental state for punishment to work. As we all know, setting the punishment for stealing a loaf of bread at a one way ticket to Australia just doesn’t work if the individual is starving.

This basically implies that we need to seek to reduce regressive factors that tend to make drivers revert to lower levels of behaviour on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid if we are sincere about safety. Present government policy is a good example of how to use safety as a weapon against us. This implies a high level of contempt for us as their so-called “Masters”. They are supposedly our servants! Once this is understood and analysed, we find that their contempt for us stems directly from our contempt for them. It seems that the ball is really in our court, which is a much more positive and empowering way of looking at the issue than the alternative.

As distasteful as this may sound, it seems that we need to begin treating politicians and public servants with respect if we hope for them to reciprocate.

Regards,

Peter R Callil


I have replied as follows:

Hi Peter,

Thanks for an interesting and encouraging email. Clearly we're thinking along the same lines. Have you found this page: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/arousal.html ? It provides some linkage to your opinions and provides an earlier reference for the inverted U curve.

Since writing the 'Why drivers speed' page I have realised that an input to the risk balancing process is an individual's subconscious real-time risk assessment process. It's probably the risk assessment process that is most key to the whole thing. Routine speed adjustments take place to satisfy the level of stress needs via the agent of real time risk assessment. Since this risk assessment process is almost entirely subconscious, most of us have absolutely no idea why we speed.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 05:06 
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Speeding is not dangerous. It is poor decisions drivers make that is dangerous. Regardless of the speed, if someone changes lane and hits someone, the accident would still occur regardless of the speed. The severity would surely be different, but that's all.

No where in the article did it show a correlation between faster speeds and accidents. In fact, it says that most accidents occur at under 30mph. By some of your logic, we should speed more to lessen the chances of an accident. Moreover, I have found it exceedingly difficult to pull information from google that shows a correlation between accidents and speed. As I have stated, the only difference would be that the impact would be more severe at higher speeds. However, cars are indeed much better built and can sustain faster speeds. Albeit, not all cars. Doesn't it make sense that as technology advances so should speed? Speed limits makes as much sense as throttling (capping) computer speeds because too much speed would cause computer crashes. I once saw a convertible mercedes video on youtube traveling at 150mph, flipped over on the autobahn, and the guy walked out without one broken bone.

In the United States, the speed limit was determined by calculating the most fuel efficient speed. It had nothing to do with safety. I think the only reason why speed limits are still imposed are so that the police force can get paid their overtime. It is a fact that as budget deficits increase, so do the amount of tickets. Where I live, people rarely go at the posted speed limit.

Still not buying my argument? Well let's take a look at the autobahn. The autobahn has no speed limits (in certain areas), and there are far fewer accidents. How do explain that? It's simple, better driver education and experience. When people drive on the autobahn they get the F off the left lane (right in Britain). When they merge or change lanes, they have special techniques to do so. Autobahn drivers are far more disciplined. This goes back to my first argument. It is the idiot drivers who screw everything up. Drunk driving, not paying attention, inexperience, carelessness, poor road design (I think this is the biggest in Britain), fatigue, or weather conditions are the main causes.

One of the most dangerous things a driver can do, and I suspect many on this forum are guilty, is to stay on the left (right) lane. When a driver hogs the left lane you cause traffic. HOW? When you're on the left lane going at or below the speed limit, you box cars into packs. If the left lane were always open, drivers would always be able to get a away from a pack and continue their journey. It has scientifically proven that if 15 or more cars are within 1 mile of each other, a traffic jam would occur because more and more cars would join that pack until a jam. By law, the left lane is only intended to be used to PASS. However, law enforcement rarely enforces this.
There is nothing more dangerous, in my opinion, than a bunch of cars close together traveling at 65mph. I rather have a few cars traveling at 65mph and having the faster moving cars get away from the pack.

A lot of people say, "Oh gee, I'm going at the speed limit and I have every right to stay on this lane. I'm going to make the roads safer by forcing everyone to travel at my speed. Besides, it's the law!" First of all, you are not the law. If you believe in the law so much, you should, too, follow it by using the left lane as a passing lane. If you ever encountered a left lane hogger, you would notice a long line behind the hogger all tailgating each other. By far, this is much more dangerous than speeding. Left lane hogging forces people to much more dangerously cut around the hogger.

If we should follow the article, then we should all travel at 10mph. This way, there would still be accidents, but at least people would only be slightly injured. However, we all agree that we must sacrifice some safety for practicality.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 16:18 
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:welcome: kalamaloo

I think you are going to like it here. :lol:

You have made some assumptions about motorists here, but perhaps you have to understand us, but we are very happy to explain our reasoning behind everything that we do and are always open to better ways to improve and develop an even better standard of safe driving.

Try to always quote or link to items especially research that you quote, it saves time asking for you to do this in the next post! :)

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