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/ Something interesting about collisions at junctions...

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Timmd on 07 Jan 2018

http://singletrackworld.com/2018/01/collision-course-why-this-type-of-road-junction-will-keep-killin...

In the article, it is collisions between cyclists and cars which are mentioned, but it's applicable to other scenarios as well.

Kevin Woods - on 07 Jan 2018
DerwentDiluted - on 07 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Really interesting, thanks for posting. There is a case for deliberately obscuring visibility in these locations, forcing vehicles to slow right down, the best examples I can think of this being the A617 approaching J29 of the M1 and the junction of the A38 and A610 at Ripley, both artificially blind to the right so you can't just coast across. I drive 35k miles per year and had never heard of this before.
teh_mark on 07 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:
I'd suggest that if a driver approaches a junction - almost any junction - where they don't have right of way and steams through it without slowing, they're a menace.

Is it common for drivers to take a sly glance out of their window without physically moving?
Post edited at 23:42
bearman68 - on 07 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

The answer to this problem is for the driver to approach the junction FASTER - thus eliminating the 3:1 speed ratio this type of accident requires. 80 should do it nicely.
3
Timmd on 07 Jan 2018
In reply to teh_mark:
> Is it common for drivers to take a sly glance out of their window without physically moving?

I'm sure it happens that drivers do. In these cases, it would seem that it's possible to look out ahead and out of the side window, and have a large area obscured, or large enough to contain a car or a few cyclists, making me think that even if one's head moves, it may still be possible to miss something without leaning forwards and back to check for traffic.

That's how it seems from looking at the diagrams at least.
Post edited at 00:05
baron - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

When I bought my new car back in 2005 I was stunned by the loss of vision caused by the much wider A pillar compared to my previous (made in 1995) car.
While undoubtedly increasing the safety of the vehicle's occupants the 'blind zone' created by the A pillar is a much increased hazard for other road users.
This, combined with the 'sorry mate, I didn't see you' scenario makes riding a bicycle or motorcycle a very hazardous business.
Paul Evans - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Very useful post - thanks for this.

Paul
Dax H - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> I'd suggest that if a driver approaches a junction - almost any junction - where they don't have right of way and steams through it without slowing, they're a menace.

The driver is approaching a give way, not a stop a give way.
Its a flat area with good visibility and the driver can see for a long way in each direction that the road is clear so he carries on.

As the article suggests it takes a perfect storm of conditions to cause thus to happen.
Everyone who drives would blow through that junction but after reading the article I will be making a lot more head movements and be aware of constant speed.
Xharlie on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Dax H:

> Everyone who drives would blow through that junction...

Nope.

Personally, having learned to drive in South Africa, I never blow through any intersection and I'm doubly careful if I don't have priority.

Any driver who's happy to approach an intersection at which they must give way, if necessary, without even moving their head enough to see round their A-pillar should be taken off the road before they kill themselves ... or someone else.

Otherwise, how will you see the minibus taxi with no lights, on the wrong side of the road?
Michael Hood - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Thanks for posting this, I will now stop grumbling at the proliferation of fences etc at roundabouts that obscure my vision and force me to slow down.

I now understand why it's necessary.
NottsRich on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Is this saying that a blind spot created by the A-pillar (and a 'shadow' around it that further increases the size of the blind spot), is the reason for accidents at junctions like this? If I was hit by a car here, and this was the excuse, saying that I'd be really pissed off would be an understatement. Are people really that lazy that they don't move their head when they're driving and something is in the way of their vision?
wercat on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to baron:
Yes, I've thought that a matter of concern for some time. Our old Zafira seems pretty terrible in that respect. I'm always very careful to clear those tiny triangular portholes near the corner of the windscreen on cold mornings as the visibility in that quarter is terrible.
Post edited at 10:30
cb294 - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to wercat:

Same problem with my Volvo, at least for the seat position I need to fit behind the wheel. I have to force myself to lean forward or towards the door (depending on the angle) every time I approach an intersection, else quite a bit of my view is missing. Love the car otherwise, but this is dangerous or at least inconvenient.

Much less of a problem for my wife, who moves the seat forward almost 20 cm, so the blind spot is much further back where it matters less.

CB
Hat Dude on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I think that another factor is that often, when drivers approach this type of junction and roundabouts, they are prioritising looking for other vehicles and look behind where a cyclist will be.

A few years ago over the space of a couple of years I was dumped off my bike twice at the same roundabout and am convinced this was a factor.
MG - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to NottsRich:
It's not laziness necessarily, there is an illusion of not having a blind spot because the spot moves as you approach a junction. It can be countered to an extent by awareness, such as this article, and encouragement to move your head even if you don't think you are missing something. Also, as a pointed out road design can be improved. Also, also when approaching a junction where have right of way, as a cyclist or a driver, it is worth knowing about this and being suitably cautious. It think the problem is exacerbated by some modern cars with think A-pillars, or even two with a small window in. My new car is like this (Honda Jazz) and it is a concern - the blind spot is huge.
Post edited at 10:54
Michael Hood - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to NottsRich:

It's not so much laziness as ignorance of the problem.

I bet most people are aware that the A pillar is a blind spot but unaware of how something can so easily stay in that blind spot.
jkarran - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

The carefully skirted detail in that piece is that the threat has been mitigated, the junction has a stop line. I'm quite surprised a dangerous driving prosecution for a fatal, gps logged, constant speed stop line crossing failed but as ever there'll be two sides to the story, perhaps the logged data was not as clear cut as is presented.
jk
Tomtom - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

In the op article, it looks like a STOP junction, not a give way. Stop junctions are so for a reason. Blowing straight through at a give way is one thing, but at a stop, the driver deserves to never be allowed to drive again.
jkarran - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to NottsRich:

> Are people really that lazy that they don't move their head when they're driving and something is in the way of their vision?

As UK drivers aren't taught about the constant bearing problem or the effectiveness of moving your head to clear blind spots, stimulate attention grabbing relative motion and force the areas of interest to stop on the foveal center the most likely answer is 'yes and no. Yes they don't do it, no it's not because they're lazy or callous, they don't know what they don't know'. Most will be totally unaware of the severe limitations of their vision so act accordingly (by sitting comfortably still, 'looking'). In a car with pillars simply rotating the head is inadequate, it has to be really moved around, watch a general aviation pilot navigate a roundabout vs other road users.
jk
Chris the Tall - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Very interesting and utterly terrifying article

Yet again we have a situation where a cyclist has done nothing wrong, gets killed by a vehicle he may not even have seen, and nothing will get done about it.
1
MG - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Yet again we have a situation where a cyclist has done nothing wrong, gets killed by a vehicle he may not even have seen, and nothing will get done about it.

Large numbers of junctions are (re)arranged so this sort of thing is less likely. So things are done.
blurty - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

When it comes to cyclists, 'Shit happens' seems to be the order of the day. I've been knocked off twice in the last 5 years; the police were not interested one iota.
MarkJH - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Tomtom:

> In the op article, it looks like a STOP junction, not a give way. Stop junctions are so for a reason. Blowing straight through at a give way is one thing, but at a stop, the driver deserves to never be allowed to drive again.

According to google, it was changed between may 2016 and may 2017, so may or may not be relevant to one of the accidents. Changing it to a stop junction seems to be a very minimal effort to improve safety.
Flinticus - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Got a Jazz too and the blind spot is troubling. It can really limit sight on roads with a certain curvature. A major flaw with the vehicle. Far worse than our previous Clio.
TMM on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

To meet Euro NCAP ratings all cars have now got much larger and A pillars than they used to.

Volvo were aware of the danger this posed back in 2001 when they demonstrated a safety concept that featured a lattice work A pillar that mitigated this risk.
https://spct2000.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/img_10561.jpg

Would be nice to see that become a production reality but suspect automation will happen first.
1
Toerag - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to TMM:

> To meet Euro NCAP ratings all cars have now got much larger and A pillars than they used to.

It's a pity that the lives of car occupants have been prioritised over the lives of those outside. Euro NCAP have a lot to answer for .

TMM on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Toerag:

Agree entirely, unintended consequences. If you create a set of legislative requirements then manufacturers attempt to meet them focusing on those that will make the purchasing decision. Similar automotive issues relate to emissions and truck design.
Timmd on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Michael Hood:

> It's not so much laziness as ignorance of the problem.

> I bet most people are aware that the A pillar is a blind spot but unaware of how something can so easily stay in that blind spot.

I didn't know until I read the article. I don't drive yet, I hope to pass this year, and it'll be making me think a lot more, both as a cyclist and (hopefully) a driver too,.
SouthernSteve on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Interesting article. We had an old Meriva which had really obstructed view there – I was forever waggling my head around the column. Talking to a taxi driver in Glasgow in a similar car, he reported hitting one pedestrian and several near misses!
jkarran - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Toerag:
> It's a pity that the lives of car occupants have been prioritised over the lives of those outside. Euro NCAP have a lot to answer for .

Like driving significant improvements in pedestrian impact survivability? Much vehicle design improvement improves safety for those inside and outside cars.

Modern A pillars really aren't much more visually intrusive than skinny old ones but the front end of cars is much more forgiving and modern traction and brake management systems further improve everyone's safety. It isn't a one sided deal.

If stories like this make you angry then it's driver training your attention should be focused on, it's an easy win we keep refusing.
jk
Post edited at 14:25
Becky E - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Thanks. This explains a near-miss that I had a couple of years ago pulling out right from a side road: I simply never saw the other driver that was coming from the left. Fortunately he took evasive action and we didn't collide. I didn't think I'd approached the junction at an unreasonable speed, but his vehicle was hidden behind the pillar the whole time.

I am now much more careful about pulling out of side roads: slow down and/or stop more than other drivers would like, and have a good peer around the windscreen pillar.
MG - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Modern A pillars really aren't much more visually intrusive than skinny old ones

Agree with your post other than this. Some of them really are! Visibility behind is also impaired with thicker doorposts full of airbag, larger headrests, third head rests etc. too, I would say.
AndyC - on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Modern A pillars really aren't much more visually intrusive than skinny old ones

Sorry, but this is b****cks!

And the problem is worse for tall people, the pillar is closer to the eyes making it obscure more of the view and the rear-view mirror also comes into the line of sight, obscuring the view to the left as well. In a lot of modern cars I have to duck and dive to get a safe view at junctions, crossings etc.

Dave the Rave on 08 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

People drive so fast these days Timmd that I’ve become paranoid at junctions.
Yesterday I was sat at this junction with nothing coming either way looking left and right, right then left. I was there for twenty minutes with a huge queue behind me.
I plucked up the courage to pull out and this feckin rabbit on a Yamaha came from out of nowhere, ears flapping in the wind in a peculiar ‘v sign’. I’m sure he called me a Kent !
1
jkarran - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to AndyC:

> Sorry, but this is b****cks!
> And the problem is worse for tall people, the pillar is closer to the eyes making it obscure more of the view and the rear-view mirror also comes into the line of sight, obscuring the view to the left as well.

I'm 6ft with a very long back so I'm well used to sitting with my head touching the roof and close to the mirror/pillar. Obviously they're larger and something like a V70 feels much more claustrophobic than an old MR2 or 106 but in reality the view really isn't much worse, forwards at least, rear views have all but disappeared.

> In a lot of modern cars I have to duck and dive to get a safe view at junctions, crossings etc.

Good. You should be doing that whether you're on a bike, in an open topped roadster or in a modern car bulging with airbags in every panel.
jk
1
Flinticus - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Yesterday on a short drive in Glasgow, two seperate near misses due to cars taking turns at junctions at speed without care, one cutting well into my lane and skimming by
baron - on 09 Jan 2018
jkarran - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to baron:
There's next to no difference in those pictures, in one the car is essentially hidden by the mirror, in the other it's above the mirror, a small change of (moving) car or camera position would apparently reverse the point being illustrated. The problem and the solution is essentially the same in both cars, as it is on a bike. Move your head, actively look for threats/hazards.

I fly under an bubble canopy with unobstructed 180deg+ views but you'll not catch me with my head still for more than a few seconds. It's astonishing what you can't see when you don't look properly.
jk
Post edited at 10:47
baron - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

While not disagreeing that it's vital to move your head there's also an obvious width difference in the A pillars of the cars illustrated.
MG - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

The new car there only has a somewhat (although still significantly) thicker pillar, however, the angle of the pillar to the vertical is very different. This means it blocks a lot more of what you really need to see when approaching a junction. Also cars since 2005 have tended to go further still and basically have a full triangle of opaque material, sometimes with an additional vertical member. This arrangement really does obscure things a lot more. As above, I have just bought a Jazz (after a 2003 Astra) and the difference is very noticeable for these reasons. There are lots of other benefits of course, but visibility is poorer than previously.
jkarran - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to baron:

> While not disagreeing that it's vital to move your head there's also an obvious width difference in the A pillars of the cars illustrated.

Yes but equally obvious is that the picture is manipulated to make the point, were the car in the 'modern' picture not obscured by the mirror much of it would still be visible past the pillar and were the driver's head mobile the obstruction would be totally irrelevant.

In the past I've pulled out of a Stop T junction into the path of an oncoming car in broad daylight I simply didn't see, no mitigating circumstances, not rushing dazzled, distracted etc. I was driving an old hatch with big windows, skinny pillars and I had 'looked', I'd been looking for a while, I just hadn't understood or ever been told how bad my (apparently perfectly normal) vision actually is in certain circumstances or how to make it work better. The other car could have been a bike, frankly it could have been an HGV and I still could have missed it. Cars aren't the problem, road users are.
jk
Post edited at 11:00
DancingOnRock - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I tested this in my car last night on the motorway and this morning in traffic.

On the motorway I can lose an Artic coming in the other direction on the opposite carriageway.

In traffic I can see completely round the A pillar by moving my head to the side approximately 2inches. So when they say move your head, it’s not by a great deal!
Timmd on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:
> In the past I've pulled out of a Stop T junction into the path of an oncoming car in broad daylight I simply didn't see, no mitigating circumstances, not rushing dazzled, distracted etc. I was driving an old hatch with big windows, skinny pillars and I had 'looked', I'd been looking for a while, I just hadn't understood or ever been told how bad my (apparently perfectly normal) vision actually is in certain circumstances or how to make it work better. The other car could have been a bike, frankly it could have been an HGV and I still could have missed it. Cars aren't the problem, road users are.

> jk

I've almost done similar things while cycling, and hauled on my front brake just in time to avoid being hit, generally I've been thinking about something else at the time. While people are the problem, given human fallibility, it would seem wise to do as much as possible to cars to allow for that, so there's less chance of an accident happening. I like the proposed A pillar from Volvo as part of the solution. I find a mindset of 'Have I really looked?' a helpful one.
Post edited at 14:08
Michael Hood - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:
Agreed, it's made me think a bit. But it seems like some junction remodeling would reduce the risk in a lot of circumstances

In the original article's example, moving one arm of the road by a roadwidth to make a significant kink would sort it. Doesn't need to be quite so large as the move proposed in the article.

For the remaining circumstances, JK is right that it's human error, but what's needed is education. This thread has at least educated some of us. Most useful thread I've seen on UKC for a while.
Post edited at 14:28
baron - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

I'm not arguing that drivers shouldn't be more proactive in finding the best viewpoint possible.
That doesn't detract from the fact that sticking a lump of metal and plastic in your line of sight isn't a good idea.
Pulling out in front of another vehicle can indeed be down to just human error.
The SMIDSY motorcycle manouver is designed to prevent this from happening.
jkarran - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:
> I've almost done similar things while cycling, and hauled on my front brake just in time to avoid being hit, generally I've been thinking about something else at the time. While people are the problem, given human fallibility, it would seem wise to do as much as possible to cars to allow for that, so there's less chance of an accident happening. I like the proposed A pillar from Volvo as part of the solution. I find a mindset of 'Have I really looked?' a helpful one.

Volvo's pillar looks cool but IMO it isn't a solution to a real problem. Modern pillars are a trade off between a slim sightline, volume for airbag, stiffness, toughness and cost. That truss pillar only really addresses stiffness and toughness since you can't really see through it and it won't house an airbag. The modern imperfect solution is the targeted use of high strength steels to slim pillars down facilitated by reliable computational modeling.

The point is it doesn't matter if you have skinny pillars (or none as for many aircraft and of course bikes), if you're not looking (scanning) properly you won't see, that's just how our brains deal with the huge amount of visual information available to them, they ignore most of it and just make up what seems reasonable until they're forced to do otherwise. If a cluttered car interior means you're forced to bob your head about a bit to feel comfortable with your view it's probably actually better than complacently sitting still in a perfect perspex bubble.
jk
Post edited at 14:35
Timmd on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> Very interesting and utterly terrifying article

It is rather terrifying, if you mean it from the perspective of somebody who cycles a lot or cycle commutes. Due to illness I've not cycled since I read it, but it's set me pondering a little bit about how much people might be seeing. I've survived so far I guess, by reacting to actual movement and not expecting to be seen. I always look at the front wheels of anything to see if they've stopped rotating.
Post edited at 17:57
girlymonkey - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I try to make eye contact with drivers. I put myself into the middle of lanes when approaching junctions (not that that would have helped in this particular junction I guess), I wear a bright yellow helmet and my wardrobe never contains black anyway, so always colourfully dressed. Eye contact with drivers seems to be the best solution I have come up with. I assume I have not been seen until proved otherwise!!
Dave the Rave on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Some cent pulled out on me many years ago whilst descending mow cop.
I saw the old guy and he saw me but he kept going.
Having slowed to about 10 mph I managed to swerve behind him and shout an expletive just before the tow rope attached to the car behind went taught. I could see the man in the rear car gesticulating wildly at the hazard. Too late, I was catapulted over my bars to land on my feet in my Look cleats. Down I went like a sack of spuds. I stood up to see who had observed this to be confronted by a woman in the window of her terraced house jumping up and down, clapping and laughing!
At least it made someone happy.
elsewhere on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:
Something on feet, pedals or lower leg to get hi viz or reflective on the bits moving most?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jan/08/glow-with-with-flow-why-bike-safety-starts-with...

girlymonkey - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

I probably should, but am guilty of not doing this. The vast majority of my bike journeys only take me through a very short section of road junctions then I am mostly on cycle paths. I realise I should dress for the junctions, but I guess I get a bit complacent with that bit.
1
Jenny C on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Is not just new cars. Our 'S' reg astra had a terrible blind spot in the A frame that was big enough for a bus to get lost in.
Brass Nipples on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

Junctions is about your road positioning rather than how you are dressed. Position yourself where they are looking not where they are not. Hence assuming primary as a safety measure.
girlymonkey - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Lion Bakes:

Both help. I do very much ride in primary position, but being highly visible helps to get you noticed too. It seem wise to give drivers all the help you can to see you!
1
Brass Nipples on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

Unless it's poor visibility you will be more than visible (to anyone looking your way) if you are in the right positioning. The problem is not your visibility per say as much people paying attention to seeing you and taking appropriate action.
FactorXXX - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Lion Bakes:

Unless it's poor visibility you will be more than visible (to anyone looking your way) if you are in the right positioning. The problem is not your visibility per say as much people paying attention to seeing you and taking appropriate action.

Why not do both?
Cyclists are rightly in many circumstances criticising drivers for 'not seeing them'. I try my hardest not to be one of those drivers, but it would be so much easier if cyclists did their bit by wearing suitable clothing and having lights when the conditions dictate.
1
girlymonkey - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Lion Bakes:

If it's a dreich day, the road is grey, sky is grey, weather is grey, then bright clothing over grey clothing will help significantly. Maybe less significant on a bright day, but I still feel inclined to help drivers all I can given that it's my life on the line!
1
jkarran - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Lion Bakes:

> Unless it's poor visibility you will be more than visible (to anyone looking your way) if you are in the right positioning. The problem is not your visibility per say as much people paying attention to seeing you and taking appropriate action.

That's not entirely true, if you're on a constant bearing and they're looking even a couple of degrees off from where you are (say down the mildly curved road where faster cars and motorcycles of interest will be) they could be apparently staring right at you, looking as best they know how yet completely unaware of your presence. Eye contact is good but it's not a sure indicator you've been seen. Obviously all the usual stuff: poor visibility, clutter, dark, and rushing exacerbate the problem but it's a physiological problem that does not require poor conditions to catch anyone out. Weaving a bit, moving bright/reflective bits, waggling your light or strobe can all cut through the brain's 'nothing to see here unless it's moving' filtering of peripheral (pretty much anything but central/foveal) vision.
jk
Post edited at 09:21
teh_mark on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> I fly under an bubble canopy with unobstructed 180deg+ views but you'll not catch me with my head still for more than a few seconds. It's astonishing what you can't see when you don't look properly.

As an aside I find it crazy sometimes knowing just how much traffic is in the vicinity from how busy the frequency is, but being able to spot very little of it. Flying in the vicinity of the Humber Bridge while working Humberside Radar first opened my eyes to this, and to the problems of every pilot in the land seemingly using and heading to the same VRP as you are! It really is surprising how little you see sometimes.
ClimberEd - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

'visibility' (in the form of clothing) is far less important than road positioning, arm movements etc.

I can't quickly find the study (as everyone seems to cite studies on here as 'proof') but a lot of information was going round the cycling websites on this, about how high vis clothing on a bike isn't nearly as effective as people think.

(caveat, obviously compared to cycling down a pitch black country lane dressed like the milk tray man it will be better)
MG - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

> I can't quickly find the study (as everyone seems to cite studies on here as 'proof') but a lot of information was going round the cycling websites on this, about how high vis clothing on a bike isn't nearly as effective as people think.

I just don't get this reluctance of cyclists to believe being visible helps their safety. Anyone who has driven knows that bright colours/high contrast are easier to spot than grey/black low contrast. In every other situation where avoiding being hit is important (rail, construction, airport etc.) it's just a given that high-vis is worn and it is blatantly effective, yet somehow many cyclists will go to amazing lengths to pretend it makes no difference.
1
elsewhere on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:
> high vis clothing on a bike isn't nearly as effective as people think.

A bit like psychological (ie marginal) protection in climbing?

I was stationary at a junction, dressed very high viz. I had two flashing front lights (helmet & handlebars) so i don't disappear in shadow of bright and low winter sun, although sun wasn't behind me at this junction. Van arrived at junction after me, waited behind a taxi also turning into "my" side road then then pulled into "my" side road without seeing me - apologetically waved when he almost hit me despite me being visible both as he approached and as he waited. I'll have to install a blue flashing light and a siren next!

I wonder if hi viz makes a difference to people paying attention who would see you even if you dressed like a ninja but makes no difference to those not paying attention. Hence it doesn't make much difference to accidents!
Post edited at 11:29
elsewhere on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:
> I just don't get this reluctance of cyclists to believe being visible helps their safety. Anyone who has driven knows that bright colours/high contrast are easier to spot than grey/black low contrast. In every other situation where avoiding being hit is important (rail, construction, airport etc.) it's just a given that high-vis is worn and it is blatantly effective, yet somehow many cyclists will go to amazing lengths to pretend it makes no difference.

Anecdotally it's blatantly effective and anecdotally completely ineffective (see my example above).

Actual studies of accident rates aren't so clear - risk compensation by cyclists who feel safer and motorists who give less room to cyclists who have all the gear?
Post edited at 11:41
petellis - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

> 'visibility' (in the form of clothing) is far less important than road positioning, arm movements etc.

> I can't quickly find the study (as everyone seems to cite studies on here as 'proof') but a lot of information was going round the cycling websites on this, about how high vis clothing on a bike isn't nearly as effective as people think.

Its down to a lack of understanding of how the event unfolds. If someone doesn't look properly then hits something they failed to see, then the cause was not looking properly. If they didn't look properly then they won't see it. It doesn't matter what colour/brightness they are, not looking = not seeing the fleeting small object. Covering the fleeting small object in fancy colours isn't fixing the problem.



stevieb - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Lion Bakes:

> Unless it's poor visibility you will be more than visible (to anyone looking your way) if you are in the right positioning. The problem is not your visibility per say as much people paying attention to seeing you and taking appropriate action.

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilot-teach-cyclists/

I've added this before, but I think its still highly relevant.
The human eye is just not built for modern driving speeds, it doesn't scan properly, and at junctions a driver will subconsciously prioritise the danger areas, which will be the 'average speed' areas, and not the much closer cyclists.
Anything which makes you stand out more - being in the 'expected' road position, bright clothing, flashing lights, 'weaving' - will help.
girlymonkey - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

But I don't see it as an either/ or. Even if it doesn't stop all accidents, it will help with some. Road positioning and being visible is going to be better than road positioning and not being visible!!
I feel the need to have my car lights on many days during daylight, because I need to be visible, why not on the bike??
1
MG - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere:
> Actual studies of accident rates aren't so clear -

They aren't actually any controlled studies with cyclists specifically but there are many studies showing visibility improves detection in a whole variety of contexts. It's just perverse to assume somehow it doesn't apply to cycling

Eg
http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/publications/road_traffic/world_report/visibility_en.p...
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003438.pub2/pdf
Post edited at 12:19
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m dunn - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

"Modern A pillars really aren't much more visually intrusive than skinny old ones ..."

The blind spot created by modern pillars (Nissan/ Citroen/ Renault in my most recent experience) is HUGE in relation to when I started driving (Morris Minor/Fiesta).

So a driver can now roll over with impunity at the expense of the pedestrian/ cyclist who is much less likely to be seen. Not a good trade-off IMHO...
Chris the Tall - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> I've survived so far I guess, by reacting to actual movement and not expecting to be seen. I always look at the front wheels of anything to see if they've stopped rotating.

I think there are various techniques that experienced cyclists use to avoid some of the dangers that negligent motorists can cause - looking into the cars at what the driver is doing and where they are looking is one of them, looking at the wheels, looking for the signs of someone about to open a door etc etc

However you develop these skills through experience - if you survive long enough, or aren't put off

But what is so terrifying is that at a junction of this type, the car is actually behind the cyclist, or at least out of your range of sight. Years of experience won't save you unless you are aware of the layout of the junction and the danger it poses. You could be happily going along a rural road and wham, hit from behind by a car coming out of a side road.
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jkarran - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to m dunn:

> The blind spot created by modern pillars (Nissan/ Citroen/ Renault in my most recent experience) is HUGE in relation to when I started driving (Morris Minor/Fiesta).

It's not a blind spot if you move your head and there's the added advantage you'll actually 'see' a lot more of what's in your field of view whatever you're driving or riding. I too started out driving unsafe old cars a long time ago, I know full well they've changed but not IMO for the worse in driver or pedestrian safety terms and I really don't agree modern pillars/bulky interiors are a significant problem (unless you're claustrophobic!).

> So a driver can now roll over with impunity at the expense of the pedestrian/ cyclist who is much less likely to be seen. Not a good trade-off IMHO...

I know people don't like to hear they may not actually be as safe as they try to be when driving, you can see that in the excess dislikes my posts on this topic always garner and the often angry accusations of making excuses for drivers when a cyclist has been hit (not on this thread but this isn't the first thread we've had on this subject). I get that, everyone likes to think they're good attentive careful drivers and I'm sure they are but it's hard to accept their vision really is deeply flawed (exactly like mine and everyone else's) especially since it's one of those things you really don't notice until it's too late or until someone points it out. As I said, nobody ever taught me how to actually look for hazards effectively until I learned to fly in my 30s. In the ~15 years prior I know I've had one serious 'looked but didn't see' near miss that was shocking enough I still remember it nearly 20 years on and can only guess at how many others I may have had. Not my fault, not the car designer's fault, just inadequate training. My partner was knocked off her bike a year or so back in a looked but didn't see accident at a T junction, it happens and I have no doubt the guy looked. If he'd moved his head to generate some relative motion against the backdrop he'd have almost certainly seen her and who knows, perhaps in a car with fatter pillars he'd have already been in that habit.
jk
Post edited at 13:20
jkarran - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to teh_mark:

> As an aside I find it crazy sometimes knowing just how much traffic is in the vicinity from how busy the frequency is, but being able to spot very little of it. Flying in the vicinity of the Humber Bridge while working Humberside Radar first opened my eyes to this, and to the problems of every pilot in the land seemingly using and heading to the same VRP as you are! It really is surprising how little you see sometimes.

In gliders there's no radar so it's what you hear but never see that brings home how hard it is to actually see even what you're actively (frantically sometimes!) looking for, indeed often looking right at. VRP is chart-speak for 'here be dragons!', I'm glad I don't have cause to go anywhere near one normally
jk
Post edited at 13:22
jkarran - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> But what is so terrifying is that at a junction of this type, the car is actually behind the cyclist, or at least out of your range of sight. Years of experience won't save you unless you are aware of the layout of the junction and the danger it poses.

You could see the big red and white warning triangles, take them as a cue to move your head, have a good look around to gather a bit more information so you can react appropriately. I try to even in the car and I'd likely walk away from being sideswiped in that! I bet in reality you already do.
jk
Timmd on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:
> As I said, nobody ever taught me how to actually look for hazards effectively until I learned to fly in my 30s. In the ~15 years prior I know I've had one serious 'looked but didn't see' near miss that was shocking enough I still remember it nearly 20 years on and can only guess at how many others I may have had. Not my fault, not the car designer's fault, just inadequate training. My partner was knocked off her bike a year or so back in a looked but didn't see accident at a T junction, it happens and I have no doubt the guy looked. If he'd moved his head to generate some relative motion against the backdrop he'd have almost certainly seen her and who knows, perhaps in a car with fatter pillars he'd have already been in that habit.

> jk

I had a driver seem to look directly at me before pulling out of a side road onto the main road I was on during the summer, and causing me to brake and feel alarmed. I saw his eyes look in my direction before he pulled out. Drivers not seeing me seems to be my only weak spot in making me lose my composure, as I cycled after him shouting and ended up 'having a discussion' where he told me off for shouting at him with child in his car, and I asked why he gave me a rude hand gesture after pulling out in front of me, and explained that I shouted because I felt put in danger. I think we both felt like we could have handled things more appropriately. It's very easy to look and not actually see, it's hard to explain what I mean, but I always try and look three times.
Post edited at 15:01
Chris the Tall - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> You could see the big red and white warning triangles,

Even if there are signs to warn you of a side road joining/crossing, they aren't going to indicate the angle, nor whether or not it is a stop or give way junction, or give any sort of warning that a car might just come straight out without even slowing down, and not see you because you are in a blind spot.
Timmd on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> But what is so terrifying is that at a junction of this type, the car is actually behind the cyclist, or at least out of your range of sight. Years of experience won't save you unless you are aware of the layout of the junction and the danger it poses. You could be happily going along a rural road and wham, hit from behind by a car coming out of a side road.

I see what you mean, one almost (or not almost but actually) has to treat junctions like that as if there isn't a stop or give way, and as if drivers potentially haven't seen cyclists, and needs to be going slowly enough to avoid them if they pull out. Thinking about it, drivers would need to do the same thing too, going on some of the posts of near misses and accidents on here. It's worth looking at what's appearing on sat-navs and one's route on a map from a different perspective I dare say.
Post edited at 16:00
MG - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to jkarran:

You seem close to arguing that cars should be made with less visibility to make people see more, which is a (big) stretch, I would say. I agree with all your points about moving heads, and us all probably being much less capable than we think at driving, but having clear visibility with fewer blind spots is still going to help!
Timmd on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

I'm reminded of broaching to a relative the thing people say about how people would drive more carefully if a big spike was sticking out the steering wheel, and they said that there always was a spike in the form of the steering column, and it didn't seem to make any difference. I agree about fewer blind spots likely being helpful, there'll always be moments where smeary windows and it being dusk or dark will make it harder to see what's happening, and fewer blind spots are bound to help.

Post edited at 01:17
Timmd on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to petellis:

> Its down to a lack of understanding of how the event unfolds. If someone doesn't look properly then hits something they failed to see, then the cause was not looking properly. If they didn't look properly then they won't see it. It doesn't matter what colour/brightness they are, not looking = not seeing the fleeting small object. Covering the fleeting small object in fancy colours isn't fixing the problem.

Exactly, there's not a lot one can do about anybody being a doofus and failing to look. Flashing lights on helmets and handle bars seem to catch the eye. I mounted my front light on the very right hand side of my handlebar on my commuting bike when I used to have one, so that I'd get a little bit more room from anything coming the other way. It seemed to work. 

Post edited at 18:37

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