Update to fatal crash post

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by colodak, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. John Bentall

    John Bentall Been here awhile

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    I hope a LEO joins this discussion. He will tell you that motorists will crash into/pull out in front of a police motorcycle or car with reflective decals and displaying flashing red and blue lights.

    The reason why the cager did not see the biker is he did not look and pay attention. Research with eye movement detectors show that cagers do not look at the road (ie are not actually driving) for 11% of a journey.

    I do not understand why human life is so cheap in law when we are talking about vehicle deaths. Can someone explain?
    #41
  2. b1pig

    b1pig Been here awhile

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    John,
    Laws vary from state to state. In some states, to be considered DUI-Drugs, you have to have a certain concentration in your blood. similar to the BAC for alcohol. In states where drug use is illegal, ANY amount is enough to be considered DUI-Drugs. This also accounts for prescription meds. A fatality accident with DUI can be a very serious crime in many states.

    However, lawmakers reason out that in 99% of those accidents, they are just that... accidents. Without intent, most cases will not rise to the level of felony. Most will be misdemeanors on one level or another.

    It doesn't take a LEO to tell you that there are careless idiots everywhere, and yes they pull into the path of emergency vehicles all the time. Most times, the operator of the vehicle is alert enough to avoid a collision... or just lucky.

    To me, whether a driver sees the other vehicle or not carries very little weight. One must yield to another who has right of way. Failure to do so is in violation of the law. Period. When we write the tickets, we understand the "I didn't mean to" plea... but it does not excuse the offense. I hope that the case goes before a non-jury trial. You never know what a jury will do.
    #42
  3. duck

    duck Banned

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    No, it's because we are riders and are much more inclined to LOOK FOR and SEE motorcycles. A) Because we're riders and aware that there are motorcycles on the road and B) because we have an interest in them so they are much more likely to attract our attention.

    Here's a good example: Several years ago my brother threatened to take up riding. Of course I recommended that the first thing he do was take the BRC - which he did and he passed. Several days after completing it he told me that he had had no idea how many motorcycles were actually on the road. Of course it was the same number both before and after he took the BRC but his interest in them had changed his awareness of them on the road and his brain was much less inclined to miss them when processing what he saw.
    #43
  4. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    [/QUOTE]

    You don't have a criminal mind at least in part BECAUSE you take into account consequences beyond the next 10 minutes to 24 hours.

    Do some reading. It really shouldn't come as a surprise to you that criminal minds think in quite different ways to you.

    While this may be true of some planned murders; in many cases an otherwise likeable idiot suffers a rush of blood to the head and does something incredibly stupid. For example, advertising aimed at getting people to look after their drunk mates in public is designed to reduce assaults by drunks.

    But getting back to your main point, drivers:

    There was a proposal a while back to dramatically increase penalties against car drivers who open car doors in front of cyclists. At the time I wrote:
    Unlike speeding or running red lights, accidental "dooring" of cyclists is something no one sets out to do.
    How many of us have any idea what the fine for driving on the wrong side of the road is? We don't drive on the left simply because we might get fined for driving on the right, and the few who do are typically foreign tourists having a brainfade.
    Likewise, for the vast majority of motorists and right side back seat passengers, the prospect of injuring a cyclist with a door is quite sufficient motivation not to do so, and the prospect of a fine will make no difference to behaviour.
    In safety terms, dooring is not a deliberate act in defiance of safety rules, it's a true lapse of attention. As such, the problem is likely to respond to advertising and awareness campaigns (which cost money) and less likely to respond to increased penalties after the event (which do not cost money) without any attempt to improve awareness.
    A single TAC* advertisment addressing the issue would make far more difference than increasing a fine which people will only find out about when they've already done the deed.
    *TAC is the Transport Accident Commission; the Government organisation that manages compulsory transport accident injury insurance in my state. They have very considerable input into road safety policy as well as funding high profile road safety awareness advertisments on the basis that they pay for themselves in reduced claims. If you're not an Aussie, you may still have seen TAC advertisments on youtube.

    Penalties stop people doing things they might otherwise decide to do.
    Education helps make people think about the consequences of doing things they think are harmless, or of forgetting to do things they may think are unimportant, like consciously having a good hard look for motorcyclists.
    #44
  5. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    I know legislating behavior is a tricky thing and often doesn't work and even creates unintended consequences. I still think we need to look carefully to figure out a way to create better situational awareness of all drivers on the road. The reason we see better isn't because our vision is better. It is because we have trained our minds that the consequences for inattentiveness is severe. This means we tend to be better drivers as well as riders.

    So how do we make the consequences of inattentive driving severed enough to make people change their behavior? Car makers haven't helped because cars are so much safer today. There is little risk of personal injury in a car if the passengers are wearing seatbelts. The moral code that would cause guilt for taking the life of a biker is reducing all the time as is the moral code for just about everything else. So what is left? How do we make people pay more attention? I think it is time to make legal consequences so harsh that people have it at the front of their mind every time they start the engine.
    #45
  6. UtahDirt

    UtahDirt What happened to the Sun?

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    Two, or more, people come together in a chance meeting. That is the accident. The days, months, years of decisions and learning leading to this accidental meeting shapes the outcome. To me, it's called an accident because of the chance encounter in time, few seconds either way no meeting. The actions of the participants are not accidental.
    #46
  7. UtahDirt

    UtahDirt What happened to the Sun?

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    It is confusing, and the application seems to be delivered by madmen.
    #47
  8. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    You don't.
    Inattentive driving is not a deliberate act in defiance of rules, it's not a decision to do or fail to do something despite the possible consequences, so changing the likely consequences, no matter how severe, won't change the behaviour.

    Do people drive on the correct side of the road and give way to motorcyclists because of the fines for not doing so? No.

    Do people obey speed limits and stop at stop signs before deciding whether there is a motorcycle they need to give way to because of the potential fines? Yes.

    Does a low penalty with a high probability of being caught work better than a high penalty with low probability of being caught? Every time!

    Fining lots of people for not stopping completely at stop signs will achieve far more than locking the few drivers who are involved in crashes away for years.
    #48
  9. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Would your driving habits change if you knew there was a 10% chance that the airbags in your car contained a sword that would pierce your heart if it ever deployed? Would you be more attentive? Would you make a deliberate effort to be more aware of your following distance and take measures to minimize distractions?

    Of course this is an extreme example but it illustrates that inattentive driving is a deliberate act brought on by the lack of negative consequences. There is very little incentive for most people to pay attention when driving and therefore, most people don't view a fatal collision as a deliberate act but just an accident.

    I can't say how things are in Australia but here in the US, there is a serious mindset problem in general and most of the time, it doesn't bother me. When a person with a "condition white" mindset gets behind the wheel of a 2 ton hunk of steel, their mindset becomes my problem.
    #49
  10. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    Not so long ago it was a topic here about a newspaper article, which covered sufferings of a woman who killed a motorcyclist. She was very distraught because her little doggie ran away during the accident.

    I don't think that jailing the driver would accomplish much good, but prolonged license revocation followed by an extensive driver school and an alimony to the victim's family should be in order.
    #50
  11. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    I'd make the clown pay college tuition and lodging for the deceased's children.
    #51
  12. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    When I ride my motorbike, I have a risk of death by crash 37 times that of a car driver. I ride and drive quite conservatively, particularly with respect to following distances.

    But there is ample evidence in this forum that for many many people, even a 37 times higher risk of death is not enough to stop them riding a bike in ways that the rest of us can see are plainly more dangerous.


    If the very small risk of killing someone is not enough to change someone's behaviour then the same very small risk of killing someone AND being locked away for a decade or two is not going to change it either.
    #52
  13. fuelish

    fuelish Been here awhile

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    Inattentive driving absolutely is deliberate. The driver chooses to engage in distracting behavior even tho(as many surveys have shown) they know there is a greater risk by looking at texts or talking on the phone, or eating, fiddling with the radio, looking for change in the cushions, etc. It is fortunate, that there are enough attentive drivers to avoid the inattentive ones, most of the time.
    #53
  14. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

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    It has to do with motion blindness, they look but don't see because they don't know the techniques needed to dispel the effect and it isn't taught through normal driver education. That's why the law is so lenient on them. My dad is a retired Lieutenant State Trooper and I can't tell you the earful I got when I picked up my first bike.
    #54
  15. El Pescador

    El Pescador Been here awhile

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    I didn't quote all of your posts, as there are too many, only the last.

    I have rarely been as disturbed and terrified by a challenge to my assumptions as you have presented here. Thanks for taking an unpopular stance and explaining it well.
    #55
  16. 4wheeldog

    4wheeldog Long timer

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    It should be a condition of any deal made with the charges that he pay restitution to the family of the deceased. Miss a payment? Go to prison.

    Better to let the scumbag walk out in the world, but squeeze his wallet early and often.
    #56
  17. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

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    I think the guys saying it isn't possible need to read face plant a little more. There are lots of instances where the offending driver was looking straight at the rider for several seconds and then drives right into their path anyway.
    #57
  18. fuelish

    fuelish Been here awhile

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    I have, on many occasions, had a driver look right at me and then pull out anyway. While a couple of times I believe it was someone that decided I would back off(They started to go, stopped, then went anyway. I got the feeling that they figured I would stop or slow for them), most of the time they just did not see me, untl it was to late for anyone but me to do something about it. They do usually see you at the last second, which fits in with the SMIDSY explanation.

    I have noticed, after reading more on technique, accidents, and riding consistently, that I tend to bob my head back and forth( on the bike adn in the car) whenever I am at an intersection. It really helps to improve your read of where everyone is and what they are doing.
    #58
  19. psmcd

    psmcd Long timer

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    Discovered in another thread and pertaining directly to the motion blindness post also:

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

    #59
  20. Pago Cruiser

    Pago Cruiser Been here awhile

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    First, sincere condolonces to the original poster. IMO, the 2nd tragedy is indeed the slap on the wrist for the scumbag killing someone. That pretty much tells you the value our courts currently place on the life of motorcyclists.

    I disagree with those who think that a severe penalty for HUA (that would be head up a$$) driving resulting in death or injury would not have a positive affect. I know some posters here are not from the USA, but a couple decades ago a couple folks got dam mad about the proliferation of drunk drivers, the carnage they create, and the same slap on the wrist punishment as we see now for motorcycle deaths. No one in a position of power (politicians, police, judges) took drunk driving "accidents" and the all too common resulting deaths seriously. Pretty much like our situation now...

    Those folks started MADD, aka Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. They have had a hugely successful result in getting most drivers to not get behind the wheel drunk. It took several years, but it did not take too many high profile "drunk driving with resulting death" convictions with hard time jail sentences to get folks to start changing their driving attitudes. Unfortunately, they are not 100% successful, as there are still far too many stupid people around who seem unable to learn from the mistakes of others. Just as we have geniuses among us, so do we have folks with room temperature IQ's; that will never change...

    So IMO, we have pretty good proof that fear of penalty can cause attitude change.

    As a few other posters indicated, the word "accident" should not be allowed to be played as a "I was too stupid to know any better, so I am not responsible" card. An accident is indeed a chance meeting of two people, or a tree hit by lightning and falling on your car, or the space shuttle toilet landing on a girl standing on a street corner... Pulling out in front of traffic causing a collision is a willful act. That person chose that action; no one else made him do it. And 99% of the driving population would not have done it. Actions have consequences, and actions without thought to the ramifications can be deadly. Those consequences should also be severe enough to serve as a caution to others. MADD has proven this concept.

    Now all we have to do is make folks as sympathetic to motorcyclist deaths as they are to a van full of high school kids rear ended and engulfed in flames by a drunk driver... and that's gonna be a hard sell.
    #60