Update to fatal crash post

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

  1. duck

    duck Banned

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    Definition of accident:

    Looking at definitions 1 and 3, I disagree that the term accident doesn't apply. The first definition even includes auto accidents, another type of vehicle to vehicle collision, as an example.

    Your analogy to DUI is flawed because that is an act where someone knowingly takes an action that impairs their ability to drive and knows the risks to others involved when getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

    It's applicable to some extent when somebody is texting, putting on make-up or whatever but many of these SMIDSYs are caused by people who fail to see a motorcycle due to how human physiology (vision processing in particular) works - or doesn't. (See above linked article.)

    People also get killed in car accidents daily as well. Do you think somebody should start up MACA? (Mothers Against Car Accidents) Do you think legislators would respond and impose mandatory penalties for people who kill/maim others in auto accidents? Do you think prosecuting attorneys would decide to pursue it every time somebody killed somebody else in a car accident? I don't think either is a realistic expectation.

    Riders are a relatively small minority in this country so the chances of legislators taking action with respect to motorcycle accidents are even less. Then throw in the fact that we, as riders, CHOOSE to ride a vehicle which leaves us very exposed.

    Being a rider, I sure as heck don't want someone to take me (or any other rider) out in a SMIDSY but I recognize that it's a risk I choose to take every time I throw a leg over. Not saying that any rider deserves to get taken out in a SMIDSY or that the person who kills a rider isn't at fault, just acknowledging reality.

    JMHO.
    #61
  2. soggysandwich

    soggysandwich Banned

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    whoop de f-ckin DO !......

    End of discussion , this guys daddy was a cop !

    THAT solves everything :huh
    #62
  3. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Have any of you guys read Proficient Motorcycling? That author is considered to be an expert in motorcycle safety, and he talks about this phenomenon of drivers not seeing what they are looking at. I don't remember if he called it SMIDSY or whatever, but it does happen. A person, even one who is paying attention, can overlook a motorcycle if they do not expect to see it. Call it a lapse in consciousness, trick of the eye, whatever...it happens.

    He discussed studies that show a few things that awake the brain, and cause the object to be recognized:
    1. Triangle shaped set of lights. A single light can be interpreted by the brain as a headlight of a car peeking out from behind another. The triangle stands out.
    2. Variations in color. Groups of white lights can be interpreted as multiple cars in the distance. 2 yellow lights down low, below a white headlight, makes the brain do a double take.
    3. Headlight movement. This is why headlight and taillight modulators were invented.

    There could have been other factors that contributed to this particular fatality. Maybe the guy's brain was fried from the marijuana he consumed the night before? It seems like that could contribute to brain laziness. Who knows.

    Maybe removing drivers from the roadways who have had accidents where they didn't see something is a good idea. That line of thinking will lead to other reasons to limit people's eligibility to drive, though. It would be just as correct to remove the right to carry a passenger if you have ever had a single vehicle accident on your motorcycle. People who have ever rear-ended someone would be required to have computer controlled brakes installed on their car, or maybe only allowed to ride in automated vehicles. Hell, if the human brain is capable of overlooking objects, maybe nobody should be allowed to control a vehicle without computer support.

    It really sucks when human error causes a tragedy like this.
    #63
  4. hyper7driver

    hyper7driver Adventurer

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    You mentality is well thought out, but wrong. Someone, who in this case was under the influence, is MUCH MORE DANGEROUS than someone who isn't.

    Let me make another, more reasonable point simple as I can. Riders as a whole are more cautious than drivers in a cage. Right? Right! Why? They have more at stake pending their choices, even their very lives are at more risk than someone in a car. Right? Right! So, if penalties DRASTICALLY INCREASED to EVERYONE behind the wheel of a cage, they would take more responsibility and care while driving. Right? I do believe so.

    You can't judge people by motive alone, and ignore the end results. If you did, then you lay no responsibility on the individuals at fault. If I where to get drunk, and fire a gun at some object in someone's yard, (my own yard, neighbor's, whoever,) and instead accidentally hit and kill someone, I would be charged with murder. Right? But my motive was not to hit the person, why am I being charged? Cause of very poor thinking, decisions, and actions, and their end results. The same goes in driving. Vehicles are deadly weapons, if used in that manor, just like a gun, knife, whatever. Therefore, the charge in my opinion should be no less than if they accidentally shot this guys friend. After all, the formula for the cause of death in the two cases is almost identical. Carelessness, impaired, poor judgement, resulting in fatal actions. Only difference is the tool used to cause the death of an innocent victim.
    #64
  5. hyper7driver

    hyper7driver Adventurer

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    Not entirely. A passenger makes a choice to ride with someone. A person can't pick and choose who is sharing the road with them.
    #65
  6. DanMac

    DanMac Adventurer

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    I know this is old...

    When you go onto the road you agree to participate in a dangerous activity. When someone hits you, kills you, or whatever they are LESS in trouble due to the pre-meditated decision by both parties to engage in a dangerous activity.

    If you get into a sword fight for competitive reasons(Ie a sword fighting tournament) and SOMEHOW the other person manages to cut your arm off? Even if its proven to be done with malicious intent they are LESS in trouble due to the fact that both of you engaged in a dangerous sport. etc etc...
    #66
  7. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

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    Some of this is right some of it is wrong but too lazy to point it out.
    #67
  8. tjzondrz

    tjzondrz Non-Nefarious

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    I agree with your train of thought.
    I was hit head on by an older person when I was out riding.She made a left turn right in front of me.
    She and her passenger said they never saw me.
    It was an accident,and that's about it.
    That incident taught me to be defensive at all times.(shit happens)
    #68
  9. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    You think that until such time as you or someone close to you makes a mistake.
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  10. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Uhh no, no you wouldn't. More along the lines of Manslaughter or Criminally Negligent Homicide depending on the laws of your state, but definitely NOT "murder".

    You are criminally liable because you intentionally drank alcohol to the point of being drunk, and then fired the gun. If you got drunk and then got behind the wheel and killed someone, that too would be a serious offense. If you simply made a mistake (while sober) it is, rightfully, not as serious a criminal offense. Though still subject to civil liability.

    You are focusing ONLY on the result, which is often in large part just bad luck, while criminal law also takes into account intent.
    #70
  11. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

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    I'm curious, is there any update on the OP? :ear:ear
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  12. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb

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    A comment about looking and not seeing. How many of you careful people check twice before pulling out into traffic? How many times did you see something the 2nd time you looked but missed it the 1st time? What that means is that some percentage of the time you can look at something and not see it. If that happens 1% of the time, then if you look twice, you will still miss something .01% of the time. Which means even if you are diligent enough to look twice there will still be some things you miss.

    It is really worth reading about human perception. People have the misguided idea that our eyes work like television cameras which record every pixel in the frame. Our vision system is VERY different. It is all feature detection and your brain makes up a story based on a collection of features that it has detected. Lots of optical illusions are based on this. This is part of the reason that humans are terrible eyewitnesses. As others have mentioned, the story your mind generates to describe "what you are seeing" is dependent on lots of things other than just what pattern of photons is striking your retina. It is dependent on your history, experiences, biases, and probably what you had for breakfast.

    I totally agree that people need to pay more attention to driving, and the safety of modern cars certainly contributes to that problem, however, I do not agree that everyone can see everything if they just make an effort.
    #72
  13. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

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    Here is a thought...A car at random on the assembly line, shall be fitted with a shotgun shell instead of a driver side airbag..
    Darwin rides shotgun,will be the jingle. :D
    #73
  14. Big-O

    Big-O Been here awhile

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    Just think, some of these cock suckers want to have pot legalized. Wow, this kind of event will be the least of our problems despite how terrible it is. So next time you want to party on dudes, think of what can happen before hopping into the drivers seat. Sorry for the loss of your buddy.
    #74
  15. foggy50361

    foggy50361 Adventurer

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    A motorised vehicle is a weapon, I'm sorry if you get in/on a vehicle after a night of excess and you kill another human being you should never be allowed to drive any vehicle again, you know you have to drive the following day. You are not a responsible person. IMPO driving licensees are given away today; I am constantly amazed how little people pay attention to what is going on around them
    #75
  16. nicktulloh

    nicktulloh n00b

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    This thread boggles my mind. I guess that's ok because I didn't see it coming.

    Seriously, SMIDSY is a defense for nothing, IMHO. It may be technically or academically interesting and rich fodder for defense lawyers but not only is it ridiculous as a defense, it's also correctable.

    I was an airline pilot for 25 years, long enough to catch the tail end of an era where mechanical failure became almost unknown and the powers that be focused on human factors. We had (and they still have) hundreds of hours of training which was initially received with skepticism (to put it mildly) but the results have been impressive. Human factors training is very sophisticated these days and SMIDSY as an inevitable, uncontrollable, faultless event is without foundation. SMIDSY happens because of any number of things, all controllable or trainable.

    It's also addressable more globally, as others have pointed out, in initial driver ed. The US licensing system and Driver Ed is a joke compared to the rest of the world.
    #76
  17. foggy50361

    foggy50361 Adventurer

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    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
    These days people believe it's there right of way where ever they go :norton and f**k everybody else.
    #77
  18. Valker

    Valker Been here awhile

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    This might be a valid argument, except for the fact that over 5000 people pull out in front of trains in the USA every year. Most say (the live ones) "I didn't see it".
    #78
  19. yokel84

    yokel84 Adventurer

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    To the OP—Very sorry to hear of your loss.

    In discussions about driving safety/responsibility in forums, there often appears to be a lot of hubris at play. Regardless of how good or attentive of a driver one is, one can always improve. Most of us, if we're really honest with ourselves, probably have times when we drive a bit distractedly. I know I have anyway (and I'm the best driver in the world:1drink). It haunts my thoughts and makes me careful to try to be a better driver.

    Even so, as far as the SMDSY effect; I noticed that, with the tests, I had to be staring VERY intently at that central focus to lose sight of the other objects. Anyone who regularly drives with that type of inappropriate focus (which, in my mind is -at least in terms of driving- tantamount to inattention) will assuredly repeatedly have near-miss accidents. I can recognize my own lapses into inattention through the built-in safety mechanism my brain seems to have; if, when driving, I'm not actively looking at all aspects of surrounding traffic for impending danger, I feel confused and unsafe. I realize that my level of attention is insufficient, and I DON'T PULL OUT. This rarely happens to me (especially since learning to ride an mc) but it occasionally does.

    My point is: to drive safely we HAVE to intuitively develop techniques to overcome motion blindness. I know people that haven't. They seem to think people are always honking at them for no reason. They should probably have their licenses revoked. The only way I've learned was by driving. Learning to drive is always dangerous (in the US).. probably unless you live in rural Arizona or something.

    The penalties for injuring someone while speeding excessively have definitely caused me to rethink my driving. I know that, if someone's killed in a collision, and I was violating traffic laws, I'll likely be responsible regardless of whether or not that person jumped intentionally in front of my car (not that I would've driven carelessly or fast around pedestrians). Awareness of these consequences has definitely affected my behavior.

    When I heard about people getting harsh sentences (as well as in accidents) for drunk driving. I was more conscientious about dissuading my friends from driving after drinking.

    Anyway. Awareness helps, and consequences help both to varying degrees in different situations. Nothing will prevent all accidents.

    No statistical analysis at work, just empiricism.. for what it's worth.

    Also, the world is not going to hell in a handbasket (except perhaps environmentally) and people are probably no more or less responsible/careful on aggregate than they ever were [though I welcome evidence to the contrary]
    #79
  20. TheBlurr

    TheBlurr Banned

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    One of my best friends was killed when a semi steam rolled him after he hit a deer and lost control (friend). I was pissed, wanted blood, calmed down after awhile.
    His sister whom I was also very close to was Killed in an auto accident 10 years before him, I wanted someone to be held accountable, it took me years, more thought, and her brothers death to begin to come to an understanding.

    Mom was killed in a car accident which was a bit odd, could have been pushed off the road, or she could have made a mistake herself, its unkown. What I do know is she refused to listen to me, a professional driver or my father who was a professional over the road driver, had she listened she may not have overcorrected and would have been sitting here today.
    What I do know is ruining another life and punishing someone else for the rest of theirs solves absolutely nothing and only carries forth unneeded hate and resentment. An accident is just that, a very unfortunate circumstance, taking a life is something someone has to live with for the rest of theirs, and it usually changes them, normally not for the best.
    A major problem is this country however is the Nanny do everything for you state, Automatic cars take yoru attention away from driving as does every other distraction one can think of.
    I also believe the movie industry takes away the reality of losing someone, people honsetly think they will always be around, and live like they will magically come back, they do not.
    I have also noticed that in other countries where there are well almost no traffic laws there seem to be less accidents, the nanny state has made us complacent in our quest to make things safer, in many aspects, it has made people more dangerous as they are less attentive (the single biggest cause of an auto accident)

    I wrote this Yesterday take from it what you will and I hope it helps someone dealing with a loss settle their demons.


    Two years ago today my Mother was torn from this earth.
    I still remember the phone call, the uncertainty.
    Flying down the highway and seeing the cherries flashing on the police cars and sliding to a hault, they did not need to say anything they knew how I jumped from the car, and I knew by their eyes as they looked down all I needed to know.
    I dropped to my knees and let the spirits hear my anguish.
    I say this not for Sympathy, I am far beyond that now, I say this because to often we let petty things get in the way of a relationship, even things not so petty as we let the past haunt us and Demons whisper in our ears.
    None of which is worth it, love and happyness are far more grand, and those around us who make up our lives are worthy of our thoughts, our hopes, prayers and sympathies.
    It is beyond important that we cherish what we have, all of us expect tomorrow to be there and to often it is not.
    So share kindness with all that matters and at the worst, that is with a smile that you can know they carried it with them.


    Some previous thoughts again, I hope they help someone else deal with a trajedy.
    http://thoughtsoftheages.blogspot.com/2012/07/one-yea-ago-today-i-received-call-that.html

    I am curious, why people do not seem to care that the Medical community who are responsible for 500 deaths every single day which are their own mistake and could have been prevented.
    My father and brother in law were both casualties to varying extent of this, again, I am trying to turn it into something positive and bring about change.
    #80