Technical Means of Avoiding Fatalities
This showed up on the BBC news site today:
Interesting approach to help avoid accidents.
While I’m in favor of almost anything that will help all of us coexist safely on the roads, I think this is even less effective than putting up share-the-road type signs. At least with the signs ALL drivers would be warned of where crashes have taken place and not just the few who have this one brand of GPS. And then there is the irony that some of the crashes could have been caused by drivers being distracted by their GPS. Ahhh technology…
At least they are admitting there is a problem though.
Funny how I’ve never even thought of the phrase “cycle safety equipment” before, at least as applies to cars. I’m sure that if people start thinking about things they could do to cars and trucks so that cyclists will be safer, they’ll come up with a lot of good ideas, like making drivers-side doors open from the inside only partways at first, giving cyclists warning, and requiring a second pull of the handle to open wide, reminding drivers to look for cyclists.
“…unless they were fitted with cycle safety equipment.”
We have them already. They’re called eyes.
Next topic, street design.
Next topic, adherence to existing speed and safe passing ordinances.
It will also be noted that the UK cyclist killed was an up-and-coming scientist studying polar ice caps. Also, female.
I’m in for more safety…. but shouldn’t people who are driving a car should be alert and looking at the road and SEE if there are cyclists, pedestrians, or other obstacles on their way?
Having help from a device is great, but still….. common sense?
I think the custom of putting white crosses up where there has been a fatality is a useful one.
I’m guessing there would various places in the Pittsburgh area that would have more then one of them in the same place. Every year there are about 70 or 80 traffic deaths in Allegheny County.
Where were they?
Why should deaths keep going unheeded?
We complain about the lack of media coverage for hit and runs, but why isn’t each one of these tragic stories covered in depth? Many (most?) of these deaths were preventable, after all.
Shouldn’t every driver be talking -and thinking – about what happened in each fatal accident? It’s hard to imagine the bike community not doing that for a fatality.
Now, I don’t know about using Christian imagery – but shouldn’t all these places be marked somehow?
Instead of “christian imagery” (although I think a cross can serve more than one purpose, but good point) how about a skull and crossbones, or a fake dead person? Why beat around the bush- a serious incident requires a serious image.
I was thinking of representing all fatalities, not just cyclists.
I imagine some places might have a lot of little skull signs if it was an old enough city and a dangerous enough location.
@ Helen S I was thinking of representing all fatalities, not just cyclists.
Although it seems to me that maybe they shold be there for some time period. A decade? Until the roadway is revised? Not sure.
I don’t really care if someone died there in 1940.
And it should not be an option for local business to request they be taken down because they don’t like the negative message.
I think a skull or fake dead body would be overwhelming and insensitive to the grieving family and friends. And pressure from them would make the sign/marker come down much faster than any upset business owner.
Um, these aren’t “technical means”, and we already do stuff like that. How many people who are dangerous drivers pay attention to the many roadside memorials etc. we see all the time?
I like the idea of using technology to address this instead of just trying to change driver behavior by signs. Signs demonstrably don’t work well enough. And we’ve got them already. So why not try something new?
Ex. another technical way to increase road safety is to disable texting by drivers, which is tricky because you don’t want to do it for all vehicle passengers, but it is possible. You would need to put a sensor in cellphones to detect when it was in the driver’s seat, and a corresponding emitter in the seat or dashboard. You could also disable cellphone calls there.
How about a visible police presence and actual ticketing of aggressive driving in these areas?
As for equipping vehicles to reduce dooring, jonawebb’s idea is interesting.
Thinking it would be less of a nuisance and get better results if a rear facing sensor gated the behavior but then the behavior were just not to allow the door to open without a secomd (ever so slightly out of the way) button push to override.
The dooring idea originally came from BSNYC, so far as I know. Using the door handle for both initial and secondary open seems simple and natural to me. But, as I say, if car manufacturers really worked on it, they could come up with some really good solutions.
Either are an improvement. Simple and natural make acceptance easier, but that same ease combined with invariant system behavior I think would mean that driver behavior wouldn’t actually change… it’s just that the cyclist might have a little more time.
jonawebb wrote:You would need to put a sensor in cellphones to detect when it was in the driver’s seat, and a corresponding emitter in the seat or dashboard.
What does prevent someone to put your hand with cell into passenger seat?
@mikhail, right, there are always workarounds… the idea is to make texting harder.
Why not just put devices into cars to jam all occupants’ cellphones? Then passengers with nothing better to do could look out the window and help the driver scan for hazards. More eyes = more awareness (or something like that), right?
Sometimes making it harder is pushing people to more stupid things. :( In this particular case, I think, we are not going to decrease people significantly (since it’s not hard enough) but will increase amount of people looking down to a passenger seat. And it takes more time to turn your head to the right then just moving your eyes.
If I get killed by a car you can put up a skull and crossbones, or better yet just hang my mangled bloody decomposing body on a pole. Maybe that will get the point across.
@jonawebb Um, these aren’t “technical means”, and we already do stuff like that. How many people who are dangerous drivers pay attention to the many roadside memorials etc. we see all the time?
All the time? I don’t think so.
The only one I ever see is the ghost bike on Meyron Street.
There are a few section of road (think the north part of Washington Blvd) wehre there have been plenty of deaths and no indication of that.
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