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The "Blackboard/Chalkboard" thing

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PDR
1342338.  Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:08 pm Reply with quote

Yes, in the same sense that the butterfly in moscow is not responsible for the rain in seattle.

But that's not the point - you were saying that collisions could be avoided by opting for a brake pedal, and all collisions could be avoided by better choices of road positioning and hazard awareness. Please explain how either would have prevented this collision.

PDR

 
barbados
1342339.  Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:21 pm Reply with quote

No, I said that the accidents you mentioned could have been prevented by being more aware of the surroundings, and braking is one option that is available.
For example, the person in the road, if the driver was travelling at, lets say 30MPH, that means the person must have flown from the pub at quite a speed to make it across the pavement into the path of the car before the driver that was aware could have seen it.
Brawls from pubs don't often occur like that, the perpetrators tend to fight across the pavement. But even if the driver was fully aware of the situation and the person did fly across the pavement - that doesn't mean that someone wasn't responsible*, it doesn't have to be the fault of the driver.

A lot of drivers think the world ends at the boundary of their tin can world - it doesn't, and that is the cause of enough accidents to suggest all of them (considering the number of occasions where there is no responsibility is negligible)

*that looks very untidy, I am suggesting that someone was responsible.

 
PDR
1342351.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:52 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
No, I said that the accidents you mentioned could have been prevented by being more aware of the surroundings, and braking is one option that is available.
For example, the person in the road, if the driver was travelling at, lets say 30MPH, that means the person must have flown from the pub at quite a speed to make it across the pavement into the path of the car before the driver that was aware could have seen it.


This is factually incorrect. Looking at the highway code tables (to provide an actual reference) we see that at 30mph an unplanned stop requires 9m of thinking distance and 14m of physical stopping distance - a total of 23m. Even at 20mph these distances are still 6m and 6m respectively, for a total of 12m. If a brawl in a busy pub caused the surrounding customers to be pushed outwards then the ones at the edge could be pushed onto the pavement. Pavements can be as narrow as im, so you could easily be less than 6m from the person who suddenly gets pushed into the road so you don't even have time to react, let alone stop. The only actions you will take will be reflexes, and the trained reflexes in this case will be both brake and swerve. Brake won't have toime to have much effect, but swerve will take you into the path of the oncoming traffic.

PDR

 
barbados
1342353.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:05 am Reply with quote

So what you do, is you note the hazard (fight on pavement, worst case scenario- it spills on to the road) and you adjust your driving accordingly. You donít just like on regardless in the hope that the weapon you are sitting in will miss any flying debris (or people whichever you prefer)

 
PDR
1342356.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:27 am Reply with quote

The fight wasn't on the pavement - it was out of sight in the pub. The pavement was crowded, but not unsually so and not such that it presented a hazard UNTIL the fight inside the pub (invisible to anyone outside) caused the door to be pushed open which domino'd a pedestrian into the road.

There was no hazard in sight until it actuall happened, by which time it was too late to do anything other than the reflexive swerve.

PDR

 
barbados
1342357.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:17 am Reply with quote

I think we shall take this as a tactical draw

 
dr.bob
1342363.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:00 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
The law still uses the term "accident" even where blame is to be apportioned (Road Traffic Act etc) by a court.


This is true, though I note that the Road Traffic Act was drawn up over 30 years ago, and the legal profession generally seem to be stuck in the dark ages. There is a charity named RoadPeace which is currently campaigning for a change in the language used by the legal profession, as well as the media.

PDR wrote:
The whole "where there's a collision there must be someone to blame" thing is something I will always object to.


I agree with you for the reasons you have given. However, I also agree that the example you have given explains how a no-blame accident should be extremely unlikely. Thus I would expect the number of no-blame road collisions, whilst not zero, to be very small indeed.

PDR wrote:
This may represent the cognitive bias (or personal agenda) of the question setters, but it doesn't make it true!


In this case I believe it is an agenda (agendum?) rather than cognitive bias. It seems to me to be a deliberate attempt to drill into new drivers that they are responsible for a ton of hurtling metal easily capable of becoming a killing machine.

This strikes me as a good idea. If people take to the roads with the attitude of "Oh well, accidents happen," I suspect that they will have a much more laissez-faire attitude to safety than if they have the message of "there's always someone to blame, and it'll probably be you" drilled into them (even if I agree that the use of the word "always" there is an exaggeration).

PDR wrote:
I know you didn't claim it was, but you seem to be of the view that it will be the majority case - I'm not sure I accept that it would. I don't know where we might find data to support one or the other


I don't know how reliable these data are, but I found this website which claims to show a breakdown of the causes of road "accidents" (I know, I know!) in Britain. You can see from that graphic that the vast majority of these causes fall into the category of "someone to blame."

Some of the most common causes are:

* Failed to look properly
* Failed to judge another person's path or speed
* Careless, reckless, or in a hurry
* Following too close
* Travelling too fast for conditions
* Poor turn or manoeuvre
* Impaired by alcohol
* Disobeyed 'Give Way' or 'Stop' sign

Of the causes given, the only ones I can see which might potentially fall into the "no-blame" category are:

* Animal or object in carriageway (900 incidents)
* Defective traffic signals (134 incidents)
* Loss of control (12.151 incidents)

But even those could also result in incidents where someone is to blame for not taking due care and attention (e.g. the "animal in carriageway" could describe an animal appearing from nowhere (no-blame), or an animal standing in plain view and the driver not paying sufficient attention to the road (blame))

 
dr.bob
1342364.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:16 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Person gets pushed off a busy pavement. Car which is 3 feet away swerves to avoid pushed pedestrian, collides with car coming the other way.


My first reaction is that the person to blame here is whoever pushed the person into the road. They may not have been driving a car, but they were responsible for causing a collision.

Other possibilities occur depending on the precise details of the incident. For instance, if the car coming in the other direction could have braked and/or swerved as well, but didn't, then the driver of the other car may be at fault.

PDR wrote:
Car driving down a country lane. A deer leaps over a hedge into the path of the car. Driver swerves into on-coming traffic to avoid deer.

Car swerves to avoid falling tree, hits oncoming traffic.

Car driving down a country lane at 25mph. A pig trots into the road 10 feet in front of it. Car hits pig with left front wing and is deflected into on-coming traffic.


Objects in the road that appear without warning definitely fall into the "no blame" category.

PDR wrote:
Car driving down a normal road at 30mph when the engine shuts down (subsequently established to be a software fault in the ECU). All power is removed, including the power steering. While trying to stop the driver found that she physically couldn't turn the wheel during the final 10mph of the deceleration, so was unable to straighten up after the right bend, and so the car drifted into the other side of the road to hit on-coming traffic.


Again, precise details are important. Could the on-coming traffic have reacted better to this incident? If not, then this sounds like another no-blame incident.

However, the data I've provided above seem to imply that these types of incident are very much in the minority. For one thing, the government's own figures (see table RAS10001) show that there were 122,635 incidents in 2018, of which 4,566 occurred on motorways, 23,853 occurred on non-built-up roads, and a whopping 94,216 occurred on built-up roads. You don't tend to get too many pigs or deer leaping out at you when driving along built-up roads.

 
cnb
1342366.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:41 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
PDR wrote:
(subsequently established to be a software fault in the ECU).


Again, precise details are important. Could the on-coming traffic have reacted better to this incident? If not, then this sounds like another no-blame incident.


Surely that depends whether the software fault was one that should have been identified by the manufacturer's QA process and fixed before the software was installed in production vehicles.If it was bad code, then the blame falls on the manufacturer, doesn't it?

 
barbados
1342367.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:50 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

Of the causes given, the only ones I can see which might potentially fall into the "no-blame" category are:

* Animal or object in carriageway (900 incidents)
* Defective traffic signals (134 incidents)
* Loss of control (12.151 incidents)

But even those could also result in incidents where someone is to blame for not taking due care and attention (e.g. the "animal in carriageway" could describe an animal appearing from nowhere (no-blame), or an animal standing in plain view and the driver not paying sufficient attention to the road (blame))

In what way would defective traffic signals result in no blame?

 
crissdee
1342381.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:18 pm Reply with quote

If a traffic light showed green when it should have showed red, and a driver pulled away because he thought he had right of way?

 
barbados
1342382.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:47 pm Reply with quote

Green doesnít equal go criss

 
PDR
1342383.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:07 pm Reply with quote

True.

Red+Amber=go.

Green="you should be long gone by now; you're holding up the traffic"

PDR

 
barbados
1342384.  Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm Reply with quote

Perhaps that is why you couldnít avoid the pig?

;p

 
PDR
1342392.  Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:25 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

My first reaction is that the person to blame here is whoever pushed the person into the road. They may not have been driving a car, but they were responsible for causing a collision.


Perhaps, but then the person doing the pushiung may have been (as in this case) inside the pub and thus unaware that the crowded pavement had created a "pushing people into the road causing a car to swerve and a subsequent collision" risk. The actual core of the systemic risk here is the pub having a swing door that opens directly onto a narrow and frequently crowded pavement. So who would be "to blame"? The landlord or pub owner? The architect who placed the door there on the drawings? The planning committee which gave planning consent for the pub/door? The council which own the narrow pavement? The owners of all the other businesses which generate the high volume of pedestrian traffic on the narrow pavement? The council who failed to place barriers on the edge of the narrow/busy pavement?

Specific cases are often exceptions - I'm just railing against a default assumption that there is always someone to blame. Safety Engineering Theory rejected this concept decades ago because it was a dangerous assumption.

[quote]Other possibilities occur depending on the precise details of the incident. For instance, if the car coming in the other direction could have braked and/or swerved as well, but didn't, then the driver of the other car may be at fault.{/quote]

For cars travelling in the same direction it is reaosnable to expect drivers to maintaina gap, but for cars travelling in opposite directions this is impossible, so it will ALWAYS be possible that a car swerving across from the other lane could collide with another car unavoidably.

PDR

 

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