Helmet debate... new twist

bode

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 14, 2008
626
0
Hertfordshire and Bath
You think you know how best to behave on the roads; trouble is, so does every f*ckwit behind a wheel. If everyone makes their own rules, what happens when the experienced and calculating road user meets the incompetent lunatic at high speed?
Are you the same Bode who recently took a nasty tumble at near walking pace? Presumably speed was not a factor?

You are welcome to express your opinion, but you should realise that so are others. Your posts imply an unpleasant intolerance for opinions which do not concur with your own.

I have been driving for over 25 years, with an average annual mileage in excess of 35k. I have been e-biking for over 4 years with an average annual mileage in excess of 5k. NO accidents. Please do not judge others by your own yardstick with such unnecessary vitriol.
Indeed, I am he. Certainly speed is not the only factor. A momentary carelessness can have unpleasant results; in my case leading to my first injury after 42 years high-mileage motoring, 20 years motorcycling, 56 years cycling, and (only) 1200 miles e-biking. Thank goodness I was doing 5 rather than 120 mph.
Far be it from me to tar anybody's yardstick with my own vitriol.
 

Xcytronex

Pedelecer
Jul 23, 2009
139
0
The proven outcome of what I say on this subject indicates it's anything but spurious.

What proof ?
All your evidence is purely anecdotal /hearsay.You claim a an accident free high speed driving life-but we don't know this -we certainly do not know if you have ever even attained these speeds while motoring .Flecc it's not that I doubt your word-far from it- however this does not make it proven fact and as you say only indicates the possibility.
 

Mussels

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2008
3,208
8
Crowborough
'The answer is nothing! My judgement is either valid or invalid, no ifs or buts.'

Your judgement is SOMETIMES valid or invalid-no ifs or buts.There are no absolutes---other than there are no absolutes !
Speed limits are absolute, that's why it's easy to get a conviction.

My personal view is that speeds of 120mph are unnecessary on any public roads.

The simple stopping distance at this speed is almost 200 yards. That makes no allowance for reaction time which for a simple stimulus like a light coming on is 200ms. This increases to a minimum of .5 seconds for the more complex stimulus of a road situation.

These figures are for an experienced grand prix driver in his prime. Half a second at 120mph equates to about 30 yards. That's a stopping distance of 230 yards total.

Thus these figures are all the very best possible for a perfect vehicle on a road with perfect grip and a driver with the best human reaction time possible. ABS does not improve these distances for a skilled driver.

In practise given all these figures are likely to be around 30% greater than this, we have a practical stopping distance of 300 yards.

Let's say the route was from the south London suburbs to a village in Dorset - we need a route with totally clear vision for 300 yards for most of it, and a minimum of 80 yards for the slow (60-70mph) section. Any traffic lights, hold ups or even sharp road bends will necessitate longer and longer periods at higher speeds.

To average 70mph door to door we must pass the starting point at 70mph and at no point in the journey go slower than 70mph until stopping dead at the destination. A practical stopping distance at this speed is 100 yards. To average this speed safely therefore, there would have to be no part of the route where you could not see with absolute clarity for a minimum of 100 yards. No parked cars, hidden driveways or obstructions of any kind.
I don't know where you got your stopping distances from but if it is the highway code then in practice stopping distances are considerably shorter than the Morris Minor they used to calculate them.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,720
27,496
The proven outcome of what I say on this subject indicates it's anything but spurious.

What proof ?
All your evidence is purely anecdotal /hearsay.You claim a an accident free high speed driving life-but we don't know this -we certainly do not know if you have ever even attained these speeds while motoring .Flecc it's not that I doubt your word-far from it- however this does not make it proven fact and as you say only indicates the possibility.
This misses the point, it's proven to me, and that's all that matters to me in respect of my having or not having accidents. Whether you or anyone else believes me does not concern me, I only give my experience in the hope that some others might change their attitudes and also cut out many if not all of the accidents they have. After all, any such accident could threaten me.

N.B. As an aside, the proof was offered. One doubter in a previous thread who frankly didn't believe my average only lives a stones throw from me, so I offered him a Dorset trip with me. He didn't take me up on that, but could have done
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,720
27,496


You
think you know how best to behave on the roads; trouble is, so does every f*ckwit behind a wheel. If everyone makes their own rules,
Setting aside the way you express this, of course there's some truth in what you say, but in what way does that contradict what I'm preaching with regard to safety. Nowhere do I see a single positive word from you that would help me or anyone else be safer on the road.

All I'm seeing is this silly blind acceptance that fixed rules are the right thing for everyone in all circumstances. That is what the great majority believe is the route to safe driving, and it's that blinkered unimaginative approach that leads to 3000 deaths a year and countless crippling injuries.

I am not invulnerable. I can have an accident. It can happen to me. Nowhere here or in any other thread have I ever claimed otherwise.

What I will not accept is the silliness I keep seeing in responses, such things as "accidents just happen", "it will happen to you one day", "accidents are inevitable".

what happens when the experienced and calculating road user meets the incompetent lunatic at high speed?
What has happened in my lifetime on the roads when I've inevitably met such people?

Nothing, that's what.

Now if you stopped to think about that instead of blindly reacting in opposition to everything I'm saying, you might just learn something to your benefit.
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Xcytronex

Pedelecer
Jul 23, 2009
139
0
That is my point -this whole debate relates only to personal experience.Yes your methods work for you --at no time have I taken issue with this or said I disbelieved .After all anybody exceeding 15 m.p.h on their ebike will be breaking the law.I see plenty of cyclists wearing helmets but not using mirrors or lights.I cycle as fast as possible to cut the journey time and allow fewer vehicles to pass-at the same time taking up as much road space as my safety dictates--the gutter is somewhere to go as a last resort. Your actions and thinking must be positive -it's better to be a proactive cyclist than reactive with regard to safety.Oh -and never argue with a skip -wagon !!!
 
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Xcytronex

Pedelecer
Jul 23, 2009
139
0
I also fully believe being encased in black while cycling is as plainly visible as as any type of hi-vis clothing !!!!!!!!!!
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
highway code then in practice stopping distances are considerably shorter than the Morris Minor they used to calculate them.
They are from the Road Research Laboratory and were obtained in 2007.

I wouldn't mind a sensible answer to my post. I make a serious point. Why not assume that you have more accurate figures than the RRL and they are half what the RRL research yields? Read the distances again. Now think how far ahead you can see on ordinary southern English roads.

I enjoy these sort of discussions but only when serious answers are made to serious points. The moment emotion enters it it all becomes a bit second rate. Querying my figures in a rather facetious way does not constitute an answer.

I have no personal interest in how Flecc drives. I see people driving vastly in excess of the speed limits all the time. That does not surprise me. What surprises me is that anyone should seek to justify it. I understand that someone wishes to save time on a journey but I was questioning whether the inherent risk to others was worth the trival amount of time saved.

It's probably a comment on the paucity of my life but I honestly would not drive at 120mph on a motorway in order to save myself a few minutes.

I believe in the principle that no-one is above the law and that that is a founding principle of a democratic state. A great deal of the furore in our politics at the moment is that MPs believe they are above the law. If one person is free to not to obey laws then we all are. Can anyone really justify only obeying laws they agree with? We have seen the results of that with our MPs:D

The only justification I have seen so far is that Flecc is a better driver than most. But most of us believe we are a better driver than most and many drivers have never had an accident. That alone cannot justify ignoring the law, obviously. I am sure Flecc has a more solid reason than that!
 

bode

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 14, 2008
626
0
Hertfordshire and Bath
Some of the arguments seen here about self-regulation being superior to any form of consensual rules (for that is what laws are, broadly speaking) remind one of Maggie Thatcher's remarks about there being no such thing as society. And should probably be viewed in the same light.
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Ah, that Maggie Thatcher. Such a good idea, deregulating the City. Great benefits brought to us all. Think what a mess the banking system would be in today otherwise :rolleyes:
 

john

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2007
531
0
Manchester
Oh -and never argue with a skip -wagon !!!
Funny you should say that. I caught up with one at the lights a few months ago and politely asked him to give me some more room next time he overtook me. He seemed unconvinced by my advice. I keep well clear of them now!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,720
27,496
answer.

But most of us believe we are a better driver than most and many drivers have never had an accident. That alone cannot justify ignoring the law, obviously. I am sure Flecc has a more solid reason than that!
Thanks for that reasoned response Lemmy. Yes i do have a solid reason, and I've alluded to it twice in this thread and previously.

It's not about saving time, as you say, that would be trivial. It's about attentiveness.

The best state to drive in is fully attentive to everything the other side of the glass in all directions at all times. The problem is in maintaining that on the longer boring journeys, especially if they are familiar ones and routine. All experienced drivers will be familiar with the phenomenon of coming to certain point on a routine journey and realising they have no recollection of a large part of the journey to that point. Obviously they've been able to safely drive on "auto" with nothing untoward happening, but what would happen in such circumstances if something dangerous suddenly happened?

The probability is that they'd be yet another of the drivers unable to account for the accident that resulted, saying such things as "it came from nowhere", "it was too sudden to tell", "I didn't see where he came from". These are the sort of things that happen when driving at the moderate speeds which encourage the attention to wander through the mind not being fully occupied with the driving function.

Conversely, driving at the absolute limit with no safety margin whatsoever is dangerous, but between the two lies the point that keeps one fully alert and attentive with the mind occupied enough with the driving function, if at times only to watch out for police and speed measuring devices. That's the way I like to cover those long and boring journeys, using my ability as far as possible commensurate with an adequate safety margin, and that inevitably means higher than legal speeds.

When someone is with me for the first time when I'm driving, they might even be a little scared at first, but they soon relax once they see the other side of the coin, my very high level of courtesy on the roads. I give a high priority to pedestrians, especially mothers with prams and small children. I give priority to public transport since it's serving many, not just the selfishness of my using a personal car. I often give priority to working drivers in vans etc, helping them get out of side roads for example, for I know just how difficult their schedules can be.

None of these preclude the use of speed with a high level of attentiveness, quite the opposite in fact, for I have to be very attentive to be prepared in time to serve the needs of others.

That's the outline of the way I use the roads, and I do know better than government what is best for me and in relation to others with regard to road safety. I might have more respect for government if it didn't so often ignore the sensible advice of it's own Road Transport Research laboratory, but it does so many times, preferring instead their own bigotry as so many in here do as well.

Finally, look at this evidence regarding obedience to the law. Germany is a famously subservient nation, it's citizens tut-tutting at anyone infringing the law, but very few doing that since obedience is a national characteristic. Italy by contrast just as famously widely ignores all laws, for example it's compulsory to wear crash helmets on motorcycles and mopeds, but very few do and the police take no notice. Kids as young as 8 ride mini-mopeds with the police taking no notice, and even their president is widely regarded as a crook and is awaiting trial.

They've both averaged around 9 road deaths per 100,000 of population, amply showing that one's respect for the law makes little difference to the outcome.
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Xcytronex

Pedelecer
Jul 23, 2009
139
0
Funny you should say that. I caught up with one at the lights a few months ago and politely asked him to give me some more room next time he overtook me. He seemed unconvinced by my advice. I keep well clear of them now!
Ha -have you seen the old film Hell Drivers with Stanley Baker or better still Wages of Fear ? Should be compulsory viewing for all cyclists !!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,720
27,496
"Did you know that:
you have a 1 in 200 chance of being killed in a road accident"

Dave
Sort of, in fact its more like 1 in 250 in a lifetime for a UK male at present life expectancy. However, it's not an even lifelong risk, it's far, far worse when young, the odds against becoming very high in later years.

Therefore having completed something like more than 80% of my life, I'm justified in being very complacent about that statistic. :)
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,720
27,496
...........
That typifies your biased responses Bode, you know full well that I said I'm justified in complacency about that statistic relative to my age, but you chose to misquote completely out of context.
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Barnowl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 18, 2008
954
1
Ha -have you seen the old film Hell Drivers with Stanley Baker or better still Wages of Fear ? Should be compulsory viewing for all cyclists !!
Hell Drivers - great film and one of my favourites. Inspirational stuff :eek: