The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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Hot_Air wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:15 am All of which makes me wonder about overtaking: we need a lot of accurate predictions to get it right!
A guy called Hills did a load of stuff on drivers' perceptual issues and, IIRC, suggested that (and I'm rewording it because I don't have a copy to check) overtaking when you're doing 50+ and an oncoming vehicle is at 50+ is little better than guesswork, the distances involved make accurate assessment impossible due to human limitations.
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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The trouble is that the people who could benefit from this sort of information probably aren't reading this.
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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iansoady wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:04 pm The trouble is that the people who could benefit from this sort of information probably aren't reading this.
You need to ask Spin, he has a few thoughts about target audience... :)
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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Hot_Air wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:15 am All of which makes me wonder about overtaking: we need a lot of accurate predictions to get it right!
Shouldn't really be making you wonder... I've been saying exactly that for 20 years on TRC and 'the other place' ;)

We're operating at speeds beyond the capability of the brain to process incoming data in real time (top design speed is around 25mph, beyond which data shedding takes place) and beyond the capability of most peoples' vision to discern fine detail...

...and we're also relying on the other humans in the mix to do exactly what we want them to do.

All of which makes me say that overtaking is not an activity to be considered 'routine' but just about the most dangerous manoeuvre we make, notwithstanding Ellsrider's claim (whatever happened to him?) that "done right, an overtake is perfectly safe". It's never 'perfectly' safe, it's just more or less risky. The only 'safe' overtake is the one we don't make.
Iansoady wrote:The trouble is we rarely hear from those who got a high speed overtake wrong......
And that's something else I've been saying for a long time, and it's why we hear so little about overtaking crashes as opposed to the good old low-speed and usually survivable SMIDSY crash.

Quite a few years ago, I trained a rider (usual advanced badges) on a rather lovely Laverda Mirage. He was a bit gung-ho with his overtaking, and we had a chat about it over lunch on the second day. He took on board what I said about looking for lower risk overtakes and building in more margin for error, and wrote an email later to say that he'd been thinking rather harder about his overtakes on his way home from the course.

Then about three months later I got another email. He'd just witnessed a fatal crash from his car. A rider had been leapfrogging a queue against oncoming traffic, had caught up and passed my trainee on the way into a blind corner... as he turned the corner he saw a cloud of dust and the bike cartwheeling through the air. He stopped and tried to give some first aid to the rider, who'd tried to overtake the car ahead of him on the other side of the bend and hit a car head-on. His foot had been torn off by the impact and was still in the boot. The guy - middle-aged, on a late model bike - died a few minutes later.

He said "you may see me out and about... I'll be a LOT more circumspect about overtaking from now on".
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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iansoady wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:04 pm The trouble is that the people who could benefit from this sort of information probably aren't reading this.
Osmosis.

You can't persuade all the people immediately, but you can influence a few at a time... and they in turn influence other riders.

When I started writing about bike crashes (rather than bike 'skills') back in 94 or 95 on the old Compuserve forum, everybody 'knew' that the crash that killed riders was with the 'blind Volvo driver' - a mate of mine called Dave Brown drew a short lived cartoon series for Bike called Planet Ovlov! But thanks to the 'other place' and its huge catchment and various people inc Horse writing factually about crashing riders did change their belief... but mid-2000s, more riders realised cornering and overtaking on the open road that were a problem too.

I can say much the same about hi-vis and conspicuity aids. In 2012 when I first delivered Science Of Being Seen (SOBS) it was met with scepticism. But I kept at it, writing about it here amongst other places, and now most riders no longer believe that using hi-vis clothing helps us be seen reliably (though I'm still challenging the belief that "it doesn't matter because drivers don't look" by pointing out that there are 1.2 million riders, passing 40 million drivers at god-knows how many junctions, and just 1000 serious or fatal crashes at junctions - the implication is that drivers DO look and they do SEE bikes the overwhelming majority of the time.

There's a kind of critical mass where what was once seen as 'off the wall' thinking suddenly becomes mainstream. And you really know that as soon as a journalist treats it as fact, rather than something to mock.

Though the really amusing bit is when the same people who've been dismissing it for 10 years start saying "it's obvious" or "we knew that all along" :)
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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The Spin Doctor wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:50 pm There's a kind of critical mass where what was once seen as 'off the wall' thinking suddenly becomes mainstream. And you really know that as soon as a journalist treats it as fact, rather than something to mock.

Though the really amusing bit is when the same people who've been dismissing it for 10 years start saying "it's obvious" or "we knew that all along" :)
Another example is counter-steering. I first included that, in 'advanced' training, in 1988. When we took Blue Riband 'national' in early '89, I was told, emphatically, "It is a racing technique". One of Dave Jones' books said that if you needed to countersteer then you'd got it wrong. Police instructors I met in '95 told me that "They might mention it, on day 3 or 4, if someone was having trouble getting around corners. I wrote to DSA, was told my views were "Not representative of UK trainers". Well, durr. I offered them the chance to attend a US course (in the UK). They told me there was no point as they were not planning any changes. The DSA manual used to cover it by saying that only instructors could cover it. etc. etc. etc.

And breathe . . . :lol: :clap: :wtf: :ugeek:
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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For anyone interested:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1068/p090183

Vision, Visibility, and Perception in Driving
Brian L HillsFirst Published April 1, 1980

Abstract
Recent research is reviewed and its implications discussed. ‘On-the-Spot’ accident investigations have confirmed that errors of perception by the driver are a major contributory factor to accidents. However, the available evidence suggests that few of these are attributable to reduced or defective vision, since at best only a weak relationship has been found between a driver's level of vision (or visual performance) and his accident rate. A number of reasons for this general finding are considered, including driver compensation. For all drivers, the rapid fall in visual acuity with angular distance from the centre of vision presents particular problems, giving special significance to eye-movement patterns and the problems of visual search. Numerous physical and psychophysical restrictions on visibility could lead to the ‘looked, but failed to see’ type of accident, but their relative importance requires evaluation. There is now much evidence that the driver is quite often operating beyond his visual or perceptual capabilities in a number of key driving situations, including overtaking, joining or crossing a high-speed road, and a number of nighttime situations. It is concluded that ‘expectancy’, based on experience in both the long and the short term, has a profound influence on driver perception and assessment of risk. For all drivers, serious errors of judgement from time to time would seem inevitable. In general, these do not lead to accidents because of, among other things, the safety margins added by the driver and adjustments made by other road users. Thus, despite his limitations and fallibilities, the average driver is involved in surprisingly few serious incidents, particularly in view of the rapid rate of decisionmaking that is required. However, the present accident rate should not be accepted as inevitable and various countermeasures are discussed.

PDF download link
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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Horse wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:45 pm Another example is counter-steering. I first included that, in 'advanced' training, in 1988. When we took Blue Riband 'national' in early '89, I was told, emphatically, "It is a racing technique". One of Dave Jones' books said that if you needed to countersteer then you'd got it wrong. Police instructors I met in '95 told me that "They might mention it, on day 3 or 4, if someone was having trouble getting around corners. I wrote to DSA, was told my views were "Not representative of UK trainers". Well, durr. I offered them the chance to attend a US course (in the UK). They told me there was no point as they were not planning any changes. The DSA manual used to cover it by saying that only instructors could cover it. etc. etc. etc.

And breathe . . . :lol: :clap: :wtf: :ugeek:
Ah yes... good ol' counter-steering.

I've told you how I got a call from Terry Friday, the former Kent Plod instructor and then DIA representative to the DSA open conference on counter-steering (the one you weren't invited to ;) ) about 2002... he said "you seem to know a lot about this counter-steering. What's it all about?"

So I told him, and he said he'd check it out... another phone call a couple of evenings later. "It works, doesn't it?".
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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He reviewed my course notes in '88 - it was partly that that got me the co-ordinator role.
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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Horse wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:42 pmThere is now much evidence that the driver is quite often operating beyond his visual or perceptual capabilities in a number of key driving situations, including overtaking, joining or crossing a high-speed road, and a number of nighttime situations.
Thanks Horse - fascinating stuff!

What with neuroplasticity - something unknown in 1980 - I wonder if it's possible to develop visual or perceptual capabilities? Police advanced riders, for example, spend extended time and training at very high speeds. If driving a London taxi grows the part of the brain that deals with memory, then perhaps being a police pursuit rider could grow the part of the brain that deals with processing visual information at high-speed? It's sheer speculation, of course, and neuroplasticity isn't going to improve anyone's eyeballs.
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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Hot_Air wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:26 pm
Horse wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:42 pmThere is now much evidence that the driver is quite often operating beyond his visual or perceptual capabilities in a number of key driving situations, including overtaking, joining or crossing a high-speed road, and a number of nighttime situations.
Thanks Horse - fascinating stuff!

What with neuroplasticity - something unknown in 1980 - I wonder if it's possible to develop visual or perceptual capabilities? Police advanced riders, for example, spend extended time and training at very high speeds. If driving a London taxi grows the part of the brain that deals with memory, then perhaps being a police pursuit rider could grow the part of the brain that deals with processing visual information at high-speed? It's sheer speculation, of course, and neuroplasticity isn't going to improve anyone's eyeballs.
I think - but haven't read it - that it's more to do with the limitations of the eye rather than judgement. Simply that with two vehicles having a combined closing speed of 100mph means that we simply can't make accurate judgements. Instead, as the abstract says:

In general, these do not lead to accidents because of, among other things, the safety margins added by the driver and adjustments made by other road users.


However, you'll have to read it! (Then explain it simply, to save me having to read it)
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

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Hot_Air wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:26 pm
What with neuroplasticity - something unknown in 1980 - I wonder if it's possible to develop visual or perceptual capabilities? Police advanced riders, for example, spend extended time and training at very high speeds. If driving a London taxi grows the part of the brain that deals with memory, then perhaps being a police pursuit rider could grow the part of the brain that deals with processing visual information at high-speed? It's sheer speculation, of course, and neuroplasticity isn't going to improve anyone's eyeballs.
As you'll no doubt recall from SOBS, the optic nerve can only transmit a small proportion of the visual data falling on the retina, and there is also a time factor involved in the transmission of the data to the brain. I doubt you can overcome those barriers because they are physical.

And that's why I keep banging on about improving the cognitive functions, the recognition of shapes and patterns and the linking of visual cues to 'shot routines' which are the appropriate response.
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Re: The hi-viz SMIDSY thread

Post by Horse »

This popped up as part of a LinkedIn article, interesting in context of overtaking decisions, our perceptions, etc.



https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/our-limi ... ure-doull/