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How safe/dangerous this winter?

squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
edited March 2019 in Commuting chat
As someone that has been commuting into London since the 1990s I've seen surprisingly few crashes, or aftermaths. In fact it has surprised me sometimes how little I've seen. This last few weeks of the winter though have been different. About three weeks ago I passed a closed off section of road where a motorcyclist was being dealt with by an ambulance after being hit by a car turning right. Then two weeks ago I saw another destroyed motorbike that had collided with a right turning motorbike (ambulance in attendance). In both cases the motorbikes had been in bus lanes. Last week I was passing through a junction. Three cars jumped the light just after it turned red and in their haste one drove into the back of another. Then yesterday a car turned left across another and did a pretty good job of destroying their car.

Maybe the above is just a surprising run and very abnormal, but it would be interesting to know whether others are seeing similar. So far I've not seen any cyclists that have been hit, but over the past 20 years I could probably count the number of crashes (or post crash scenes) I've seen on one hand before the last month.

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  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,957
    squired wrote:
    As someone that has been commuting into London since the 1990s I've seen surprisingly few crashes, or aftermaths. In fact it has surprised me sometimes how little I've seen. This last few weeks of the winter though have been different. About three weeks ago I passed a closed off section of road where a motorcyclist was being dealt with by an ambulance after being hit by a car turning right. Then two weeks ago I saw another destroyed motorbike that had collided with a right turning motorbike (ambulance in attendance). In both cases the motorbikes had been in bus lanes. Last week I was passing through a junction. Three cars jumped the light just after it turned red and in their haste one drove into the back of another. Then yesterday a car turned left across another and did a pretty good job of destroying their car.

    Maybe the above is just a surprising run and very abnormal, but it would be interesting to know whether others are seeing similar. So far I've not seen any cyclists that have been hit, but over the past 20 years I could probably count the number of crashes (or post crash scenes) I've seen on one hand before the last month.

    From my personal experience, driving standards are continuing to dive towards the bottom of a deep sea trench, and are likely to start drilling soon...
    And I've only been riding to work daily for about 3 years.

    The reduction of roads policing resource due to underfunding by the government is massive cause of that.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 1,989
    From my anecdotal experience, there seems to be a slow trend towards nobody caring at all about drivers doing the 'small stuff' wrong. Turning without indicating, parking on double yellows, texting or talking on the phone, etc. Nobody seems to get in trouble for this stuff and people are noticing that and it's gradually becoming acceptable behaviour. Of course they all add up to more dangerous roads.
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • I feel there are a lot of possible variables involved in this.

    There are many more cars out on the road. I have no idea what the statistics for the current number of "roadworthy vehicles" on road and the number of private vehicle sales compared to, say, 10 yrs ago?

    Technologies on car has changed massively, especially on the aspect of automated driving. That might possibly mean either a) drivers are less attuned to driving and the surrounding environment.

    Automatics. Similar reason as above.

    Faster and more powerful engines. Speed limit hasn't changed much but the engines have become more efficient and faster. I thought 80bhp engine is powerful enough, but you see tiny little cars with 160+bhp which does 0-60mph in ridiculous time. I don't know what the most common private cars are these days, but I have a feeling the engine performance is much superior than the common cars 10yrs ago.

    Ageing population. I have no idea what the average age of current drivers is compared to 10 yrs ago, but there might be more elderly drivers now than in the past.

    Lack of perceived law enforcement. I hardly see people being stopped on the roadside.

    Dashcam. It can go either way. People might feel complacent and develop a false sense of security by having one. The other type is the agressive vigilantes who put themselves at risk to capture "near-miss" or "dangerous driving" to report to Police or boast about it on Facebook / YouTube.

    Selfish, instant gratification society. It's all about "me, me, me" getting to the destination as quick as possible. Others on roads are hindrance to my journey, I'm the best at driving and all other drivers are idiots who shouldn't be on the road. I don't claim that everyone suffers from this but I tend to see this quite a lot (purely subjective opinion, of course).

    I think I'm becoming old enough to qualify to be cynical about our lovely society... Maybe I can start saying "When I was young..."
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 2,118
    Selfish, instant gratification society. It's all about "me, me, me" getting to the destination as quick as possible. Others on roads are hindrance to my journey, I'm the best at driving and all other drivers are idiots who shouldn't be on the road. I don't claim that everyone suffers from this but I tend to see this quite a lot (purely subjective opinion, of course).
    I think this is one i experience most on my commute, both on the bike and in the car.

    The lengths people will go to just to get 1 or 2 spaces ahead in a line of traffic is unbelievable, going down left/right turn only lanes, going round traffic islands, using the cycle lane, jumping lights, blocking junctions etc
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,481
    Hmm - my car IS 8 years old ... my van a little older - both are reasonably good - power wise, braking wise and safety wise - I'd not worry about replacing either because of the tech... they're not even powerful models - they're lower spec of the models available at the time.

    There's no doubt that there's more cars on the road these days - and more and different mobile use - 10 years ago, data was a treasured commodity - these days it's cheap - more and more people seem to have their mobiles mounted in the windscreen right in their field of view - social media notifications coming through perfectly visible. But even those distractions don't count for all issues - there's a lot of "Must Get in Front" and others who are just angry because ...

    I'll admit to being a fast driver - quite often time pressured - but I do just remind myself that my time pressure is my issue - not others problems - even if they're exacerbating it.
  • In our cycling echo chamber it's easy to forget the level of inconsiderateness of 51.9% of the population

    I think a lot of people genuinely lack the ability to consider whether they're a pleasant enough person to get along with themselves. Or if everyone in the world was just like them, what kind of a place it might be

    Sorry bit much for a Monday morning :lol: where's that SCR thread... such a nice ride in :D
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 330
    In reality the roads have been becoming safer for many years, so whilst anecdotal evidence may make people think otherwise, actual evidence would seem to indicate that's not the case - for example since 2006, road deaths have almost halved...

    b9c3c155-3d58-4443-b57b-ceb12792482d.png

    That also extends to the overall trend for casualties as well - there are of course years where figures go up as well as down, but overall the trend over time is downwards.

    See full report here:
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... t-2017.pdf
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,481
    seajays wrote:
    In reality the roads have been becoming safer for many years, so whilst anecdotal evidence may make people think otherwise, actual evidence would seem to indicate that's not the case - for example since 2006, road deaths have almost halved...
    Any stats on the number of (reported) accidents?

    I'd expect road deaths to be reduced because the safety features introduced in that time would be to reduce the injuries of the occupants of the vehicle. ie seat belts (when I was a kid we didn't have to have seat belts), air bags ... etc etc ...

    Back then of course, a crashed vehicle could often be repaired - these days it seems like most accidents result in a written off vehicle ....
  • slowbike wrote:
    I'll admit to being a fast driver - quite often time pressured - but I do just remind myself that my time pressure is my issue - not others problems - even if they're exacerbating it.

    What do you mean by a "fast" driver?
    and then the next thing you know
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 330
    slowbike wrote:
    seajays wrote:
    In reality the roads have been becoming safer for many years, so whilst anecdotal evidence may make people think otherwise, actual evidence would seem to indicate that's not the case - for example since 2006, road deaths have almost halved...
    Any stats on the number of (reported) accidents?

    Yes - in the full report I think. Overall things are down, with the possible exception of an increase in reported casualties from 2017 due to different reporting methods for police. Best to read the report to get the full picture though.
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,481
    slowbike wrote:
    I'll admit to being a fast driver - quite often time pressured - but I do just remind myself that my time pressure is my issue - not others problems - even if they're exacerbating it.

    What do you mean by a "fast" driver?

    I don't (usually) dawdle ... I'm driving to get places rather than driving for driving's sake.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,481
    seajays wrote:
    slowbike wrote:
    seajays wrote:
    In reality the roads have been becoming safer for many years, so whilst anecdotal evidence may make people think otherwise, actual evidence would seem to indicate that's not the case - for example since 2006, road deaths have almost halved...
    Any stats on the number of (reported) accidents?

    Yes - in the full report I think. Overall things are down, with the possible exception of an increase in reported casualties from 2017 due to different reporting methods for police. Best to read the report to get the full picture though.

    Ah - there has to be an injury - so non-injury reported collisions are excluded from the report.
  • slowbike wrote:
    slowbike wrote:
    I'll admit to being a fast driver - quite often time pressured - but I do just remind myself that my time pressure is my issue - not others problems - even if they're exacerbating it.

    What do you mean by a "fast" driver?

    I don't (usually) dawdle ... I'm driving to get places rather than driving for driving's sake.

    Isn't almost everyone? Unless you're talking about Southend seafront on a Saturday night.
    and then the next thing you know
  • seajays wrote:
    In reality the roads have been becoming safer for many years, so whilst anecdotal evidence may make people think otherwise, actual evidence would seem to indicate that's not the case - for example since 2006, road deaths have almost halved...

    b9c3c155-3d58-4443-b57b-ceb12792482d.png

    That also extends to the overall trend for casualties as well - there are of course years where figures go up as well as down, but overall the trend over time is downwards.

    See full report here:
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... t-2017.pdf

    I'd like to see some additional lines on that graph showing the breakdown of casualties. While I'm sure overall numbers are down due to safer vehicles and slower average speeds, these benefits are predominately reserved for people inside the vehicles not pedestrians or vulnerable road users.
  • Interesting graph, indeed. And I agree, road safety has improved and I'm convinced the number of road incident deaths has gone down. But I'm still convinced that roads are full of potential danger (if not more these days) and the graph doesn't quite match how I feel about cycling on roads.

    Is this thread talking about number of incidents on road contributing to deaths or serious injury or a general standard of road usage?

    Though the OP did mention three incidents of traffic collision within three week period, indicating how the vehicles involved were "destroyed" pretty well. But there's no indication to the severity of human casualties. Written-off or severely damaged vehicles at the site of incident don't necessarily reflect the severity of injuries sustained by those unfortunate enough to be involved in the impact. Modern vehicles (sweeping statement) are made to crumble to absorb external impact. Those involved in incidents could have been seriously injured or walked away with not even a scratch. We won't know from just looking at the scene of incidents.

    So, statistics and graphs like above might record such events as "minor" or even "non-incident." if there was no report of "injury." The things we are mentioning here on this thread, I think, are more on nuisance, near-miss, reckless and generally bad driving standard that may not have resulted in heavy impact incidents, but these occurrences still create a perception of poor safety hence the feeling of "unsafe" roads. Interesting how road users perceive things and stats show otherwise. I'm not saying either is not representative of the reality but present the reality within a different parameter.
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 330
    seajays wrote:
    In reality the roads have been becoming safer for many years, so whilst anecdotal evidence may make people think otherwise, actual evidence would seem to indicate that's not the case - for example since 2006, road deaths have almost halved...

    That also extends to the overall trend for casualties as well - there are of course years where figures go up as well as down, but overall the trend over time is downwards.

    See full report here:
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... t-2017.pdf

    I'd like to see some additional lines on that graph showing the breakdown of casualties. While I'm sure overall numbers are down due to safer vehicles and slower average speeds, these benefits are predominately reserved for people inside the vehicles not pedestrians or vulnerable road users.

    This is the page from the report specifically about cyclists:

    Reported-road-casualties-in-Great-Britain-2017-annual-report.png
    (from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... t-2017.pdf )
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,957
    Yep - so if you consider that the total number of miles cycled has dropped by 5% compared to 2016, but the total number of cyclists Killed or injured have only dropped by 1% each, then the number of injuries by miles travelled has increased..

    Otherwise, the number of K/I would have also dropped 5%.

    "The easiest way to stop cyclists being killed on our roads is to remove cyclists from our roads entirely..." said someone, somewhere. Think it was beztweets.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 330
    Yep - so if you consider that the total number of miles cycled has dropped by 5% compared to 2016, but the total number of cyclists Killed or injured have only dropped by 1% each, then the number of injuries by miles travelled has increased..

    Otherwise, the number of K/I would have also dropped 5%.

    "The easiest way to stop cyclists being killed on our roads is to remove cyclists from our roads entirely..." said someone, somewhere. Think it was beztweets.

    You have to be careful how you use statistics. The number killed is not a high number (101), so one extra death is a whole percentage point. At that number you're open to simple natural variation when looking year on year, as the sample is so small. So only really useful when you're looking at longer term trends.
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 330
    Having said that, these statistics which include seriously injured as well as deaths, seem to show a different story with those increasing from the mid-2000's... so the OP may be right. :|

    2019-02-26-08-54-49-ras30061-ods-Read-Only-Excel.png

    Data from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... s30061.ods
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • rakkorrakkor Posts: 16
    I was working late on Saturday, and had my first late night commute home for a long time. All I can say is South London is the Wild West late on Saturday nights where stop signs, traffic lights and speed limit are all advisory. It wasn't just the amber gambler red light jumpers that were out in force, although they were, I had one car jump through the lights crossing behind me as I cycled through on green. The Walworth road is a 20 limit all the way from Elephant to Kings, but that doesn't seem to count for anything, with one car overtaking up the bus lane at about 60, how it wasn't carnage I don't know.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 2,118
    rakkor wrote:
    I was working late on Saturday, and had my first late night commute home for a long time. All I can say is South London is the Wild West late on Saturday nights where stop signs, traffic lights and speed limit are all advisory. It wasn't just the amber gambler red light jumpers that were out in force, although they were, I had one car jump through the lights crossing behind me as I cycled through on green. The Walworth road is a 20 limit all the way from Elephant to Kings, but that doesn't seem to count for anything, with one car overtaking up the bus lane at about 60, how it wasn't carnage I don't know.
    20mph limits don't apply anywhere as far as I have experienced!
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,481
    My extended ride home last night went along a load of country lanes then down a well known/busy B road for ~8 miles - I was expecting a few carve ups/close passes - but nothing ... absolutely nothing - the worst was an oncoming vehicle overtaking a cyclist going the other way whilst I was doing ~40mph towards them.... only because it was just getting dark and it took a moment to work out that the 3 lights side by side did indeed belong to a car and bike - slightly more confused because there was a car behind them too...
  • chunkytfgchunkytfg Posts: 535
    seajays wrote:

    You have to be careful how you use statistics. The number killed is not a high number (101), so one extra death is a whole percentage point. At that number you're open to simple natural variation when looking year on year, as the sample is so small. So only really useful when you're looking at longer term trends.


    Over the years they've also changed the criteria for what is considered Killed or Seriously Injured. I can't remember what it was exactly but it used to be any bone break counted but now now things like fingers and toes and cooler bones don't count.
    FCN 7

    FCN 4

    if you use irrational measures to measure me, expect me to behave irrationally to measure up
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 1,989
    chunkytfg wrote:
    seajays wrote:

    You have to be careful how you use statistics. The number killed is not a high number (101), so one extra death is a whole percentage point. At that number you're open to simple natural variation when looking year on year, as the sample is so small. So only really useful when you're looking at longer term trends.


    Over the years they've also changed the criteria for what is considered Killed or Seriously Injured. I can't remember what it was exactly but it used to be any bone break counted but now now things like fingers and toes and cooler bones don't count.

    Who gets to decide which bones are the coolest?
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • chunkytfgchunkytfg Posts: 535
    pangolin wrote:
    chunkytfg wrote:
    seajays wrote:

    You have to be careful how you use statistics. The number killed is not a high number (101), so one extra death is a whole percentage point. At that number you're open to simple natural variation when looking year on year, as the sample is so small. So only really useful when you're looking at longer term trends.


    Over the years they've also changed the criteria for what is considered Killed or Seriously Injured. I can't remember what it was exactly but it used to be any bone break counted but now now things like fingers and toes and cooler bones don't count.

    Who gets to decide which bones are the coolest?


    I guess it depends which leaves the biggest Scar :D:D
    FCN 7

    FCN 4

    if you use irrational measures to measure me, expect me to behave irrationally to measure up
  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 3,529
    seajays wrote:
    Having said that, these statistics which include seriously injured as well as deaths, seem to show a different story with those increasing from the mid-2000's... so the OP may be right. :|
    When did mandatory dazzling headlights on new cars start? (Daytime running lights ;) )

    I thought it was interesting on the other graph that there was a sharp decline in deaths around 2009, and in the 1990s. I guess overall traffic reduced at those times?
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 2,118
    seajays wrote:
    Having said that, these statistics which include seriously injured as well as deaths, seem to show a different story with those increasing from the mid-2000's... so the OP may be right. :|
    When did mandatory dazzling headlights on new cars start? (Daytime running lights ;) )

    I thought it was interesting on the other graph that there was a sharp decline in deaths around 2009, and in the 1990s. I guess overall traffic reduced at those times?
    and who thought it was a good idea to have a setting where only the front lights come on?

    The driver thinks they have their lights on (because they can see the front ones), but their rear is not lit.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,481
    elbowloh wrote:
    The driver thinks they have their lights on (because they can see the front ones), but their rear is not lit.
    But normally they're driving like such a massive censored you cant help but notice their rear ... :twisted: :P :oops:
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