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Re: Pedestrian and bicycle accident rates increase with hybrids

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  • mdh6214
    I can think of some other factors that would increase pedestrian and bicycle accident rates from hybrid vehicles: (1) If hybrid vehicles are purchased in
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 14, 2009
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      I can think of some other factors that would increase pedestrian and bicycle accident rates from hybrid vehicles:

      (1) If hybrid vehicles are purchased in larger proportion by people living in urban or suburban [vs. rural] areas, they'll be driven in areas with higher pedestrian/bicycle density, thus, more accidents with pedestrians and bicycles.

      (2) Similar to how anti-lock brakes can "consume" their own safety benefits by drivers thinking "ABS will prevent me from having an accident!", are hybrids encouraging dangerous driving? Is there an attitude of "My car is a hybrid, I'll drive however I want to because I'm saving the Earth!"?

      (3) The "energy monitor" in a Toyota Prius is in the worst possible place: in the center of the dashboard, about there the radio typically is. Are drivers ignoring the road because they're busy staring at how many miles per gallon they're getting?

      > > Noise, thankfully, consists of a lot of tire noise, which doesn't change
      > > with the different engines/fuels, but with the speed and the amount of tire
      > >
      > > in contact with the road (times the number of tires). I don't know the
      > > ratio, but I mostly hear approaching cars by that noise, not the engine (or
      > >
      > > at least as much of it as comes out the tailpipe, thanks to the muffler).
      > >
      > > Also, any source of noise can have the effect of masking other "lesser"
      > > noises, just as the headlights of motor vehicles can "drown out" the
      > > headlights of bicyclists. It is not just a matter of how many people have
      > > stepped in front of an on-coming quieter-than-expected large vehicle, but
      > > how many stepped in front of an approaching car or cyclist during the time
      > > a
      > > further-away diesel bus or semi was up-throttling?
      > >
      > > Chris Bradshaw
      > > Ottawa
    • Jym Dyer
      ... =v= At this point it seems that all I can do is speculate about what underlies the increased collision rate, but that scenario doesn t make sense to me.
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 14, 2009
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        > Similar to how anti-lock brakes can "consume" their own safety
        > benefits by drivers thinking "ABS will prevent me from having
        > an accident!", are hybrids encouraging dangerous driving? Is
        > there an attitude of "My car is a hybrid, I'll drive however
        > I want to because I'm saving the Earth!"?

        =v= At this point it seems that all I can do is speculate about
        what underlies the increased collision rate, but that scenario
        doesn't make sense to me. If one is driving a hybrid because
        of its perceived virtuousness, it seems that one would also try
        to drive virtuously. Also, some hybrid drivers don't really
        care about the Earth, they're just trying to save gas money
        and/or geeking out on the whiz-bang technology.

        =v= There is, however, a similar dynamic known as the Jevons
        Paradox, in which increased use negates efficiency improvements.
        This was observed in the 1970s for economy cars, whose owners
        would drive longer distances and more frequently because the
        better fuel economy somehow made that more ecological. It is
        surely happening again, as the very existence of the hybrid SUV
        attests to.

        =v= If hybrids drivers are driving more and further than others
        (the limiting factor being the cost of fuel), that alone could
        account for an increased collision rate. But again, all I can
        do is speculate at this point.
        <_Jym_>
      • Richard Risemberg
        ... I have been saddened to discover that there are absolute assholes driving hybrids here--weaving, speeding, screeching round turns, and behaving just like
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 14, 2009
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          On Oct 14, 2009, at 11:27 AM, Jym Dyer wrote:

          >
          > =v= At this point it seems that all I can do is speculate about
          > what underlies the increased collision rate, but that scenario
          > doesn't make sense to me. If one is driving a hybrid because
          > of its perceived virtuousness, it seems that one would also try
          > to drive virtuously. Also, some hybrid drivers don't really
          > care about the Earth, they're just trying to save gas money
          > and/or geeking out on the whiz-bang technology.


          I have been saddened to discover that there are absolute assholes
          driving hybrids here--weaving, speeding, screeching round turns, and
          behaving just like the worst of the worst SUV daddy's-money types.

          I didn't expect that.

          And they still take up too damn much room.

          http://bicyclefixation.com/meth.htm

          Rick
          --
          Richard Risemberg
          http://www.bicyclefixation.com
          http://www.newcolonist.com
          http://www.rickrise.com







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • chbuckeye
          ... When I looked at a Prius I was told that Toyota will be moving all of their dials to a high center-dashboard position in the future. The sales rep (an
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 15, 2009
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            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "mdh6214" <matt@...> wrote:
            >
            > (3) The "energy monitor" in a Toyota Prius is in the worst possible place: in the center of the dashboard, about there the radio typically is. Are drivers ignoring the road because they're busy staring at how many miles per gallon they're getting?



            When I looked at a Prius I was told that Toyota will be moving all of their dials to a high center-dashboard position in the future. The sales rep (an unlikely source of scientific information) said that "research" had found that it was easier on the eyes to look to the side rather than looking down to see the gauges and kept the driver's head up so that at least your peripheral vision can still watch the road. He said it was much safer than asking a driver to look down. I don't know whether that is the case or not, I never saw the research. It certainly was unusual.

            I imagine it also makes it easier to use the same center console for right-hand and left-hand drive vehicles.


            Any incidence of a car running into a pedestrian on a city street is another reason to remove cars from city streets. With fewer pedestrians in rural areas and on limited-access highways, there will be a lot fewer accidents between vehicles and pedestrians.
          • Chris Bradshaw
            Back in the 90s, Gerald Wilde of Queens Univ. in Ontario developed a theory called target risk. It refers to the fact that a driver has a certain level of
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 16, 2009
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              Back in the 90s, Gerald Wilde of Queens Univ. in Ontario developed a theory
              called "target risk." It refers to the fact that a driver has a certain
              level of risk he is willing to subject himself, and if a change in road
              design or car design gives him more than his target, he will 'expand' his
              driving in some way that translates the improvement into a benefit. For
              most drivers, speed is increased, which provides the benefit of the saving
              of time. Also, risk, itself, is a benefit for those who feel that a
              certrain amount make them "feel more alive."

              Likewise, I think there is a "target virtue" at work, so that a person will,
              likewise, increase speed or other forms of risk when their feelings about
              virtue+driving rises. And considering the amount of attacks that have been
              leveled at cars and driving, virtue is a worthy commodity. Cyclists usually
              mutter something about 'saving the planet' when whizzing through red lights,
              for instance. The well-documented increases in driving distances for those
              in improved-mileage cars is another. I call such efficiencies "reduced
              guilt-per-mile."

              BTW, a recent book -- Ladd, Brian, _Autophobia: Love & Hate in the
              Automobile Age_ (2008) -- does an excellent job documenting the anti-car,
              anti-roads/freeways writing worldwide (lots in German) literature.

              Chris Bradshaw
              Ottawa
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