Unwelcome news - HEVs do hit more pedestrians & cyclists

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by samiam, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    It can be tough hearing any vehicle, runner, or other cyclist coming if you rely on hearing alone! DUH! That's why you are supposed to look. You know, that thing you were taught as a very small child when it came to entering crossing the roadway.

    Where is the real problem here? Your argument is at least as flawed as if you assumed while driving that you needn't look for other vehicles or pedestrians in intersections because you have a green light. It's even worse than that as you imply that a clueless rider that doesn't keep visual track around him/her is not responsible for his/her motion relative to other vehicles.
     
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  2. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    I would be an excellent person to chime in on this subject. I have been cycling since I was a kid. In elementary school, middle school, and the first two years of high school, I rode my bike to school every day. After school, I used to ride with my friends for hours and hours, EVERY day. My parents used to say that I "lived" on my bike. I can tell you that I NEVER relied/rely on hearing to determine if a car was coming, and I ALWAYS rely on vision. When I get to an intersection, I look over my shoulder to see what is behind me before doing anything.

    As a driver, have you observed pedestrians? Have you noticed that there are some people that look at the right-turn lane out of habit before stepping off of the curb, yet there are others that never look (I'm seriously surprised that such people are even still alive) ? This comes down to COMMON SENSE! Deaf people do NOT step off of a curb without looking! Guide dogs of blind people do NOT step off of a curb without looking! (first of all, blind people should not be crossing streets unless they have a guide dog - it's just way too dangerous with so many mindless drivers on the road) In summary, the amount of noise produced by cars is unrelated to pedestrian fatalities. Pedestrian fatalities are the result of stupid pedestrians who step off of curbs without looking first. Are hybrids quiet and EVs quiet? Yes. Have you ever turned around in a parking lot and seen a hybrid that you didn't realize was there? Yes. PEOPLE WILL ADAPT! In the future, anytime you walk in an area that is coinhabited by cars, such as a parking lot or crosswalk, you will be sure to observe your surroundings before stepping off of a curb. Is there a car 100 feet away? There's two of them? Okay, keep your eyes open until you get to the other side of the parking lot. Duh!
     
  3. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    One of the thing's I noticed while working/vacationing in countries with the driving side reversed is that some of these habits must be quickly broken and new ones learned to avoid stepping out in front of a car. I would find myself habitually looking the wrong way for the closest potential danger when crossing.
     
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Well one fact I know is the NHTSA dropped 'deaf' as pedestrian characteristic around 1992-93. 'Deaf' the ability to hear, is not a significant determinant of pedestrian safety. So perhaps the answer you don't want to face is that the deaf get around quite nicely. Your assertion about sound being critical evaporates in the exception.

    Then there is Leslie Blomberg's presentation and statement at the June 23, 2008 hearing on "Quiet Cars." Les pointed out that today cars are already 'hiding in the noise.' He also pointed out the absurdity of the "Cocktail Party Effect" that people to be heard, speak louder and louder until they are shouting at each other and still can not be understood. What this means is as soon as one sound 'has to be' then others have to be until we are immersed in a mindless cacophony.


    Actually, two will do. The first was Christopher Hogan's report from last year and the second was mine:

    Prius Fatalities 2001-2007

    So here you have this inconvenient truth ... the Prius appears to have half the fatal accident rate per 100 million miles than the total USA rate. Combined with the problem that the noise experiment is already being performed and this year over 4,000 dead pedestrians by sound emitting vehicles.

    Facts and data are not your friends in this issue.

    Bob Wilson
     
  5. JATiii

    JATiii Druid

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    This will, perhaps thankfully, be my last post on the subject: I choose not to swat so many absurd arguments. Like mosquitos, the number and volume have nothing to do with the logic or accuracy:

    B Wilson said:
    You completely missed the point. Deaf people do not listen for cars. Without going to the extreme - by the way, a logical argument fallacy - no matter how loud a car is, it makes no difference to a deaf person. While people with normal hearing have evolved the 'sense' of interpreting the world around them in part through sound, deaf people have developed different methods. By your argument since very few totally blind drivers are killed in car accidents, can you infer that blind people are the best drivers? Or if the NHTSA does not track blind drivers, can we infer that vision is not important?

    And to:

    Shawn made an excellent response and this comment hardly deserves another, but if you wnat to use statistics: Were these statistics including the differences between Prius and 'all other' drivers? Are senior citizens and teenagers equally represented in both populations?

    Come on folks! In my opinion this thread was not saying Priuses are bad. Stop being so defensive. It was saying that as drivers of cars that have different attributes which make them more prone to certain types of accidents, we should be more vigilant. Until electric cars and hybrids are so common that they are the norm, we can't expect people to be as aware of us, so we need to be more aware of them.

    OK, stepping off a curb without looking is stupid (But certainly not the cause of all pedestrian car accidents) and surely reason for a nomination to the Darwin Awards, BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT! I don't want to be involved in any accident, let alone hitting a pedestrian or cyclist. I guarantee you, killing a pedestrian will ruin your day and dent that shiny Prius, even if you are 100% in the right.

    Good night
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I did. One pedestrian was so involved in her conversation that she didn't hear it. Eventually one of her companions asked her to move aside, and when she turned to look back, the absolute shock on her face was priceless.

    This was in a very wide parking lot, with plenty of room for one line of cars and two masses of pedestrians to be moving three- or four-abreast on each side. About two dozen pedestrians filled the entire width, and I gave them about twenty seconds before tapping the horn. About half the peds were aware of my presence before the horn, and the other half became aware at the tap and slowly separated. The oblivious one had been out of the way, but changed course to move into the most open space, right in front of me. She was clearly not the least bit deaf, as she was very engrossed in conversation.

    This 'tunnel vision' effect on attention is probably why so many teens in my region who were listening to portable music players or gabbing on their cell phones have failed to hear the blaring horn of the freight train bearing down on them.
     
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    It is a fine standard but I'll continue to use the facts and data. You are welcome to the alternative.

    The point is sound is not necessary or the deaf would be accident statistics. But a real problem is sound can be frequently misleading. For example, let's start with this from the June 23, 2008 NHTSA hearing:
    Everyone is of course welcome to their own opinion but not the facts. Still, here are the comments of a real expert, someone who actually understands sound and makes credible measurements. Fortunately, Les's comments are available at:
    Regulations.gov
    search: NHTSA-2008-0108-0018.1
    Les points out the problem is not 'quiet cars' but a noisy environment that also mask engine driven cars. That happens today.

    At last, we can agree on this fact but do you have anything that shows the deaf are at risk? Facts are a difficult thing when they don't match an opinion.

    Well we can infer something having to do with someone posing a logical fallacy ... I believe it is usually called a 'strawman' versus using facts and data.


    The data sources are publicly available and the Prius accidents are located in a TAB delimited format at:The data is easily loaded into a spreadsheet and you are free to analyze it anyway you want. Just understand, your work may be checked ... it is an open source.

    I believe this is also called a 'strawman.' Provide the supporting facts and data and your opinion will gain respect.

    Actually I agree with the goal but prefer to have it driven by the facts and data. So far, the data suggests:

    • hybrids have half the fatal accidents as the whole USA vehicle fleet
    • the distribution of hybrid versus ICE accidents are different but the data suggests at best, this may be only 15% of all vehicle operations
    • current sound based vehicles killed 4,500 pedestrians last year - we need an effective solution, not doing the same thing that already kills pedestrian

    Seriously, don't take facts and data so personal but go find ones that support your opinion. This is how science and engineering works.

    Bob Wilson
     
  8. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    i've been hit by a couple of cars, usually while bike riding, but once i was thrown in front of one ... none were hybrids or electric vehicles, and hearing them wouldn't have made a difference

    i've also hit a couple of people, never in a hybrid or electric vehicle, but to the best of my recollection, nothing with a bigger mill than four cylinders ...

    i assure you, whether they could have heard me or not, it wouldn't have made a difference

    living in SoCal, i notice people walk right out in front of me while driving, with nary a glance

    often, they don't look up from their PDA, smart phone, game boy, latte ... or severed chupacabra head

    i'm surprised that the vehicle on ped statistics aren't higher

    honestly, i'd like to strap a son of a bitch to the front of my car as fair warning to the next bastard that decides to walk in front of me
     
  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    When walking and crossing at intersections, I'd like to carry an ax to embed in the many cars whose drivers believe that crosswalk right of way is determined by size, not by state and city law.

    In both states where I've been licensed to drive, crosswalks exist at ALL street intersections, unless signed otherwise. Just because it isn't painted as a crosswalk doesn't mean that there is no crosswalk.
     
  10. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    i think you can pick a better tool than an axe, but hey, if that's how you want to play it, more power to you :thumb:
     
  11. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Easy fix, make all vehicles as quiet as hybrids.
     
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