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Discussion: Accident? Really?

in: Pink Socks; Pink Socks > 2016-08-17

Aug 20, 2016 2:02 PM # 
chitownclark: there was a car+motorcycle accident..

That doesn't sound much like an accident.

From the NYTimes:

....Roadway fatalities are soaring at a rate not seen in 50 years, resulting from crashes, collisions and other incidents caused by drivers. Just don’t call them accidents anymore. A growing number of safety advocates,...are campaigning to change a 100-year-old mentality that they say trivializes the single most common cause of traffic incidents: human error.
Aug 20, 2016 3:09 PM # 
Unless the crash was the result of an action intended to cause the crash it is fair to call it an "accident".
Aug 20, 2016 3:41 PM # 
You're missing the point. To call it an 'accident' absolves the careless and probably distracted driver of primary responsibility, for causing the crash by his reckless action, to cut through a line of cyclists. He possibly could have hit a hidden cyclist also. At what point do you stop calling it an accident, and lay the blame on the guy who caused the damage and injury?

As a frequent pedestrian and cyclist in a major city, it is my observation that drivers just do not like to stop their vehicle and wait. They try to weave around an obstacle at speed. After all, encased in their steel, padded and air-bagged cage, they have nothing personally to worry about. How do we correct this unsafe behavior, and start reducing traffic fatalities?

'Fraid you're arguing against the PC idea of the moment. :-)
Aug 20, 2016 9:34 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Clark, please don't proselytize on my log.

I've been on AP long enough to know your agendas and methods. To my knowledge, this is the first time you've ever commented on my log, and I wasn't even a "noisy" one today, which makes me wonder why you were even reading this entry in the first place.

I was still in the intersection when this happened, and I literally had a man with a broken leg and motorcycle parts at my feet. When the medics arrived, they had to cut my blood-soaked shirt away from his leg. You could have said something like "Oh, wow, that's pretty traumatic!" or "I hope the motorcyclist is ok!" But instead, you come here and criticize my semantics.

I was there. I saw the whole thing. I know the who/what/when/where/how/why.

Probably distracted driver

Incorrect. The driver had the window down, both hands on the wheel, and made eye contact with me and allowed me to run across the intersection.

His... he... guy...

Incorrect. It was a woman.

Possibly could have hit a hidden cyclist also

Incorrect. Cyclists and motorists do not share the same road here. This happened along the Burke-Gilman trail, which is a separate path that runs parallel to Pacific St. Cyclists and pedestrians use two lanes of the paved path. Motorized vehicles use the road. The reason this happened is that the driver was too focused on the pedestrians and cyclists, and neglected to see the motorcyclist.

Drivers just do not like to stop their vehicle and wait. They try to weave around an obstacle at speed.

Incorrect. The automobile was not weaving around anything at speed. It was stopped and waiting.

Lay the blame on the guy who caused the damage and injury?

The fault was completely that of the driver of the automobile, and I didn't write anything that contradicts that. Nobody disputed that, and I'm not excusing the driver. But I'm not going to let someone come here and assume that the driver was male, distracted and reckless, weaving around at speed, and could have hit a cyclist. I was there. It was a crash. It was also an accident.

I appreciate cyclists. I give them more than three feet when passing. I am a very safe driver. I vote for pro-cycling initiatives. I am sympathetic to their causes. But I am also rational enough to consider all perspectives here.
Aug 21, 2016 10:14 AM # 
Pink Socks I have nothing but admiration for the amount of time you spend giving back to our sport. I meant no criticism. After all, you stopped, rendered aid, and sacrificed the shirt off your back for the guy. Many others would not have even stopped. But if you dislike my presence on your a/p log, you can always delete my post, or the whole thread if you wish.

Yet you should recognize that as a frequent cyclist, and an infrequent driver, I see the world from a slightly different perspective than you and most other Americans. And I am sickened by the frequency that folks riding two-wheel vehicles are injured or killed by cars...and people just shrug, call it an unavoidable 'accident,' and let the driver off with no punishment. And you of all people, perpetuate this mentality, by calling the incident you observed an 'accident.'

Here is a Pacific NW bike publication that speaks to the issue:

....Under normal circumstances, an accidental death would be investigated thoroughly and the person responsible could be charged and punished for the life that has been cut short. Somehow, it often doesn’t seem to be regarded similarly when it’s a driver who accidentally kills a cyclist, even though the end result is the same.

This dichotomy has been observed again and again. On the afternoon of July 22, 2011, a teenage driver hit an unsuspecting John Przychodzen on the shoulder of Juanita Drive in Kirkland, Wash. Przychodzen, 49, died at the scene. The motorist was given a $42 ticket for changing lanes unsafely. He served no jail time, no mandatory instructional classes on driving safely, and no community service
Aug 21, 2016 5:04 PM # 
If an auto driver deliberately hit a cyclist, I doubt you would just call it a "crash". And I wouldn't call it an accident...
Aug 24, 2016 7:34 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I understand your point of view. I have numerous friends who are avid cyclists and bicycle commuters. A woman from the same running group as my Wednesday night run was killed in 2014 in a truck+bicycle crash in downtown Seattle (it's a large running group, so I didn't know her well).

But it sounds you're assuming my sentiments because of a simple word choice.

Understand that both my wife and I are second-generation aviation industry professionals, and in our vernacular, crashes are called accidents or incidents, regardless of the cause (eg pilot error. mechanical error, weather).
Aug 24, 2016 8:21 PM # 
I guess there were 4 aviation incidents on 9/11/01...

BTW, in traffic engineering jargon a crash is just one kind of "incident"; another example would be a disabled vehicle.
Aug 24, 2016 8:37 PM # 
Aug 24, 2016 8:51 PM # 
I'm invoking the law of salvage from internet forum law to restore order to this thread by presenting something cool and interesting. Let it be noted that PinkSocks has heard and vetoed the semantic suggestions, and social protocol dictates that we collectively move on.

Check it out, cool GPS tracks! Really, really fast women!! Sweden!

Aug 24, 2016 9:25 PM # 
Thanks, Ian -- that was fun to watch!

(but sad that the kempster faltered near the end... :-( )
Aug 26, 2016 9:47 AM # 
Did Kemp make a mistake or have an accident?
Aug 26, 2016 5:28 PM # 
More likely a mental incident...

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