I feel a lot of commenters are simply focusing on what signs can do or what sort of junction to build, rather than focus on the fact that on high speed primary country roads, bicycles shouldn't be sharing the road with the cars.
In Denmark, a lot of high speed roads (excluding motorways, of course) out in the country have separate dual-way bicycle lanes near it but not attached to it. (Example: https://i.imgur.com/dS6jqXS.jpg)
That way, the cyclists can cross the side roads on their own accord, where they are more visible and have their own junction with the side road. Additional, one can set up a traffic light that only turns red for the cars when a cyclist is crossing (i.e. activated by a button).
Furthermore, one might consider signage that warns drivers about cyclists in the junction: https://i.imgur.com/CX6SJdW.jpg
Also, a way to reduce speed of the motorists without putting in stop signs would be to add chicanes just before the junction, so they are forced to slow down.
Plus, as I've mentioned before (see item?id=15977162), I also think it is because UK drivers don't really have enough training with how to deal with bicycles and the fact that they are also participants on the road.
There's a lot of math in this article about blind spots and car pillars and whatnot, but a Google Maps Street View appears to show the terrain and brush blocking the view on approach , making all of this math largely moot. That the drivers in question didn't even so much as slow down for this approach is beyond reckless, aside from the other lawbreaking that followed.
The 'Give Way' sign is idiotic, put a Stop sign on the other, flatter road, or make it a 4-way stop. The drivers causing accidents were blowing through the intersection, and shame on the wording of the law that they were able to weasel out of harsher punishment.
Altering the roadway geometry, either as proposed, or more drastically with a roundabout, is a brute-force solution on this country road when other societal measures don't suffice, but it seems that there's plenty of room to enact other changes before you dig up the road.
This type of "Shared Space" junction in a rural area in the Netherlands is an interesting solution: https://email@example.com,6.2410165,255a,35y,32...
Several bad accidents happened here before this was implemented, none since 2009 when it was. Note that there are distinct paths for bicycles next to the roads, but that's standard.
There are no signs, no rules, but the roads can't be taken in a straight line anymore and it's certainly suggested that the junction is a pedestrian area. Drivers get confused which grabs their attention and makes them slow down.
Good write-up about a phenomenon I’d never expect to matter in a car. In aircraft it is the norm for mid-air collisions to occur this way. For example, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hughes_Airwest_Flight_706 but there are many others. Aircraft in the US now have autonomous transponders broadcasting their location to each other. The author overlooks this fact since the “pilot training” to avoid this problem actually does not work very well. The pilot training is to take advantage of services that can alert you to other traffic, such as Air Traffic Control.
The conclusion of the article reminds me of the idea behind blameless postmortems for system outages. Human mistakes are inevitable, and it's our responsibility to design resilient systems that acknowledge that simple fact.
While software engineering is an immature discipline in many ways, blameless postmortems seem like a counterexample -- they're a well-known best practice in software that don't seem as common in some other fields.
I know most comments indicate that even without the maths, the rolling geography would seem to block the view, and that the best solution would be a 4-way stop, a roundabout or the split road suggestion in the article.
But going back to the a-pillar, Volvo did have a concept design with a see through a-pillar. I'm not sure why it never made it to market. I'm guessing it didn't pass their safety requirements?
Wow, after all these years I finally learned the name of this phenomenon, constant bearing decreasing range.
I recall a scene in the movie Sin City where two cars crash and the camera was moving in CBDR to the perpendicular car as it zoomed into the impact site. I thought it was a cool shot.
Also I’ve almost hit pedestrians several times when they were obscured by my A pillar. Sometimes I wonder if I would have actually hit them if anyone would have believed I didn’t see them, now I know the proper term to describe the cause of such an accident.
> The truly contemptible human error is not in a single person carelessly failing to see. It (...) is in our incessant support of a system which cries “human error” as an excuse to do nothing, rather than as a stimulus to understand that error in order to create a solution.
Interestingly, I've seen parallels at work, when doing retrospectives: "this didn't go well mostly due to human error (slacking, forgetting, etc.), so the lesson for next time is to just do that better."
Instead, I'd prefer us to be looking for a way to prevent human error to cause problems in the future. But I guess the reason for us often not doing that is probably because it's too much effort compared to the perceived benefit - and that's probably true most of the time.
A vehicle doesn't have to be obscured by the pillar for you not to notice it. If you're both moving at a constant speed, anything on a collision course will have the same bearing and appear relatively motionless. If you look left and right, your eyes might saccade right past the target.
Why does this junction not have a roundabout? Would having one there reduce the chances for a crash by forcing vehicles to reduce their speed when approaching the intersection?
Thinking back to all of the times I've been hit or almost hit on a bicycle, visibility hasn't been a problem.
I think by far, the most common was the 'right hook', where the driver passes on the left, and makes a right turn in to a driveway.
After that were various intentional murder attempts, such as the taxi driver that honked at me, drove around me, and then tried to brake check me.
This is also of high interest to motorcyclists who even have a name for the phenomena: SMIDSY (Sorry, Mate I Didn't See You).
OP was focused on the A pillar and some other effects, while this excellent video goes a little further into some perception psychology about camouflage and how we perceive moving objects across backgrounds. You can ignore the motorcycle stuff but the explanation is enlightening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqQBubilSXU
I find myself with a somewhat similar problem, if not as dangerous, at four way stops often in San Francisco. When coming to a stop at an intersection where the slopes of the roads involved match certain configurations, most commonly on a road that has descended a slope to meet the intersection, my rear view mirror almost perfectly obscures the space that a car stopped at the road to my right occupies. I glance left, glance right, and see nothing, then suddenly stop short after starting to proceed as the movement reveals a vehicle that was there all along.
As a driver, I do my best to slow down a bit at any intersection, but particularly ones like this. Unfortunately, that tends to frustrate anyone driving behind me, sometimes to the point that they’ll try to overtake me (illegally) before the intersection.
In my mind, better traffic engineering is the best solution, but that seems unlikely, at least in the US. I’d imagine that the article’s suggested changes would cost more to build, even for new construction. To compound the issue, I get the feeling that most drivers would prefer it if cyclists weren’t allowed to ride on public roads.
"A Fighter Pilot’s Guide to Surviving on the Roads" explains the same thing, and more. Plus, it gives practical tips on how to mitigate these problems.
Basic rule of the road: if you haven't made eye contact with someone, you should assume they haven't seen you and don't know you're there.
I mean, they could improve the intersection by making it a full stop, but educating bicyclists not to ride out in front of somebody who will hit you if they don't slow down seems like a good step too.
I got hit by a car, as a cyclist, in exactly this kind of intersection. Got a Bankart repair on my left shoulder as a reward, but also got the motivation to go to medical school. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Incidentally, as a sailor, I totally get the constant bearing decreasing range problem. That phrase still sends shivers down my spine. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about what's on the other side the front pillars.
Driver should be moving his/her head slightly to eliminate this phenomena, to change angles of view. Very useful when approaching difficult situation in a moving car. One has to anticipate these effects and try to disturb linearity in movement by changing your car speed non-linearly to alter viewing angles in some situations.
These approaches together it will help driver to much better asses other objects speed and direction of movement and generally it improve one situation awareness.
This is something you can do about it if you dont want to wait for all crossroads to be rebuilt ;-)
Could it also have something to do with the wild horses hanging out at the intersection:
Perhaps they are not 'wild', I'm just not used to seeing horses near a roadway, without a fence between us. Is this a common thing in England?
>We must note that there are two parts to the definition of dangerous driving. Firstly the standard of driving must be “far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver”, and secondly it must be “obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous”.
The longer I use the road in any function (cycling, driving, walking, etc), the more I am convinced that the vast majority of people are not competent drivers. So if one is interpreting the guidelines as whether an average person could have made the mistake, then they will surely come to an incorrect conclusion, as the average person is absolutely terrible at driving.
I'm reasonable good at controlling my car and I'm fairly aware of what is going on around me. I never drive distracted or drunk, and I follow all of the rules of the road. However, I don't consider myself a particularly good driver. I am lucky thus far that none of the mistakes I've made have resulted in harm to anyone. My skill in handling the car and my general attentiveness have prevented accidents (or perhaps even deaths), but there have been plenty of times where I've had near misses due to human error.
I've often wondered whether other people are fundamentally more competent drivers; whether they had a trait that I lacked. The more rides I take with other people, the more I am convinced that most people are fundamentally terrible drivers. Human nature and human perception are not suited for driving. It is nearly impossible to be a competent driver, regardless of how much care you take. Some of the worst drivers I know are the most careful. They diligently check every mirror and every blind spot before making a move, yet do so at such a slow pace that all the information they gathered when they checked each of the prior locations is irrelevant. Their caution can only go so far, as they eventually need to move to reach their destination, and at a certain point their hesitance is a danger to others, as massive differentials in speed one of the biggest hazards in driving.
Humans are just astoundingly incompetent drivers on all levels. Most people I know can't even adjust their mirrors so they can be used without moving their head substantially. How can a person be a competent driver if they have deprived themselves of easy access to what is happening next to their vehicle or behind it.
According to the World Health Organization, traffic deaths are the 10th leading cause of death in the world. There is no more likely 'accidental' cause of death than a car accident; each of the nine causes of death more common than car accidents are diseases. In 2013, 1.4 million people died from road traffic accidents, and 54 million people were injured.
I love driving. I love the open road, and the freedom that comes with it, but the truth of the matter is that people are terrible at driving. The sooner we have an alternative to people driving cars, the better.
I understand the geometry in this situation and its impact, but if you're on a bicycle and you don't come to a complete stop at an intersection with potentially 40mph cross-traffic, you're going to have a bad time no matter what the angle is.
It's interesting that they were so focused on CBDR, but then totally dropped the ball when it was time to extend the analogy to overtaking (where you assume to be overtaking if you are >22.5° abaft the other vessel's beam, which is not the case at a 94° angle.)
Does cyclists count as pedestrians, and if so is entitled to ride on the opposite direction as follow ed by vehicular traffic.That is if cars drive on the left, then cyclists ride on the right, as do pedestrians?
We have a few intersections like this near me, and as a cyclist I can assure you that you really don't see anything. It's crazy. But luckily they are all traffic controlled with full on signals so there's no ambiguity about what one should be doing.
Why can't they just add stop signs to the east-west route? That way the north-south can keep right-of-way and the threat of collision is eliminated
A few speed bumps at the intersection would slow drivers. Speed bumps are cheap and effective. You can lay several in series to encourage drivers to slow. It would be a shame not to use them in such an instance, where lives might be saved.
Build cars with the driver seat on the left then. All this discussion over an obvious flaw which removed would solve the problem.
Unrelated, a few days ago I was thinking about this intersection: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-96.3308952,243m/dat...
Traffic on Hwy 164 does not stop, Hwy 39 does stop. However Hwy 39 has yield lanes that can be used to enter 164 via a right turn, and only slowing down, and not coming to a complete stop.
A few years ago there was a lot of gas drilling in the area, and the trucks working the drilling sites would use the yield lanes - to turn left!
This made me pretty mad, until I thought about it for a while. In a big truck you would not be able to see traffic from both directions, so they used the yield lane to 'square up' to traffic.
When you design your User Experience, consider the human. Humans slip up, momentarily forgetting to do the right thing.
If your design becomes dangerous due to a slip, it is the worst kind of design. You see this kind of design on older industrial equipment - for instance presses without safeguards. Managers back then would make the same comment you regularly see on articles like this: 'All you have to do is pay attention, and it's safe.'
This is, frankly, stupid. If all it takes for a system to become unsafe is a momentary lapse in judgement, then the system is unsafe.
Manufacturers learned this via lawsuits (both for in-plant and user injuries) and now there are strict safety standards.
In the case of this unsafe intersection, responsibility is diffuse - it is split between driver, cyclist, local government, and the original contractor.
In a controlled environment like a hospital or manufacturing plant, you can measure near-misses as proxies for dangerous events. At a rural intersection, who would measure near-misses? An individual cyclist may have a near-miss and comment on it to her friends; would any drivers ever hear about it? Would the government ever hear about it? Would anyone care?
To improve your perception in situations like this, you can add two tools -
1. Always take your foot off the gas and cover the brake when going through intersections. This naturally slows you down a bit, and if there is an issue you are in position to stop.
2. Owl bob your head from time to time. It sounds stupid, but it moves you out of your blind spots, and also clears saccadic masking - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccadic_masking
Road Junctions don't kill people, people kill people.
>With this design, no longer would it be reasonably possible for any driver to simply blow through the junction. Drivers would have to come almost to a stop.
just put a good bump there, or a couple.
I have a Honda Fit and I find the exact same problem when I’m driving in areas with a lot of pedestrians, especially San Francisco. The pillar is especially wide in the Fit and I’ve almost hit several pedestrians because their walking speed exactly coincides with the speed of my car and they get blocked by the exact same pillar so I never see them.
It has happened about 6 times so now whenever I drive in areas with pedestrians I move my head right in the middle of the car so that my view is no longer obstructed.
First rule of cycling: assume drivers don't see you.
Traffic lights and roundabouts.
The world is not, nor will ever be perfect. It is up to us cyclist to take our safety into our own hands. Don't end up dead just because you "had the right" to be on the road.
source : full time cyclist for 5+ years
Really disappointed at the solution.
I posted this 2 days ago, but for some reason it didn't make it to the front page like yours.