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View Poll Results: Is it OK to discuss/speculate about crash causes in a cyclist death thread (see OP)?
Yes. It is appropriate and not disrespectful to have such discussions. 67 58.26%
No. it is inappropriate and/or disrespectful to speculate about what may have caused a fatal crash. 28 24.35%
Other (specify in post). 20 17.39%
Voters: 115. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-15-06, 04:08 PM   #1
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Forum etiquette - cyclist death threads

In threads in this safety forum with information about cyclist deaths, is it appropriate or inappropriate/disrespectful to speculate about what may or may not have caused the tragedy, assume some of those speculated causes to be true, and to discuss potential ways for other cyclists to avoid a similar fate?

Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-15-06 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 09-15-06, 04:40 PM   #2
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Honestly? To me it ranks right up there with folks watching the "car hits biker video"
It’s morbid and disrespectful, but sometimes it’s necessary.

The key here if you have to do it is a little tact.
You have to be appropriately inappropriate, and respectfully disrespectful.
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Old 09-15-06, 04:52 PM   #3
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Other.

Discussion is one thing, but using someone's death as a platform for furthering your agenda is sick and wrong.
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Old 09-15-06, 04:56 PM   #4
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It's not morbid or disrespectful to speculate how a fatal car/bicycle accident occurred, it's just pointless and stupid. Most of these speculation threads degenerate into "If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a bicycle", or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. What's the point of arguing anything if we don't have hard facts about what happened ?

An inference is one thing, I can infer that it rained recently if I walk outside and see everything wet, I didn't actually see the rain coming down, but it's not a leap of faith to infer that because it's wet outside, it just rained. But speculating about speed down to last mile per hour , lane location within feet etc. is just foolish.

When there are clear facts about how the accident occurred,who was driving where in the street, what kind of traffic control devices there were, then there are very fruitful and helpful discussions here.

It's just a childish to get riled up after speculating about something and then insulting and criticizing anybody who disagrees with assumption!
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Old 09-15-06, 05:02 PM   #5
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Thank you.
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Old 09-15-06, 05:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingingSabre
Other.

Discussion is one thing, but using someone's death as a platform for furthering your agenda is sick and wrong.
It is sick and wrong to use someone's death as a platform to further one's agenda regardless of what the agenda is?

Is it sick and wrong to use a discussion about terrorist victims as a platform for furthering one's agenda to end terrorism?

Is it sick and wrong to use a discussion about murder victims as a platform for furthering one's agenda against murder?

Is it sick and wrong to use a discussion about a drunk driver victim as a platform for furthering one's agenda against drunk driving and, say, promoting MADD?

Is it sick and wrong to use a discussion about a SCUBA diver's death as a platform for furthering one's agenda to reduce the incidence of SCUBA diving accidental deaths?

Is it sick and wrong to use a discussion about a cyclist's death as a platform for furthering one's agenda to reduce the incidence of cyclist car-bike collision deaths?
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Old 09-15-06, 05:10 PM   #7
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Other... it is tasteless and wrong to go into endless arguments about minutia of riding styles without acknowledging the loss of a fellow rider.

Be tactful and respectful... and keep speculation to a minimum.
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Old 09-15-06, 05:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
It's not morbid or disrespectful to speculate how a fatal car/bicycle accident occurred, it's just pointless and stupid.
...
But speculating about speed down to last mile per hour , lane location within feet etc. is just foolish.
I think you're confusing the part of the discussions that are speculating about what happened in a particular crash with the part of the discussions that might be discussing a hypothetical situation loosely based on the limited information available, and speculation.

For the sake of discussing any hypothetical, sometimes it's helpful to use specific facts and numbers. For those specifics to be useful, they just have to be consistent and realistic within a given hypothetical paradigm (some of the parameters of which may or may not have been inspired by an actual event); they do not have to reflect what actually happened in reality in every detail, in order to be useful.

In the discussions I've been involved in, it seemed pretty obvious when we were talking about what actually happened, when we were speculating about what might have happened, and when we were discussing hypothetical situations loosely based on our limited understanding of what happened. But I suppose we could try to make those distinctions more clear, if you think that would help.
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Old 09-15-06, 05:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
In threads in this safety forum with information about cyclist deaths, is it appropriate or inappropriate/disrespectful to speculate about what may or may not have caused the tragedy, assume some of those speculated causes to be true, and to discuss potential ways for other cyclists to avoid a similar fate?
Personally, I wonder if posting every single instance of a rider getting killed in the US here serves a useful purpose for the members of the forum. Especially since such threads end up being about speculating what happened and what someone else, usually the government, should do about it.

Perhaps we need a break from starting these threads in the first place, a moratorium if you like.
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Old 09-15-06, 06:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wogsterca
Personally, I wonder if posting every single instance of a rider getting killed in the US here serves a useful purpose for the members of the forum. Especially since such threads end up being about speculating what happened and what someone else, usually the government, should do about it.
I find them useful. For one thing, it reminds/encourages us to be vigilant. Two, in some of the scenarios, there are things the cyclist could have done to reduce (though rarely eliminate) the likelihood of the collision. There is something to be learned in such scenarios. If you find there is nothing to be learned from others' misfortunes, I suggest you not read such threads, and just keep hoping that nothing bad happens to you on the road. As for me, I read every one of these accident threads, and my cycling habits have changed as a result, and I believe I am a safer cyclist (though I would concede that road cycling is inherently dangerous).

And I think it goes without saying that as a cyclist, I am always saddened by reports of yet another cycling fatality.

While it is true that some of these threads degenerate into useless drivel, that's the price we pay for having an open forum.

HH, keep up the good work - some of us are listening and learning.

Last edited by serpico7; 09-15-06 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 09-15-06, 07:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingingSabre
Other.

Discussion is one thing, but using someone's death as a platform for furthering your agenda is sick and wrong.

yup.

I just think it's ghoulish and wrong.
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Old 09-15-06, 07:04 PM   #12
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rando - SingingSabre has so far ignored my question about whether the agenda matters. Perhaps you will answer it? Post #6.
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Old 09-15-06, 07:08 PM   #13
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"Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it."

Okay, a little dramatic, but if we could all learn something from someone's death, i.e. what not to do, more power to us. I'm sure we all learned that it is not good to swim up behind a stingray.
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Old 09-15-06, 07:15 PM   #14
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If somebody starts the thread as "fodder" for lane positioning arguments and then people argue about lane positioning that's honest even if it's disrepectful to the dead.

But if somebody starts the thread as an example of how the police responded to an accident situation and then somebody hijacks the topic so it becomes an argument about lane positioning then that is wrong and disrespectful.

It's not the topics themselves that are disrepectful but how they get twisted to some people's egoistic, narcissistic, mental masturb8tion that is disrespecful.
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Old 09-15-06, 07:47 PM   #15
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Diane - that's a fair point.
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Old 09-15-06, 07:50 PM   #16
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Very well stated. I agree 100%. That is the exact reason the thread about the 12 year old boy got shut down. Guys, this is NOT your "personal" forum--live and learn, and then move on.
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Old 09-15-06, 07:56 PM   #17
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other.

they tend to be posted to be argumentative or to provoke rather than instructional and are therefore highly disrespectful to the victim and his/her survivors.

they tend to degenerate into typical internet diatribes and are therefore highly disrespectful to the victim and his/her survivors.

they lack sufficient information to make any real conclusions other than amateurish speculation. No professional accident investigation would base any conclusion on newspaper articles, on-line discussions and secondhand reports and are therefore highly disrespectful to the victim and his/her survivors.

and finally, why in the world do you post a poll only to argue with each and every one of us that disagrees with your opinion? Did you start this post to find out how people stand on the issue or to jam your point of view down everyone's throat? Is it that problematic that many of us hold ourselves to different standard with this regard? I made a brief response to Brian Ratliff's well written post in the other thread and have voiced my opinion here. Other than that I'll stay away from that thread and leave it to those who have a more prurient interest in such subjects. Knock yourself out- I'm sure you'll learn a lot about how to bike safely from your discussions or at least will convince yourself that's what you're doing.
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Old 09-15-06, 08:38 PM   #18
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I have no objection to anyone posting anything. I am perfectly capable of doing my own filtering and interpreting, and I do believe there is much to be learned from mistakes and tragedies and our discussions thereof. It also does not hurt to be reminded periodically of our own fragile mortality.
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Old 09-15-06, 08:38 PM   #19
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here's what I find EXTREMELY disturbing with the original poster's SLANT on bicycle deaths.....his insistence that, if a cyclist is anywhere except smack dab in the center of the lane, it is not the driver's responsibility to notice or avoid the bicyclist.

this is disrespectful speculation because it brings personal bias into the speculation. I feel his insistance on blaming the bikers and not the drivers in almost 100 percent of his speculations is what turns my stomach the most.

hed's lack of respect for the family and friends surviving is extremely tasteless.... it is NOT the bicyclists fault when a driver leaves a travel lane and hits them from behind.. the fault is NOT with the bicyclists in this situation.

when a biker is right hooked by a car turning across the bike's path, it is NOT the fault of the biker.

speculation, 'analysis' in this manner is disgusting.
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Old 09-15-06, 08:49 PM   #20
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Bek - I think you are confusing being at fault in a collision and being able to prevent a collision.
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Old 09-15-06, 09:00 PM   #21
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Serge blames every cyclist who didn't prevent a collision using his brand of DLP. He believes they are all deserving of whatever tragedy befell them. It's not unlike people who think you are going to Hell because you didn't accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
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Old 09-15-06, 09:03 PM   #22
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sorry, 2x post. mods, can you delete pls?
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Old 09-15-06, 09:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
here's what I find EXTREMELY disturbing with the original poster's SLANT on bicycle deaths.....his insistence that, if a cyclist is anywhere except smack dab in the center of the lane, it is not the driver's responsibility to notice or avoid the bicyclist.

this is disrespectful speculation because it brings personal bias into the speculation. I feel his insistance on blaming the bikers and not the drivers in almost 100 percent of his speculations is what turns my stomach the most.

hed's lack of respect for the family and friends surviving is extremely tasteless.... it is NOT the bicyclists fault when a driver leaves a travel lane and hits them from behind.. the fault is NOT with the bicyclists in this situation.

when a biker is right hooked by a car turning across the bike's path, it is NOT the fault of the biker.

speculation, 'analysis' in this manner is disgusting.
I don't think you could have misinterpreted his intent anymore than you have. No one is suggesting that it was the cyclist's fault. It was clearly the driver's fault - but that doesn't do the victim or his family much good, does it?
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Old 09-15-06, 09:31 PM   #24
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no, serpico, hh blames cyclists for drivers right/left hooking them ALL THE TIME IN HERE, and he also places no responsibility on the drivers if a bicyclist is ANYWHERE BUT his omnipresent center-of-the-lane 'default analysis' he overlays his speculation on.

Last edited by Bekologist; 09-15-06 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 09-15-06, 10:00 PM   #25
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Serpico and Chephy, thank you for paying attention.

Bek and Diane, I hope you pay attention better while riding your bikes in traffic than what you demonstrate reading my posts.
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