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  1. #1
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    Bikes are Safe because they're Dangerous?

    Perhaps a better way of saying it is "Bikes are dangerous because they're vulnerable"?
    This article basically confirms what I have thought for a while now,
    http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_01_12_a_suv.html
    that is, that a significant percentage of SUV drivers buy them for the "perceived" feeling
    of safety it gives them. Which is another way of saying they're scared, to often scared
    drivers are that way because they're crap drivers. So , now we have numerous crap drivers
    out there in vehicles which are more dangerous to others.

    Comments?
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” Robert A. Heinlein

  2. #2
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Little vehicles are more deadly, middle and big vehicles are safer.
    http://autos.msn.com/advice/CRArt.as...topart=pickups
    Not too much to say here

  3. #3
    Senior Member BLIZZ's Avatar
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    I use my SUV to haul my and my freinds and families bikes to races and rides, in comfort and style.
    It's not the vehicle......it's the driver.
    However some vehicles attract a certain type of driver.
    Volvos have a great safety record in part to the fact that safety minded drivers buy Volvos because Volvos have a great safety record.
    I haven't noticed SUV drivers being any worse than others. Now Mini Vans, thats a another thing......
    I'm not totally useless....I can be used as a BAD example.

  4. #4
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddyfish
    Little vehicles are more deadly, middle and big vehicles are safer.
    http://autos.msn.com/advice/CRArt.as...topart=pickups
    This is crash data. Factor in the data for avoiding a crash and then you'd have a better idea of what's a safer vehicle.

    Personally, I'd prefer my chances in a Boxter driven by an attentive, skilled driver than a Tahoe driven by a distracted, inexperienced driver.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    I like my SUV.
    Why? Not being provocative, just an honest question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    All SUVs are not created equal.
    Granted, I would much rather be in a Porsche Cayenne that an Impala.
    All other things being equal, though............

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    Some SUVs are safer, even to others, than some cars.
    Agreed, see point 2 above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    The issues aren't as cut and dried as people wish they were.
    Never said they were, do you think though, that some people who drive SUVs do so because they feel less than confident in their driving ability?
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” Robert A. Heinlein

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddyfish
    Little vehicles are more deadly, middle and big vehicles are safer.
    http://autos.msn.com/advice/CRArt.as...topart=pickups
    Only true if you are talking about after the accident has occurred. What about avoiding it in the first place? Question, did you read the article I linked to?
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” Robert A. Heinlein

  7. #7
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    I like my SUV.

    All SUVs are not created equal.

    Some SUVs are safer, even to others, than some cars.

    The issues aren't as cut and dried as people wish they were.
    What do you drive?

    (full disclosure: my wife has a Pontiac Montana minivan which I sometimes drive).

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    I drove a semi-SUV once -- a Subaru Forester. I didn't feel particularly safe -- it was so strangely high and tippy-feeling. Kind of like a Volkswagen Bus on stilts. If I had to drive one of those SUVs, I'd go along slowly and carefully. I admit that I am prejudiced against them -- they have redneck, trailer trash associations for me. However, if I needed to carry a huge amount of stuff and needed 4WD, I'd consider owning a SUV. Like any vehicle, they have their limitations and are safe if operated within them.

    It all comes down to the old observation that the most dangerous part of any vehicle is the "nut behind the steering wheel."

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    I like my SUV.

    All SUVs are not created equal.

    Some SUVs are safer, even to others, than some cars.

    The issues aren't as cut and dried as people wish they were.
    Yes they are, you are just another stinkin cager!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLIZZ
    I use my SUV to haul my and my freinds and families bikes to races and rides, in comfort and style.
    It's not the vehicle......it's the driver.
    However some vehicles attract a certain type of driver.
    Volvos have a great safety record in part to the fact that safety minded drivers buy Volvos because Volvos have a great safety record.
    I haven't noticed SUV drivers being any worse than others. Now Mini Vans, thats a another thing......
    I can agree with some of what you say, but around here, the first snowfall of the season almost always presents me with the sight of an SUV in a ditch. In far greater numbers than regular cars or minivans. And no, thats not because there are more on the road.
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” Robert A. Heinlein

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    Better gas mileage than the one it replaced, powerful engine with a great torque curve, comfortable, lots of interior room, etc.
    Not why you drive that particular SUV, why any SUV?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    That's the point. All else isn't equal when ranting about "SUVs," sportscars, bicycles, etc.
    Didn't think I was ranting? As a class though, would you agree that SUVs are
    less nimble for example than an average family car?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    I'm sure there are some folks who think that. Is that a major motivation, or the major motivation for the majority of folks that buy SUVs? I doubt it.
    From the type of people I see driving them around here, and the way they drive, I'm not so sure.
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” Robert A. Heinlein

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    What "type" of people is that? How can you tell that they are less than confident in their driving abilities, by looking at them?
    They dither, they make indecisive movements, they seem to take far too long to make maneuvers, generally, they drive in what I would consider to be an incompetent manner.
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” Robert A. Heinlein

  13. #13
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Isn't it a matter of degree? So SUV's are bigger and may encourage people to be worse drivers. Isn't it still the case that a careless Jetta driver plowing head-on into a cyclist is still capable of doing a lot of damage?
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    That describes their driving, not what they look like.
    It describes what they look like when they drive.

  15. #15
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    I think all cars suck. In urban areas, they're completely unnecessary, and a shocking waste of money. In rural areas, it's a totally different story.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  16. #16
    Senior Member freemti's Avatar
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    welcome to the human condition

    Most of the folks, or rather all the folks, who when asked about their driving choices and habits will almost without fail rate themselves and their choice in vehicle pretty gosh darn good. Its always the other guy (or gal), driving that other SUV, not me and not my SUV

    Well, I'm sorry the stats don't lie, somebody is driving all those SUV's into all those accidents. Many, many of which are fatal to themselves never mind the other vehicle involved. Statistically not everyone can be a great driver, chances are pretty good that a % of you, I'm afraid to say, probably are not very good drivers in general and would probably make the exact wrong move (or no move at all) when faced with the milli-second response time decision need in a high speed road accident in particular.

    And while we're talking science, lets talk physics, as in Newtons Second & Third Laws. Force is related to mass, the heavier the vehicle the more force involved in a collision, the greater the chance for increased damage and trauma to the human occupants. The resultant forces acted upon another veichle have to obey the Third law again resulting in increased damage. Both of which also account for the flip overs since coupled with a high center of gravity (and just plain bad design) the inclination to flip is greatly increased

    No one likes to hear that their particular choice of vehicle is "bad", its normal human behavior to get defensive, try to justify why it is OK in "our" case, I don't cause all those accidents, the gas millage on my SUV is not so bad and besides I use it to take poor orphans to church on Sundays. The fact of the matter is that SUVs have some serious social, environmental, and safety related issues that need a second look. Hopefully we can get past this current phase of SUV buying and in twenty years or so we can look back and ask just what the heck were we thinking?!
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Interesting. So, they assume that we should put ourselves in danger, by swerving out of our lane, when someone else puts their life in danger. We need to train our drivers to stop doing this.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by workingbike
    Not why you drive that particular SUV, why any SUV?



    Didn't think I was ranting? As a class though, would you agree that SUVs are
    less nimble for example than an average family car?
    Nimble? How nimble would the family car be getting over the humps in the Forest Service roads in the Sierras to get back in away from the crowds during hunting season? You can't rent a vehicle and take it off the main roads without voiding the insurance.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  19. #19
    Senior Member freemti's Avatar
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    Well Pete, I hope your not expecting a thundering endorsement of the SUV concept on a forum dedicated to all things bicycle related and one specific to Advocacy & Safety are you?

    I'd also point out that you're using the very defense I spoke of. Your SUV is not a "bad" one, your choices are OK etc... In fairness you might well have the SUV par excellence, the veritable paragon of safety that runs on discarded trans-fats for all I know, but its also probably true that even taking as a fact that your SUV and your driving skills are as good as one could expect, this doesn't help the statistics that prove again and again the safety issues with large SUVs and it doesn't change the basic physics
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  20. #20
    Senior Member freemti's Avatar
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    Well this is the A & S sub-forum - heated opinions are allowed.

    BTW, a spiel is way longer than one measly paragraph!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member pluc's Avatar
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    <--- I love my SUV too.


    (see avatar)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    The original comment separated the two aspects, what they looked like, and their driving habits.

    He answered the latter part, not the former.
    No, the original comment didn't say anything about what they looked like. That was you injecting thoughts into other people's comments so you can discredit them.

    The aspects addressed by the original comment were the type of people they were and their driving habits, likely separated to cover all bases to make the inherency of the property irrelevant.

  23. #23
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    This is crash data. Factor in the data for avoiding a crash and then you'd have a better idea of what's a safer vehicle.

    Personally, I'd prefer my chances in a Boxter driven by an attentive, skilled driver than a Tahoe driven by a distracted, inexperienced driver.
    +1

  24. #24
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by workingbike
    I can agree with some of what you say, but around here, the first snowfall of the season almost always presents me with the sight of an SUV in a ditch. In far greater numbers than regular cars or minivans. And no, thats not because there are more on the road.
    Ever see one of it's side or upside down after an accident? There's usually someone standing next to it with this look of "gee, they told me this was supposed to be a safe vehicle" on their face. That high center of gravity needed for all of those rugged off road excursions is a huge liability when they start to lean.

  25. #25
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by workingbike
    Perhaps a better way of saying it is "Bikes are dangerous because they're vulnerable"?
    This article basically confirms what I have thought for a while now,
    http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_01_12_a_suv.html
    that is, that a significant percentage of SUV drivers buy them for the "perceived" feeling
    of safety it gives them. Which is another way of saying they're scared, to often scared
    drivers are that way because they're crap drivers. So , now we have numerous crap drivers
    out there in vehicles which are more dangerous to others.

    Comments?
    Perception is a funny thing and when someone suggests to me, bikes are dangerous because the people riding them are vulnerable, I just mention that in my province just about twice the number of people are struck by motor vehicles walking as riding a bike, but the people walking are killed at a rate of over 10 times that of those on bicycles.

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