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Why Can't Car Sizes...

Old 06-29-11, 01:59 PM
  #1  
K'Tesh
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Why Can't Car Sizes...

Why can't car sizes permitted to drivers be directly directly linked to their intellegence?

Had another close call with a Big A$sSUV today.

With my estimation of this driver's intellegence, he shouldn't be trusted with anything larger than a Hotwheel (if even that).

Last edited by K'Tesh; 06-29-11 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 06-29-11, 02:45 PM
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Because smart people get bored driving semis!
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Old 06-29-11, 03:04 PM
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Because it is an inverse law of physics. That is why physicist (including Einstien) and many here ride bicycles.

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Old 06-29-11, 03:11 PM
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CBHI's inverse law seems to have a few outliers. I tend to get buzzed by more small pickups than the giant four-door kind. It may be that the folks who are driving cheap, beat-up old Mazda pick-ups are poor and mad about it so they kick the cat and buzz the cyclist. That said, many SUV drivers are in a class all by themselves (probably remedial Kindergarten).
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Old 06-29-11, 03:12 PM
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I know what ya mean. Just yesterday as I was attempting to go out for a ride I had a "dumb broad" who was yakking away on her cell phone pull right along my right side at an induction loop controlled intersection. At this particular intersection it seems to work best if I position myself over the left side of the loop to trip it. At first I thought that she was making a right hand turn, but no she keeps yakking away on her cell phone. The light turns green and she takes off going straight. All this time she continues to yak away on her cell phone. As she's pulling away from the intersection I call out a "thank you."

It's scary how so many people feel the need to have that bloody electronic leash glued to their ear 24/7.
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Old 06-29-11, 03:18 PM
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Old 06-29-11, 03:24 PM
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^^^
Clearly, a slightly less intelligent cyclist.
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Old 06-29-11, 04:17 PM
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It really matters to you whether you're run into by an SUV or a Miata?

KeS
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Old 06-29-11, 04:54 PM
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"I reject your reality and substitute my own "

Car size has little to do with the intelligence of the driver. Their pretty much all dumb it seems .
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Old 06-29-11, 05:19 PM
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Sounds like the driver of the large vehicle was able to deftly maneuver without hitting you or clearing you with an unnecessarily wide berth. That's a sign of skill and judgement as apposed to somebody who hangs back and doesn't pass until they can clear you by 20'.... or hits you, right?
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Old 06-29-11, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by kevin_stevens View Post
It really matters to you whether you're run into by an SUV or a Miata?
A Miata's going to hit me lower. I suspect that my chances of survival will actually be a little higher because of that.
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Old 06-29-11, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kevin_stevens View Post
It really matters to you whether you're run into by an SUV or a Miata?

KeS
Yes, it does and it has. When a car hits a cyclist, we can more easily get airborne and control the landing or press on the hood to get some space on a brush-back. I have done both of these. If it had been an SUV, I would have had a much harder time avoiding injury/death since it is quite difficult to avoid going under those things and going over isn't always a viable option.
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Old 06-30-11, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Yes, it does and it has. When a car hits a cyclist, we can more easily get airborne and control the landing or press on the hood to get some space on a brush-back. I have done both of these. If it had been an SUV, I would have had a much harder time avoiding injury/death since it is quite difficult to avoid going under those things and going over isn't always a viable option.
What I don't understand is why the government doesn't more strictly regulate the safety hazards associated with people in OTHER vehicles, or with pedestrians, or cyclists. I've seen the statistics, and it's well documented that SUVs are more likely to kill the occupants of other cars that they hit than smaller cars are. This is in part due to the uneven bumper issues caused by the high ground clearance. The same would intuitively seem to be true of cyclists or pedestrians getting hit by them, for the reason you point out, though I haven't personally seen statistical information confirming this.

While for some vehicles (e.g., semis) it seems like it's pretty unavoidable that there is going to be an enhanced hazard to others, we tend to more highly regulate the drivers of those vehicles (e.g., by requiring a CDL). But an SUV is basically meant to be a passenger vehicle, and the vast majority of them are used for in-city use. So I don't see why we shouldn't regulate them to the same safety standards as other cars, rather than trucks, since their "normal" intended use is arguably NOT as trucks. We could still allow them, perhaps, but require their owners to pay a higher tax and get more highly trained in order to compensate for the enhanced danger they present to others. Same goes for large pickups, which are also involved in a disproportionate number of fatalities on the roads: keep them legal for those that need them, but more strictly regulate the drivers of them.
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Old 06-30-11, 10:08 AM
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Maybe when they are truck-sized a Commercial Driver's License should be required. That would reduce the rate of SUV impulse buys.
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Old 06-30-11, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
Maybe when they are truck-sized a Commercial Driver's License should be required. That would reduce the rate of SUV impulse buys.
Or if not a CDL, something in between a CDL and a regular drivers' license. Maybe you should have to get a "light truck" endorsement on your license that requires you to undergo more frequent and more rigorous training and that can be revoked more easily than a regular drivers' license. Ideally, we'd require higher licensing standards for everyone, but that idea seems to be politically non-viable. Apparently most motorists would rather not be more highly trained to drive, even if it would greatly improve safety for everyone on the road.
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Old 06-30-11, 10:53 AM
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I would agree that drivers of large SUVs seem to be worse, on average, than drivers of other vehicles.

I think that part of it is that poor drivers--on some subconscious level--realize that they are poor drivers, and figure their best "survival strategy" is to surround themselves with as much metal as possible.

There's also the tendency (it has a name, though I'm not gonna look it up) whereby the safer a vehicle is (or seems to be), the more risks the driver of that vehicle will take, on the basis that its less likely any thing bad will happen, personally, to the driver.
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Old 06-30-11, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mnemia View Post
Or if not a CDL, something in between a CDL and a regular drivers' license. Maybe you should have to get a "light truck" endorsement on your license that requires you to undergo more frequent and more rigorous training and that can be revoked more easily than a regular drivers' license.
As I've said elsewhere, taking drivers' ed and the test in a Geo Prism on farm-to-market roads really wasn't an appropriate process to get me ready to drive the dually with trailer in city traffic a couple weeks later. IMO, there should be a ranked process all the way from mopeds to huge earth movers, with several classes and multiple trailer endorsements per class based on length and weight of the trailer.
  • Moped/Motorcycle 500cc and under
  • Motorcycle over 500cc
  • Passenger car/SUV/light truck up to 2,500lbs curb weight
  • Passenger car/SUV/light truck 2,501-4,000lbs curb weight
  • SUV/truck 4,000-6,000lbs curb weight
  • Make them get a CDL for anything over 6,000lbs
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Old 06-30-11, 11:46 AM
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Some local large vehicle owners seem to take pride in how tall they can go with their personal vehicles, with many having a floorboard levels high enough that they are chest height, with my being 6 foot tall.

The most ridiculous was a 5 foot 2 inch woman with a truck so high, that when she ran a red light in front of a personal friend's full size regular height truck, the woman's frame as just low enough to catch the top of my friend's pickup hood, with him avoiding being decapitated.

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Old 06-30-11, 12:17 PM
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The way I understand it, the US Gov't did the exact opposite of what is discussed above.
I.e. back in the 1970s, when passenger cars became emissions-regulated, the US conceded to auto-makers that "light-trucks" would be exempt from the smog laws (for a period).
As any good marketers would, carmakers then began to increase marketing of the SUV (which are technically and basically light trucks) vehicles (since they became more profitable without the added emissions control costs) to boost sales. And viola, the SUV boom began.
Fast forward to today and the discussion leads to gov't regulating SUVs (by CDL, etc.) to reduce the volume. Is the irony lost?
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Old 06-30-11, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Because it is an inverse law of physics. That is why physicist (including Einstien) and many here ride bicycles.
Exactly - the dumber the driver, the bigger the vehicle... it seems Nature has already sorted this out.
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Old 06-30-11, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AltheCyclist View Post
The way I understand it, the US Gov't did the exact opposite of what is discussed above.
I.e. back in the 1970s, when passenger cars became emissions-regulated, the US conceded to auto-makers that "light-trucks" would be exempt from the smog laws (for a period).
As any good marketers would, carmakers then began to increase marketing of the SUV (which are technically and basically light trucks) vehicles (since they became more profitable without the added emissions control costs) to boost sales. And viola, the SUV boom began.
Fast forward to today and the discussion leads to gov't regulating SUVs (by CDL, etc.) to reduce the volume. Is the irony lost?
SUVs are today's station wagon only better. Many SUVs can haul loads equal to that of some pickups, and still ride like a luxury sedan, though not handle like one. A luxury car,pickup,and station wagon all rolled into one, no wonder it's popular, appealing to the macho as well as the meek.
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Old 06-30-11, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
SUVs are today's station wagon only better. Many SUVs can haul loads equal to that of some pickups, and still ride like a luxury sedan, though not handle like one. A luxury car,pickup,and station wagon all rolled into one, no wonder it's popular, appealing to the macho as well as the meek.
"Better" in every way except for, of course, fuel economy, lack of side and rear visibility, danger to people in other vehicles, cost, etc.
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Old 06-30-11, 01:28 PM
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I'm a physicist, and my favourite car is my MGB. (wait, that almost sounds like a stand up statement at an addiction counselling meeting).

Mostly, however, I cycle.

Driver behaviour is not only related to vehicle size, but type also. Run these makes & models through your mental filters:

BMW
Lincoln
Buick
Jaguar
Prius
Lexus
Oldsmobile
Mini
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Old 06-30-11, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
SUVs are today's station wagon only better. Many SUVs can haul loads equal to that of some pickups, and still ride like a luxury sedan, though not handle like one. A luxury car,pickup,and station wagon all rolled into one, no wonder it's popular, appealing to the macho as well as the meek.
Yeah, I guess my point was that based on discussion above, some BF folks were suggesting that CDL or some other regulation would limit SUVs on the road. When it's the same gov't people that primed SUV sales in the first place.
Probably the only way to get big vehicles off the road (if that's indeed the problem) would be to increase gas tax. Topic which has its own thread, I'm sure.

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Old 06-30-11, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AltheCyclist View Post
When it's the same gov't people that primed SUV sales in the first place.
IIRC, it was CAFE that pretty much put the final nail in the coffin of station wagons; the regulation puts them in the same class as a Smart, while an SUV is in the same class as an F350. There's no way to build a wagon fuel efficient enough to make the "car" numbers and still haul enough to be useful, but an SUV can be a heck of a lot less efficient without any problems from the government.
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