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ChumpusRex

Yet Another Careless Driving Case

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A cyclist was killed in Shropshire after being knocked off his bike by a car driver. While lying in the road, he was subsequently run over a following van causing serious (and subsequently fatal injuries) and then finally run over by another car causing serious leg injuries.

A witness to the accident stopped to help and call for an ambulance, but was then also hit by yet another car, causing serious injuries.

The van driver admitted being unable to see the road due to glare from the sun and reflections off a wet road, with his passenger indicating that they were driving at 40-50 mph when they hit something "like going over a log".

The first driver also admitted being dazzled by the sun and not seeing the cyclist.

Both drivers were cleared of all charges, including careless driving.

http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014/11/17/two-cleared-of-causing-death-of-a-shropshire-cyclist-by-careless-driving/

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Surely the drivers of the following vehicles that hit the cyclist and the passer-by weren't driving with due care and attention. If they were dazzled they should've driven slowly and carefully till the sun wasn't blinding them. QED.

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Round a corner just as the sun comes out from behind a cloud and a tree maybe, it's not completely impossible that even a perfectly reasonable driver could get caught out. Hard to know for certain without more details.

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nasty.

Confusing report by the newspaper.

Only at the end do they mention another vehicle that might have caused the whole thing, which, as I read it, failed to stop, probably unaware of the carnage caused by the overtake.

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I would say the answer is segregated cycle lanes, as in holland...but whenever they are provided around here the cyclists insist on using the road.

Because they are usually so unutterably crap to the extent of being unusable.

Give me a bike path that is three metres wide, swept of glass, has priority over side roads and drives, isn't shared with walkers and pushchairs, is gritted in winter, isn't covered in lampposts bus stops and signage, has a decent surface, and does not feature a single ' cyclists dismount ' sign and I might use it.

In the meantime, I'll use the road which ticks all the essential boxes.

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Not a good story! I am very surprised nobody got a "careless"! It's very bad luck to be run over by three vehicles in close succession, and then die! I thought I might cycle to work from here, but having seen some comical accident attracting manoevres, I think I will not!

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Because they are usually so unutterably crap to the extent of being unusable.

Give me a bike path that is three metres wide, swept of glass, has priority over side roads and drives, isn't shared with walkers and pushchairs, is gritted in winter, isn't covered in lampposts bus stops and signage, has a decent surface, and does not feature a single ' cyclists dismount ' sign and I might use it.

In the meantime, I'll use the road which ticks all the essential boxes.

That's unrealistic. So you take the risk and cycle in the road because your cycle path isn't perfect. Crazy!

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Low sun is a *******.

Renders roads almost invisible.

You would have to be literally driving at walking pace in some places to avoid trouble.

Yep. One week last winter there was a crash every day at the same spot on my drive into work where two roads merge. It was only when I took the other road that I realized drivers coming down it to join the ring road go round the bend in the shadow of the hill, then suddenly find themselves facing straight into the sun as they reach the ring road and can't see a damn thing. Add a bit of ice on the road and drivers driving to damn close to the vehicle in front, and it explains why it's such an accident blackspot.

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Low sun is a *******.

Renders roads almost invisible.

You would have to be literally driving at walking pace in some places to avoid trouble.

I had a bad experience on the M20 just before sunset a few weeks back. Was pretty solid traffic and there were breaklights going on left right and centre. You can't really slow to a crawl on a motorway without potentially causing a pile-up.

Was a cross between a scene from Days of Thunder after his crash and the morning of the fifth day from the Two Towers (except looking to the west)..

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Surely the driver who hit the bloke giving assistance was taking the mick?

I'm lucky enough that in nearly 20 years of driving and I guess about 40-50,000 miles the one time I've ever driven directly into the setting sun on a wet road was when I was 17, before I passed my test, driving my mum's 2CV on a provisional. And I drove very slowly and carefully.

Ultimately the rule is that you should be able to stop in the distance that you can see to be clear. If you can't see sod all, you should be going very slowly. If someone rear ends you that's their poor driving.

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That's unrealistic. So you take the risk and cycle in the road because your cycle path isn't perfect. Crazy!

If I used the cycle routes, with their slow speeds, detours, and even ignoring their general unpleasantness, it would take about the same time as walking to work. It would not be practical. So, if I want to ride in, it's on the street.

The people causing risk and hazard are not the cyclists or the pedestrians (both very low risk) but poor drivers.

I'm not even convinced cycle paths are actually safe - I know three people who've had serious prangs caused by poor surfaces and those stupid metal barriers.

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I would say the answer is segregated cycle lanes, as in holland...but whenever they are provided around here the cyclists insist on using the road.

Nowhere in the UK has Dutch-style cycle lanes. Stevenage comes close, but even there cyclists must give way to cars joining from side roads.

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Low sun is a *******.

Renders roads almost invisible.

You would have to be literally driving at walking pace in some places to avoid trouble.

Imagine that, drivers adjusting their speed to whatever is safe under the conditions they are actually in. It'll never catch on.

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That's unrealistic. So you take the risk and cycle in the road because your cycle path isn't perfect. Crazy!

Using British cycle paths can easily be more dangerous than just sticking to the road. They are often installed so you randomly get 50-100m of cycle path which doesn't join up with anything at either end, so basically you get to leave the main road, cycle for 100m, and then re-join it with no junction to help you. Instead of weaving on and off the main road every 60 seconds it is safer just to maintain your road position and make steady progress.

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Using British cycle paths can easily be more dangerous than just sticking to the road. They are often installed so you randomly get 50-100m of cycle path which doesn't join up with anything at either end, so basically you get to leave the main road, cycle for 100m, and then re-join it with no junction to help you. Instead of weaving on and off the main road every 60 seconds it is safer just to maintain your road position and make steady progress.

Indeed, I was shocked at how clunkily the junctions and transitions between pavement and road were handled at certain points on a national cycle route (5). One point is on the inside apex of a foliage obscured blind bend, basically the worst point you could choose to cross the road if you were a pedestrian. Definitely safer to consistently use the road in many places.

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Low sun is a *******.

Renders roads almost invisible.

You would have to be literally driving at walking pace in some places to avoid trouble.

I took someone's door off last year when I was blinded by it. It's the first accident I've had in 25 years. Turned right at a snails pace into a narrow road which is only wide enough for 2 cars. Car parked on the left just inside the junction with his driver door open which I didn't see because of the low sun suddenly in my eyes. Late October, 9 am. I still feel sick about it now but he's happy enough cause he's claiming for whiplash.

Edited to add -I've now invested in polarized glasses.

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http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/oldham-death-crash-glare-winter-6263203

Glare from winter sun blamed for crash that killed woman

http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news-headlines/59033/crash-drivers-jail-sentence-cut

But, with the low sun in his eyes, he failed to spot the brake lights of other vehicles and ploughed into the back of the line of traffic.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/oldham-council-bosses-consider-pelican-6429021

The police report into the death of Lynn Steele concluded glare from a low winter sun had been a factor in the incident, not the crossing, said Coun Hibbert.

Huge issue.

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The van driver admitted being unable to see the road due to glare from the sun and reflections off a wet road, with his passenger indicating that they were driving at 40-50 mph when they hit something "like going over a log".

The problem is that road safety in this county has been reduced to making sure people drive at or below the speed limit. There is no emphasis on the driver to make decisions. As long as the number on your speedo is lower than the number in the red circle, you are golden.

The basic rule as someone else has said is that you drive within your visible stopping distance. If that distance is 10 feet, then 5 mph is an appropriate speed. I do about 60 miles a day commuting at the moment, and without fail I see people doing the most awful things on the road - really eye wateringly dangerous driving. Of course, they are not breaking the speed limit, so it is all fine.

On this particular case, I've been driving quite some time, and I've never experienced sun so blinding that I can't see a body in the road. I often drive into the sun on the M4 (East in the evening is the worst), and you are clearly aware of the big glowing ball in the sky and you know that when you turn towards it, it will be harder to see. Seems odd that they all got off in this case.

Cycle lanes are crap. I used to commute into london along the A4 on a bike. Cycle lanes all the way, but unusable for a cyclist doing about 24 mph average.

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On this particular case, I've been driving quite some time, and I've never experienced sun so blinding that I can't see a body in the road. I often drive into the sun on the M4 (East in the evening is the worst), and you are clearly aware of the big glowing ball in the sky and you know that when you turn towards it, it will be harder to see. Seems odd that they all got off in this case.

Low sun on a wet road, I can imagine it would be very easy to miss. And turn around a tight corner, particularly somewhere where there are a lot of trees casting shade (the hedges on the photo on the link are tall and there's no verge) and it would be very easy to get caught by surprise. The B whatever it was isn't the M4.

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