Excessive driver courtesy nearly causes accident

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Anthony Campbel, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of consideration,
    but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday I was riding at
    about 20 mph when a car overtook me at about 30 mph. About
    15 yards ahead there was an island (but not a zebra
    crossing), where a woman with a pram and 2 children had just
    arrived to cross the road. My view of her was obscured by
    the overtaking car. The driver decided to stop to let her by
    and braked quite sharply; she set off briskly without
    waiting to see if there was anyone on the left of the car.
    Fortunately I'd glimpsed the woman a split-second
    previously, and realizing why the car was slowing I jammed
    on my brakes and just managed to stop as well. I don't like
    to think what would have happened if I'd been less alert or
    if my brakes had been less effective.

    In principle, this driver was doing a Good Thing, but in
    practice he nearly caused an accident indirectly. I'm still
    pondering what I would have done if I'd been the driver.
    Instinctively I would have done the same as he, but I'd also
    have realized that the cyclist might not have known what was
    happening and might not be able to stop. Situations like
    this are really a dilemma.

    AC
    --
    Using Linux GNU/Debian - Windows-free zone
    http://www.acampbell.org.uk (book reviews and articles)
    Email: replace "www." with "[email protected]"
     
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  2. Anthony Campbell wrote:

    > Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    > consideration, but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday
    > I was riding at about 20 mph when a car overtook me at
    > about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there was an island
    > (but not a zebra crossing), where a woman with a pram and
    > 2 children had just arrived to cross the road. My view of
    > her was obscured by the overtaking car.

    Strictly, you should have slowed down if your view of a
    zebra crossing was obscured.

    > The driver decided to stop to let her by and braked quite
    > sharply;

    ...as he is legally obliged to do - this isn't a case of
    excessive courtesy...

    > she set off briskly without waiting to see if there was
    > anyone on the left of the car.

    ...as most people would...

    > Fortunately I'd glimpsed the woman a split-second
    > previously, and realizing why the car was slowing I jammed
    > on my brakes and just managed to stop as well. I don't
    > like to think what would have happened if I'd been less
    > alert or if my brakes had been less effective.

    > In principle, this driver was doing a Good Thing, but in
    > practice he nearly caused an accident indirectly.

    No, you nearly caused the accident directly.

    > I'm still pondering what I would have done if I'd been the
    > driver. Instinctively I would have done the same as he,
    > but I'd also have realized that the cyclist might not have
    > known what was happening and might not be able to stop.
    > Situations like this are really a dilemma.

    Yes. In his position, I would not have tried to overtake you
    just before a zebra crossing. With only 15yds to go, the
    pedestrian must have been visible and a potential hazard
    before he started the overtaking manoeuvre?

    I know this comes across as sounding holier-than-thou, but
    I'm stating facts. I'm not suggesting I'd never get caught
    out in a similar situation.

    On the subject of excess courtesy, I hate it when motorists
    forego their legal right-of-way to kindly let me through -
    especially at roundabouts.

    --
    Mark.
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    "Anthony Campbell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    > consideration, but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday
    > I was riding at about 20 mph when a car overtook me at
    > about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there was an island
    > (but not a zebra crossing), where a woman with a pram and
    > 2 children had just arrived to cross the road. My view of
    > her was obscured by the overtaking car. The driver decided
    > to stop to let her by and braked quite sharply; she set
    > off briskly without waiting to see if there was anyone on
    > the left of the car. Fortunately I'd glimpsed the woman a
    > split-second previously, and realizing why the car was
    > slowing I jammed on my brakes and just managed to stop as
    > well. I don't like to think what would have happened if
    > I'd been less alert or if my brakes had been less
    > effective.
    >
    > In principle, this driver was doing a Good Thing, but in
    > practice he nearly caused an accident indirectly. I'm
    > still pondering what I would have done if I'd been the
    > driver. Instinctively I would have done the same as he,
    > but I'd also have realized that the cyclist might not have
    > known what was happening and might not be able to stop.
    > Situations like this are really a dilemma.

    The hint is in your words 'braked quite sharply' - if the
    driver wanted to do this, he's made a poor decision.
    Especially if he's just overtaken somebody - unless
    necessary to avoid an accident, stopping in front of
    somebody you just passed is extremely poor behaviour.

    (actually sounds like the car driver shouldn't have
    overtaken in the first place if your 15 yards is correct).

    What would have happened depends on a couple more things -
    how wide the road is and your relative positions. Options
    include Hit the back of the car - I discovered a shoulder is
    a good way to do this on vans, not had to find out for cars.
    Overtake the car (preferred solution) such that you let the
    pedestrian across but get to glare at the driver. Taking the
    mirror with you could be seen as yobby, but maybe the lesser
    of two evils.

    In answer to your dilemma, had you been the driver, you
    would have seen the cyclist and pedestrian, and planned your
    driving such that nobody had to brake sharply. Holding back
    behind the cyclist and not letting the pedestrian across are
    both valid options in this situation. Forcing the cyclist to
    give way is not a valid option.

    cheers, clive
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    "Mark Tranchant" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >
    > > Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    > > consideration, but the opposite can also occur.
    > > Yesterday I was riding at about 20 mph when a car
    > > overtook me at about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there
    > > was an island (but not a zebra crossing), where a woman
    > > with a pram and 2 children had just arrived to cross the
    > > road. My view of her was obscured by the overtaking car.
    >
    > Strictly, you should have slowed down if your view of a
    > zebra crossing was obscured.
    >
    > > The driver decided to stop to let her by and braked
    > > quite sharply;
    >
    > ...as he is legally obliged to do - this isn't a case of
    > excessive courtesy...

    <snip rest of post>

    Would you change your opinion if you noticed he'd said 'not
    a zebra crossing'?

    cheers, clive
     
  5. On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 11:09:53 +0100, Mark Tranchant wrote:

    > Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >
    >> Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    >> consideration, but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday
    >> I was riding at about 20 mph when a car overtook me at
    >> about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there was an island
    >> (*but not a zebra crossing*), where a woman with a pram
    >> and 2 children had just arrived to cross the road. My
    >> view of her was obscured by the overtaking car.
    >
    > Strictly, you should have slowed down if your view of a
    > zebra crossing was obscured.
    >

    Mark, there was no zebra crossing. See *.....*
    --
    Michael MacClancy Random putdown - "He had delusions of
    adequacy." - Walter Kerr www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
    www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  6. Clive George wrote:

    > "Mark Tranchant" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message news:p[email protected]...
    >
    >>Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    >>>consideration, but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday
    >>>I was riding at about 20 mph when a car overtook me at
    >>>about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there was an island
    >>>(but not a zebra crossing), where a woman with a pram and
    >>>2 children had just arrived to cross the road. My view of
    >>>her was obscured by the overtaking car.
    >>
    >>Strictly, you should have slowed down if your view of a
    >>zebra crossing was obscured.
    >>
    >>
    >>>The driver decided to stop to let her by and braked quite
    >>>sharply;
    >>
    >>...as he is legally obliged to do - this isn't a case of
    >>excessive courtesy...
    >
    >
    > <snip rest of post>
    >
    > Would you change your opinion if you noticed he'd said
    > 'not a zebra crossing'?

    Er... I might be persuaded to... (blushes).

    Scan reading text blooks has blighted me for years.

    --
    Mark.
     
  7. Clive George wrote:

    > "Mark Tranchant" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message news:p[email protected]...
    >
    >>Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >>
    >>>Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    >>>consideration, but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday
    >>>I was riding at about 20 mph when a car overtook me at
    >>>about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there was an island
    >>>(but not a zebra crossing) <snip>

    >>Strictly, you should have slowed down if your view of a
    >>zebra crossing was obscured.

    > Would you change your opinion if you noticed he'd said
    > 'not a zebra crossing'?

    Ahem. Er...I might, yes. I may even cancel the original post
    so I didn't look like a brainless prat. Let's hope no-one
    quotes it including my name...er...d'oh.

    --
    Mark.
     
  8. Michael MacClancy wrote:

    > On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 11:09:53 +0100, Mark Tranchant wrote:
    >
    >>Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >>
    >>>Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    >>>consideration, but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday
    >>>I was riding at about 20 mph when a car overtook me at
    >>>about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there was an island
    >>>(*but not a zebra crossing*), where a woman with a pram
    >>>and 2 children had just arrived to cross the road. My
    >>>view of her was obscured by the overtaking car.
    >>
    >>Strictly, you should have slowed down if your view of a
    >>zebra crossing was obscured.

    > Mark, there was no zebra crossing. See *.....*

    But...but...I would have been right if there *were* a zebra
    crossing!!!

    Idiotic post cancelled.

    --
    Mark.
     
  9. Mark McN

    Mark McN Guest

    Reply to Clive George
    > Overtake the car (preferred solution) such that you let
    > the pedestrian across but get to glare at the driver.
    >

    A year or two ago I was on a roundabout following a car,
    which stopped suddenly as it was leaving the roundabout to
    let a pedestrian cross at a traffic island. I couldn't be
    sure of stopping safely (therefore I was travelling too
    fast, I suppose), so I overtook the car, nodded to the ped
    (who I knew slightly), wagged a finger at the driver as I
    went past, and carried on. Fifty yards later the car
    overtook me and gave me the horn - another of those "I don't
    understand why you did what you've just done, so you must be
    wrong" moments.

    --
    Mark, UK. We hope to hear him swear, we love to hear him
    squeak, We like to see him biting fingers in his horny beak.
     
  10. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

  11. Davek

    Davek Guest

    Mark McN:
    > Fifty yards later the car overtook me and gave me the horn

    Attractive driver? Or do you want to rephrase that? ;-)

    d.
     
  12. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Anthony Campbell wrote:
    > Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    > consideration, but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday
    > I was riding at about 20 mph when a car overtook me at
    > about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there was an island
    > (but not a zebra crossing), where a woman with a pram and
    > 2 children had just arrived to cross the road. My view of
    > her was obscured by the overtaking car. The driver decided
    > to stop to let her by and braked quite sharply; she set
    > off briskly without waiting to see if there was anyone on
    > the left of the car. Fortunately I'd glimpsed the woman a
    > split-second previously, and realizing why the car was
    > slowing I jammed on my brakes and just managed to stop as
    > well. I don't like to think what would have happened if
    > I'd been less alert or if my brakes had been less
    > effective.
    >

    That all happened in 1.5 seconds!?

    Tony

    (15yds = 1 sec @ 30mph, 1.5s @ 20mph)
     
  13. Mark McN

    Mark McN Guest

    Reply to davek
    > the car overtook me and gave
    > > me the horn
    >
    > Attractive driver? Or do you want to rephrase that? ;-)
    >

    If you think I'm going to rise to that -
    [No!!!...must...resist...]

    --
    Mark, UK. We hope to hear him swear, we love to hear him
    squeak, We like to see him biting fingers in his horny beak.
     
  14. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 11:13:34 +0100, "Clive George"

    >The hint is in your words 'braked quite sharply' - if the
    >driver wanted to do this, he's made a poor decision.
    >Especially if he's just overtaken somebody - unless
    >necessary to avoid an accident, stopping in front of
    >somebody you just passed is extremely poor behaviour.

    It seems to me that the driver, having overtaken Anthony,
    had immediately forgotten (aka couldn't give a stuff)
    about him. Driver's fault, from what I read. Also, peds
    shouldn't walk into the road just because someone else
    gave them permission. (The same applies to other road
    users, of course.)

    James
     
  15. On 2004-06-04, Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >> Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    >> consideration, but the opposite can also occur. Yesterday
    >> I was riding at about 20 mph when a car overtook me at
    >> about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there was an island
    >> (but not a zebra crossing), where a woman with a pram and
    >> 2 children had just arrived to cross the road. My view of
    >> her was obscured by the overtaking car. The driver
    >> decided to stop to let her by and braked quite sharply;
    >> she set off briskly without waiting to see if there was
    >> anyone on the left of the car. Fortunately I'd glimpsed
    >> the woman a split-second previously, and realizing why
    >> the car was slowing I jammed on my brakes and just
    >> managed to stop as well. I don't like to think what would
    >> have happened if I'd been less alert or if my brakes had
    >> been less effective.
    >>
    >
    > That all happened in 1.5 seconds!?
    >
    > Tony
    >
    > (15yds = 1 sec @ 30mph, 1.5s @ 20mph)
    >
    >

    Thanks to everyone for comments. The option to collide with
    the car, which has been suggested, wasn't available because
    it was on my right. One thing I'm not sure about is whether
    the pedestrian was waiting for some time on the island or
    had just arrived there, having advanced rapidly from the far
    side of the road. In the latter case the driver probably had
    little choice, since if he's anything like me he's
    frequently found women advancing aggressively across the
    road pushing a pram in front of them on the assumption that
    this gives them automatic priority. I suspect that this may
    have been the case but I can't be sure because, as I said
    previously, my vision was largely blocked by the car.

    I'm still not sure that there is an easy answer to this one,
    unless it is that pedestrians should take more care when
    waved on by courteous drivers if they can't see the near
    side of the road. But they seldom do, of course.

    Anthony

    --
    Using Linux GNU/Debian - Windows-free zone
    http://www.acampbell.org.uk (book reviews and articles)
    Email: replace "www." with "[email protected]"
     
  16. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >
    > I'm still not sure that there is an easy answer to this
    > one, unless it is that pedestrians should take more care
    > when waved on by courteous drivers if they can't see the
    > near side of the road. But they seldom do, of course.
    >

    Highway Code Rules 19 and 20:

    19. Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see you
    and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles will
    need more time when the road is slippery. Remember that
    traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved
    onto the crossing. Wait until traffic has stopped from
    both directions or the road is clear before crossing.
    *Keep looking both ways, and listening, in case a driver
    or rider has not seen you and attempts to overtake a
    vehicle that has stopped*

    20. Where there is an island in the middle of a zebra
    crossing, wait on the island and follow Rule 19 before
    you cross the second half of the road - it is a
    separate crossing.

    Tony
     
  17. On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 19:20:42 +0100, Tony Raven wrote:

    > Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >>
    >> I'm still not sure that there is an easy answer to this
    >> one, unless it is that pedestrians should take more care
    >> when waved on by courteous drivers if they can't see the
    >> near side of the road. But they seldom do, of course.
    >>
    >
    > Highway Code Rules 19 and 20:
    >
    > 19. Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see
    > you and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles
    > will need more time when the road is slippery.
    > Remember that traffic does not have to stop until
    > someone has moved onto the crossing. Wait until
    > traffic has stopped from both directions or the road
    > is clear before crossing. *Keep looking both ways, and
    > listening, in case a driver or rider has not seen you
    > and attempts to overtake a vehicle that has stopped*
    >
    > 20. Where there is an island in the middle of a zebra
    > crossing, wait on the island and follow Rule 19 before
    > you cross the second half of the road - it is a
    > separate crossing.
    >
    > Tony

    The only thing he said about zebra crossings is that there
    weren't any.
    --
    Michael MacClancy Random putdown - "I feel so miserable
    without you, it's almost like having you here." -Stephen
    Bishop www.macclancy.demon.co.uk www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  18. Iain Cullen

    Iain Cullen Guest

    Anthony Campbell wrote:

    snipped
    > In principle, this driver was doing a Good Thing, but in
    > practice he nearly caused an accident indirectly. I'm
    > still pondering what I would have done if I'd been the
    > driver. Instinctively I would have done the same as he,
    > but I'd also have realized that the cyclist might not have
    > known what was happening and might not be able to stop.
    > Situations like this are really a dilemma.
    >
    > AC

    Unless the traffic was so heavy that a safe gap for the ped
    to finish crossing was unlikely to appear the driver should
    not have braked.The roads work best where everybody follows
    clear rules and can understand what everyone else is likely
    to do. The same reason cyclists should cycle as vehicles. If
    the driver was going brake and allow the ped to cross he
    should have ensured it was safe to do so. Of course had you
    hit the ped then you would have been at fault to some degree
    for an unsafe overtake as you should (as you did) look for
    the reason why the car slowed and take (as you did) the
    appropriate action. Iain
     
  19. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:
    > On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 19:20:42 +0100, Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    >> Anthony Campbell wrote:
    >>>
    >>> I'm still not sure that there is an easy answer to this
    >>> one, unless it is that pedestrians should take more care
    >>> when waved on by courteous drivers if they can't see the
    >>> near side of the road. But they seldom do, of course.
    >>>
    >>
    >> Highway Code Rules 19 and 20:
    >>
    >> 19. Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see
    >> you and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles
    >> will need more time when the road is slippery.
    >> Remember that traffic does not have to stop until
    >> someone has moved onto the crossing. Wait until
    >> traffic has stopped from both directions or the road
    >> is clear before crossing. *Keep looking both ways,
    >> and listening, in case a driver or rider has not seen
    >> you and attempts to overtake a vehicle that has
    >> stopped*
    >>
    >> 20. Where there is an island in the middle of a zebra
    >> crossing, wait on the island and follow Rule 19
    >> before you cross the second half of the road - it is
    >> a separate crossing.
    >>
    >> Tony
    >
    > The only thing he said about zebra crossings is that there
    > weren't any.

    I know but one can assume that the same or greater care
    should be taken when crossing a normal road

    Tony
     
  20. Davidr

    Davidr Guest

    > Anthony Campbell wrote:

    > > Most accidents are caused by drivers' lack of
    > > consideration, but the opposite can also occur.
    > > Yesterday I was riding at about 20 mph when a car
    > > overtook me at about 30 mph. About 15 yards ahead there
    > > was an island (but not a zebra crossing), where a woman
    > > with a pram and 2 children had just arrived to cross the
    > > road. My view of her was obscured by the overtaking car.

    > > The driver decided to stop to let her by and braked
    > > quite sharply;

    Seems a bit odd.

    You were overtaken close to a traffic island. You must have
    noticed you were approaching it. OK, the driver was wrong to
    forgot about you once ahead, but you had made preparations
    to be overtaken in a narrow gap hadn't you?
     
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