Traffic Deaths On The Rise -- What's Really To Blame?

Discussion in 'Traffic and Safety' started by JohnM, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

  2. No Static At All

    No Static At All Active Member

    Couldn't agree more, it's those damn SMART phones. People are becoming WAY too addicted & it's bordering on an epidemic as far as safety is concerned.

    Anyone screwing around with their phone while driving should receive a minimum $250.00 fine for the first offense & it should double for additional infractions. This is likely the ONLY way to get people to wake up & drive responsibly.
  3. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member


    I quit motorcycle riding-10 years ago- because of cell phones-
    While riding along I would notice the " back of head hand at left ear sign"
    as they were starting to pull out to drape me over their hood
    Usually the head would swing around as the car started across-and they would jam on the brakes with their nose 5 feet into my path
    I would have to decide to jam on the brakes or swing around them-

    So I quit the motorcycles
    Now the texting is MUCH WORSE
    Their eyes aren't even pointed in the direction they are traveling

    Oh-I still ride my bicycle everyday-maybe 5 of the miles are on city streets roads-but obviously much more slowly( maybe 15 mph MAX) than the motorcycles-and modern bikes can brake about .6g(20 feet per second per second drop in speed-so in 1 second(10 feet or so) I am stopped.
    This assume I have lightning like reflexes-which of course-I do(ha,ha)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  4. SpartyBrutus

    SpartyBrutus Hypofueller

    I believe speed limits have been raised in a number of states - and that most drivers exceed those as well.
  5. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Speed limits I'm not putting much on that one. I'd put more on "distracted driving", alcohol and drug impairment.

    A buddy of mine works for a manufacture up near New Castle, Pa. was telling me on Friday that his company put out an ad that they were hiring. They had 260 applicants and only 20 could pass the drug test ? :eek:

    City of Pittsburgh even with a requirement of 60 credit hours of college, they can barely get enough recruits for a class at the police academy. The reason very few applicants can pass a criminal back ground check and drug testing.

    Yep lets legalize marijuana and create an even bigger problem.
  6. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    I think it's a combination of 2 things.
    First, as others have mentioned, it's cell phone/texting. I see a number of different behaviors exhibited by these people, and none of them are good.
    Secondly is the general deterioration in driving skills and road courtesy. The "every man for himself, my time is more valuable than yours" mindset creates dangerous conditions. Speeding and cutting over at the last possible second to get 3 cars further ahead causes so many accidents it's ridiculous. Aggressive driving is just as dangerous as distracted driving.
    It has gotten WAY worse over the last few years. It appears that the "entitled generation" carries this mentality over to their driving, although i see plenty of mature drivers with poor skills also.
  7. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    I don't think increased speed limits are as big a problem as decreased enforcement. Speeders used to have to worry about getting caught. Budget cuts and fear of being accused of operating a speed trap have practically eliminated effective enforcement of limits in too many jurisdictions.
  8. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Yes. All of the above. But especially your last point, at least where I live. The "crazy aggressive" driving seems to have increased substantially. I would attribute some of this to congestion -- somewhat more crowded and a lot more crazies.

    A slight tangent, but it just seems like people can't control their moods anymore - anywhere from the interstate to the baseball bleachers. And then I have to wonder if everybody is "on" something. Something like 70% of Americans are taking a prescription drug (many take multiple) and 1 in 5 is taking a psychiatric drug. That's before we even start talking about nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and all the illegal stuff. Every year it gets a little worse.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  9. No Static At All

    No Static At All Active Member

    Amen to that. I would NEVER consider getting out on the road with a motorcycle these days. Most drivers are just too impatient & occupied with other things to look out for 2 wheelers.
  10. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    Good point Carcus, i remember when we were raising our normal healthy intelligent sons, several of the educators and staff tried to get us to medicate them. They didn't need medicated, they need challenged! They were bored! Yet, the first thing out of their mouths was "put them on Ritalin!"

    They turned out fine BTW, one got a full academic scholarship to The University of Pittsburgh and is a Mechanical Engineer. The other has a degree in chemistry, works as a process engineer for AK steel, and has 2 fine sons of his own.

    But i digress. I have a longish commute(about an hour each way), and i see so much of this dangerous behavior every day. I don't have as much of an issue with the speeding as i do with the weaving in and out and tailgating, and other aggressive maneuvers. I had my Kizashi totaled as a direct result of 2 of those bad behaviors. Someone cut over into my lane at the last second causing the car in fornt of me to brake hard, and causing me to brake hard also. The person tailgating me plowed into the rear of my car and shoved me into the rear of the car in front of me. There is an accident on that same stretch of road several times PER WEEK. The state police aren't shy about handing out speeding tickets, i wish they would go after these menaces with just as much vigor. These people cause accidents! These people would never even consider cutting in a line at the grocery store, yet pout them behind the wheel and they will cut you off with nary a second thought.
  11. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    No Static
    Right it is a shame-motorcycles were fun
    But getting center punched 90 degree hit
    or getting HOOD ORNAMENTED-from getting rear ended
    Not for me
    In a modern car-you survive those hits
    On a bike-either bike-you are dead or mangled

    I blame "electronic crapola" for 99% of the increased risk

    Traffic deaths had been STEADILY decreasing
    Despite the obvious degradation of driving skills

    Until NOW-
    when electronic crapola in cars finally hit critical mass

    Sooo obvious it is the smart phones-
    Increase in phones=increase in traffic deaths-
    despite MUCH safer cars
    Heck you really really have to get hit hard to get killed in a modern car
  12. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I might still get a motorcycle , but I will only use it Sunday mornings to head out of town. It's been a while since I sold the last one (1998). I can still ride. But it's not as important as it once was. Besides , Cindi and I are going to Costa Rica and I need to save the $$$.

    One of these days......
  13. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member


    Yeah I have similar plans-somedays.
    I find myself eyeing buell blasts-
    cheap simple single cylinder light weight
    not wild about the styling-but suits my stubby legs
    The last bike I had was a 1980 SR500 kickstart 500cc yamaha single
    I owned 11 different ones-despite all 4 years being essentially the same bike(with exception of minor carb. changes and switch to rear drum in 1980-81)
    Owned 4 different ones at the same time(yeah they all ran)
    Yes I am a compulsive type(ha,ha-like you guys aren't)

    Costa Rica?? pretty beaches?? cheap ?? what is the attraction??
  14. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Yes, it is cheap. Cindi wants to go , and I want to be with Cindi. I haven't been out of the country for 17 years. Time to go !

    I'm also liking a single-cylinder Honda or BMW. They both make some nice parallel twins , too. I want a bike as tall as MY OWN stubby little legs can handle , so I have a chance to see and be seen ( for safety , not vanity reasons).
  15. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    I'm stuck in a time warp MC wise.
    I owned BOTH Honda Ascots-the single and the twin
    The single was "converted" retrofitted to electric start by honda-about 1981???
    It was one of Honda's few mis-steps
    They "ate" starter mechanisms
    The 500cc V-Twin-I never should have sold that bike-shaft drive but cool anyway-light quick-lowish seat height.

    The SR500's actually had a measured seat height of 31-32" but it was sooo narrow and light-it felt low.
    I like the honda 650 dual purpose bikes-but 37" seat height-5'5" 27" inseam-forget it
    Even super moto versions-33-34" too tall

    The BMW- single $8000 new- used maybe 1/2 that-I like it
    but it is heavier than it needs to be
    At one time-I think it was a 5 valve motor-perhaps a cousin of the 5 valve Yamahas-maybe even some Italian heritage on the motor??(forget why/if/how I remember that-probbaly wrong)
    anyway 5 valve head-excessive
    Like Hondas 4 stroke 8 valve OVAL cylinder 500cc that tried to beat the 2 strokes-
    with freddie spencer I think-??
    Anyway excessive

    So Costa rica cheap and fun-why not!
  16. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Yeah , I had an Ascot FT500 single , Charlie. It was a good bike , but a little buzzy over 55 MPH. That's typical , though. I recall that mine had an electric starter. Maybe a 1984 model ?
    I'm 5'6" , but I think I could handle a 33" dual-purpose or supermoto , especially if there's a bit of sag. I sat on a KLR650 once, and it was doable for me. But I'd prefer something less than 500cc if I want a single.
  17. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    I was unclear.
    All the ascot singles had an electric starter
    but they would break
    I meant that Honda took the 500cc XL500 dual purpose motor-which was kickstart only
    and converted it to electric start
    They would frequently break(but they were easy to push start-so not too miserable)
    There are a couple of 250 or 300 cc bikes now-dual purpose and super moto also I think

    Yamaha brought back the SR500 as a SR400- but still no electric start-so doubt it will sell very well- $5400 no electric start??
    Cool looking-but the folks who would like it-oldsters-are too gimpy to want a kickstart bike

    The Blast is cheap and light-but not a fan of the styling-and I prefer a chain rather than a belt(yeah belts are functionally great-but I like the mechanical look of a chain)
  18. Jocko

    Jocko Active Member

    Road deaths in Scotland are falling year on year, with a drop of 17% last year. This is mainly down to better, safer cars. We also have a maximum speed limit of 70 mph on all our motorways and trunk roads, with lower limits where required. Most towns have a 20 mph limit in housing areas and other parts of towns and cities. Edinburgh will have a blanket 20 mph speed limit for all bar the four of five main drags into the city, which will be 30 or 40 mph, depending on traffic and suitability.
    Drink driving legislation is stricter in Scotland than the rest of the UK at 22 mcg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. If you fail the breath test you will be banned from driving, usually for a period of 12 months. And try getting insurance with that on your record. It will cost you an arm, a leg, and a kidney.
    Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal in the UK, unless it is a totally hands-free device. If caught, it is an instant £200 fine and 6 penalty points (12 points and you are banned). If you don't pay and go to court and are found guilty it is a fine of up to £1000 (£2500 for truck and bus drivers), and a ban.
    Another thing about driving on UK multi-lane roads is lane discipline. You have to drive in lane one and use lane two for overtaking. On roads with more than two lanes vehicles can move out a lane to overtake, but must return to the inside lane after completing the manoeuvre. On roads with three or more lanes truck are not allowed to use the outside lane. It is illegal to "undertake" (pass a vehicle on the nearside) unless you are in a one way system and the lanes are marked accordingly.
    Biggest loss of life in the UK is among young drivers and bikers (or organ donors as the A & E medics refer to them). We have a fair preponderance of born again bikers, who had a 250 cc as a lad, and now, on reaching their midlife crisis and having the money to indulge their passion, go out and buy a 1000 cc sports bike. Many die in single vehicle accidents on Scotland's windy roads. Too much power, too little experience.
    How do you feel about such regulation where you drive?
    BillLin likes this.
  19. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I see you're practicing what you preached (in a different and mostly dead thread). :) Good idea asking questions to encourage more participation.

    I only wish we had more strict enforcement here in Massachusetts. Sympathetic judges for drink driving (driving while intoxicated) seem too prevalent in cases we see in the news. I believe we have laws in place about hands-free cell phone use, but I notice cell phones glued to drivers' faces all too often, police officers on patrol included. And it is disconcerting to pass someone driving in the opposite direction, and their attention is to something in their lap. That HAS to be texting while driving. Those are the same people who would be at a stop light and are not paying attention to the light changing to green, thereby delaying everyone and possibly forcing multiple light cycles for the unlucky ones in the back of the line (queue). Stop signs are not being obeyed. Some drivers are so blatant they barely slow down. I've started using a dash cam, but so far it is just my passive way to gather evidence of people blowing through red lights. It's also for my own defense in case anything happens. I haven't gone after (reported) anyone. Yet. :)
    xcel likes this.
  20. Jocko

    Jocko Active Member

    I have a dash cam fitted as well. When I was first insuring the Jazz, I still had my Volvo, meaning I couldn't use my no-claims-bonus on the new policy. To keep the initial price down a bit my wife suggested that instead of taking legal cover I buy a dash cam. Like you, I have never used any of the video I have gathered. I once looked back on it to check on myself! I had been followed by a distinctive car and I looked in the mirror to see him sitting at a red light. It was a pedestrian crossing, which is seldom anything but green, and my first though was "I must have blasted through that on red". I took the camera down and checked the video. I was relieved to see I passed it on green and I didn't even see the pedestrian who pressed the button. At my age (69), I always have the worry my driving is deteriorating quicker than I realise. For my 70th birthday I have asked for a two hour driver assessment!
    At the end of next month we have the new Forth Bridge opening (the "Queensferry Crossing") and intend to keep the video of my first crossing for posterity.


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