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 No Surprise - No Accident
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Horse
Senior Member
263 Posts


Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom

BMW

R850RT

Posted - 12/12/2014 :  5:45 AM                       Like
A new initiative in the UK, set up by a highly-experienced instructor, an aviation expert (and inventor of the SIAM) and an air ambulance pilot.

http://nosurprise.org.uk/

http://nosurprise.org.uk/blog/

Plenty to read. I'm sure they'd be interested to hear your thoughts :)

DataDan
Advanced Member
540 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 12/12/2014 :  7:51 PM
Thanks for posting that, Horse.

If I may, here's an excerpt from the site's Background & Aims:



We believe that if significant inroads are to be made into motorcycle casualties, three things need to happen to allow a 'New View':

1) The road safety industry needs accept that road users' assessments and actions made sense at the time, given the circumstances that surrounded them and move away from a safety culture that revolves around deterrent and punishment for making errors. Although these may temporarily eliminate what is seen by others as an undesirable behaviour, they can and do create anxiety, hostility and anger, as well as teaching the intended recipient to increasingly try to avoid the punishment (i.e., "not get caught") rather than the avoid the behaviour it's intended to deter.

2) The road safety industry needs a single, robust, unifying, easily stated theory that fits with scientific principles and incorporates fundamental knowledge from the fields of human factors, neuroscience, psychology and perception as well from established practice in the aviation industry.

3) Education need to focus on training motorcyclists to learn how 'reverse engineer' common crashes. As motorcyclists we need to understand how we make mistakes that lead to single vehicle crashes. We need to accept that "it takes two to tangle" dynamics in collisions involving two parties mean there are actions we can take to avoid being caught up in 'the other fellow's' mistake.

4) Motorcyclists' expectations need to be shifted away from the idea that "we'll be safe if 'THEY' do the right things", whether that's other road users, highway designers or even the courts. We need to stop thinking that the system of roads and our interactions with other users on them should be be 'fixed' for us and harness the power of predictive riding to avoid being surprised by events we could have foreseen.



For a plainer description of the group's focus I recommend this blog post by Duncan MacKillop: Crashing Sucks. He's the instructor who invented the SMIDSY weave (or if he didn't invent it, he has certainly done an excellent job of bringing it to the attention of the motorcycling public). He writes:

It seemed that the default setting was with encouraging people to ride like the experts ride. If, as the reasoning goes, an expert rides like this and doesn't have any accidents, then if you also ride like an expert then you too will not have any accidents. This seemed to completely miss the point that even if you were able to create experts from ordinary riders, even experts can get it horribly wrong sometimes yet there was no desire to find out why that should be so.

This is what is referred to as the "Perfect Ride" in Background & Aims: If you don't make mistakes, you won't crash. But it ignores the inherent fallibility of humans, both on motorcycles and in other vehicles. As they say: "We believe firmly that rider training must move away from focussing on the 'Perfect Ride' to understanding how and why mistakes, miscalculations and errors of judgment occur."

For more on the fallacy of simply doing what the experts do, see the article Survivorship Bias, which I've mentioned before.

Edited by - DataDan on 12/12/2014 8:09 PM
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DataDan
Advanced Member
540 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 12/13/2014 :  2:17 PM
I've gone through the No Surprise / No Accident website and found that their view of motorcycle crashes is very similar to my own: Most happen because a common event transpires in an unexpected way. The rider predicts an outcome experience has taught him to expect, but it doesn't work out that way. As they put it:

The vast majority of crashes are not the result of aberrant or erratic behaviour, nor the inherent unreliability of a few accident-prone people doing extraordinary things. Rather, the majority involve ordinary road users doing ordinary things.

We can safely say those road users did not set out to crash. We can also deduce that the rider or driver about to make a poor decision leading to a crash is nearly always unaware that on this occasion they are about to put themselves into trouble--and this is a key point--because they have successfully completed the task many times before in what appears to be exactly the same situation.


The rider or the driver of another vehicle makes a mistake, and the event doesn't unfold as it usually does, leading to a collision.

For example: A motorcyclist is westbound on a familiar undivided four-lane road that narrows to two lanes ahead, the suburban surroundings becoming more rural. In the #2 lane, he accelerates to overtake a slower vehicle in the #1 before the merge. But just ahead an eastbound car is turning into a farm on the rider's right. The vehicle in the #1 lane blocked the line of sight between the overtaking motorcyclist and the left-turner, and the two collide. Neither rider nor driver--for both of whom this is well-known territory--predicted the appearance of an interfering vehicle.

The website continues:

Fundamentally, we need to produce riders who can accept the road is not a perfect environment and that other road users are fallible [I would add that we motorcyclists must accept that we also make mistakes]. If we can increase the likelihood of a rider using predictive riding and identifying the predictable circumstances which are likely to result in human error by themselves or another road user, we reduce the chance they will be surprised, and increase they chance that they will be able to take avoiding or evasive action, because it's surprises that precipitate unplanned responses.


Not only do I agree with the approach--improve motorcyclists' ability to predict event outcomes--I practice it. For 10 years I have collected crash accounts that hold a lesson from news and forum posts, and I sometimes write about them in another forum (for example, the thread "Five Ways to Crash (plus one)" corresponds closely to MacKillop's five crash types). Nearly every time I ride, I encounter a situation I realize might produce a pathological outcome. On rare occasions, the predicted outcome has occurred, but expecting it, I've kept clear of the conflict.

However, practicing the approach myself and persuading others to practice it are two very different things. I doubt that more than a handful of readers of my posts about crash scenarios have adopted the observations and reactions I've tried to persuade them to.

Which leads me to what I see as the missing piece of No Surprise / No Accident: How will they get their message out to the motorcycling community? Lots of paradigm shifting, not enough appeal to ordinary riders.
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gymnast
Moderator
4263 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 12/13/2014 :  3:07 PM
"We can safely say those road users did not set out to crash. We can also deduce that the rider or driver about to make a poor decision leading to a crash is nearly always unaware that on this occasion they are about to put themselves into trouble--and this is a key point--because they have successfully completed the task many times before in what appears to be exactly the same situation."

Some vehicle operators do not set out not to crash, they are just "going somewhere" while they are texting, drunk, high or all three. It is as safe bet that they account for more of their fair share of crashes and oft times the crashes involve "innocent others". The ability to recognize aberrant operator behavior and respond to it in such a way as to have minimal effect on ones own well being is a less than perfect "art" however it is becoming a bigger part of the necessary survival toolbox with each passing year.

This is not a criticism of the above posts , just an added 2 cents worth. Anything that can improve an individuals "non collision behaviors" is desirable. The "No Surprise" approach to vehicle operation is interesting and hopefully produces increased awareness and positive results.
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Horse
Senior Member
263 Posts


Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom

BMW

R850RT

Posted - 12/15/2014 :  3:54 AM
quote:
Originally posted by DataDan Which leads me to what I see as the missing piece of No Surprise / No Accident: How will they get their message out to the motorcycling community? Lots of paradigm shifting, not enough appeal to ordinary riders.



I'm not directly involved with NS, but I wouldn't rule out that aspect being gradually introduced, along with (perhaps even preceded by), information for instructors.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2263 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 12/16/2014 :  3:04 AM
quote:
Originally posted by DataDan

For 10 years I have collected crash accounts that hold a lesson from news and forum posts, and I sometimes write about them in another forum (for example, the thread "Five Ways to Crash (plus one)" corresponds closely to MacKillop's five crash types). Nearly every time I ride, I encounter a situation I realize might produce a pathological outcome. On rare occasions, the predicted outcome has occurred, but expecting it, I've kept clear of the conflict.

However, practicing the approach myself and persuading others to practice it are two very different things. I doubt that more than a handful of readers of my posts about crash scenarios have adopted the observations and reactions I've tried to persuade them to.

Which leads me to what I see as the missing piece of No Surprise / No Accident: How will they get their message out to the motorcycling community? Lots of paradigm shifting, not enough appeal to ordinary riders.



As for those who either 'get it' or those that are not persuaded, I wonder if it is attitude that gets in the way.
Speaking from experience, I can easily visualize an ugly outcome in traffic that will scare me straight. IOW, I'm able (and willing) to picture how something might go wrong and this helps keep me moderating my speed and actions of affording more buffer and margin of error in any vehicle I'm driving.

I believe this characteristic is born of my few near deadly tangles involving car crashes and both the traumatic memories I know of consciously or the subconscious memory taking over somewhat.

In my first crash, I was (not seatbelted) tossed out of the vehicle landing on the pavement by impact to the back of my head. There was nothing conscious about that result for most of a week.
In the second crash, I was belted but still suffered a closed-head injury that was un-diagnosed for the better part of 6 - 8 weeks.

Even if my memory of pain and suffering were vague (it is), knowing how these events impacted my family and loved one's makes me respect them all the more by pledging to be extra safe and smart about the things I do.

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