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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:07 PM   #1241
Penn's Woods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyknightsfan View Post
What's the deal with those 'No Passing Zone' signs? The line markings say its legal to overtake but the signs say no?
A solid line on your side means, don't pass. A "no passing zone" sign announces the beginning of one. As does the solid line on the right that begins at that point on the pavement.

EDIT: Responded before I saw your next post. So in response to that question (why lines AND a sign?), is there any harm in reinforcing the message? Particularly since you can see the sign well before you'll see the line? (I'll stop rhyming now....)
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:11 PM   #1242
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Yep, this is what traffic engineers in Europe see as "those dumb Americans who never really learned how to drive". It's known fact that roundabouts are much safer than intersections and the American traffic fatality rate is much higher than elsewhere in the developed world.
Oh, sometimes I wish Europeans would just stuff it. Seriously.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:26 PM   #1243
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
It's known fact that roundabouts are much safer than intersections and the American traffic fatality rate is much higher than elsewhere in the developed world.
Not sure what these have to do with one another, for two reasons:

1) I'm almost certain that many if not most fatal accidents don't occur at intersections.
2) We drive more here than anywhere else, so a higher fatality rate is to be expected.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #1244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor L Gee View Post
Not sure what these have to do with one another, for two reasons:

1) I'm almost certain that many if not most fatal accidents don't occur at intersections.
2) We drive more here than anywhere else, so a higher fatality rate is to be expected.
2. is true. 1. is not. More fatal accidents (and accidents in general) occur at intersections than at any other place on the road.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #1245
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2. is true. 1. is not. More fatal accidents (and accidents in general) occur at intersections than at any other place on the road.
I stand corrected on that.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #1246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyknightsfan View Post
What's the deal with those 'No Passing Zone' signs? The line markings say its legal to overtake but the signs say no?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
is there any harm in reinforcing the message? Particularly since you can see the sign well before you'll see the line? (I'll stop rhyming now....)
This..

Quote:
"those dumb Americans who never really learned how to drive"
And this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Oh, sometimes I wish Europeans would just stuff it. Seriously.
He is right though.. The US has some terrible drivers and here you can get a license without even having to drive on an actual road, like in India.. In Europe the driving tests aren't easy, I'd probably fail the first or few times and I consider myself a decent driver minus my aggressive driving. If we had the same kind of tests here I'm pretty sure we'd have quite a few people without licenses here. I've seen people fail driving tests here even with laid back instructors, its bad..
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #1247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Oh, sometimes I wish Europeans would just stuff it. Seriously.
An inconvenient truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor L Gee View Post
2) We drive more here than anywhere else, so a higher fatality rate is to be expected.
An American stereotype is that they drive cars more often than Europeans. While this is true to an extent, the difference is not so big it can explain the significant difference in traffic fatalities. 92% of the American passenger miles are traveled by car, in Europe this is 86%. The number of people killed per 1,000,000 inhabitants in the United States is about 120. In most European countries, this number is generally between 40 and 80. This difference is much bigger than the difference in motorization, which means there are other causes.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #1248
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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
This..


And this


He is right though.. The US has some terrible drivers and here you can get a license without even having to drive on an actual road, like in India.. In Europe the driving tests aren't easy, I'd probably fail the first or few times and I consider myself a decent driver minus my aggressive driving. If we had the same kind of tests here I'm pretty sure we'd have quite a few people without licenses here. I've seen people fail driving tests here even with laid back instructors, its bad..
Until the 1970s, Belgium was issuing driver's licenses at post offices to anyone who asked, without any sort of test or education whatsoever.

And he is not right to call us "dumb." I spend a lot of time on European forums and the generalizations about us and contempt for us - every single one of us, because of our nationality - are constant. And I'm sick of it. (EDIT: Chris - and this forum in general - are not the sort of forum and participant I'm thinking of. It just struck a nerve. Sorry I overreacted.)
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:58 PM   #1249
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An inconvenient truth.
Not the "dumb" part.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #1250
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Until the 1970s, Belgium was issuing driver's licenses at post offices to anyone who asked, without any sort of test or education whatsoever.
And Belgium subsequently has the worst traffic safety record of western Europe.

Quote:
And he is not right to call us "dumb." I spend a lot of time on European forums and the generalizations about us and contempt for us - every single one of us, because of our nationality - are constant. And I'm sick of it.
I just illustrated how traffic engineers in Europe think about American driving. Someone without education is.. to bluntly say it... dumb. The same goes for people without a decent driver's education. And the figures confirm it. The U.S. must take steps to improve traffic safety and tighten rules about driver's licenses. A lot of people are simply incapable of driving. Of course there are loads of dumb drivers in Europe too...
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:03 PM   #1251
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Please see my edit to post 1207. (That was formal....)

Nog eens, het spijt mij.

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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #1252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Until the 1970s, Belgium was issuing driver's licenses at post offices to anyone who asked, without any sort of test or education whatsoever.

And he is not right to call us "dumb." I spend a lot of time on European forums and the generalizations about us and contempt for us - every single one of us, because of our nationality - are constant. And I'm sick of it.
There are dumb people everywhere, I wouldn't take it so seriously. Everybody including us Americans generalize, I am both European and American so I constantly listen to stupid generalizations from both sides. There is no point of taking it seriously, everybody has their own opinion and there isn't much one can do to change that. Slightly on topic is having been in Europe and I've lived here for many years I would still argue Europeans overall are better drivers.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:11 PM   #1253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
An American stereotype is that they drive cars more often than Europeans. While this is true to an extent, the difference is not so big it can explain the significant difference in traffic fatalities. 92% of the American passenger miles are traveled by car, in Europe this is 86%. The number of people killed per 1,000,000 inhabitants in the United States is about 120. In most European countries, this number is generally between 40 and 80. This difference is much bigger than the difference in motorization, which means there are other causes.
When you compare passenger miles, are you comparing the US to Europe as a whole or to individual countries?
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #1254
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The European Union average as shown by Eurostat (I was off a bit, it is 83.3 - 83.8%)
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:20 PM   #1255
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It would be nice to have data in cities and rural areas. I would be willing to bet that rural areas are about the same rate of fatalities, but urban areas the US is higher. Then lets think about minor "fender bender" crashes, I bet the accident rates aren't too much different. My theory is that in Europe you very rarely will go above 35mph or 60km/h in an urban area minus motorways. In the US in some cities you have speed limits as high as 50mph or 80km/h just miles from the city center. Higher speeds=higher fatality rate. For example I have a hard time believing that somebody would die in an accident in a roundabout, so the fact Americans have trouble using them wouldn't increase fatality.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:25 PM   #1256
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To point out some traffic safety issues:

* driver's ed
* DUI
* texting while driving
* SUV's / light trucks
* large uncontrolled intersections
* extreme weather

Of course these are issues in Europe as well, but some of them are more pronounced in the U.S. For instance I believe extreme weather (floods, blizzards, high winds) are a bigger issue in the U.S. than in Europe. Driver's ed is, as pointed out earlier, pretty minimal. Driving under influence is also a very big problem in parts of Europe, but this may be even more pronounced in the United States as younger people are allowed to drive (kids actually).

A major problem are the large number of light trucks and SUV's on the road. It's a common misperception these are safe vehicles. They are not. While they can protect the occupants better than small cars, they are susceptible to rollovers, have more kinetic energy and are more destructive to smaller vehicles in a crash.

Road design is another issue, especially driveway access and uncontrolled intersections on multi-lane highways. Try making a left turn on a busy 4-lane road when there are no traffic signals. As someone pointed out, conflict points (intersections) are prone to traffic fatalities due to the higher speeds involved.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #1257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
To point out some traffic safety issues:

* driver's ed
* DUI
* texting while driving
* SUV's / light trucks
* large uncontrolled intersections
* extreme weather

Of course these are issues in Europe as well, but some of them are more pronounced in the U.S. For instance I believe extreme weather (floods, blizzards, high winds) are a bigger issue in the U.S. than in Europe. Driver's ed is, as pointed out earlier, pretty minimal. Driving under influence is also a very big problem in parts of Europe, but this may be even more pronounced in the United States as younger people are allowed to drive (kids actually).

A major problem are the large number of light trucks and SUV's on the road. It's a common misperception these are safe vehicles. They are not. While they can protect the occupants better than small cars, they are susceptible to rollovers, have more kinetic energy and are more destructive to smaller vehicles in a crash.

Road design is another issue, especially driveway access and uncontrolled intersections on multi-lane highways. Try making a left turn on a busy 4-lane road when there are no traffic signals. As someone pointed out, conflict points (intersections) are prone to traffic fatalities due to the higher speeds involved.
I agree with all of those except DUI due to age. I mean even though many people drink under 21 here it still does stop people. Being younger doesn't necessarily mean more DUI's, I'm pretty sure most people arrested on DUI here in the US are actually middle aged. DUI is just as big in Europe, luckily in Europe if you are in an urban area you don't need to drive which isn't true in the US.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #1258
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An SUV or pickup is safe to drive as long as it's driven according to its size and capabilities. Problems occur when, say, someone decides to drive their Tahoe as if it had the handling of an M3. As far as "more destructive to smaller vehicles in a crash," well, you get the same effect when you crash an E-Class into a Ford Ka. That's just physics.

Everything else you said there, I have no issues with. Especially about uncontrolled intersections, which are very prevalent in suburban areas... and very unsafe as well.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #1259
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I agree with all of those except DUI due to age. I mean even though many people drink under 21 here it still does stop people. Being younger doesn't necessarily mean more DUI's, I'm pretty sure most people arrested on DUI here in the US are actually middle aged. DUI is just as big in Europe, luckily in Europe if you are in an urban area you don't need to drive which isn't true in the US.
It happens I was in college, in a jurisdiction (the District of Columbia) with a drinking age of 18, at the time the raise to 21 was being considered. So I have engraved in my memory the fact, at least as it was reported in student papers at the time, that the age group most guilty of DUI was 25 to 30.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #1260
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It happens I was in college, in a jurisdiction (the District of Columbia) with a drinking age of 18, at the time the raise to 21 was being considered. So I have engraved in my memory the fact, at least as it was reported in student papers at the time, that the age group most guilty of DUI was 25 to 30.
Still years above any age people start driving.
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