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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #1261
ChrisZwolle
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Young drivers are a major traffic safety risk. They are inexperienced, and are more often under influence or driving distracted (with friends). For instance, young drivers are involved in 20% of the severe accidents, while they represent only 8% of those with a drivers license and drive only 3 - 5% of the mileage.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #1262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Young drivers are a major traffic safety risk. They are inexperienced, and are more often under influence or driving distracted (with friends). For instance, young drivers are involved in 20% of the severe accidents, while they represent only 8% of those with a drivers license and drive only 3 - 5% of the mileage.
Inexperience and peer related things I can agree with for some but again being under the influence is usually not as big of an issue for new drivers as somebody 10 years older. I live in Florida and I can tell you older drivers cause more problems than younger here.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 06:05 PM   #1263
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We have aggressive, drunk, stupid, distracted drivers in the US and so does Europe. But we drive larger trucks and cars than Europeans. A 2 ton SUV in a collision in an intersection or highway is far more likely to cause fatalities than a Fiat or SmartCar. Plus a typical American will drive many more miles than their European counterpart due to the difference in fuel costs. That adds additional exposure to risks. A better metric for comparison is collisions per X number of miles driven, not fatalities. This is no different than the murder rate: we have violent assaults and so do they. We are armed with guns, they use knives. Victims of gunshot wounds tend to die in higher numbers than victims of knife wounds. Not a 100% corellation, but you get the point.

That said, driver's licenses are much harder to get in Europe than the US and driver education is better. We churn out 16-18 year old drivers that are ill-equipped to do the dance out there in the wilds. And we have elderly drivers that lack the necessary reflexes to mix it up or can die in a minor accident. It's a dumbell-shaped chart for MVAs.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 06:14 PM   #1264
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Nicely put.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #1265
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Still years above any age people start driving.
That's my point. The argument from students (particularly on a campus where few people had cars) being, taking away our right to drink will not solve drunk driving.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #1266
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I live in Florida and I can tell you older drivers cause more problems than younger here.
The downside of living in the Sunshine Retirement State
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Old October 6th, 2011, 07:45 PM   #1267
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Now I know that Michigan is not a flat state, but hilly with curvy roads. It's presumably more fun to drive here, than in Texas ?
The autumn landscape, birches and other vegetation looks very scandinavian to me, probably the weather too.
Michigan has probably quite a Scandinavian feel. Especially in the north where big part of population is of Finnish and Swedish ancestry. I can't be sure as I never been to Scandinavia though

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Oh, sometimes I wish Europeans would just stuff it. Seriously.
Exactly. Especially in some eastern countries. In my native Poland signage is often confusing, directional signs lack any logic etc.

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An inconvenient truth.

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.
Percentage of passenger miles driven are similar but how about of total mileage per person? It might be higher in the US. 92% of let say 50000 miles traveled a year is way more than 86% of 25000. Do you have any data about that?

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I just illustrated how traffic engineers in Europe think about American driving. Someone without education is.. to bluntly say it... dumb.
I couldn't disagree more. Dumb is definitely strong negative term. And someone without education might be quite clever, in fact much more intelligent than "educated one" Please be careful with your statements Chris.


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The same goes for people without a decent driver's education.
Usually but not always. Some people just have ability to be good drivers (reflex, spacial awareness etc) some don't. And no amount education can change that.
Having said that good education is of course important.

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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...
Agree on that.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 08:23 PM   #1268
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Quite an alarming percentage of the U.S. traffic fatalities were not wearing seat belts. This was 55% in 2006. It also shows the percentage of people killed who were not wearing seat belts is higher with people in SUV's and pickup trucks. These vehicles really give a false feeling of safety.

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810948.PDF
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:26 PM   #1269
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A couple of comments:

Yes, US 20 across Indiana and northwestern Ohio is a very commonly used 'shunpike' route for trucks/lorries avoiding I-80/90 tolls.

Also, Chris, many USA states have been tightening up driver licensing rules in recent years, converting to 'graduated' licensing for young drivers, increasing privileges as they gain experience over time. It seems to be working well so far.

Interesting, too, is that the roundabout diagram shown on that WisDOT (Wisconsin) highway map is of the layout of the one at the east end of the new College Ave Fox River Bridge here in Appleton - as shown in Geogregor's image, the left leg is College Ave from the bridge, up is Walter Ave to the north, right is College Ave to the east and the downward leg is John St to the southeast.

And yes, there was a lot of apprehension about roundabouts but, as the public is gaining experience with them, public opinion here is very quickly turning into their favor. The one that I discussed in the above paragraph is very popular with the locals here in Appleton and, IMHO, was the best possible solution for that intersection.

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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #1270
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Yep, you can also see the American fatality rate is finally declining faster since 2007. Maybe my comments were based on my earlier research, which is partially outdated by now. It also helps that the older (less safe) car fleet is being replaced now.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #1271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Quite an alarming percentage of the U.S. traffic fatalities were not wearing seat belts. This was 55% in 2006. It also shows the percentage of people killed who were not wearing seat belts is higher with people in SUV's and pickup trucks. These vehicles really give a false feeling of safety.

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810948.PDF
There are a lot of ad campaigns telling people to use their seat belts, and laws are becoming more strict. For example, Virginia has required all vehicle occupants to use seat belts for many years, but only recently did they make a law allowing police to stop people for that reason alone. Previously they could give you a ticket for it, but they had to have another reason to stop you.

It's been a habit of mine for as long as I can remember to always use seat belts. I understand how ridiculously stupid it is to not bother with a seat belt and I wish more people did.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 12:41 AM   #1272
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I call it natural selection.. There are people who go as far as to argue the rare occurrences where seatbelts did more harm than good(again rare) and people say that seatbelts are always more harmful. There are others that say they won't wear seatbelts because they won't let the government control them, I say let them fly out the windshield then.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 01:06 AM   #1273
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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
I call it natural selection.. There are people who go as far as to argue the rare occurrences where seatbelts did more harm than good(again rare) and people say that seatbelts are always more harmful. There are others that say they won't wear seatbelts because they won't let the government control them, I say let them fly out the windshield then.
+1, sir.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 02:57 AM   #1274
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How do we even know if the data from accidents in Europe can be trusted? Half of the countries are shady and corrupt to say the least.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 04:40 AM   #1275
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I would tend to agree, I suspect the US data would be more honest if not even inflated compared to the European.
Just me but I would feel overall safer touring the US than any southern European country
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Old October 7th, 2011, 04:58 AM   #1276
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How do we even know if the data from accidents in Europe can be trusted? Half of the countries are shady and corrupt to say the least.
It was data from western European countries which have the safest road in the world. UK, Scandinavia, Germany are all safer than USA. The question is how much safer.
Statistics for countries like Poland, Lithuania or Ukraine are much, much worse.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 05:56 AM   #1277
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Different question - why do they need signs if the line markings already say that?!
I would say about 50% of all signs in the U.S. are "spelled out". Only very simple ones are not.

Instead of memorizing a billion different signs, all you have to do here it just learn how to read (quickly ).

Here are just a few examples:

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Old October 7th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #1278
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But it doesn't take a genius to know that an upside-down red triangle* still means "yield" even if YIELD isn't spelled out in it...And frankly, the number in the middle of the sign intuitively suggests that it's the speed limit (although an American would need to remember to convert from mph to kmph). Those standardized pictographic European road signs are much more intuitive than many American ones...it's the nonstandard ones that muck everything up.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 07:19 PM   #1279
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Agree. The examples that Trilesy provided have to be memorised - regardless if something is written there or not. That is because when you are several hundred metres away, you absolutely cannot read what the sign says but you are able to recognise what type it is because of its shape and colour (red triangle with or without "Yield", red circle or white rectangle). Contrary to what some people say, Americans learn to recognise traffic signs by their shape and colour - even if it has much more textual information compared to European ones. Even if you remove "Speed limit" text from the US speed limit sign, people will still know it is a speed limit sign - and how would this be different from a European red circle?
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Old October 8th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #1280
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Contrary to what some people say, Americans learn to recognise traffic signs by their shape and colour - even if it has much more textual information compared to European ones. Even if you remove "Speed limit" text from the US speed limit sign, people will still know it is a speed limit sign - and how would this be different from a European red circle?
Totally agree on those examples. No one really read "speed limit" or "Y=yield"
But there are also quite a lot of signs which you have to read.
I have to say I never had problem with them even if I'm not native English speaker.
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