Peripheral Vision is Your Friend
Absolutely horrid video, graphic, has apparently been making its way around the interwebs. (I recommend the article and reading about it but do not recommend watching the video, seriously). I hope just one of the over 2 million viewers gets it and drives a little more cautiously, rather than just oggling the snuff factor.
Most of these accidents I can’t figure out how on earth they didn’t see each other (some the weather is obvious). The night video indicated normal traffic signaling, though I admit I’m not up on Chinese traffic laws. Crap brakes maybe.
Peripheral Vision, eyes open, and don’t travel public roads in China.
Failing all that, traffic cameras.
It’s still up on the “youku” link in the Huff article, but it’s just a bunch of people getting run over. I watched about 30 seconds of it, that’s about half a minute too much. I will say that a few crashes seemed to be bikes/motorcycles crashing into cars (biker’s fault). It only proves that people are dangerous everywhere.
Saw the video yesterday, and I thought the same thing ejwme did: is there some cultural reason these people won’t turn their heads to see if anything (like an enormous truck!) is coming before they pass into an intersection?!
Guess they don’t teach left-right-left in the grade schools there.
Thousands of people crash their cars every day, what are those people looking at?
I didn’t watch the video but you can’t draw conclusions about cyclists/roads/culture/schools in China from watching some selection of accidents caught on camera. Doing dumb shit is universal, and none of us are immune. It sucks that cyclists often get to pay for it with their lives – whether they’re the ones doing it or someone in a car.
@salty: even more risky is drawing conclusions about something you didn’t even watch. If you had seen the video, it is fully evident and almost bizarre that the cyclists and motorcyclists are staring straight ahead riding onto this intersection. It’s really a head-scratcher. I draw no cultural conclusions, but simply asked if it is a cultural difference.
Nor am I blaming the victims here. The video really is pretty amazing. I wish everyone could have seen it. With every collision, I kept asking myself, why aren’t they looking side to side?
I spent a couple weeks in China back in 2005. I got the feeling that it was a bit like the wild west when you were on the roadway. Lane markings on the freeway or otherwise meant pretty much nothing to any of the taxi drivers I rode with, and I assumed they were only there to make tourists happy. The drivers pulled out into traffic when I wouldn’t even think about doing so, mostly expecting the car they just cut off to slow down instead of hit them. I can’t say for sure, but I assume that is what these guys blowing through the intersection were thinking.
In Beijing and a few other cities, they have/had these crazy roundabouts that are just a free-for-all. Seven lanes all converging into a giant circle from 6 different directions. I rode a bike there, but we mostly stuck to the side roads/parking lanes that were next to the main roads. Going through any intersection was a sketchy deal, and many of them had ped bridges that we fully took advantage of.
Side road/parking road and a sidewalk next to the main one:
…with bike and ped signals, but watch for cars anyway… (you can see some crossing guard/army guys dressed in brown)
Hugemongous intersection with cars and bikes all doing whatever they want – most of the opposing traffic is stopped, it looks like the parking lot (left, center):
To lighten the mood of the thread, these were some nice country girls who wanted a picture with the white guys..
…but then, through a translator passing by, asked my friend to step away because she wanted a picture with the “tall cute one”. Haha..
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