SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

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SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby Oxford » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:05 pm

Saw this on another forum, not sure if its been highlighted before, but it is a good reason to "snake the lane". I do it on the moto, moving from side to side in the lane periodically, also did it when cycle commuting to give an impression of spatial requirements to other road users.
Motorcyclists / cyclists look out!!

Here's one reason why bikes get ignored, and a good suggestion on how we can keep seeing what is out there

This is frightening! It works exactly like it says, and is one major reason people in cars can ‘look right at you’ (when you're on a motorcycle or bicycle)---AND NOT SEE YOU.

From a former Naval Aviator - This is a great illustration of what we were taught about scanning outside the ***pit when I went through training back in the '50s. We were told to scan the horizon for a short distance, stop momentarily, and repeat the process. I can remember being told why this was the most effective technique to locate other aircraft. It was emphasized (repeatedly) to NOT fix your gaze for more than a couple of seconds on any single object.

The instructors, some of whom were WWII veterans with years of experience, instructed us to continually "keep our eyes moving and our head on a swivel" because this was the best way to survive, not only in combat, but from peacetime hazards (like a midair collision) as well. We basically had to take the advice on faith (until we could experience for ourselves) because the technology to demonstrate it didn't exist at that time.

Click on the links below for a demonstration ...


http://www.msf-usa.org/motion.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troxler's_fading

Quite scary when you think about it.

Along the lines of the moon walking bear we've probably all seen.
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by BNA » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:47 pm

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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby trailgumby » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:47 pm

Oxford wrote:Saw this on another forum, not sure if its been highlighted before, but it is a good reason to "snake the lane". I do it on the moto, moving from side to side in the lane periodically, also did it when cycle commuting to give an impression of spatial requirements to other road users.
...
http://www.msf-usa.org/motion.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troxler's_fading

Bizarre! The three yellow dots disappeared either singly, in pairs or all together until I moved my eyes. Occasionally, one of the yellow dots became green as well, only to be restored when I moved my eyes.
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby tallywhacker » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:28 pm

great, now they have a science backed excuse as to why they (can) hit us
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby Lizzy » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:48 pm

Holy living f ... :shock: :?
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby TimW » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:54 pm

That will be the next defence for the ambulance chasers(Solicitors) :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby zero » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:00 pm

I don't think you can explain smidsy via stationary eye sleight of hand tricks. I have never seen a motorist that I could believe lost track of me. Its not the thought process I go through when waiting to give way at all - ie I identify the thing that I have to give way to, and wait for it to cross my bows, and don't need to track it to do so. This I believe is normal for most road users.

SMIDSY is more often a euphamism for sorry mate, I couldn't work out that I had to give way to you there, or sorry mate I didn't look at all.
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby human909 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:01 pm

That is an impressive and disturbing optical artifact.

Though I believe the dancing bear is more what is happening. If you aren't looking for a bicycle sized object then you aren't going to see one. I never fail to instantly spot a cyclist when I cross the Canning St bike boulevard (whether I'm in a bike or car), that's because I'm consciously looking for one. The other day I did briefly miss spotting a cyclist as a rapidly approach a roundabout with poor visibility. I did spot the cyclist and I had time to stop and wave at the cyclist. But I was still a little unsettled that I didn't immediately notice the cyclist. I too am not as conditioned for looking for cyclists as a good dutch driver.
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby TimW » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:42 pm

For those that missed the dancing bear, it got me as well the first time, very well done.Tim
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:37 pm

zero wrote:SMIDSY is more often a euphamism for sorry mate, I couldn't work out that I had to give way to you there, or sorry mate I didn't look at all.

SMIDGAF

:evil:
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby Nobody » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:17 pm

human909 wrote:If you aren't looking for a bicycle sized object then you aren't going to see one.
I believe this to be true. I doubt anyone would fail to see a big truck and I don't think anyone has ever not seen me in my smallish white sports car which is below average height. But I've been missed/ignored on both bicycles and motorbikes over the years.
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby The 2nd Womble » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:30 pm

You cn experience a similar effect if you stare at floor tiles for long enough. After a while you can notice various grout lines vanish and reappear. You have to stare at exactly one spot though
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Re: SMIDSY, an explanation, but hopefully not an excuse.

Postby Downhill » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:19 pm

SMIDSY works both ways.

The other day I was turning left at a T intersection. Bright sunlight. Flat, straight road. I checked right, nothing coming. Checked left, nothing coming. Checked right again before putting the pedal down and... Holy ....! Where did that come from? Black car... deep shaded background... no contrast ... no lateral movement ... no vertical movement ... you get the idea. If any one of a dozen factors had changed even slightly, the car would have been perceptible.
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