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Old 04-29-05, 10:46 AM   #1
BeTheChange
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I hate it when my girlfriend is right about biking stuff.

My girlfriend made a very good point about the way I see most drivers. I was contradicting myself in the way I thought. I see most people as pretty ignorant or just unintelligent (I know I must be an egotistical jacka$$), especially when it came to road rules. But then I would get mad when they would do stupid things on the road and not know what the rules are. So I have to pick one. Either think people are generally smart and know the rules and I should get upset when they do stupid things. Or I can believe people are generally stupid and donít know the rules and I should not get upset when they do stupid things. I prefer the later because there is too much evidence against the former.

Just a way of thinking that makes me much less irritated while riding.
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Old 04-29-05, 10:58 AM   #2
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I think most drivers know the basics of the rules, conventions, laws. But what is lacking is understanding the nuances, the specifics and the reasons not to break them.

For example:
Everyone knows what a speed limit is. Most people who break it don't do it out of ignorance.
Everyone knows you should signal a lane change. Most people who don't are lazy, think of it as unnessessary or are ignorant that it actually may make the roads safer.
Everyone knows you it is rude & unsafe to jam you way in front of someone to merge. People who do this however are self absorbed and agressive, not ignorant of convention, but ignorant of consequences.

So in summary, everyone knows the important rules (they did pass a drivers test at one point), but most people who break them are ignorant of the consequences or feel that they can get away with it.

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Old 04-29-05, 11:01 AM   #3
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I personally think it is a little bit of both.
Though I think the biggest problems are that people are first just distracted and secondly so into their own stuff that they just aren't thinking and focussing on what they are doing.
I wonder some time if the increased safety features of modern cars contribute to this inattention. People reason that with airbags and such they will most likely walk away from any minor crash so they aren't even thinking about cyclists or peds.
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Old 04-29-05, 11:02 AM   #4
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That made no sense at all.
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Old 04-29-05, 11:31 AM   #5
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All of the above points made sense to me, except, um, the last one...

Last edited by mtnroads; 04-29-05 at 11:32 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-29-05, 12:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeTheChange
My girlfriend made a very good point about the way I see most drivers. I was contradicting myself in the way I thought. I see most people as pretty ignorant or just unintelligent (I know I must be an egotistical jacka$$), especially when it came to road rules. But then I would get mad when they would do stupid things on the road and not know what the rules are. So I have to pick one. Either think people are generally smart and know the rules and I should get upset when they do stupid things. Or I can believe people are generally stupid and donít know the rules and I should not get upset when they do stupid things. I prefer the later because there is too much evidence against the former.

Just a way of thinking that makes me much less irritated while riding.
I don't see any contradiction there.
A) You think people are ignorant about road rules
B) It angers you

Doesn't seem like they're mutually exclusive. Just because you expect them to be ignorant doesn't preclude you from getting angry when they are.
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Old 04-29-05, 01:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BeTheChange
Either think people are generally smart and know the rules and I should get upset when they do stupid things. Or I can believe people are generally stupid and donít know the rules and I should not get upset when they do stupid things. I prefer the later because there is too much evidence against the former.
If people who know better do stupid things, they shouldn't be driving. If people are too dumb to learn to drive safely, they shouldn't be driving. Either way it pisses me off!

I think a big issue is that people do not see driving a car as a high-risk activity requiring full attention to details, road conditions, rules, and with a high amount of personal responsibility. I used to work as a photo lab tech: my boss would follow safety precautions to the letter when mixing chemistry, but then drive out in his van with less attention than he would give miniature golf. The chemistry could irritate eyes and skin, or give you cancer after 20 years of exposure: the car can kill you leaving your driveway. Go figure.

Driving is not a right, and driving is not easy. As cyclists we tend to be reminded daily of how much attention operating a vehicle on the roads required - we need to find ways of issuing those reminders to motorists too.
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Old 04-29-05, 02:23 PM   #8
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...then drive out in his van with less attention than he would give miniature golf.
very funny, very true, very sad.
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Old 04-29-05, 02:54 PM   #9
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It is far more likely that a small minority of us lack the ability or desire to limit our own behavior in recognition of the rights of others. We simply do not respect the other person. There is an element of self-centeredness that suggests that the only important thing is what we want - not others. It is my belief that this circumstance results from laziness as well as selfishness on the part of a minority of us who are charged with parenting and educating responsibilities. Fewer and fewer people are being raised or educated in a way that suggests responsibility for personal actions and are being given examples that suggests selfishness has its own rewards. It's not cager vs. cyclist. It selfishness on the part of far too many of us.
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Old 04-29-05, 02:59 PM   #10
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It is far more likely that a small minority of us lack the ability or desire to limit our own behavior in recognition of the rights of others. We simply do not respect the other person. ...
Nice post!
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Old 04-29-05, 03:52 PM   #11
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I think a vast majority of drivers learn the minimal amount of information necessary to pass the license test. After that the learning curve goes almost completely flat and they don't look for any more or new information. However, from what I see commuting, I also think the vast majority of drivers don't have any real problem with sharing the road. Most of my route is narrow, two lane highway with road shoulders. When I need to take the lane I look, signal and move over, and I don't ever remember having to wait more than three cars before I move. The competent drivers that are emotionally mature, confident in their knowledge and abilities, drive fairly safely and don't have a problem with sharing the road are easy to see, but at the same time difficult to notice, because there are so many of them. The other drivers, including the 10% of all road users that are truly stupid, are also easy to see because they cause themselves to stand out.

I agree with thechrisproject, BeTheChange, and really don't see a contradiction. However, I would suggest not letting the drivers without a clue anger you. This empowers them, by them being able to control your emotions.
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Old 04-29-05, 04:49 PM   #12
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Bell curve. Most drivers are average drivers. Sometimes they drive good and sometimes they drive bad. Most of the tiem they drive average.
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Old 04-29-05, 05:03 PM   #13
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Yeah Boone man! I'm in Asheville and the only time I don't get irritated with the drivers in and around Boone and Blowing Rock is during Blood Sweat and Gears because much of the route is blocked off to cars. Uh, I guess this goes for Asheville too, and, uh, pretty much everywhere else...ok I'm going to the track where all I have to worry about is small children throwing rocks at me.
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Old 04-29-05, 06:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisproject
I don't see any contradiction there.
A) You think people are ignorant about road rules
B) It angers you

Doesn't seem like they're mutually exclusive. Just because you expect them to be ignorant doesn't preclude you from getting angry when they are.
I think his point was that if you expect people to be ignorant about road rules there is no point in being surprised at the stupidity and getting mad at. It's better for your peace of mind to have acceptance that there are idiot drivers and simply handle it, not rail against it.
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Old 04-29-05, 07:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Roody
Bell curve. Most drivers are average drivers. Sometimes they drive good and sometimes they drive bad. Most of the tiem they drive average.
So just where is this curve on the good driving scale. IMO, it's on the lower side of the curve, way lower side. Yeah, I drive. I consider myself an average driver. About as good as most. So what does that say for me
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Old 04-29-05, 08:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webist
It is far more likely that a small minority of us lack the ability or desire to limit our own behavior in recognition of the rights of others. We simply do not respect the other person. There is an element of self-centeredness that suggests that the only important thing is what we want - not others. It is my belief that this circumstance results from laziness as well as selfishness on the part of a minority of us who are charged with parenting and educating responsibilities. Fewer and fewer people are being raised or educated in a way that suggests responsibility for personal actions and are being given examples that suggests selfishness has its own rewards. It's not cager vs. cyclist. It selfishness on the part of far too many of us.
WOW! Most don't understand REALITY. you do!
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Old 04-30-05, 09:20 AM   #17
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Selfishness, I didn't think about that. That actually is a much sadder situation than people just being stupid. You decide to be selfish, but you can't help being stupid. I think I'll just live in my own self-dillusion that the bad drivers are really just stupid because if I believe they are selfish I'll start thinking I can change their actions.
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Old 04-30-05, 09:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robotkittenarmy
Yeah Boone man! I'm in Asheville and the only time I don't get irritated with the drivers in and around Boone and Blowing Rock is during Blood Sweat and Gears because much of the route is blocked off to cars. Uh, I guess this goes for Asheville too, and, uh, pretty much everywhere else...ok I'm going to the track where all I have to worry about is small children throwing rocks at me.
It's rediculous how terrible the drivers are around here. I did a bike tour from Chapel Hill NC to Statesvill GA and only then did I realize how some people could actually think most drivers were decent.
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Old 04-30-05, 04:39 PM   #19
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So in summary, everyone knows the important rules (they did pass a drivers test at one point), but most people who break them are ignorant of the consequences or feel that they can get away with it.
Al
Or see other people driving ignorantly. Like people in free-right turn states who roll through lights without stopping. It's got to be at least 90% non-compliancy. Since so many other people do it, it must be acceptable if I do it.
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Old 04-30-05, 07:26 PM   #20
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Or see other people driving ignorantly. Like people in free-right turn states who roll through lights without stopping. It's got to be at least 90% non-compliancy. Since so many other people do it, it must be acceptable if I do it.
How good are you about stopping for red lights/stop signs and obeying all the laws of the road whilst on your bike?
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Old 04-30-05, 09:36 PM   #21
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How good are you about stopping for red lights/stop signs and obeying all the laws of the road whilst on your bike?
Yeah, that follows one and the same.
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Old 05-02-05, 09:23 AM   #22
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85% of drivers think that they are "above average" drivers. 'Nuff said.
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