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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 02-03-17, 09:29 AM   #1
work4bike
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How Safe Do You Feel When You Ride?

Survey from Bicycling Magazine. I don't normally do them, but I did this one. I feel very safe when I ride, but I'm also a very observant and defensive rider and I follow the rules of the road. How Safe Do You Feel When You Ride? | Bicycling
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Old 02-03-17, 11:15 AM   #2
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Most of the time I feel pretty safe - but this is not because I think drivers are looking out for my well being. It's all about being a defensive rider who behaves predictably, doesn't hog up a whole lane just because I feel entitled to it, am courteous to traffic and act often as though I am invisible.
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Old 02-03-17, 11:18 AM   #3
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I just ride and try to pay attention. I feel safe.
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Old 02-03-17, 11:25 AM   #4
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I generally feel pretty safe, but there have been a few times when drivers have honked, yelled, etc. and that can be nerve wracking. I try to be very attentive and follow all laws, but I also know that I can only do so much. Safety really is a 50/50 gamble because cars on the road also need to be aware of me as well. I try to be as visible as possible, always wear a helmet, and stop at stop lights and signs.
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Old 02-03-17, 11:55 AM   #5
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I'm aware that cycling is more dangerous in the US than in other civilized countries. I live in an area that's fairly tame for cyclists. Still, I ride defensively and avoid some kinds of roads. For the most part I stay off roads that have more than two car lanes -- just a rule of thumb that works for me.

One odd thing I've noticed. When drivers are within close range of a traffic light, they will often speed up and do other dumb things in order to beat the light. So it's sometimes the minor intersections with side roads, just before the major intersection, that seem more dangerous than the major intersection itself.
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Old 02-03-17, 12:01 PM   #6
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I feel about as safe on my bike as I do with anytime I'm outdoors.
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WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
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Old 02-03-17, 12:02 PM   #7
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I usually don't take surveys, but I was curious so I did it. Even though I've been hit by a car (their fault) and had a few close calls, I feel safe riding (at least as safe as driving and more safe than walking around in the urban/urban core area).
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Old 02-03-17, 12:25 PM   #8
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If drivers knew how much some of us paid for our bikes, they might go out of their way more often to make sure they don't hit us. Having spent a lot of money on new bikes lately, I like to think this makes me safer (despite reality).
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Old 02-03-17, 12:54 PM   #9
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If drivers knew how much some of us paid for our bikes, they might go out of their way more often to make sure they don't hit us. Having spent a lot of money on new bikes lately, I like to think this makes me safer (despite reality).

I don't know about this. Medical expenses due to an auto/bicycle interaction typically dwarf the cost of the bicycle.

Disclosure: This is my opinion. I have no verifiable facts to prove my opinion right or wrong.
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Old 02-03-17, 01:01 PM   #10
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I feel pretty safe on my bike, but I live & ride in a rural area with low traffic. The drivers I've encountered have been pretty decent so far, normally giving me plenty of room on passes. Only one pickup I can think of which passed fairly close, but I think they were still past the 3' minimum.
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Old 02-03-17, 01:30 PM   #11
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How do you feel about the risk posed by distracted drivers vs aggressive/angry drivers? I put down that it's about the same, but I'm not really sure. Aggravated drivers seem more intent on scaring you and just being jerks, whereas distracted drivers/texters/etc. I have to wonder if they pose more of a risk of actual physical injury.
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Old 02-03-17, 01:38 PM   #12
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I have grown more confident about riding in traffic and don't mind it too much now. I know which roads to avoid or what time to avoid those roads. I USE A MIRROR which is the best safety device to have when riding in traffic. I also wear bright clothing and sometimes use a light when I need to. I obey the three rules of safety: Be visible. Be predictable. Be lawful.
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Old 02-03-17, 01:54 PM   #13
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Life's too short to be worrying about all the awful things that could happen. I play my best hand and enjoy my rides thoroughly, whether in city or country. When it's over, it's over.
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Old 02-03-17, 02:04 PM   #14
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Life's too short to be worrying about all the awful things that could happen. I play my best hand and enjoy my rides thoroughly, whether in city or country. When it's over, it's over.
+1.

This is the key. Regardless of the statistical risks, once you've made the decision to ride, make the most of it.

As 1989Pre pointed out, life's too short to spend worrying about low percentage possibilities. If you can't shake fear of death or injury while riding, I suggest you give it up and take up something you're more comfortable with.
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WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
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Old 02-03-17, 02:13 PM   #15
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Old 02-03-17, 02:23 PM   #16
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In my book, that's a very low standard.
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An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
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Old 02-03-17, 02:23 PM   #17
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I don't feel safe anytime I'm out on the road.
It's why I have made my Last Will and Testament, just in case.
At least I know if I get run over by an SUV, my family will not be burdened by legal matters.
So, I guess on back of my mind, it's pretty risky endeavor...like sky diving or rock climbing.
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Old 02-03-17, 02:25 PM   #18
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feel safer when I'm off-road
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Old 02-03-17, 02:32 PM   #19
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When I grew up, we were fond of saying "put your money where your mouth is". I don't hear that so much these days, but it's very apt in discussions of bike safety.

There are people who measure risks and bet on people's lives every day. These are the life insurance actuaries who are paid big bucks to get this stuff right. These folks believe that cyclists have above average life expectancies, and their employers can make money by attracting them as clients with lower premiums. Here's a link to one company offering cyclists better rates (it's an ad, so I offer it without endorsement, except to support the claim)

Since these people are willing to bet that I'll live longer, and put their money where their mouths are, who am I to argue? Whenever I'm out riding in traffic, I tell myself I'm OK because I'm betting with the house.
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An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Last edited by FBinNY; 02-03-17 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 02-03-17, 02:44 PM   #20
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Obviously, those actuaries do not read the A&S forum
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Old 02-03-17, 02:46 PM   #21
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Obviously, those actuaries do not read the A&S forum
Too dangerous and could get them fired from a good paying job.
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“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
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Old 02-03-17, 02:57 PM   #22
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At least I know if I get run over by an SUV, my family will not be burdened by legal matters.

Unless you have made named a family member as the executor/trix of your estate. Not only would they have to deal with all the minutia of probating an estate, they would have to progress any lawsuit resulting from the accident.


My mom died over 3 years ago. I was named executor in her will. It was a royal P.I.T.A., and she didn't even have any real estate or tangible personal property. I realize that laws vary by state, but no one I have met that has served as an estate executor has anything nice to say about the ordeal.


I now jokingly tell people that if you want to get back at someone, name them executor.
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Old 02-03-17, 03:22 PM   #23
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I usually feel very safe at riding, even though I was hit by a car recently (driver's fault). Usually when acquaintances ask me why I'm not afraid to ride on the road where there are (scary) CARS I usually answer I'm more likely to be involved in an accident while driving or that even as a pedestrian, I can be run over. Cycling is not much dangerous than any other activity outdoor.
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Old 02-03-17, 03:42 PM   #24
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I guess the vast majority who ride feel it's safe, or they wouldn't be riding. If you ask those who don't ride, many or most would say they don't feel safe to ride (some consider bike commuting a heroic act). But feeling safe and being safe are totally different. It seems pointless to ask whether you feel safe.
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Old 02-03-17, 03:50 PM   #25
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I just crank up the earbuds and ignore anything not directly in front of me. Even still, I want some gloves that will cut down the bruising from pounding on cars that pull out just as I get to them.
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