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Old 09-08-07, 12:36 AM   #1
Clarks
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Driver Profiling

When you're cycling, what type of drivers give you the most trouble?

I think I've had the most run ins with male drivers in their 30s.
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Old 09-08-07, 03:47 AM   #2
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When you're cycling, what type of drivers give you the most trouble?

I think I've had the most run ins with male drivers in their 30s.
The problems I've had with drivers could be coupled with their profile to substantiate any stereotype you care to develop/promulgate. The bottom line for me is that my problems have come from drivers of all ages/backgrounds. That said, my "run-ins" are generally very momentary encounters. While I feel pretty safe making assumptions about their gender, my evaluation of their age and other criteria I mght use to profile them is casual at best. How do you know these male drivers with which you've had run-ins are in their 30's. You've ID'd them?

Caruso
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Old 09-08-07, 05:33 AM   #3
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I've had the most problems with people. Especially the ones behind the wheel, but occasionally non driving people can be a problem.

I counted the cars that buzzed me on my way home from work one day and it was all SUVs and large pickups. All the sedans and minivans passed me carefully with plenty of room.

Of course, the next day I had a sedan buzz me very closely and no problems from any SUVs.

You just never know.

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Old 09-08-07, 05:46 AM   #4
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Live ones.

Wait, make that all drivers. A few years ago, some drunk crossed the center of a busy 4 lane undivided highway and collided head on with a truck going the other way just after passing me. Front axle came off the truck, it came out of control into the lanes going in my direction. Cars were everywhere. By the time everything had stopped, I was in the middle of the debris field that resulted from the collision (amazingly, I didn't get by anything). Only the drunk was killed. Someone still marks the site with flowers on the anniversary of accident.

Acting like an idiot seems to be equal opportunity. If I could wave my hand and make a certain type of stereotype driver disappear from the road, I'd get rid of big pickups. But that has more to do with the racket they make than how they drive.
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Old 09-08-07, 05:55 AM   #5
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Well to me its pretty obvious when they whiz by you and yell something out the window in broad daylight or when they throw something at you. its pretty obvious to kind of see who the trouble makers are. the times i've almost been hit it has always been a male driver.
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Old 09-08-07, 06:49 AM   #6
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The problems I've had with drivers could be coupled with their profile to substantiate any stereotype you care to develop/promulgate. The bottom line for me is that my problems have come from drivers of all ages/backgrounds. That said, my "run-ins" are generally very momentary encounters. While I feel pretty safe making assumptions about their gender, my evaluation of their age and other criteria I mght use to profile them is casual at best. How do you know these male drivers with which you've had run-ins are in their 30's. You've ID'd them?

Caruso

+1
I'm 35 while i my self don't drive all my friends also in the 30 to 40 age group do. At least around here we all tend to have the same attitude about most things. When we drive we tend to be a more cautious bunch with above average driving skills. Remember 15 to 20 years ago was when the whole defensive and aggressive driving thing was the most popular. So many of us had a fair number of hours in those classes. Yeh aggressive driving sounds like something that would not be a good thing to teach. But the skills you learn in such a course can be applied to every day driving. If you know how to do a hard sharp turn you are better equipped to deal with a sudden obstical (SP?) couple that with a def driving course and your better able to deal with surprises. Then theres the whole knowing how to handle your car or any ones car better knowing what a car is capable of etc. Now this is in my general area I can not and will not speak of any one elses city town state what have you. If i had to guess who most of my run ins with bad drivers happen with id say 16/17 to 25 year olds and 45+ year olds.
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Old 09-08-07, 07:03 AM   #7
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Well to me its pretty obvious when they whiz by you and yell something out the window in broad daylight or when they throw something at you. its pretty obvious to kind of see who the trouble makers are. the times i've almost been hit it has always been a male driver.
While I get harassed more by young males (almost always when there's a bunch of them in one vehicle), it's actually younger females that seem more aggressive.

People who harass you are often just trying to get a rise out of you. I consider people who are inattentive, have anger management issues, or not driving appropriately for conditions (i.e. can't see in blinding sun or just plain going to fast to react) to be far more of an actual threat to safety -- this group contains almost everyone.

My favorite demographic are probably the 50 somethings. Old enough to have a chance to acquire some sense and deal with most of the issues they have. Young enough to not be as seriously affected by health, vision, and other issues that make it harder to drive.
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Old 09-08-07, 09:09 AM   #8
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People who harass you are often just trying to get a rise out of you. I consider people who are inattentive, have anger management issues,
One day, some first graders in my class got in trouble on the playground for some potty-mouth language. When I had them back in the room, I gave my standard lecture on "bad words" which involved telling them that "even if you hear your parents or other grownups say bad words, it's still not OK for kids to say them."

One little girl piped in "My mom swears a lot." Another, "My dad says bad words when he drives." Then, "My mom always says bad words when she drives" And, "My mom says nobody knows how to drive."

Suddenly, a discussion with with six-year-olds about profanity had morphed into them revealing how their parents lost much of their self-control when they got behind the wheel of a car.

Now the thing is that I knew these parents. All of them were nice, mild mannered, people. Yet something about driving brought them to the point where they would use foul language in front of their own children that they would never use otherwise.

My point is that driving in traffic is a very dehumanizing activity. The driver might think that driving their car equates to freedom, but in reality, they are being controlled by the traffic and their freedom has long since been taken away.

Think about it. You get on your bike, and you know that a 30 minute trip is going to take exactly 30 minutes. Weather conditions might make it longer, but even that you know about ahead of time and can plan accordingly. Driving a car offeres no such predictability. A 30 minute trip can easily become an hour and a half without any warning whatsoever. How often do people leave way earlier than they need to when they have an important appointment simply because there might be traffic? I know I've done it many, many times.

"Cager" might actually be a term of sympathy when you come to think about it.
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Old 09-08-07, 09:16 AM   #9
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Out here in the countryside we very rarely have a male in a truck buzz us. The typical problem driver is an immigrant from the city, a wife out during the day with an SUV and a cellphone. I'd say 80% of the problems are with them, including absolutely idiotic passing blind. Most of the other 20% is from run down work trucks in a hurry. We've had exactly one attack in 20 years here, so that's not much of a problem.

But I'm not in a city. I used to be. It was different.

Regardless, getting out of the way of idiots and sociopaths seems a prudent thing.
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Old 09-08-07, 11:11 AM   #10
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In a lifetime of riding since the early 70's, I have had the most problems with white males, 20's to 40's. This includes young, high school and college aged males in Jettas and Acuras (the apparent standard car of choice for this age group) who have far more hormones than grey cells. Close behind and gaining are white females. This group includes the young, aggressive "Honda Chicks", and the aforementioned suburban housewives, out and about with the SUV and the never-not-in-use cell phone.
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Old 09-08-07, 11:34 AM   #11
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For me where i use to live it was the Sunday Christians.Another big one i noticed recently are moms returning home after dropping off their kids at school. Where i live now is a marked bus stop for school buses. I take my 6 year old nephew out to wait on the bus. I see the same cars every single day flying up the road to busy to notice the 6 year old in a driveway waiting on his bus with m just in front of him acting as a human shield basically. Any one that distracted who can not see a fairly large bright yellow orange school bus stop sign is dangerous to cyclists and walkers as well. Vanburen is a major cycling route in this area so they should fully expect us to be there but don't seem to notice.
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Old 09-08-07, 11:54 AM   #12
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people on cell phones. here that especially covers most SUV's and college kids.
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Old 09-08-07, 12:41 PM   #13
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Cell phone users, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan Murano drivers. (male v female makes no difference).
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Old 09-08-07, 01:02 PM   #14
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prius drivers. often self-righteous and often near silent when coming up behind you. at least they're small.
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Old 09-08-07, 02:03 PM   #15
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Hybrid car drivers try to run me over.
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Old 09-08-07, 03:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
One day, some first graders in my class got in trouble on the playground for some potty-mouth language. When I had them back in the room, I gave my standard lecture on "bad words" which involved telling them that "even if you hear your parents or other grownups say bad words, it's still not OK for kids to say them."

One little girl piped in "My mom swears a lot." Another, "My dad says bad words when he drives." Then, "My mom always says bad words when she drives" And, "My mom says nobody knows how to drive."

Suddenly, a discussion with with six-year-olds about profanity had morphed into them revealing how their parents lost much of their self-control when they got behind the wheel of a car.

Now the thing is that I knew these parents. All of them were nice, mild mannered, people. Yet something about driving brought them to the point where they would use foul language in front of their own children that they would never use otherwise.

My point is that driving in traffic is a very dehumanizing activity. The driver might think that driving their car equates to freedom, but in reality, they are being controlled by the traffic and their freedom has long since been taken away.

Think about it. You get on your bike, and you know that a 30 minute trip is going to take exactly 30 minutes. Weather conditions might make it longer, but even that you know about ahead of time and can plan accordingly. Driving a car offeres no such predictability. A 30 minute trip can easily become an hour and a half without any warning whatsoever. How often do people leave way earlier than they need to when they have an important appointment simply because there might be traffic? I know I've done it many, many times.

"Cager" might actually be a term of sympathy when you come to think about it.
MrCjolsen - what you've written is articulate and polite while still getting to the heart of the matter when it comes to driving. Would you mind if I used portions of your post in planning a series of talks on commuting to work and school by bike for my fellow students? I would much appreciate it.
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Old 09-08-07, 03:25 PM   #17
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When it comes to me, drivers who honk tend to be a varied sort - it wouldn't be a classifiable group of people besides "driving a car". Those who yell at me angrily have all been male, usually young. The one who got out of his car and threatened me was what is commonly called "white trash" driving a Jeep.

yeah.
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Old 09-08-07, 10:00 PM   #18
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Delivery van drivers seem to be the most likely to speed, most likely to buzz, and most likely to be on a cell phone while doing it all. Couple that with the terrible handling characteristics vans have, and I'm worried most about them. The drivers are usually the most outwardly aggressive I've seen too. I've been given plenty of greif from cargo van drivers, and if I were to take a stab at what might eventually hit me, I'd guess a van. Even if they see me, those heavy cargo-laden vans don't stop easily.

Age and race don't matter. It's the job.
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Old 09-08-07, 11:55 PM   #19
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Late 20s to early 30s men & women driving older, beater type, full size cars/trucks. (Scariest was the two skinheads in an older Chevy Suburban with no license plate and a "Posse Comitatus" sticker on the back window)
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Old 09-09-07, 12:08 AM   #20
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When you're cycling, what type of drivers give you the most trouble? ...
near the end of a long ride the other day, i nearly got (literally) blown off the (2-lane) road by a large RV towing a large trailer, with the logo "mo racing" (must have had a race car inside).

maybe it's time to get a helmet mirror. i would have liked to have seen that one coming.
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Old 09-09-07, 03:02 AM   #21
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Cars/trucks full of teenagers.
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Old 09-09-07, 06:23 AM   #22
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I have been lucky and had all near misses with autos, thusly I moved to riding only in the 6000 acre park nearby (it's 7/10 of a mile- I truck my bike there and unload ). Two days ago I was riding down a major hill, and almost hit a woman who decided she needed to ride her bike uphill in the lane I was coming down on (the right side). I have been learning from these experiences to mostly learn that most of us feel where we choose to be, is OUR space. I think it is defintely an issue of entitlement. I have a bell on my bike- I think I will switch to an air horn.
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Old 09-09-07, 06:27 PM   #23
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The most aggressive ones seem to be males under 35. The ones with the least knowledge of the rules of the road seem to be females in the same age group. (They insist on passing a bike, no matter what). The worst are the pod people and the cell phone zombies. Who in the world are they talking to constantly? Each other? I have an air horn, which I am considering mounting on the bike.
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Old 09-09-07, 09:52 PM   #24
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People who are happy and satisfied with their lives don't hassle cyclists. But happiness doesn't neatly correlate with age, gender, race, or income.
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Old 09-10-07, 11:00 AM   #25
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Driver Profiling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarks View Post
When you're cycling, what type of drivers give you the most trouble?

I think I've had the most run ins with male drivers in their 30s.
Those in white trades vans.

Several years ago, a friend of mine mentioned how she always paid extra attention to these vehicles ("they're often driven by young men with an attitude in a hurry"), and had often had difficulties with them.

I thought that was a bit over the top, but since she said that, I actually have noticed a trend there (because of the suggestion, or because of statistical relevance, I don't know).

Allan
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