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  1. #1
    Ride Smart...Ride Safe...
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    Cyclists and Situational Awareness

    Curious as to how cyclists would define "situational awareness."

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    Basically being aware of what is happening around you to understand how information, events, and your own actions will impact you. and otheres. Some examples could be, anticipating when a motorist is going to give you a left or right hook. getting over to the left lane in time to make the turn without trying to race a car to the same spot.

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    Having a general overview of the current situation as well as a good idea of what's coming up. In addition, situational awareness involves pre-emptively figuring out evasive manuvers based on the assumption that your prediction(s) will be wrong.

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    Do you think we would define it differently than non-cyclists?

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    uke
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    Not getting hit, and not hitting others. Nuff said.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  6. #6
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Being aware of the situation.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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    Gimp with a Limp
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    Not texting so much while you're riding.

  8. #8
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    Being aware of the situation.
    +1...also constantly visualizing worst case scenarios and riding in a manner that leaves options open to avoid said scenarios whenever possible, similar to what gmule mentioned. I'm curious as to what led the OP to ask this question.

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Situational awareness is knowing AND understanding what is happening around you, understanding the dynamics of your environment and using that information to predict how events within your environment will change with time.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke View Post
    Not getting hit, and not hitting others. Nuff said.
    way incorrect. nuff said.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Situational awareness is knowing AND understanding what is happening around you, understanding the dynamics of your environment and using that information to predict how events within your environment will change with time.
    Right.

    I mentally reprimand MYSELF if anything or anyone surprises me with a potentially unsafe situation. Then I catalog these instances in order to learn from them and prevent being caught off guard in a similar incident. I consider it %100 my responsibility to keep myself safe.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

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    it meeans knowing about cars which might could run you overr

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    Ride Smart...Ride Safe...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffB502 View Post
    +1...also constantly visualizing worst case scenarios and riding in a manner that leaves options open to avoid said scenarios whenever possible, similar to what gmule mentioned. I'm curious as to what led the OP to ask this question.
    I just wanted to prompt discussion SA. It isn't discussed much in the cycling community. And, to bring awareness that good SA can prevent accidents. Here are some stats and with good SA, you can reduce your percentages of becoming a statistic:

    Statistics again from Bob Mionske (RBR.com, 2007): There are about 500,000 cycling accidents each year and this is how the numbers sum up: 59% involve no object or other person, 14% involve a fixed object, 11% involve a moving motor vehicle, 9% involve another bicycle, 3% involve an animal, 3% involve a pedestrian, 1% involve a stationary motor vehicle, 1% other. Accidents involving a moving motor vehicle (11%): 45% in an intersection, 25% entering a roadway, 14% riding with flow of traffic, 8% riding against traffic, 9% other.

    Take care.

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    Ride Smart...Ride Safe...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Do you think we would define it differently than non-cyclists?
    Not in a webster dictionary sort of way but we would use SA differently while cycling. Not only do we use SA but also risk management, communication, decision-making, error control, etc. All of which if used effectively, reduce our chances of becoming a statistic on the road. We ride smarter incorporating these principles. Hope that helps and see the stats I posted in this same thread.

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    triathlete? roadie? MTB? caelric's Avatar
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    Not wearing your iPod headphones while riding (like I saw some idiot the other day doing), even worse, same guy was riding right after dusk with nary a single light or reflector anywhere on his road bike.

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caelric View Post
    Not wearing your iPod headphones while riding
    incorrect - please don't project your own limitations upon others
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by healtheeliving View Post
    Not in a webster dictionary sort of way but we would use SA differently while cycling. Not only do we use SA but also risk management, communication, decision-making, error control, etc. All of which if used effectively, reduce our chances of becoming a statistic on the road. We ride smarter incorporating these principles. Hope that helps and see the stats I posted in this same thread.
    SA and planning for Murphy are not exactly new concepts to A&S or those who have been riding safely in traffic for many years.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  18. #18
    triathlete? roadie? MTB? caelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    incorrect - please don't project your own limitations upon others
    No, sir, you are incorrect. Wearing headphones cuts down on your SA, whether you think so or not. Also, most state laws (if not all, I am not fully aware of all state laws) prohibit the wearing of headphones by car drivers; as I understand, bicycle riders have all the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers, where applicable. So, in addition to being unsafe, it is most likely illegal, though I admit I am unsure on the illegal part.

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    Gimp with a Limp
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    Quote Originally Posted by caelric View Post
    No, sir, you are incorrect. Wearing headphones cuts down on your SA, whether you think so or not. Also, most state laws (if not all, I am not fully aware of all state laws) prohibit the wearing of headphones by car drivers; as I understand, bicycle riders have all the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers, where applicable. So, in addition to being unsafe, it is most likely illegal, though I admit I am unsure on the illegal part.
    Headphones without a doubt will diminish your SA as, generally speaking, any distraction does. That said, as far as headphones "being unsafe", I can't think that it's an inordinate risk. Are you seriously biking down the street evading into the ditch everytime you hear something growl? I understand that it provides you a little more sensory input, but between the wind and all the road noise it's next to impossible to get all that much useful information from your ears while biking (knowing that the vehicle coming up behind you is a truck isn't useful unless that actually causes some reaction, which I'm guessing isn't the case).

  20. #20
    uke
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    way incorrect. nuff said.
    It's correct for me. Your mileage may vary.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  21. #21
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Some folks have trouble walking and chewing gum too.

    Nuff said.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  22. #22
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    If you have a rear-view mirror, it really helps. I can see well enough ahead, and I have good periphial vision, but my aging neck is tired of craning over my left shoulder to see what's coming up behind.

    Stay well clear of trucks. "Situational Awareness" could be intepreted to mean that the cyclist is aware that trucks are very heavy , wide, and have blind spots.

    If you see a car pulling out from a parking space in front of a bar, you would be aware of the situation if you assume the driver has had a few drinks.

    If you see a car with lots of dents and broken headlights, you should be aware that the driver has lots of accidents. Steer clear.

    If you are riding down a city street and a ped raises his/her arm in front of you, be aware that he/she is hailing a cab and look over your shoulder to see the taxi cab.

    Be aware of things that increase your risk of being hit. That is Situational Awareness.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  23. #23
    For The Fun of It
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    Situational awareness is a buzzword that was invented because saying keeping your head out of your asss takes too long.

  24. #24
    Ride Smart...Ride Safe...
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    Quote Originally Posted by healtheeliving View Post
    Curious as to how cyclists would define "situational awareness."
    Let me add another twist...so what breaks down (road blocks) our Situational Awareness (SA)? I'll start with an easy one: FATIGUE. We begin to lose focus, feel tired and slowly begin to lose our SA. This is when our cycling becomes critical and the time we are most vulnerable on the street with those several thousand pound cars and multi-ton trucks zooming around us.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    My definition of SA is being able to compile all your body's sensory and mental factors to determine what benefits or dangers that one's immediate surroundings has.

    A short simple sentence to say, but one that takes many years to learn.

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