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  1. #1
    vol
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    Most bicycle accidents are crashs from the FRONT?

    Just stumbled upon this article. The author says:

    "70% of bicycle crashes are from the front. If I had to choose between front and back lights, I’d pick the front.

    Think about this: a motorist approaching from behind has his headlights shining directly at you. Unless you’re a complete bike ninja with black clothes on a black bike and a black backpack, the motorist at least has a chance of seeing you. He has headlights to ensure he doesn’t run over stationary hazards on the road, so hopefully he’ll see moving objects as well. Even cars with broken taillights aren’t invisible to following traffic."

    Is it so? But usually the tail light is the most recommended and is required by law.

  2. #2
    Grim Piñata GriddleCakes's Avatar
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    According to Hurst's Art of Cycling, 90% of car-bicycle collisions in urban areas involve turning or crossing. As in, turning into or across your line of travel. Which is a lot more likely if other road users cannot see a cyclist on account of their lack of headlights. Even during the day I run my headlight on blink, to try and catch the eye of motorists wishing to cross my path. If I had to choose between a front and rear light (which I don't, with two taillights, two headlights, and spare batteries at the ready), I would ride very, very carefully.

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    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Is it so? But usually the tail light is the most recommended and is required by law.
    In Illinois only a head light and rear reflector are required by law for night riding. I think many states are the same.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    In Illinois only a head light and rear reflector are required by law for night riding. I think many states are the same.
    CO: Headlight, red rear reflector, side reflectors.

  5. #5
    LCI #1853
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    The law in every state requires a white front light, while most give the option for either a red tail light or a red reflector in the rear.

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    (Shrug)

    I've had six or seven times I've made contact with a car in the last 10 years, all of them were either (1)passing cars clipping me or (2)passing cars hitting on the brakes immediately after they passed and I bumped into the back of them.

    None were serious incidents. And none of them had anything to do with visibility.

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    The only reason a car would hit you from the front is if you were travelling in the opposite lane, against traffic.

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    Get both lights. They're cheap.

    Collisions from the front often have to do with intersections. It's not that they can't see you, it's that they miss you while looking at other things they perceived as more important. Plus, you're closing on each other at 20-30mph faster than you would from the rear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
    The only reason a car would hit you from the front is if you were travelling in the opposite lane, against traffic.
    Forget left turning cars for a minute.

    You've never seen a car on the wrong side of the road in Kitchener? Ever?

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    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Most car-bike collisions do involve intersection and crossing movements, and so it is the front or nearly front of the bike that collides with the car. This is especially the case in urban areas, where less than 5% of car-bike crashes involve traffic approaching or passing from behind the cyclist. In darkness, other drivers about to cross your path will have a hard time seeing you coming if you don't have a headlamp. So get a headlamp.

    Overtaking collisions at night do make up a substantial percentage of fatal car-bike collisions. At least 2/3 of these collisions involve cyclists without lights. The rear reflectors that come with bikes are much less visible than red LED lamps. So get a rear LED lamp. They're not expensive.

  11. #11
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    As far as fatalities go http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/People...3_lblTableName
    The front is at 84.8% (92.8% for just cars)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Forget left turning cars for a minute.

    You've never seen a car on the wrong side of the road in Kitchener? Ever?
    Yes, to both arguments. But as the danger is coming from the front, I can see it and avoid it.

    I did overlook the intersection thing tho. If a car pulls out in front of me while biking, while I have the right of way, there is little I can do to avoid that. Blinkies would be useful in that case.

  13. #13
    vol
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    Thanks. Looks like I mis-remembered the law. After reading your replies, I found NY law, and it says (man, a looong sentence!):

    "(a) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible during hours of darkness from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red light visible to the rear for three hundred feet. Effective July first, nineteen hundred seventy-six, at least one of these lights shall be visible for two hundred feet from each side."

    I think many like myself took rear light more seriously because we ourselves can't see behind.

    Quote Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
    But as the danger is coming from the front, I can see it and avoid it.
    It can happen that you see it but can not avoid it--too late, or there are other cars surrounding you.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Light during the day WILL NOT prevent front accidents. Those dopes driving cars either don't care if they turn in front of you, or they didn't see you, in either case a light will not stop them from doing what they do. If you can't see a cyclist in broad daylight there's no hope for you! This has been proven with motorcycles, they run with their lights on during the day and they still get hit, and their lights are much larger and brighter then little bicycle lights that would be completely unnoticeable in the day light.

    The only time I turn on my lights, then it's only the flashers, is if its a dark day.

  15. #15
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    I think many like myself took rear light more seriously because we ourselves can't see behind.
    If you use a mirror you can see behind.

    Quote Originally Posted by from the OP article View Post
    Think about this: a motorist approaching from behind has his headlights shining directly at you. Unless you’re a complete bike ninja with black clothes on a black bike and a black backpack, the motorist at least has a chance of seeing you. He has headlights to ensure he doesn’t run over stationary hazards on the road, so hopefully he’ll see moving objects as well. Even cars with broken taillights aren’t invisible to following traffic."
    Do you really want to wait until the cars lights shine on you to be seen? Considering drivers regularly over drive their head lights, I'd say no.

    Some of my riding is on narrow higher speed roads where there are often few intersection / crossing issues. In this instance a good tail light is probably more important than a bright headlight. Of course I still recommend both.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  16. #16
    z90
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Light during the day WILL NOT prevent front accidents. Those dopes driving cars either don't care if they turn in front of you, or they didn't see you, in either case a light will not stop them from doing what they do. If you can't see a cyclist in broad daylight there's no hope for you!
    Ridiculous statement. I can see drivers from cross streets react to my flashing headlight. Their head swivels toward me and they check their speed.
    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    This has been proven with motorcycles, they run with their lights on during the day and they still get hit, and their lights are much larger and brighter then little bicycle lights that would be completely unnoticeable in the day light.

    The only time I turn on my lights, then it's only the flashers, is if its a dark day.
    Ridiculous argument. By this logic, you shouldn't bother to use your lights at night either.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    I have always considered a daytime flashing front light to be useless...BUT...

    A couple weeks ago I was riding along and noticed flashes from the sun reflecting off either the glass or bright metal from a vehicle down the road.
    At this point it was probably 1/2 mile away, and I hadn't even seen it yet.
    As I got closer I was surprised to see it was a *bike* with a flashing front light.

  18. #18
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    If you use a mirror you can see behind.
    Only when you look at the mirror. You can't keep looking at the mirror constantly, and oftentimes a car or truck passed by me nearly touching me which I would have been prepared had I been looking at the mirror seconds before.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Light during the day WILL NOT prevent front accidents. Those dopes driving cars either don't care if they turn in front of you, or they didn't see you, in either case a light will not stop them from doing what they do. If you can't see a cyclist in broad daylight there's no hope for you! This has been proven with motorcycles, they run with their lights on during the day and they still get hit, and their lights are much larger and brighter then little bicycle lights that would be completely unnoticeable in the day light.
    Yet it's also been proven with motorcycles that daytime running lights significantly reduce accidents, and modulated headlights do so more than steady headlights.

    Nothing will prevent all accidents, but turning your back on substantial improvements because they aren't perfect is counterproductive.


    Personally, I use a smaller helmet-mounted headlight that definitely helps with being seen by cars. I don't run it most of the time in daylight, but turn it on for areas with difficult visual environments or fast traffic.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jputnam/collections/72157604835074312/

  20. #20
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
    I did overlook the intersection thing tho. If a car pulls out in front of me while biking, while I have the right of way, there is little I can do to avoid that.
    D'oh! But it's okay to overlook this small point, only 70-80% of bike-car collisions happen this way, after all.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  21. #21
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
    Yet it's also been proven with motorcycles that daytime running lights significantly reduce accidents, and modulated headlights do so more than steady headlights.

    Nothing will prevent all accidents, but turning your back on substantial improvements because they aren't perfect is counterproductive.


    Personally, I use a smaller helmet-mounted headlight that definitely helps with being seen by cars. I don't run it most of the time in daylight, but turn it on for areas with difficult visual environments or fast traffic.
    My point with motorcycles was NOT that they had gotten hit less with lights on but rather when hit the driver never saw them and MC's use a large headlight with some that modulate in the daytime. Now your going to take a bicycle with a small little headlight without the power of the larger ones and think drivers are going to notice you? Forget about it.

  22. #22
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Only when you look at the mirror. You can't keep looking at the mirror constantly, and oftentimes a car or truck passed by me nearly touching me which I would have been prepared had I been looking at the mirror seconds before.
    Properly adjusted helmet or eye glass mounted mirrors make it easy to safely monitor often enough to always be aware of conditions behind. If I'm ever surprised by an overtaking vehicle I mentally chastise myself for not paying proper attention. Having said that, I don't see what being able (or not able) to see behind has to do with running lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    My point with motorcycles was NOT that they had gotten hit less with lights on but rather when hit the driver never saw them and MC's use a large headlight with some that modulate in the daytime. Now your going to take a bicycle with a small little headlight without the power of the larger ones and think drivers are going to notice you? Forget about it.
    Motorcycles also are often traveling much faster than bicycles, and their headlights don't flash.

    I find I get less "pull out" infringement on my right of way while running my light.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  23. #23
    z90
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    Motorcycles also are often traveling much faster than bicycles, and their headlights don't flash.

    I find I get less "pull out" infringement on my right of way while running my light.
    +1

  24. #24
    Randomhead
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    I have never been hit, but the close calls I've had all involve cars from the side or front. It make sense since the closing distance to a vehicle approaching you is significantly higher than a vehicle you are overtaking.

  25. #25
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    Motorcycles also are often traveling much faster than bicycles, and their headlights don't flash.
    Some don't modulate? really? http://www.gadgetjq.com/headlightmodulator.htm

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/Reviewed...h/visipath.htm

    And here's the part: http://www.customdynamics.com/signal..._modulator.htm

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