"In my recollection, average cars were biggest back in the the late 50s and 60s. The avg today is way smaller. ."
From onlyinfograpfic.com ..
As the design of vehicles has evolved over the years, so has their sizes. Modern cars have inevitably grown longer, taller and wider over the years, thanks to the introduction of new technology and safety requirements. For most cars this growth is significant; for others it’s borderline astounding. We’d be quick to say that today’s automobiles are safer, faster and more comfortable than ever, so it should be no surprise that they’re bigger, but we would have never thought they’d be this much bigger. Draw a before-and-after comparison, and the last several decades reveal quite the spurt of growth in our favorite automobiles.
Cars now are huge, sheesh, even the Mini is way larger than the original mini.
Street riding in my state requires devotion and a well developed sense of denial.
Been riding the roads since early 1970s and covered over 300,000 miles (right amount of zeroes)!
Haven't gotten killed yet and at age 80 still pedal 100+ miles a week year 'round.
It's a bit of a challenge but do-able; be aware of your surrounding and yes, we are 'invisible' on a bike.
Had a few bad hits by motorists who all got the ticket and claimed . . . 'I didn't see you.'
I've always tried to avoid lengthy rides on shoulder-less roads every chance I get. We are also blessed with a lot of excellent MUP up here which I made a point of buying a house close to. Ironically I have a short ride on a shoulder-less road to get there but it's straight, short, open and little trafficked.
I do ride pretty defensively but If I've got a bike lane I'm good. If people park in it, not so much.
The same texting driver can cross the line and hit you head on while you are driving your car.
You gonna quit driving?
I don't think being off the street will protect you from the texters and GPS Worshipers. I seem to recall an uptick in the number of cars crashing into buildings.
I ride as fast or as slow as I care to; while I do tend to go a couple mph faster on roads, it's not required, and I don't always do it. If I have to get ANYWHERE in my town, there's a multitude of creative ways to do it on a bike. That's half the fun, and there's nobody tailgating me!
This is the reason that I've given up on being polite and I now run the brightest lights I can get for a reasonable price (which is quite a lot these days) on "F you" flash mode. I figure I've got to get the attention of someone who is glancing quickly at the road for a half second every 5 seconds, from at least a quarter mile away, to be sure that I wake them up. That means a heck of a lot of light flashing in unusual patterns, or ideally multiple flashers (plus a constant on light).
I realize that even this is no guarantee - my brother is a firefighter and they had a truck slammed into in broad daylight when it had its full light package running, with other emergency vehicles also on scene with lights running, and yet still a dude in an F150 hit the back of it at full speed. In that case the F150 driver lost the game, though he probably never knew it.
Two things come to mind here. First cell phones have a gps chip in them. They should be programed to shut off the cell phone if moving faster than 10 mph. Second barring the first suggestion, ANYONE causing a accident because they were on their cell phone should AUTOMATICALLY lose their drivers license for 6 months. No whining defense att or liberal judge or jury could get them out of that. People that do not act responsibly need to be slapped down hard!!!!
I use my phone all the time in the car, as a passenger. Neither my wife or I ever use it when driving. I like being able to have the passenger call ahead to friends to say we'll be there in 10 minutes, or to call to the pizza joint in town and order a pizza that will be ready as we're arriving at the end of vacation, to call ahead to hotels and find who has available rooms and to shop for price, etc.
Also, I never leave the GPS turned on in my phone. And not all phones have GPS.
Cycling safety has not improved... but automobile speeds have gone up, the roads are more crowded and drivers are more distracted... anyone reaching the fine age of 50 has also noticed that their reaction times have not been improving... all this tells me, at 57, that the environment for me as a cyclist is NOT improving.
If a whole freaking state still does not consider a cell phone a distraction for a driver... imagine how many drivers consider their state laws for cell phones "overreaching." The fact is that far far too many drivers think they can multitask.
One thing that helps is using a mirror. You can learn a lot from a driver by watching them approach you from behind. If a driver gets too close in the lane behind me (but still many car lengths back), I will signal with my hand (hand down, palm back, open and close fingers). It seems to alert drivers to my presence pretty well. If no response, yeah, I've bailed out up the curb once or twice. The solution for me personally is to take side streets as much as possible. Lighter traffic, slower speeds. I'm fortunate in that I can ride anywhere I like and spend 95% of the time on side streets. I didn't know this when I first started riding, and rode on busier streets. I still will, if I need to, but in general I stick to the neighborhoods as much as possible.
IMHO, distracted driving is worse than ever. I am still recovering from injuries sustained after getting hit while riding. I am still struggling with getting back on the road. The pure, ignorant and blissful back road riding I really do miss. I am currently riding on mostly private roads and on rail trails in the area.
Going to try to get some road miles in soon and have a blinking headlight, taillight, and now a reflective and blinking LED construction vest. The sad part is that despite these safety efforts, I can still be crushed because someone is not paying attention.
Distracted driving should have harsh penalties, and not just financial. Thirty day license suspension per incident. We have a no handheld cellphone law here and it seems that every one out of five cars has a driver holding a phone to their ear or is looking down while moving forward.
One thing I did notice in our local paper is that in the police blotter they have been writing tickets for distracted driving in some accident cases. Unfortunately, it is a little late for that if someone else was injured.
The battery works fine BTW. You can get new batteries for any phone off ebay for $5.
I also have a smartphone paid for by work. GPS disabled there as well.
Cars much safer
Drivers- because of cell phones texting-much less safe for bicycle riders and motorcycle riders
So Texting won't increase "total car deaths" since car on cars deaths will continue to drop as more and more cars are fully airbag equipped.
So bike vs car injuries-SHOULD increase- if we are correct in assuming that car driver texting is dangerous for bike riders-
deaths might not increase much-since many will be lower speed hits
The INSURANCE INDUSTRY-pushing for a factory installed cell phone shut off- GOV enforced is our only chance
Kinda doubt it will happen-so not only should we not "Take a lane" we are better off taking a shoulder or even the sidewalk
Get 26" wide tires-hit the grass-chose route carefully.