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Old 10-23-13, 10:42 AM   #1
Dan Burkhart 
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Cycling safety from a trucker's perspective

Here's a couple of videos I've made with the aim of helping cyclists avoid mixing it up with trucks. I know it's no brainer common sense stuff, but as they say, common sense ain't all that common.
Stay safe out there.


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Old 10-23-13, 11:05 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing these, Dan. I frequently see cyclists doing things that place them at risk. I know that they don't realize the hazards though. Your videos go a long way at demonstrating the risk of certain behavours. Thanks
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Old 10-23-13, 11:47 AM   #3
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That double trailer is a monster....better you than me..... my limit was old 5 ton or so trucks in the field for wheat harvest
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Old 10-23-13, 11:58 AM   #4
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Thank you, OP, for the videos, especially the first one. My scariest close calls were all from close passing speeding trucks.
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Old 10-23-13, 12:01 PM   #5
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Dan,

Nice videos, can you get playtime as public service ads on TV? or is nobody interested?

Meanwhile whatever happened to those "heaven" and "hell" signs they used to put on the backs of trailers. One of the most persuasive signs I ever saw was a bold "do not pass on the right" over a sketch of a volkswagon crushed under the right rear wheel of the trailer.

The other good sign I used to see, but don't anymore is "If you can't see me, I can't see you". I still live by that when riding or driving when there are limited sight lines.
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Old 10-23-13, 12:22 PM   #6
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Dan,

Nice videos, can you get playtime as public service ads on TV? or is nobody interested?

Meanwhile whatever happened to those "heaven" and "hell" signs they used to put on the backs of trailers. One of the most persuasive signs I ever saw was a bold "do not pass on the right" over a sketch of a volkswagon crushed under the right rear wheel of the trailer.

The other good sign I used to see, but don't anymore is "If you can't see me, I can't see you". I still live by that when riding or driving when there are limited sight lines.
One company used to have muflaps made up that said passing side to mount on the left, and sui side on the right.
Haven't thought about approaching tv stations. Maybe an idea once i build up my library a bit.
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Old 10-23-13, 01:33 PM   #7
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Very nice! Thanks for sharing these. It's amazing how little you can see in the mirror on the turn.
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Old 10-23-13, 01:42 PM   #8
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Very nice! Thanks for sharing these. It's amazing how little you can see in the mirror on the turn.
Now to be honest, I can see more than the camera shows because the camera is mounted in a fixed position and I can move my head to change the angle of sight in the mirror, but there are still blind spots, and I'm making that turn primarily on judgement.
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Old 10-23-13, 02:01 PM   #9
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2nd video is funny cuz driver says he was able to pass safely except it was on a curve where i don't think he had a good view of any oncoming traffic
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Old 10-23-13, 02:07 PM   #10
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2nd video is funny cuz driver says he was able to pass safely except it was on a curve where i don't think he had a good view of any oncoming traffic
Yes, I had a clear view. I see more that the dash cam does. it was not intended to be a comedy.
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Old 10-23-13, 02:19 PM   #11
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Although these are certainly good, I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about videos showing motorists how to share the road with cyclists. Things like explaining that cyclists have the same rights and deserve the same respect as other road users. That cyclists will need to take the lane on occasion to avoid road hazards, door zones, to prepare for a left turn, etc..
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Old 10-23-13, 02:48 PM   #12
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Looigi, that's a subject for a WHOLE OTHER PSA.

OP, there are good. It's sad that simplicity has to be reinforced -- "don't pass trucks on the right", or "don't pass on the right", PERIOD. "If you can't see ME, I can't see YOU." I thought those were so standard as to be "DUH!" Guess that's what I get for being from the "old school" of driving.... Bike lane or no, I'd be nervous as HELL to be rolling next to a truck -- even a small weave to the right, too small to notice until too late, would pancake me.

"It'll never happen to ME!" is the biggest lie humans tell themselves.
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Old 10-23-13, 06:17 PM   #13
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Wish more drivers come to share their experiences. One question for OP and other drivers: between lime green/yellow and orange/pink clothing, which is more visible to you on city streets?
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Old 10-23-13, 06:20 PM   #14
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Wish more drivers come to share their experiences. One question for OP and other drivers: between lime green/yellow and orange/pink clothing, which is more visible to you on city streets?
I am not a truck driver......but my observation is that lime green/yellow is far more visible than orange. ynmv (your neon may vary)
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Old 10-23-13, 06:30 PM   #15
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The first video is a left hand turn, watched it twice, btw, a 53' truck in tandem, where would a cyclist ever have the same road to share?
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Old 10-23-13, 06:55 PM   #16
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..... btw, a 53' truck in tandem, where would a cyclist ever have the same road to share?
Though not 53' you will see tandem trailers on regular (non-limited access) roads in California, and other western states. You don't see these on eastern roads so much. I assume that the more restrictive rules are because of narrower more twisty roads, and more crowding.

In any case, there are the same issues of limited sight lines with single trailers, and it isn't all that rare for cars (never mind bikes) to be pinned and crushed on the inside of truck turns.
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Old 10-23-13, 06:57 PM   #17
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The first video is a left hand turn, watched it twice, btw, a 53' truck in tandem, where would a cyclist ever have the same road to share?
Look again. It looks like a left turn if you watch the mirror. look on either side of the mirror, and you will clearly see it is a right hand turn. I think I know which way I was turning.
And, cyclists are on that road all the time, along with other roads I negotiate with those units.
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Old 10-23-13, 06:58 PM   #18
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Though not 53' you will see tandem trailers on regular (non-limited access) roads in California, and other western states. You don't see these on eastern roads so much. I assume that the more restrictive rules are because of narrower more twisty roads, and more crowding.

In any case, there are the same issues of limited sight lines with single trailers, and it isn't all that rare for cars (never mind bikes) to be pinned and crushed on the inside of truck turns.
Actually, strange as it may seem, I have a clearer view when the second trailer comes through the turn.
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Old 10-23-13, 07:01 PM   #19
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Wish more drivers come to share their experiences. One question for OP and other drivers: between lime green/yellow and orange/pink clothing, which is more visible to you on city streets?
Yeah, I can imagine drivers posting here just so they could be called cagers, murderers, et\c. and blamed for everything wrong with the world.

Even those cyclists who are also drivers (motorists) don't speak up in defense of drivers very often.

As to colors, I change with the season and background color. Spring is green so I wear reds, fall is brown so I wear yellows and oranges. I also try to wear bold high contrast patterns to show out even more. In the winter, I'm going home in the dark, and don't think color helps, so I wear light rather than bright colors.

BTW- I test my lighting scheme by propping the bike up curbside, then walking back 100 yards to see what a driver would see. That's how I decided to go with a blue strobe taillight rather than the legally mandated red.
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Old 10-23-13, 07:01 PM   #20
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I am not a truck driver......but my observation is that lime green/yellow is far more visible than orange. ynmv (your neon may vary)
yeah, those lime green shirts are a real standout. A lot of construction crews have switched to them for that reason. But, a bright fluorescent orange can be seen from a long way off too.
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Old 10-23-13, 08:29 PM   #21
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That double trailer is a monster....better you than me..... my limit was old 5 ton or so trucks in the field for wheat harvest
Double trailers may be common in Canada. But I don't see a lot of them in the U.S.

As for wide right turns, that is moot as to a double or single trailer. It is standard that regardless of the length, never pull along the right side of the trailer, that is just asking for death. When I see a truck, I stay behind the truck.
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Old 10-23-13, 08:32 PM   #22
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I am not a truck driver......but my observation is that lime green/yellow is far more visible than orange. ynmv (your neon may vary)
I agree.
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Old 10-23-13, 08:44 PM   #23
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Yes passing safely over the double yellow line on the curve. Yes, a safe pass indeed and legal too!

Since I don't ride on highways I deal with trucks on city roads. I always make eye contact with the driver and make sure he sees me.
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Old 10-23-13, 08:47 PM   #24
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Honest question: Why not have a mirror extension on an angle, or a convex spot mirror, to cover some (or all) of that blind spot where you're just relying "primarily on judgement"?
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Old 10-23-13, 08:48 PM   #25
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Since I don't ride on highways I deal with trucks on city roads. I always make eye contact with the driver and make sure he sees me.
Even when they're overtaking you from behind?
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