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Old 01-01-14, 10:43 AM   #1
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3 technical approaches being tested to reduce truck/bike collisions

Trucks and buses account for a disproportional number of bicycle fatalities, with a rate of 5-10 times that of cars.

Here's an article discussing some technical approaches to addressing this that are being field tested in the UK.

Hopefully, one or more will pass muster and be deployed in the future. But we shouldn't rely on some technical crutch that can fail, nor should cyclists depend on the skill of the unknown driver of a nearby truck. The best and most realistic way to reduce these accidents already exists. It's a question of rider awareness, as much as driver awareness, and the real answer is for cyclists to recognize blind spot hazards and do what's necessary to protect themselves.
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Old 01-01-14, 10:46 AM   #2
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Yup, don't filter alongside lorries and busses.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:17 AM   #3
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There needs to be even more emphasis put on many truck/bus drivers that they cannot drive around in an urban area like a bull in a china shop, along with the addition of equipment to help aid truck and bus drivers in detecting as well as informing pedestrians of impending turning maneuvers.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:28 AM   #4
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There needs to be even more emphasis put on many truck/bus drivers that they cannot drive around in an urban area like a bull in a china shop, along with the addition of equipment to help aid truck and bus drivers in detecting as well as informing pedestrians of impending turning maneuvers.
I don't know how things are where you live, but the narrow roads and streets and sharp corners in the metro NY area make it impossible for trucks to make turns at any speed at all. It's a slow process and the vast majority of drivers are diligent in signaling.

IMO- it's very simple, it doesn't matter whether the driver could or would see you if you stay out of blind spots in the first place. I fail to understand why cyclists who have control over their destinies would chose to relinquish it to some unknown driver.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:33 AM   #5
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As long as people keep putting all the emphasis on cyclists to be 100 percent in charge of their personal safety, there will be little effort made or need on reducing or eliminating large vehicle blind spots, or improve large vehicle operators' urban driving skills.

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Old 01-01-14, 11:40 AM   #6
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As long as people keep putting all the emphasis on cyclists to be 100 percent in charge of their personal safety, there will be little effort made or need on eliminating large vehicle operators blind spots.
I'm in favor of developing technical solutions, which is why I follow their progress and post about them. However, it's possible to become over reliant on them, so they are no a panacea. There's also a long time before they're deployed within a significant portion of the fleet mix.

Rider awareness is something each of us can do to protect ourselves NOW, and in the future at no cost. Even if a good technology is developed and deployed, should a cyclist gamble that it's in the truck to his side, and that it's working?

There are many causes of accidents that cyclists can do little to prevent, but the truck blind spot type is entirely preventable.
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Old 01-01-14, 12:00 PM   #7
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There are many causes of accidents that cyclists can do little to prevent, but the truck blind spot type is entirely preventable.
....even on the trucking industries part, but many large vehicle operators still act as if all road users are aware of them.
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Old 01-01-14, 12:12 PM   #8
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....even on the trucking industries part, but many large vehicle operators still act as if all road users are aware of them.
This is a basic philosophical debate on which we'll never agree. I feel people have to take control of their own destinies rather than rely on others, especially when (as you say) the others are so unreliable.

This doesn't absolve others or responsibility for accidents, but the issue should be prevention rather than assignment of blame.
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Old 01-01-14, 12:25 PM   #9
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This is a basic philosophical debate on which we'll never agree. I feel people have to take control of their own destinies rather than rely on others, especially when (as you say) the others are so unreliable.

This doesn't absolve others or responsibility for accidents, but the issue should be prevention rather than assignment of blame.
What I got from you and others on BF, was that cyclists' safety was fully their responsibility, along with preventing their own demise. As a cyclist, I will make my personal safety a responsibility to within the best of my ability, but I still have to rely on other road users doing their part, and if I could not rely on them, then bicycling commuting would not be a part of my life.
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Old 01-01-14, 12:41 PM   #10
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What I got from you and others on BF, was that cyclists' safety was fully their responsibility, along with preventing their own demise. As a cyclist, I will make my personal safety a responsibility to within the best of my ability, but I still have to rely on other road users doing their part, and if I could not rely on them, then bicycling commuting would not be a part of my life.
I can't speak for pothers, but I've never said cyclists are FULLY responsible for their own safety, nor that they don't have to rely on others. However, where cyclists can take charge of their destiny they need to do so.

It's very simple, as the chief stake holder in my own safety on the roads I do what I can to minimize reliance on others. Of course I need some cooperation from other road users, especially those passing from behind, but IMO riding into a blind spot is comparable to riding without a light at night. You know where you are, but there's a decent chance the driver doesn't.
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Old 01-01-14, 12:46 PM   #11
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What I got from you and others on BF, was that cyclists' safety was fully their responsibility, along with preventing their own demise. As a cyclist, I will make my personal safety a responsibility to within the best of my ability, but I still have to rely on other road users doing their part, and if I could not rely on them, then bicycling commuting would not be a part of my life.
There's a difference in relying on most road users to mostly do what is expected of them, and relying solely on others users for your safety. Placing yourself in the blind spot of lorry or a bus is gambling and asking someone to act on something they can't see. I am not saying that they shouldn't attempt to see there with the aid of more mirrors and technology, but to place yourself in that spot, you are putting your life in the hands of others, rather than quite easily avoiding the whole situation. It is not a matter of who is right or wrong, it is a matter of knowing you shouldn't put yourself in a situation that could cause you your life when it is so easily avoided.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:48 PM   #12
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There's a difference in relying on most road users to mostly do what is expected of them, and relying solely on others users for your safety. Placing yourself in the blind spot of lorry or a bus is gambling and asking someone to act on something they can't see.
I do not solely rely on other road users for my personal safety, no more than I can guarantee my personal safety by solely relying on myself. I filter up amongst semi trucks and buses regularly, but I'm also aware of the possibility of being right hooked (US), and take precautions when filtering in those situations in the rare event that I might be overlooked or a turn is not properly signaled.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:50 PM   #13
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I do not solely rely on other road users for my personal safety, no more than I can guarantee my personal safety by solely relying on myself. I filter up amongst semi trucks and buses regularly, but I'm also aware of the possibility of being right hooked (US), and take precautions when filtering in those situations in the rare event that I might be overlooked or a turn is not properly signaled.
Yes, we're on the same page. I'm only trying to give newer cyclists the benefit that our experience confers.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:52 PM   #14
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You made the point that some of us was saying that you needed to rely solely on yourself which was a misunderstanding at best, and a dishonest misrepresentation at worst. I responded to that part.

If you feel it is safe to filter next to a lorry all because you are "aware" of the dangers, then that is up to you. I seriously doubt your awareness will help much in a real situation, if you do not act on that awareness by not putting yourself there. But, of course, that is entirely up to you.
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Old 01-01-14, 02:01 PM   #15
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If you feel it is safe to filter next to a lorry all because you are "aware" of the dangers, then that is up to you. I seriously doubt your awareness will help much in a real situation, if you do not act on that awareness by not putting yourself there. But, of course, that is entirely up to you.
With decades of bicycling in a US urban setting, without ever once being hit by a motor vehicle, and in a city that has one of the highest collision rates in our state, I find your statement as naive of my riding abilities.
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Old 01-01-14, 02:02 PM   #16
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If you feel it is safe to filter next to a lorry all because you are "aware" of the dangers, then that is up to you. I seriously doubt your awareness will help much in a real situation, if you do not act on that awareness by not putting yourself there. But, of course, that is entirely up to you.
In fact it can be safe to filter up past trucks and buses, but it requires serious situational awareness and management. I'll routinely filter up past trucks backed up behind traffic, but rarely past the first one at the stop line. If traffic begins to move, I have time and distance to adjust as we approach the corner, and may even come to a full stop letting the trucks slide past.

However the last few feet to the corner are in the wedge zone, so I don't venture there until/unless I know what the driver's intentions are.
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Old 01-01-14, 02:12 PM   #17
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I'll routinely filter up past trucks backed up behind traffic, but rarely past the first one at the stop line.
I differ in that I do pull up along side and just ahead of a large truck/bus stopped at the stop line that has not signaled a turn, even then I will give a wave to the operator, and generally I'm well away before the truck driver does happen to spool up his big rig.
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Old 01-01-14, 02:39 PM   #18
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I differ in that I do pull up along side and just ahead of a large truck/bus stopped at the stop line that has not signaled a turn, even then I will give a wave to the operator, and generally I'm well away before the truck driver does happen to spool up his big rig.
I do the same, but there's a window of risk in the event that the light changes sooner than I expect. While most drivers are good about turn signals, here in NY no signal doesn't mean no turn.
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Old 01-01-14, 02:40 PM   #19
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What does the filtering behavior gain you?
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Old 01-01-14, 03:07 PM   #20
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What does the filtering behavior gain you?
Not much, a few seconds, but we do certain things for reasons that don't make any sense a all.
++++
However, in many situations filtering works to real advantage. For example, there's an intersection near me with lots of complex turning traffic patterns. It's hard to find the right lane placement there. Filtering up lets me get to the intersection and possibly jump the gun and clear it before traffic begins to roll. It's not ideal, but can be the best of bad choices.

We all do dumb things from time to time, but not all dumb things are equally dumb.
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Old 01-01-14, 03:29 PM   #21
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Yes, we're on the same page. I'm only trying to give newer cyclists the benefit that our experience confers.
This is a problem that we, as cyclists face. We mostly want as many people to cycle as possible, but we don't want them splatted about the roadway due to their having made poor decisions, so we try to educate them about where some of the somewhat hidden risks are. At the same time, I feel we need to avoid creating or contributing to a culture-wide perception that it is every wo/man for him/herself. That attitude, if prevalent, may lead to people feeling justified taking risks with other people's lives that they wouldn't otherwise take.

It seems like a delicate balance and the folks on this board rarely agree on where to draw that line. I don't even agree with myself from day to day on where to draw it.
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Old 01-01-14, 03:42 PM   #22
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Yup, don't filter alongside lorries and busses.
Filtering is just plain stupid. A door could suddenly fly open, or a driver could suddenly start forward, and start to drift causing the cyclist to get crushed and dead.
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IMO- it's very simple, it doesn't matter whether the driver could or would see you if you stay out of blind spots in the first place. I fail to understand why cyclists who have control over their destinies would chose to relinquish it to some unknown driver.
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Old 01-01-14, 03:55 PM   #23
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Hmmm. I'm completely reliant on drivers not willfully hitting me or running me over. There's really nothing I can do to prevent that. I'm also reliant on their attention and skill to not hit or run me over unintentionally. I can try to help them by being conspicuous, lane positioning, etc.. but in the end they're the ones in control.

As far as filtering, don't do it if you don't want to. If you understand the risks and want to, go for it. I'm a filterer from way back. Loved motorcycling in CA where its legal for motorcycles to "filter" between lanes of continuous traffic while moving and also while stopped at traffic lights or stop signs. And I routinely filter on my bike in cities large and small, incl NYC, San Fransisco, San Diego, Boston, Denver...
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Old 01-01-14, 04:14 PM   #24
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Filtering is just plain stupid. A door could suddenly fly open, or a driver could suddenly start forward, and start to drift causing the cyclist to get crushed and dead.
I've always defined filtering as sliding up alongthe line of cars stopped at an intersection. While it has dangers, consider that in major cities, all cycling is done in a shear zone between stationary (parked) and moving cars. In NYC where there are no bike lanes this is done in a lane 3-5' wide. At times the moving cas are faster than you, at others you're passing them. So in a sense all riding on the streets of NY are like filtering, except worse.

Maybe this is why older NYC cyclists tend to filter at intersections.
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Old 01-01-14, 04:28 PM   #25
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I do the same, but there's a window of risk in the event that the light changes sooner than I expect. While most drivers are good about turn signals, here in NY no signal doesn't mean no turn.
It's universally the same in my city as well, I always make sure I have a quick escape option when filtering, and I also filter at a far lower speed level than my regular riding speed, giving me more time to react in the event that I have to make an evasive maneuver.
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