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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 11-08-12, 10:45 AM   #1
1nterceptor
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What a fighter pilot can teach us about being safe on the road

"-High contrast clothing and lights help. In particular, flashing LED’s (front and rear) are especially effective for cyclists as they create contrast and the on-off flashing attracts the peripheral vision in the same manner that movement does.

-Ride in a position further out from the kerb as a driver is more likely to be looking in this location.

John Sullivan is a Royal Air Force pilot with over 4,000 flight hours in his career, and a keen cyclist. He is a crash investigator and has contributed to multiple reports. Fighter pilots have to cope with speeds of over 1000 mph. Any crashes are closely analysed to extract lessons that can be of use."

Read the full article:
http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-p...each-cyclists/

Edit: Just noticed the same article already discussed on another thread:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...g-in-a-saccade

Last edited by 1nterceptor; 11-08-12 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 11-08-12, 08:04 PM   #2
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Having just been certified as a Smith System driving instructor i found this pretty interesting. The first part actually references the Smith system without actually naming it and the rest is an interesting addition.
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Old 11-08-12, 08:58 PM   #3
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The relatively slower speed of bicycles means that they will be closer to a point of collision if a vehicle begins to pull into their path. Turn this to advantage – when passing junctions, look at the head of the driver that is approaching or has stopped. The head of the driver will naturally stop and centre upon you if you have been seen. If the driver’s head sweeps through you without pausing, then the chances are that you are in a saccade – you must assume that you have not been seen and expect the driver to pull out!
This caught my eye (so to speak...). I've been in 2 accidents in the last 2 years. In the first one the driver was hidden behind tinted glass but apparently never looked in my direction, but the last time he seemed to miscalculate my rate of speed. In both cases, I had bright clothing and lots of lights.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:30 PM   #4
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This caught my eye (so to speak...). I've been in 2 accidents in the last 2 years. In the first one the driver was hidden behind tinted glass but apparently never looked in my direction, but the last time he seemed to miscalculate my rate of speed. In both cases, I had bright clothing and lots of lights.
If I get hit, I will feel bad for whoever does it. How the he11 can you miss a real fat guy on a white bike with blinkies, lights, tons of lumens, other lights, and reflective vest and yellow windbreaker.
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Old 11-09-12, 07:13 PM   #5
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Drivers have hit police cars, bright red fire trucks and white ambulances with multiple flashing
lights and reflectors. At night and in daytime. Ok some of those emergency vehicles were
running red lights or going the wrong way, but still; there have been a few instances of police
cars with flashing lights getting hit by drivers while pulled over on the side of a road.


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Old 11-09-12, 07:20 PM   #6
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Eye contact and turn signals don't mean too much .

Watch the Front Wheels on a vehicle.
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Old 11-09-12, 07:31 PM   #7
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In the first one the driver was hidden behind tinted glass

Tinted glass sucks in that regard. When I was a kid, eye contact with drivers was an important tool when riding. Riding in Florida now, there are virtually no vehicles anymore where the glass is clear enough to actually do that.
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Old 11-09-12, 10:06 PM   #8
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For what is is worth, my dad was a fighter pilot. WWII - shot down over nazi occupied France, evaded capture and fought with the the French underground until liberated. He said:

"There are old fighter pilots and there are bold fighter pilots, but there are no old bold fighter pilots."


Seems to make sense for commuting cyclists - no ?

Last edited by bubbagrannygear; 11-09-12 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 11-12-12, 07:55 PM   #9
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For what is is worth, my dad was a fighter pilot. WWII - shot down over nazi occupied France, evaded capture and fought with the the French underground until liberated. ...
Wasn't that Snoopy? Oh wait, that was WWI.
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Old 11-13-12, 03:04 AM   #10
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Suppressing fire before entering an intersection counts as diplomacy of late..
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Old 11-13-12, 11:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Drivers have hit police cars, bright red fire trucks and white ambulances with multiple flashing
lights and reflectors.
My brother is a fire fighter. His department once had a guy in a pickup hit the back of a full sized fire truck in the middle of the road in the daytime with all lights going, with multiple other emergency vehicles on the scene also with lights running and lots of people walking around with full reflective gear. This was on an expressway. There was over a mile of clear visibility. The driver never even touched the brakes. He hit the many-ton fire truck hard enough to push it forward about 8 feet and required months in the shop to repair. They scooped the driver up with shovels.

There will always be a driver that can "not see" absolutely anything. Or in this case, is just zoned out, or was on a phone or messing with his radio or something.
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Old 11-13-12, 11:21 AM   #12
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If I get hit, I will feel bad for whoever does it. How the he11 can you miss a real fat guy on a white bike with blinkies, lights, tons of lumens, other lights, and reflective vest and yellow windbreaker.
I'd hit you because I saw you! I see cyclists every now and then that I would hit pre-emptively if I were driving a car. Just to stop the pain in my eyeballs. I don't let any of my cycling buddies get too carried away with the visibility thing. As was said, people hit fire engines. It isn't blind chance that I have been riding for over 40 years accident free. Most of that time blinkies, neon yellow underwear, helmets, flashers, etc.etc. etc. hadn't even been invented. I mean... think about it. How old are flashers? 15, 20 years? I've been riding twice that long and those were the good years when stamina, reaction time, etc was all in the green. In NYC!!! When I think about the brake technology of 1980... vs now. Some guy here posted his helmet cam video of a left hook incident. HE hit the car, not the other way around. For sure his bike was equipped with superior stoppers to anything that existed in 1980 but also the video shows not the slightest amount of course correction, just a straight in plow into the stopped (because the driver saw him) vehicle. No amount of money spent on safety gear is going to save you when things get sideways out there.

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Old 11-13-12, 11:25 AM   #13
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Flashing lights are illegal in Germany (and many other parts of the EU). Also, dynamos are required by law in many places.
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Old 11-13-12, 03:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
If I get hit, I will feel bad for whoever does it. How the he11 can you miss a real fat guy on a white bike with blinkies, lights, tons of lumens, other lights, and reflective vest and yellow windbreaker.
You're not paying attention. Taking all precautions still won't guarantee you will be seen and won't get hit.
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Old 11-13-12, 08:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bubbagrannygear View Post
"There are old fighter pilots and there are bold fighter pilots, but there are no old bold fighter pilots."


Seems to make sense for commuting cyclists - no ?
Yep, you can have all the right-of-way in the world and still be dead. Small consolation!
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Old 11-19-12, 03:07 AM   #16
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You're not paying attention. Taking all precautions still won't guarantee you will be seen and won't get hit.
I think chefisaac is referring to the driver's inattention, not his own. Perhaps you weren't paying attention to his post.
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