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Old 06-14-13, 09:06 PM   #26
PatrickGSR94
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I try to find the driver's face through the glass, but the reflections on the windshield and other obstacles made it difficult in that case.
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Old 06-15-13, 07:53 AM   #27
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I try to find the driver's face through the glass, but the reflections on the windshield and other obstacles made it difficult in that case.
In any event relying on eye contact is a bad idea. Try to use it if you like, but treat it as an extra. Why? Because like everyone else, you will see what you expect to, especially when hassled, and will sometimes imagine eye contact that isn't there.

The relevant survival rule for this incident is very simple: NEVER ride into a space that car may reasonably be trying to get into. Do NOT assume that delay by the driver is an invitation without something as definite as a hand wave - he may have been texting, he may be drunk, he may be doing almost anything.

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Old 06-15-13, 08:17 AM   #28
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The relevant survival rule for this incident is very simple: NEVER ride into a space that car may reasonably be trying to get into. Do NOT assume that delay by the driver is an invitation without something as definite as a hand wave - he may have been texting, he may be drunk, he may be doing almost anything.
Tough one. I was going south downhill at a good clip but well under the speed limit. No stop sign. A car on the same street but going north was waiting to turn left. Signal on. He was waiting so I kept going. Suddenly he turns left and I barely missed getting whacked. So, should I have stopped even though I had no stop sign because he might decide to do what he did? I certainly was watching him, which may have helped me not get hit, but it was close enough that luck played a substantial part.
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Old 06-15-13, 09:13 AM   #29
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From the layout of that intersection and the time of day, it looks like the sun may have been in the driver's eyes.



Never ever assume a driver has seen you under any circumstances. Glad you're ok.
^This. From that Google Maps photo, which also appears to have been taken in the morning (sun rises in the east, sets in the west), with the sun low early, the driver may have been blinded by he sun behind you, and did not see you. You might try driving to that intersection and turning at the same time as the driver and your incident to see how the visibility was. Seems dangerous for cyclists and cars if that was the case.
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Old 06-15-13, 09:49 AM   #30
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I try to find the driver's face through the glass, but the reflections on the windshield and other obstacles made it difficult in that case.
Why do you look for the drivers face? I know time and time again we are told to make eye contact, but unless you get a definite signal, you are making assumptions about the driver actually seeing you. Drivers can appear to see you, but may be looking right past you.
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Old 06-15-13, 10:14 AM   #31
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Why do you look for the drivers face? I know time and time again we are told to make eye contact, but unless you get a definite signal, you are making assumptions about the driver actually seeing you. Drivers can appear to see you, but may be looking right past you.
words of wisdom.
the "i always make eye contact" safety nanny ritual is pure rubbish. i often scream "heads up" at the top of my lungs when i suspect some cager is not paying attention. waving rapidly also helps -- detecting sudden movements is an instinctual response.
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Old 06-15-13, 01:50 PM   #32
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Tough one. I was going south downhill at a good clip but well under the speed limit. No stop sign. A car on the same street but going north was waiting to turn left. Signal on. He was waiting so I kept going. Suddenly he turns left and I barely missed getting whacked. So, should I have stopped even though I had no stop sign because he might decide to do what he did? I certainly was watching him, which may have helped me not get hit, but it was close enough that luck played a substantial part.
This *is* a rough case, yes. My take on it:

If he was indicating to turn into the road you planned to turn into, assume that he hasn't seen you and plan accordingly depending on your bike and the road. Yes, it's frustrating to lose momentum - but it's better to have regain momentum 1000 times than end up dead. The absense of a stop sign is irrelevant - your concern should be with survival rather than the law. And stopping doesn't solve the problem anyway, because you may then have to wait forever for him to move and end up turning and his still pulling out...

What you actually need to do is slow enough so that you can actively evade him if he goes for the turn - either by braking some more or turning inside or outside him - the choice will depend on the road. And you watch him all the way through the turn. And I'd always assume that a driver hasn't seen me if he needs to look up a hill to do so.

Something people forget is that around 1/3 of serious accidents happen at intersections: the accident rate per second is several hundred times higher than when riding along a road. So your paranoia level should rise too.

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Old 06-15-13, 04:25 PM   #33
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there are only two solutions to a situation like this: mind reading and airzound. Mind reading is imperfect at best, and you really shouldn't have to try to divine a motorist's intentions when you have the right of way. If I see a motorist stop at a stop sign, there is a good chance they saw me. But I try to give myself room to escape and if they still fail to properly observe the stop sign, airzound.
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Old 06-15-13, 04:37 PM   #34
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In any event relying on eye contact is a bad idea. Try to use it if you like, but treat it as an extra. Why? Because like everyone else, you will see what you expect to, especially when hassled, and will sometimes imagine eye contact that isn't there.

The relevant survival rule for this incident is very simple: NEVER ride into a space that car may reasonably be trying to get into. Do NOT assume that delay by the driver is an invitation without something as definite as a hand wave - he may have been texting, he may be drunk, he may be doing almost anything.
Well what am I supposed to do, stop in the middle of the road with no stop signs, in which straight going traffic normally barrels along at normal speed, and wait for the other car to make its turn? That's just as bad as drivers bullying cyclists into thinking they must hug the white line on the side of the road.
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Old 06-15-13, 05:13 PM   #35
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OP glad you were not hit. If I posted on the www every time I had a close call I would be posting and not riding.
I simply ride like I am invisible and/or they are trying to hit me...lol
I never rely on "eye contact"....I look for a clear gesture that they see me or I assume they don't.

Yesterday I was cycling over to my Mom & Dad's for a Fathers day celebration and I was going north on main and my Dad was driving south on main.
I was in the lane and waved at him as we passed and he looked right at me.
When I got to his house I said "I saw you going south on main" and he says "I never saw you." etc...
No accident or close call, just a story about how drivers can sometimes zone out while they drive and not pay attention.
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Old 06-15-13, 05:45 PM   #36
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Yeah it's not like I'll post about EVERYTHING that happens, it's just that this happened to be first really CLOSE call since I started back into cycling over a year ago.
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Old 06-15-13, 06:07 PM   #37
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Well what am I supposed to do, stop in the middle of the road with no stop signs, in which straight going traffic normally barrels along at normal speed [note: the OP said there was no traffic visible behind him...] and wait for the other car to make its turn? That's just as bad as drivers bullying cyclists into thinking they must hug the white line on the side of the road.
Ok:

1. Your second sentence shows that you are thinking about this in terms of territory rights. THIS IS SUICIDAL. You can not play this game with when the other players outweigh you 20 times!

2. Yes, you can stop at intersections. Just like cars do. Really. I have to ask - are you ignoring "stop" signs? If not, what it is the problem with a voluntary stop? You indicate to show what you are going to do, and gradually stop. You can even stop close to the kerb - surely there is room to do so and for traffic to get past you? And in this case there was no traffic!

3. By the logic you present - "Can't stop - cars behind scary!" - you will NEVER stop at intersections; this logic makes your death inevitable - because there will definitely be times you need to do so.

I don't want to make you feel bad about this, but you seem to have a bad case of the very common fear of being hit from behind. In fact, such hits are VERY rare - because drivers do look in front of them when travelling in a straight line! It sounds like you were uncomfortable stopping, and assumed that a hesitating driver was waiting for you to go because that made you feel safer. You can not afford to think this way.

Instead

1. You have to be realistic that the driver could have had many reasons for stopping, and might not have seen you

2. You have to tactics to ensure your safety against this possibility - eg making a safe stop at the kerb before the turn and seeing what he does next - even waving him on.

If you do not, then you have no way at all of ensuring your own safety and should stop cycling.

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Old 06-15-13, 06:34 PM   #38
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Look at the Google link again. There is no "intersection" there. It's a straight road, with a more minor road coming into it. Only one stop sign, for the minor road. Traffic on the east/west road DOES NOT STOP unless westbound, waiting on an eastbound car to turn left onto the minor road and go south.
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Old 06-15-13, 06:39 PM   #39
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if cyclists went around riding like cars had the right of way even when we do, it would be very inefficient. I just rode 380 miles last weekend on many roads with a lot more traffic than the one in the op and nobody had any misunderstandings about who was supposed to yield. Rules are the same no matter what the vehicle. Anyone that thinks it makes sense to act differently is just causing confusion and screwing up the roads for the rest of us. It's clear to me that the person the OP tangled with would have responded appropriately to a blast from an airzound. Motorists can zone out and look right through a cyclist, but they respond to loud noises.
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Old 06-15-13, 06:53 PM   #40
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I have to say - I can't get the google maps to work for me, and your new description doesn't match the picture I had in my head from the old one. Are you saying that you were simply turning off the main road into the road where this SUV was, and so had to ride past it first?

If so, this does sound like a pain in the ass - it could have been pure driver idiocy, or you could have had the sun at your back as someone suggested (did you?) Or you could have been in a blind spot when they guy checked - some car designs have amazing pillar induced blackspots.

Probably the simplest answer - if I now have things right - is to either to slow down and wave so the guy goes so you know something is wrong. If he still sits there, get VERY suspicious and pull far out and watch him like a hawk - whether he is turning or not. It sounds extreme, but NEVER assume someone has seen you and is being helpful - there are too many other possibilities.
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Old 06-15-13, 07:05 PM   #41
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Yep you got it right.

I was already in front of the car and in fact had almost cleared it when it started to pull out, but it almost seemed like it swerved a little left as it pulled out, such that I had to swerve right to avoid it. I wasn't sure I could power on past because of the chain issue I was also dealing with. Absolute worst time for that to happen to be sure.

I made another thread about the chain dropping in the mechanics forum. I figured out last night that it's actually the big chain ring in one spot that's causing the chain to drop off the small ring, as crazy as that sounds. It's not the FD at all.
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Old 06-16-13, 07:17 AM   #42
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And after every time eye contact has kept me alive, I try to throw in a friendly wave or thumbs-up to say "thanks for watching out for me and being a considerate driver!" There's a lot of drivers out there that need to be trained by positive reinforcement (not to mention a lot of drivers that are angry about bikes on the road because of stupid hot dog cyclists, or for no reason at all)
+1

My money is on they never saw you in the first place. I don't know how it's possible either, but I think they glance and simply don't see you. I have had the same thing happen. You cannot help but think it was intentional, and perhaps it was. Unless you get them to stop, you will never know.

A young lady was was killed close by here (in her car) when she pulled out in front of a loaded tandem axle dump truck. The truck was not speeding, nothing to obstruct the view, not intoxicated, not texting, yet she did not see the truck. How can that be? She would have been hit by or run over a cyclist if that had been what was coming down the road.
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Old 06-17-13, 10:03 AM   #43
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It's clear to me that the person the OP tangled with would have responded appropriately to a blast from an airzound. Motorists can zone out and look right through a cyclist, but they respond to loud noises.
Really? Hmmm... do we have any statistics on the percentage of drivers that are deaf? I'm serious. Deafness is not a barrier to obtaining a drivers license. I have never owned an Airzound and somehow I manage to complete sortie after sortie through enemy occupied territory, knock on wood. I was driving with a friend who was barreling down a boulevard where he had the right of way. I've done that same trip but at the points where my foot usually lifts off the gas, he had his firmly planted and was flying along at or slightly above the speed limit. It was quite unnerving. Just the other day I heard he was in a nasty wrieck and has injuries from his air-bag's deployment. Just because you have the right of way does NOT mean that you rely on your RIGHT, or a shouted or Airzound warning to the other guy to back off. The only correct response to a situation where another driver or cyclist has violated your space is to cede the high ground forthwith and employ defensive tactics to reduce or remove the threat to BOTH OF YOU. This thread would have been much shorter if that wisdom had appeared earlier because it is hard to argue with. Should be hard to argue with. But that's me... I've got no ego out on the road.

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Old 06-17-13, 10:11 AM   #44
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I don't think you get it. ALL indications were that the driver saw me and was waiting on me to make the turn. He didn't start pulling out until I was almost past the car. The ONLY way I could have avoided any such encounter would have been for me to STOP dead in the middle of a road where traffic does not stop except for waiting for any oncoming traffic to pass before turning left (which there was none). And that would NOT have been the proper course of action, acting as a vehicular cyclist.
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Old 06-17-13, 10:33 AM   #45
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I don't think you get it. ALL indications were that the driver saw me and was waiting on me to make the turn. He didn't start pulling out until I was almost past the car. The ONLY way I could have avoided any such encounter would have been for me to STOP dead in the middle of a road where traffic does not stop except for waiting for any oncoming traffic to pass before turning left (which there was none). And that would NOT have been the proper course of action, acting as a vehicular cyclist.
I don't know why you are being so defensive about this... OK... the driver saw you... gave you all the signals... yes, that could be... I've been there many times... driver waiting, me approaching, everything looking irie... then... as I'm pasing in front of them they start rolling. WTF! Happens. Some people are like... its going to take my F-250 .04 seconds to spin up the 150lb wheels enough to overcome the inertia of 6,000lbs. of Detroit's finest so I'll just get on the gas now while this @#$% who has kept me waiting here through two episodes of Honey Boo Boo flounces past. Then you drop your chain and mess up his/her math very big time. I wonder who is more pissed, you or them?? When I am approaching a turning vehicle, I make complex calculations based on my speed, their speed and the distance each of us have to cover till impact. If the math has them clearing the intersection before I arrive, I keep cranking. If not I stop cranking and coast. If definitley not, I apply brake. If halfway through the turn the driver should see a wardrobe malfunction occur on the Pamela Anderson look-alike on the sidewalk and lifts off the gas it is going to present some interesting contradictions to my predictive analysis. As I said in an earlier post... if you are doing it right... i.e. riding hard enough to break a sweat... you will encounter another close encounter... I for one hope you will not attempt to chronicle all of them in the Commuting forum.

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Old 06-17-13, 10:46 AM   #46
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I understand that it will probably happen again. Hopefully not in the near future. I just don't get why you're making a big deal about me posting something about it, and having such a d-bag attitude about it. This is a public forum. People come in here and post about stuff that happens to them, to rant, to ask questions, etc etc. WHO FRIGGEN CARES?? If you don't like what I'm posting about (or what other people post about as I have seen before) then please stfu and gtfo.
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Old 06-18-13, 12:47 PM   #47
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Never claimed I intimidated anyone, I just think forcing them to make eye contact makes them react as though you are there and can't play the "I didn't see you card" they probably can't even tell it's an evil glare either, given my shades, beard, and cycling cap and/or helmet.
I tend to take the "friendly puppy" ("You wouldn't hurt a friendly puppy, would you???) approach. I smile and wave, and usually make other cheerful faces. And I'm an older woman, and a slow rider who doesn't wear lycra. I get lots of waves and smiles back, most of the time. Not always, but my superstitious belief is that it helps. If I get a reaction (e.g., a wave back), I KNOW they've seen me.

Here's one thing I've noticed that I think is odd, though. I ride with a rear view mirror and use it religiously. Sometimes a car will come up behind me and hang back. I see them coming, and wait for them to pass. But I've found that lots of cars won't pass till I pretend to look back over my left shoulder. I say "pretend" because it's actually hard for me to turn my head far enough to really see behind me. (Old joints.) But the pretend-shoulder-check seems to reassure the folks behind me that I've seen them. So I do that regularly too.

And sometimes someone coming up behind me on a two-lane road looks like they're not going to move around to give me room UNTIL I pretend-shoulder-check them. I've seen that several times recently, and I'm at a bit of a loss to understand it. But I'm generally a big believer in eye contact.

I ride in a suburb of Atlanta, not in a city, so YMMV.
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