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Old 11-22-10, 10:13 PM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
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50+ cyclist killed by 80+ bad driver

This is the sort of thing you never want to see. This fellow was cycling on the shoulder to the start of the Horrible Hundred, a central Florida century last weekend, when an 84 year old driver drifted off the road and killed him. The comments spread the hate equally between the evil elderly driver and the reckless road cyclist. Terrible, terrible tragedy.

Here's a link to the original article, with more details about the crash.
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Old 11-22-10, 10:32 PM   #2
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Very sad! Just tragic.
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Old 11-23-10, 06:34 AM   #3
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Tragic indeed.
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Old 11-23-10, 06:59 AM   #4
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"And so it goes..." Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five

I was run off the road some years ago by an very elderly man. Fortunately in my incident the driver was going at a slower speed and swerved as he was passing me and pushed me off into a grassy verge.

He stopped and I lit into him with an adrenalin fueled profanity laced tirade. This turned into real pity and sorrow as I became aware of his real regret and anxiety for me along with the awareness of his realization that his independence (his ability to safely drive) was gone. I ended up apologizing for my verbal abuse. I realized he was probably all alone in the world and without his car he faced becoming dependent entirely on the help of others.

I hope I am never in either of these driver's situation.

I especially hope I am never in Harry Nickell's situation.
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Old 11-23-10, 07:08 AM   #5
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Just awful news. So sad.
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Old 11-23-10, 07:10 AM   #6
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Some of this points to the absolute lack in many locations of affordable alternative transportation services for individuals who may have lost their ability to drive.

I have now known of SO many folks with whom I have an acquaintance one way or another who have been killed while bicycling. Folks with whom I have emailed, or who were prominent on the BFN board or otherwise.

It further defines and validates my decision NOT to be a competitor with cars on roadways. Sorry, but that is how I see the stats.
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Old 11-23-10, 10:04 AM   #7
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... I ended up apologizing for my verbal abuse. I realized he was probably all alone in the world and without his car he faced becoming dependent entirely on the help of others.
Don't feel bad about laying into him. It may have taken that to finally get him off the road before he killed someone.
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Old 11-23-10, 03:49 PM   #8
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Don't feel bad about laying into him. It may have taken that to finally get him off the road before he killed someone.
No I didn't feel bad about reminding him of the consequences of him driving around with what I saw were obvious cataracts. I told him in no uncertain terms he shouldn't be driving but he looked so pitiful and helpless.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:28 PM   #9
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Guess it depends on what part of the world in which a person lives. Where I go the problem is just a general disregard for others and the effect of the Me First attitude. Incompetent drivers are incompetent drivers no matter the age. If I could be Dictator For The Day everyone would have to take a driver's test every time they renewed their license.
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Old 11-24-10, 10:36 AM   #10
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. . . If I could be Dictator For The Day everyone would have to take a driver's test every time they renewed their license.
All hail, Caesar!

I would petition you to make the test tough, set the duration of the license for no more than two or three years and require retesting after every major moving violation. If you did not suffer from a violent overthrow before dark, then we could look at automatic suspension for driving under the influence of alcohol, other drugs and communications devices.
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Old 11-24-10, 11:09 AM   #11
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I knew Harry. Hadn't seen him in years. We used to train for duathlons & triathlons together. Before I knew him, he was in a bad car crash in Texas. The engine of his truck pretty much ended up in his lap. One of his feet was almost severed from his leg, hanging by a piece of tendon only or something like that. When emergency services arrived he demanded that they get a sports orthopedic surgeon to attach it. He lost some flexibility with that ankle but ended up becoming a nationally ranked age group duathlete.
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Old 11-24-10, 12:30 PM   #12
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...at automatic suspension for driving under the influence of alcohol, other drugs and communications devices.

One of the real problems is lack of enforcement of current laws. I was once told by a Colorado LEO that about 1/3 of the drivers on the road either do not have licenses and/or insurance. I doubt if any other state is much different. I think I saw a news piece about a woman in Alaska who killed some people while drunk and while not having a license due to multiple previous DUIs. Again, I doubt that any other state is much different. I suspect many of the incidents we are talking about involve unlicensed drivers.

Figure out a way to keep those who have already had their licenses suspended or revoked off the road and not only would the most dangerous drivers be removed but, according to the numbers quoted, rush hour would have 1/3 fewer vehicles to cope with. Both safety pluses.
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Old 11-24-10, 07:48 PM   #13
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Yes, the problem is lack of enforcement of existing laws, fueled by society's view of driving as an entitlement or unalienable right, rather than the privilege it actually is. If we held collision-causing motorists more strictly accountable for their actions, we could greatly reduce the amount of carnage on the roads. The mobility issue for those no longer able to drive can be partially addressed by neighborhood electric vehicles, but this requires reducing some speed limits so that NEVs can be used to get from Point A to Point B.
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Old 11-24-10, 08:07 PM   #14
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Someday we will all get to a point we should no longer drive. It's a tough place to be, I watched my father go through it. He got so bad he was having a minor fender bender once a month. My goal, live in a one story house within walking distance of almost everything I need, I can hang out there for a long time w/o being a burden to my kids.
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Old 11-25-10, 06:27 PM   #15
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Shocking. I rode the HH with about 25 others from our local bike club. Didn't hear about this until the next day. Tragic.
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Old 11-25-10, 06:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
This is the sort of thing you never want to see. This fellow was cycling on the shoulder to the start of the Horrible Hundred, a central Florida century last weekend, when an 84 year old driver drifted off the road and killed him. The comments spread the hate equally between the evil elderly driver and the reckless road cyclist. Terrible, terrible tragedy.

Here's a link to the original article, with more details about the crash.
Very sad, and RIP to the cyclist. I am 70, and I am advocate of testing drivers over 60 every 6 months. Not only that, test us with something a little stringent than the ordinary driving test. I see it all the time, old folks like me, that have lost the feel of driving and are really nothing but "accidents waiting to happen"..
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Old 11-25-10, 07:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
"And so it goes..." Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five

I was run off the road some years ago by an very elderly man. Fortunately in my incident the driver was going at a slower speed and swerved as he was passing me and pushed me off into a grassy verge.

He stopped and I lit into him with an adrenalin fueled profanity laced tirade. This turned into real pity and sorrow as I became aware of his real regret and anxiety for me along with the awareness of his realization that his independence (his ability to safely drive) was gone. I ended up apologizing for my verbal abuse. I realized he was probably all alone in the world and without his car he faced becoming dependent entirely on the help of others.

I hope I am never in either of these driver's situation.

I especially hope I am never in Harry Nickell's situation.
been there and done that too.

Kindness with DISARM most of us everytime. In other words, we raging off at them for almost killing us, and they are very sincere and apoligizing to the hilt. End result, we melt!!

However, something needs to be done to get the older people that have lost the knack, and reaction time to driving off the street.
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Old 11-25-10, 08:07 PM   #18
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Very sad, and RIP to the cyclist. I am 70, and I am advocate of testing drivers over 60 every 6 months. Not only that, test us with something a little stringent than the ordinary driving test. I see it all the time, old folks like me, that have lost the feel of driving and are really nothing but "accidents waiting to happen"..
Problem is that there is a big difference in chronological age vs. physical age. Due to a combination of genetics/lifestyle, some people retain their mental/physical capacities/agilities longer than others. Anyway, why subject seniors to a "little stringent than the ordinary driving test" that a majority of the population probably couldn't pass UNLESS you intend to make all driving tests more stringent. (Hey, now THERE'S an idea!)

Besides, do you honestly think the AARP folks would ever let this become law?
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Old 11-26-10, 05:48 AM   #19
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Problem is that there is a big difference in chronological age vs. physical age. Due to a combination of genetics/lifestyle, some people retain their mental/physical capacities/agilities longer than others. Anyway, why subject seniors to a "little stringent than the ordinary driving test" that a majority of the population probably couldn't pass UNLESS you intend to make all driving tests more stringent. (Hey, now THERE'S an idea!)

Besides, do you honestly think the AARP folks would ever let this become law?
You are correct in the differences, but the fact of the matter is older drivers that have lost their faculties to be a good driver are still driving.. Sure, the young people doing aggressive driving maybe worse, but what you going to do, because somebody else is worse, don't fix the problem?

Rush hour traffic is no place for elderly drivers. I hope I don't take too much flaming for that one!!

However, through the length of my years I have heard and learned some things and they be the solid truth. One of those things are this quote "People that care about you tell you like it is, and that might not be what you want to hear"... That is nothing but the truth..

Sure, we got drunk drivers, teenage drivers, may or may not be worse then elderly drivers. However the fact remains, elderly folks should regulate their driving accordingling..
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Old 11-26-10, 10:23 PM   #20
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Very sad, and RIP to the cyclist. I am 70, and I am advocate of testing drivers over 60 every 6 months. Not only that, test us with something a little stringent than the ordinary driving test. I see it all the time, old folks like me, that have lost the feel of driving and are really nothing but "accidents waiting to happen"..
The problem with testing is that it is only part of the problem and only part of the solution. The rest of the problem is how to keep unlicensed drivers off the highways. As I posted above the people who claim to know say there are lots and lots of unlicensed drivers endangering all of us.

Solve that problem and testing truly makes sense. Without enforcement teeth increased testing is merely a royal pain and a way to increase the size of DOTs across he globe.
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Old 11-27-10, 10:42 AM   #21
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I just hope that I recognize when I become the hazard and have the fortitude to stop.
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Old 11-27-10, 10:50 AM   #22
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Just curious -

If the driver had been 42 years old, would the thread title have been:

50+ cyclist killed by 40+ bad driver

Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-27-10 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 11-27-10, 11:21 AM   #23
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I'm less concerned about "older drivers" when I'm riding than distracted/inattentive younger drivers. I haven't heard of incidents involving seniors who were distracted by texting or talking on their cell phone, messing with their MP3, etc.
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Old 11-27-10, 06:55 PM   #24
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Yeah, age is only one factor.

The time I REALLY got hit - and thank God it was a small car and just starting to accelerate - it was driven by a 40YO piece of work.

The pain with that one nearly scared me off the bike for good.

I just couldn't give it up, though, but if I see a car at a cross intersection now I don't assume they care about my presence and am very cautious.

Just pray a little when I hear them coming fast from behind.
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Old 11-27-10, 07:18 PM   #25
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I just hope that I recognize when I become the hazard and have the fortitude to stop.
Chances are most of us won't, on one point or the other. Either our judgement will be impaired or our viewpoint will be different. That's what I've seen with my aging relatives anyway - you don't live to be 84 without some amount of stubbornness.

It's a tragic story. I've been the "bad guy", taking away my mom's car to prevent just this sort of accident. She'll never forgive me.
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