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  1. #1
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Cars are dangerous

    Got a good fright today.

    After waiting for the light to turn green at the intersection just outside my work... just as the car in front of me started to pull out... a Cadillac that should have stopped for the red light sails through the intersection at a pretty good speed and did a direct hit on an SUV pulling out in the opposite direction.

    To top it off, the Caddy didn't stop. He sped off from the accident scene. Later the cops found him in the parking lot near the building where I work... apparently disoriented from the accident.

    Luckily, the driver managed to avoid a direct t-bone hit by about two feet. So he destroyed the entire front end of the SUV he hit. Luckily, the lady he hit seemed to be OK, even though a bunch of airbags deployed.

    I'm really amazed at this. This driver not only missed the red light, but he didn't take a cue from the dozens of cars that were already stopped at the light.

    Sometimes I have to wonder who is driving these vehicles and -- even at 8:00 am -- what kind of shape they might be in.
    Last edited by gerv; 07-09-09 at 06:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    It's always a good idea to look twice even if the light is green. I don't trust the cars at all.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

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  3. #3
    Senior Member GodsBassist's Avatar
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    I didn't mean to hit and run! I was disoriented!

  4. #4
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    These typs of stories are repeated thousands of times each year. I can assure you, the driver of the Caddie was either on drugs, booze or had no insurance.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Yeah, something I'm reminded about on all my daily commutes, plus I always keep the thought in the back of my head that the fine town that I'm riding in is rated #2 (formerly #1) out of 100 cities it's size in our state for vehicle deaths and collisions.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    Years ago when I was in college, I was leaving the campus and waiting behind another car at a red light coming out of the parking lot. The light turned green, and the car in front of me (an older Tercel I believe) eased out into the intersection as he was turning left. I started to follow suit, and out of the corner of my right eye I could see a vehicle moving very fast. Another small car entered the intersection from the right going at least 40mph (in a 30mph zone) and just plowed into the Tercel. The Tercel spun around a couple of times and slid into a nearby gas station, and the other driver stopped just a few feet away. I jumped out and made sure the guy in the Tercel was okay, which he was aside from having the wind knocked out of him and being disoriented. There were several people coming out of the other car, and they all appeared to be fine. The driver was smiling as he walked toward us. I left shortly afterward, but that incident made me realize that I should look both ways even when I have a green light.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    That title is a misnomer...the cars aren't dangerous the OPERATOR'S are! There is a whole parking lot of cars sitting outside my hotel I can move about them freely with no problems...until some idiot gets behind the wheel THEN they become a problem.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  8. #8
    Long Live Long Rides
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    I worked with someone who was a very sharp Engineering Tech. He was also an epileptic. His knowledge in the work we did was awesome but it bothed me to hear him tell people he 'just didn't feel right this morning'. He drove an hour to work and an hour home each day. I never asked but often wondered if he had ever had a siezure while driving.

    I'm sure that is one person out of thousands who is driving while we are on the road.

    Jerry H
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  9. #9
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    FYI if he did have a siezure he'd be forced to surrender his license for 1.5 years of siezure free living. I had a similar thing happen due to a heart condition. oh how hard it was to give up that license for 6 months at 17 when i had just gotten it...

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    That title is a misnomer...the cars aren't dangerous the OPERATOR'S are! There is a whole parking lot of cars sitting outside my hotel I can move about them freely with no problems...until some idiot gets behind the wheel THEN they become a problem.

    Aaron
    It's still the cars that are dangerous. You could put a moron driver like this on a bike. He would still run red lights and crash into other vehicles, but he wouldn't do nearly the amount of damage if he didn't have 3 tons of steel to use as a weapon.


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  11. #11
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    happens all the time. not surprised at all. Just look at the statistics on car wrecks and fatalities... unreal.
    Florida Velodrome Association.
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  12. #12
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    It's still the cars that are dangerous. You could put a moron driver like this on a bike. He would still run red lights and crash into other vehicles, but he wouldn't do nearly the amount of damage if he didn't have 3 tons of steel to use as a weapon.
    Here's a link list numbers of automobile deaths in the United States for the last 30 or so years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...n_U.S._by_year

    What's noteworthy is that for almost every years since 1975, 40,000 people have been killed.

    On average in 2008, between 102 and 103 people were killed on the roadways of the U.S. each day.
    I still do not understand why we do not consider this a calamity. If an airplane goes down, killing 200 people, it's on the news day and night. I bet there aren't 200 people killed in air accidents in the US every year.

    Still, somehow, we think 40,000 deaths a year is acceptable.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    It's still the cars that are dangerous. You could put a moron driver like this on a bike. He would still run red lights and crash into other vehicles, but he wouldn't do nearly the amount of damage if he didn't have 3 tons of steel to use as a weapon.
    My partner is 230lbs. His bike is a good 45lbs. And he's usually going a good 15-20mph, which is enough to outrun a city bus 'round here. That's enough mass and velocity to kill a pedestrian. Every spring, I have to remind him that trying to ride down the idiot college students sauntering lazily through the beautiful sunny streets is a Bad Plan. He then mutters bitterly about they should have their spring taken away if it's going to drive them mad.

    A car definitely can do more damage with less effort. But that doesn't mean we can't do any.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Still, somehow, we think 40,000 deaths a year is acceptable.
    It's not.

    Mostly, I just do my best to show that car free can work. When we went car free, everyone in my family was convinced it was impossible, and that no one could manage without a car. That was about 2006. As of a few weeks ago, my brother got a bike (my little sister was already car free... with a parrot!). It's now just my parents using cars, and since my mom is the Bionic Woman (one hip replacement, one completely rebuilt shoulder and soon to be two knee replacements), it's not realistic for her to rely on a bike. Instead, they live in town, and all of us kids encourage her to walk as much as possible. Dad uses a car when needed, and often will walk or take his bike. I live in hope that someday I can convince him to put a rack and panniers on his precious vintage 10 speed.

    Little ripples, but every bit of change helps.

  15. #15
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    Torrilin, you have an impressive family! Sorry your mom can't join the 'love train'. Maybe an electric recumbent trike...?

    My daughter and my two youngest nephews are bike freaks; my sister would ride more if her hubby had the physical capabilities; he has a bike, a good one I built for him, but his health is fragile. He rides when he can, but at about the pace of his 6-y-o son. We have two vehicles in the driveway, mainly for grocerying and utility runs.

    I'm still the main one to ride; I commute, pay bills, do some grocery runs myself, and take the kids to the park. I'm at about 90 miles/week.

    I'm about the size/capability of your S.O.; I did want to suggest that he ease up on the alpha-male pedal-assertiveness. Makes it easier all around....

  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torrilin View Post
    My partner is 230lbs. His bike is a good 45lbs. And he's usually going a good 15-20mph, which is enough to outrun a city bus 'round here. That's enough mass and velocity to kill a pedestrian. Every spring, I have to remind him that trying to ride down the idiot college students sauntering lazily through the beautiful sunny streets is a Bad Plan. He then mutters bitterly about they should have their spring taken away if it's going to drive them mad.

    A car definitely can do more damage with less effort. But that doesn't mean we can't do any
    .
    I haven't been able to find any cases of pedestrians being killed after colliding with a bicycle. Have you?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  17. #17
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Here's a link list numbers of automobile deaths in the United States for the last 30 or so years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...n_U.S._by_year

    What's noteworthy is that for almost every years since 1975, 40,000 people have been killed.



    I still do not understand why we do not consider this a calamity. If an airplane goes down, killing 200 people, it's on the news day and night. I bet there aren't 200 people killed in air accidents in the US every year.

    Still, somehow, we think 40,000 deaths a year is acceptable.
    In the month of September, 2001, more Americans were killed by cars than died in the 9/11 attacks. And that's been true in each and every month since then.

    Worldwide, the number of car fatalities is greater than half a million annually, IIRC.

    And we haven't even discussed the casualties from smog and sedentary lifestyles.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I haven't been able to find any cases of pedestrians being killed after colliding with a bicycle. Have you?
    It's about 1-5 a year in the US. Very rare, but given bike and pedestrian mode share, way more frequent than it should be. Wouldn't be much of a victory if we increased biking and walking, but cyclists were mowing down pedestrians as much as they get now from cars .

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I haven't been able to find any cases of pedestrians being killed after colliding with a bicycle. Have you?
    There have been a few. IIRC last year in the UK and at least once in NYC where a messenger type plowed into a crowd at a crosswalk. (I will have to see if I can find the link, I know they were posted in A&S)

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torrilin View Post
    It's about 1-5 a year in the US. Very rare, but given bike and pedestrian mode share, way more frequent than it should be. Wouldn't be much of a victory if we increased biking and walking, but cyclists were mowing down pedestrians as much as they get now from cars .
    I'm not trying to minimize the bike-on-pedestrian problem, especially as I've been nearly mowed down by bikes a number of times. However, it looks like far more peds are killed by bee stings, lightning strikes, or just tripping on their shoelaces.

    Cars are the real problem, and I don't think we should lose sight of that.


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  21. #21
    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    Its is crazy, you can't just take a *** any where but that car, just go man go.
    I hate cars,

  22. #22
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I'm not trying to minimize the bike-on-pedestrian problem, especially as I've been nearly mowed down by bikes a number of times. However, it looks like far more peds are killed by bee stings, lightning strikes, or just tripping on their shoelaces.

    Cars are the real problem, and I don't think we should lose sight of that.
    I kind of disagree there. The problem is our society's inability to deal the threat of machines that can travel at high speed in residential areas.

    Even that's not entirely true. In some sections of the suburbs in my city, the use of traffic circles to slow down traffic and to generally discourage bad behaviour has met with some success. It seems to be popular with the local residents, but very unpopular with drivers passing through. Your kids are safe on the sidewalks, but it takes longer to get to work.

    Personally, I think traffic circles are a pretty rough tool to keep your neighbourhood free from speeding vehicles, but it sure is nice to know that something is being done to keep the local streets safe.

    However, there are many sections of a city that aren't strictly residential and streets that are considered "arterial". These type streets tend to have cars moving at 50mph with lights every 1/2 mile. These streets are particularly dangerous because a moment's inattention can lead to pretty deadly results.

    I'm not even sure what you could do to make these streets safer. I know that a large number of cyclists traveling on them would slow traffic down. But would also lead to an abnormal number of deaths too.

    I suspect the real answer is a number of initiatives. Traffic lights that were designed to slow traffic down, rather than facilitate high speed.... possibily narrow lanes that would make speeders feel uncomfortable. Even... somehow.. increasing the amount of foot traffic on sidewalks.

    The neighbourhood where I live has implemented a couple of these ideas. Particularly the traffic light trick mentioned above. You can't pass through the one mile stretch without stopping at a light. Frequently it's two lights. Speed limit is 25mph Also, adding commercial sections through a one mile stretch ... including bars and restaurants... and even a violin shop... has increased foot traffic. Consequently, I feel pretty safe cycling on the main thoroughfare. I can usually (when going downhill anyway... ) keep up with the traffic and don't particularly fear for my life.

    The section of street where I saw the accident was on the same street but in another neighbourhood where planners decided that speed and getting traffic through was all important. Nobody walks on the sidewalks. No sane cyclist will venture out there.
    Last edited by gerv; 07-12-09 at 09:34 AM.

  23. #23
    gwd
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    Hey, I did 10 miles before work today on streets and paths with NO car driver idiocy. AND, at two or maybe three red lights there were more bikes than cars. My nefarious plan to turn DC into "Copenhagen on the Potomac" by setting an example seems to be working.

  24. #24
    Member Citizen78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...n_U.S._by_year

    What's noteworthy is that for almost every years since 1975, 40,000 people have been killed.
    You know something struck me about this, looking at the numbers... There are roughly 70 million more people in 06 then in 75, and you'd assume proportionately more drivers. The number of associated fatalities, you'd think, would go up. There were actually less in 2006 then in 1975, by a small number (2k).

    This probably just has to do with advances in car safety and road safety measures, but worth noting and I do so even though it disagrees with my position on cars: I am highly suspicious of our ability to regularly and safely operate a 4k pound steel rhino at cheetah speeds mere feet from one another.

    Anyway, just an interesting footnote to that data, which I found pretty alarming.
    Just another hairless monkey with a net connection and a keyboard.

  25. #25
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen78 View Post
    You know something struck me about this, looking at the numbers... There are roughly 70 million more people in 06 then in 75, and you'd assume proportionately more drivers. The number of associated fatalities, you'd think, would go up. There were actually less in 2006 then in 1975, by a small number (2k).

    This probably just has to do with advances in car safety and road safety measures, but worth noting and I do so even though it disagrees with my position on cars: I am highly suspicious of our ability to regularly and safely operate a 4k pound steel rhino at cheetah speeds mere feet from one another.

    Anyway, just an interesting footnote to that data, which I found pretty alarming.
    Good catch. Car fatalities per passenger mile are way down. I think this is due mainly to "crumple zone" construction of cars, seat belt use and air bags. I believe passenger miles have more than doubled since 1975. so this is a big improvement.

    I don't think non-fatal injuries are down as much as traffic deaths. Injuries are very expensive and can be devastating to victims and their families. My stepson was in a crash that hurt him so badly that there were moments when I wished he would die. Even now, almost 5 years later, he's only about 85 % of his former self.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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