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-   -   Two local cyclist hit and killed this morning. Very sad. (http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/937970-two-local-cyclist-hit-killed-morning-very-sad.html)

OldTryGuy 03-14-14 08:11 AM

My take, make myself the most visible target to hit and hopefully they will miss me. So far, so good.

Easier to see a flashing light a mile away than a reflector vest. Multiple lights even better. Like being outside after freshly fallen snow, bicycling and running early AM when others are sleeping is glorious. 0100 to 0400 is very tranquil and the occasional passing of the ISS is cool.

Dudelsack 03-14-14 08:49 AM

I just pulled up the site of the accident on google street view. There's nothing else around there to block the view. It had to be an issue with either poor nighttime visability or inattentiveness, or both.

OldTryGuy 03-14-14 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dudelsack (Post 16577056)
I just pulled up the site of the accident on google street view. There's nothing else around there to block the view. It had to be an issue with either poor nighttime visability or inattentiveness, or both.

Unless my orientation is wrong, if they were turning East onto 2100, the street view would indicate that they would need a green arrow and the North bound truck would then have a red light.

BillyD 03-14-14 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregf83 (Post 16576860)
We understand you're uncomfortable riding at night but many of us who regularly ride in the dark are comfortable with the risk.

Bingo, there you have it - different strokes for different folks! Some people choose to accept the risk, others don't.

Until a rigorous scientific study comes out to detail that under xyz conditions riding at night is more or less dangerous than riding in daylight, then it's all speculation and personal opinion.

3alarmer 03-14-14 11:08 AM

...as a person who at one time made a living going out to auto accidents and hosing down the pavement,
I'd add (and not to increase anyone's comfort level) that there is a pretty well known phenomenon of intoxicated
drivers hitting flashing lights on construction barricades at night.........for whatever benighted reason.

So the chaos that we encounter both day and night on our nation's roads is a complicated phenomenon, that
requires both a strong commitment to defensive tactics and a small degree of fatalism. I certainly feel safer
with urban speed limits of 30mph or less, and thankfully, much of my riding is done on such roads.

But I know many people who tour long distances on highway shoulders, and who assure me they enjoy it.

I'm not about to attempt a definition of what is "safe", or what can be done "safely", because it's not appropriate to my pay grade.

banerjek 03-14-14 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillyD (Post 16577442)
Until a rigorous scientific study comes out to detail that under xyz conditions riding at night is more or less dangerous than riding in daylight, then it's all speculation and personal opinion.

There is some stuff that's a bit more straightforward though. If you're properly lit/dressed, I don't think it's riskier than during the day and I certainly think it's better than riding into the sun. I used to get road reports from friends and strangers alike (and even the cops) on my visibility. Properly lit, you're easily visible for miles and your beams tell people on the other sides of hills and curves that you're there.

There are conditions where I'm concerned about being pulped, and darkness is just not a factor and in some cases it helps outright. For example, if you're in thick fog or heavy storms, serious lighting in the dark gives you far more visibility to motorists than you'd have in the light.

However, no matter what kind of lighting you have, you can't see as well in the dark. Even my "Death Star" setup with a retina searing 1600 lumens (which I never use in town because it's ridiculous), bombing down hills well over 40mph is more dangerous because even with the wash, you can't see threats like deer, dogs, possums, raccoons, etc coming in from the sides, you can't see as far ahead, or make out imperfections and debris in the roads.

In the case at hand, it's not clear what happened. The only thing that's obvious to an outside observer is that front *left* corner of the pickup truck was destroyed and that the riders were hit at highway speed. There are multiple explanations for how this could have happened, some of which have nothing to do with darkness.

AERO63 03-14-14 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dunbar (Post 16575435)
Can anyone explain what happened? I looked at the Google map view but I still don't understand what happened.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dudelsack (Post 16577056)
I just pulled up the site of the accident on google street view. There's nothing else around there to block the view. It had to be an issue with either poor nighttime visability or inattentiveness, or both.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldTryGuy (Post 16577152)
Unless my orientation is wrong, if they were turning East onto 2100, the street view would indicate that they would need a green arrow and the North bound truck would then have a red light.

I live just a few miles from this intersection and ride through it often...multiple times weekly...Redwood Road (the main road running north-south) is the best (realistically the only) option for a cyclist to head north from Utah County into Salt Lake County while staying on the west side of the valley.

The intersection isn't the greatest thing in the world in terms of ease of use for motorists or cyclists, but it's maybe not quite as goofy as a Google Map view shows...of course being familiar with it helps in that feeling for sure. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 55 mph. For the most part, there is a very wide shoulder and it's not a bad place for a cyclist to be. You do neck down and come in tighter with vehicles through the intersection itself, (although there are painted "bike lanes" through the intersection) whether you're turning or heading straight through headed north or south. All things considered, it's a very popular route with cyclists (and motorists for that matter)...it's busy road. The road in that area is perfectly flat and wide open. Very good visibility.

These two gentleman were headed south on Redwood Road, and were hit while attempting to make a left turn (to head east) on 2100 N. Coming from the north, they would have had a red-or-green turn arrow to make their turn, the intersection isn't setup with a "yield to traffic" green left-turn, just an arrow...stop or go. The motorist was headed north through the intersection and hit the cyclists. Up to this point, the exact details aren't well-known...a few options...1, the cyclists had a green turn arrow, started making the turn, and were hit by the motorist who would have in that case run his red light. 2. The cyclists could have turned through a red left-turn arrow, and been hit by the motorist as he went through the intersection legally on a green light. 3. The cyclists could have been stopped waiting for a green arrow, and the motorist could have hit them while going through the intersection legally on a green light but while out of position...in the left-hand turn lane of oncoming traffic. (This third option does seem less likely based on where the aftermath of the accident was in the actual intersection.)

Regardless of how exactly it happened, mistakes were made by someone and it was a tragic accident. These two men, while I didn't know them personally, were by all accounts experienced cyclists. One was a long-time customer of the LBS I shop at and race with. When something like this happens so close to home, literally and figuratively, it adds to the shock value that's for sure. I feel AWFUL for everyone involved with this accident. Wives lost husbands, children lost fathers, many lost friends. And the motorist will have his own demons to fight after all this, regardless of who was "at fault" in the accident. The paint in that intersection from the investigation is going to be there to remind me of what happened every single time I (or any other cyclist) rides through. I just feel so horrible for all involved.

Be safe everyone.

FBinNY 03-14-14 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AERO63 (Post 16577599)
...
These two gentleman were headed south on Redwood Road, and were hit while attempting to make a left turn (to head east) on 2100 N. Coming from the north, they would have had a red-or-green turn arrow to make their turn, the intersection isn't setup with a "yield to traffic" green left-turn, just an arrow...stop or go. The motorist was headed north through the intersection and hit the cyclists. Up to this point, the exact details aren't well-known...a few options...
...

Thank you for the explanation. Opposing traffic collisions at lefts are unfortunately all too common, even with this kind of go/nogo signal. You left out too other possibilities.

The first is rare, but not unheard of, where a cam slips in the signal controls allowing both a green left arrow and a straight green to overlap for a few seconds. This is easy enough to prove by observation.

The second is much more common, especially in the East. It's where a late bird trying to beat a coming red hits an earlybird jumping the green. Often people will be timing it out and one or both mis-time it.

So we have a situation where either party probably had incorrect expectations about what the other would do. The driver didn't expect the left, and/or the cyclists expected the driver to stop.

My condolences to the families, but a reminder to everybody. Don't rely only on what people should do, or will do, but be prepared for what they might do -- regardless of signals or the law.

AERO63 03-14-14 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16577637)
Thank you for the explanation. Opposing traffic collisions at lefts are unfortunately all too common, even with this kind of go/nogo signal. You left out too other possibilities.

The first is rare, but not unheard of, where a cam slips in the signal controls allowing both a green left arrow and a straight green to overlap for a few seconds. This is easy enough to prove by observation.

The second is much more common, especially in the East. It's where a late bird trying to beat a coming red hits an earlybird jumping the green. Often people will be timing it out and one or both mis-time it.

So we have a situation where either party probably had incorrect expectations about what the other would do. The driver didn't expect the left, and/or the cyclists expected the driver to stop.

My condolences to the families, but a reminder to everybody. Don't rely only on what people should do, or will do, but be prepared for what they might do -- regardless of signals or the law.


Oh yes, either of those two situations could have contributed to the cause as well, no doubt. There hasn't been a whole lot of clarity in terms of how exactly it happened up to this point, likely because the investigation is ongoing I would guess. The local cycling community is stepping up with some fundraising/memorial rides and such for the families of the two men. It's a sad deal to say the least.

OldTryGuy 03-14-14 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AERO63 (Post 16577690)
Oh yes, either of those two situations could have contributed to the cause as well, no doubt. There hasn't been a whole lot of clarity in terms of how exactly it happened up to this point, likely because the investigation is ongoing I would guess. The local cycling community is stepping up with some fundraising/memorial rides and such for the families of the two men. It's a sad deal to say the least.

When a cycling buddy of mine was killed, it took a year to post the findings.

indyfabz 03-14-14 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh (Post 16574558)
Problem is that the data isn't detailed enough to determine how much of that is from improperly lilluminated cyclists, how much is from cyclists riding the wrong direction, which is particularly dangerous without lights, how much is from drunk drivers, and how much is from drunk cyclists.

I think it's open to debate how safe it is to ride at night with proper lights, reflective materials, and sober.
Personally, I try to avoid it, but don't think it is unreasonably unsafe.


In the case at hand, no one knows what actually happened, but it appears that either the truck or the cyclists ran a red light, whcih may not have had much to do with whether it was dark.

Please stop being thoughtful and level headed. You will only confuse certain people.

Clipped_in 03-14-14 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AERO63 (Post 16577690)
The local cycling community is stepping up with some fundraising/memorial rides and such for the families of the two men.

We have a great cycling community around here and they demonstrated it today. An estimated 150 people showed up at noon on a weekday for a memorial ride to show support for the families of those lost. Three different local TV news stations offered good coverage of the event. Both riders were members of a local race team that organized the event.

KSL-TV
FOX13
KUTV

Nachoman 03-15-14 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by banerjek (Post 16576639)
I would go so far as to say that I think riding in the dark is considerably safer than riding in bright sun (a serious safety problem that few people think about) if done properly.

I agree with this statement in relation to being hit by a car. But no matter how strong my lights are, I still have trouble seeing road hazards and pot holes at night at high speed (which in my opinion is another very real type of danger, which is the primary reason I believe riding at night is less safe.)

StanSeven 03-15-14 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nachoman (Post 16579801)
But no matter how strong my lights are, I still have trouble seeing road hazards and pot holes at night at high speed (which in my opinion is another very real type of danger, which is the primary reason I believe riding at night is less safe.)

I totally agree. Not many people mention this. Regardless of the type and strength of lights, it's difficult seeing potholes and road hazards at night when speed gets up to a quick daytime pace. If people ride at night, they really need to go slower especially this time of year when potholes do damage even to cars.

Clipped_in 03-15-14 08:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by StanSeven (Post 16579889)
I totally agree. Not many people mention this. Regardless of the type and strength of lights, it's difficult seeing potholes and road hazards at night when speed gets up to a quick daytime pace. If people ride at night, they really need to go slower especially this time of year when potholes do damage even to cars.

You are right, but in the case of this accident, potholes were not an issue at all.

I went out and rode the route the fallen cyclists took in the vicinity of the accident today--for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to see if I would have any strange feeling riding there. I didn't. Secondly, I wanted to see if I could get a better feel for what might have happend. That was productive--for me at least. I've ridded through that intersection many times, but not in the direction the accident victims were taking. As was pointed out earlier, left turns here are a bit tricky.

Riding south coming off the hill toward the intersection I hit 45mph, but I had an 18mph tailwind. I had a red light at the intesection, so I moved over to the right hand left turn lane and came to a complete stop. After the light changed, I proceeded through the intersection making the left turn and immediately had to merge right, across the outside lane, to get to the bike lane. As I did, a north bound minivan made a non-stopping right turn which put him in the lane I had to merge across. Because I had to stop at the light, and because the minivan did not, there was a big disparity between our two speeds. I was in the lane first, but the minivan came right up on me and had to slow while I finished crossing. He could have moved to the other land and gone around me and eventually did, but initially he hesitated for several seconds. I wonder if what happened in the accident wasn't something similar? Not many facts have yet been released, but we do know that it was in the dark of early morning, and that the cyclists were southbound turning east, that they died on or shortly after impact, that they were hit by a pickup truck, and that they were experienced cyclists (both were on a local race team, and both had raced a popular local double century multiple times).

I seems to me that it is quite possible that, in the dark, if they were trying to get across the lane quickly (but fairly slowly if they stopped at the light as I did) their lights (which they probably had give their experience level) would not have been especially visible to a truck (they could have been almost broadside to the truck) that could have been easily doing 35mph as he came through the north bound right hand turn, and plowed right into them.

Again, I don't know what happened, but this seems a likely scenario to me. The question remains, what to do to help insure this doesn't happen again?

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=369024

Long Tom 03-15-14 11:01 PM

Cycling in Palm Springs/Desert over Xmas, I hit several intersections or roundabouts where what you had to do to stay in the painted bike lanes was basically nuts if you were doing it in traffic and in real time. I'm sure it looked GREAT on paper but if you were there, on a bike, it was wonky as hell. Similar to what was described above where you are crossing lanes into car lanes and everyone is confused. Ugh.

Dunbar 03-15-14 11:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clipped_in (Post 16581307)
Again, I don't know what happened, but this seems a likely scenario to me. The question remains, what to do to help insure this doesn't happen again?

If that picture is accurate, that puts the cyclists to the left of the car after both get through the intersection. That's a very tough place to be as a cyclist (unless you live in the UK.) I would say that if you can't slow to let the car through first I'd either A) ride on the left shoulder until the car passes or B) make a b-line for the right shoulder. In a situation like that I always turn my head and look directly at the car so that I don't have to guess what they're going to do.

gif4445 03-16-14 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillyD (Post 16577442)
Bingo, there you have it - different strokes for different folks! Some people choose to accept the risk, others don't.

Until a rigorous scientific study comes out to detail that under xyz conditions riding at night is more or less dangerous than riding in daylight, then it's all speculation and personal opinion.

Scrolled pretty fast through the back and forths on this thread until I found what I was looking for. Risk acceptance. How comfortable are you with the risks you are taking? We all take a risk when we get up in the morning and get out of bed. Biking at night includes more risk for me. At times I accept that risk. Cycling on gravel with my 23 tires is more risky, at times I take that risk. Putting earbuds in and listening to some tunes carries with it more risk, but most of the time I take that extra risk. And of course, cycling over driving a car, carries more risk on the average. But all of us here take that risk because the reward is greater. My condolences to the families of the two cyclists.

surgeonstone 03-16-14 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rpenmanparker (Post 16572674)
Terribly sad and scary too. Please, everyone, stop riding in the dark. Nearly every car bike accident I have heard about in the last few months happened in the dark. No matter what precautions are taken, it just can't be done safely. That's not what we want to hear, but I believe it to be true.

Well you're wrong. I use the Dinotte 800F/400R system and have had zero safety issues, quite the contrary, cars give me a wider berth at night and are more hesitant to pass me unsafely at night than during the day. I don't know the lighting systems these riders used, however if you use blinkies, think again, they are worthless.
The Dinotte or some comparable system is superb. I have had friends tell me they could clearly see me over a mile away with ease.

Fox Farm 03-16-14 10:56 AM

I ride to and from work with a Niterider front headlight on strobe flash (750 lumens) and a rear 5-led blinky and still have motorist drive like they can't see me. Both are on in broad day light and at dusk/night.

banerjek 03-16-14 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clipped_in (Post 16581307)
Again, I don't know what happened, but this seems a likely scenario to me. The question remains, what to do to help insure this doesn't happen again?

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=369024

This does seem very plausible. If that is in fact the case, the only thing cyclists can do in future is try to be alert when mixing with high speed traffic and be willing to lose pace to maintain safety.

This strikes me a dangerous intersection with threats that are similar to crossing exit and entrance ramps when riding along interstates.

OldTryGuy 03-16-14 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clipped_in (Post 16581307)
You are right, but in the case of this accident, potholes were not an issue at all.

I went out and rode the route the fallen cyclists took in the vicinity of the accident today--for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to see if I would have any strange feeling riding there. I didn't. Secondly, I wanted to see if I could get a better feel for what might have happend. That was productive--for me at least. I've ridded through that intersection many times, but not in the direction the accident victims were taking. As was pointed out earlier, left turns here are a bit tricky.

Riding south coming off the hill toward the intersection I hit 45mph, but I had an 18mph tailwind. I had a red light at the intesection, so I moved over to the right hand left turn lane and came to a complete stop. After the light changed, I proceeded through the intersection making the left turn and immediately had to merge right, across the outside lane, to get to the bike lane. As I did, a north bound minivan made a non-stopping right turn which put him in the lane I had to merge across. Because I had to stop at the light, and because the minivan did not, there was a big disparity between our two speeds. I was in the lane first, but the minivan came right up on me and had to slow while I finished crossing. He could have moved to the other land and gone around me and eventually did, but initially he hesitated for several seconds. I wonder if what happened in the accident wasn't something similar? Not many facts have yet been released, but we do know that it was in the dark of early morning, and that the cyclists were southbound turning east, that they died on or shortly after impact, that they were hit by a pickup truck, and that they were experienced cyclists (both were on a local race team, and both had raced a popular local double century multiple times).

I seems to me that it is quite possible that, in the dark, if they were trying to get across the lane quickly (but fairly slowly if they stopped at the light as I did) their lights (which they probably had give their experience level) would not have been especially visible to a truck (they could have been almost broadside to the truck) that could have been easily doing 35mph as he came through the north bound right hand turn, and plowed right into them.

Again, I don't know what happened, but this seems a likely scenario to me. The question remains, what to do to help insure this doesn't happen again?

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=369024

Looking at the OP's location map...https://www.google.com/maps/dir//40....!1m0!1m0?hl=en, your location is not the same.

FBinNY 03-16-14 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clipped_in (Post 16581307)
...
Again, I don't know what happened, but this seems a likely scenario to me. The question remains, what to do to help insure this doesn't happen again?

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=369024

Thank you for the aerial photo. It clears up some of the mystery for me because not knowing the intersection or the paths of the cyclists I couldn't visualize what could have happened.

Seeing this reinforces my sense that this was more of a timing, than a visibility thing. Crossing or Turning across long wide intersections, takes some time and it's very possible for bicyclists or pedestrians to run out of time, especially when starting late on the green. Combine that with drivers timing it to be there just as the red (for them) turns green, and bad things happen. Of course either the cyclists or driver might have run a red, but we'll never know.

There's also the added visibility issue at night, because as they turn, cyclists are at an angle where their lights don't make them visible to oncoming traffic.

I'm not blaming the victims, but there are lessons here for all of us. Issues of visibility, timing and the inability to properly estimate speed and distance at night.

rpenmanparker 03-16-14 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by surgeonstone (Post 16582333)
Well you're wrong. I use the Dinotte 800F/400R system and have had zero safety issues, quite the contrary, cars give me a wider berth at night and are more hesitant to pass me unsafely at night than during the day. I don't know the lighting systems these riders used, however if you use blinkies, think again, they are worthless.
The Dinotte or some comparable system is superb. I have had friends tell me they could clearly see me over a mile away with ease.

Glad you are happy with your solution. Please don't forget to factor in your own diminished vision at night at that of drivers. Also the road hazards you can't see as well. And the animals, cylcists and pedestrians which are out there with you with no lighting or reflectors. I wish you safe journeys.

OldTryGuy 03-16-14 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16582485)
Thank you for the aerial photo. It clears up some of the mystery for me because not knowing the intersection or the paths of the cyclists I couldn't visualize what could have happened.

Seeing this reinforces my sense that this was more of a timing, than a visibility thing. Crossing or Turning across long wide intersections, takes some time and it's very possible for bicyclists or pedestrians to run out of time, especially when starting late on the green. Combine that with drivers timing it to be there just as the red (for them) turns green, and bad things happen. Of course either the cyclists or driver might have run a red, but we'll never know.

There's also the added visibility issue at night, because as they turn, cyclists are at an angle where their lights don't make them visible to oncoming traffic.

I'm not blaming the victims, but there are lessons here for all of us. Issues of visibility, timing and the inability to properly estimate speed and distance at night.

???Has there been a change from original reports of the truck heading North now to the East and the accident location????


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