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Old 09-30-10, 05:03 PM   #1
Mayday.JP
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how do you deal with ***hole drivers?

I've been getting a lot of ride time and have noticed people are becoming more and more aggressive towards cyclists. for example, cussing me out as they drive by, driving INTO the bike lane and trying to hit me, purposely driving closer to me than usual...what laws can i use to protect myself in case of some unfortunate accident? i'm not sure of the California laws regarding cyclists and was wondering if someone could enlighten me. Thanks
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Old 09-30-10, 05:29 PM   #2
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i'm gonna start calling 911 and reporting that they are driving aggresively and dangerously, and that i think they're drunk. dui is horribly expensive, and i think the police are much more likely to pursue this if they can make their city a bit of revenue. it's sad, but i think they don't give a **** if a cyclist gets run over. and if their life gets ruined for dui, hahahahahahahahahahhhh!!!
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Old 09-30-10, 05:35 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about that. Most of my encounters with motorists have not been too caustic but I'm sure that there is a lot of variability from town to town within LA. Other than being a predictable rider and riding defensively, I believe the primary means of protecting yourself if you are involved in an accident is making sure to get a police report of the incident and if possible, photos of the vehicle and your bike. Many years ago, I was "doored" by a parked car and though I wasn't badly injured, I did make a trip to the ER to get an X-ray. Long story short, the guy admitted fault, but never paid for the bill because I didn't get a police report to back up my story.

Here's a link to some of the laws affecting California cyclists - http://www.bikelink.com/law_safety.htm. Note that there is legislation pending to provide a 3 foot minimum passing distance from cyclists - sounds like it would be difficult to enforce, but at least its a start.
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Old 09-30-10, 06:07 PM   #4
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Well it's good to know I'm not the only one out there who feels this way! I've seen cyclists while i'm driving that really don't care about drivers and will ride like if they own the road. I always stay in the bike lane and check before i merge, give signals and never make sudden movements and that's why i'm confused as to why people are such a-holes. I'll take a look at that link and maybe print out a copy of it and take it along with me on my bike. Another question, if i do get in an accident, does my car insurance cover that since i'm on a bike or would health insurance cover it?
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Old 09-30-10, 06:57 PM   #5
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Is it possible that bad behavior on the part of drivers is more prevalent in some locales than in others? I'm sure that there are many factors that contribute to such behavior; in the Whittier area, you have more than a few streets which are not good for riding. Take Whittier Blvd., for example, between, say, Beach and the 605. There are long stretches where it goes to three lanes in both directions and I would never care to ride there unless it was on the sidewalk, but I've seen a cyclist take the lane heading eastbound on Whittier Blvd., just east of Colima. That was in the afternoon, and it was busy, and I wouldn't be surprised if that rider was thinking lots of the drivers were a-holes.

Maybe certain neighborhoods are less friendly than others?

Where in Whittier are we talking about, if at all?
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Old 09-30-10, 06:57 PM   #6
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Another question, if i do get in an accident, does my car insurance cover that since i'm on a bike or would health insurance cover it?
My car insurance company (State farm) claimed that it will not cover my bike nor my injuries, however the liability portion will cover damage to another persons vehicle and any medical issues they would have.

Home owners/rental policy will cover bike theft when you're at home or if the bike is stolen out of the trunk of your car.

Health insurance will have to cover any of your medical bills.

Everything else, you're on your own. This is my understanding after a 15 minute chat with my agent.

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Old 09-30-10, 07:02 PM   #7
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I don't see a lot of that here in Orange County (Irvine). I ride Jamboree, Harvard, Santiago Canyon, Newport Coast, PCH, etc. I've had slight run-ins on most of these roads. Kids yelling from cars trying to scare me, cars wandering into the bike lane 5 feet ahead of me, a couple of close buzzes. Worst was on Santiago Canyon by a motorcycle who crossed over the white line and probably missed me by about a foot. Just got buzzed by a white van on PCH right past Huntington Beach last Sunday. He was less than a foot and the dudes behind me yelled out to me to get the plate but he was long gone.

I've got 3000+ miles on these roads at all times of the day. I've had maybe 5 incidents.

There are so many cyclists in Orange County that I think the drivers here no how to treat/avoid them. At least that's my take on it.
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Old 09-30-10, 07:04 PM   #8
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My car insurance company (State farm) claimed that it will not cover my bike nor my injuries, however the liability portion will cover damage to another persons vehicle and any medical issues they would have.

Home owners/rental policy will cover bike theft when you're at home or if the bike is stolen out of your trunk of your car.

Health insurance will have to cover any of your medical bills.

Everything else, you're on your own. This is my understanding after a 15 minute chat with my agent.
Yep, that's right.

I think in cases where there is a serious accident and it's the motorist's fault you don't need to worry about your insurance. There's will be more than happy to pick up the 5K bill for your new bike and pain and suffering. Much better than repairing the front bumper on a new 911 ($13,400 - don't ask me how I know this!)
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Old 09-30-10, 09:32 PM   #9
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hole drivers? That seems like a post you would encounter on a gay blog....LOL
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Old 09-30-10, 10:41 PM   #10
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I usually ride whittier blvd past beach blvd or santa gertrudes. I don't venture westward on whittier cause of just that: the bad traffic. If i can, i take back roads with low traffic. I'm gonna have to get some health insurance then! :/ Also i'd have to call my agent and see if i have coverage on my bike....Thanks for the info guys
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Old 09-30-10, 11:47 PM   #11
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Smile and wave, boys, smile ande wave.
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Old 10-01-10, 01:28 AM   #12
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Driver's are not getting aggressive, they have always been that way in my 30 years of riding the road of So Cal.. Cell Phones, Texting, etc has just made things worse over the last 15 years.. If you flip a driver off you are just giving that person the satisfaction that they got under your skin..

Like said above just wave and smile, it really seems to piss them off.. If they get nasty, take down the license plate and call 1-800-cut-smog.. It's anonymous and they have to bring there car in for a smog check because of a complaint..

In all that time I've only had a few bad incidents but they come with being exposed on the roads..

During the week I ride mostly at night here in the IE and the roads are fairly empty after 8pm, I've had 30 mile rides with less than 20 cars passing me..
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Old 10-01-10, 08:25 AM   #13
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Yep, that's right.

I think in cases where there is a serious accident and it's the motorist's fault you don't need to worry about your insurance. There's will be more than happy to pick up the 5K bill for your new bike and pain and suffering. Much better than repairing the front bumper on a new 911 ($13,400 - don't ask me how I know this!)
True, but that assumes the driver stops. I forgot the specific statistic, but the percentage of accidents that are hit-and-runs is alarming.

Bicycle coverage sounds like a good market to me, because I'll gladly switch to the first company to offer it as long as it's not too much more expensive. I asked my current provider (esurance) and got the same answer as jmx. I also asked them why my rates weren't reduced when I changed my mileage status because riding to work reduced my car mileage by over 2000 per year (bringing it below 10k), and was told that my premium was the same for 10k or 15k. I told them they were doing very little to encourage green transportation and reduce traffic congestion, and that I would be more likely to stay with them if they fixed that.
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Old 10-01-10, 09:19 AM   #14
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I don't see a lot of that here in Orange County (Irvine). I ride Jamboree, Harvard, Santiago Canyon, Newport Coast, PCH, etc. I've had slight run-ins on most of these roads. Kids yelling from cars trying to scare me, cars wandering into the bike lane 5 feet ahead of me, a couple of close buzzes. Worst was on Santiago Canyon by a motorcycle who crossed over the white line and probably missed me by about a foot. Just got buzzed by a white van on PCH right past Huntington Beach last Sunday. He was less than a foot and the dudes behind me yelled out to me to get the plate but he was long gone.

I've got 3000+ miles on these roads at all times of the day. I've had maybe 5 incidents.

There are so many cyclists in Orange County that I think the drivers here no how to treat/avoid them. At least that's my take on it.

Any of these "slight" run-ins could've ended your life. I ride the same roads you mentioned, and I've experienced all the things you listed. These may not be a-hole drivers, but they are definitely inattentive drivers (which I believe are truly more deadly than drivers who deliberately try to scare you).

How do I deal with talking/texting drivers? Well, if I happen to pull up next to one at a red light, I confront them about it (politely and non-aggressively). Usually, I pull up next to their window where they can see me, and I mock them (ie pretend that I'm texting). In all cases where I've done this, they immediately put their phone down, blush, and look around embarrassingly. If their window is down, I remind them that it's people like them that kill and maim innocent people. Usually they quietly agree and say they won't do it again.

If I see someone swerving into the bike lane, if I can catch up to them at a light, I confront them. I come right up to their window. If their window is down, I motion them to lower it so we could have a word. Again, I try to be as polite as possible. When I get their attention, I ask "did you know you were driving in the bike lane?" Usually they play dumb about it. At which point, I remind them that it's a bike lane. I tell them "I've known riders, kids, etc who were KILLED by people like you, who weren't paying attention and swerved into the bike lane." In all cases where I've done this, they apologize profusely and say they'll pay more attention.

What I've learned is that if you politely and non-aggressively confront a driver (ie, with a smile), they will thank you for reminding them to drive more safely on the road.
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Old 10-01-10, 09:36 AM   #15
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If you flip a driver off you are just giving that person the satisfaction that they got under your skin..

Like said above just wave and smile, it really seems to piss them off.. If they get nasty, take down the license plate and call 1-800-cut-smog.. It's anonymous and they have to bring there car in for a smog check because of a complaint..

In all that time I've only had a few bad incidents but they come with being exposed on the roads..
+1

Wave and smile. It denies them the pleasure of pissing you off, and doesn't escalate matters.

And trust me ... there's no better way to say f*ck you than with a wave and a smile.

I hadn't thought of that 1-800-CUT-SMOG thing. That's genius.
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Old 10-01-10, 10:43 AM   #16
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I think the word's out to most people by now that the 1-800-CUT-SMOG has no legal recourse if you do not respond to them.
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Old 10-01-10, 11:05 AM   #17
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I usually ride whittier blvd past beach blvd or santa gertrudes. I don't venture westward on whittier cause of just that: the bad traffic. If i can, i take back roads with low traffic. I'm gonna have to get some health insurance then! :/ Also i'd have to call my agent and see if i have coverage on my bike....Thanks for the info guys
Hm.. good place to avoid then. However, the couple of times I've been on Whittier Bl. it hasn't been too bad. Then again it's early in the weekend morning, and I didn't stray too far west of Beach Blvd. Good luck with that. I've usually just headed south and west towards Coyote Creek, and not have too many car issues there.
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Old 10-01-10, 11:33 AM   #18
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Back in my teens, my buddies and I would try to catch them at a red light and hope their windows were open so that we could squirt them with our watter bottle. Now days, I just try to ride the safest routes and nod my head at a-hole drivers. I understand the concept of "the heavier vehicle wins"
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Old 10-01-10, 12:17 PM   #19
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Trying to intimidate someone with a 3000 lb automobile is considered assault with a deadly weapon.
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Old 10-01-10, 12:45 PM   #20
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Old 10-02-10, 06:56 AM   #21
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newer cars dent so easily

also, a well timed and placed covert loogie on top of a dark colored vehicle on a hot day is effective
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Old 10-02-10, 12:10 PM   #22
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newer cars dent so easily

also, a well timed and placed covert loogie on top of a dark colored vehicle on a hot day is effective

Haha! that's great!
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Old 10-03-10, 11:08 PM   #23
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newer cars dent so easily

also, a well timed and placed covert loogie on top of a dark colored vehicle on a hot day is effective
When I was in high school I found that a wad of gum was even more effective, but that is when I was young, dumb, and lawless. The sun melts gum very, very well, provided it stays put long enough.
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Old 10-04-10, 12:16 AM   #24
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When I was in high school I found that a wad of gum was even more effective, but that is when I was young, dumb, and lawless. The sun melts gum very, very well, provided it stays put long enough.

haha...Well, if the driver REALLY deserves it.... if not, i'll practice my patience virtue and follows Dscott's advice and "smile and wave!"
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Old 10-04-10, 07:09 AM   #25
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And trust me ... there's no better way to say f*ck you than with a wave and a smile.
Sure there is; why do you think the Airzound has a quick-detach mount and just enough hose to get it into the open window?
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