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Which "Hit" is more dangerous?

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Which "Hit" is more dangerous?

Old 07-27-20, 02:57 AM
  #1  
cubewheels
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Which "Hit" is more dangerous?

I'm just curious, which situation is more dangerous, say a car traveling 70 mph hits a cyclist going in the same direction, which situation will result to more and/or serious injuries, a cyclist doing 10 mph or a cyclist doing 30 mph? Or let's say the cyclist is doing 60 mph downhill.
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Old 07-27-20, 04:47 AM
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You are considering 2 collisions, first the motor vehicle hitting the cyclist then the cyclist hitting the terrain.

First approximation would be injury proportional to kinetic energy 1/2 x mass x velocity squared.

Relative kinetic energy values:
Case.....10 mph 30 mph 60 mph

Vehicle.. 36 .........16.........1

Terrain.... 1.............9....... 36

I donít like the look of the situation and would avoid this collision.

Last edited by flangehead; 07-27-20 at 04:51 AM. Reason: Table fix
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Old 07-27-20, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I'm just curious, which situation is more dangerous, say a car traveling 70 mph hits a cyclist going in the same direction, which situation will result to more and/or serious injuries, a cyclist doing 10 mph or a cyclist doing 30 mph? Or let's say the cyclist is doing 60 mph downhill.
Nothing like actual results so try it and let us know --- or not
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Old 07-27-20, 06:16 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Nothing like actual results so try it and let us know --- or not
I'd rather not do it as well, any volunteers?

Just want to know if riding a lot slower will improve your chances against collisions with motorists. One thing I see is that a rider going a lot faster, will give the driver behind more time to react or more time between time the driver first notices the rider and up to the time reaching the rider's position. However, things happen a lot faster between car moving 70 mph and a rider doing 10 mph.

BUt doesn't give an idea the possible injuries if a collision did occur and if the driver tried to stop or continue on (hit & run)
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Old 07-27-20, 06:26 AM
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Think about all the variables (e.g. terrain, other vehicles, angle of collision, and many others) and then decide whether you want to spend the time developing a model to answer your question.
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Old 07-27-20, 06:54 AM
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I think it is all pretty academic. I know when I have been hit, I had no time to plan for it, there was no warning, and the laws of physics pretty much dictated my response.

Good luck with your data collection.
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Old 07-27-20, 07:44 AM
  #7  
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This is pretty simple. The speed of impact is the speed of the car minus the speed of the bike. So the slower you're going, the faster the car is going relative to you. Going faster will at least lessen the potential force of impact from the car. Unfortunately, the ground is always static relative to you, and you're going to have to come into contact with that at some point. When hitting the ground, I think the goal is do it as slowly as possible. I wouldn't fixate on getting hit by a car, it doesn't really happen all that often. But the ground beneath you is... well, always there.
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Old 07-27-20, 08:54 AM
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Are you just trying to calculate where to recover the body?
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Old 07-27-20, 09:26 AM
  #9  
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I think you're overlooking the key here: Either way you'll be fine if you can stick the landing. Focus on training for that.
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Old 07-27-20, 10:18 AM
  #10  
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I think we can safely assume that anything that puts you on the ground in traffic at 60 mph is going to kill you, so let's set that one aside because I think hitting a big enough pebble to flip your bike would be enough to kill you then.

In theory, if everything lines up perfectly so that you are struck from behind to go exactly in the same direction as you are traveling, the 60 mph speed differential should produce a much more forceful hit than the 40 mph hit, but the significance of this is probably limited to whether or not an open casket funeral is appropriate.


The more the angle deviates from a direct hit from behind, the less important the speed differential.

Keep in mind that the mass of the vehicle is also important in calculating kinetic energy, so better to get hit by a 70 mph motorcycle than a 70 mph semi.

Next up: If I'm thrown from an airplane at 35,000 feet with a bike but no parachute, should I stand on the pedals or stay on the seat?
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Old 07-27-20, 03:09 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Next up: If I'm thrown from an airplane at 35,000 feet with a bike but no parachute, should I stand on the pedals or stay on the seat?
You use flat pedals. Good luck with either.
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Old 07-27-20, 03:45 PM
  #12  
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For direct center behind hit scenarios by average vehicle.....
I would say fast/ fast is the worst. The bike would wobble and go down with rider. Dead.
Then fast/ slow. Rider would go way airborne, needing a following truck or other soft place to land on.
Fast/ medium, you could hope you get stuck in the windshield.

BTW ... My heavyweight has been broadsided by the left side back wheel at 3 mph, by both a light MC in Saigon and a smallish car. Neither made me fall or break my bike. LOL. I think his bumper cracked when I heard a crumple. We just had a look parted ways.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 07-27-20 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 07-27-20, 06:28 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
You use flat pedals. Good luck with either.
Next you'll be telling me pulling up on the pedals breaks the fall.


"He ended up a puddle on the tarmac, but his foot placement was perfect the whole way down".
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Old 07-27-20, 06:39 PM
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Lots of good info here, but everyone forgot an important factor that can make a huge difference: The type of rear fender on the bike. Huge steel spring for the win.
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Old 07-27-20, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Lots of good info here, but everyone forgot an important factor that can make a huge difference: The type of rear fender on the bike. Huge steel spring for the win.

I'd go with explosive armor fenders. A VTOL feature would also be useful.
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Old 07-27-20, 08:36 PM
  #16  
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Energy Absorption

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Lots of good info here, but everyone forgot an important factor that can make a huge difference: The type of rear fender on the bike. Huge steel spring for the win.
OK, I'll share some real experience on that. I have only been hit once by a motor vehicle and it was a rear-end collision. (The driver, who was uninsured, was at fault legally. However, I changed some of my riding practices as a result to reduce my risk.)

I was pulling an empty kiddie trailer to the grocery store and I looked in the mirror and thought the following car was slowing. I then heard him skid and he hit the trailer at, I'm guessing, less than 5 mph over my speed of 12-ish mph. The force all went into my rear axle so my front wheel came up and I was "bucked" off the bike, landing on my back on the road. I wasn't able to move for about 5 minutes but slowly I improved and was 90% by the time I got out of the ER. The only mechanical damage was that the trailer bracket on the bike was bent, and I was able to bend it back into usable shape.

So I'll say that the super-fender will need to take the force into the bike above the center of mass of the bike-rider unit. Otherwise, it just rotates upward like it did for me.

(Oh and yes, I did come out of my toe clips. But it was a sudden shock compared to the smooth acceleration to terminal velocity of the first 34,999 feet of the air-drop scenario.)

Last edited by flangehead; 07-27-20 at 08:42 PM. Reason: Toe clip clarification.
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Old 07-27-20, 10:08 PM
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I think the OP is having us demonstrate in our own words that it's dangerous to ride your bike on the road.
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Old 07-31-20, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I'm just curious, which situation is more dangerous, say a car traveling 70 mph hits a cyclist going in the same direction, which situation will result to more and/or serious injuries, a cyclist doing 10 mph or a cyclist doing 30 mph? Or let's say the cyclist is doing 60 mph downhill.
I'm thinking you'd want to avoid both.
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Old 08-01-20, 12:02 AM
  #19  
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No one has yet mentioned what should be obvious to everyone who rides a bicycle: ----WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING, CHOOSING TO RIDE ALONG ANY ROAD WHERE VEHICLE TRAFFIC APPROACHES SUCH SPEEDS, NO MATTER IF THE POSTED SPEED LIMIT IS A REASONABLE 30 MPH OR SO.

The reality is that a 170 pound man riding a 26 pound bicycle is going to have a very poor result if one has even the smallest mishap with a 3300 pound motor vehicle.
LIKE IT OR NOT, ROADS ARE BUILT FOR THE SWIFT AND GENERALLY THE MOST EFFICIENT MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC FLOW TO AND FROM. Bicycles are largely an after thought, if they are even factored in to the equation during the planning process. You are not going to get the traffic engineers and city works planning department to give consideration to bicycles on all important city arteries, because from a civil engineering-city works perspective, the traffic engineering chief will site that there are indeed numerous alternative routes and roads/streets that the bicyclists can take to connect from one area of the town to reach their destination in another part of town. You realize that the traffic engineering department must in many situations move hundreds of thousands of cars/light trucks an hour through a very small geographic area of town. Often, you have questionable speed limits of 45 miles per hour thru or next to large residential subdivisions, when for the safety of the Children at Play, and dogwalkers, persons pushing strollers, joggers and cyclists, the posted speed limit should perhaps be 30 mph instead of the posted 45mph speed limit. You guessed it..................in the eyes of progress and to insure swifter commute times and ease the burden of congested traffic that backs up,........it is deemed to be an acceptable trade-off or compromise...............................still, how does one explain that to the surviving spouse or family of the child, jogger, or cyclist when these accidents occur. Accidents will occur. You cannot change that. You can minimize them and the frequency of them perhaps, but humans will make mistakes. My point is one must weigh the risks and you, yourself must choose how you will proceed. Be the dumbass that thinks, okay, by law it is well within my legal right to ride my bicycle on such a very busy thoroughfare. The dumbass part is because you do have alternative parallel streets that yes might lengthen your travel or slow you down and increase the time it takes to get you where you wish to go on your bicycle. In a certain sense, motorcyclists do face the reality of getting involved in potentially deadly accidents when one chooses a certain road/route versus something with slower posted speed limit and without the hundreds of thousands of cars/trucks travelling that higher speed limit road every hour

It is best to avoid situations where the likelyhood of getting "HIT" is exponentially higher than if you were riding on some 30mph posted speed limit street with less vehicle traffic. If you're lucky after any "HIT" you'll have one of the best trauma surgeons and/or orthopaedic surgeons and then later a superb physical therapist that can push you to get back at least 85% to 95% of your pre-crash functionality. You are aware that if you're not so lucky, things can be really life changing, or life ending. DON'T BE STUPID AND BELIEVE THAT JUST BECAUSE CYCLISTS ARE WITHIN THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS TO TAKE THE LANE AND DRIVE ON SUCH DANGEROUS STREETS WITH A HIGH POSTED SPEED LIMIT, THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE........... Yes, you'll likely recover something of a financial settlement if you employ the right experienced trial attorney but physical recovery will never occur because you'll be so badly injured that if you do get back to 85% functionality, you'll likely still have a remaining lifetime of some pain as a result of your injuries. SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT THAT EACH AND EVERY TIME THAT YOU CHOOSE WHICH STREETS THAT YOU WILL RIDE ON TODAY AND EVERYDAY. The probability that you may become an Organ Donor goes up when you choose that road/street with 45mph speed limit and cars/light trucks that exceed that posted limit..................................................................remember that when the collision between the 2019 Chevrolet Suburban and your 2016 Bianchi bicycle occurs, the SUBURBAN driver likely will have NO injury or minor injury, but you the rider on the Bianchi are likely going to be killed if the impact occurs at 22mph or more. It might be time to contact Jonathan Lawson and obtain a policy that might provide a little bit for your surviving family. Just don't be stupid and think it will happen to you. Accidents happen everyday, all of the time. Most accidents between motorvehicles result in little more than $4000 to $5000 of property damage to each of the cars involved. Most accidents between a motor vehicle and a bicycle result in the death of the cyclist, and if the cyclist survives, he/she is severely injured and/or disabled to some degree. .
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Old 08-01-20, 02:03 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I think the OP is having us demonstrate in our own words that it's dangerous to ride your bike on the road.
ROFL!

I mostly ride in routes where vehicle traffic is averaging at 30 mph in the city so it's fairly safe. I face bigger risks from the tons of jaywalkers and motorcycle couriers totally distracted by their GPS apps and would stop or change lane without warning.

Last edited by cubewheels; 08-01-20 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 08-04-20, 06:40 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
No one has yet mentioned what should be obvious to everyone who rides a bicycle: ----WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING, CHOOSING TO RIDE ALONG ANY ROAD WHERE VEHICLE TRAFFIC APPROACHES SUCH SPEEDS, NO MATTER IF THE POSTED SPEED LIMIT IS A REASONABLE 30 MPH OR SO.

The reality is that a 170 pound man riding a 26 pound bicycle is going to have a very poor result if one has even the smallest mishap with a 3300 pound motor vehicle.
LIKE IT OR NOT, ROADS ARE BUILT FOR THE SWIFT AND GENERALLY THE MOST EFFICIENT MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC FLOW TO AND FROM. Bicycles are largely an after thought, if they are even factored in to the equation during the planning process. You are not going to get the traffic engineers and city works planning department to give consideration to bicycles on all important city arteries, because from a civil engineering-city works perspective, the traffic engineering chief will site that there are indeed numerous alternative routes and roads/streets that the bicyclists can take to connect from one area of the town to reach their destination in another part of town. You realize that the traffic engineering department must in many situations move hundreds of thousands of cars/light trucks an hour through a very small geographic area of town. Often, you have questionable speed limits of 45 miles per hour thru or next to large residential subdivisions, when for the safety of the Children at Play, and dogwalkers, persons pushing strollers, joggers and cyclists, the posted speed limit should perhaps be 30 mph instead of the posted 45mph speed limit. You guessed it..................in the eyes of progress and to insure swifter commute times and ease the burden of congested traffic that backs up,........it is deemed to be an acceptable trade-off or compromise...............................still, how does one explain that to the surviving spouse or family of the child, jogger, or cyclist when these accidents occur. Accidents will occur. You cannot change that. You can minimize them and the frequency of them perhaps, but humans will make mistakes. My point is one must weigh the risks and you, yourself must choose how you will proceed. Be the dumbass that thinks, okay, by law it is well within my legal right to ride my bicycle on such a very busy thoroughfare. The dumbass part is because you do have alternative parallel streets that yes might lengthen your travel or slow you down and increase the time it takes to get you where you wish to go on your bicycle. In a certain sense, motorcyclists do face the reality of getting involved in potentially deadly accidents when one chooses a certain road/route versus something with slower posted speed limit and without the hundreds of thousands of cars/trucks travelling that higher speed limit road every hour

It is best to avoid situations where the likelyhood of getting "HIT" is exponentially higher than if you were riding on some 30mph posted speed limit street with less vehicle traffic. If you're lucky after any "HIT" you'll have one of the best trauma surgeons and/or orthopaedic surgeons and then later a superb physical therapist that can push you to get back at least 85% to 95% of your pre-crash functionality. You are aware that if you're not so lucky, things can be really life changing, or life ending. DON'T BE STUPID AND BELIEVE THAT JUST BECAUSE CYCLISTS ARE WITHIN THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS TO TAKE THE LANE AND DRIVE ON SUCH DANGEROUS STREETS WITH A HIGH POSTED SPEED LIMIT, THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE........... Yes, you'll likely recover something of a financial settlement if you employ the right experienced trial attorney but physical recovery will never occur because you'll be so badly injured that if you do get back to 85% functionality, you'll likely still have a remaining lifetime of some pain as a result of your injuries. SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT THAT EACH AND EVERY TIME THAT YOU CHOOSE WHICH STREETS THAT YOU WILL RIDE ON TODAY AND EVERYDAY. The probability that you may become an Organ Donor goes up when you choose that road/street with 45mph speed limit and cars/light trucks that exceed that posted limit..................................................................remember that when the collision between the 2019 Chevrolet Suburban and your 2016 Bianchi bicycle occurs, the SUBURBAN driver likely will have NO injury or minor injury, but you the rider on the Bianchi are likely going to be killed if the impact occurs at 22mph or more. It might be time to contact Jonathan Lawson and obtain a policy that might provide a little bit for your surviving family. Just don't be stupid and think it will happen to you. Accidents happen everyday, all of the time. Most accidents between motorvehicles result in little more than $4000 to $5000 of property damage to each of the cars involved. Most accidents between a motor vehicle and a bicycle result in the death of the cyclist, and if the cyclist survives, he/she is severely injured and/or disabled to some degree. .

Thank you for putting the parts that make it obvious I needn't bother reading that wall of text in ALLCAPS.
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Old 08-04-20, 06:54 AM
  #22  
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If I could only ride on streets with speed limits of 30mph, I couldn't leave my driveway. The street I live on is posted 35mph, and my neighborhood is framed on all four sides with roads posted 50mph.
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Old 08-04-20, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If I could only ride on streets with speed limits of 30mph, I couldn't leave my driveway. The street I live on is posted 35mph, and my neighborhood is framed on all four sides with roads posted 50mph.
Reminds me of a conversation I had with Joey Bike where he said one of his cardinal rules for riding in New Orleans was never to ride on Magazine Street. I was a bike commuter in the early 1980s in New Orleans, and I said that advice would have been rather hard for me to follow as I actually lived on Magazine Street.
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Old 08-05-20, 12:15 PM
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Maybe this is just a math problem?

If so, you need to keep in mind that the initial kinetic energy of the truck isn't what you need to think about. It's the change in energy of the truck, which is transferred to your bike and body - and then again to ground or other objects - that you need for a calculation.

Although really, momentum and impulse would be a more convenient approach.
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Old 08-05-20, 12:45 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
I think you're overlooking the key here: Either way you'll be fine if you can stick the landing. Focus on training for that.
Yep. Sprint to 60 mph when you see the car in your mirror, then stick the landing when you get "nudged" off the road by the car.
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