Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Some perspectives on safety in traffic

Notices
Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Some perspectives on safety in traffic

Old 10-29-23, 11:03 PM
  #1  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Posts: 353
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 240 Post(s)
Liked 150 Times in 106 Posts
Some perspectives on safety in traffic

Greetings all - new to the forum.
I just wanted to offer some perspectives on riding in traffic safely. I commute 32 miles a day in reasonably heavy city, highway, and suburban traffic and so far (knock on wood), haven't had a brush with a motor vehicle.

#1 - Look at every single car, and also every street and driveway. I teach my kids to look for coyotes, ice cream trucks, army jeeps, tractors, unicycles, and any other wacky thing I can think of that might be on the road that day.
#2 - Commuting is way safer than bicycle touring. First of all, you get to know your route intimately - every curve, light timing, and pothole. Likewise, you train your drivers, who are mostly also just trying to get to work/school, so be on the lookout for you because they have seen you dozens of times.
#3 -Traffic is not the right word. You don't get hit by traffic - you get hit by individual vehicles. Your strategy to survive the grey Honda you are coming up on now doesn't have to be the same as your strategy 5 seconds ago. You can make the choice how to handle each driver.
#4 - Dangerous isn't the right word either. Much of biking in traffic is totally safe or almost totally safe. For example, you can often see that every car in a situation is blocked up by other cars and not capable of hitting you even if they wanted to. Commuting danger comes in brief bursts of about a second of real danger with each car. If you find yourself in constant danger for longer periods of time, it is time to rethink your plan.
#5 - Pre-plan your day in court or talking to the police. Be prepared to explain under cross examination that you had double the minimum required number of lights, plus a safety vest and other equipment, etc. This also involves knowing your local traffic laws and also some good terminology such as "road flooding" vs. "puddle" and "vulnerable road user". A simple email to the mayor or engineer in a jurisdiction allows you to say to the court/police that you didn't deliberately cut that driver off - you knew the spot was ambiguous and were actually working with local officials to correct it. This is a valuable defense even if you fully anticipate that your email will be ignored.
#6 - Any car that you can see can be avoided. You have really no excuse for collisions with cars in front of you or ahead and to the side. Bikes shouldn't go that fast - look for cars, driveways, and streets.
#7 - I like traffic. It brings safety slows everybody down, and keeps drivers on their toes. If the traffic is too light, drivers will start texting and potentially swerving into you.
#8 - Collision avoidance is different on a bike than in a car. You do still have the same four maneuvers - accelerate, break, turn ahead of the threat, or turn behind the threat. However, you rarely can accelerate enough. Of course, stopping is always good, but I also like turning ahead of the threat. Going the other way can often put you facing the wrong way in the middle of a busy intersection.
#9 - Psychology is important. School bus drivers drive a certain way - even in their personal vehicles going to work. So do bus drivers, garbage trucks, left turners, mail trucks, and moms pulling into Target the week before Christmas.
#10 - My least favorite vehicle on the road is a pickup truck full of landscapers - they are always in a rush to get to the next job. They often also pull a wide trailer too.
#11 - Sometimes I think about getting a pink reflective vest. Looks totally goofy - but I figure I would be more likely to get noticed.
#12 - Seeing one of something raises that red flag that there could be more. One deer often means more deer, one trick-or-treater often means more, same thing with a police car, a nail in the road, or just about anything.
#13 - Whatever you do is erased after about one second. Even if you rolled the last 300 stop signs and cut through 12 construction zones. Always work on being a safe rider going forward. Don't be the cause of your own problems.
#14 - Keep the threat level going in your head at all times - are you at green, yellow, or red? If you aren't at green, think about what is most likely to get you at the moment and what you can do to mitigate that..
#15 - Please don't cut off pedestrians in crosswalks. Also, when you stop for them, block the cars.
#16 - Special rules for crossing guards. Always wave or say high. Follow their directions. Sometimes they'll let bikes go before cars or before they even get out of the intersection.
#17 - My favorite thing about riding in traffic is that you are so much in charge of the road. When you signal left, cars shouldn't decide to pass you right then. When you leave room for car doors, it might slow down some drivers behind you. Sucks to be them. They aren't entitled to the speed limit. Of course, if you are doing 25 in a 25, cars shouldn't be passing you anyway - that would be speeding. I also love all the courtesy I get from drivers that blink their lights to let me go ahead of them, the drivers that stop 30 feet behind me at red lights, and the drivers that pass me with 15 feet to spare.
ScottCommutes is offline  
Likes For ScottCommutes:
Old 10-30-23, 11:48 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,844
Mentioned: 210 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18228 Post(s)
Liked 15,032 Times in 7,112 Posts
Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
#2 - Commuting is way safer than bicycle touring. First of all, you get to know your route intimately - every curve, light timing, and pothole. Likewise, you train your drivers, who are mostly also just trying to get to work/school, so be on the lookout for you because they have seen you dozens of times.
I live in the 6th most populous city in the U.S. and have well over 15,000 miles of loaded touring under my belt. I am going to have to say the above is an overgeneralization. For example, people who live along popular routes, including ACA routes, are used to seeing cyclists. Some of their businesses actually make good money from them. I have toured in places where light timing is not an issue because there were no lights to be timed. Just because there is no pothole on a given street doesn't mean there won't be one there the next day. Curves I can handle and have not once hit the ground while touring, whether on or off road. It's difficult to get in a scrape with traffic when there is little (or none) of it. Cattle, however, are a different story. Give them a wide berth.

indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 10-30-23, 12:33 PM
  #3  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,558

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6002 Post(s)
Liked 4,632 Times in 3,194 Posts
I'm not sure if there is a specific direction for this thread. But I'll add a perspective that I watched play out yesterday in my neighborhood right in front of my home.

A man and his young child were riding bikes and coming up the road in the right lane for traffic going their direction. A car was coming up behind them and they both moved over to the left lane for oncoming traffic which had no traffic at that moment. Just as the car was beginning to pass them on the right, a car turned the corner just a couple houses down. So now the two cyclists are facing a oncoming car. They can't immediately veer back to their lane as the other isn't quite passed yet.

I think it'd been safer if they'd just stayed in their lane, the traffic behind them would have had the option of passing them correctly on the left or staying behind them briefly till coming to the stop sign at a T intersection just two more houses down. And it'd be more predictable for the other traffic if they had just stayed in their proper lane and not tried to do things that other vehicle operators wouldn't expect and then have to interpret..
Iride01 is online now  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 10-30-23, 03:36 PM
  #4  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Greetings all - new to the forum.
Welcome.

Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
#5 - Pre-plan your day in court or talking to the police. Be prepared to explain under cross examination that you had double the minimum required number of lights, plus a safety vest and other equipment, etc. This also involves knowing your local traffic laws and also some good terminology such as "road flooding" vs. "puddle" and "vulnerable road user". A simple email to the mayor or engineer in a jurisdiction allows you to say to the court/police that you didn't deliberately cut that driver off - you knew the spot was ambiguous and were actually working with local officials to correct it. This is a valuable defense even if you fully anticipate that your email will be ignored.
I get the impression that you haven't dealt with many cops, courts, or elected officials. The former will do absolutely anything, regardless of how nonsensical, to avoid work, and the traffic courts in the US and some other countries exist only to collect money from the citizenry -- justice is the absolute last topic on their mind. I provided witness-shot video of a driver intentionally ramming my bicycle while I was stopped at a traffic light, and a local cop informed me, on the record, that said driver was completely within his rights to hit me because I was "blocking a lane of travel". I invited said cop to cite the relevant statue which authorizes a driver to ram another road user intentionally, but he, and the rest of the department, declined -- and declined to charge the driver with anything.

Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
#10 - My least favorite vehicle on the road is a pickup truck full of landscapers - they are always in a rush to get to the next job. They often also pull a wide trailer too.
This varies widely -- if they are owner-operators, then yes, time is money. But if they are just employees, they are on the clock behind the wheel, and that's typically a damn sight easier than the rest of their job. Same applies to most industrial vehicles. The driver that I want behind my bicycle is the guy getting paid hourly to drive, because he's not in any kind of hurry.

Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
#11 - Sometimes I think about getting a pink reflective vest. Looks totally goofy - but I figure I would be more likely to get noticed.
Visibility is rarely a problem -- contrary to many cyclists' opinion. Drivers tell investigating officers that they didn't see the cyclist because that plays well to cops and district attorneys, not because they actually didn't see the cyclist. That very rarely occurs, and when it does, is usually because the driver was intoxicated or not looking at the road at all -- and in neither case does the cyclist's apparel matter.

The problem is not visibility, it is that the standard of driver training is so abysmally-low that the huge majority of drivers are incapable of operating their vehicle safely. They can barely drive in a straight line, they don't know or understand rights of way and signals, and executing a turn correctly is almost completely beyond their skills -- among other issues. So, they wind up crashing... often. They crash into bicycles, they crash into other cars, they crash into trucks, they crash into trees, they crash into guard rails, and sometimes they just drive completely off the road all by themselves. When they crash into a bicycle, they can usually walk away with no punishment by saying the magic words "I never saw it" -- but that's very rarely the truth, they just didn't know they were supposed to yield, and/or simply lacked the basic skill sufficient to navigate down the road without crashing. ( For the record, I have about 25 years experience with driver training -- high performance, law enforcement, and teens. )


Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
#15 - Please don't cut off pedestrians in crosswalks. Also, when you stop for them, block the cars.
Know your local laws on this point. In my state, bicycles do not have to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks so long as there is sufficient room for each to proceed safely.

Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
from drivers that blink their lights to let me go ahead of them
It is a terrible habit to proceed in front of a vehicle that has the right-of-way, even if you think they are trying to surrender it to you. They might be blinking their lights at someone else, or they might just be driving over a raised crosswalk. Rights of way are spelled out in the law, in every civilized country, and if people would just learn them, and follow them, intersections would be a million times safer. Surrendering your right-of-way just leads to confusion and danger because no one then knows what to expect, and there's no clear universal signal to indicate that.

Last edited by TC1; 10-30-23 at 03:39 PM. Reason: fix typo
TC1 is offline  
Likes For TC1:
Old 10-30-23, 03:38 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,245
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 591 Post(s)
Liked 368 Times in 279 Posts
I avoid situations where a motorist is going to be surprised by my presence. That is why I avoid riding along the curb or on the fog line and instead maintain a constant distance from the center line. I also avoid broken glass that is going to spread out on impact and fan across the shoulder. It is why I avoid bike lanes and instead ride on streets and behave as a motorist and that includes stopping at red lights and stop signs. The people I know who survived being hit by motorists were hit by them on the side when drivers were focused on turning into a parking lot and not looking for a bicyclist. Doing the "right thing" in terms of the vehicular code can be fatal.

Many years ago John Forester wrote and excellent guide for safe cycling (Effective Cycling) in cities and it is still the best as nothing has changed in the past decades. He lived to the age of 90 and so his methods were successful in avoiding injury while bicycling. He disdained bike lanes and was right to do so. Bike lanes are all routed and designed by traffic engineers who are clueless about bicycles.

The paperback version of Foresters guide can be bought for $5 on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Effective-Cyc.../dp/0262560704
Calsun is offline  
Old 10-30-23, 04:22 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 6,198

Bikes: ...a few.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2009 Post(s)
Liked 405 Times in 231 Posts
Originally Posted by TC1
Visibility is rarely a problem -- contrary to many cyclists' opinion. Drivers tell investigating officers that they didn't see the cyclist because that plays well to cops and district attorneys, not because they actually didn't see the cyclist. That very rarely occurs, and when it does, is usually because the driver was intoxicated or not looking at the road at all -- and in neither case does the cyclist's apparel matter.
.
I agree. I've had idiot drivers go move to the left to go around me only to cut me off to make a right turn or pull into a driveway where I had to emergency brake to avoid hitting him. The latter incident I confront the dumbass in front of his driveway. His response: I didn't see you. He saw me well enough to go around me before turning in. I saw all of this in my rear view mirror, which by the way, is great for seeing this potential right hook unfold, and then to avoid.
mcours2006 is offline  
Old 10-30-23, 05:02 PM
  #7  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by mcours2006
He saw me well enough...
There cannot really be any reasonable doubt that visibility is not the cause of cycling crashes -- again, despite all the sturm and drang from cyclists on that point. If visibility were the problem, motor vehicle operators would not crash into other objects like each other, trees, bridges, guard rails, buildings, and everything else. But they obviously do, more or less continuously, to the tune of around 13M annual crashes in the US.

The difference is, "Officer, I never saw that bridge" doesn't work quite as well as the same claim regarding a bicycle.
TC1 is offline  
Old 10-30-23, 05:54 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,307
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 567 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 351 Times in 241 Posts
There cannot really be any reasonable doubt that visibility is not the cause of cycling crashes -- again, despite all the sturm and drang from cyclists on that point. If visibility were the problem, motor vehicle operators would not crash into other objects like each other, trees, bridges, guard rails, buildings, and everything else. But they obviously do, more or less continuously, to the tune of around 13M annual crashes in the US.

The difference is, "Officer, I never saw that bridge" doesn't work quite as well as the same claim regarding a bicycle.
Visibility to our brains is the problem. Cars and larger vehicles is what our brains are use to seeing and other than being distracted tired or stoned we more easily see large motor vehicles. Motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians are not as significant to our brain so we literally do not consciously see them sometimes. There are things like quick movements, flashing lights and loud noises. that can bring to attention what our brain is missing. This is why emergency vehicles are very loud aid have those bright flashing lights. None of these things guarantee that someone won't run into a motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian or even an emergency vehicle.
Rick is offline  
Likes For Rick:
Old 10-30-23, 07:28 PM
  #9  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Rick
Visibility to our brains is the problem. Cars and larger vehicles is what our brains are use to seeing...
This simply does not comport with the evidence. If what you claim were true, motor vehicle on motor vehicle crashes would be rare. They are anything but.

Originally Posted by Rick
This is why emergency vehicles are very loud aid have those bright flashing lights.
No, they have sirens and flashing lights to inform other road users that they are operating in emergency mode, and have right of way -- despite whatever normal rules would apply, on the road in-question. Note that they do not run their sirens and flashers all the time.

Last edited by TC1; 10-30-23 at 07:31 PM.
TC1 is offline  
Old 10-30-23, 09:10 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,307
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 567 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 351 Times in 241 Posts
This simply does not comport with the evidence. If what you claim were true, motor vehicle on motor vehicle crashes would be rare. They are anything but.
It is actually more complicated than what I stated. You can study it out if it interests you or we can call it a day and say ignorance is bliss.
Rick is offline  
Old 10-30-23, 10:01 PM
  #11  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Rick
It is actually more complicated than what I stated. You can study it out if it interests you or we can call it a day and say ignorance is bliss.
I have studied it. And again, the evidence could not be more clear, exactly because motor vehicle operators do not exclusively collide with bicycles, nor are those collisions disproportionate with the populations. If cyclist visibility were the problem, at least one of those cases is required to be true -- and they are not.
TC1 is offline  
Old 10-30-23, 10:18 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,812
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1590 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,010 Times in 568 Posts
That's some logic right there.
jon c. is offline  
Old 10-31-23, 12:02 AM
  #13  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by jon c.
That's some logic right there.
Okay Jon, instead of wasting everyone's time with more useless comments, explain why, if cyclist visibility is the problem, motor vehicle crashes that do not involve cyclists at all are so common.
TC1 is offline  
Old 10-31-23, 03:56 AM
  #14  
Mother Nature's Son
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 3,093

Bikes: 2014 Orbea Avant MD30, 2004 Airborne Zeppelin TI, 2003 Lemond Poprad, 2001 Lemond Tourmalet, 2014? Soma Smoothie

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 835 Post(s)
Liked 1,394 Times in 790 Posts
Not even going to nibble
delbiker1 is offline  
Likes For delbiker1:
Old 10-31-23, 06:55 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 5,948

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 2007 Dahon Boardwalk, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International, 2006 Felt F65, 1989 Dahon Getaway V

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1356 Post(s)
Liked 1,650 Times in 815 Posts
ScottCommutes Welcome. Thanks for sharing. I see you have thought about traffic safety in depth. If you do a search of bikeforums (using Google and adding 'bikeforums,net', you'll see these kinds of lists/strategies have been offered up and discussed from time to time, both in Advocacy & Safety and Commuting. I find them very helpful...even if I don't agree with some strategies, they cause me to think about why I don't agree and spur me to re-examine my own 'rules' and strategies.

I've been bike commuting for 31 years and have changed and modified how I participate and interact with traffic over the years...hopefully for the better.

I could write a book on my guidelines and strategies, but my quick guide is this:

Be aware, be proactive, be considerate...be prepared to yield even if you have the right of way.
Use lights and high-viz and be seen.
Use a horn and be heard (AirZound air horn).
Always have an 'out'.
Don't press your luck or take chances.
Anticipate even the most unlikely maneuvers by others.
Learn to recognize and avoid your own anger and impatience, they will alter your perception and cloud your judgement.
I used to say 'ride like you're invisible and they can't see you'...but now I say 'ride like they CAN see you and THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL YOU!
Use an action cam and review any situations or encounters you feel could have gone better and try to learn from them.

Again, welcome, and I look forward to more from you.
BobbyG is offline  
Old 11-01-23, 03:49 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,928
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2453 Post(s)
Liked 703 Times in 503 Posts
I can make it even simpler than that. I ride like I was a pedestrian! That's (IMO) what a cyclist is: a pedestrian, with enhanced speed and endurance, but rather limited agility. Pedestrians usually have no lights, horns or bells but are often found in the street anyway. Mostly moving against traffic, but not always. As a cyclist I behave like a pedestrian would if moving with traffic. Would you walk IN the traffic lane, or would you keep as far right as practical and let traffic flow past on your left? If there was a bike lane or shoulder available, would you use it? I think so. Peds jogging in the bike lanes here are quite common. If there was open sidewalk and it was legal to ride there would you use the sidewalk to cover 200' or would you ride all the way around the block because the street has one way traffic? It's really just common sense reactions applied to a cyclists unique riding environment. Long lists of rules cannot cover the myriad nuances of a country as big as the U.S. Cycling since 12 years old. Commuting since 18 y.o. Soon to be 65.
Leisesturm is online now  
Old 11-01-23, 06:26 PM
  #17  
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 19,458

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3850 Post(s)
Liked 1,896 Times in 1,354 Posts
Originally Posted by TC1
I have studied it. And again, the evidence could not be more clear, exactly because motor vehicle operators do not exclusively collide with bicycles, nor are those collisions disproportionate with the populations. If cyclist visibility were the problem, at least one of those cases is required to be true -- and they are not.
Back in the day when a motorcycle was my transportation, the truth of Rick's assertion could not have been more clear. I always assumed that the car waiting at a cross street or pulling out of its driveway did not see me because that was sometimes obviously the case. People's brains are trained to see what they usually see. Some drivers simply do not register a motorcycle or a bicycle. I think a bike might actually be safer in this regard because one is traveling so much slower and is thus much closer to the cross street and perhaps more likely to be seen. That said, I've never had anyone pull out in front of my while on my bike, but I did see that on the motorcycle. I understand that happens, just have personally not experienced it.

One of the most important things that I do in traffic is to watch for turn signals on my side, that is to my left in the US. I watch for that very closely. Drivers who want to yield to me at intersections drive me nuts, too.

The subject of bike lighting also came up earlier. Of course I have an opinion about that, too. IMO the best use of good bike lighting is out on the road. I like to run lights which can be seen by drivers for a mile or two in daylight, both front and back. That gives a driver plenty of time to see me and decide what to do about me when he gets closer. They usually modify their speed so as to pass me between oncoming vehicles, at least on rural roads. I've had drivers thank me for running such bright lights. On a sunny day, when you rides into shade you are absolutely invisible to a driver, no matter what you're wearing. I do run blinkies at both ends, I don't care what the law says. I run a very fast white blinkie in front because it's true that a slow blinkie can make it very difficult to see where one is or how fast one is traveling. As a car driver, I hate slow blinkies. I don't run a rear blinkie in a paceline, I use steady then.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 11-01-23, 07:23 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,812
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1590 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,010 Times in 568 Posts
Originally Posted by Leisesturm
I can make it even simpler than that. I ride like I was a pedestrian! That's (IMO) what a cyclist is: a pedestrian, with enhanced speed and endurance, but rather limited agility. Pedestrians usually have no lights, horns or bells but are often found in the street anyway. Mostly moving against traffic, but not always. As a cyclist I behave like a pedestrian would if moving with traffic. Would you walk IN the traffic lane, or would you keep as far right as practical and let traffic flow past on your left? .
I would never walk with traffic but facing traffic I leave the road surface if a car is coming. Not analogous to cycling at all.
jon c. is offline  
Old 11-01-23, 08:09 PM
  #19  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Back in the day when a motorcycle was my transportation, the truth of Rick's assertion could not have been more clear. I always assumed that the car waiting at a cross street or pulling out of its driveway did not see me because that was sometimes obviously the case. People's brains are trained to see what they usually see. Some drivers simply do not register a motorcycle or a bicycle.
Which years "back in the day" did this occur? I ask, because I want to look up the years when motor vehicle on motor vehicle crashes did not occur constantly. Because, again, your assumptions notwithstanding, if what you and Rick claim were true, we should find a statistical signature to prove it, and that signature would be a relatively tiny number of crashes between motor vehicles -- because, according to you two, drivers see those vehicles.

That has not yet occurred in recorded history. So, again, your claim simply does not comport with any of the evidence we possess. Unless you (general) can explain why the evidence we have fails to support your claim at all, it's time to stop repeating it.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
One of the most important things that I do in traffic is to watch for turn signals on my side, that is to my left in the US.
I do this as well, but given the usage-rate of turn signals, I struggle to agree with the idea that it is "one of the most important things". I watch the front wheel. A motor vehicle can change direction without illuminating a turn signal, but it cannot turn without changing the angle of the front wheels -- so that's your one, completely reliable indicator.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
On a sunny day, when you rides into shade you are absolutely invisible to a driver...
That is a ridiculous claim, and not remotely true. Shade is not complete darkness.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I do run blinkies at both ends, I don't care what the law says.
There's a strategy that scales well. Imagine if motor vehicle operators had a similar disrespect for fellow road users. How would you respond to a car driver that says "I run my high-beams all the time, I don't care what the law says"?

Last edited by TC1; 11-01-23 at 08:19 PM.
TC1 is offline  
Old 11-01-23, 09:44 PM
  #20  
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 19,458

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3850 Post(s)
Liked 1,896 Times in 1,354 Posts
Originally Posted by TC1
Which years "back in the day" did this occur? I ask, because I want to look up the years when motor vehicle on motor vehicle crashes did not occur constantly. Because, again, your assumptions notwithstanding, if what you and Rick claim were true, we should find a statistical signature to prove it, and that signature would be a relatively tiny number of crashes between motor vehicles -- because, according to you two, drivers see those vehicles.

That has not yet occurred in recorded history. So, again, your claim simply does not comport with any of the evidence we possess. Unless you (general) can explain why the evidence we have fails to support your claim at all, it's time to stop repeating it.



I do this as well, but given the usage-rate of turn signals, I struggle to agree with the idea that it is "one of the most important things". I watch the front wheel. A motor vehicle can change direction without illuminating a turn signal, but it cannot turn without changing the angle of the front wheels -- so that's your one, completely reliable indicator.



That is a ridiculous claim, and not remotely true. Shade is not complete darkness.



There's a strategy that scales well. Imagine if motor vehicle operators had a similar disrespect for fellow road users. How would you respond to a car driver that says "I run my high-beams all the time, I don't care what the law says"?
Wow. You just need a lot more time in the saddle and some close calls. I've been riding bikes for over 70 years. I've raced Downhill, climbed in Yosemite, and had friendly motorcycle dicing in the Alps. That stuff's all pretty safe. I garaged my motorcycle in 1980 because I felt that riding it in the US was unsafe. Europe is another story, Never felt unsafe there.

Two of my riding buddies t-boned cars which pulled out in front of them and were badly injured. I'm very cautious around large metal objects, very aware of having an endoskeleton. I speak from experience. You can read all the statistics you want. Believe me when I say that's not a substitute for care and experience. You might rethink your reliance on numbers. There are posts above about very poor police reporting of bicycle accidents. My wife was run over by a 1-ton flatbed. The police report had nothing to do with the circumstanced or location of the accident. She's fine now and stokes our tandem, but she'll never ride a single bike on the street again.

Take care out there, folks.
__________________
Results matter

Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 11-01-23 at 10:01 PM.
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 11-01-23, 09:59 PM
  #21  
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 19,458

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3850 Post(s)
Liked 1,896 Times in 1,354 Posts
Originally Posted by jon c.
I would never walk with traffic but facing traffic I leave the road surface if a car is coming. Not analogous to cycling at all.
Good point. I almost hit a guy walking in the same direction I was going, on the shoulder of a fairly busy road. He was dressed all in black, including a hoodie - it was a chilly, sunny day and I had just ridden into some tree shade when I saw him about 6' in front of me. I did a quick swerve across the fog line and got lucky - wasn't hit by a car. No time to evaluate safety or check the mirror. But that's how stuff happens. I was probably doing about 15 on the tandem.

Another thing that drives me nuts is cyclists who salmon.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 11-01-23, 10:02 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,343

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 884 Post(s)
Liked 1,518 Times in 981 Posts
For someone who used to Race and Rally it is really hard to admit.

I can no longer do TRAFFIC.

Not on a bike, or a car, or a motorcycle, or even walk!

It's pitiful...
__________________
No matter where you're at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Old 11-01-23, 11:06 PM
  #23  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Wow. You just need a lot more time in the saddle and some close calls.
What are you talking about? Your time in the saddle, or mine, has absolutely nothing to do with the facts under discussion here.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I've been riding bikes for over 70 years. I've raced Downhill, climbed in Yosemite, and had friendly motorcycle dicing in the Alps. That stuff's all pretty safe. I garaged my motorcycle in 1980 because I felt that riding it in the US was unsafe. Europe is another story, Never felt unsafe there.
Cool story. Still has absolutely nothing to do with the questions at-hand.

Also, you provided a clear example of why relying on feelings and emotions instead of data is unwise. Depending on which year one selects, anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of European countries have a motorcycle fatality rate comparable-to or in excess-of the US' rate. And, more to the point, some European countries are approximately ten-times safer than others. So, taking a couple rides in the Swiss Alps -- one of the safest countries in Europe to ride -- and extrapolating that experience to the entire continent is simply a mistake, and one that might well cost a rider his or her life.

And even that comparison is misleading, because Europe does not have -- so far as I can tell from any published information -- a critical problem with unlicensed and untrained motorcycle operators, like the US does. Over 1/3rd of US motorcycle fatalities involve an operator who was not even licensed to ride. That's a very separate problem from the overall safety environment for a motorcyclist. If one adjusts the US' motorcycle fatality rate somewhat, to account for those unlicensed riders, the comparison to Europe is even closer to equal.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Two of my riding buddies t-boned cars which pulled out in front of them and were badly injured.
A close friend of mine was killed 33 years ago on a motorcycle. My uncle-in-law was very nearly killed a couple decades later. We can share stories 'til the cows come home, but the plural of anecdote is not "data" and these stories do not matter at all, in this discussion -- in part, because for every story about someone dying in a motorcycle crash, there are about 10 where the victim dies in a car or truck.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
You can read all the statistics you want. Believe me when I say that's not a substitute for care and experience.
You clearly need to re-read the thread, as you have lost the plot entirely and do not understand the points that I have made.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
You might rethink your reliance on numbers.
Numbers are how we study problems -- not via the emotional reactions to an event, such as the one involving your wife.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
There are posts above about very poor police reporting of bicycle accidents. My wife was run over by a 1-ton flatbed. The police report had nothing to do with the circumstanced or location of the accident. She's fine now and stokes our tandem, but she'll never ride a single bike on the street again.
Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with the questions at-hand. And yes, I know about those posts above -- I wrote one of them.

The point which you are evading is that cyclist visibility is not a critical problem. We can see that it is not by studying crash data, and that crash data illustrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no significant difference between the visibility of cyclists and that of cars and trucks. If it were the case that the latter are highly visible and the former not, we would see a tremendous gap in the multi-vehicle crash rates of each. And we do not. Furthermore, we have mountains of evidence illustrating that motor vehicle operators crash into all manner of objects -- 100 foot tall trees, buildings of all sizes, guard rails festooned with reflectors, and basically everything else except airplanes in-flight and boats. This clearly indicates that visibility does not protect an object from becoming the target of a motor vehicle operator.

Last edited by TC1; 11-01-23 at 11:22 PM. Reason: statistical clarifcation
TC1 is offline  
Old 11-02-23, 08:23 AM
  #24  
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 19,458

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3850 Post(s)
Liked 1,896 Times in 1,354 Posts
Originally Posted by TC1
<snip>The point which you are evading is that cyclist visibility is not a critical problem. <snip>
That is how people get killed however. I was once descending at about 30 or so. At the bottom of the hill, the road bent left and in another 100', an intersection on the right. As I approached that intersection, a car pulled out right in front of me and then stopped. I locked up the rear, laid the bike down, and slid into him, wheels first. I was not injured. He said he simply didn't see me. I was not lit and had on a blue and green patterned event jersey. I never wore that jersey again - too easy for it to get lost in the background - and I never rode unlit again, nor have I ever had a car pull out in front of me again. And as I said above, I've been thanked by motorists for being so well lit, 300 lumen blinkies at both ends. This is not a statistic, you are not a statistic. We are living people. Your belief that cyclists don't have a visibility problem flies in the face of all cycling authorities and is a dangerous viewpoint to defend on a cycling forum. I will not respond again to your restating your dangerous viewpoint.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 11-02-23, 11:37 AM
  #25  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
That is how people get killed however. I was once descending at about 30 or so. At the bottom of the hill, the road bent left and in another 100', an intersection on the right. As I approached that intersection, a car pulled out right in front of me and then stopped. I locked up the rear, laid the bike down, and slid into him, wheels first. I was not injured. He said he simply didn't see me.
Again, read the thread. This has already been covered. Drivers say SMIDSY because that will usually allow them to walk away without punishment. In your example, the driver obviously did see you, because they stopped. Did you even think about this example for one second?


Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Your belief that cyclists don't have a visibility problem flies in the face of all cycling authorities and is a dangerous viewpoint to defend on a cycling forum. I will not respond again to your restating your dangerous viewpoint.
Again, explain why motor vehicle operators crash into everything and do not crash into cyclists -- the huge majority of which are not wearing special clothing nor equipped with lighting -- at a higher rate. It is precisely because cyclist visibility is not the critical problem -- road user training and behavior, is. Refusing to admit this obvious fact is actually the dangerous viewpoint being espoused here, so if you want to clamp your hands over your ears like a child, go ahead, but clamp something over your mouth at the same time.
TC1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.