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Would a Blinkie Have Saved This Guy?

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Would a Blinkie Have Saved This Guy?

Old 03-03-13, 06:24 PM
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TromboneAl
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Would a Blinkie Have Saved This Guy?

I posted a thread about this guy who was killed about a mile from my house:




According to the news, the driver veered off the road. The driver was not impaired, and it was not intentional.

Here's my thinking on this:

1. It's unlikely that it would have happened if the driver had noticed/paid attention to the cyclist. Sure, he could have noticed him, but sneezed or something, causing him to veer out of the lane, but my guess is that he just didn't notice the cyclist, and was reaching for something, daydreaming, or changing a CD, etc.

2. It's pretty hard not to notice a cyclist when he/she has a bright blinkie, like a Planet Bike superflash, even in the daylight.

3. I just can't imagine that someone thinks "Oh, look, that cyclist sure has a bright blinking light." and then drives into him.

Yes, there are a lot of "what ifs" here, but a blinkie could certainly help in a situation like this. I might buy a second one.
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Old 03-03-13, 06:33 PM
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Maybe.

Hi vis yellow, probably.

Two weeks ago I was cycling on a rare straight stretch of road and saw a cyclist clearly several hundred yards away because of his hi vis jersey. He also had a flashing running light (he really was trying to be safe) and it was not nearly as attention grabbing.

I'm slowly going only hi vis in my cycling gear.
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Old 03-03-13, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here's my thinking on this:

1. It's unlikely that it would have happened if the driver had noticed/paid attention to the cyclist. Sure, he could have noticed him, but sneezed or something, causing him to veer out of the lane, but my guess is that he just didn't notice the cyclist, and was reaching for something, daydreaming, or changing a CD, etc.

2. It's pretty hard not to notice a cyclist when he/she has a bright blinkie, like a Planet Bike superflash, even in the daylight.

3. I just can't imagine that someone thinks "Oh, look, that cyclist sure has a bright blinking light." and then drives into him.

Yes, there are a lot of "what ifs" here, but a blinkie could certainly help in a situation like this. I might buy a second one.
I don't think we'll ever know what would have helped in his case. Maybe nothing.

That being said, I do believe it helps to be lit up and obvious. By all means, get a second, (brighter?) rear light (for under $30 shipped, I highly recommend the Cygolite Hotshot light). I ride with a flashing (in day time) light as well. And I do usually wear hi-viz green or orange.

And above all, ride smart.

Nothing is fool proof. You can do everything right and still have bad things happen. But the more things you do right, the better the odds are in your favor.

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 03-03-13, 07:24 PM
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My gear is hi-viz. I have two blinkies in the rear, a PDW Radbot 1000 and a Cygolite Hotshot. In the front I have a MagicShine 808e blinking in daylight and on low in the dark and a Blackburn 3.3 headlight blinking all the time. Maybe it's more than I need, but I want to be noticed.

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Old 03-03-13, 07:35 PM
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Regardless of whether or not the driver saw the cyclist, WHAT WAS HE DOING OUT OF THE TRAFFIC LANE? Driver probably didn't even get a ticket...
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Old 03-03-13, 07:36 PM
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you know what would have helped? If that motorist would have taken their responsibilities seriously. We all want to make ourself feel more comfortable about our riding, but the truth is that the person driving that car probably would have killed a pedestrian or maybe even run into the back of a parked dump truck. I have actually seen someone drive into the back of a parked dump truck, so I know it can happen. You are vulnerable out there on your bike, and fortunately the number of people like the one that murdered this rider are few and far between. I hope they are burned at the stake.

I think they should put a statement in the story about these incidents if the police have checked for texting or cell phone use before they mention helmets. The suspected murderer was in the primary demographic for texting

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Old 03-03-13, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I posted a thread about this guy who was killed about a mile from my house:




According to the news, the driver veered off the road. The driver was not impaired, and it was not intentional.

Here's my thinking on this:

1. It's unlikely that it would have happened if the driver had noticed/paid attention to the cyclist. Sure, he could have noticed him, but sneezed or something, causing him to veer out of the lane, but my guess is that he just didn't notice the cyclist, and was reaching for something, daydreaming, or changing a CD, etc.

2. It's pretty hard not to notice a cyclist when he/she has a bright blinkie, like a Planet Bike superflash, even in the daylight.

3. I just can't imagine that someone thinks "Oh, look, that cyclist sure has a bright blinking light." and then drives into him.

Yes, there are a lot of "what ifs" here, but a blinkie could certainly help in a situation like this. I might buy a second one.
A PB Super Flash does no good in bright sun light. I was rear-ended in May of last year.

I had on my bright yellow biking jacket, with a PB Super Flash on my back. While I was stopped in the 'suicide lane'(lane between two lanes going each direction), waiting to merge into the southbound traffic to make a right turn, I was rear-ended. The guy said he didn't see me. I didn't entirely believe that, but the police bought it.

After that, I got a brighter biking jacket, and I went back to using my other tail light, a Serfas TL-SSR Stop Sign(https://www.serfas.com/products/view/158/refererroducts%7Cindex%7Clights%7Ctail-lights) tail light. Because the PB Super Flash wasn't as bright as, my other tail lights. When my second Serfas TL-SSR popped off the clamp(I had it for several year), I replaced it with a Blackburn Mars 3.0(https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400159__400159) tail light.

I have been getting a lot more honks, since going back to my other tail light. While the honks at first are annoying. At the same time, it also means that the motorist saw me.

So, In reference to your original question, on the part of the cyclist, it comes down to lighting, attire, time of day, and lane position.

Yes, I know. There are those that will say that none of those things will keep a cyclist from getting killed. But it will help in getting a cyclist noticed in traffic.

(the smiley face was unintentionally, it was due to the way Serfas did the link for the tail light)

Last edited by Chris516; 03-03-13 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 03-03-13, 07:58 PM
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i recommend the hotshot. at a distance i could not distinguish it from my dinotte 140R. dinottes newer lights are definitely brighter, however.
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Old 03-03-13, 08:03 PM
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It seems like only yesterday, but it was many wrinkles ago. Preparations for a ride were limited to finding some clean cycling shorts, pumping up the tires and adding water to the bottles.

These days, it means putting one or two fully charged bright blinking lights on the rear and one on the front, placing a GoPro on the handlebar (facing rear) to facilitate finding the person who eventually kills or maims me, wearing a Spot so that it is easy to find the ditch I get knocked into, bringing a cell phone and wearing reflective ankle bands and a hi-viz reflective vest. Sure, most of this stuff wasn't even dreamed of forty years ago. Even if it was, no cyclist would have thought any of it would be deemed necessary for a simple bike ride in unincorporated areas.

Oddly, it seems that the majority of motorists are much better behaved towards cyclists now than ever before. However, the majority of motorists has never been the problem. Unfortunately, the small fraction of narcissistic jerks behind the wheel seem to be much worse than ever and are both more aggressive and less inclined to be paying attention to the rather important task they have set themselves to, that of driving several tons of steel at great speed on a public road.

So, would a blinkie or two saved the cyclist near TromboneAl? I don't know, but I make sure that question won't be asked if/when a ghost bike is placed for me.
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Old 03-03-13, 08:42 PM
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when was the first blinking bike light offered? I guess I had a cateye that would blink. In the 70's I rode 10 miles each way to work in Wisconsin, dark both ways because we worked 4-10 hour days. I started out with reflectors, a leg light and a dyno front light. My boss got complaints about me from motorists so I added reflective tape. Not sure anyone wore reflective vests for anything back then, certainly couldn't go to a hardware store and buy one. Somehow everyone managed to avoid hitting me.

I generally use a blinky starting a few hours before dusk or on roads with a lot of overhanging branches. If they have their head down, nothing is going to help.
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Old 03-03-13, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
when was the first blinking bike light offered? I guess I had a cateye that would blink. In the 70's I rode 10 miles each way to work in Wisconsin, dark both ways because we worked 4-10 hour days. I started out with reflectors, a leg light and a dyno front light. My boss got complaints about me from motorists so I added reflective tape. Not sure anyone wore reflective vests for anything back then, certainly couldn't go to a hardware store and buy one. Somehow everyone managed to avoid hitting me.

I generally use a blinky starting a few hours before dusk or on roads with a lot of overhanging branches. If they have their head down, nothing is going to help.
But, Were the complaints because of:

1. Too bright

2. Couldn't see you

3. lane position
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Old 03-03-13, 09:05 PM
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I completely forgot about those horrible leg lights. I hope it helped others to see me because it did nothing to help me see anything other than the reflection of some beastie's eyes. I wonder which would work best a blinkie or a photo of John's memorial placed in every DMV in the country.
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Old 03-03-13, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
3. I just can't imagine that someone thinks "Oh, look, that cyclist sure has a bright blinking light." and then drives into him.
I have been hit with a very bright blinkie on, and would have been hit four other times with bright blinkie on if I had not bailed off the road at the last second because I saw them coming in my mirror.
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Old 03-03-13, 09:23 PM
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PS - three cyclist on a road I often ride have been killed with bright blinkies on. Drunks and distracted drivers do not see blinkies or bright clothing for some reason.
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Old 03-03-13, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
It seems like only yesterday, but it was many wrinkles ago. Preparations for a ride were limited to finding some clean cycling shorts, pumping up the tires and adding water to the bottles.

These days, it means putting one or two fully charged bright blinking lights on the rear and one on the front, placing a GoPro on the handlebar (facing rear) to facilitate finding the person who eventually kills or maims me, wearing a Spot so that it is easy to find the ditch I get knocked into, bringing a cell phone and wearing reflective ankle bands and a hi-viz reflective vest.
Add to that, a mace gun, razor knife and tactical gloves.
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Old 03-03-13, 10:06 PM
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Seeing that bike on the cross. Very sad.

At what point will law enforcement get some sense and realize that 'I didnt see him' is not an excuse but an admission of guilt?

Last edited by xenologer; 03-03-13 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 03-03-13, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
Seeing that bike on the cross. Very sad.

At what point will law enforcement get some sense and realize that 'I didnt see him is not an excuse' but an admission of guilt?
A very few understand that when a cyclist killed, BUT they ALL understand it when a cop is killed.
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Old 03-03-13, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
These days, it means putting one or two fully charged bright blinking lights on the rear and one on the front, placing a GoPro on the handlebar (facing rear) to facilitate finding the person who eventually kills or maims me, wearing a Spot so that it is easy to find the ditch I get knocked into, bringing a cell phone and wearing reflective ankle bands and a hi-viz reflective vest. Sure, most of this stuff wasn't even dreamed of forty years ago. Even if it was, no cyclist would have thought any of it would be deemed necessary for a simple bike ride in unincorporated areas.
And relatively few cyclists today deem all that glowing paraphernalia and recording equipment necessary for a simple bike ride anywhere, especially in daylight. Don't fool yourself and think the posts on A&S and some of the other BF lists represent anything but fringe cyclists' preferences.
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Old 03-03-13, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
PS - three cyclist on a road I often ride have been killed with bright blinkies on. Drunks and distracted drivers do not see blinkies or bright clothing for some reason.
Actually, they do seem them and are attracted to them like a moth to the flame. I know of four wrecks in my area within the last six months, all involving drunks driving into law enforcement cruisers that were stopped and had their gumball lights flashing.
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Old 03-04-13, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by loneviking61 View Post
Actually, they do seem them and are attracted to them like a moth to the flame. I know of four wrecks in my area within the last six months, all involving drunks driving into law enforcement cruisers that were stopped and had their gumball lights flashing.
Maybe. I have seen claims on both sides of this, including law enforcement claiming the moth theory to be false.

Doing environmental night work with road crews over an 11 month period, we watched 4 drunks simply drive off the road and hit unlit objets. None of them came close to hitting the special duty police car with lights on assigned to be at the site.

Motorist driving without their headlights off, on average, was an every night occurrence.
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Old 03-04-13, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Add to that, a mace gun, razor knife and tactical gloves.
If we're that close, then the motorist would be out of his car. In that case, he is either has a firearm, in which case I might have a problem (but why would he shoot me when he could have just run me over and claimed it was an "accident"?) or he doesn't have a firearm, in which case I likely have the advantage of superior training, experience, speed and strength. While I have had motorists pull over to chat, few have ever wanted to come to blows. I think something about being 6'2" 190 lbs and obviously fit discourages people from becoming physical, which is nice since waiting around to give a statement to the police ruins a ride.
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Old 03-04-13, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
And relatively few cyclists today deem all that glowing paraphernalia and recording equipment necessary for a simple bike ride anywhere, especially in daylight. Don't fool yourself and think the posts on A&S and some of the other BF lists represent anything but fringe cyclists' preferences.
I agree that very few people would go to such extremes. However, I ride a lot of miles (15,000/year) among less than friendly natives. Have you ever been "doored" by a moving car? I've had that one tried on me. The recording device is to facilitate the lawsuit my wife will file, assuming she gets that done before other relatives do a bit of gene pool cleansing. Ditto for the over-the-top visibility devices, although the vest has a nice large compartment on the back that I have put to good use on 300 km rides in the forest. The Spot is just in case they only wing me (it allows me to send pre-set messages). I'm not sure why I even bother with the cell phone since most of my mileage is out of range of coverage.
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Old 03-04-13, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
If we're that close, then the motorist would be out of his car. In that case, he is either has a firearm, in which case I might have a problem (but why would he shoot me when he could have just run me over and claimed it was an "accident"?) or he doesn't have a firearm, in which case I likely have the advantage of superior training, experience, speed and strength. While I have had motorists pull over to chat, few have ever wanted to come to blows. I think something about being 6'2" 190 lbs and obviously fit discourages people from becoming physical, which is nice since waiting around to give a statement to the police ruins a ride.
But we are getting older. No matter how fit we are, some of the young bucks think they can now take us. Given that Hawaii gun laws pretty much assure that only cops are carrying, it emboldens some young motorist to get out of their cars to handle things differently. Prior to the mace gun, it meant I had to prove to the young bucks that they made the wrong choice.

With the mace gun, I just put a hand on it and ask "do you really want to do this". So far, they have meekly returned to their car and driven off without further comment.
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Old 03-04-13, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
Seeing that bike on the cross. Very sad.

At what point will law enforcement get some sense and realize that 'I didnt see him' is not an excuse but an admission of guilt?
Not until the cows come home. Which isn't any time soon.
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Old 03-04-13, 05:00 AM
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lights & hi-viz make it easier for attentive road-users (motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians) to see you sooner and from farther away, but if someone is inattentive (texting, watching a movie, eating breakfast, etc) then it won't make a difference. as noted, people crash into stopped emergency vehicles with lights blazing.

the problem isn't bicyclists' lack of lighting & hi-viz... the problem is inattentive road-users (motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians). it doesn't help that the legal system too often interprets "i didn't see him" as a get-out-of-jail card, rather than an admission of careless driving, or worse.
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