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Are all pickup drivers jerks?

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Old 10-01-02, 10:37 AM
  #1  
Bandit
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Are all pickup drivers jerks?

i am also an avid motorcyclist and have learned to "profile" drivers based on what kind of vehicle they are piloting. applying this principle i have found that pickup drivers are by far the worse danger to me on my bicycle. i can count on them to 1) give me the least room, 2) cut me off, 3) generally disregard my right to travel the road.

have others found this to be true? why are such a large percentage of pickup truck drivers such jerks (at least in relation to other types of drivers)?
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Old 10-01-02, 10:39 AM
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Richard D
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Over here it's small van drivers - the 'white van'.

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Old 10-01-02, 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by Richard D
Over here it's small van drivers - the 'white van'.

Richard
Funny you should mention white vans... I was commuting home on a 4 lane highway just the other day. A white van pulled over onto the shoulder of the road directly in front of me. I had to brake hard to avoid hitting it. I refused to go around the van on the passenger side as I'd have to pass the sliding door, but I couldn't just jump out into traffic and ride around him either. I ended up waiting for traffic to eventually clear and got around him. It wasn't 30 seconds later he was off driving again and turned ahead of me and parked on a side road. I didn't think much of it, but about 10 miles later he did the same thing! (pulling to the a side road and watching) I was so suprised to see him again! No nothing happened, but it freaked me out a bit.
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Old 10-01-02, 11:10 AM
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Beemers. Even the ones with bike racks.
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Old 10-01-02, 11:10 AM
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I guess I'm a jerk!

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Old 10-01-02, 11:24 AM
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Alan Perkins
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I drive a truck. I'm not a jerk.
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Old 10-01-02, 11:36 AM
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before i get flamed crispy, please note that my initial post says, "a higher PERCENTAGE of pickup drivers are jerks than any kind of driver."

it was never intended as a blanket statement, and if i've ruffled feathers, i apologize. i've owned trucks, too.
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Old 10-01-02, 11:45 AM
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Joe Gardner
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I live in an area where there are alot of people who are into taking there truck / jeep into the back country / rock-crawling. I have to say, these are the BEST drivers to be around. They always give me extra wide birth, you can hear them coming up from a mile away, and there great to draft behind.

I rarely have trouble with motorists, but the most common are moms in vans paying more attention to there kids then the road. And those little rice rockets that think its fun to race anything, including guys on bikes...
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Old 10-01-02, 11:46 AM
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I drive a truck. I am a jerk.
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Old 10-01-02, 11:48 AM
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Joe Gardner
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Make up your mind Alan!
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Old 10-01-02, 11:57 AM
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I was going to say .. I think you're both jerks.
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Old 10-01-02, 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by Jeepbikerun
Funny you should mention white vans...
Hehe, White Vans! I got nudged by one the other day. He passed me on the left, then just after his rear bumper cleared my front wheel, he whipped over in front of me. I ran into the side of it and got hung on the side mirror. This was at relatively low speed going uphill and I didn't suffer damage. The guy apologized; he was completely clueless.

Stay away from these vans!
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Old 10-01-02, 06:51 PM
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In response to the original question: Yes


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Old 10-01-02, 07:09 PM
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I think it's difficult to profile pickup drivers. Unlike say a Mustang, pickups are purchased many times to fill a practical need. Pickups are very popular where i live. You have the young kids who have trucks to haul their quads and motos around. The tradesmen and farmers actually using them for work. The old guys that have just always owned pickups. Women who drive them too feel powerful. The horse people who drive those huge duallies to pull their trailers. there's plenty of other catagories I'm sure.

I drive a pickup for work and I'm an avid bike commuter. My experience is that the biggest threat to me on the road are stressed out working mothers; talking on the cell, yelling at the kids, rushing to daycare, soccer practice, viola lessons, etc... They're usually driving a Suv or minivan and watch out they're ready to explode.
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Old 10-01-02, 07:14 PM
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In all honesty, I drive a truck also. There are those ignorant redneck hicks who think monster trucks are a form of legitimate theatre, but the majority I find are pretty good. It seems no matter what you drive, if you have a cell phone to your ear you will drive like a complete [insert expletive].
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Old 10-02-02, 04:11 AM
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well, especially from living in Texas i think that Pickup drivers are more likely to 1) not understand cyclists or respect cyclists' right to the road 2) tailgate or driver as if they own the road 3) not use turn signal or do other basic safety things because "they're safe in their big truck" and don't need to do wussy safety things

that being said, i think some of the worst are usually not Pickups, but more likely Sports Cars --- probably the most often seen is the Mustang or Camaro with the young male driver who drives like he's practicing on his own private raceway, swerving in and out of lanes, never signalling, tailgating and driving agressively. these are the guys that drive up fast behind a cyclist and rev the engine as a warning that you should get out of the way...

but, as someone said, there are good friendly drivers and bad and agressive drivers in every type of vehicle...

as a cyclist there are generally 4 types that are especially dangerous:
1) incompetent drivers - either 16 yr olds or old people who can't see straigh and shouldn't be driving (my grandmother refused to stop driving even after she had numerous accidents and no one in the family would ride with her -- after about 6 years she finally gave in) --- these are the ones that might turn right in front of you or inadvertently drive on the shoulder or whatever
2) agressive/impatient drivers - they are in a hurry and so safety is cut to save time. a cyclist is ANOTHER time delay in additon to traffic and accidents
3) distracted drivers -- the mom looking at the kids in the back seat or the driver on the cell phone -- they don't pay attention so accident likelihood increases - problem is for them it would be a "fender-bender" with their airbags and all, but it could kill a cyclist!
4) kids having fun "tormenting" or attacking cyclists -- these are the kids that "for fun" throw soda bottles at cyclists or drive right up next to a cyclist and yell "Boo!" or honk the the horn -- usually more talk than threat

Pickup drivers usually are more likely to fit into the agressive/impatient group than most.
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Old 10-02-02, 07:04 AM
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An interesting side note is that the national statics show that pickup drivers wear their seat blets less than anyone else.
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Old 10-02-02, 07:25 AM
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An interesting side note is that the national statics show that pickup drivers wear their seat blets less than anyone else.
i've noticed that too. i think there are 2 reasons:
1) pickup in design haven't changed too much and they didn't used to have seat belts or just lap belts and no one wore them... so pickup drivers are used to hopping in their truck on the bench seat and not buckling up, so they still don't ---- a "new" car is different as it has a whole different feel
2) pickup drivers feel safe in their huge trucks so they feel they don't need to buckle up

as a former Pickup owner ('73 GMC Full Size with 454 motor from '92-'96, yes i know it was a polluter)... i would wear my seatbelt when i drove a car but not when i drove my pickup (also it only had lap belts)
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Old 10-02-02, 10:09 AM
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Hmmmm, I usually generalize people by the what they drive. You have to, just to be safe.

BUT, I have talked to many motorists in pick-up trucks who have been nothing but nice to me and interested in where I am from, how far I am riding, how fast I can go, etc. There are the others that are (who Bandit is reffering) the male macho "I need a MAN truck and haven't got time for these ****** bikers on the roads" personality type. They usually have dressed-up pretty trucks.

Kinda like that GM commericial where a guy hooks up a chain to a tower and pulls it down with his truck. And the deep resonating voice proclaims "A MAN and his TRUCK....." oh please....


But to give some further generalizations:
1) Be wary of pickups, especially dressed-up ones

2) Be scared of Trans-ams or other muscle cars

3) Be doubly scared of low end cars with wide tires, 'go-faster' racing strips, wipe antenneas on the back, fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror, etc. Like a souped up Chevy Nova of Chev Cavalier.

4) Be terrified if the driver is wearing a baseball cap on backwards. It is a kid out driving around in daddies car.

5) Be doubly terrified if he has his buddies with him (testosterone will start to fly) as you WILL BE used as a source of entertainment.

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Old 10-02-02, 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by digger
5) Be doubly terrified if he has his buddies with him (testosterone will start to fly) as you WILL BE used as a source of entertainment.
Add a couple of girls to the mix, and you'll have a potentially lethal dose of testosterone poisoning. Give wide berth, no matter what you're driving.
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Old 10-02-02, 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by Jeepbikerun


Funny you should mention white vans... I was commuting home on a 4 lane highway just the other day. A white van pulled over onto the shoulder of the road directly in front of me. I had to brake hard to avoid hitting it. I refused to go around the van on the passenger side as I'd have to pass the sliding door, but I couldn't just jump out into traffic and ride around him either. I ended up waiting for traffic to eventually clear and got around him. It wasn't 30 seconds later he was off driving again and turned ahead of me and parked on a side road. I didn't think much of it, but about 10 miles later he did the same thing! (pulling to the a side road and watching) I was so suprised to see him again! No nothing happened, but it freaked me out a bit.
This behaviour sounds mighty suspicious to me.

I would use your cell phone to phone his registration and discription to a friend if it happens again. Let him see you do it. You can't be too careful, there are a lot of very unpleasant people out there. Don't take any risks. Promise
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Old 10-02-02, 10:47 AM
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I also engage in driver profiling. I look for telling clues about a driver's capabilities by the appearance of his or her car.

For instance, a downturned rear view mirror is a clear sign of innattentiveness. You can be assured that the knucklehead has no clue you're behind them.

Dirty, smudgy windows indicates an uncaring sort -- dangerous.

Small-framed people with straight, jet black hair are to be carefully watched as they oftentimes cannot see over the dashboard and are generally terrible drivers. (I know, this is blatant profiling, but it IS TRUE.)

Watch for subtle clues of a driver's awareness. For instance, if the driver catches you in his/her rear view mirror as they pass, they will probably position themselves favorably at the next light -- maybe pulling out of the bike lane while turning right, or even waiting for you to pass. Those that pass with no further glance "forget" you and will not consider you at the next light.

For the smart alek kids mentioned in earlier posts, the best defense is an aggressive approach. This is true for drivers, overall, in my view. I think they appreciate and respect an aggressive (but not unlawful) bike-commuter because it assures them that the biker is aware of what's going on and is in control. It relieves the pressure they feel or, in the case of the smart alek, shows them that you can't be cowed into submission so easily.
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Old 10-02-02, 10:50 AM
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I have a truck and I am not a jerk! Atleast not all the time. Can't beat a truck with a camper and bike rack for a weekend of riding/camping.
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Old 10-02-02, 10:54 AM
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This seems to fit in with this topic.

Check out this new truck

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Old 10-02-02, 10:56 AM
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B]For the smart alek kids mentioned in earlier posts, the best defense is an aggressive approach. This is true for drivers, overall, in my view. I think they appreciate and respect an aggressive (but not unlawful) bike-commuter because it assures them that the biker is aware of what's going on and is in control. It relieves the pressure they feel or, in the case of the smart alek, shows them that you can't be cowed into submission so easily.[/B]


Ahh, I don't believe aggressive wil work for these kids. They either throw something at you, scream or play "how close can I get".

Agressive will do nothing, especially if their PRIDE is on the line. They cannot be seen backing down in front of their buddies and especially if girls are in the car. They WILL follow through. I had one kid tell me "where gonna kill you bicycle man!! Where gonna kill you!" I got off the road, got the number, call the cops, gave a statement. Mommy called the next day and apologized.

But no, those kids were not driving a pickup.
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