Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

The Last Few Seconds Before You Got Hit?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

The Last Few Seconds Before You Got Hit?

Old 10-09-14, 05:54 PM
  #1  
Papa Tom
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Papa Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,878

Bikes: The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996, although I modify it throughout the year for commuting, touring, and recreational riding.

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 577 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 10 Posts
The Last Few Seconds Before You Got Hit?

I've really stepped up my bicycle commuting this year. Unfortunately, I've also become more and more addicted to online reports of bicyclist injuries and deaths across the continent.

Having ridden the same 10 square miles of suburban Long Island roads for about 42 of my 52 years, I can't imagine that there any surprises out there. I feel invincible; like I am acutely aware of every single vehicle, pedestrian, pothole, and fallen acorn along my route every day. I am never, ever distracted. I have thoroughly analyzed the traffic patterns and the subtle variations in driver habits between morning and afternoon commutes in an effort to constantly improve the odds of my getting to and from work safely. I follow every traffic rule as if I were in an automobile and I carefully guide drivers around me in tricky situations, most often receiving a smile or a polite wave of thanks in return. I feel like I can get myself out of any critical situation, including a collision with one of the many distracted high school students who drive my route to school with both eyes firmly planted on their text screens.

Still, I know I am as vulnerable as any other idiot out there on a bike every day.

So what is it I am missing? I'm sure those of you who have been involved in collisions with automobiles are every bit as proficient as I am on a bicycle. And I would speculate that many of you are as intimately familiar with the roads you travel as I am. So what was different for you, in your head, in your physical state, or in the function of your bike in the few minutes/seconds leading up to that awful moment when your luck ran out and you found yourself sprawled out on the street? Did you make a mistake, maybe lose your concentration, or was it just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Papa Tom is offline  
Old 10-09-14, 07:19 PM
  #2  
jwarner
Fahrradfahrer
 
jwarner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 368

Bikes: n+1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, it seems to me that you don't have to worry much about complacency, which I think can get a lot of people in the end.

I also read a lot of stuff about bike/car/pedestrian collisions and the comments that come out of them. I'm mainly interested in not doing what the guy who got hit did. I like to read the comments to gauge where the bike haters are, and how the "War on Cars" is going. What a stupid term huh?

This being said, I wouldn't stress it too much. Race your own rac... I mean commute your own commute.

As for what I was thinking the last few seconds before the last time I got hit... "Whew she missed me." This was right before she swerved over and got me. Turns out all she was thinking about was a bucket of Kentucky Fried (it was all over the inside of the car).

C'est la vie, the doc did a good job putting my ear and scalp back together, and like we used to say in the service: "chicks dig scars"
jwarner is offline  
Old 10-09-14, 08:06 PM
  #3  
GeneO
Senior Member
 
GeneO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,138

Bikes: 2018 Roubaix Expert Di2, 2016 Diverge Expert X1, Felt 2012 F55X

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I think it is a little bit of luck. No matter how diligent you are, a distracted driver on the cell, texting, eating food, grooming, and even reading a magazine planted on the steering wheel ( I have witnessed this) can swerve and hit you before you can react.
GeneO is offline  
Old 10-09-14, 09:41 PM
  #4  
keyven
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,136

Bikes: Fully customized 11-spd MTB built on 2014 Santa Cruz 5010 frame; Brompton S2E-X 2014; Brompton M3E 2014

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jwarner View Post
Well, it seems to me that you don't have to worry much about complacency, which I think can get a lot of people in the end.

I also read a lot of stuff about bike/car/pedestrian collisions and the comments that come out of them. I'm mainly interested in not doing what the guy who got hit did. I like to read the comments to gauge where the bike haters are, and how the "War on Cars" is going. What a stupid term huh?

This being said, I wouldn't stress it too much. Race your own rac... I mean commute your own commute.

As for what I was thinking the last few seconds before the last time I got hit... "Whew she missed me." This was right before she swerved over and got me. Turns out all she was thinking about was a bucket of Kentucky Fried (it was all over the inside of the car).

C'est la vie, the doc did a good job putting my ear and scalp back together, and like we used to say in the service: "chicks dig scars"
Whoa I imagine either you are the most forgiving guy in the world, or it happened a LONG time back.
keyven is offline  
Old 10-09-14, 10:20 PM
  #5  
jwarner
Fahrradfahrer
 
jwarner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 368

Bikes: n+1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by keyven View Post
Whoa I imagine either you are the most forgiving guy in the world, or it happened a LONG time back.
Well, It was quite some time ago, but quite frankly, even then, I didn't get mad.

At the scene, I focused on getting my buddy out of the street (not hit, but standing there in shock -- she swerved to miss him and got me) and controlling trauma. My goal was to make sure the scene was safe, access and control the damage, and get higher-level care (meaning something other than the old shirt I was using to control bleeding and hold my head, arm, and shoulder together). Getting mad at the lady or interacting with her wouldn't have helped me accomplish these goals, and in-fact, would have kept me from accomplishing these things in a timely fashion. I pretty much ignored her and focused on me and my buddy (who was way more freaked out than I was).

After getting rebuilt (no broken bones, but multiple lacerations, punctures, and avulsions with wounds full of glass and road grit), I focused on healing and beating the infection that set in in my head. Again getting mad wouldn't have helped me accomplish these goals. It would have only made me mad, and ultimately, who cares if I'm mad. No one as far as I know.

At the time, I was a section sergeant in the 82nd Airborne (if lazyass reads this, it happened on the corner of Yadkin and Gruber). I had 12 paratroopers to lead. I was in incredible shape at the time because my job and my hobbies all included a lot of physical exercise and endurance, as well as a clear head and positive mental outlook. I came back and went on a five mile run with them four days later. It wasn't easy, but what in life is? I had to quit running after that one for about 2 weeks to beat the infection, but that run with my troopers meant more to me than getting mad at some poor lady eating chicken on her way home ever would have. She made a mistake, we all do, it happens.

Hope that makes some sense.
jwarner is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 04:32 AM
  #6  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6,973
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 697 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 62 Posts
Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
I think it is a little bit of luck. No matter how diligent you are, a distracted driver on the cell, texting, eating food, grooming, and even reading a magazine planted on the steering wheel ( I have witnessed this) can swerve and hit you before you can react.
I was riding at about 9 PM on a wide, well-lit, low volume residential suburban street with no parked cars, wearing two rear view blinkies, and right and left rear view mirrors when I got hit from behind. It was so serene that I don’t remember what I was thnking.

I do have this memory, not of the immediate impact, and perhaps not even real, of my feet coming out of my clipped-on cycling shoes. Nothing then until vague memories of the hubbub at the scene. I now scan my rear more frequently than before.

IMO, rear view mirrors are the best way to bolster your confidnce on the road.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 06:08 AM
  #7  
TransitBiker
contiuniously variable
 
TransitBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Newtown, PA
Posts: 2,275

Bikes: 2012 Breezer Uptown Infinity NOS

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
The last few seconds before a crash of any kind, my single thought is "how do i minimize injury?"

- Andy
TransitBiker is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 06:09 AM
  #8  
GeneO
Senior Member
 
GeneO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,138

Bikes: 2018 Roubaix Expert Di2, 2016 Diverge Expert X1, Felt 2012 F55X

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I feel naked without my take a look rear view mirror now.
GeneO is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 06:21 AM
  #9  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,758

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 445 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5760 Post(s)
Liked 315 Times in 220 Posts
You must have close calls from time to time. I do. After them, I ask myself what part I played in them, if any, so I can prevent them in the future. And I also use a take-a-look mirror. I check it every five or ten seconds. I feel it helps. When I forget to bring it, I manage, but I much prefer to have it.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 06:21 AM
  #10  
mgw4jc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mooresville, NC (Charlotte suburb)
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse, Trek 5000 TCT, Giant OCR

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 238 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
I feel naked without my take a look rear view mirror now.
But how can a rear view mirror help you prevent an accident? Honestly asking here, not being snarky. I don't see how a mirror would help discern between the vehicle that doesn't see you and the one that is about to go around you. You can't see which way the driver is looking with a mirror.

I don't use any mirrors, but I am aware of vehicles behind me by sound and/or headlights. I guess I prefer to concentrate on holding a safe line as far right as possible instead of checking a mirror for something I can't do anything about.
mgw4jc is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 06:29 AM
  #11  
Number400
Senior Member
 
Number400's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 973

Bikes: Cannondale Slate 105 and T2 tandem, 2008 Scott Addict R4, Raleigh SC drop bar tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was just approaching a stop sign on a side road that paralleled a faster, busier road. Two turning oncoming cars came well over the double yellow line when accessing the road I was on. I was not happy about that and went AFRAP in my lane. With one foot unclipped and on the ground, I turned my head around to check to see where my Wife was and in that instant, heard skidding. I turned my head back around to see a pair of motorcycles, with one heading directly towards me in my lane and head on. I only had enough time to think "don't hit me" and to turn my body slightly then I was airborne. I remember the impact, I remember flying through the air, I remember hitting the guide wire mid-flight and then a long fall into the ditch which is about 6 feet lower than the road. When I landed head first in that ditch, there was a loud crack as my right occipital condyle fractured.

Here is the view of the intersection. From this view, I was stopped at the stop sign. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Co...!6m1!1e1?hl=en

I don't think I could have done anything differently except for not leaving myself in that one foot on the ground/one foot clipped in position but everyone does that and there was not enough time to move anyway. It happened so fast.
The motorcycle rider was completely at fault and tried to take the turn too late and too fast and just plain blew it.
Number400 is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 08:00 AM
  #12  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,547

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
But how can a rear view mirror help you prevent an accident? Honestly asking here, not being snarky. I don't see how a mirror would help discern between the vehicle that doesn't see you and the one that is about to go around you. You can't see which way the driver is looking with a mirror.

I don't use any mirrors, but I am aware of vehicles behind me by sound and/or headlights. I guess I prefer to concentrate on holding a safe line as far right as possible instead of checking a mirror for something I can't do anything about.
Twice while looking in my rear view mirror I have bailed off the road way. Distracted drivers drifting. Once I had grass, the other was a less than graceful but effective bunny hop over a 6" curb.
Leebo is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 08:42 AM
  #13  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 17,047

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1173 Post(s)
Liked 135 Times in 75 Posts
You are kidding yourself if you feel invulnerable, all you can do is improve the odds. There are two (or more parties) in a collision, and it only takes one to make a mistake. Concentration, handling skills, awareness, helmets and lighting improve your chances - but if the other person is having a bad day and doesn't see you, it might not matter.

My most serious hit was two years ago. I was stopped at a red light. Not moving. Well lit. A woman made a left hand turn into the wrong lane while cutting her turn short - she nailed me head on and I went over the car. Afterwards she told me that she has poor peripheral vision. She admitted liability at first and spent the next couple of years lying through her teeth. When we deposed her she was very upset that I yelled at her during the incident. Poor princess got yelled at! The nerve - the mean guy she hit was mad that she was driving negligently and broke his leg!

What was I thinking in the moments before impact? I was thinking this isn't happening, this person can't be driving at me in the wrong lane with an SUV. My next thought was this is going to hurt.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 09:05 AM
  #14  
bmthom.gis
Senior Member
 
bmthom.gis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 2,981

Bikes: 2014 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 4 Rival; 2014 Cannondale Trail 7 29; 1972 Schwinn Suburban, 1996 Proflex 756, 1987(?) Peugeot, Dahon Speed P8; 1979 Raleigh Competition GS; 1995 Stumpjumper M2 FS, 1978 Raleigh Sports, Schwinn Prologue

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
knock on wood, I haven't been hit yet. Came close today. I was turning left (2 lane rd with a short left turn lane), a truck was pulling out of the road I was turning onto. Well the motorist stopped about 1/2 way out when he realized I was there....ok, thanks for seeing me, but as I got closer (I slowed down since I was making that turn and this guy clearly didn't know what to do) and he started going out again right when I was about to pass in front of his truck and stopped abruptly. I was a wee bit ticked at the time, but upon further reflection, I think he just had no idea how to handle the situation. I'm sure he was cursing me in his head just as I was cursing him in mine, but in the end, no harm no foul.

I try to make eye contact with every motorist I see if they are trying to make a turn that could end up with both of us trying to occupy the same space. If I don't get that eye contact, I slow down enough to assess what they will do and hopefully be able to stop in time if need be. Not much I can do about a distracted driver behind me except hope they stop, or at the least someone gets a good description and plate number. I take the lane on the 1/2 mile I have to ride on between the less traveled roads on my neighborhood. There is no avoiding it, and no shoulder whatsoever. I'm sure people get pissed at me, but boohoo, it is 1/2 mile and I made you change lanes to get around me.

I also notice as the week goes on, motorists get a bit more careless and in a bit more of a hurry.

Stay safe out there people!
bmthom.gis is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 09:27 AM
  #15  
lee kenney
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: B.C.
Posts: 189

Bikes: ritcheys{2** rm blizzard Geo elrick drop frame and acollection of parts bikes in waiting

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Having had a few accidents and numerous close calls, I believe in the tachy psyche effect ! Its a pretty good explanation of the perception of slow-motion until Shazaam , time to evaluate the damage. My pet fear is being doored, once is enough !
lee kenney is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 09:46 AM
  #16  
acidfast7
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,563

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 24 Posts
never been hit.

probably only done 20.000km though.
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 11:33 AM
  #17  
Booger1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gaseous Cloud around Uranus
Posts: 3,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Listen to the news lately...we're all going to die from ebola....after we get bit by pit bulls and stung by killer bees...

If you listen to the talking heads,we're all doomed.....

Last edited by Booger1; 10-10-14 at 11:55 AM.
Booger1 is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 12:18 PM
  #18  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 23,426

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3222 Post(s)
Liked 240 Times in 186 Posts
for the Op I wud add my 2 cents: follow your intuition. also there is an ebb and flow to commuting traffic. for example Friday evening drivers tend to be faster and more hectic. if you're gonna skip a day commuting skip a Friday, especially before a holiday. also when there are big changes in the seasons there are changes in traffic patterns and driving behavior. like the switchover from summer to fall, there are many new drivers on the rd. my daughter being one of them. cycling in bad weather can be fun, even sleet and snow, etc. lightening though can be a game ender. if you're gonna skip a day, skip they day they predict lightening. stay consistent, meaning commute the same roads at the same times so you get used to the drivers who take that route and they do you as well. of course there will be new vehicles everyday but for the most part we are creatures of habit and take the same routes at the same times every day. if you miss your time slot be prepared for a testy ride. not saying skip it, but if you're gonna skip a day, might as well skip the day you are an hour or more off your regular time. be prepared for the road rage. meaning someday there is gonna be an ahole who buzzes you on purpose and you're gonna wanna tear his head off when you catch up to him at the next stop sign. chant serenity now if you can and resist the urge. take a plate # if you want and report him, but try not to escalate the situation. it is better to live to fight another day, right? happy trailz!
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 12:58 PM
  #19  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 12,176

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 309 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1794 Post(s)
Liked 67 Times in 51 Posts
I had two car-involved crashes in my first year of commuting regularly and (knock on wood) none in six or so years since. Neither one was technically my fault, but I think I might have been able to avoid at least the first one.

The first one I was riding along in a bike lane when a car made a right turn in front of me. If managed to avoid hitting the car, but I flipped over the handlebars and sprained both elbows. As I recall, a few seconds before the incident I was thinking about something that had absolutely nothing to do with traffic or bicycling and then in the last fraction of a second I was thinking something along the lines of "Holy Crap! Where did that car come from?" I still ride the same stretch of road daily, but now for a few hundred yards before each driveway or side street I'm watching closely to see if anything in the movements of the cars I see might indicate that they are thinking about turning (traffic is usually at a crawl there). I also think my braking technique is considerably better than it was then and even without anticipating the driver's turn I think I could have gotten stopped safely. That's not to say I couldn't still be right-hooked, but I'm certain I've greatly reduced the chances.

My second incident was on a rainy night as I was riding past the entrance/exit of a strip mall parking lot. I had a light and was dressed all in yellow, and the street lighting was pretty good. There was a car stopped at the parking lot exit waiting to pull out onto the street where I was riding. This time I was paying attention and I'm pretty sure my last thought this time was something along the lines of "the driver is stopped and sees me, I can keep going." Then the driver pulled out and I plowed into the side of his car without having so much as gotten a finger on the brakes. I bounced off the hood of his car and got up, completely uninjured. As I said, this was technically "not my fault" but I'm pretty sure most readers of this forum know exactly what my mistake was. I never made eye contact and shouldn't have thought the driver knew I was there. I've taken pretty drastic measures to avoid a repeat of this one. I got a much brighter light (best change). I try not to ride in the rain at night (not as paranoid as it might sound). I try to avoid riding past strip malls whenever possible. And, of course, I'm very cautious about riding past a driver who wants to pull out onto the street I'm on. Even with all this, I'm not sure I could say with confidence that this is significantly less likely to happen to me now than it was then. I had a very clear right-of-way and I don't think my visibility even mattered because the driver never looked at me.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 01:52 PM
  #20  
Catgrrl70
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NOWHERE
Posts: 612

Bikes: noyb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
The last few seconds before a crash of any kind, my single thought is "how do i minimize injury?"

- Andy
This. I was almost hit by an SUV who decided to run his red light (after waiting for it to change) as I was approaching the intersection, fast on my green light. What saved me was 1) situational awareness - I watch intersections and vehicles approaching the roadways from either direction all the time 2) good reflexes - I know what it takes to handle my bike and trust my body to do what I need it to do quickly 3) disc brakes - I wouldn't have been able to scrub speed in such a fast and controlled manner with my other bike that has standard rim brakes.

After I saw the idiot start to cross in front of me and with literally seconds to impact, my only thought was to not hit the side of the vehicle head on; try for a glancing blow off the side at the best. I was able to lean to the right, turning sharply and praying that he would stop (also yelling the whole way...which attracted a whole bevy of witnesses at the bar on the corner). I was fully expecting that the front of the vehicle would hit me and that I needed to tuck into the roll upon impact. Then he hit his brakes, I straightened up and continued yelling at him.

I can only hope he learned something, but likely not.
Catgrrl70 is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 02:04 PM
  #21  
wphamilton
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,727

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2627 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 74 Posts
Only once hit at the very beginning seven years ago, a car squeezed by and hadn't even passed yet when he right-hooked me. At the time I didn't realize that a licensed driver could be so stupid as to pull a stunt like that so my first thoughts were disbelief.

I've had potentially near misses since then and like you I want to analyze the situation, my frame of mind and my actions. I've come to realize that it only takes a momentary lapse or a tiny mistake in the wrong situation in traffic. Much more so than when driving, above and beyond being more vulnerable physically. So I give myself more room for error, more than I'd think I generally need.
wphamilton is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 03:08 PM
  #22  
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA. USA
Posts: 3,808

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1015 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
I try to make eye contact with every motorist I see if they are trying to make a turn that could end up with both of us trying to occupy the same space.
Be very cautious about relying on eye contact. Making it and finding it are important ways to increase your safety. But just because somebody sees you does not mean they will drive safely!

I clearly remember, about 40 years ago I was going down a hill in downtown Atlanta and a woman pulled up to the road as she was exiting a parking lot and about to enter my lane from the right. We clearly made eye contact and I proceeded with confidence she would wait for me to pass in front of her. Then she pulled right out in front of me. I hit her car and luckily was launched over her hood and landed on the pavement and rolled, with minor injuries. The front end of the bike didn't do as well.

I think people quite commonly misjudge the speed of a bicycle, they pull out and get hit. Just like trains, just not as dangerous to the motorist.

Edit: my lesson that day - slow down anyway
Walter S is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 03:21 PM
  #23  
jwarner
Fahrradfahrer
 
jwarner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 368

Bikes: n+1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Be very cautious about relying on eye contact. Making it and finding it are important ways to increase your safety. But just because somebody sees you does not mean they will drive safely!

I clearly remember, about 40 years ago I was going down a hill in downtown Atlanta and a woman pulled up to the road as she was exiting a parking lot and about to enter my lane from the right. We clearly made eye contact and I proceeded with confidence she would wait for me to pass in front of her. Then she pulled right out in front of me. I hit her car and luckily was launched over her hood and landed on the pavement and rolled, with minor injuries. The front end of the bike didn't do as well.

I think people quite commonly misjudge the speed of a bicycle, they pull out and get hit. Just like trains, just not as dangerous to the motorist.

Edit: my lesson that day - slow down anyway
Thank you for adding this. I was trying to figure out how to do so without coming across as preachy... you did a better job than I was doing.

I probably make eye contact including a smile with three drivers a week, who then proceed to do something stupid causing me to take evasive action. Usually at lights. I'm starting to think people don't like me.
jwarner is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 03:38 PM
  #24  
gregjones 
Senior Member
 
gregjones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 2,823

Bikes: K2 Mod 5.0 Roadie, Fuji Commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
At the time I didn't realize that a licensed driver could be so stupid as to pull a stunt like that so my first thoughts were disbelief.

The things we learn along the way!!!

I think that near misses are what keep us on our toes so that we continue to have near misses instead of hits.
__________________
Current Bike Stages--Click PR Logo
PedalRoom
gregjones is offline  
Old 10-10-14, 10:44 PM
  #25  
TransitBiker
contiuniously variable
 
TransitBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Newtown, PA
Posts: 2,275

Bikes: 2012 Breezer Uptown Infinity NOS

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Catgrrl70 View Post
This. I was almost hit by an SUV who decided to run his red light (after waiting for it to change) as I was approaching the intersection, fast on my green light. What saved me was 1) situational awareness - I watch intersections and vehicles approaching the roadways from either direction all the time 2) good reflexes - I know what it takes to handle my bike and trust my body to do what I need it to do quickly 3) disc brakes - I wouldn't have been able to scrub speed in such a fast and controlled manner with my other bike that has standard rim brakes.

After I saw the idiot start to cross in front of me and with literally seconds to impact, my only thought was to not hit the side of the vehicle head on; try for a glancing blow off the side at the best. I was able to lean to the right, turning sharply and praying that he would stop (also yelling the whole way...which attracted a whole bevy of witnesses at the bar on the corner). I was fully expecting that the front of the vehicle would hit me and that I needed to tuck into the roll upon impact. Then he hit his brakes, I straightened up and continued yelling at him.

I can only hope he learned something, but likely not.
Yea, that happens to me 2-3 times a week, only i'm expecting the stupidity, so i'm a bit more prepared mentally & physically. I always avoid getting myself boxed in with no way out. Being tall/large frame probably helps with visibility in daytime, but in my experience the minute you think "no one is that stupid"..... they attempt to prove you wrong..

- Andy
TransitBiker is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.