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Why do drivers slow down and stay back in your blind spot rather than pass you?

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Why do drivers slow down and stay back in your blind spot rather than pass you?

Old 04-09-15, 10:22 PM
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D1andonlyDman
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Why do drivers slow down and stay back in your blind spot rather than pass you?

Today I had a driver do this and just hang back behind me for about 2-3 tenths of a mile, rather than pass me. When I slowed down, they slowed down. I literally had to wave them around me to get them to pass. I've experienced this frequently when riding on my local streets, and it's really maddening, not to mention dangerous. Don't drivers realize that we know that they're there, and we're waiting for them to go by us?
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Old 04-09-15, 10:32 PM
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no, they dont realize that. Some people are being over cautious and are very concerned when they go past you, about your safety. I always smile and am appreciative of their concern, even though it is awkward.
I dont see the danger at all, they obviously are not going to hit you, it just slows you down a little, so what?
I much rather deal with an overcautious driver than one only concerned about how fast he can get where he is going with no concern for the safety of a person on a bike.
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Old 04-09-15, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
I've experienced this frequently when riding on my local streets, and it's really maddening, not to mention dangerous.
If it's a local residential or urban street the driver may be looking for an address and may not be sure exactly how far he still needs to go before turning into a driveway or cross street. So rather than pass and then immediately turn, and possibly cut you off, he chooses to stay behind. As long as he's more than a few feet behind I don't really see why it should be either maddening or dangerous. But if it bothers you just pull over to the side and stop or wave them around as you did.
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Old 04-10-15, 12:26 AM
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When I'm driving and come upon a cyclist, I will hang back for a bit to not only to give the cyclist time to register my position but also to judge/pre-judge the actions of the cyclist. Also oftentimes I will hang back by about two to three car lengths if I don't have the ability to safely give three feet of clearance when passing. Other times I simply can't legally pass such as in a no-passing zone. And when passing any vehicle, I generally don't reclaim the lane until I can clearly and fully see the other vehicle in my rear view mirror. So depending on speeds involved, this may require some time. When passing a cyclist, I try and keep my passing speed to within a 5MPH difference so as not to brush them with excessive wash. Since I try and allow for enough time to overtake and pass, sometimes I need to make sure there's enough passing distance in the passing lane to execute a safe pass. If there isn't then I wait. Also as mentioned above, perhaps I know I'll have to mame a turn shortly up ahead and don't want to run the risk of right-hooking the cyclist.
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Old 04-10-15, 05:56 AM
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Why do drivers slow down and stay back in your blind spot rather than pass you?

Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
Today I had a driver do this and just hang back behind me for about 2-3 tenths of a mile, rather than pass me. When I slowed down, they slowed down. I literally had to wave them around me to get them to pass. I've experienced this frequently when riding on my local streets, and it's really maddening, not to mention dangerous. Don't drivers realize that we know that they're there, and we're waiting for them to go by us?
Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
no, they dont realize that. Some people are being over cautious and are very concerned when they go past you, about your safety. I always smile and am appreciative of their concern, even though it is awkward.
I dont see the danger at all, they obviously are not going to hit you, it just slows you down a little, so what?
I much rather deal with an overcautious driver than one only concerned about how fast he can get where he is going with no concern for the safety of a person on a bike.

Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
If it's a local residential or urban street the driver may be looking for an address and may not be sure exactly how far he still needs to go before turning into a driveway or cross street. So rather than pass and then immediately turn, and possibly cut you off, he chooses to stay behind. As long as he's more than a few feet behind I don't really see why it should be either maddening or dangerous. But if it bothers you just pull over to the side and stop or wave them around as you did.

Originally Posted by khuon View Post
When I'm driving and come upon a cyclist, I will hang back for a bit to not only to give the cyclist time to register my position but also to judge/pre-judge the actions of the cyclist. Also oftentimes I will hang back by about two to three car lengths if I don't have the ability to safely give three feet of clearance when passing. Other times I simply can't legally pass such as in a no-passing zone. And when passing any vehicle, I generally don't reclaim the lane until I can clearly and fully see the other vehicle in my rear view mirror. So depending on speeds involved, this may require some time. When passing a cyclist, I try and keep my passing speed to within a 5MPH difference so as not to brush them with excessive wash. Since I try and allow for enough time to overtake and pass, sometimes I need to make sure there's enough passing distance in the passing lane to execute a safe pass. If there isn't then I wait. Also as mentioned above, perhaps I know I'll have to mame a turn shortly up ahead and don't want to run the risk of right-hooking the cyclist.
+!0 to all the above replies; I didn’t even edit them because all were well written and comprehensively described the scenario. My general reactions to the actions of cagers, besides indifference, is to give a Bicyclist Blessing or Curse, and such a driver as described above would get a heartfelt blessing.

To the OP, I would say, “What’s your problem?.” Maybe I was bothered by this thread because I’m an avid rearview mirror advocate, and the driver would be in my sight, and I could assess if he had a hostile intent. To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, "Of all the dangerous situations on all the roads in all the world, he complains about this one."
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Old 04-10-15, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
Today I had a driver do this and just hang back behind me for about 2-3 tenths of a mile, rather than pass me. When I slowed down, they slowed down. I literally had to wave them around me to get them to pass. I've experienced this frequently when riding on my local streets, and it's really maddening, not to mention dangerous. Don't drivers realize that we know that they're there, and we're waiting for them to go by us?
also, to many people, at least in my area, bicycle = probably child = be ready for erratic behavior.
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Old 04-10-15, 08:29 AM
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Because they CARE. Caring is an insidious plot, eh?
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Old 04-10-15, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Why do drivers slow down and stay back in your blind spot rather than pass you?




+!0 to all the above replies; I didn’t even edit them because all were well written and comprehensively described the scenario. My general reactions to the actions of cagers, besides indifference, is to give a Bicyclist Blessing or Curse, and such a driver as described above would get a heartfelt blessing.

To the OP, I would say, “What’s your problem?.” Maybe I was bothered by this thread because I’m an avid rearview mirror advocate, and the driver would be in my sight, and I could assess if he had a hostile intent. To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, "Of all the dangerous situations on all the roads in all the world, he complains about this one."
My "problem" is that this frequently happens when I am looking to make a left turn or 180 degree turn on the local residential streets that I ride, and frankly, one can't make a left turn when there is a driver right behind you on your left side, about 15 yards behind you trailing you for 2-3 blocks. You really can't turn until the driver passes you. It's a pain to not be able to turn around until two blocks past where you were planning on turning around. If I were planning on going straight, or to my right, this would be a non-issue. But it seems to usually happen to me when I'm planning on turning to my left.

BTW, as a 55 year-old who weighs 180 pounds with a beard, I really don't believe that I can be mistaken for a child on a bike.

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Old 04-10-15, 09:41 AM
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Old 04-10-15, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
My "problem" is that this frequently happens when I am looking to make a left turn or 180 degree turn on the local residential streets that I ride, and frankly, one can't make a left turn when there is a driver right behind you on your left side, about 15 yards behind you trailing you for 2-3 blocks...

BTW, as a 55 year-old who weighs 180 pounds with a beard, I really don't believe that I can be mistaken for a child on a bike.
Thanks for the note. This is a very specific circumstance rather than cruising straight ahead. In such a scenario, with my rearview mirror, I would assess whether there is enough distance/time to turn left, well ahead of the turn, and always hand signal my intention. Indeed the advantage of a mirror is that one can monitor and plan well ahead of a turn.

Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
…Professional drivers are taught to check their mirrors every 4 to 6 seconds to be aware of their environment. part of "get the big picture", and "leave yourself an out".

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Your quote spotlights the essential difference between the continuous monitoring of rearward upcoming traffic facilitated by a rearview mirror vs the occasional “over the shoulder check.”
Actually, perhaps a driver would be more lenient if following a child.

But, maybe fietsbob is right

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
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Old 04-10-15, 03:14 PM
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Last year, I had a driver on a rural road hanging about 500 feet behind me for a few miles! We'd get to flat, straight spots and I'd wave them on...but they wouldn't go. Finally I just ignored them and rode as if they weren't there. They finally passed me- approaching a hill that neither they nor i could see over (narrow road), not a quarter of a mile from where the road ends- and where I would turn around!

Just gotta wonder sometimes......
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Old 04-10-15, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
Today I had a driver do this and just hang back behind me for about 2-3 tenths of a mile, rather than pass me. When I slowed down, they slowed down. I literally had to wave them around me to get them to pass. I've experienced this frequently when riding on my local streets, and it's really maddening, not to mention dangerous. Don't drivers realize that we know that they're there, and we're waiting for them to go by us?
Well, today I saw the worst of both extremes. The first driver of a large SUV was so impatient to pass he nearly forced an oncoming car off the road. At least they changed lanes to pass. A little later, a car kept hanging back and refused to pass event though it was clearly safe. I motioned them to pass to no avail. I normally just ignore them in cases like this, but I noticed other cars backed up behind this car. All it takes is for one impatient driver to try to pass for the situation to get really dangerous. I finally pulled completely off the road and stopped to force them to pass.
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Old 04-10-15, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
My "problem" is that this frequently happens when I am looking to make a left turn or 180 degree turn on the local residential streets that I ride, and frankly, one can't make a left turn when there is a driver right behind you on your left side, about 15 yards behind you trailing you for 2-3 blocks. You really can't turn until the driver passes you. It's a pain to not be able to turn around until two blocks past where you were planning on turning around.
Still don't see the problem. Signal your intention to turn left (i.e. left arm straight out to the side), glance back to verify that the car is still staying back and not starting a pass, and then move over to the left part of the lane and make your turn. I probably make left turns with cars behind me several times a day.
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Old 04-10-15, 04:03 PM
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We complain when they pass, and we complain when they don't pass.........
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Old 04-10-15, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Still don't see the problem. Signal your intention to turn left (i.e. left arm straight out to the side), glance back to verify that the car is still staying back and not starting a pass, and then move over to the left part of the lane and make your turn. I probably make left turns with cars behind me several times a day.
A pretty good number of drivers have no clue what a left turn arm signal is. More power to you if you trust them to stay back as you make your turn. But I am afraid that I don't trust them.
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Old 04-10-15, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
A pretty good number of drivers have no clue what a left turn arm signal is. More power to you if you trust them to stay back as you make your turn. But I am afraid that I don't trust them.
So you don't ever signal a left turn when riding a bike in traffic? What about right turns?
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Old 04-10-15, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
So you don't ever signal a left turn when riding a bike in traffic? What about right turns?
If I'm driving in traffic, I do signal my turns. But I generally try not to ride in traffic.
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Old 04-10-15, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
Why do drivers slow down and stay back in your blind spot rather than pass you?
I'm still trying to figure out where my blind spot is on the bike.
I can turn my head to look 180 to the left, and 180 to the right.

Are you being followed by a helicopter? A drone?

Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
We complain when they pass, and we complain when they don't pass.........


I've had cars wanting to make a right turn follow me briefly rather than passing and cutting in front of me. Sometimes they're not good at judging distances.

On occasion I'll follow a bike until it is clear to pass.
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Old 04-10-15, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
...... I've had cars wanting to make a right turn follow me briefly rather than passing and cutting in front of me. Sometimes they're not good at judging distances.
I experienced the same thing locally. I think many people have seen me riding in the area for enough years to realize I am a local... and they're just being nice.
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Old 04-10-15, 10:44 PM
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Probably from Portland:
(This is not satire- I've encountered drivers like this.)

https://youtu.be/8aIfarMPmPQ
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Old 04-10-15, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
A pretty good number of drivers have no clue what a left turn arm signal is. More power to you if you trust them to stay back as you make your turn. But I am afraid that I don't trust them.
I didn't agree with Reagan on much, but his phrase in regard to treaties made sense - "Trust, but verify." That's what I do when turning in front of motor vehicle traffic - signal my turn, then watch what the following traffic does as I start to move to the left. If they start to slow and move to pass me on the right then I continue with my turn, but if there are any signs that they're still closing and/or moving to the left then I'm ready to abort the turn and move to the right. And I disagree about not understanding a left turn signal - it's pretty clear intuitively even for those who have forgotten driver's ed - you're just pointing in the direction in which you plan to go. It's the old right turn signal that might not be understood by many drivers.
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Old 04-10-15, 11:09 PM
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I can sympathize with the OP. Some years ago I wanted to ride from my home to a state park about 60-70 miles to the southwest, and be there by about 10:00 or 10:30am. I left home shortly before 5:00am and was able to take the main roads out of the city because of no traffic at that hour. By 5:30 there were a few cars out, which easily passed in the other lane. By 6:00 there was noticeably more traffic, but not all that much and again all were able to pass in the other lane. By 6:30 I was out of the urban area on a 4 lane divided highway. (No, it was not an Interstate.) Because the highway was literally empty at that hour I stayed on it rather than the parallel, but slower two lane road I'd usually ride. Eventually along comes a car, pulls up a ways behind me, and just stays there. Here we are, 6:30 or so in the morning, 4-lane divided highway. No other cars in sight anywhere, and this guy acts like he can't figure out how to get around me. He eventually goes to the other lane, passes and goes on his way. I still can't figure that one out. This is the strangest example of that, but not the only time it's happened.
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Old 04-10-15, 11:16 PM
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I know what you mean, tcarl. I once approached a driveway. The car in it had it's backup lights on and the guy was waving me on. It was a little disquieting.
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Old 04-11-15, 08:55 AM
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[QUOTE=CliffordK;17709418]I'm still trying to figure out where my blind spot is on the bike.
I can turn my head to look 180 to the left, and 180 to the right.

Obviously you mean 90 left and 90 right - or, are you an owl?
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Old 04-11-15, 09:13 AM
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Why do drivers slow down and stay back in your blind spot rather than pass you?

Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
My "problem" is that this frequently happens when I am looking to make a left turn or 180 degree turn on the local residential streets that I ride, and frankly, one can't make a left turn when there is a driver right behind you on your left side, about 15 yards behind you trailing you for 2-3 blocks…

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…In such a scenario, with my rearview mirror, I would assess whether there is enough distance/time to turn left, well ahead of the turn, and always hand signal my intention. Indeed the advantage of a mirror is that one can monitor and plan well ahead of a turn.
Just this morning I did a routine left hand turn I often do on my commute, from the right-hand, curbside lane across three lanes, to the left turn lane. I specifically noted to myself, that I had made sure the coast was clear merely by monitoring my mirror rearward up to the turn, and did not do a shoulder check, nor give a hand signal, because I confidently knew no one was behind me.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-12-15 at 05:13 AM.
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