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Cars pulling out on you, do they think we that slow?

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Cars pulling out on you, do they think we that slow?

Old 06-18-08, 01:39 PM
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Cars pulling out on you, do they think we're that slow?

Hi all.
Just been reading a thread about being hit by a car.
Is it me or do cars really think they are faster at pulling out and making progress than us bikes?

I lose count of the amount of times a car will just do that, pull out and pull off slow, well slower than I'm moving, 10/10 times I've got to brake to not hit them.

On a side note when I lived in the city, racing card from traffic light to light was a fun hobby, I've even been told by people at work they just can't beat me!,

Anyway, so is it they just don't see us (BTW I can drive a car) or do they just think that we will stop because we don't want to get hurt?

Your views!
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Old 06-18-08, 01:46 PM
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Most often, the people that drivers see on bikes are that slow, so yes, they do believe we are that slow. Of course if they think they can get away with it they pull out in front of other cars, too.
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Old 06-18-08, 01:48 PM
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the answer to the question is yes.

treat each car like they can't see you even if you do make eye contact.
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Old 06-18-08, 01:48 PM
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I just swear at them - loudly - and go on my way.
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Old 06-18-08, 01:51 PM
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Pass them on the left.
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Old 06-18-08, 02:10 PM
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I think it happens just about anywhere. I know it happens to me alot, and as mentioned above they most likely equate all bikers speed to their own. I doubt it because they don't see us... in my case I'm decked in yellow from bike to jersey.... very hard for someone to miss something like a moving bundle of "caution tape".
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Old 06-18-08, 02:25 PM
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There is a section in the motorcycle safety foundation course that demonstrates why cars pull out in front of motorcycles, and by extension bicycles. The human brain developes patterns of recognition of how it judges the speed of objects. 99% of what drives see on the road are cars, so the brain automatically uses this reference to judge an objects speed as it approaches. Unfortunately, a motorcycle and a bicycle are much smaller objects and the brain mis-judges their approaching speed based on its incorrect pre-concieved notion of an objects speed.

did that make any sense... it did in the class. It also taught me to simply assume any car ahead of you that is looking to merge into traffic is just going to do it right in front of you. This assumption has allowed me to avoid 7 motorcycle accidents and at least 20 bicycle mishaps over the last 5 years.
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Old 06-18-08, 02:41 PM
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You can pick from the list.

They don't see you.
They don't realize how fast you are going.
They don't realize how long it takes them to get going.
They think they have right of way.
They are A-Holes.

Either way, if they pull out infront of me and make me slow down, they are A-holes. I have found that taking the road eliminates a lot of this, but you have to make sure the person sees you.
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Old 06-18-08, 02:41 PM
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^^ to Elaborate on the M/C side, the fact that you are approaching from a steady vector makes it harder. This is why railroad locomotives have bright lights in a triangular pattern: it helps to create a sense of depth. You can do this by weaving a bit. It only helps, however.
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Old 06-18-08, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mrt10x View Post
There is a section in the motorcycle safety foundation course that demonstrates why cars pull out in front of motorcycles, and by extension bicycles. The human brain developes patterns of recognition of how it judges the speed of objects. 99% of what drives see on the road are cars, so the brain automatically uses this reference to judge an objects speed as it approaches. Unfortunately, a motorcycle and a bicycle are much smaller objects and the brain mis-judges their approaching speed based on its incorrect pre-concieved notion of an objects speed.

did that make any sense... it did in the class. It also taught me to simply assume any car ahead of you that is looking to merge into traffic is just going to do it right in front of you. This assumption has allowed me to avoid 7 motorcycle accidents and at least 20 bicycle mishaps over the last 5 years.
I think I read something about this too, if I remember right its also because if you look at a car the has width you can judge the speed by the apread distance between two fixed objects on the moveing object, EG both head lights etc.
Does get me thinking, Now the not seeing cycles kinda gets me alittle "andgry"? if there is one thing that sticks out like a sort thumb is a ball on a stick moving down the road (your helmet and body, )

I alway keep my fingers over the brakes when I see a car at a junction as you just never know.
I forgot to mention I got told off by someone who pulled out on me ans said "you shouldn't be going so fast" well I thinks the look I gave him said all that was needed.
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Old 06-18-08, 03:05 PM
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Abso-effing-lutely.
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Old 06-18-08, 03:31 PM
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mrt10x hit it right on the head. The guy that I t-boned at 20 mph sure as hell didn't see me. I know because we both yelled 'Oh *****!' at the same time. Unfortunately I did it while sliding across his hood.

Most of the time it's not malice...just stupidity.
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Old 06-18-08, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
mrt10x hit it right on the head. The guy that I t-boned at 20 mph sure as hell didn't see me. I know because we both yelled 'Oh *****!' at the same time. Unfortunately I did it while sliding across his hood.

Most of the time it's not malice...just stupidity.
Stupidity and oblivious
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Old 06-18-08, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jsatan View Post
I think I read something about this too, if I remember right its also because if you look at a car the has width you can judge the speed by the apread distance between two fixed objects on the moveing object, EG both head lights etc.
Right. Some Saturns and many Jeeps give me this problem since their headlights are so much closer together than nearly anything else on the road. If it's dark enough, all I can see is their headlights, and since they're close together, they appear to be farther away than another car that's right next to them.

The motorcycle issue is well-documented, too, and some companies have experimented with solutions. The simplest would be using two headlights and smaller lights on the fork legs.

Here's what Honda's done:
http://world.honda.com/HDTV/ASV/ASV-3-motor/index.html
(long vid! the relevant part about "conspicuity enhancement" starts at about 5 minutes)

For a while, I rode my hybrid with twin headlights, and it really seemed like I had much fewer instances of people coming out right in front of me, whether in a car or on foot.
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Old 06-18-08, 04:13 PM
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There is also the factor that drivers are looking for cars. Pedestrians and bicycles sometimes don't even get registered in the brain.

I think the largest factor with people pulling out is that when a driver sees a bike, he automatically assumes that it is doing 5mph.
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Old 06-18-08, 04:15 PM
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I think they should just put 24 inch headlights on motorcycles, that way they would look really close all the time.
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Old 06-18-08, 04:31 PM
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I had WAY more problems with cars pulling out in front of me back when I rode motorcycles. My ride was a BIG A** BMW and they still did it!

Here is a funny/sad story: On news last night; Lady is distracted while driving her SUV and crashes into several other cars (No one killed). Seems her gerbil got loose in the car and she was distracted while trying to catch it. Want to be biking along the shoulder of that road?

Does beg the question: Whats up with hauling your rodent around in the car?
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Old 06-18-08, 04:50 PM
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i get really angry and have urges to unclip and kick their cars... or i can bust a cipollini and throw a few bottles at them.
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Old 06-18-08, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jsatan View Post
Is it me or do cars really think they are faster at pulling out and making progress than us bikes?
Yes. At least 75% of the population is incompetent wrt determining whether two vehicles are on a collision course until they're about to collide. Sometimes not even then. The typical driver isn't smarter or more proactive than a brick. Expect the worst.

Bubba behind the wheel:
Bicycle: always slow, I never saw it, must have broken some law, why do they force me to risk my neck to pass them?
Motorcycle: doesn't look fast, must be slow, OMG it must have been speeding at 100mph officer I never saw it!!! why these crazy stunts to overtake me when I'm cornering this dangerously twisty mountain road at half the speed limit?!
Pedestrian: get out of the way if you know what's good for you!
Large vehicle: transfixed by that large scary vehicle, oblivious to everything else
Mirrors: all three set to see behind (but not entirely certain for what), so when Bubba makes a lane change or turns across multiple lanes he has no clue if there's anyone there already
360 degree awareness: never
Posted signs: only advisory (huh? "3 Way Signal" means oncoming traffic has a protected turn and I shouldn't ignore "No Turn on Red"? So complicated, get real, how could anyone possibly know all this.)
Turn signals: what are these for? to warn others? of what? whoever I might not see? but if I don't see them they don't exist!

Yeah. It's bad indeed.
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Old 06-18-08, 05:46 PM
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There's a good demonstration of how a driver could miss something as obvious as a bike:

http://www.dothetest.co.uk/

It's a repost but worth it.

Be careful out there,
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Old 06-18-08, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jsatan View Post
Hi all.
Just been reading a thread about being hit by a car.
Is it me or do cars really think they are faster at pulling out and making progress than us bikes?

I lose count of the amount of times a car will just do that, pull out and pull off slow, well slower than I'm moving, 10/10 times I've got to brake to not hit them.

On a side note when I lived in the city, racing card from traffic light to light was a fun hobby, I've even been told by people at work they just can't beat me!,

Anyway, so is it they just don't see us (BTW I can drive a car) or do they just think that we will stop because we don't want to get hurt?

Your views!
This is the road forum, not advocacy and safety.
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Old 06-19-08, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
This is the road forum, not advocacy and safety.
My bad, how can I get an admin to move this to another area?
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Old 06-19-08, 12:48 PM
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theres also the issue with A-pillars on newer cars. before cars had to be bulletproof and have airbags everywhere, the A-pillars were a few inches wide. now, some cars have A-pillars about a foot wide and gigantic mirrors too, blocking out 10-20 degrees of view.
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Old 06-19-08, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
theres also the issue with A-pillars on newer cars. before cars had to be bulletproof and have airbags everywhere, the A-pillars were a few inches wide. now, some cars have A-pillars about a foot wide and gigantic mirrors too, blocking out 10-20 degrees of view.
That once worked against me, too. I was driving, and started to turn left. I couldn't see the pedestrian that was crossing in front of me until my car turned enough to move the A-pillar out of the way.

Of course, it didn't help that the low winter sun was creating a lot of glare and he was wearing a black shirt, but that's beside the point of the wide A-pillar.

It also reinforced my idea to always get eye contact with a driver if I'm walking across. If I can't even see their face because the A-pillar is in the way, I assume that they don't see me.
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Old 06-19-08, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
That once worked against me, too. I was driving, and started to turn left. I couldn't see the pedestrian that was crossing in front of me until my car turned enough to move the A-pillar out of the way.

Of course, it didn't help that the low winter sun was creating a lot of glare and he was wearing a black shirt, but that's beside the point of the wide A-pillar.

It also reinforced my idea to always get eye contact with a driver if I'm walking across. If I can't even see their face because the A-pillar is in the way, I assume that they don't see me.
Dont fall for the "eye contact" myth either. Two of my close friends have had cagers pull out in front of them and cause life threatening accidents after rock solid eye contact had been made. I never count on what is going through the mind of that 80 yr old dude who I am supposedly locked in a Vulcan mind meld with because of my great "eye contact" (yes I know how a Vulcan mind meld is done)
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