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11 bicyclists crash into car

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11 bicyclists crash into car

Old 09-27-07, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by StrangeWill
I've already agreed that spacing is required, but no realistic amount of spacing is ever going to be enough to account for bad road planning though. I mean, we're talking about needing about 100 feet in between bikes. Probably more. Again, I doubt you ride like that.

And I know you're full of it when you tell me you drive with a 5 second lag time. The internet is the best place for liars.

Not to mention, we're not talking about the light cars a lot of us bike owners drive, we're talking about the majority of vehicles that weigh 3500+ that take a good 200+ feet (in some cases I've heard unloaded suburbans can take over 300 on dry pavement), sometimes more, to stop. Remember part of those 5 seconds are reaction time. Oh, and no one drives at 5 seconds.
Actually I used to drive like a maniac, went to advanced driving schools, etc, etc, but since having kids I do drive with plenty of space. I gave up tailgating after seeing what happens to ppl's lower legs when the driver compartment collapses in high speed impacts. 5 seconds? Not always (on the Jersey Tpk and DC Beltway it's not possible, but I keep a huge amount of distance, generally 3 + a second for every 10mph over 60. I suspect I'm usually at 4. My family wagon is heavy at 3700lbs and stops in 115 ft. Suburbans stop in 140ft. ...but all of that has nothing to do with this. The cyclists in a pace line make 0 attempt for safety spacing. These aren't the closed roads of a Tour or bike race and even those roads see pileups.

100 ft to stop a bike at 30 mph? No way. Not even my antiquated 1989 campy bike takes that long. Given some space, they could steer around. It's not just about stopping prior to the pile.

My point has nothing to do with bad road planning, other than for the first impact. If every other cyclist was acting even moderately prudently this would be a 1 wreck story not an 11 wreck story and that's my point. Cyclists 2-11 bear the responsibility for their injuries. If cyclists want to ride in pacelines this is the risk they take and they can't say it's not their fault. Cars would have the exact same responsibility. and whether those cars (or I) maintain spacing as a regular fact of life is completely irrelevant. We'd be held accountable, just like cyclists 2-11 should be.

Last edited by littlewaywelt; 09-27-07 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 09-27-07, 02:50 PM
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Strangewill, I don't understand the "bad road planning" argument. Surface streets are not freeways. There should be no expectation on the part of any driver about any surface street having no blind alleys or driveways. Drive and ride accordingly.
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Old 09-27-07, 03:01 PM
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Spacing is an issue, but not a critical issue. The only risk a cyclist drafting another cyclist takes in addition to the risk the cyclists around him are taking is the risk of colliding with the cyclists around them. That is, the risk that Cyclist 1 is taking is whatever it is. The risk that cyclist 2 is taking is the same risk that cyclist 1 is assuming, plus the risk that he might collide with cyclist 1.

As a cyclist who regularly drafts, that's an addition risk I, for one, am willing to take, in exchange for all the benefits of drafting.

The critical factor here (with respect to cyclist behavior) is not the spacing/drafting, but the speed at which cyclist 1 (and, hence, all the ones behind him) were traveling: too fast for conditions.
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Old 09-27-07, 03:09 PM
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How can you possible not see 40+ cyclists? Forget the other talk - this "accident" is the responsibility of the "driver".

... Brad
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Old 09-27-07, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Strangewill, I don't understand the "bad road planning" argument. Surface streets are not freeways. There should be no expectation on the part of any driver about any surface street having no blind alleys or driveways. Drive and ride accordingly.
A badly angled driveway that allows roadside parking can create a blind spot where you will only have about 30-40' of visible view of the road. If even that. In your case driving accordingly would require you stepping out of your car, running to check, if it's clear running back and buckling up, getting in gear, and getting in the road.

Just like roads where you can't make left/right turns due to blind corners, you should not be able to park on a road that could cause turning a normal driveway into a blind corner.


@littleway:
Where did you get your numbers? I used an accelerometer on various vehicles using real road conditions. It's made me question the advertised numbers, especially those that claim 5000+lb SUVs stop quicker than sports bikes (again, sports bikes using real-world numbers, no clue what they use on the advertisement testbed).

Last edited by StrangeWill; 09-27-07 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 09-27-07, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by StrangeWill
A badly angled driveway that allows roadside parking can create a blind spot where you will only have about 30-40' of visible view of the road. If even that. In your case driving accordingly would require you stepping out of your car, running to check, if it's clear running back and buckling up, getting in gear, and getting in the road.
Don't be absurd.

Easing out of the driveway slowly is perfectly reasonable.
On the street, slowing to 15 mph and moving left is perfectly reasonable.

If the driver had done the first, OR the cyclists had done the second, there would have been no collision.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
As a cyclist who regularly drafts, that's an addition risk I, for one, am willing to take, in exchange for all the benefits of drafting.
How does that level of risk compare to the risk of, to pick an example at random, a car inadvertantly drifting out of it's lane?
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Old 09-27-07, 07:11 PM
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I can see the driver not seeing a single rider, or two, but not fourty.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
If this street really has a bike lane, then it's likely the cyclists were drawn to ride in it or near it - too far to the right - especially given their speed and the absence of other fast traffic. The driver may have looked left and really didn't see them due to the obstructing parked cars if the cyclists were riding too far to their right, which almost all cyclists do.
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Old 09-28-07, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Allister
How does that level of risk compare to the risk of, to pick an example at random, a car inadvertantly drifting out of it's lane?
Because inadvertent drift almost always kills, and peloton crashes rarely do, I'd say the risk of death or very serious injury while riding in road margins, shoulders and bike lanes in light traffic is higher than drafting in pelotons.
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Old 09-28-07, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Spacing is an issue, but not a critical issue. The only risk a cyclist drafting another cyclist takes in addition to the risk the cyclists around him are taking is the risk of colliding with the cyclists around them. That is, the risk that Cyclist 1 is taking is whatever it is. The risk that cyclist 2 is taking is the same risk that cyclist 1 is assuming, plus the risk that he might collide with cyclist 1.

As a cyclist who regularly drafts, that's an addition risk I, for one, am willing to take, in exchange for all the benefits of drafting.

The critical factor here (with respect to cyclist behavior) is not the spacing/drafting, but the speed at which cyclist 1 (and, hence, all the ones behind him) were traveling: too fast for conditions.
Of course spacing is an issue. When you're in the draft you can't see anything happening in front of you which is why hand signs of hazards developed. If cyclist # 2 was 30 ft behind, he wouldn't have run into the other cyclist or the car. Same rules of the road for cars and cyclists apply here. I'm not advocating an end to drafting, but a large high speed paceline is going to be susceptible to this type of incident and there ought not to be any whining about it after the fact.

Last edited by littlewaywelt; 09-28-07 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 09-28-07, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Don't be absurd.

Easing out of the driveway slowly is perfectly reasonable.
On the street, slowing to 15 mph and moving left is perfectly reasonable.

If the driver had done the first, OR the cyclists had done the second, there would have been no collision.
It's not always the case, considering most vehicles have larger blind spots than mine, and a way longer nose of a vehicle, edging out means being in people's path before even knowing whats out there. Not absurd: an angled driveway with curb side parking DOES have issues with visibility, easing out does no good being as the vehicles are blocking your path, and you need to edge out into the road to see, in which case, you're already in harms way.

Some streets just shouldn't have curbside parking. It's horrible for driver visibility on both ends.
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Old 09-28-07, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by StrangeWill
It's not always the case, considering most vehicles have larger blind spots than mine, and a way longer nose of a vehicle, edging out means being in people's path before even knowing whats out there. Not absurd: an angled driveway with curb side parking DOES have issues with visibility, easing out does no good being as the vehicles are blocking your path, and you need to edge out into the road to see, in which case, you're already in harms way.

Some streets just shouldn't have curbside parking. It's horrible for driver visibility on both ends.
The street on which I live is like that. I have to pull into the lane in order to see if anyone is coming. I have to go out nearly to the double yellow line before I have enough visibility to be truly certain it's clear. I even had an accident once. Every day is a crap shoot. So far so good, except for the one accident.

The public storage of private automobiles is not only a hidden subsidy for an auto-centic lifestyle, it's another example of the safety hazards we quietly accept as normal as we support auto-centric urban development as normal.
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Old 09-28-07, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Because inadvertent drift almost always kills, and peloton crashes rarely do, I'd say the risk of death or very serious injury while riding in road margins, shoulders and bike lanes in light traffic is higher than drafting in pelotons.
???

I've heard of some pretty horrible accidents from peloton riding. And the frequency of "killer" inadvertent drift is so low that the risk is neglegiable. And don't you dare point me toward your thread about "bike lane deaths". That's cherry picking and you know it; I mean, really, there is probably less than 20 stories in there, over the course of two years and over the entire US and it's 20 million cyclist population. That's what, a frequency of 1 to 1 million? Seriously now.

Put it this way. I've met many people who bicycle from the clubs I've ridden with. Nobody has yet died (or even been hit) while riding in a bike lane. Yet there have been several group riding crashes which I have personally witnessed, one of which required a fast trip to the ER. In my experience, peloton riding is distinctly more dangerous than riding by one's self under any circumstance.

I believe that "the lady doth protest too much" on this one. Admit that you voluntarily engage in some risky weekend behavior for the sake of some fun. You are making traffic cycling out to be this heroic act, when really, its just a bunch of alternative lifestyle folks who want to get to work on bicycles.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:06 PM
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By "inadvertent drift almost always kills" I meant: when a driver inadvertently drifts into a cyclist, the cyclist almost always dies. In fact, I've never heard of someone drifting into a cyclist who survived. That doesn't mean it has never happened, just that it's unlikely relative to the number of cyclists hit by inadvertent drifts.

In contrast, when a cyclist crashes in a peloton, he almost never dies. Allister asked how the two levels of risk compared, and that's a valid comparison: with respect to likely severity.

And Brian, I've never argued that inadvertent drift collisions are anything but extremely rare. First, they are a subset of the cyclist-hit-from-behind type of crash, which is already very rare.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by StrangeWill
It's not always the case, considering most vehicles have larger blind spots than mine, and a way longer nose of a vehicle, edging out means being in people's path before even knowing whats out there. Not absurd: an angled driveway with curb side parking DOES have issues with visibility, easing out does no good being as the vehicles are blocking your path, and you need to edge out into the road to see, in which case, you're already in harms way.

Some streets just shouldn't have curbside parking. It's horrible for driver visibility on both ends.
This was an suv. So the driver is maybe 7 feet behind the very front of his vehicle (using typical Explorer dimensions). If he leans forward over the steering wheel to see around the blind spot created by the parked van, he can get it down to about 5'. But if he's slowly moving out, the approaching traffic can see the nose of the suv starting to edge out, and react accordingly. The cyclists shouldn't have been closer than 5 feet to the side of the parked van anyway (to be out of the door zone). If he edged out slowly, and only as far as he needed to take a good look down the road, he never should have been in their path, if they had been properly positioned for the speed at which they were riding, and they would have had plenty of time to adjust left the foot or two they may have needed to clear him safely.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
You have very severe memory problems, or you're just a simple liar.

Serge, you even created a poll to harp on lane position with regards to an "accident in which inadvertent drift" caused injury to two cyclists, but they survived!

Thanks for confirming that you have no proof that "inadvertent drift almost always kills."

Like most of your crazy theories that you spout as if they were the gospel, there is no basis for your crazy claim.
Oh yeah! I forgot. Okay, so there was one. There may have been a few more that I knew about but forgot.

The main point stands: the frequency of death or serious injury in car-bike collisions (including inadvertent drift) is much higher than in peloton crashes.

By the way, when I talk about inadvertent drift crashes, I'm talking mostly about the rural highway ones where the driver is going around 60 and the cyclist is going 15-20. That's why they're usually fatal.
"Motorists primarily give their attention to that part of the highway where there is risk to themselves: they are not nearly so good at noticing anything outside their path. This zone of maximum surveillance is often very narrow, especially at higher speeds - it does not extend to much more than the moving traffic lane that the driver is following ... For you to be safest as a cyclist, you should ride within this zone of maximum surveillance, not outside of it." --John Franklin, Cyclecraft, p. 58
My pet theory, which rests on the above notions from John Franklin, is that inadvertent drift occurs when the motorist is tempted to attend to a distraction, and the zone of maximum surveillance is clear for a significant distance in front of him. He subconsciously estimates about how long he can afford to attend to the distraction before rechecking the zone of maximum surveillance and looks away. During that time he drifts a little. He never notices the cyclist up ahead in the shoulder or bike lane because the cyclist was never in the motorist's zone of maximum surveillance where he is not "nearly so good at noticing anything".

Cyclecraft was published in 1997. Since then all the research on inattentional blindness done by cognitive scientists that I can find appears to be consistent with it.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
No, the main point ("inadvertent drift almost always kills") doesn't stand. Like many of your cockamamie "theories" there is no proof, other than what you fabricate/imagine in order to support your main point.
Stop acting like a moron who cannot keep track of context.

Allister asked:
How does that level of risk compare to the risk of, to pick an example at random, a car inadvertantly drifting out of it's lane?
I answered:
Because inadvertent drift almost always kills, and peloton crashes rarely do, I'd say the risk of death or very serious injury while riding in road margins, shoulders and bike lanes in light traffic is higher than drafting in pelotons.
Yes, part of my answer was "inadvertent drift almost always kills". But the same main point would have been made had I said:
Because the frequency of death or serious injury in car-bike collisions (including inadvertent drift) is much higher than in peloton crashes, I'd say the risk of death or very serious injury while riding in road margins, shoulders and bike lanes in light traffic is higher than drafting in pelotons.
The main point stands. You'd have to be a moron to not see that. I know you're not a moron, so stop acting like one.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
... "inadvertent drift almost always kills,"
...

It's patently false.
A claim that another claim is "patently false" should be trivial to prove.

Well?
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Old 09-28-07, 09:59 PM
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By the way, I want to thank you for what you do: try to point out holes in what I say, until I show you that none of them are actually holes, and you go on to something else. Keeps me alert, and I appreciate that.
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Old 09-28-07, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
You made the claim Serge. The burden of proof lies with you.

The fact that you are trying to shift the burden of proof speaks volumes about how intellectually bankrupt you are.
I made a claim for which I admit evidence is not sufficient to constitute proof.
You made a counter-claim that my original claim is "patently false".

If it is so obvious that my original claim is false for you to counter claim that it is "patently false", where is the proof? If no proof is required to counter-claim that another claim is "patently false", then we can play that game forever.

Your counter-claim that my original claim is "patently false" is patently false.

Intellectually bankrupt indeed.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-28-07 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 09-28-07, 11:11 PM
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Again, Mr. Fagerlin, I want to thank you for what you do: try to point out holes in what I say, until I show you that none of them are actually holes, and you go on to something else. Keeps me on my toes, and I appreciate that.
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Old 09-29-07, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
This was an suv. So the driver is maybe 7 feet behind the very front of his vehicle (using typical Explorer dimensions). If he leans forward over the steering wheel to see around the blind spot created by the parked van, he can get it down to about 5'. But if he's slowly moving out, the approaching traffic can see the nose of the suv starting to edge out, and react accordingly. The cyclists shouldn't have been closer than 5 feet to the side of the parked van anyway (to be out of the door zone). If he edged out slowly, and only as far as he needed to take a good look down the road, he never should have been in their path, if they had been properly positioned for the speed at which they were riding, and they would have had plenty of time to adjust left the foot or two they may have needed to clear him safely.
You can argue with reality all you want, but the fact of the matter is that this exists, as for us daily drivers (and especially me as a driver at work) we have (way) more experience in how blind spots effect people, and that this does occur often. And spacing has nothing to do with the fact that even a crawling vehicle is going to end up in your path in a second between two parked vehicles, they would have to be moving slower for reaction time to make a difference for the first bike to impact the car.


Basically: I don't see you riding your bike at 5mph constantly, any faster and ANY accident can be attributed to speed. (actually I could say anything over walking speed is too fast in an accident due to bad conditions such as this) To tell a bicyclist that going under the speed limit on a clear day is STILL not enough is horrible. Speed limits are there for a reason, they dictate the acceptable safe speed for the road design under optimal road conditions. If they were unsafe at that speed the speed limit for that section needs to be reduced, or curb side parking needs to be done away with.


Take it from those with more road miles than you: Bad road designs need to be redone, curb side parking in low visibility areas is a BAD IDEA and needs to be eliminated, putting people at risk for the sake of saving money isn't acceptable.
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Old 09-29-07, 10:57 AM
  #223  
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why has this thread degenerated into another HH diatribe on inadverdant drift**********

What the....**********

Last edited by Bekologist; 09-29-07 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 09-29-07, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by StrangeWill
[...] Take it from those with more road miles than you: Bad road designs need to be redone, curb side parking in low visibility areas is a BAD IDEA and needs to be eliminated, putting people at risk for the sake of saving money isn't acceptable.
It's not so much about money as space. It is recognized that on-street parking is less than ideal, but it's become a necessity and a reality that urban cyclists must deal with, a legacy of the transformation of the old streetcar suburbs (large single-family homes on a grid of luxuriously wide streets with primary transportation being streetcars and walking) to high-density housing with the houses converted to apartments or torn down to build apartment buildings with very little off-street parking. A classic neighborhood of this sort is Capitol Hill in Denver, where, on the rare occasion when I would actually drive somewhere, I would typically return to find the closest available parking space several blocks away from my apartment. The reality is that the luxuriously wide streets of the past have been replaced with streets that, because of on-street parking, are so narrow that two compact cars can barely pass by each other without bashing side mirrors.

Where ya gonna put all those cars? I mean, other than in the crusher.

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Old 09-30-07, 09:26 PM
  #225  
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Yeah, well.. another factor in this case is that the on-street parking was NOT supposed to be there. When there is on street parking they generally put up signs to keep people from parking so close to large driveways (businesses, apartments, etc) as to obstruct the view. (homeowners are on their own)

In this case, cars were parked closer than safe on BOTH sides of the driveway. (And probably ALL were parked illegally, considering it was a bike lane...)
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