"Sorry mate, didn't see you"

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby misterhorsey » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:29 pm

The crux of the argument is that our brains are only capable of processing so much information, and has to filter out noise in order to navigate through the world.

So while our eyes may 'see' something, the brain disregards it as it filters out the noise.

I.e, when you drive a car through an intersection you look for traffic lights, lane markings, other cars, pedestrians. However, despite the fact that your eyes see what colour clothing the pedestrians are wearing, the licence plate number of other cars, even the colour of other cars, these facts don't always register with the mind.

Unfortunately for many motorists who don't regularly drive around streets with cyclists, the occasional cyclist falls into the category of things that the eyes see, but that don't register with the mind. This is, obviously, not a satisfactory state of affairs.
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by BNA » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:35 pm

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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:35 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:No-one had ever explained to me (prior to the SBS show) that when I look left and see a picture I am actually missing most of the detail. I never realised that. No-one ever taught me that.

I'm shocked that you need to be taught that. Again you seem to be blaming the lack of teaching rather than your own cognition. I don't know about you but I've spent plenty of time in the kitchen cupboard, fridge etc looking for something that was right under my nose.

If motorists are not taking the time to look properly then they have nobody but themselves to blame.

human909 wrote:In SOME cases yes. In others people look and HONESTLY think that they have seen everything there.

Many people are dishonest to themselves. The fact is that if they genuinely cared and were competent then they'd look properly.

human909 wrote:Go read the article. You might learn something.

Or don't and continue on your self righteous way if it makes you feel better.

I've read the article.

Excusing incompetence as "oh thats just the way the brain operates" is quite frankly pathetic. I rockclimb. We live on the edge of death the entire time. One tiny mistake and it is lights outs. But do you know what? The number of rock-climbing accidents is quite low. This due to another "amazing brain fact" is that when an individual faces the direct consequences of their actions they take the time to perform competently.

Oh and I'm not being self righteous. That is a behaviour that I loath. When I make a mistake on the road then I displaying just as much incompetence as the others.

So sure casual "looking" does not pick up everything. But competent road users make sure they look properly.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:37 pm

misterhorsey wrote:The crux of the argument is that our brains are only capable of processing so much information, and has to filter out noise in order to navigate through the world.

So while our eyes may 'see' something, the brain disregards it as it filters out the noise.

I.e, when you drive a car through an intersection you look for traffic lights, lane markings, other cars, pedestrians. However, despite the fact that your eyes see what colour clothing the pedestrians are wearing, the licence plate number of other cars, even the colour of other cars, these facts don't always register with the mind.

Unfortunately for many motorists who don't regularly drive around streets with cyclists, the occasional cyclist falls into the category of things that the eyes see, but that don't register with the mind. This is, obviously, not a satisfactory state of affairs.

My experience is that cars collide with cars with a far greater frequency than they collide with bicycles. There is no explanation in the article about how someone didn't see the car they just drove into. It's not like cars are small or people didn't expect the car to be there.

Sure it's an interesting article but I wouldn't be agressively defending it or calling any other person with a different opinion "wrong".
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby TMjpn » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:37 pm

misterhorsey wrote:I draw on my own experience as a motorist before I regularly cycled. While I was aware of cyclists and definitely took care around them in my pre cycling days, when I drive now I am now actively looking for cyclists and take even more care around them when I drive.


This rings true. People are more.. observant, to traits and actions that they do.

I used to abhor cyclists on the road at Old pac :oops: .. that changed when I took up cycling myself. Folks aren't there to block the road and be the detriment of others - if you've done it, its an enjoyable ride. It's no race track anyway - and as a Motorbike rider, I'm kinda glad it gets policed the way it does now. It's annoying yes, but some guys can't semm to get it - have killed themselves and others - and due to this they have made it difficult it for everyone who enjoys the cruise.

Anyway, when I take my motorbike there or to McCarrs, I'm aware of cyclists and ride accordingly - heck I even pump my fist at folks deep in the pain basket and I love it when get a grim smile back.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Ross » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:51 pm

human909 wrote:
Scarfy96 wrote:No-one had ever explained to me (prior to the SBS show) that when I look left and see a picture I am actually missing most of the detail. I never realised that. No-one ever taught me that.

I'm shocked that you need to be taught that. Again you seem to be blaming the lack of teaching rather than your own cognition. I don't know about you but I've spent plenty of time in the kitchen cupboard, fridge etc looking for something that was right under my nose.

If motorists are not taking the time to look properly then they have nobody but themselves to blame.



If YOU have spent time looking in the cupboard/fridge for something that is right in front of you (like we all have) then why do you appear to dispute that this could carry through to driving? Sure, a lot of drivers DGAF, but not all of them, some genuinely "look" but don't "see". There are some genuine SMIDSY due to the windscreen A pillar which is generally a lot thicker in modern cars (I've heard VE Commodores are notoriously bad) and can easily hide a vehicle as big as a car if viewed at certain angles.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:51 pm

human909 wrote:
Scarfy96 wrote:No-one had ever explained to me (prior to the SBS show) that when I look left and see a picture I am actually missing most of the detail. I never realised that. No-one ever taught me that.

I'm shocked that you need to be taught that. Again you seem to be blaming the lack of teaching rather than your own cognition. I don't know about you but I've spent plenty of time in the kitchen cupboard, fridge etc looking for something that was right under my nose.

If motorists are not taking the time to look properly then they have nobody but themselves to blame.

human909 wrote:In SOME cases yes. In others people look and HONESTLY think that they have seen everything there.

Many people are dishonest to themselves. The fact is that if they genuinely cared and were competent then they'd look properly.

human909 wrote:Go read the article. You might learn something.

Or don't and continue on your self righteous way if it makes you feel better.

I've read the article.

Excusing incompetence as "oh thats just the way the brain operates" is quite frankly pathetic. I rockclimb. We live on the edge of death the entire time. One tiny mistake and it is lights outs. But do you know what? The number of rock-climbing accidents is quite low. This due to another "amazing brain fact" is that when an individual faces the direct consequences of their actions they take the time to perform competently.

So sure casual "looking" does not pick up everything. But competent road users make sure they look properly.

I've read the article too. I find it interesting but not persuasive. I have never been trained on how to look properly but have managed to drive extensively for nearly 25 years without striking another vehicle, motorcycle or bicycle. I also don't focus three times for each look or left and right twice at every intersection. Although, I would rate myself as having above average situational awareness. In my opinion, safe driving is not just about looking, it is about situational awareness and not making assumptions about your surroundings and driving to the conditions. I always slow down when entering an intersection, roundabout or lights. I also look where I am going and don't assume that the road is clear. For example, if I am turning left I don't focus all my attention on oncoming traffic, assuming the road to the left is clear (it sometimes isn't). I also don't assume that if I have right of way (i.e. a green light) that it is safe to proceed (it sometimes isn't). I also don't assume the person in front of me is going to run the orange light and I can squeeze through as well if I just speed up a bit. I know of examples of all of those assumptions that other drivers have made that have caused crashes invovling people in my immediate family.

According to the article when we approach an intersection, we are to look right, focus far, medium, close, look left, focus far, medium and close, look right, focus far, medium, close, look left, focus far, medium and close? I don't think so.

I would find it interesting to see how many "wrong assumptions" caused accidents as opposed to scanning errors where the drivers eyes were physically incapable of seeing the car they just ran into.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:58 pm

Ross wrote:
human909 wrote:
Scarfy96 wrote:No-one had ever explained to me (prior to the SBS show) that when I look left and see a picture I am actually missing most of the detail. I never realised that. No-one ever taught me that.

I'm shocked that you need to be taught that. Again you seem to be blaming the lack of teaching rather than your own cognition. I don't know about you but I've spent plenty of time in the kitchen cupboard, fridge etc looking for something that was right under my nose.

If motorists are not taking the time to look properly then they have nobody but themselves to blame.



If YOU have spent time looking in the cupboard/fridge for something that is right in front of you (like we all have) then why do you appear to dispute that this could carry through to driving? Sure, a lot of drivers DGAF, but not all of them, some genuinely "look" but don't "see". There are some genuine SMIDSY due to the windscreen A pillar which is generally a lot thicker in modern cars (I've heard VE Commodores are notoriously bad) and can easily hide a vehicle as big as a car if viewed at certain angles.

This is just basic stupidity (the drivers, not your comment). So, I am in a car with a wide A pillar that I can't see through (yes, I have). So, I look and because I can't see anything, there must be nothing there? Or, I can use my human ability to reason and think logically and conclude that because I can't see that bit of road then there might be something there and I should use my problem solving skills to come up with a solution. Yes, I have done this in real life. The amazing solution that I developed was to move my head. Since the human head is capable of movement, it is possible to re-position it so that the bit of road that was hidden by the A pillar suddenly becomes visible. This technique can also be used to spot vehicles from other angles too, like over your right shoulder (called a head check when driving). I have driven a hire car with massive blind spots front and back. Looking in the right hand mirror when changing lanes to the right, the road looked completely clear. A quick head check though revealed a car right next to me. In that case, moving my head revealed a car that was previously unseen. It's not that drivers can't see, they just don't use their heads :wink:
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:04 pm

Hey look I was just sharing because I thought it may give some readers, and hence cyclists, a bit of a better understanding into how many road users operate.

I thought that with that understanding they may adjust some of their riding techniques with the knowledge that at times they wont be seen through no fault of their own and some of the reasons for this and how to reduce the chances of this happening.

My objective was to share this and hopefully help a few people avoid getting hit.

Those that simply wish to say "crap they are bad drivers who don't look properly" well fine, that's your opinion. I hope your vocal opinion however doesn't drown out the underlying message that I was trying to pass and that was one of safety and the physical reasons why sometimes a driver doesn't see you. If you see that as "bad" driving fine but please don't let your opinion of drivers drown out the message of WHY many drivers believe they do look but don't see you. Not all drivers that do that are against cyclists, they were just unaware that they weren't looking well enough. Getting indignant about that on a forum wont help anyone. Making people aware of these limitations and what they can do to mitigate them however may help save lives.

So rant and rave if you wish about "bad drivers" but please don't try and drown out the reality that many drivers DO LOOK but DON'T SEE YOU and that isn't through any bicycle hatred they honestly THINK they are driving safely. The objective of the post is for more cyclists to understand this and ride accordingly and hopefully avoid an accident. That is my objective, I am not sure what yours are.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:14 pm

Ross wrote:If YOU have spent time looking in the cupboard/fridge for something that is right in front of you (like we all have) then why do you appear to dispute that this could carry through to driving?

Since when did I dispute that? They carry through to all activities if you don't care about what you are doing.

Ross wrote:Sure, a lot of drivers DGAF, but not all of them, some genuinely "look" but don't "see". There are some genuine SMIDSY due to the windscreen A pillar which is generally a lot thicker in modern cars (I've heard VE Commodores are notoriously bad) and can easily hide a vehicle as big as a car if viewed at certain angles.

The responsibility of driving requires you to drive safely this means ensuring that the path is clear. The responsibility isn't to simply 'look'. As casual cyclist said, use your head.

Scarfy96 wrote:So rant and rave if you wish about "bad drivers" but please don't try and drown out the reality that many drivers DO LOOK but DON'T SEE YOU and that isn't through any bicycle hatred they honestly THINK they are driving safely.

I'm not sure how looking but not seeing is any better than looking. Either way they are bad drivers. And yes lots of people "honestly" think they are driving well. That's because most people have limited self reflection on their own mistakes, they are even dishonest to themselves.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:20 pm

human909 wrote:
Scarfy96 wrote:So rant and rave if you wish about "bad drivers" but please don't try and drown out the reality that many drivers DO LOOK but DON'T SEE YOU and that isn't through any bicycle hatred they honestly THINK they are driving safely.

I'm not sure how looking but not seeing is any better than looking. Either way they are bad drivers. And yes lots of people "honestly" think they are driving well. That's because most people have limited self reflection on their own mistakes, they are even dishonest to themselves.


And doesn't that bring us back to the OBJECTIVE of this thread? (ignoring a few semantics that I am happy to agree to disagree on).

To raise awareness of this in more cyclists and how they can help mitigate it.

Your dispersions on here wont change driving habits of those that aren't currently looking well enough (ie in multiple locations up and across the road) to ensure they have seen everything. However an understanding by more cyclists of this limitation in many drivers may help save lives. THAT is the objective of this thread.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:22 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:This is just basic stupidity (the drivers, not your comment). So, I am in a car with a wide A pillar that I can't see through (yes, I have). So, I look and because I can't see anything, there must be nothing there? Or, I can use my human ability to reason and think logically and conclude that because I can't see that bit of road then there might be something there and I should use my problem solving skills to come up with a solution. Yes, I have done this in real life. The amazing solution that I developed was to move my head. Since the human head is capable of movement, it is possible to re-position it so that the bit of road that was hidden by the A pillar suddenly becomes visible. This technique can also be used to spot vehicles from other angles too, like over your right shoulder (called a head check when driving). I have driven a hire car with massive blind spots front and back. Looking in the right hand mirror when changing lanes to the right, the road looked completely clear. A quick head check though revealed a car right next to me. In that case, moving my head revealed a car that was previously unseen. It's not that drivers can't see, they just don't use their heads :wink:


Worth repeatig...

My take, (including the A pillar thing, having recently swapped smokeboxes) is that it is easy to do most things but damn hard to do them WELL and most people (me included when looking inside the pantry) are just a little too lazy to give a rats.

Classic DGAF while out on the FG yesterday. She (travelling north) saw the bike (and cars)entering the Horne/Cornish roundabout from her right, hesitated then continued right in front of the rider, forcing him to stop to avoid being pizza'd.
Definite DGAF/MGIF incident as the ped lights not 15m on the north side of the roundabout were red with traffic backed up enough so that she actually had to stop IN the roundabout. HERE
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby twizzle » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:23 pm

human909 wrote:
Ross wrote:If YOU have spent time looking in the cupboard/fridge for something that is right in front of you (like we all have) then why do you appear to dispute that this could carry through to driving?

Since when did I dispute that? They carry through to all activities if you don't care about what you are doing.


Yeah, "domestic blindness" is just because people don't care about what they are doing. :roll:
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby twizzle » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:24 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Classic DGAF while out on the FG yesterday. She (travelling north) saw the bike (and cars)entering the Horne/Cornish roundabout from her right, hesitated then continued right in front of the rider, forcing him to stop to avoid being pizza'd.


Just because she looked in the direction of the cyclist doesn't mean she saw him.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:28 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:Hey look I was just sharing because I thought it may give some readers, and hence cyclists, a bit of a better understanding into how many road users operate.

I thought that with that understanding they may adjust some of their riding techniques with the knowledge that at times they wont be seen through no fault of their own and some of the reasons for this and how to reduce the chances of this happening.

My objective was to share this and hopefully help a few people avoid getting hit.

It's a good objective and good advice. Telling a cyclist that even if a driver looks at them they might not have "seen" them is good. A cyclist should not assume that a driver has seen them and should ride accordingly.

Scarfy96 wrote:Those that simply wish to say "crap they are bad drivers who don't look properly" well fine, that's your opinion. I hope your vocal opinion however doesn't drown out the underlying message that I was trying to pass and that was one of safety and the physical reasons why sometimes a driver doesn't see you. If you see that as "bad" driving fine but please don't let your opinion of drivers drown out the message of WHY many drivers believe they do look but don't see you. Not all drivers that do that are against cyclists, they were just unaware that they weren't looking well enough. Getting indignant about that on a forum wont help anyone. Making people aware of these limitations and what they can do to mitigate them however may help save lives.

So rant and rave if you wish about "bad drivers" but please don't try and drown out the reality that many drivers DO LOOK but DON'T SEE YOU and that isn't through any bicycle hatred they honestly THINK they are driving safely. The objective of the post is for more cyclists to understand this and ride accordingly and hopefully avoid an accident.

Fair enough. But cyclists should ALSO be aware of other reasons that a vehicle may come close to striking them.

Scarfy96 wrote:That is my objective, I am not sure what yours are.

Ummm... explore the topic, argue it out, refine the ideas and generate a shared knowledge that could benefit all cyclists? I have already learned things but partipating in the topic that go beyond your original post.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:34 pm

twizzle wrote:
human909 wrote:
Ross wrote:If YOU have spent time looking in the cupboard/fridge for something that is right in front of you (like we all have) then why do you appear to dispute that this could carry through to driving?

Since when did I dispute that? They carry through to all activities if you don't care about what you are doing.

Yeah, "domestic blindness" is just because people don't care about what they are doing. :roll:

I have suffered frequent "domestic blindness" but in my case it is always related to bad assumptions. I.e. look for object in pantry. It should be on the second shelf down, left hand side. I assume it's there. Look there. It's not there. I can't see it, where is it. Some times I look properly and find it, sometimes I scan the shelves, don't "see" it and walk away. In the "walk away" situation I have either asked someone else to look or come back and seen it straight away. I have "scanned" and not seen something that is there but I have never "looked" and not seen something that is there. "Looking" uses your eyes and your brain. If you're not using your brain then you are not "looking".
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:36 pm

Scarfy96... this is a really interesting conversation/argument. Don't get offended if it's not running the way you expected. Post a topic on the internet and it will take on a life of its own. That's the fun of internet forums. My advice is to ride the wave and enjoy the ride.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:39 pm

twizzle wrote:Yeah, "domestic blindness" is just because people don't care about what they are doing. :roll:

I'm dumbfounded by your response here. I don't know about you, but my care when finding peanut butter in my cupboard is a hell of a lot less than my care about ensuring my rope is secure when I'm 100m up a cliff. The notion the amount of effort we put into ensuring something is correctly performed is relative to consequences should not be a surprise to you.


As far as riding goes, I have always said ride like you are invisible. Don't trust that motorists will give way to you.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Red Rider » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:45 pm

It actually comes down to laziness, and my evidence for this is bicycle-motor vehicle collision rates remaining static even though cycling rates may vary*. The vast majority of these collisions are caused by motorists*. When cycling rates are low, motorists are not expecting there to be a cyclist at an intersection etc, so they tend not to have the mindset to be on the lookout for them, and will only take a large steel box as a factor in giving way etc. But when cycling rates are higher, they are more accustomed to cyclists on the road and the their brain is primed to check for them.

*I am too lazy to find the research on this again :mrgreen:
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:56 pm

casual cyclist - I am just trying to keep it roughly on the objective that I set out with rather than just turning into a general moron motorists bashing thread which IMO achieves nothing.

I actually drove today (something I do occasionally) and was very attentive to HOW I observe the road while driving. I didn't consciously do anything differently but rather observed how I looked up and down roads, where I looked etc. I guess it is from 30 years of cycling but yes I do look in all the spots a cyclist may be "hiding" from a casual glance.

It also highlighted to me how easy it would be for a driver who doesn't look like that to miss a cyclists.

I have long been an advocate of taking the lane - ever since I was knocked off my bike 30 years ago on the way home from school when in front of the car at a T-intersection - the guy literally didn't see me, turned to look for something coming, nothing coming so accelerated. I just happened to be right in front of him at the time. Since then in situations like that I usually ride much wider where the driver would expect to see a car. When I take the lane I TAKE it. I move right into the middle, not the left wheel track. There is ZERO chance of a driver overtaking me without going over the top of me. What it does mean is that I almost always get seen by drivers who are about to pull out on me and when I am not seen I have longer to react and avoid the situation.

When I ride with friends and we take the lane I am often amazed at how they don't. They come out just far enough to get out of the car door area but still leave themselves open to a side swipe and IMO still to the type of blindness I described above. I have talked to them about it but few have changed. I have sent them this article today.

Anyway I see it as an important message to get out there. 2 of those guys have been hit in the last year by situations just like this, approaching a car pulling out from a T-intersection and not been seen. You can blame the driver (and I do) but if they would ride being more aware of this then perhaps neither of them would have been hit. In both cases the driver was frantic when the got out and couldn't understand "where they came from" because "I looked and nothing was there". Both of the guys believe they weren't targeted, or the driver being malicious, they just didn't see them. The reasons for this can be argued but ultimately it is fruitless to do so on a forum like this as the drivers aren't here. I am sure it was basically the reasons posted in that article that they weren't seen. They didn't look well enough and hence there were blind spots in their vision. They didn't realise that they hadn't looked well enough - as most drivers don't. Fortunately neither were badly hurt, but that was luck, not good management and they both admit that.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:20 pm

Red Rider wrote:It actually comes down to laziness, and my evidence for this is bicycle-motor vehicle collision rates remaining static even though cycling rates may vary*. The vast majority of these collisions are caused by motorists*. When cycling rates are low, motorists are not expecting there to be a cyclist at an intersection etc, so they tend not to have the mindset to be on the lookout for them, and will only take a large steel box as a factor in giving way etc. But when cycling rates are higher, they are more accustomed to cyclists on the road and the their brain is primed to check for them.

*I am too lazy to find the research on this again :mrgreen:

I have seen this argument before... a motorist is not expecting to see a cyclist so they don't see it... but this doesn't explain why they run into other cars so much. a) they are expecting them to be there, so they should be able to "see" them and b) a car is a reasonably large object and pretty hard to miss. Why can't they "see" them? For example, my sister in a car was run into by a person behind her in a car. It was not a situation of the other driver seeing her but not stopping in time. The other driver was behind her and simply drove their car into her car. It's bizzare! Oh yeah, the "excuse" of the other driver was "sorry, I didn't see you"... perhaps because they were not looking where they were going?
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:29 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:I have seen this argument before... a motorist is not expecting to see a cyclist so they don't see it...


I think it is time for this:

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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:45 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:casual cyclist - I am just trying to keep it roughly on the objective that I set out with rather than just turning into a general moron motorists bashing thread which IMO achieves nothing.

A driver "looking" but not "seeing" is only one thing that a cyclist needs to be aware of. It is an important one though. I have been riding down the middle of my lane and seen a driver "look" right at me but I thought, there is no way he has "seen" me. It just felt wrong and I prepared myself to avoid his vehicle if I had to (which I did), he looked pretty shocked when I rode right past his window... :lol:

But that is only one thing a cyclist needs to be aware of... You can explain to a cyclist why they just got run into by a motorist:
1) the driver didn't see you, because:
a) they weren't looking, because:
i) they didn't think to look; or
ii) they were distracted.
b) they were looking, but didn't see you because:
i) they were scanning, not looking properly;
ii) they didn't expect to see you and so they didn't; or
iii) something in their vehicle blocked their line of site.

2) the driver did see you, but ran into you anyway because:
a) they didn't know how wide their car was;
b) they exercised poor judgment and turned in front of you thinking you would not arrive so quickly; or
c) they didn't care and hoped you would just take evasive action and get out of their way.

...and that is not even a comprehensive list... :mrgreen:

In my opinion, it's not about bashing motorists, it's about educating cyclists about what they are up against and hope they modify their behaviour accordingly to avoid a collision.

Sometimes driving comes down to risk assessment. I have been trained in risk assessment and have applied it to my driving in the past. For example, I was approaching an intersection to turn right where the light were about to change from green to orange and considered travelling through at the speed limit to make the lights. I scanned the intersection and decided it was too risky to proceed so slowed as the light turned orange and stopped. There was a motorcycle in front of me and even though there was a decent gap between us, so we should have both been able to proceed safely through the intersection. However, something outside my field of vision brought traffic to a sudden stop, causing the motor cyclist to suddenly stop in the middle of the intersection. If I had proceeded into the intersection at the speed I was travelling, I would have certainly struck him. Not pretty when I was in a car and he was on a motor bike. You might call it luck and not good management but it was a conscious decision of mine not to enter the intersection because after evaluating the situation I decided it was too risky. I would hazard a guess that a lot of drivers do not apply the same level of rigour to their driving. The reason I say this is because I have seen drivers launch into an intersection with no hope of clearing it before a light change, only to be stuck part of the way out of the intersection with other drivers having to navigate their way around them.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:47 pm

human909 wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:I have seen this argument before... a motorist is not expecting to see a cyclist so they don't see it...


I think it is time for this:


That's hilarious. I've never seen that before. I was watching the white team and suddenly there was a bear right in front of me. I didn't see where it came from but if I had been driving I would not have run into it because I watch where I am going :wink:

Still doesn't explain why car drivers keep running into cars because surely they expect to see other cars on the road. That's what roads are for don't you know :wink:
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby il padrone » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:49 pm

Scarfy96 wrote:I have long been an advocate of taking the lane - ever since I was knocked off my bike 30 years ago on the way home from school when in front of the car at a T-intersection - the guy literally didn't see me, turned to look for something coming, nothing coming so accelerated. I just happened to be right in front of him at the time. Since then in situations like that I usually ride much wider where the driver would expect to see a car. When I take the lane I TAKE it. I move right into the middle, not the left wheel track. There is ZERO chance of a driver overtaking me without going over the top of me. What it does mean is that I almost always get seen by drivers who are about to pull out on me and when I am not seen I have longer to react and avoid the situation.

When I ride with friends and we take the lane I am often amazed at how they don't. They come out just far enough to get out of the car door area but still leave themselves open to a side swipe and IMO still to the type of blindness I described above. I have talked to them about it but few have changed. I have sent them this article today.

I can very much agree with this type of strategy for safer cycling. I would add that I now run my lights (dynamo so there's no battery-drain issue) during all cycling. The daytime LEDs in the light are very annoyingly bright so add to my conspicuity, in fact I believe drivers often mistake me for a moto at first glance and stop quicker.


Scarfy96 wrote:The reasons for this can be argued but ultimately it is fruitless to do so on a forum like this as the drivers aren't here. I am sure it was basically the reasons posted in that article that they weren't seen. They didn't look well enough and hence there were blind spots in their vision. They didn't realise that they hadn't looked well enough - as most drivers don't. Fortunately neither were badly hurt, but that was luck, not good management and they both admit that.

The thing about the "not looking well enough" argument, taken in conjunction with the visual blind spot theories, is that elsewhere it is not such an issue. I've recently spent 3 months cycling in Italy and such incidents did not occur. Of course I rode in my usual style, but even where drivers were racing rashly up to a junction, they quickly stopped and waited when they had ID'd me. Often such drivers in Australia would just blindly rush on through. It's about giving a damn as I said earlier.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:04 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:In my opinion, it's not about bashing motorists, it's about educating cyclists about what they are up against and hope they modify their behaviour accordingly to avoid a collision.


That was my entire objective in posting this thread to start with.

casual_cyclist wrote:That's hilarious. I've never seen that before. I was watching the white team and suddenly there was a bear right in front of me. I didn't see where it came from but if I had been driving I would not have run into it because I watch where I am going :wink:


That puts you in about 25% then, 75% never see it at all.
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