"Sorry mate, didn't see you"

open topic, for anything cycling related.

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

Postby rustychisel » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:12 pm

I agree with human909



[you have no idea how surprised I am to find myself writing that, but have no doubt he'll be along to reiterate the same point some 25,000 times and everything will be right with the world]
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by BNA » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:28 pm

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

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:28 pm

An on topic article

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/drivers-at-fault-in-majority-of-cycling-accidents-28489/

While they both happened in cross traffic, the two collisions were very different. One was deemed to be the fault of a motorist, while in the other case the rider was cycling unsafely. In both cases the driver didn't see the cyclist.

Three of the six near-collisions involved trucks, at least five of the drivers didn't see the cyclist, and at least four of the incidents were deemed to be the motorist's fault.

The authors of the study concluded that there was a need to improve driver awareness of cyclists and other road users, and to encourage motorists to use their indicators for longer. They also called for greater consistency in cycling facility design. In addition, they highlighted some things cyclists could do to improve their safety on the roads.

These include checking to the left more often (in countries where you ride/drive on the left, the tendency is to look right more often than left because vehicles in left-hand side roads should give way and are thus seen as a lesser threat), riding more defensively around cars and being particularly vigilant when it comes to drivers turning left at junctions, especially if they're in a large vehicle like a 4x4 or lorry.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby misterhorsey » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:41 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
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:


Casual Cyclist, it shouldn't necessarily be taken to explain why car drivers crash into cars. Its just one factor to take into account as to why motorists crash into cyclists, as well as motorists, among many, many other factors. Alcohol. Mobile Phones. Driver error. Seizures. Bad Judgement. Etc.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby twizzle » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:43 pm

human909 wrote:
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.


Ah, the instant strawman. You weren't really hungry vs. something that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.


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

Postby Dimis » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:23 pm

sogood wrote:Irrespective of who sees what and where, the only relevant issue is not to become the victim. Knowing how road users (motor vehicle drivers, motor bike riders, cyclists, pedestrians) may or may not behave is at the core of it, the rest comes in how smart and defensively one rides. Finger pointing is meaningless when there's no shortage of cyclists who flaunt road rules and put others and themselves at risk.


+1. ^^

Those who dispute that "one can look but not see" are kidding yourselves.
Yes, it's a tired and poor excuse. Yes, it ain't good enough, but hey... It happens.

Go on admit it.
Why... It was only the other day you were looking for the butter in the fridge when you inexplicably happen to miss it, only for your (insert relevant party - mother, father, sister, brother, house mate, partner, wife, husband) to walk straight past you and pluck it from under your nose.

Just saying... Ye all a little too self righteous methinks.
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Re:

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:30 pm

twizzle wrote:Ah, the instant strawman. You weren't really hungry vs. something that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? Everybody else here is being civil and discussing amicably. What's your issue?
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby twizzle » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:42 pm

human909 wrote:
twizzle wrote:Ah, the instant strawman. You weren't really hungry vs. something that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? Everybody else here is being civil and discussing amicably. What's your issue?


You must be thinking of some other thread.

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

Postby il padrone » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:55 pm

I don't see too many playing the man rather than the ball
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby DavidS » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:59 pm

Interesting topic and certainly a lot of posts in a small amount of time.

I agree that we do tend to scan when we look around, we even do it to some extent while on the roads. However, I think most people have some level of realisation that we do not always see what may be fairly obvious even if they have a bit of a look. But I might have a bit of a look if I'm walking to the shed in the back yard. I might not look too carefully because I know where things are and where they should be. I might occasionally step on a fallen branch or the like but it's no big deal. When I am in control of a motor vehicle it is my responsibility to look a lot harder. I think this gets back to people being too blase about driving. Driving is not taken seriously, it is taken for granted. What we need is an attitude change where people actually take the responsibility of controlling a heavy propelled object at speed with more care and attention. An attitude change which means that answering that ringing phone is not entertained because driving (and cycling) is not something to be taken for granted, an attitude which leads one to conclude automatically that answering the phone, not looking properly etc are options which are automatically rejected.

I will add that many years ago when I drove trams we used to get the old "didn't see you" line. They usually omitted the sorry as it was their vehicle which was a pile of rubble while the tram had a couple of scratches. I even remember a driver being hit when he was driving a decorated tram (110 light bulbs) at night. If people are blase about driving they don't see very large very well lit objects. Mind you, get drivers up front in a tram for a couple of days and they will learn in a hurry how to look properly. Controlling up to 50 tonnes without having the option to steer focusses the mind. 4 years of driving trams made me a far far more observant driver.

Unfortunately this is a huge change in attitude. It ain't going to happen at least for the foreseeable future. As a cyclist and occasional driver I know to take precautions. Especially in a car being predictable is one of the best things you can do. I assume cars won't see me but I also make damned sure I take action to force them to see me. Taking the lane where there is not enough space to pass is essential, followed by moving to a position when they can pass when it is safe - this is predictable and considerate riding. The worst situation I have faced was a car which turned almost on top of me at a roundabout and I had to take evasive action, she claimed not to have seen me. Since that time I tend to wobble my light if a car is waiting for me to go past (I have the very bright front light on and not flashing), the idea being that a bit of movement catches the eye. There are a number of strategies we need to take to force them to see us, and then try to have an escape route, unfortunately not always possible.

I still think though that people need to change their attitude on the road - people do get killed out there and drivers especially need to be less blase.

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

Postby K2 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:53 am

Scarfy96 wrote:As I said, it came up in discussion with my wife as she recently did a "defensive driver" training course. There they were taught to constantly scan the road ahead. Left side, ahead long, ahead middle, ahead short, right, ahead, RH mirror, rear mirror, ahead, start again. Comment was basically the same, you simply "don't see" stuff you don't look AT. So while you look in that direction if you are looking long distance you miss detail (such as pedestrian, dog, cyclists) in the foreground. Comment was also that 90% of drivers don't do this and it is a MAJOR cause of accident - and the reason is they are never taught to (not because they are lazy).


Hopefully they also taught her to have a glance at the dashboard, or more specifically, the instrument panel somewhere in that cycle. :)

I agree with you that it's one of the reasons bad things can happen on the road, in fact I brought up something similar back here. (If you thought the blindness thing was eye opening :oops: , have a look at some of the other examples of where our brains can let us down in the linked blog.) Where I (and I think a few others) part with you is that it is actually laziness for the most part. Fortunately the solution to eye/brain failure or just plain laziness is pretty much the same from a cyclist's perspective.

Sure, this kind of thing does occur occasionally, but as the cause of the majority (or even a significant number) of SMIDSYs? I think perhaps not. And this is the reason I chose to jump in with the above quote.

Recently the authorities have decided that the margin of error on speed cameras is to be reduced, at least here in QLD. It happened a little while ago but there was mention of it dropping further a day or so ago. There was an outcry from a section of users of the roads which we share that rather obviously protested the extra income that would be generated via their entirely voluntary contributions (go figure!) but the reasoning for this problem, apparently, was that they couldn't be expected to know what speed they were travelling at!!! Paraphrasing one of the grabs I heard repeatedly, "It's going to lead to a lot more accidents because everyone will be driving around looking at their speedos." I kid you not.

Which is where we arrive at laziness. Most folk are stupid. Now before we all start getting a little hot under the collar - everyone is stupid from time to time (I'd qualify for a formal qualification if there was one) and in a variety of ways. Some people are quite stupid when it comes to schooling or preparing for life thereafter but develop street smarts to compensate, where some really intelligent people in specific fields can barely dress themselves, or comply with basic hygiene norms, or relate to other humans. And some people are just stupid a hell of a lot of the time simply because they can't be bothered to think. You get the idea.

It doesn't matter how smart you are in any other aspect of your life, if you get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive it on a public thoroughfare whilst affording this potentially highly dangerous and often fatal activity no more attention than you would sitting down to watch television from your favourite armchair, then you are stupid. And yet most people using our roads have been smart enough to pass a basic competency test which permits them to do so. Why is it that a lot of folk never develop a skill they use almost every day beyond that initial basic level, and indeed many drop back way below it?

I'm sticking with laziness. Honing your skills or having them refreshed like your wife did is fantastic. I wish more people would. But you shouldn't need someone to tell you to keep your eyes moving constantly in a moving vehicle sharing roads with similarly moving vehicles, many of them coming in the opposite direction, to have the best chance of seeing with the aim of avoiding all other vehicles, and other obstacles. Neither should you have to be formally taught that tailgating at high speed is a stupid and dangerous thing to do, or how to adjust your mirrors (or perhaps that should be that they are adjustable?) to obtain the greatest field of vision possible, or not to dart in front of a B-Double and slam on your brakes, or that you have to constantly be aware of changes in the speed limit and of the need to regularly check the speedo if you wish to comply, etc, etc. These are things anyone who can pass a licensing test should be able to figure out fairly quickly...the majority of people are not that stupid. And yet so, so many don't despite no doubt having all of that mentioned to them during lessons.

Or conversely, let's turn the end of your quote on its head: 90% (quite possibly more) of drivers aren't taught to sit behind the wheel and stare blankly at the bumper of the vehicle inches in front whilst running their brains in power saving mode, but so, so many do. Not thinking, or laziness if you like, really is the major cause of accidents.

And if you wanted to get all Judge Judy about it - doing something (not thinking) which is highly likely to end with a particularly bad consequence (damage/injury/fatality) shouldn't really be considered an accident at all. It should be called a predictable. :|

Scarfy96 wrote:So if they look THROUGH you they didn't see you, they must look AT you. That means you either have to put yourself in a position that they will look AT you or expect them to not notice you.


Agree, mostly, and it is something we all should keep in mind, but I agree with David above more. For me it's not an either/or. Make yourself as visible as possible AND STILL be prepared to not be seen, or worse, and that covers you for more than just the genuine times when this eye/brain aberration occur. Lazy brains (or those that aren't running at anywhere near full capacity ie. tired or altered or even distracted) tend to process information slowly, so even if you do register there's always the possibility that their brain won't react as fast as their accelerator foot.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:26 am

K2 wrote:
Which is where we arrive at laziness. Most folk are stupid. Now before we all start getting a little hot under the collar - everyone is stupid from time to time (I'd qualify for a formal qualification if there was one) and in a variety of ways. Some people are quite stupid when it comes to schooling or preparing for life thereafter but develop street smarts to compensate, where some really intelligent people in specific fields can barely dress themselves, or comply with basic hygiene norms, or relate to other humans. And some people are just stupid a hell of a lot of the time simply because they can't be bothered to think. You get the idea.


+ so very many. Sure the saccades thing exists, but the real issue is that many drivers simply don't pay anywhere near enough attention to what they're doing, whether through stupidity, laziness, or a lack of understanding of the reality that what they are doing is actually dangerous.

And a big +1 re speed cameras, if you can't drive safely while maintaining your speed you don't belong on the road. Have none of those people heard of cruise control for example?
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby il padrone » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:54 am

Last weekend I was driving along a section of 100kmh road and came upon a roadworks sign. 60kmh roadworks speed limit, clearly signed. I braked to de-activate cruise and slowed to 60. Several cars approaching from behind came up my rear, and flew by continuing at 100.

Blind? Stupid? Can't read the signs? Avoiding looking at the speedo and trying to drive 'safer'? Or just dont give a damn ?
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Ken Ho » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:31 am

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 a neat trick. I missed the bear.
Visually, I was cued to be focussing on the white objects, so the bear in black passed me right by. Well, to be fair, it was really just another human dressed in black, not really a bear, so it's not quite as demonstrative as it seems.
It also creates a black and white world scenario, which the real world is not.
We know that the brain sends the ear twice as many messages as the ear sends the brain, so it's no surprise that the same thing might happen with our eyes.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Scarfy96 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:45 am

Just for clarity guys, I NEVER claimed this was 100% of the reason that drivers don't always see cyclists. I was just adding it to the mix of reasons that can be a factor at play and how to minimise THAT risk (without increasing others).
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Postby Comedian » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:16 am

My two closest and most life threatening passes have both been while taking the lane. Both motorists took the time to line me up with great care, straddled my lane and the right hand empty lane, and missed me by inches.

I'm damn sure both saw me... And could have given me the whole lane but choose to have some fun.

If they had misjudged and hit me I'm damn sure it would have been a case of "sorry mate - I didn't see you". In QLD they would have got off with little or no consequences.

If they had done the same thing with a car and misjudged they would have been charged with dangerous driving, possibly had some license suspension time, seriously damaged their car with time off the road, insurance and repair costs, and possibly even hurt themselves.

Motorists don't look for us because they have no incentive to look. It's really only a sense of caring for their fellow man that they do, and for those that don't care there is no incentive.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re:

Postby DavidS » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:54 pm

Comedian wrote:My two closest and most life threatening passes have both been while taking the lane. Both motorists took the time to line me up with great care, straddled my lane and the right hand empty lane, and missed me by inches.

I'm damn sure both saw me... And could have given me the whole lane but choose to have some fun.


I agree with you that claiming the lane does not always work. But at least you would have had some room to move to get away from them. It does cross my mind when that sort of thing happens to look like I'm about to swerve right and give them a fright but I'm just not that much of an a***hole to do it :wink:

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Re: Re:

Postby il padrone » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:25 am

DavidS wrote:
Comedian wrote:My two closest and most life threatening passes have both been while taking the lane. Both motorists took the time to line me up with great care, straddled my lane and the right hand empty lane, and missed me by inches.

I'm damn sure both saw me... And could have given me the whole lane but choose to have some fun.


I agree with you that claiming the lane does not always work. But at least you would have had some room to move to get away from them. It does cross my mind when that sort of thing happens to look like I'm about to swerve right and give them a fright but I'm just not that much of an a***hole to do it :wink:

In circumstances where I feel that sort of close-shaving is a possibility, I have done just this thing, a 'wiggle' on the road, but done when the vehicle is a good 100-200m behind. An effective pre-emptive action to generate road space. Works really well with truckies and pretty well with SS Commode bogans as well.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Hamster » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:48 am

Roads are public places and all users must expect to come across everything from multi-wheeled behemoths to stray animals to stuff that has fallen off vehicles to little old ladies on bicycles. In my opinion, with the exception of ninjas, not seeing a cyclist is an admittance that insufficient care and attention was being taken. If a person cannot drive in a safe and careful manner then seriously they should not be permitted to take their metal projectile onto a public road.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:30 am

Hamster wrote:Roads are public places and all users must expect to come across everything from multi-wheeled behemoths to stray animals to stuff that has fallen off vehicles to little old ladies on bicycles. In my opinion, with the exception of ninjas, not seeing a cyclist is an admittance that insufficient care and attention was being taken. If a person cannot drive in a safe and careful manner then seriously they should not be permitted to take their metal projectile onto a public road.


Spot on.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:30 am

Hamster wrote:Roads are public places and all users must expect to come across everything from multi-wheeled behemoths to stray animals to stuff that has fallen off vehicles to little old ladies on bicycles. In my opinion, with the exception of ninjas, not seeing a cyclist is an admittance that insufficient care and attention was being taken. If a person cannot drive in a safe and careful manner then seriously they should not be permitted to take their metal projectile onto a public road.

Works for me, especially the blue bit :)
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Comedian » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:56 am

Hamster wrote:Roads are public places and all users must expect to come across everything from multi-wheeled behemoths to stray animals to stuff that has fallen off vehicles to little old ladies on bicycles. In my opinion, with the exception of ninjas, not seeing a cyclist is an admittance that insufficient care and attention was being taken. If a person cannot drive in a safe and careful manner then seriously they should not be permitted to take their metal projectile onto a public road.

Yep I agree. Yet the community has a strange standard in regards collisions with bicycles.

Some part of the blame for the accident is automatically apportioned to the bike just for being there.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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

Postby cowled » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:36 am

Comedian wrote:Yep I agree. Yet the community has a strange standard in regards collisions with bicycles.

Some part of the blame for the accident is automatically apportioned to the bike just for being there.


Spot on comedian. After all the media coverage of my incident I received a call from a senior police officer who claimed to be a cyclist. He insinuated that I should not have been on 'that' particular road. I very quickly shot down that line of thinking because I had no real alternative and I had every right to be there. I just cannot believe the inherent prejudice that police have towards cyclists, even when they profess to be cyclists themselves.

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

Postby kunama » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:06 am

casual_cyclist wrote: .......
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:


It comes down to the fact that traffic situations are 'fluid' , constantly changing therefore the driver 'glances' rather than 'looks' if the driver took the time to really 'look' in one direction, the situation has changed in the original direction etc.
It is not possible to take in the whole scene in one 'glance' and if the person tries to 'look' in both direction he will never actually get going, usually due to the fact that most people have no concept of judging the speed of moving traffic, be it a cyclist or another car. When they tell you they did not see you, they probably did see you but did not appreciate the speed differential.
I have interviewed many people involved in traffic collisions, a common phrase in many was " I saw him but thought I had time to get through "

To me it is about self-preservation, assume that nobody can actually see you..

( Caveat: these are my thoughts only gathered during 21 years of Police work and nearly 2 million kilometres of driving in the last 40years, your views will vary )
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby bychosis » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:24 am

I haven't read all of this but there are plenty of valid points. I have seen SMIDSY mentioned here plenty of times in the forums, when the reality is probably SMIDLP (didn't look properly). Just doesn't have the same ring as SMIDSY though. I would estimate that the majority of driver, probablythe vast majority are SMIDSY because they are not expecting to see a bike so we'd all better go for a ride now.
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Re: "Sorry mate, didn't see you"

Postby Hamster » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:26 am

kunama wrote:
I have interviewed many people involved in traffic collisions, a common phrase in many was " I saw him but thought I had time to get through "



What that is telling me is that driver training is inadequate. Coupled with inadequate training there are some drivers who for either physical or psychological reasons simply shouldn't be driving. Having a driving license should be seen as a privilege and not as a right and one that can and will be taken away, possibly permanently.
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