A Cautionary Tale

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

A Cautionary Tale

Postby ft_critical » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:36 pm

This is a thread for understanding the actions of others on the road, in the hope that understanding might help us avoid dangerous situations. This is not about saying that someone else is a moron. Often times in an incident you, the weather, road position, traffic, sun, all manner of things contribute to a near miss or hit.
User avatar
ft_critical
 
Posts: 1545
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:06 pm
Location: watching the 11

by BNA » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:37 pm

BNA
 

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby ft_critical » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:37 pm

I have had several, but there was a particularly scary one today.

Conditions: overcast, but excellent daytime visibility, around 6:20pm.

Location: a roundabout with 5 entry/exits, city fringe, busy with traffic.

What happened: A bus was stopped 10m from the round-about on a slightly down hill approach. I rolled around traffic that could not get past the bus and approached the round-about at about 20kmh seeking to exit third exit to the right. A bus was approaching over a pedestrian crossing to my left in the first entry onto the round-about, basically 15m to my front-left. I rolled onto the round-about and maintained about that speed under cornering. The bus rolled in on me, and was basically going to drive straight over the top of me. As I continued right, the bus followed and got to less than a meter from me and was traveling faster than me, i.e., he was gaining. I yelled ‘farrrrrk’ at the top of my voice as I truly thought he was going to kill me. Being leaned over cornering, I was unable to pedal until I straightened, and even then the bus was gaining on me.
It was really a very lucky escape. I stopped and looked back at the driver, he kind of smiled and waved an apology.

Why: I believe that he had probably looked, but not seen me as I was obscured by the bus stopped at the bus stop. It is a complicated round-about and he is distracted by pedestrians J walking and an entry onto the round about immediately to his left. I am sure he was looking, just not looking to his right.

What did I do wrong: I was on the round-about and nearly in front of him before he entered, so nothing there. One thing I didn’t do that I try to do often is, look people entering in the eyes. I was probably going too fast for caution. I had passed the parked bus and had tried to maintain speed to make sure he didn’t suddenly pull out on me. Then seeing the round-about clear, I entered at speed. This is a place that I know to be busy.
User avatar
ft_critical
 
Posts: 1545
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:06 pm
Location: watching the 11

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby sogood » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:14 pm

Good tale! My personal take is that in times of complex traffic situation, it's best to just be patient and hold back. Trying to join the chaos through filtering or other uncommon maneuverers will just pick up additional risks.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 17082
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby queequeg » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:01 am

Reviewing all of my near misses for 2011, they have all happened at roundabouts, usually with me already in the roundabout, and the motor vehicle just driving on through as though I was not there.
In all circumstances there have been no cars within 30m of the roundabout when I entered, so there is absolutely no reason for the motor vehicles to have seen me.
I put it down to the simple fact that some drivers just don't pay any attention to what is going on around them. There is not much else I could have done in these circumstances. I mean, I approach an empty roundabout, enter with no traffic at any of the other approaches, then when I half away around I have someone come barrelling through without looking. Weather conditions or time of day make no difference.
My only conclusion is that driving education standards are not good enough, and some people should never be given a licence to drive.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
User avatar
queequeg
 
Posts: 3005
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:09 am

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby trailgumby » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:59 am

Roundabouts = scary. Lots of people don't look and don't lift.

Glad you lived to tell the story, ft.
User avatar
trailgumby
 
Posts: 10365
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:30 pm
Location: Northern Beaches, Sydney

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby jules21 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:58 pm

one of the most common mistakes i see cyclists make is overtaking cars on the LH side in busy traffic, with parking on the LH side of the road and intersecting roads. although this is legal, it is frequently done far too casually in traffic where vehicles often move left without warning, looking or indicating. a common cause of this mistake - i believe - is the belief by many (inexperienced) cyclists that the bit of road next to the parked cars is "theirs". it isn't, in the eyes of many motorists. particularly when a car indicates to turn or merge left, i won't hesitate to move around to the right of it.
Image
User avatar
jules21
 
Posts: 8929
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:14 pm
Location: deep in the pain cave

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby sogood » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:12 pm

jules21 wrote:one of the most common mistakes i see cyclists make is overtaking cars on the LH side in busy traffic, with parking on the LH side of the road and intersecting roads. although this is legal...

Let alone cyclists. Even motorbikers do it. Just the other day on Anzac Br at peak hour, whilst traffic were moving slowly with short surges, a motor bike ride b/n lanes and wiggled through the traffic amongst still moving vehicles on either side. Just idiotic. It only takes one slight movement of one vehicle and that guys will turn into sliced ham. At the end of the day, it's the same mentality and lack of patience.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 17082
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby Oxford » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:46 pm

sogood wrote:
jules21 wrote:one of the most common mistakes i see cyclists make is overtaking cars on the LH side in busy traffic, with parking on the LH side of the road and intersecting roads. although this is legal...

Let alone cyclists. Even motorbikers do it. Just the other day on Anzac Br at peak hour, whilst traffic were moving slowly with short surges, a motor bike ride b/n lanes and wiggled through the traffic amongst still moving vehicles on either side. Just idiotic. It only takes one slight movement of one vehicle and that guys will turn into sliced ham. At the end of the day, it's the same mentality and lack of patience.

Yep I know I frustrate plenty of other moto riders on my way home when I wait until the traffic is stopped before splitting. Its safer and I prefer to split in 1st gear with engine running at high revs as the centripetal/centrifugal force helps keep bike upright and the high revs means more noise and awareness.
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
User avatar
Oxford
 
Posts: 5359
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby twizzle » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:18 pm

I'm constantly amazed by other cyclists who assume that people see them. I sat up in congested traffic one day, guy behind me jumped past and thirty seconds later almost went into a car that turned into a driveway without giving way. I've driven that road, cyclists are effectively invisible until just before they pass you, any cyclists that rides thinking they can be seen is dreaming.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
User avatar
twizzle
 
Posts: 6382
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
Location: Taking a break.

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby jules21 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:21 pm

twizzle wrote:I'm constantly amazed by other cyclists who assume that people see them. I sat up in congested traffic one day, guy behind me jumped past and thirty seconds later almost went into a car that turned into a driveway without giving way. I've driven that road, cyclists are effectively invisible until just before they pass you, any cyclists that rides thinking they can be seen is dreaming.

it's very difficult for motorists to see cyclists filtering through stationary traffic. as a cyclist, it's easy to become self-righteous about that, but whenever i'm in the driver's seat i'm reminded of just how likely it is for me to turn across cyclists in that circumstance.
Image
User avatar
jules21
 
Posts: 8929
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:14 pm
Location: deep in the pain cave

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby Percrime » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:47 pm

Yet cars will clip curbs fairly often.. yet almost never come within a metre of another car in the adjacent lane going the same way.
Percrime
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:41 am

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby Percrime » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:47 pm

Yet cars will clip curbs fairly often.. yet almost never come within a metre of another car in the adjacent lane going the same way.
Percrime
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:41 am

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby Ross » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:23 am

Often the A pillar (windscreen pillar) can obscure vision. They can obscure a whole car so easily obscure a bike.
Image
User avatar
Ross
 
Posts: 3975
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:53 pm

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby Ross » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:31 am

twizzle wrote:I'm constantly amazed by other cyclists who assume that people see them. I sat up in congested traffic one day, guy behind me jumped past and thirty seconds later almost went into a car that turned into a driveway without giving way. I've driven that road, cyclists are effectively invisible until just before they pass you, any cyclists that rides thinking they can be seen is dreaming.


Was that in the Tour de Northbourne? :twisted:
Image
User avatar
Ross
 
Posts: 3975
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:53 pm

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby GraemeL » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:51 am

I posted about this awhile ago. I saw a program on tv called test your brain, it was about how the brain works and what we see and don't see. I believe most people just don't see you even though they might be looking right at you, this is because they are conditioned to look for larger vehicles.

Graeme
***Looking For Information About Bicycle Cameras ***

* Bicycle Camera FAQ's *** Mounting FAQ’s & DIY Mounts *
GraemeL
 
Posts: 1290
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:47 pm
Location: Perth

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby jules21 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:34 am

Ross wrote:Often the A pillar (windscreen pillar) can obscure vision. They can obscure a whole car so easily obscure a bike.

as a tall person, i find the rearview mirror is often really bad. it's often directly in my line of sight, blocking stuff straight ahead.
Image
User avatar
jules21
 
Posts: 8929
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:14 pm
Location: deep in the pain cave

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby KonaCommuter » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:48 pm

GraemeL wrote:I posted about this awhile ago. I saw a program on tv called test your brain, it was about how the brain works and what we see and don't see. I believe most people just don't see you even though they might be looking right at you, this is because they are conditioned to look for larger vehicles.

Graeme



I saw that show. It was fascinating.


I suggest however that if they ran the very real risk of a custodial gaol sentence if they hit a pedestrian or a cyclist they’d be looking just as hard for them as they do for larger vehicles.
2012 Oppy A4
User avatar
KonaCommuter
 
Posts: 978
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:28 pm
Location: Brisbane Northside

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby open roader » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:12 pm

My contribution is not much cautionary tale but more cautionary observations.

I ride on country roads and encounter far less traffic volume but at much faster speeds- usually at 100km/hr.

When wind and / or cycle speed conditions permit I listen for traffic coming up behind to set myself up to 'hold a line' inside the carriageway as they pass me. I sometimes find that after a car passes me at speed I can't hear a 2nd and sometimes 3rd and 4th etc cars approaching me close behind as the road roar from the initial car passing me is still the only thing audible. I have occasionally made the mistake of breaking my 'line' in the carriageway to dodge an obstacle or avoid falling of the sealed shoulder only to stray closer towards the succession of cars after the first - to the horror of both the drivers and myself - it's a very easy mistake to make I find.....

Another cautionary observation is the way vehicles with trailers will allow plenty of passing width for the vehicle to get by me, only to cut right in on my space as the trailer passes me. This has caused me two very close calls this past 12 months. I'm 100% sure the drivers are doing the right thing and placing the vehicle a good 1.5 - 2 m out from my 'line' but they pull back into the carriageway too soon only to have me freaking out at the sight of a 6x4 trailer mudguard only a foot or so away from my right pedal at100km/hr.

This cutting in observation also applies all to often to cars who are closely following behind another car. The first car in a pair or a string of traffic pulls out into the middle of the road to give me plenty of space but for reasons which I'm yet to work out the second car and subsequent cars with few exceptions tend to give less and less room as they pass to a point where maybe the 6th or 7th car in a string will pass so close it's like they didn't see me being overtaken by the first 6 cars in front of them.

I often wonder if this happens in city traffic but don't intend to find out.......
3rd class cycling is always better than 1st class walking
User avatar
open roader
 
Posts: 2421
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Dueling Banjo Country

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby ft_critical » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:21 pm

open roader wrote:When wind and / or cycle speed conditions permit I listen for traffic coming up behind to set myself up to 'hold a line' inside the carriageway as they pass me.


Some great advice open roader. It reminds me of an incident at West Head... It was about 0700 on a weekend and I was listening to my MP3. I drifted out on a left hand bend (the shallowest of bends) and a RAV4 was passing me. I hadn't heard it. He was half laning me. Essentially I was drifting into him. You have to hold your line; you have to be predictable.
User avatar
ft_critical
 
Posts: 1545
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:06 pm
Location: watching the 11

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby open roader » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:29 pm

ft_critical wrote:You have to hold your line; you have to be predictable.


Yes, this is what I should have added to my spiel..... cut down the variables by remaining constant.....
3rd class cycling is always better than 1st class walking
User avatar
open roader
 
Posts: 2421
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Dueling Banjo Country

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby TheBrewer » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:59 pm

A quick tale, but as a driver.

This would have been 100% my fault had anything occurred, fortunately we were all clear.

Trying to enter a 3 lane road just before xmas, it was completely gridlocked and there was a bike lane in the left lane. Can in the left lane leaves me a gap to enter, I move a foot or so towards the lane only to notice 2 bikes coming down the bike lane, literally at full song, downwind. There was enough movement to catch my eye and stop luckily.

I appreciate the lane is for cyclists but 45kph down a bike lane past gridlocked traffic, I think there is the potential for a lot of harm to come your way, even if you're 100% in the right.

As much as cars need to beware etc etc these guys closed 6-8 car lengths in a second or so and but for my reflexes and awareness would have gone straight over my hood.
TheBrewer
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:33 am

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby queequeg » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:13 pm

TheBrewer wrote:A quick tale, but as a driver.

This would have been 100% my fault had anything occurred, fortunately we were all clear.

Trying to enter a 3 lane road just before xmas, it was completely gridlocked and there was a bike lane in the left lane. Can in the left lane leaves me a gap to enter, I move a foot or so towards the lane only to notice 2 bikes coming down the bike lane, literally at full song, downwind. There was enough movement to catch my eye and stop luckily.

I appreciate the lane is for cyclists but 45kph down a bike lane past gridlocked traffic, I think there is the potential for a lot of harm to come your way, even if you're 100% in the right.

As much as cars need to beware etc etc these guys closed 6-8 car lengths in a second or so and but for my reflexes and awareness would have gone straight over my hood.


If it is a real bike lane, and not just a road shoulder thingy, then it is a valid lane and is really no different to an incident I saw happen one afternoon on the way home. Basically, two lanes of traffic, one of which is a bus lane. Traffic gridlocked in the "regular" lane, bus lane empty. Cars turning right across the gridlocked traffic got left a gap by some guy in a truck. People turning right could not see the bus lane from their position due to the slope of the road and the height of the truck. Car turns through the gap and does not need women on motor scooter in bus lane. Motor scooter goes straight into the side of the car. Had it been a bus, driver of car would be dead. As it was, scooter rider was incredibly lucky to have gotten away with only leg injuries (from bashing knees on kick panel).
It is always the responsibility of the person entering the traffic flow to ensure that ALL lanes are clear before moving. If you can't see the other lanes, then it is not clear. I get annoyed on my daily commute when I have to make a right hand turn across 3 lanes of gridlocked traffic, and I can't see the far lane. Cars beep at me to go through, but I stand my ground until I can clearly see that all three lanes have stationary traffic.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
User avatar
queequeg
 
Posts: 3005
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:09 am

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:52 pm

queequeg wrote:My only conclusion is that driving education standards are not good enough, and some people should never be given a licence to drive.


+LOTS.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
User avatar
ldrcycles
 
Posts: 6964
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:19 pm
Location: Kin Kin, Queensland

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby human909 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:05 am

queequeg wrote:
TheBrewer wrote:.......
I appreciate the lane is for cyclists but 45kph down a bike lane past gridlocked traffic, I think there is the potential for a lot of harm to come your way, even if you're 100% in the right.

As much as cars need to beware etc etc these guys closed 6-8 car lengths in a second or so and but for my reflexes and awareness would have gone straight over my hood.
......
It is always the responsibility of the person entering the traffic flow to ensure that ALL lanes are clear before moving....



While legally queegueg is right. It is just plain dangerous to have a large speed differential to the traffic next to you when there is lots of traffic. This true for cars, bikes buses or cars. Racing past stopped cars in a car is damn dangerous too. Likewise riding in a bike traffic lane on a multi lane 80kph road with heavy traffic is down right deadly.

Some things come down to behaving safely and sensibly. Even if you are behaving legally.
human909
 
Posts: 5210
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:48 am

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Postby Oxford » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:19 am

human909 wrote:
queequeg wrote:
TheBrewer wrote:.......
I appreciate the lane is for cyclists but 45kph down a bike lane past gridlocked traffic, I think there is the potential for a lot of harm to come your way, even if you're 100% in the right.

As much as cars need to beware etc etc these guys closed 6-8 car lengths in a second or so and but for my reflexes and awareness would have gone straight over my hood.
......
It is always the responsibility of the person entering the traffic flow to ensure that ALL lanes are clear before moving....



While legally queegueg is right. It is just plain dangerous to have a large speed differential to the traffic next to you when there is lots of traffic. This true for cars, bikes buses or cars. Racing past stopped cars in a car is damn dangerous too. Likewise riding in a bike traffic lane on a multi lane 80kph road with heavy traffic is down right deadly.

Some things come down to behaving safely and sensibly. Even if you are behaving legally.

absolutely and any cyclist with a brain would be on high alert in that situation anyway. constantly scanning the traffic and environment for any sort of issue, particularly blind spots.
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
User avatar
Oxford
 
Posts: 5359
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Brisbane

Next

Return to Cycling Safety and Advocacy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


PM Issues
Known Bug - error message displayed when sending PM's caused by tapatalk. Read more


Popular Bike Shops
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Ebay Ebay AU
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit