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-   -   When YOU are the Motorist (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1145589)

Equinox 05-31-18 07:49 AM

When YOU are the Motorist
 
I am a very cautious motorist and I take driving safety very seriously. But, like everyone who has driven as long as I have, I've had some "close calls" where I thought I could have been better in retrospect. I had one yesterday. I turned right on to a road on which a motorcyle was approaching from my left, and I did not see him as early as I should have. He was on a light colored motorcycle and the angle of the sun was such that it washed out his headlight quite a bit. It was not THAT close of a call, but it was definitely sub standard for me. The motorcyclist over-reacted IMO. Angrily passing me and giving me the finger. That was probably more dangerous than the original incident. Nevertheless, it was a reminder to be more vigilant.
I also had an incident once where I didn't see a road cyclist because he was obscured by my pillar. It made me realize what a small profile cyclists present, and now I always double check that pillar.
Have you had any incidents that you're not quite proud of?

mcours2006 05-31-18 08:32 AM

Right-turning vehicles on red lights are the worst, IMO. Many of them see that the right lane has a small gap, even if the left lane traffic is zooming past a speed, and they proceed to make the right turn, often forcing the vehicle on the right lane to brake, and sometimes brake hard, depending on how big that gap is. Yes, cars aren't supposed to make lane changes in an intersection, but the risk of someone doing so is high enough that I just won't take that chance.

DaveZ 05-31-18 10:43 AM

I made a right turn on a red light without checking to my right first. There was a bicyclist coming down the road and I was lucky not to hit him. He reacted rather angrily.
In my defense, my car was overheating and I was two hours away from home.
Nowadays I use that incident as an example why you should not ride against (car) traffic.

Hoopdriver 05-31-18 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by mcours2006 (Post 20369464)
Right-turning vehicles on red lights are the worst, IMO. Many of them see that the right lane has a small gap, even if the left lane traffic is zooming past a speed, and they proceed to make the right turn, often forcing the vehicle on the right lane to brake, and sometimes brake hard, depending on how big that gap is. Yes, cars aren't supposed to make lane changes in an intersection, but the risk of someone doing so is high enough that I just won't take that chance.

Agree wholeheartedly on the above. I wish they would rescind the RTORAS laws. Around here, folks seem to routinely forget about the AS part.

mcours2006 05-31-18 10:57 AM

Worse still are the drivers who make right turn when I, in my left turn lane, have a left turn signal. Both vehicles are turning onto the same road. Sometime there is only one lane onto which to turn. That's a crash waiting to happen. Even where are two-lanes, if I were the one wanting to make that right turn do I really trust that the left turning car will stay on the left side of the road?

I agree. I don't like the RTORAS either. People think that saving a few seconds of time is worth putting yourself at risk of a crash.

Equinox 05-31-18 11:22 AM

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5604367c7d.jpg

This is not going as I had hoped

mcours2006 05-31-18 11:30 AM

As a motorist, and I do drive on a few occasions, I do take extra precautions to not be involved in any collisions. As I said earlier, the time you take to be cautious and defensive when behind the wheel is more than made up for the time you'd lose if you were involved in a collision when you are inattentive and reckless. I just keep that in mind.

As for cyclists, I am extra mindful of them, giving them plenty of space when passing.

Equinox 05-31-18 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by mcours2006 (Post 20369808)
As a motorist, and I do drive on a few occasions, I do take extra precautions to not be involved in any collisions. As I said earlier, the time you take to be cautious and defensive when behind the wheel is more than made up for the time you'd lose if you were involved in a collision when you are inattentive and reckless. I just keep that in mind.

As for cyclists, I am extra mindful of them, giving them plenty of space when passing.

So true! Even if you got stuck behind a group of cyclists for 5 minutes (unlikely), that's noting compared to the potential YEARS of stress you would suffer dealing with the ramifications of an imprudent move. When I'm the motorist, I figuratively tell myself to just chill. Any inconvenience is almost immediately forgotten.

InOmaha 05-31-18 12:34 PM

I almost hit a guy on a bicycle near downtown Chicago last weekend. I was coming out of a parking garage on to a 4 lane street, I checked the sidewalk and the lane I was turing into, then he popped out from behind some construction riding against traffic just as I was turning out into the street. I move over and stopped. He stopped, but he had forced me out into the other lane and the car coming in the left hand lane had to brake. The guy honked, I turned back into the right hand lane, the guy on the bike kept going the wrong way down the street hugging the curb.

Nobody got hurt, no accident, it happens. But it could have been worse.

Would that still be considered a right hook?

billyymc 06-01-18 04:12 AM


Originally Posted by Equinox (Post 20369387)
I am a very cautious motorist and I take driving safety very seriously. But, like everyone who has driven as long as I have, I've had some "close calls" where I thought I could have been better in retrospect. I had one yesterday. I turned right on to a road on which a motorcyle was approaching from my left, and I did not see him as early as I should have. He was on a light colored motorcycle and the angle of the sun was such that it washed out his headlight quite a bit. It was not THAT close of a call, but it was definitely sub standard for me. The motorcyclist over-reacted IMO. Angrily passing me and giving me the finger. That was probably more dangerous than the original incident. Nevertheless, it was a reminder to be more vigilant.
I also had an incident once where I didn't see a road cyclist because he was obscured by my pillar. It made me realize what a small profile cyclists present, and now I always double check that pillar.
Have you had any incidents that you're not quite proud of?

As an occasional motorcyclist I"m curious if you recall anything about the motorcyclist's lane position? I am at my most defensive when riding my MC because I know how vulnerable I am...more vulnerable than on my bicycle IMO. I'd ride the MC more, but I tend to choose the bicycle instead.

Equinox 06-01-18 05:19 AM


Originally Posted by billyymc (Post 20370921)
As an occasional motorcyclist I"m curious if you recall anything about the motorcyclist's lane position? I am at my most defensive when riding my MC because I know how vulnerable I am...more vulnerable than on my bicycle IMO. I'd ride the MC more, but I tend to choose the bicycle instead.

Yes. Good question. The motorcyclist was slightly to the right of the center of his lane, i.e. slightly closer to the curb. That meant I had to turn my head a bit more to my left to see him. But that honestly was not the biggest issue. His overall visibility was the main problem and it was due to natural conditions mostly, namely, the angle of the sun basically overpowering his headlight and causing him to fade into the background.

genec 06-01-18 06:30 AM

I like to go the extra cautious step of "looking twice."

Whenever I am about to make a lane change or RTOR, or even leave a stop sign, I take a second look. It just takes a second more... but it means my decision is not based on that "quick glance" that can lead to folks being hidden behind pillars, or really being closer than I thought...

Try it, make a new safe habit today to always take a second look.

jefnvk 06-01-18 07:11 AM

I drive around a hundred miles a day. The one thing that still gets me is people that insist on sitting in my blind spot on multi lane roads, the ones that will get off your rear quarter panel and just drive alongside at the same speed. I'm pretty good on situational awareness and knowing where vehicles are around me, but I've been forcing myself to look on every lane change, just in case someone snuck in there.

Other than that, I am a pretty easy going driver. I don't try to force things, even when I am more than capable of doing so.

tungsten 06-03-18 06:01 PM

I doored a guy once. I blame it on my dear departed mother-in-law. She wasn't actually in the car at the time but had been long enough to account for my addled state of mind.
This happened on a busy d/t street. The car was a two door with a big heavy door that I threw open and got him right in the sternum and slammed him violently to the ground as he was booking right along.
I was duly mortified and got out to help but dude jumped up wild-eyed like, grabbed the bike (which I noted was a junker mtn. bike with detached front brake) by the handlebar and sprinted away dragging it down the street behind him until he could wrench it around to perform a flying mount and pedal frantically away.
shrug.....

https://www.thebeaverton.com/2018/05...-cyclist-cull/

Daniel4 06-03-18 10:56 PM

I'm out of town and I rented a car. As soon as I got in, I got nervous. Because it wasn't my car AND I don't want to get into a collision, there's only so much I can do to be careful, there's much less I can do about others being careless. That's something every motorist should have as their top priority when they get behind the wheel. Only two days and I've already seen a bunch of wackos (turning left from behind another car waiting for the light to change; crossing fourlanes from the right hand lane to the left hand lane at the traffic light.) And then there's the news about somebody jumping the curb and smashing into a Dollar Store.

bikecrate 06-04-18 07:51 AM

My car has really thick "A" pillars. I've noticed over the years that pedestrians and cyclist can easily "hide" in that blind spot, especially if we are moving at certain angles. This has lead to some close calls. I have learned to compensate by moving my head head back and forth to see around the pillars and driving slowly in turns.

wphamilton 06-05-18 09:09 AM

It's probably not what you want to hear, but I've never while driving had a close call with a cyclist or pedestrian. That I know of. Driving since 1974. Just pay attention.

WNCGoater 06-05-18 12:51 PM

First off, when adults give other adults "the finger" I have at that point, immediately categorized anything they have to say or complain about as irrelevant. There are a lot or people/traffic out there, many more than 30 years ago. People make mistakes and people do dumb stuff. Rant about it in your own car but otherwise, deal with it as an adult. But shouting obscenities or "saying it all" with the finger?...What are you 16?...grow up.

Yes I've done many stupid things while driving. But there is nothing of note worth mentioning that comes to mind at this point from recent years.

I will say, as a motorists it &^$% me off when cyclists ride two or three abreast and block a lane and refuse to go single file. I'll be patient, I'll be courteous, I'll wait until I can pass safely with plenty of space, but give me room dang it! When I'm cycling, I ride out in the lane and move to the side when a car approaches from behind. Sometimes I take the lane depending on circumstance, but I always make it as easy as I can for cars overtaking me to pass. I have little problem with aggressive drivers. The SHARE THE ROAD plan has to work both
ways for it to work.

Equinox 06-05-18 01:00 PM


Originally Posted by WNCGoater (Post 20378404)
First off, when adults give other adults "the finger" I have at that point, immediately categorized anything they have to say or complain about as irrelevant. There are a lot or people/traffic out there, many more than 30 years ago. People make mistakes and people do dumb stuff. Rant about it in your own car but otherwise, deal with it as an adult. But shouting obscenities or "saying it all" with the finger?...What are you 16?...grow up.

Yes I've done many stupid things while driving. But there is nothing of note worth mentioning that comes to mind at this point from recent years.

I will say, as a motorists it &^$% me off when cyclists ride two or three abreast and block a lane and refuse to go single file. I'll be patient, I'll be courteous, I'll wait until I can pass safely with plenty of space, but give me room dang it! When I'm cycling, I ride out in the lane and move to the side when a car approaches from behind. Sometimes I take the lane depending on circumstance, but I always make it as easy as I can for cars overtaking me to pass. I have little problem with aggressive drivers. The SHARE THE ROAD plan has to work both
ways for it to work.

I have to admit, I agree with the part about the finger and the motorcyclist's response in general. Although I turned in front of him sooner than I would have wanted, it was not even close to a collision. I am a mototrcylist as well, and had I been him, I would have applied my brakes in a controlled manner. Perhaps I would have flashed my brights. I would have taken a deep breath, and been on my way. In this case the motorcyclist sped up to pass and give me the finger. His actions were arguably more egregious than mine.

Equinox 06-05-18 01:06 PM


Originally Posted by bikecrate (Post 20375720)
My car has really thick "A" pillars. I've noticed over the years that pedestrians and cyclist can easily "hide" in that blind spot, especially it we are moving at certain angles. This has lead to some close calls. I have learned to compensate by moving my head head back and forth to see around the pillars and driving slowly in turns.

Same here. That incident I had changed the way I check. I always clear that pillar now by moving my head as you stated.

Equinox 06-05-18 01:07 PM


Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 20377907)
It's probably not what you want to hear, but I've never while driving had a close call with a cyclist or pedestrian. That I know of. Driving since 1974. Just pay attention.

LOL This probably scared me more than anything.

wphamilton 06-05-18 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by Equinox (Post 20378450)
LOL This probably scared me more than anything.

Why? Is it that people who can drive without incident or issue are scary, or is it that you simply don't believe it?

LanghamP 06-05-18 02:37 PM

Due to federal regulations, side pillars must cover passengers' heads, with the result the pillars are quite wide and limit visibility. In other words, the regulation of attempting to save lives ironically results in not saving lives.

About a year ago I dorked a young scooter rider who cursed at me. I simply stopped, and said, "I apologize, I did not see you when I should have." He was rather taken aback but it was about then I greatly reduced my driving to near zero (drove four times in the past two months).

I've simply had it with our car centric culture, it's ridiculous to put such dangerous things in the hands of such inattentive overly emotional creatures such as us, where the penalty is so severe usually born by people least able to defend themselves (in my case the young poor kid on the scooter).

Not that I'm particularly concerned with the well-being of others; it's just that shoving it to a kid like that is an affront to my sense of fair play.

Equinox 06-05-18 03:57 PM


Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 20378465)
Why? Is it that people who can drive without incident or issue are scary, or is it that you simply don't believe it?

Well, let's just say that the data collection protocol for this question is highly subjective. For instance, in the case of the incident with the motorcylce, you might not have counted that as a close call. Was it? Well according to my standards,it was. To another driver, maybe it wasn't. For the average driver, it would be "remakable" to drive 40 odd years with zero incidents. I'm not saying that I don't believe it, but I don't believe it.

wphamilton 06-05-18 06:33 PM


Originally Posted by Equinox (Post 20378755)
Well, let's just say that the data collection protocol for this question is highly subjective. For instance, in the case of the incident with the motorcylce, you might not have counted that as a close call. Was it? Well according to my standards,it was. To another driver, maybe it wasn't. For the average driver, it would be "remakable" to drive 40 odd years with zero incidents. I'm not saying that I don't believe it, but I don't believe it.

A perfect driving record for 15 years should be objective enough. One accident in over 4 decades (red light runner hit me in back), that's objective evidence.

The problem here isn't how credible my driving record might be - it's the attitude that "stuff happens", that it's unavoidable. It's not actually that remarkable, not that difficult, but drivers will first have to accept that good drivers don't have these close calls, not seeing a bike or person, a moment of inattentiveness. If drivers do have incidents, then there is something wrong with what they're doing.


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