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How I Avoid being Cut-off at Turns

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How I Avoid being Cut-off at Turns

Old 10-05-13, 08:18 AM
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Sculptor7
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How I Avoid being Cut-off at Turns

Having had a number of times when people cut me off to make a right turn I try to be very aware of what's behind me as I approach an intersection and just before it I point emphatically to the ground on my left to indicate I am going straight ahead. Whether this works with the occasionally impatient idiot I don't know but it gives me a sense of assurance that at least I have given those behind me pause for thought.
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Old 10-05-13, 09:38 AM
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I'm not sure people will interpret pointing to the ground as meaning "I'm going straight."

I haven't thought of a good hand signal for "I'm going straight." I need this for when I'm on the highway, and I'm going by an exit without taking it. I'd use the left hand in a tomahawk gesture, but there's no guarantee that a driver will know what that means.

I take the red path rather than the blue, but I always watch the cars behind me with my mirror.

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Old 10-05-13, 09:46 AM
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Be Assertive,Take The Lane, move left , so the onward travel path is more obvious,
OK may not be Practical in Manhattan, NYC or a freeway off ramp..

Al's Blue path does have advantages if you stop , turn to a right angle
look for traffic that is taking that off ramp, if not any, proceed.

Id call that less assertive.

You can also pull off get on the sidewalk walk the bike across, in the crosswalk, then mount it and continue .

traffic density situational.. here in town, a highway passes thru east-west
one lane clear, if the other lane see you trying to cross , being in the other half of the 4 lanes they Do stop..

(unless they are not Oregonians, or from the counties in WA in the other side of the river.. )

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Old 10-05-13, 10:16 AM
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There is no possible way to prevent this because the other vehicles drivers are not under your control. You can take all the precautions you can and other drivers still do stupid things. I've been right hooked, left hooked, passed on the left while making left turns, passed on the right when making right turns. All of them I was making proper, obvious, legal gestures to indicate where I was going or intending to go. I hold my had flat at a right angle and even point at times and it still happens. Just watch like a hawk and never trust anyone.

A few weeks ago I was tooling up a wide street, saw a truck in my rear view mirror, moved towards the center of the street well before my left turn and sat bolt upright and held my left arm out straight and held it extra long, yet the truck decided for some reason to pass me on the left. Just as I dropped my arm to hold my bars to make the turn I hesitated a moment and stuck my hand out again, sure enough the truck flew past me on my left accelerating to what I feel was about 40 (in a 30 mph zone) and actually was close enough to brush my hand. Visibility was perfect. I was wearing hi viz stuff. I was in the middle of the center turn lane. I was indicating my intentions. There was no other traffic anywhere around. There was more than enough room to pass me on the right where he SHOULD of passed me. There was no way I could avoid almost being hit. I only avoided being struck more violently by being vigilant and extra cautious and paying heed to my doubts about other drivers. It's gonna happen so be careful out there.

Last edited by Rootman; 10-05-13 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 10-05-13, 10:47 AM
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I don't gesture or do anything that might lessen my control of the bike. I assume that all cars behind me are just as likely to kill me as not. The rabbit and Whoooosh in Watership Down is a good analogy. I take the blue line. I use my mirror to make an initial determination about traffic behind me, and then if it looks safe to do so, I turn my head and make absolutely certain nothing is coming. If necessary, I stop and wait for a gap, then cross at close to 90. An aggressive naked man with a knife is at a disadvantage when going up against an armed medieval knight in armor. The more aggressive he is, the greater his disadvantage. The less aggressive, the greater his advantage.

In the particular case raised by the OP, when near an intersection I examine every passing car for a turn signal. It's always possible someone will turn while abeam of me without signaling. I have had to go around the corner with the car, but I'm prepared to do that. Drivers more frequently than not make the mistake of seeing a bicycle and thinking "5 mph," when said bike is really doing 15-20.

Anyway, I try to never assume some level of competence or visual acuity on the part of a driver.

Thus I only take the lane when the difference in speed between me and traffic is maybe 20 mph or less. A riding buddy who was big on taking the lane is now recovering from a concussion after a car brushed him while riding alone on a rural road. He was very lucky.
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Old 10-05-13, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
There is no possible way to prevent this because the other vehicles drivers are not under your control. You can take all the precautions you can and other drivers still do stupid things. I've been right hooked, left hooked, passed on teh left while making left turns, pased on the right when making right turns. All of them I was making proper, obvious, legal gestures to indicate where I was going or intending to go. I wave point hold my had flat at a right angle and even point at times and it still happens. Just watch like a hawk and never trust anyone.

A few weeks ago I was tooling up a wide street, saw a truck in my rear view mirror, moved towards the center of the street well before my left turn and sat bolt upright and held my left arm out straight and held it extra long, yet the truck decided for some reason to pass me on the left. Just as I dropped my arm to hold my bars to make the turn I hesitated a moment and stuck my hand out again, sure enough the truck flew past me accelerating to what I feel was about 40 (in a 30 mph zone) and actually was close enough to brush my hand. Visibility was perfect. I was wearing hi viz stuff. I was in the middle of the center turn lane. I was indicating my intentions. There was no other traffic anywhere around. There was more than enough room to pass me on the right where he SHOULD of passed me. There was no way I could avoid almost being hit. I only avoided being struck more violently by being vigilant and extra cautious and paying heed to my doubts about other drivers. It's gonna happen so be careful out there.
My wife was hit and run over by a 1-ton flatbed while doing exactly what you describe. The truck was on the wrong side of the road, which had double yellow lines.
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Old 10-05-13, 11:00 AM
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You get a head cam and report to the police.

The end result is.




Mr Brogden is a member of my cycling club and the Police are taking action IF video evidence shows they have a case to put forward. Another incident incurred a 750 fine and 9 points on the licence.

Points on the licence cost you money as your insurance will go up and 12 points will mean you are banned from driving for a period of time.
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Old 10-05-13, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
Having had a number of times when people cut me off to make a right turn I try to be very aware of what's behind me as I approach an intersection and just before it I point emphatically to the ground on my left to indicate I am going straight ahead. Whether this works with the occasionally impatient idiot I don't know but it gives me a sense of assurance that at least I have given those behind me pause for thought.
I find if your lining up a light, then the best indicator is to line up in the car traffic, with the right hand tire track. If someone comes up on the right to turn right, they pass on my right. If I am coming up to a street to simply continue on, the indicator for going straight is NO indicator. If your really concerned, and there are intersections where you could be. Hop off and walk your bike through the intersection using the cross walk. Unfortunately because cars and motorcycles have electric turn indicators, 99% of drivers do not know the hand signals anymore. Then again, I don't think a lot of cyclists do either.
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Old 10-05-13, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
Unfortunately because cars and motorcycles have electric turn indicators, 99% of drivers do not know the hand signals anymore. Then again, I don't think a lot of cyclists do either.
Boy ain't that the truth, seems that a good majority of drivers don't know how to use electric turn indicators either. I mean for cripes sake all you have to do is flick your wrist up or down on a lever. Why the hell drivers can't share their intentions with everyone around them is beyond me. On my bike I find myself making hand signals when I am pretty sure no one else is around, just in case theres that ONE car, motorcycle or bike that somehow escapes my senses.
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Old 10-05-13, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
... because cars and motorcycles have electric turn indicators, 99% of drivers do not know the hand signals anymore. Then again, I don't think a lot of cyclists do either.
Also, too many drivers don't even use the indicators at all when turning or merging.
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Old 10-05-13, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
Having had a number of times when people cut me off to make a right turn I try to be very aware of what's behind me as I approach an intersection and just before it I point emphatically to the ground on my left to indicate I am going straight ahead. Whether this works with the occasionally impatient idiot I don't know but it gives me a sense of assurance that at least I have given those behind me pause for thought.
I have been doing that for many years (I point to the 8 o'clock position) and with few exceptions motorists get the idea. Even drivers that don't realize my intentions become wary because they don't know what I am about to do.
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Old 10-05-13, 01:03 PM
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Take the lane BEFORE the intersection. If there's a red light, that means queuing up with the cars and not passing them on their blind side. If you are to the right of the fog line, or hugging the curb, you are marginalizing yourself and giving up your right-of-way. I generally take the right tire track. Make them have to cross into the next lane to get past you; they will think twice about turning right from that position. There will still be the occasional idiot, but at least you'll have left a bit of room to your right for avoidance maneuvers.
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Old 10-05-13, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Take the lane BEFORE the intersection. If there's a red light, that means queuing up with the cars and not passing them on their blind side. If you are to the right of the fog line, or hugging the curb, you are marginalizing yourself and giving up your right-of-way. I generally take the right tire track. Make them have to cross into the next lane to get past you; they will think twice about turning right from that position. There will still be the occasional idiot, but at least you'll have left a bit of room to your right for avoidance maneuvers.
I normally do that also when the road and conditions permit it. On our two-way single lane roads and where there is any kind of shoulder I do as first posted. Incidentally, I most of the time do not try to keep to the right of the fog line (or bike lane) because on our narrow roads with narrow bike lanes I have found that people will cut right close to me instead of giving the required separation distance when passing a cyclist. If I am in the "bike lane" (1 or 2 feet wide) what happens when I have to swerve to avoid an obstruction?.

By riding on the line or even over it a bit I am still keeping to the right but am then something to be considered by on coming motorists. They usually give me a wide berth and are less apt to try passing on a curve or hill.

In busy somewhat urban conditions I get right out there. There's always a risk but hand signals do minimize the danger and I always try to remember to use them.
Incidentally, I do not understand cyclists who wear ear plugs. I am always attentive to the sounds of what's coming up behind me and act accordingly.

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Old 10-05-13, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'm not sure people will interpret pointing to the ground as meaning "I'm going straight."
My signal is not strictly down but at an angle, halfway between straight down and left turn signal.
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Old 10-05-13, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
I have been doing that for many years (I point to the 8 o'clock position) and with few exceptions motorists get the idea. Even drivers that don't realize my intentions become wary because they don't know what I am about to do.
Was just going to post this when I saw your comment. That is my thinking: even if they don't understand they will at least have pause for thought (maybe there's a nail in the road). One is never going to be completely safe, riding or sitting in a chair watching TV. Also, I am dealing mostly with country traffic which is far different than urban.
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Old 10-05-13, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Take the lane BEFORE the intersection. If there's a red light, that means queuing up with the cars and not passing them on their blind side. If you are to the right of the fog line, or hugging the curb, you are marginalizing yourself and giving up your right-of-way. I generally take the right tire track. Make them have to cross into the next lane to get past you; they will think twice about turning right from that position. There will still be the occasional idiot, but at least you'll have left a bit of room to your right for avoidance maneuvers.
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Old 10-05-13, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
You get a head cam and report to the police.

The end result is.




Mr Brogden is a member of my cycling club and the Police are taking action IF video evidence shows they have a case to put forward. Another incident incurred a 750 fine and 9 points on the licence.

Points on the licence cost you money as your insurance will go up and 12 points will mean you are banned from driving for a period of time.
I like it.
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Old 10-05-13, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Boy ain't that the truth, seems that a good majority of drivers don't know how to use electric turn indicators either. I mean for cripes sake all you have to do is flick your wrist up or down on a lever. Why the hell drivers can't share their intentions with everyone around them is beyond me. On my bike I find myself making hand signals when I am pretty sure no one else is around, just in case theres that ONE car, motorcycle or bike that somehow escapes my senses.
I think the problem is you could have received a licence in 1950, and have never had to go through any kind of upgrade training or retesting. I think the DMV should require a written test every 5 years, you must score higher then 80% in order to renew your licence. If you fail, but score more then 60% then do not take your licence away, but you can't renew until you pass. If you score less then 60%, they pull your licence and add the requirement of a road test, to renew. When they add new rules or change laws, the test is altered to include the new changes. They should sit you down in front of a computer, it has a pool of say 100 questions, which are randomly selected, so taking the test twice, might come up with a different set of questions, although the ones you got wrong the previous time, have a double chance of showing up again. Also with a higher chance of showing up, are questions that are new. Say they add a 3' law, it then starts showing up on the test.
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Old 10-05-13, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
My signal is not strictly down but at an angle, halfway between straight down and left turn signal.
That would usually be taken as an indication that there is an obstacle to your left, such as a pot hole or road kill.
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Old 10-05-13, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
I think the problem is you could have received a licence in 1950, and have never had to go through any kind of upgrade training or retesting. I think the DMV should require a written test every 5 years, you must score higher then 80% in order to renew your licence. If you fail, but score more then 60% then do not take your licence away, but you can't renew until you pass. If you score less then 60%, they pull your licence and add the requirement of a road test, to renew. When they add new rules or change laws, the test is altered to include the new changes. They should sit you down in front of a computer, it has a pool of say 100 questions, which are randomly selected, so taking the test twice, might come up with a different set of questions, although the ones you got wrong the previous time, have a double chance of showing up again. Also with a higher chance of showing up, are questions that are new. Say they add a 3' law, it then starts showing up on the test.
California used to retest every five years (written only), and they may still do it. The last time I looked, the majority of licensed drivers who took the written retest scored below the 70% passing threshold. That means we're sharing the road with a bunch of D-students. I feel rather strongly that if someone cannot acquire the knowledge and skill to drive safely and legally, said person has no business driving. Unfortunately for the tens of thousands killed annually, my opinion and $3.00 buys you a coffee.
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Old 10-06-13, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
California used to retest every five years (written only), and they may still do it. The last time I looked, the majority of licensed drivers who took the written retest scored below the 70% passing threshold. That means we're sharing the road with a bunch of D-students. I feel rather strongly that if someone cannot acquire the knowledge and skill to drive safely and legally, said person has no business driving. Unfortunately for the tens of thousands killed annually, my opinion and $3.00 buys you a coffee.
You know out of 20 questions, <70% means you got more then 6 wrong, that is pathetic. Of course if the state started pulling licences on folks that fail, then people would take a greater interest in passing. Like I said though, 80% would be a reasonable pass, although 90% would be better. Let folks retake it, until they do pass, but if their licence expires first, they can't drive until they do pass.
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Old 10-06-13, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
That would usually be taken as an indication that there is an obstacle to your left, such as a pot hole or road kill.
That's okay, too. As long as it gives a moment of pause to someone who was about to speed up and cut me off.
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Old 10-06-13, 09:03 AM
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I don't think you can assume anyone is going to use a turn signal. And some don't even angle slightly in the direction of the turn. I drive professionally while doing armed transportation of felons. People don't pay attention to a white official vehicle bristling with antennas, two or more uniformed and badged officers inside, and an official state license with an armed escort behind them! They only care about their own intentions and the cell phone. As I ride home after work, still in uniform I get cut off and have avoided many right hooks. The only thing that seems to help is a flourescent lime green shirt applied over uniform shirt or coat. That and many strobe lights. Take the lane and be visible!
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Old 10-06-13, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
You know out of 20 questions, <70% means you got more then 6 wrong, that is pathetic. Of course if the state started pulling licences on folks that fail, then people would take a greater interest in passing. Like I said though, 80% would be a reasonable pass, although 90% would be better. Let folks retake it, until they do pass, but if their licence expires first, they can't drive until they do pass.
They need to restrict the test questions to safety-related issues of traffic control and flow, such as yielding right-of-way. Without advance study, I am not confident I can answer questions regarding penalties for various infractions, or number of violation points for license suspension, or how long I can park at a green curb, or minimum liability insurance requirements (which are archaically set at something like $5K/15K/35K in California, versus the $100K/1M/1M + umbrella I carry). Then let's raise the bar to 85%.
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Old 10-06-13, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'm not sure people will interpret pointing to the ground as meaning "I'm going straight."

I haven't thought of a good hand signal for "I'm going straight." I need this for when I'm on the highway, and I'm going by an exit without taking it. I'd use the left hand in a tomahawk gesture, but there's no guarantee that a driver will know what that means.

I take the red path rather than the blue, but I always watch the cars behind me with my mirror. ...
The only thing worse than a slip lane diverge such as that is a slip lane merge from my right. Many of these lack crosswalks, making the pedestrian (blue) option just as bad as the vehicular (red) path. If traffic is light and/or reasonably slow, I just take the lane (red, or even left of red), but if I know it will likely be fast with no reasonable gaps, I try to work out an alternate bypass route in advance (if such is even available).
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