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How do you deal with the fear of being ran over one day? Almost ran over a few times.

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How do you deal with the fear of being ran over one day? Almost ran over a few times.

Old 10-31-19, 05:37 PM
  #1  
RMoudatir
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How do you deal with the fear of being ran over one day? Almost ran over a few times.

When I started cycling I was naive about safety, I never had a helmet or lights till couple of months after seriously cycling. I never really had fear of vehicles running me over during the first year. I never had any problems with careless drivers and trusted every driver that passed by me.

In the last year or two though, I've been encountering a lot of careless drivers, I lost track of how many times if I wasn't so cautious that it wouldn't have ended so well. I started finding so many stories about people being in accidents and the scary statistics of how many cyclists are killed in my city annually, it's scary how the other day there was a hit and run on a cyclist a few blocks away from me.

Last year October 2018, I was almost ran over by one of those box trucks. I was in a position where I had to ride on the edge of a lane while there were cars blocking the shoulder, I turned my head to look behind and see a speeding truck directly behind me not slowing down or getting out of the way, I started pedaling like at 120 rpm and saw a small space between two parked cars and immediately jumped into there before it got to me.

Last August I was almost ran over crossing an intersection, the road I was on had stop signs but the perpendicular road didn't. I had a bunch of cars waiting behind me and felt pressured to not wait any longer since there were so many cars passing by every second, when I saw there were no cars to my left after a group of cars passed by, as I crossed the cars that passed by were blocking the view of the other side and I see this car going 40 mph to my right side headed towards me, I stop pedaling and froze as I stared at it but the car braked very hard and slowed down enough that I got away. This was on me though and I should have paid more attention.

I could type all day if I wanted to for all the dozens of incidents I had encountered in the last year. Cars charging out of the driveways into the street at 20 mph, impatient/blind drivers making a left turn on an intersection as I'm in the middle of crossing, cars that pass by me giving me less than a foot of space. Heck even today on my way to school as a pedestrian I crossed a street with the cross walk sign on and there was a van on the last lane of the street not slowing down to make a right turn, I anticipated it without even seeing as there was a blind spot from a car blocking the view and I stopped before I was in the van's way, would have been ran over at that point.

I live by Los Angeles and I try to ride the river paths whenever possible but when on certain parts of the city, you have no choice but to ride on those streets. I find it very stressful to ride in Industrial zones with semi trucks passing by me at 40-50 mph with some streets having no shoulders or sidewalks.

I know this sounded like a rant or just complaining but I just wish my city was a bit more cycling friendly. Some drivers here don't even deserve to be driving. My trust with riding around motorists is almost zero. Phil Gaimon even posted a video of how crazy some drivers can be. Maybe I just need to harden up and not think too much of it, I honestly don't know anymore.
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Old 10-31-19, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by RMoudatir View Post
My trust with riding around motorists is almost zero.
Absolute zero. My trust with other drivers is absolutely absolute zero, whether I'm on a bicycle, on a motorcycle, or in a car. Many times even when I'm a passenger in someone else's car.

Just today taking a ride after lunch, the cars were doing their usual thing of trying to push me off the road. Just too many people and too much traffic. Why is it that if you're first to a stop sign, a car that comes up behind you won't wait, they straddle the lane and then they roll through the stop as if not being right next to the sign negates the stop sign?

Makes me think of all the people around here that think it's okay to take a left U-turn on a red left turn light.

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Old 10-31-19, 06:21 PM
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Most drivers’ irresponsible behavior can be anticipated. It’s not enough to ride as if they don’t see you; you must ride as if they’re not even looking. Expect the worst and ride accordingly. Be patient and don’t make risky moves that leave you at the mercy of others.

It sounds like you might need to reevaluate your route. Don’t expect to ride the same roads you would drive. You may need to ride out of your way simply to avoid a particularly dangerous intersection or stretch of road.

Try Google Maps for a neighborhood overview. Google’s Street View feature lets you take a virtual ride along your chosen route so you can avoid narrow shoulders, risky intersections or scary neighborhoods.


-Kedosto
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Old 10-31-19, 06:44 PM
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that is not just local to your area. It is rampant everywhere. Best you can do is ride with your guard on at all times. The minute you assume someone has better judgement, that's when things get sketchy real fast.
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Old 10-31-19, 06:51 PM
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Great Thread

its tough out here on the bicycle

peloton or Swift are good options
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Old 10-31-19, 06:58 PM
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Route selection is critical as is time of day and traffic peaks. You might also consider making yourself as visible as possible i.e. daytime running lights, safety vest and commanding the lane when necessary.

A rear view mirror can also help you anticipate close passes. Two seconds can be crucial in allowing you to move over.
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Old 10-31-19, 07:04 PM
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I live in a suburban area that used to allow me to do a thirty mile ride any day right from my driveway. Today, I put my bike in the car and drive ten miles to a rural area and ride from there to stay out of traffic. I'm blessed. Sounds like you are almost forced to ride with more traffic than you're comfortable with. I would be too.
Any chance you could finds me better area in which to ride? Even if you have to drive there with the bike? Good luck.
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Old 10-31-19, 07:26 PM
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Adapt to your area. Ride on the Santa Ana River Trail (runs through/near Corona, you might already be doing this) and, as others above mention, choose a different route with wider roads, roads with shoulders, and/or lower traffic volume. I've got the same issues in coastal Orange County, so use the SART quite a bit on weekends. On weekends I'll also ride roads at dawn to avoid the traffic build-up that occurs later in the morning, and during the week I do some pre-dawn loops on local streets near my home ( streets that are busy at 8AM are almost devoid of vehicles at 4:30AM).
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Old 10-31-19, 08:36 PM
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Yesterday while making the sweeping turn onto my street, I passed a rental box truck coming out of a side street. I thought he looked lost so I wondered what his plan was. As I rode down my street and approaching the left turn into my driveway I kept getting more out into the lane. Taking the lane as it were. The truck had now caught up quite close to me and roared past. As he went by I unloaded a string of profanity into his open window. I then turned left into my driveway and watched his hand with extended finger displayed as he continued down the road.

My reaction was anger and profanity. I donít do that always but by god itís my street and the people using it for a shortcut or just following Google maps should show some respect. The afternoon traffic count on the street has increased by five times in the past five years since Google has had it mapped. Sometimes it makes me very angry.
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Old 10-31-19, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Adapt to your area. Ride on the Santa Ana River Trail (runs through/near Corona, you might already be doing this) and, as others above mention, choose a different route with wider roads, roads with shoulders, and/or lower traffic volume. I've got the same issues in coastal Orange County, so use the SART quite a bit on weekends. On weekends I'll also ride roads at dawn to avoid the traffic build-up that occurs later in the morning, and during the week I do some pre-dawn loops on local streets near my home ( streets that are busy at 8AM are almost devoid of vehicles at 4:30AM).
I used to live in Corona and it certainly felt more calm over there, I had the Santa ana river trial pretty close by. For me though if I want to get to a destination, such as Palos Verdes, riding through uncomfortable streets is almost inevitable unless I take a much longer detour around the bad areas.
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Old 11-01-19, 06:09 AM
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How do you deal with the fear that you will be hit by a drunk driver when driving your car?
How do you deal with the fear that your plane will crash when flying?
How do you deal with the fear that you will catch a disease and die?

I evaluate the risk as best I can, and decide if the benefits of the activity outweigh the risks. If yes, then I do what I can to mitigate the risks, and then stop worrying about them. Really, that's the only way you can get through life.
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Old 11-01-19, 06:42 AM
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Have your affairs in order, carry adequate insurance (life and disability), propitiate your deity(ies), and make sure others fear you! I have considered a suicide vest too, but that would be slow.
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Old 11-01-19, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Most driversí irresponsible behavior can be anticipated. Itís not enough to ride as if they donít see you; you must ride as if theyíre not even looking. Expect the worst and ride accordingly. Be patient and donít make risky moves that leave you at the mercy of others.

It sounds like you might need to reevaluate your route. Donít expect to ride the same roads you would drive. You may need to ride out of your way simply to avoid a particularly dangerous intersection or stretch of road.

Try Google Maps for a neighborhood overview. Googleís Street View feature lets you take a virtual ride along your chosen route so you can avoid narrow shoulders, risky intersections or scary neighborhoods.


-Kedosto
I have no idea what you mean by ride like they're not even looking, but I know it's not how I deal with it. I do everything I can to make myself conspicuous to the drivers that are most likely to pose a threat. I take the turn lanes, signaling my lane shift. If I'm going straight at a right hand turn lane or even where the right turn is allowed, I park myself right into the middle of the lane, and don't move back to the right until I'm well cleared of the intersection. If I'm turning left, I signal and take the left-most lane. I get honked at for doing this by ignorant drivers, but I've never had a close call doing it.

Basically, we are at their mercy whenever we ride on a road, that's just reality. But I try to make it such that they can only hit me if they're completely not looking or they really want to kill someone. There's no practical way to avoid that other than not riding or walking anywhere.
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Old 11-01-19, 07:03 AM
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It's a game of numbers, the more time you're in the saddle, the more crazy things you see. I bumped up my mileage a couple of months ago and the amount of times I was either cut-off or seriously being put in harms way grew proportionately. You just have to be alert at all times and hope that on that particular day all the stars are aligned.
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Old 11-01-19, 07:32 AM
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I can't say that I have a fear of being run over, but I do stay wary of any & all motor traffic around me. I hope that all drivers will see me, day or night, but I never take it for granted.
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Old 11-01-19, 07:43 AM
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Cycling is not for the meek.

To the OP: sounds like you have to ride through the San Pedro cargo district to get to the Palos Verdes area. I would drive there then ride. Nothing good comes out of riding in a heavy industrialized area.
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Old 11-01-19, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I have no idea what you mean by ride like they're not even looking, but I know it's not how I deal with it. I do everything I can to make myself conspicuous to the drivers that are most likely to pose a threat. I take the turn lanes, signaling my lane shift. If I'm going straight at a right hand turn lane or even where the right turn is allowed, I park myself right into the middle of the lane, and don't move back to the right until I'm well cleared of the intersection. If I'm turning left, I signal and take the left-most lane. I get honked at for doing this by ignorant drivers, but I've never had a close call doing it.

Basically, we are at their mercy whenever we ride on a road, that's just reality. But I try to make it such that they can only hit me if they're completely not looking or they really want to kill someone. There's no practical way to avoid that other than not riding or walking anywhere.
It means ride like you are invisible. Give the cars the right of way even if you should have it. Ride cautiously when in traffic. Use a mirror. Get on the sidewalk if necessary. Assume cars will hit you and take action to avoid that before it happens
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Old 11-01-19, 08:21 AM
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Flashing head and tail lights are a good option to make yourself more visible. If an intersection is to dangerous to cross from the right hand side of the lane taking the lane before you reach the intersection in a safe manner is often a good option. Lobbying for crosswalks and crossing signs is a good option for dangerous intersections that don’t have them. You’ll be surprised how much difference a simple sign will make to all but the most ignorant drivers(granted this is an ever growing portion of the population).
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Old 11-01-19, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
It means ride like you are invisible. Give the cars the right of way even if you should have it. Ride cautiously when in traffic. Use a mirror. Get on the sidewalk if necessary. Assume cars will hit you and take action to avoid that before it happens
No thanks--sounds like riding way too much in their blind spots for my taste. I'm sticking with making myself as visible as possible and making my actions predictable by signalling. Two closest calls I had this year were both situations where the driver swerved into the breakdown lane like I wasn't there and there is literally no strategy to avoid that other than to not be riding. My strategy is to focus on actions that will likely result in some reduction of risk rather than try to hide from risks that inherently can't really be reduced.

I'm not a VC person by any means, but there are definitely situations where the assertive claiming of the right of way in a very conspicuous manner makes me safer than trying to edge around where I'm hard to see. I don't make stupid drivers happy doing stuff like that, but that's definitely not the point. I also get a fair amount of smiles and waves from drivers who appreciate actually knowing how to avoid hitting me.
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Old 11-01-19, 08:40 AM
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Been hit from behind and that had me jumpy for quite awhile. Route selection has helped. My route is slower and a little longer but I feel it's safer. Fortunately I enjoy riding gravel and I can avoid the narrow busy county roads by riding several miles of gravel. My commute is a rural into a small city so I don't get the same traffic pressure most do but careless drivers abound everywhere. I'm fortunate my employer is flexible so I've shifted my work schedule to arrive by 7am and leave at 3:30 so I miss the heavier traffic times here. Lots of lights, being conspicuous as I can and taking the lane when necessary. When I do and move back over when it's safe I'll wave to the vehicle I've blocked and most have been good about it.
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Old 11-01-19, 12:11 PM
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I don't have that fear.
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Old 11-01-19, 12:19 PM
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"Don't take life too seriously, you'll never get out of it alive"
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Old 11-01-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I have no idea what you mean by ride like they're not even looking
He means ride as if they can't see you. Yes, make yourself look conspicuous with lights & brightly colored clothing, but don't assume that every driver will be paying attention to you and be ready to take evasive action if needed. Like, when you're getting ready to go across a 4 way stop, don't assume the car which just pulled up on your right is going to see you and not pull ahead while you're halfway through the intersection.
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Old 11-01-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
He means ride as if they can't see you. Yes, make yourself look conspicuous with lights & brightly colored clothing, but don't assume that every driver will be paying attention to you and be ready to take evasive action if needed. Like, when you're getting ready to go across a 4 way stop, don't assume the car which just pulled up on your right is going to see you and not pull ahead while you're halfway through the intersection.
All of that is fine, but he actually went beyond that in his later post, and I don't agree with things like "Give the cars the right of way even if you should have it." I find I get in a lot less trouble when I'm assertive and clear about my intentions than when the drivers can't figure out if I'm going or not. I'm not just wearing clothes and lights to make myself conspicuous, I ride in a manner that makes me conspicuous. For example, I don't care what the law is, I will shoal at an intersection (especially if there are cars to my right) because it's the only way I know of that assures the drivers CAN see me. If they choose not to, there's not much I can do about that other than ride through the intersection fast enough that overtaking me is difficult. Depending on how well I can visualize the cross street, that may mean jumping before the green.
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Old 11-01-19, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
All of that is fine, but he actually went beyond that in his later post, and I don't agree with things like "Give the cars the right of way even if you should have it."
That was a different poster. @Kedosto made the initial comment, which most here seem to have understood as, "Ride as though drivers won't see you even if you are chrome-plated, stripped in Day-glo, wreathed in neon lights, and blaring an air horn."
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