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Looking for tips to avoid unsafe driving behaviours

Old 07-04-20, 08:28 AM
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dirtydozen
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Looking for tips to avoid unsafe driving behaviours

Hello guys, I am very concerned about my safety on the bike, I am already very aware about anything that could make me crash but there are things I cannot control.

I live in a new area and I find the drivers aggressive when they overtake me. Every ride there are 5/10 situations where a car overtakes me with no visibility, if a car comes from the opposite direction it's going to be 100% nasty.

I learnt a trick not too long ago : when it's not a good place to be overtaken, position yourself a bit more towards the center of the road to kind of block the car, but there are two problems : sometimes the car is already here and it feels like it's going to be unsafe to move to the center, and cars comming from the opposite direction well sometimes they take corners in the center of the road so yeah kind of scared of that too.

Anyways, appart from picking the routes with as less cars as possible is there anything I can do to avoid these scenarios ?

Anyone is using something to block wind noise that could give some feedback on that?

thanks
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Old 07-04-20, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
Hello guys, I am very concerned about my safety on the bike, I am already very aware about anything that could make me crash but there are things I cannot control.

I live in a new area and I find the drivers aggressive when they overtake me. Every ride there are 5/10 situations where a car overtakes me with no visibility, if a car comes from the opposite direction it's going to be 100% nasty.

I learnt a trick not too long ago : when it's not a good place to be overtaken, position yourself a bit more towards the center of the road to kind of block the car, but there are two problems : sometimes the car is already here and it feels like it's going to be unsafe to move to the center, and cars comming from the opposite direction well sometimes they take corners in the center of the road so yeah kind of scared of that too.

Anyways, appart from picking the routes with as less cars as possible is there anything I can do to avoid these scenarios ?

Anyone is using something to block wind noise that could give some feedback on that?

thanks

I ride early in the morning to avoid traffic. I also stick to back roads for the most part, so far this has worked really well for me. Waving at drivers seems to help ease there aggression from my experience. People swear by Varia, might be something to think about getting.
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Old 07-04-20, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
I live in a new area and I find the drivers aggressive when they overtake me. Every ride there are 5/10 situations where a car overtakes me with no visibility, if a car comes from the opposite direction it's going to be 100% nasty.
How so? What kind of road?
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Old 07-04-20, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06 View Post
I ride early in the morning to avoid traffic. I also stick to back roads for the most part, so far this has worked really well for me. Waving at drivers seems to help ease there aggression from my experience. People swear by Varia, might be something to think about getting.
Yeah Varia seems nice I just heard about it an hour ago, but sadly I'm a student I can't afford this.
There are a lot of back roads where I live, but on some there is traffic and without a narrow road it's tricky. Im gonna map down the ones that are the safest.
I could give a shot to waking up ealier thanks


Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
How so? What kind of road?
Well I ride in hills so there a lot of narrow twisty roads, and at the top of a small climb they would overtake me without seeing in front because it's downhill then
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Old 07-04-20, 09:09 AM
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In my own opinion....find a big residential neighborhood, big industrial park, or cart paths, bike paths...something like that. Riding out on the open road surpassed my danger meter some years ago. Too many drivers out there paying attention to their phone and gadgets and not trying to drive.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
How so? What kind of road?
The kind that should be avoided, it sounds like.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:19 AM
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If you have the luxury of picking the time of day to ride that less traffic must be contended with then pick those times. If not, well, like you stated it will be something you have to live with. Cagers are crazy and will not at times wait for a few seconds to have a clear path. It is just one of the dangers of cycling.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
Yeah Varia seems nice I just heard about it an hour ago, but sadly I'm a student I can't afford this.
Then try the Vya system which I use and is much cheaper and as good!
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Old 07-04-20, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
Hello guys, I am very concerned about my safety on the bike, I am already very aware about anything that could make me crash but there are things I cannot control.

I live in a new area and I find the drivers aggressive when they overtake me. Every ride there are 5/10 situations where a car overtakes me with no visibility, if a car comes from the opposite direction it's going to be 100% nasty.

I learnt a trick not too long ago : when it's not a good place to be overtaken, position yourself a bit more towards the center of the road to kind of block the car, but there are two problems : sometimes the car is already here and it feels like it's going to be unsafe to move to the center, and cars comming from the opposite direction well sometimes they take corners in the center of the road so yeah kind of scared of that too.

Anyways, appart from picking the routes with as less cars as possible is there anything I can do to avoid these scenarios ?

Anyone is using something to block wind noise that could give some feedback on that?

thanks
Stay where you belong, on the side of the road and driving with traffic. You start doing what your suggesting and all You'll do is piss them off. That's the last thing you want to do.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:44 AM
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I'm fortunate to live where there are so many cyclists that drivers are generally well mannered and overtake safely. (Where I grew up - that was a different matter. I worry for anyone who rides there). But even here, people overtake on blind curves instead of waiting 5 seconds for the straight stretch. And they overtake as if you're a statue, not a moving vehicle - they don't speed up much, and they cut in too soon. I have sometimes been able to get drivers to wait by holding my left hand out to the side, palm facing them, and then when the road is clear motioning them to pass.

A couple years back I started using a flashing red tail light, which might or might not help - nobody ran me down before I got it either!
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Old 07-04-20, 09:46 AM
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It also cannot be understated that you make yourself as visible as possible even during daylight hours. Yellow helmet and vest, lights front and rear, anything you can think of. Give the cars a chance to see you ahead of time and take their own corrective actions. No guarantees that they will but it can’t hurt to try.
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Old 07-04-20, 10:43 AM
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Happens all the time. Cars pass on blind corners. If you're worried about that, it's a good thing because it means that cars aren't staying in their own lane and just barely missing you. You need to remember that you can't see what the driver sees. There's a very good chance that the driver can see enough to know he's OK doing what he's doing. You're not a car and he can cut back in sooner than you may realize. In 25 years of riding on my local windy no-shoulder roads, I've never had a car cut back in before being completely past me. OTOH, I've seen many oncoming cars almost forced into the ditch by the passing car. That's very common and I think happens because many drivers regard a bike as a stationary object, not realizing that we're might be doing 20-30.

My response to these behaviors is to be always aware that a head-on might occur 50' in front of me and to be ready to take action if necessary. But like I say, in many hundreds of these encounters, no accidents.

As far as riding out in the lane goes, I don't recommend it. There's a guy in my riding group who does that and has been hit twice while riding solo, whereas the rest of us, who don't do that, have never been hit. I don't think the stats are favorable, even though there are many advocates. Our state law says, "as far to the right as is practical,".which might prejudice the outcome of any accident investigation.
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Old 07-04-20, 10:48 AM
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Ride gravel. No such thing as what you are looking for.
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Old 07-04-20, 10:54 AM
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I try to avoid most vehicle conflicts by choosing routes and times with less traffic. That reduces the necessities to take the lane when only a single lane is available. And I try to delay folks behind me as little as possible.

After having commuted and ridden recreationally on and off since the 1970s, I've found that what works best for me is demonstrated in this video.

When I do take the lane, I am very assertive about it. I make it clear through lane position and signals that the lane is not up for sharing and the driver must choose to wait for an appropriate time to pass or deliberately run me down. There is no safer way to ride some routes in my area, particularly where highways merge with otherwise quiet access roads and lightly traveled rural highways. It's never a good idea to be timid or hug the side of the road with merging traffic -- that's a recipe for getting pinched or run over by big rig tractor trailers or rookies towing boats or equipment trailers.

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of videos on variations of vehicular cycling. But this one seems to summarize it best without digressions into emotions, politics, etc. It's just a demonstration and explanation of an effective technique.

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Old 07-04-20, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I try to avoid most vehicle conflicts by choosing routes and times with less traffic. That reduces the necessities to take the lane when only a single lane is available. And I try to delay folks behind me as little as possible.

After having commuted and ridden recreationally on and off since the 1970s, I've found that what works best for me is demonstrated in this video.

When I do take the lane, I am very assertive about it. I make it clear through lane position and signals that the lane is not up for sharing and the driver must choose to wait for an appropriate time to pass or deliberately run me down. There is no safer way to ride some routes in my area, particularly where highways merge with otherwise quiet access roads and lightly traveled rural highways. It's never a good idea to be timid or hug the side of the road with merging traffic -- that's a recipe for getting pinched or run over by big rig tractor trailers or rookies towing boats or equipment trailers.

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of videos on variations of vehicular cycling. But this one seems to summarize it best without digressions into emotions, politics, etc. It's just a demonstration and explanation of an effective technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU4n...ture=emb_title


Clear, effective & concise- thanks!
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Old 07-04-20, 11:20 AM
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I should include an anecdote: a small group of us was riding on a winding 2-lane road, no shoulder, in a paceline with maybe 8 bikes when a car passed us on a blind left-hander, definitely a no-no in the US. A lit-up police car passed us soon after and sure enough, in a little bit we came upon the bad driver with the cop. We gave the cop a thumbs-up.and he waved.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:22 AM
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From the commuting world, where there's often less flexibility on routes and timing, I find a rear view mirror and daytime front/rear lights helpful. I use this equipment for solo road rides in areas with heavier traffic.

My goal is to be seen and be aware of what the drivers see, which in turn, I can apply to work with drivers and help them make smart decisions. Sometimes they even thank me
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Old 07-04-20, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Germanrazor View Post
Then try the Vya system which I use and is much cheaper and as good!
Vya tells you graphically and with sounds about cars behind you? Are you sure??
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Old 07-04-20, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
From the commuting world, where there's often less flexibility on routes and timing, I find a rear view mirror and daytime front/rear lights helpful. I use this equipment for solo road rides in areas with heavier traffic.

My goal is to be seen and be aware of what the drivers see, which in turn, I can apply to work with drivers and help them make smart decisions. Sometimes they even thank me
This! works 80% of time outside of nyc and 40% of time in NYC
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Old 07-04-20, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
From the commuting world, where there's often less flexibility on routes and timing, I find a rear view mirror and daytime front/rear lights helpful. I use this equipment for solo road rides in areas with heavier traffic.

My goal is to be seen and be aware of what the drivers see, which in turn, I can apply to work with drivers and help them make smart decisions. Sometimes they even thank me
And because it costs nothing to be nice, I like to give a little wave to drivers who cut me some slack, like the ones who hold back a little to allow me to get over to the left lane before the light, or who waited till a clear spot to pass.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Vya tells you graphically and with sounds about cars behind you? Are you sure??
Nope.....Just a very bright visible light that can be seen easily. I did not say it was better, just on a budget works very good for visibility. Doesn’t matter what notification it gives you the rider......it’s the cager who only sees the light blinking and not hear it. Visibility is the key to this day. Bright clothing and a good blinking taillight.
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Old 07-04-20, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Germanrazor View Post
Nope.....Just a very bright visible light that can be seen easily. I did not say it was better, just on a budget works very good for visibility. Doesn’t matter what notification it gives you the rider......it’s the cager who only sees the light blinking and not hear it. Visibility is the key to this day. Bright clothing and a good blinking taillight.
Got it. Agree.
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Old 07-06-20, 03:32 AM
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Last 2 rides I tried a new way to ride and i got 0 dangerous situation, well 1 but I wasn't applying my new "trick".

I rode with 70 centimeters to my right, when a car passes I go as close as possible to the right side of the road. Driver already picked his trajectory, so I get an extra 70centimeters on whatever space he would have left me.

Works like a charm for the moment.

Thanks everyone for the replies and intertesting inputs.

Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
It also cannot be understated that you make yourself as visible as possible even during daylight hours. Yellow helmet and vest, lights front and rear, anything you can think of. Give the cars a chance to see you ahead of time and take their own corrective actions. No guarantees that they will but it can’t hurt to try.
I'm actually buying a neon jersey at the moment, that can never be a bad idea in terms of safety. But for the situations i incountered in the recent past, it's more about the driver himself wanting to overtake so bad rather than a visibility problem.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You need to remember that you can't see what the driver sees. There's a very good chance that the driver can see enough to know he's OK doing what he's doing. You're not a car and he can cut back in sooner than you may realize. In 25 years of riding on my local windy no-shoulder roads, I've never had a car cut back in before being completely past me. OTOH, I've seen many oncoming cars almost forced into the ditch by the passing car. That's very common and I think happens because many drivers regard a bike as a stationary object, not realizing that we're might be doing 20-30.

My response to these behaviors is to be always aware that a head-on might occur 50' in front of me and to be ready to take action if necessary. But like I say, in many hundreds of these encounters, no accidents.

As far as riding out in the lane goes, I don't recommend it. There's a guy in my riding group who does that and has been hit twice while riding solo, whereas the rest of us, who don't do that, have never been hit. I don't think the stats are favorable, even though there are many advocates. Our state law says, "as far to the right as is practical,".which might prejudice the outcome of any accident investigation.
It's true that once or twice I thought it was a dangerous situation but then the car easily got back in lane and it seems quite safe afterall.

But most of the time i'm 100% sure they can't see a thing, sometimes they even see less than me and I don't see ****.

Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
Ride gravel. No such thing as what you are looking for.
I'd love to actually! there are a lot of paths to ride gravel here, but I'm not sure my bike is suited for this. I ride a quite top end carbon bike of 10 years ago, i'm not sure just throwing bigger tires in could allow me to gravel ride.

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I try to avoid most vehicle conflicts by choosing routes and times with less traffic. That reduces the necessities to take the lane when only a single lane is available. And I try to delay folks behind me as little as possible.

After having commuted and ridden recreationally on and off since the 1970s, I've found that what works best for me is demonstrated in this video.

When I do take the lane, I am very assertive about it. I make it clear through lane position and signals that the lane is not up for sharing and the driver must choose to wait for an appropriate time to pass or deliberately run me down. There is no safer way to ride some routes in my area, particularly where highways merge with otherwise quiet access roads and lightly traveled rural highways. It's never a good idea to be timid or hug the side of the road with merging traffic -- that's a recipe for getting pinched or run over by big rig tractor trailers or rookies towing boats or equipment trailers.

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of videos on variations of vehicular cycling. But this one seems to summarize it best without digressions into emotions, politics, etc. It's just a demonstration and explanation of an effective technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU4n...ture=emb_title
Nice video thanks!

Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
And because it costs nothing to be nice, I like to give a little wave to drivers who cut me some slack, like the ones who hold back a little to allow me to get over to the left lane before the light, or who waited till a clear spot to pass.
Oh yeah I always give a big thumbs up to guys that can wait!
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Old 07-06-20, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mackgoo View Post
Stay where you belong, on the side of the road and driving with traffic. You start doing what your suggesting and all You'll do is piss them off. That's the last thing you want to do.
“ where you belong, on the side of the road...”
This sounds like advice from a driver, not a cyclist. “ where I belong “ is where I am safe. Although I don’t always use the FULL WIDTH of the lane I am entitled to in my state, I will absolutely take enough of it approaching a blind curve so that some idiot trying to pass me does not endanger their life or mine. Similarly, on roads not wide enough for two cars to pass safely while leaving me the space I am entitled to BY LAW, I will stay far enough off the edge of the road that the car that wants to pass me with oncoming traffic thinks twice. Once oncoming traffic has passed I get back over. Bike safety is about being smart and not letting cars dictate my safety. To the OP, you don’t need a Varia; get a mirror. It greatly increases your safety margin.
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Old 07-06-20, 08:17 AM
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Actually spoken by someone who rides on roads only. It's reality, there's no contest, 3000 lbs vs 170 lbs. So the 170 lbs needs to do all they can to stay out of the way of the 3000 lbs. I don't care what the law says, what my rights are, I do what I know is the safest for me, stay on the side of the road and don't piss the idiots off. It's illegal to hit someone in a crosswalk. When I go to use a crosswalk I stop, look both ways and make eye contact with any approaching vehicles prior to entering and crossing. The law say's I have a right to cross the street at that cross walk, that cars must yield the right of way to any pedestrian. Yet for me to exercise my "rights" absent of practical common sense, sooner or latter I'll just be another statistic where we'll just lament how dangerous it is on the roads and how "I'm going off road", wringing my hands as I say that.
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