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When you can't even expect school bus drivers to watch out for you

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When you can't even expect school bus drivers to watch out for you

Old 05-15-22, 06:25 AM
  #1  
astrodust
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When you can't even expect school bus drivers to watch out for you

This happened recently on a route I ride frequently. The driver did not feel the need to slow down for the 20 seconds it would have taken him/her to pass safely. And the media hints the rider was maybe somehow responsible for being run down from behind.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/hilliard/school-bus-hits-bicyclist-in-hilliard/amp/

Last edited by astrodust; 05-15-22 at 06:32 AM. Reason: New link
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Old 05-15-22, 06:37 AM
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Sorry for the broken link. If you want to read the article google hilliard ohio bus cyclist accident.
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Old 05-15-22, 08:23 AM
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I saw the video and read the several links. I didn't see any hints that the cyclist may have been in the wrong. The bus driver is a damn idiot who needs his license revoked.
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Old 05-15-22, 08:27 AM
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My experiences with school bus drivers has been overwhelmingly negative. I don't know what it is, but they, as a whole, seem to have some serious contempt for cyclists. That's been my experience with over 30-years of cycling.
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Old 05-15-22, 12:18 PM
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I find it more important that I watch out for them. They are bigger than I am, trying to keep a schedule, and have a cargo of 40 or so noisy distractions. I stay out of their way and never get beside or behind one.

That doesn't mean a driver can't make a mistake, but I am primarily responsible for my safety.
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Old 05-15-22, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MNebiker View Post
I find it more important that I watch out for them. They are bigger than I am, trying to keep a schedule, and have a cargo of 40 or so noisy distractions. I stay out of their way and never get beside or behind one.

That doesn't mean a driver can't make a mistake, but I am primarily responsible for my safety.
What would your tactic to stay out of the way in this instance have been?
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Old 05-16-22, 05:29 AM
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Exactly. I ride this same route. There isn't a shoulder or anywhere to pull off. There was literally no place for the rider to go.

The only thing he could have done different would have been to take the lane. This is a good example of when you ride as far to the right as you can it encourages drivers to try to squeeze through between you and oncoming traffic.
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Old 05-16-22, 07:30 AM
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Don't get me started. I WORK for the same organization and these doofuses drive like they are in a sports car Failure to yield, sitting in crossings, speeding, passing less than 3 ft, the whole gamut. I have been emailing their "supervisors" for over three years now and the bosses always say, "Oh, we'll talk to them." If anything, these motor truckers keep getting worse. I modified my route to NOT go in front of Central Office because of their intense disregard for anything but their own belly buttons. I retire in one more year and I hope to NEVER be on the road with them again!
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Old 05-16-22, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
What would your tactic to stay out of the way in this instance have been?
I have no data on which to make any judgement of blame regarding this accident and will not do so. Nor do I imply any error or fault by the biker. He may be just the victim of a situation over which he had no control, and I am indeed sorry for the result. Sometimes bad things happen no matter how skillful or cautious we may be.

My post was not meant to assess any blame or failure - that's solely up to the investigating agency, not some remote forum. I merely meant to address the concept implied in the thread title that the bus driver was "not looking out for the biker." I cannot assume that anyone is "looking out" for me. Just yesterday on a 20 mile ride I had two situations that could easily have resulted in my injury or worse. Both were situations where I had the right-of-way. I had a headlight and was wearing a bright jersey in a color that could probably be seen on Google Earth. Both situations were cases where the driver never saw me until I stopped short, both had shocked looks on their faces. They were not "looking out" for me. Fortunately, I was.

I will grant you that there are times that accidents happen no matter how cautious or innocent we may be. And people make stupid mistakes. A couple years ago my car was totaled while sitting stopped in traffic. Another driver was busy adjusting his radio. There was absolutely nothing I could do. I walked away unharmed, but . . . . .

But I also find that there are times when people place themselves in vulnerable positions. I live near a busy 4-lane highway, 45mph limit with traffic usually running 50-55. There are wide bike paths on both sides of the road, yet everyday I see riders mixing with the traffic, "taking the lane." Do they have the right to ride there? Certainly. Do they have the right to the lane? Certainly. Is this a wise or careful thing to do? You decide.

In another incident a year ago in our area a school bus was stopped in the right lane at an intersection A rider pulled up on the right side of the bus between the bus and the curb. The light changed, the rider went straight, the bus turned right - rider went under the rear duals.

This forum has a couple of other threads - one dealing with the dangers of a large group ride blocking the road, the other about riding on a narrow roadway - both situations causing driver frustration and unsafe passing. Driver error? Sure, but . . . .

I am only trying to say that I cannot rely on others for my safety. It is dangerous to assume that they will always do the right thing. My flight instructor taught me that a long time ago. Cycling (and living) has dangers - I merely try my best to minimize my exposure to them without becoming a paranoid hermit in a cave. Usually that works out well - but I'm also prone to the same errors. I have done my share of dumb stuff!

Unfortunately we live in a victim oriented society so we are quick to blame "them" when something goes wrong.
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Old 05-17-22, 11:02 AM
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From my experience, school drivers are about as good or bad as every other driver on the road, but I feel like each infraction they commit is more egregious because of their position. I feel the same about transit drivers.

No, you can't rely on them for your own safety. You are responsible for your own safety, and you have to take measures to mitigate the risk to yourself when you're travelling alongside motorists. I do not trust any of them to do the right thing when it comes to my safety.
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Old 05-17-22, 03:50 PM
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If you are able to identify the vehicle, date, time and location, file a complaint with the school bus company about the driver's unsafe driving.
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Old 05-18-22, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MNebiker View Post
But I also find that there are times when people place themselves in vulnerable positions. I live near a busy 4-lane highway, 45mph limit with traffic usually running 50-55. There are wide bike paths on both sides of the road, yet everyday I see riders mixing with the traffic, "taking the lane." Do they have the right to ride there? Certainly. Do they have the right to the lane? Certainly. Is this a wise or careful thing to do? You decide.

In another incident a year ago in our area a school bus was stopped in the right lane at an intersection A rider pulled up on the right side of the bus between the bus and the curb. The light changed, the rider went straight, the bus turned right - rider went under the rear duals.

.

No, we don't decide whether this is a "wise or careful thing to do", the rider does. I ignore parallel bike paths in a lot of situations where I think hopping on and off them is more danger than they're worth or if I know they actually put me at a worse position at intersections than being on the road will. I don't expect drivers to understand this choice, but basically I'm riding where I ride precisely because I don't trust drivers.

I find it ironic that you give the right turning school bus here, the Main reason for taking the right lane is to prevent exactly that kind of crash--the right-margin position put the cyclist into the bus driver's blind spot.
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Old 05-19-22, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
No, we don't decide whether this is a "wise or careful thing to do", the rider does. I ignore parallel bike paths in a lot of situations where I think hopping on and off them is more danger than they're worth or if I know they actually put me at a worse position at intersections than being on the road will. I don't expect drivers to understand this choice, but basically I'm riding where I ride precisely because I don't trust drivers.

I find it ironic that you give the right turning school bus here, the Main reason for taking the right lane is to prevent exactly that kind of crash--the right-margin position put the cyclist into the bus driver's blind spot.

I would have been out in the lane on the subject road. Being out in the lane makes me more visible. It makes the subject failed squeeze pass less likely to take place. It will often mean that the overtaking drive has to reduce their speed to my speed when there are oncoming vehicles. Less speed disparity is safer. I also do this when vehicles and start passing me, I move further right. That gives me a larger buffer. To the uninitiated driver it may also suggest a spirit of cooperation.

When I have vehicles behind me, I do feel a sense of duty to cooperate with them in getting them around me. I will never sacrifice my safety to do so, but I will sacrifice my convenience. I turn my head and look at the vehicle behind me. That way, they know that I know they are there. They won't likely see or process that a cyclist may be monitoring them in the mirror. In certain circumstances I may hold up my pointer finger to suggest that I will accommodate them in a second. I will sometimes hold up a hand to signal wait if I know a vehicle is coming over a blind hill or blind curve. I will wave them around when I am ready for them to pass. I will also ease over into a driveway or even pull off the road to let vehicles around at times. All of that is situational and it's imperfect, but it has served me well. I am sure drivers have wondered who the hell I think I am suggesting they not pass or directing them to go around. Some may not understand that what I am trying to communicate by holding up my pointer finger to communicate "wait a sec." Most seem to get it and appreciate it.

I would like for drivers to understand my choices, but like you, I realize that they often won't. There's nothing I can do about that. There are a lot of drivers who don't want to understand and don't care. They don't think we belong on the road because...well, spandex and they saw a cyclist "blow through" a stop sign.
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Old 05-19-22, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I would have been out in the lane on the subject road....
I don't think it's going to come as a surprise to you that I absolutely refuse to engage in a discussion of how we would have acted differently from the cyclist. These counter-factual narratives are absolutely useless in determining whether your method would have resulted in a better outcome, and there's a lot of less distasteful ways to make your argument than the implied criticism of the stricken cyclist's actions. Frankly, we aren't there, we don't know how it looked from the standpoint of the cyclist, and this will just degenerate in a debate over lane position with the stricken cyclist being used as a rhetorical prop.
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