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Where are the good drivers?

Old 11-18-22, 09:21 AM
  #1  
pdlamb
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Where are the good drivers?

Saw a couple more posts this morning that got me thinking.

Mozart with a thesaurus couldn't come up with any more variations on the theme of "The drivers where I live are psycho" than bikeforum posters.

So where are all the good drivers, compared to whom all the drivers here are bad drivers?
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Old 11-18-22, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Saw a couple more posts this morning that got me thinking.

Mozart with a thesaurus couldn't come up with any more variations on the theme of "The drivers where I live are psycho" than bikeforum posters.

So where are all the good drivers, compared to whom all the drivers here are bad drivers?
Wherever you live or visit is where the bad drivers are. The good ones must be someplace else. This has applied wherever I have lived, and wherever I have visited, so it must be true. Though I will admit that drivers in Europe are considerably better than the average in the USA.
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Old 11-18-22, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Saw a couple more posts this morning that got me thinking.

Mozart with a thesaurus couldn't come up with any more variations on the theme of "The drivers where I live are psycho" than bikeforum posters.

So where are all the good drivers, compared to whom all the drivers here are bad drivers?
I'd guess that many of the "psycho drivers" posts come from very congested areas -- both because there are simply more motor vehicles, and because congestion + urban lifestyles might lead to more selfish and even aggressive behavior. But that's just speculation.

I've spent the past 20 years living in small rural cities, and some of the posts in A&S make me realize that our drivers are generally pretty congenial and safe. I've had only a handful of memorably negative encounters in almost 100k miles.
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Old 11-18-22, 09:34 AM
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All the good drivers, are out on their bicycles!

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Old 11-18-22, 09:37 AM
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Yeah, I am comfortable riding roads across my whole metro. I wont ride some roads just because the infrastructure isnt ideal for cycling(45mph 2 lane suburban) when a good road is 1 street away, but that isnt because of drivers, its really just because the road itself isnt ideal for bicycle use.
Paved country roads, gravel roads, in town sidestreets, in town main roads...I dont think twice about riding them and drivers seem just fine overall.

I have no more worse experiences with cars when riding a bike than I do when driving a car.
If you look for trouble and insults, you will find trouble and insults. If you are courteous and predictable, others are largely the same.
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Old 11-18-22, 09:58 AM
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I'm not sure drivers in one place are any better or worse than drivers in any other place. Claims of city people having a different value system or behavior than country folk are dubious, at best. They're all human after all. What is different is the mental workload & complication of environment.

What I do see is that drivers in North America are set up for failure through poorly designed infrastructure designed on wrong priorities. Namely driver convenience, vehicle speed, coupled with exceedingly large safety margins. This begs for risky, self serving behavior based on false presumptions of risk.

Streets & roads must be designed to different standards. The problem is they are not & drivers behavior reflects that.
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Old 11-18-22, 09:59 AM
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All it takes is one incident for someone to start complaining about drivers, but my Chicago experience has been exceptionally good: 3500 miles in the last two years and not a single jackass interaction. If anything they drive as if they are afraid of bikes, giving me wide berth and yielding to me when they should not.

I have driven all over the north and near west and south sides at all times and days, including commuting downtown during the rush hour right down State Street. One fly in the ointment has been new bike lanes, which are routinely used for parking, unenforced by the police, and so I don't generally use those streets. But that is a policing problem and all of my personal moving interactions with drivers have been good.

I do see lots of a**hole cyclists, however and have had some close calls with them. . . that's one reason I don't generally ride the lakefront bike path.

Last edited by mdarnton; 11-18-22 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 11-18-22, 10:03 AM
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I have yet to be hit by any of the drivers in the other five households in my cul de sac, so I'd say "right here."
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Old 11-18-22, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons View Post
Though I will admit that drivers in Europe are considerably better than the average in the USA.
Yes…I was going to say this, with regard to (road) cyclists, and their consideration by drivers. I’ve been out of the military for more than twenty years. But, I still consider my years stationed in southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy) and cycling there, were the most considerate and safest on the roads.

Dan
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Old 11-18-22, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
All it takes is one incident for someone to start complaining about drivers, but my Chicago experience has been exceptionally good: 3500 miles in the last two years and not a single jackass interaction. If anything they drive as if they are afraid of bikes, giving me wide berth and yielding to me when they should not.
Same here. Most drivers are reasonably good.... And yes, there are more than a few who like to stop and wave me on across, even when they have the right of way. The trouble is, the guy coming the other way at 40 MPH isn't stopping!
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Old 11-18-22, 11:02 AM
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*raises hand*
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Old 11-18-22, 11:32 AM
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Reckless driving is literally epidemic here as is stolen cars.
Out in front of my house. Clipped neighbor's tree, took out his mailbox, fire hydrant, and a 12" Ginko tree. Occupants nowhere to be found




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Old 11-18-22, 02:47 PM
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I live in a huge city. For every hour I ride locally, I come within 50' of hundreds, if not thousands, of drivers. In that same hour, I see maybe 5 or so stupid, rude, or dangerous maneuvers. The good driver are there, but you don't notice them because they are being good drivers.
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Old 11-18-22, 03:35 PM
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A couple of years ago, touring along Lake Erie, I found myself wondering why so many vehicle had compression brakes. Then I realized, they didn't, they were moving over for me and their left side tires were crossing the center rumble strip, and making a similar noise. A lot of cars moved over for little old me.
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Old 11-18-22, 03:53 PM
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The "bad drivers" are always a small minority that leave an outsize impression. Frankly, my guess is the best drivers are the ones you never notice or at least not recall. No drama, no impression.

I have ridden in cities and rural areas all over the US, and I have never seen the level of hostility some NH drivers have towards cyclists anywhere else. I started riding in this state in the early 2000s, and I was really shocked by it at first.
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Old 11-18-22, 04:03 PM
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I will say this. In my observation the drivers are better (toward cyclists) where there are more cyclists on the road. I guess it come from drivers being used to seeing bikes on the road.
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Old 11-18-22, 04:10 PM
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I rode about 2K miles in north Queens this year, and the group of drivers I see as most aware and communicative with cyclists are the MTA bus drivers. Yeah, I'm surprised too.
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Old 11-18-22, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
Same here. Most drivers are reasonably good.... And yes, there are more than a few who like to stop and wave me on across, even when they have the right of way. The trouble is, the guy coming the other way at 40 MPH isn't stopping!
I generally prefer that we all follow the rules, though there are times when "the wave" is welcomed. When I am hanging out in a left turn lane, waiting for a break in oncoming traffic, I feel pretty vulnerable; when an oncoming motorist stops and waves me through, I do appreciate it. And that situation entails no risk for me, since all oncoming traffic is then stopped.
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Old 11-18-22, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Yes…I was going to say this, with regard to (road) cyclists, and their consideration by drivers. I’ve been out of the military for more than twenty years. But, I still consider my years stationed in southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy) and cycling there, were the most considerate and safest on the roads.

Dan
Rode in Italy and have to agree (other than major metro areas) the drivers there are super considerate to cyclists.
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Old 11-18-22, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
All it takes is one incident for someone to start complaining about drivers, but my Chicago experience has been exceptionally good: 3500 miles in the last two years and not a single jackass interaction. If anything they drive as if they are afraid of bikes, giving me wide berth and yielding to me when they should not.

I have driven all over the north and near west and south sides at all times and days, including commuting downtown during the rush hour right down State Street. One fly in the ointment has been new bike lanes, which are routinely used for parking, unenforced by the police, and so I don't generally use those streets. But that is a policing problem and all of my personal moving interactions with drivers have been good.

I do see lots of a**hole cyclists, however and have had some close calls with them. . . that's one reason I don't generally ride the lakefront bike path.

I too, am a Chicago rider and echo these sentiments entirely!

tm
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Old 11-19-22, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
So where are all the good drivers, compared to whom all the drivers here are bad drivers?
With the unicorns and Sasquatch.
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Old 11-20-22, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
I do see lots of a**hole cyclists, however and have had some close calls with them. ..
Never attribute to malice what can so easily be explained by incompetence.
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Old 11-20-22, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons View Post
Never attribute to malice what can so easily be explained by incompetence.
I rate inattention to the spatial requirements of the people around you as being functionally equal to malice in that the person has made a choice to not consider their effects on others. Unless they want to own up to just being stupid, in which case I might cut them some slack.
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Old 11-20-22, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
I rode about 2K miles in north Queens this year, and the group of drivers I see as most aware and communicative with cyclists are the MTA bus drivers. Yeah, I'm surprised too.
I noticed when I used to be a frequent mass transit user that different bus systems seem to have very different cultures and norms. When I was riding buses all over the Bay Area, I noticed that bus drivers in the Oakland/East Bay bus system were generally better drivers and more considerate of passengers than SF Muni drivers. I don't know if that's still true, but the differences were not subtle.
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Old 11-20-22, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
Same here. Most drivers are reasonably good....
Have drivers improved that much since 2015?Expedia Road Rage Report 2015

"Nearly all Americans (97%) rate themselves as “careful” drivers, but feel that only 29% of fellow drivers merit the description."


Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
...
And yes, there are more than a few who like to stop and wave me on across, even when they have the right of way.
Members of BF hate those kind of people. They call them nicetards. I'd rather encounter a nicetard than a roadrager who refuse acknowledge your right of way.
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