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Dangers of cycling


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I commute to work most weeks, and while some earlier altercations (bus cut me off, driver didnt even realised he knocked me off my bike ! ) has me no longer riding on roads...I am still on the bike confronted at times with motorists...cars, trucks, vans busses that scare the cr@p out of me !

 

most recently, noticed a drivers behavior...where looking in a completely different direction to direction pointed and direction moving off with gusto when put his foot on the pedal....these drivers dont even look where they are going ! 

 

reminded me just how helpless as cyclists can be. you are just not even seen or noticed. and I ride with hi-vis, lit up like a christmas tree, not riding in pitch darkness etc. still feel am not seen ! 

 

noticed in the news recently of the dooring of a cyclist in the city, by someone just hopping out a cab opening the door on her

 

got captured on camera and the hoopla that followed,

 

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/cyclists-use-of-helmet-cameras-requires-restraint-20140320-355h1.html

 

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cyclistdooring-man-not-proud-of-reaction-20140319-352r5.html

 

cyclist lucky in that case, didnt get knocked under other traffic, but gee it just reminds me, people dont even see you when on a bike !  

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I don't know why I bother some times but here goes...   entitlement cannot be inflated, it's a yes or no thing, either you are allowed to do something or you are not. I would suggest if you have had

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It's risky, no doubt about it. I try to ride only in non-peak times and away from main roads as much as possible. You're no safer in a group these days either. 

 

Hence I ride off-road more than on! 

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I've nearly been knocked off my bike numerous times, more often it is when I'm in a marked bike lane. On the occasions I've chased down the driver and let them know, the response is usually along the lines of "I didn't see you" (as in I didn't do it on purpose so it would have been OK to kill you) and I've never had a single apology despite a (usually) polite approach from me.

It reminds me of the saying that there are 2 types of cyclists, those who have been knocked off their bike, and those who will be.

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Don't suppose you have seen the latest TopGear (Series 21 ep 5) - some funny stuff re this the guys were asked to do "cycling safety advertisements "

 

Clarkson's slogan - "work hard, earn money and get a car " :)

 

Edited by Chill3
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On the occasions I've chased down the driver and let them know, the response is usually along the lines of "I didn't see you" (as in I didn't do it on purpose so it would have been OK to kill you) and I've never had a single apology despite a (usually) polite approach from me.

It reminds me of the saying that there are 2 types of cyclists, those who have been knocked off their bike, and those who will be.

We call it a SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn't See You). I've been knocked off my bike by a car failing to give way once. Luckily there was no traffic in the next lane as that where my bike and I landed.

 

However we perceive the risk of cycling on road, it's still statistically safer than riding on shared bike/walking paths. The vast majority of my mates have been hit by cars, sometimes at high speed, but they are all still here and still cycling. I believe the average fatality a year for cyclists is around 15 Australia wide. Considering 10% of peak hour vehicles entering Melbournes CBD these days are bicycles, it's a pretty low number, we just get scared more often as we know how vulnerable we are.

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Don't suppose you have seen the latest TopGear (Series 21 ep 5) - some funny stuff re this the guys were asked to do "cycling safety advertisements "

 

Clarkson's slogan - "work hard, earn money and get a car " :)

 

That was actually very favorable to cyclists once you got past the obvious humor. And he obviously didn't use the chamois cream correctly :lol:

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We call it a SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn't See You). I've been knocked off my bike by a car failing to give way once. Luckily there was no traffic in the next lane as that where my bike and I landed.

 

However we perceive the risk of cycling on road, it's still statistically safer than riding on shared bike/walking paths. The vast majority of my mates have been hit by cars, sometimes at high speed, but they are all still here and still cycling. I believe the average fatality a year for cyclists is around 15 Australia wide. Considering 10% of peak hour vehicles entering Melbournes CBD these days are bicycles, it's a pretty low number, we just get scared more often as we know how vulnerable we are.

How is it statistically safer on the road than on a shared walk/bike path on a typical Melbourne street that have dedicated bike paths? A car door getting open on a bike rider will potentially course a real injury and damage to a bike.

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Because there are no dogs off lead or iPod wearing girls walking on the wrong side of the road. If you road craft is well honed you should never get doored. I've never been and have spent a few years riding 20km's each way through inner Melbourne. I don't ride in the "door zone" and am happy to make cars change lanes to get around me rather than try to let them squeeze by...

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Regardless of how careful you going to be as a cyclist, it will not protect you against a motorist that for what ever reason is distracted.

More cars  more bikes and more mobile phones = some one really Fu@ked up!

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Although i feel less safe riding on Sydney's roads now i'm older, my only serious collisions involving cars were back in the UK when i was younger. T-boned once by an old dear one dreary December evening that made a banana of my lovely Peugeot frame and gave me a few head scars to impress the girls, and me misjudging my speed going down a steep country road and ploughing into the back of a slow driver. It's easy to think things are getting worse as cities here grow so quickly but a lot of it i think is heightened awareness in the media and the existence of internet forums these days.

 

I get far less of the prat leaning out of the window to shout as they go passed here than i ever did in England. 

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I've been riding to work since 1997 and had many incidents.

The worst, in my first year, almost killed me, then in 2005 I had another incident with a car and "only" broke my wrist.

 

You always have to ride expecting drivers to do the wrong thing. But sometimes your luck runs out..

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How is it in society people can be so uncaring - no matter who was at fault if I'd knocked someone off their bike by opening my door I'd do everything to make sure they were OK - this guy is a nutcase?

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How is it in society people can be so uncaring - no matter who was at fault if I'd knocked someone off their bike by opening my door I'd do everything to make sure they were OK - this guy is a nutcase?

No Andy, he wears a suit, he's important. He was no doubt on his way to a very important meeting. To make money.

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How is it in society people can be so uncaring - no matter who was at fault if I'd knocked someone off their bike by opening my door I'd do everything to make sure they were OK - this guy is a nutcase?

 

Not only that, his total arrogance!

But that is a very Brighton thing.

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The area where I live adjoins a world heritage listed wetland and nature reserve.So several pest species are banned.That includes cats and lycra wearing cyclists.Now if we can only get rid of the Jehova Witnesses!

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What are you saying thomo - heritage list Melbourne?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh shite....just realized that could be taken the wrong way......I mean't list to ban the bikes! (tongue firmly in cheek).

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What are you saying thomo - heritage list Melbourne?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh shite....just realized that could be taken the wrong way......I mean't list to ban the bikes! (tongue firmly in cheek).

I thought that was the only hope for the Melbourne Football Club.

Cat skin wearing cyclists might be OK.

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Only on a lead............and kept inside at night.

 

 

 

 

 

Back on topic - what are some ways to make it safer for cyclists? Would a rule requiring drivers to pull up to the kerb before allowing passengers alight make it safer? So they are not opening doors into cycle lanes or cycle spaces.

 

NFA

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No, I've had a taxi cut across the bike line in StKilda Road literally right in front of me forcing me into the gutter and ironically I nearly collected the fare that they'd just spotted who was hailing cabs from the curb. There's one simple thing that will make it safer for cyclists: both cyclists and drivers and passengers need to look.

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The problem as I see it is people are used to looking when alighting from the drivers side as that is obviously a dangerous side, but for the vast majority of the times when alighting from the passenger side the car is at the kerbside and it is safe to do so without looking as you would have taken note of pedestrians close by as the car drove in. It is only dangerous for those few times when there is a cycle lane. How do you instill that training in people to be observant for those few occasions?

 

Better training for the taxi drivers to warn passengers about cyclists before they get out?

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How do you instill that training in people to be observant for those few occasions?

 

One good practice is to open the car door with your inside hand. This way you physically turn to the side of the car, extending your peripheral vision towards the rear of the vehicle. So on the driver's side, you open the car door with your left hand turning to catch normal passing traffic (or cyclists) out of the right corner of your vision. On the passenger's, you open to door with your right hand, turning to catch any cycle lane traffic out of the left hand corner of your vision.

 

I'm not saying this is a cure all, but it's got to be a lot better than kicking the door out with out looking at all.

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I am always cycle aware and motor cycle aware. Have been for ages, even though I only recently bought a bike.

 

It's often a case of people who may look but don't see ( observe )

Edited by Phantom
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One good practice is to open the car door with your inside hand. This way you physically turn to the side of the car, extending your peripheral vision towards the rear of the vehicle. So on the driver's side, you open the car door with your left hand turning to catch normal passing traffic (or cyclists) out of the right corner of your vision. On the passenger's, you open to door with your right hand, turning to catch any cycle lane traffic out of the left hand corner of your vision.

 

I'm not saying this is a cure all, but it's got to be a lot better than kicking the door out with out looking at all.

 

That is a great practice. Thanks Monty!

 

A simple yet effective action.

 

NFA

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One good practice is to open the car door with your inside hand. This way you physically turn to the side of the car, extending your peripheral vision towards the rear of the vehicle. So on the driver's side, you open the car door with your left hand turning to catch normal passing traffic (or cyclists) out of the right corner of your vision. On the passenger's, you open to door with your right hand, turning to catch any cycle lane traffic out of the left hand corner of your vision.

 

I'm not saying this is a cure all, but it's got to be a lot better than kicking the door out with out looking at all.

 

its just simple things like this motorists need to start doing, I say as motorist myself.

 

we seem to even forget simple things like "look left look right and look bike" anyone remember that ?

 

riding bikes is only good...for health and the environment...but for some reason our society just cant see its place...

 

and while our society cant even see it...accidents will continue to happen and cyclists continue to be quite exposed to risk..

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The problem as I see it is people are used to looking when alighting from the drivers side as that is obviously a dangerous side, but for the vast majority of the times when alighting from the passenger side the car is at the kerbside and it is safe to do so without looking as you would have taken note of pedestrians close by as the car drove in. It is only dangerous for those few times when there is a cycle lane. How do you instill that training in people to be observant for those few occasions?

 

Better training for the taxi drivers to warn passengers about cyclists before they get out?

 

taxi drivers have full access to mirrors to look down the sides of the car and could easily warn their passengers to say. stop...a bike is down the side of the car...

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We call it a SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn't See You). I've been knocked off my bike by a car failing to give way once. Luckily there was no traffic in the next lane as that where my bike and I landed.

 

However we perceive the risk of cycling on road, it's still statistically safer than riding on shared bike/walking paths. The vast majority of my mates have been hit by cars, sometimes at high speed, but they are all still here and still cycling. I believe the average fatality a year for cyclists is around 15 Australia wide. Considering 10% of peak hour vehicles entering Melbournes CBD these days are bicycles, it's a pretty low number, we just get scared more often as we know how vulnerable we are.

 

scared me enough to check with my wife, whom also commutes by bike most days, and she replied she is very carefull with cars and other motorists. wont cross paths with them unless has eye contact and acknoledgement from them to pass and she always replys with a nod to acknowledge their response. was pleased to know she takes care. but still worries me the motorists she doesnt see and dont see her...

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ps dont get me started on the pathetic bicycle shared path/road business councils and governement are providing as an excuse for bike paths ! 

 

ferntree gully road in melbourne for instance, what a joke ! what they do is ever 400 m or so on the road they put a bicycle symbol with a little white line alongside to signify a bike path...yep like thats going to help things ! 

 

I have come to realise cars and trucks and vans just dont mix with bikes. just too risky...and when they do gee as a cyclists have to just ramp up the awareness, but still leaves me worried ! 

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I think we need to be careful not to overstate the dangers of cycling. Otherwise we run the risks: first of discouraging new or inexperienced cyclists; and second of giving oxygen to anti-cyclist rants that bicycles don’t belong on the road.

 

I don’t mean to dismiss the dangers of cycling outright. Of course, cyclists are vulnerable road users. In any collision with a motor vehicle the speed and mass differential means it’s the cyclist who’ll come off second best. Accidents happen. The consequences can be horrific, but the risk is not high.  I’ve been an all weather all season cycle commuter for over 20 years and I’ve never been hit by a car (I’ve had some narrow shaves and falls, of course). Those are pretty good odds.

 

It’s up to all of us, individually and as a society to make the roads safer.  One little thing I like to do is to ride ‘like an ambassador’.  Whenever a motorist does something that makes my ride smoother (giving way, dropping back to give me the lane leading into a roundabout or chicane, whatever) I give them a smile and wave of thanks (even if they’re just doing what they’re supposed to do).  Good manners cost nothing and it makes me feel good too.

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monty I'd happily take my kids riding on a bike path on a weekend. and jog on these same paths totally in confidence of my safety.

 

but its motorists out there that seem totally oblivious to bicycles that worries me.

 

I like your stlyle though :)

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But if cyclists ride in the 'parking' lane then how would a car driver expect 'any' vehicles to commute in that lane?

 

When you park a car you can open your door and get out (within your lane).

 

Just wondering out loud.

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reminded me just how helpless as cyclists can be. you are just not even seen or noticed. and I ride with hi-vis, lit up like a christmas tree, not riding in pitch darkness etc. still feel am not seen !

It's a shame you are giving up.

But you are not helpless.

First of all, there is magical solution that eliminates risk, mode of transport is irrelevant.

So switching to another mode of transport won't eliminate the risk, it will only change it.

But you can reduce risks.

If you are not seen, my estimate is that your road placement is open for improvement.

Road positioning is so much more important then lights and high vis.

There are ways to improve being noticed.

Secondly, if you are expecting drivers to make mistakes in advance, you can prepare for this, and take evasive action.

In al lot of situations, the incident could be avoided by taking a different approach to hazardous situations.

When I ride, I'm not expecting drivers to see me, I'm expecting that they don't.

If they then create I situation that causes problems for me, I am prepared, and have a evasive plan.

This is highly effective, and puts me in control of everything I can see in front of me.

I don't have any control about traffic behind me, but I put that in the categorie of 'comes with the territory'.

NO matter what form of transport you choose , you are never 100% in control.

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Regardless of how careful you going to be as a cyclist, it will not protect you against a motorist that for what ever reason is distracted.

More cars  more bikes and more mobile phones = some one really Fu@ked up!

Nope, nothing will protect you from drugged or drunk drivers either.

But live is not without risk.

Those drivers will never stop me from enjoying cycling.

I'm not stop cycling, cause of what if.

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taxi drivers have full access to mirrors to look down the sides of the car and could easily warn their passengers to say. stop...a bike is down the side of the car...

Yes, but it's useless if passengers won't listen.

Taxi drivers can assist, but can not prevent or stop passengers from leaving.

It's the passengers responsibility to look before opening.

Not the taxi driver.

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It's a shame you are giving up.

But you are not helpless.

First of all, there is magical solution that eliminates risk, mode of transport is irrelevant.

So switching to another mode of transport won't eliminate the risk, it will only change it.

But you can reduce risks.

If you are not seen, my estimate is that your road placement is open for improvement.

Road positioning is so much more important then lights and high vis.

There are ways to improve being noticed.

Secondly, if you are expecting drivers to make mistakes in advance, you can prepare for this, and take evasive action.

In al lot of situations, the incident could be avoided by taking a different approach to hazardous situations.

When I ride, I'm not expecting drivers to see me, I'm expecting that they don't.

If they then create I situation that causes problems for me, I am prepared, and have a evasive plan.

This is highly effective, and puts me in control of everything I can see in front of me.

I don't have any control about traffic behind me, but I put that in the categorie of 'comes with the territory'.

NO matter what form of transport you choose , you are never 100% in control.

 

not giving up, never said I would...but am just more fully aware of the risks... as recently reminded :)

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But you are not riding on the road anymore.. ?

 

dont have to ride on a road to enjoy riding ! ;) as I mentioned on my opening post I stopped riding on a road ages ago after a bus tried to take me out ! so yeah I ever since have continued riding....just not on roads ! 

 

but yeah just because you dont ride on a road, doesnt mean you dont interact with other motorists.....

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Taxis should be purpose-built for the task, not bloody sedans. The poms had this sorted decades ago. Even better, the Nissan NV200 now adopted by NYC. This vehicle would be a step towards designing out the problem of taxi passengers dooring cyclists.

 

0nyctot924001.jpg

 

But the reality in Australia is that we don't have a cycling-friendly mentality. The culture is non-existent.

 

Here is a great article on why Holland is so bicycle-centric.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23587916

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The answer is more people riding bikes.

 

Only when the numbers are high enough will drivers start to expect them.

 

I also think decent bike lanes are important. The sort of bike lanes which physically separate the traffic from bikes. And they have to be wide enough to be attractive to use.

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