/ Car, turning right, hits cyclist in opposite cycle lane
In a case like this, there is no ambiguity - the driver was definitely at fault. There are eye-witnesses in the video and this is not an accident - it is blatantly incompetent driving.
The government should revoke the driver's license and take them off the roads forever.
Typical incorrect headline - "... Cyclist smashes head on in to a car" which should read "... driver crashes in to cyclist"
This is why road cycling awareness should form a central part of the driving test.
It's not aggressive, it's just ignorance.
Did that guy seriously land on his feet?! Good effort.
I suppose it is totally possible driver didn't see them, so not paying attention.
Very possible and still inexcusable. I see no mention in the report of her being charged with a motoring offence - in fact she even disputed the insurance claim !
No doubt the usual suspects will be along soon to argue that by wearing a head cam the cyclist was hoping for a crash and therefore at fault, or at least "asking for it"
Shouldn't the cyclist have had lights on his bike and be wearing high-viz clothing given that he presented a narrow profile and so was harder to see?
Yep, you're correct. They should have been painted bright yellow and orange, with a rotating strobe light on their helmet, as well as at least a dozen lights along the handlebars, despite it apparently being broad daylight.
Alternatively, the driver could have looked left and made sure nothing was coming the other way. I've had a few near misses with the same scenario, while wearing a brand new high-viz top, and a light being on. Doesn't matter what you are wearing, if the other road user doesn't look, they are not going to see you.
> > The government should revoke the driver's license and take them off the roads forever.
That seems harsh. As someone has already said it is likely that the driver didn't see the cyclist. No excuse though, and a fine for driving without due care and attention would be appropriate. But revoking someone's licence for ever for making a human error seems too extreme.
I'll bet there isn't anyone amongst us who hasn't made a careless mistake at some time. Generally we get away with it as a "near miss". I had one last week in France when I missed understanding a "priority a droit" situation and nearly hit a car which pulled across me from a road joining on the right. If I had hit it, it would have been my fault for not paying full attention to the French rules of the road. I would feel mighty pissed off however, if I got a lifetime ban from driving in France as a result.
We are all human.
Same happened to me - luckily I was in a car doing 20 mph not on a bike - wouldn't have fancied being hit on a bike. Be careful out there - they're not looking out for you.
It looks quite dull and overcast with lots of 'street furniture' and the like. I'd imagine the cyclist would easily blend in to his background in such circumstances.
But if the driver is not spending the time looking as Scomuir says you can be done like the Trafalger Square Christmas tree and still not be seen.
there seems to be a reason for drivers 'not seeing' cyclists http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilot-teach-cyclists/ which is why any road user needs to look, look and look again.
I dispute this. Lights would offer contrast and you'd stand out quite markedly.
There is also evidence that having lights on joints (ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders and head), would make the human form stand out significantly and draw attention to yourself (can't remember where I read this).
It is to do with motion illusion and is illustrated with this human light-point walker animation (http://bit.ly/1kbVrQL). This is just a collection of light points, but your brain sees it as a walking human...but it is just light points. It shows though, that arranging lights on key parts of the body, moving in concert, makes your brain 'see' a person - even if no person exists.
My point above is made in this article "The smaller the vehicle, the greater the chance it will fall within a saccade."
That's why you drive according to the weather, road, traffic (or street furniture) conditions.
Would you also appear to attribute some blame to a pedestrian being knocked down by this driver at this junction, if they were not wearing lights & high-viz clothing while crossing the road?
In fact, imagine it was the other way round, and the cyclist turned right into a car. How do you think it would sound if the cyclist said that the car should have had lights on, and be a brighter colour? Yes, there is of course a difference in size, but again, if you don't look, you're never going to see whatever it is coming your way.
The car driver is to blame. I am making the point that, as we see from the comments on this thread alone, this phenomenon is not unheard of so we should do all we can as cyclists to make sure we stand out.
If you are paralysed from such a crash and 'in the right'....well you are still paralysed. I am offering a possible strategy to make cyclists stand out significantly.
With regard to your comment about the cyclist turning in to a car, as above "The smaller the vehicle, the greater the chance it will fall within a saccade." Thus it is more likely that a car will be visible to the cyclist. Also as cycling is more 'viceral' and often slower mode of transport than that of a driver cocooned in his/her car at speeds of at least 30mph, the cyclist will likely be more attuned to the dangers present and at a slower rate of sensory overload.
Yes. A good example of this is drivers who are blinded by the sun... it happens. There's nothing that can be done, other than the driver to take extreme care. exactly the same as fog.
I can't see this video as I'm at work, but it sounds very like the scenarios you read about where a driver waiting in traffic flashes another vehiclecoming the other way that its ok to turn, the turning driver then assumes its safe, and drives into cyclist/bus/car in the next lane across because they've abdicated their responsiblity.
In this case probably an over reaction to ban a driver for life as suggested, however it needs to be clearer that driving a car is a privilige, not a right, and there are some people who either don't have the ability to drive within reasonable bounds of safety, or don't have the mental capacity/morals to understand that when you are driving, you are responsible for the safety of people around you, and therefore 100% of your concentration should be on the road and nothing else (obviously there are very few drivers including myself that don't occasionally day-dream/have careless moments.) When these people injure another road user (be it a cyclist, other driver pedestrian etc) they must be held accountable for their negligence and in severe cases a life ban is fully justified (and probably not enough punishment)
"The government should revoke the driver's license and take them off the roads forever."
Do you also believe this should be meted out to any drive who turns across another car and thus hits it?
If not, why not? The level of incompetence is the same.
Do you even think its anything to do with the government at all ?
Banning for life would clearly be an over-reaction in this case (though applicable elsewhere), but if no action is taken against the driver (as it would appear) then that is just as much an under-reaction.
Being blinded by sunlight has frequently and successfully been used as an excuse for hitting cyclists - no amount of hi-viz clothing is going to make a difference there.
But the big problem with the hi-viz lobby is that it puts the onus on cyclists to do something outside of the norm - no one is calling for pedestrians or motorist to wear special clothing or helmets - and risk being blamed if you don't. All of which has the effect of putting people off cycling.
Sensasionalist pish. I am not defending the driver but we certainly don't know their side of this story. I am sure many people could post that excellent blog by the fighter jet pilot who gives many good reasons why "I didn't see them coming" is as good a reason as any.
Any surely everyone knows that insurance companies hate it if you admit responsibility for an accident?
Just glad the cyclist was ok.
> Banning for life would clearly be an over-reaction in this case (though applicable elsewhere), but if no action is taken against the driver (as it would appear) then that is just as much an under-reaction.
> Being blinded by sunlight has frequently and successfully been used as an excuse for hitting cyclists - no amount of hi-viz clothing is going to make a difference there.
> But the big problem with the hi-viz lobby is that it puts the onus on cyclists to do something outside of the norm - no one is calling for pedestrians or motorist to wear special clothing or helmets - and risk being blamed if you don't. All of which has the effect of putting people off cycling.
High viz clothing ain't sexy, but lights are now small and bright enough for some entrepreneur to oblige in the way I've indicated above.
The conditions in the video appear overcast so in this case, may have worked.
God knows some of the strobes cyclists in the Peak use regularly blind me in such conditions and stand out VERY strongly even in bright conditions given their blue-hue.
I agree with your sentiment that "no one is calling for pedestrians or motorist to wear special clothing or helmets" but the status quo is that drivers will continue to hit cyclists in circumstances such as the above. Drivers will still use their phones. Drivers will still feel they have priority over other road users.
Cycling is increasing in popularity and roads aren't getting wider or less crowded. Do you think your average 25 year old driver is going to be influenced to change driver habits by legislation?
"God knows some of the strobes cyclists in the Peak use regularly blind me in such conditions"
Don't encourage people to use those. It does my head in being blinded when driving and cycling and having these shone in my face. And it's downright dangerous to have a dazzled driver heading towards you unable to see your exact position because they are dazzled.
If they don't have dim-dip features of any kind, they are NOT suitable for use on the public road.
I have rewatched this video over a dozen times now. I agree that it is the driver's fault here, by law - and logic. But a separate issue bugs me. It is clear that the car is beginning to turn from the moment just before the cyclist hits the green lane; yet he doesn't seem to slow down - in fact, it looks to me like he's pedaling on practically till the crash. Whether it is a blind hope that the car will stop at the last moment and leave him a foot of space to pass, or simply inability (or unwillingness) to look around and assess the situation, I do not know. Regardless, while the driver is at fault, it seems like both parties aren't particularly attentive or careful enough. The road is full of people barely able to drive; and if you do not take it into account (whether driving or cycling), you aren't gonna get very far (although the consequences might be worse for a cyclist).
> I suppose it is totally possible driver didn't see them, so not paying attention.
Also possible he was paying attention and still didn't see him, our vision/perception can be much patchier than we might like to think.
The cyclist doesn't exactly appear to be defensive. He's fast approaching in the wet a car that already appears to be creeping out on the left and the one that hit him appears to be indicating. Alarm bells should really be ringing. Approaching that in those conditions at that speed in a car I'd be on the brakes and hovering over the horn, on a bike it's much the same but I'd be less visible and more vulnerable. People make mistakes (you/me included), accepting that and doing your best to mitigate the risk is all part of road use.
We hear the cyclist when he becomes aware of the car coming across his path, it is as soon as the car starts to make the manoeuvre. The distances are small, time very short, I am pretty certain he could not have stopped quickly enough. If the driver had hit the brakes half way through the manoeuvre he probably would have got past. As it was I don't think the driver looked until the cyclist was on the bonnet. It is a judgement call, braking hard may have put the cyclist under the rear wheels.
> I have rewatched this video over a dozen times now. I agree that it is the driver's fault here, by law - and logic. But a separate issue bugs me. It is clear that the car is beginning to turn from the moment just before the cyclist hits the green lane; yet he doesn't seem to slow down - in fact, it looks to me like he's pedaling on practically till the crash. Whether it is a blind hope that the car will stop at the last moment and leave him a foot of space to pass, or simply inability (or unwillingness) to look around and assess the situation, I do not know. Regardless, while the driver is at fault, it seems like both parties aren't particularly attentive or careful enough. The road is full of people barely able to drive; and if you do not take it into account (whether driving or cycling), you aren't gonna get very far (although the consequences might be worse for a cyclist).
This is my reading of the event. I feel that the cyclist was riding in a way as to force the situation. He had the right of way, don't get me wrong, but I think it was foreseeable.
And before any hot-heads jump up and down WE HAVE ALL DONE IT,RIDING WITH THE SENSE THAT WE ARE IN THE RIGHT AND SO WE WILL HAPPILY TAKE THE IMPACT! Sure we are in the right, but NO we are NOT going to back down.
The woman at the end that asks straight away if he is alright and gets him to sit down makes me believe there is still some good left in this world.
I watched it a few more times, he did not have a hope of getting out of the way, there was no forcing the situation.
Watch the video again, and pause it at the points were key things happen. There's less than one second from the point that the car starts turning across the centre line, and the impact with the cyclist.
I acknowledge that you agree that the driver is at fault, yet I struggle with your view that the cyclist could have foreseen this, or "forced the situation", or should have "backed down". If the cyclist slows down when approaching every junction, that very action will encourage drivers to try and make the manoeuvre crossing their path, in the same way that cycling close into the edge of the road encourages dangerous overtaking on stretches of road that are too narrow for a safe overtake.
The car driver was a muppet and must surely shoulder full legal responsibility.
The muppet car driver was however a clearly perceptible hazard, there was no sudden "going for it" on their behalf, but a gradual creep turning into a manoeuvre.
The cyclist doesn't change their view once in the entire video, no looking over shoulders on clear sections, no looking up and ahead - assuming their default stance is roughly similar to the cameras's view.
If the cyclist keeps riding like that they're going to keep breaking their bike and one day their back.
It's no fun being the moral winner but the physical looser.
I suspect that if this had been a driving test hazard perception test, the cyclist would have been expected to perceive the hazard several seconds before they notice in the video.
Perceiving hazards and adjusting your driving, riding or running style accordingly is partially about saving yourself from other people's bad mistakes. This is even more the case on two wheels. Personally I am very cautious about crossing the path of a turning car until I have made eye contact. I don't like to slow down as this is likely to encourage them to "go for it" but I am not going to be blindsided by them either.
If I am approach a car in a situation like the one in the video, and it is clear the driver has no awareness of me, I will change my lane positioning then pre-grip the breaks, then prepare to slow PDQ.
Ah, but if he'd been going a walking pace, he'd have had time to stop. And if he hadn't been on the road at all, cos he doesn't pay road tax, the incident wouldn't have happened.
I despair that even in a clear-cut case as this some people seem so desperate to find some fault with the victim.
I despair every time this line is trotted out.
Saying that the victim could have avoided something is not the same as saying it is their fault. I used to think differently until I had a nasty case of being knocked off a motorbike at speed which was not my fault. I then realised that no matter whose fault it may be, I was going to work hard to make sure that I was not a victim of others again. Doing so involves recognising actions that I personally can take to improve my chances of survival against the mistakes of others.
I think you are misreading what Chris was saying (writing) - As I stated in my earlier post, the headline is "Cyclist smashes head on in to a car" implying that it was the cyclist at fault.
A few years ago I witness a similar accident though between a car turning right and a van. The car driver was immediately trying to blame the van driver when it was entirely his fault as he shouldn't have cut across two lanes of traffic that was on the move. Even longer ago I was in an accident when a van pulled out in to me *after* the driver and I had made eye contact - he'd just had a "moment" - fortunately the only damage was to our vehicles.
Whether driving or riding we all make guesses as to the probability of other road users doing particular actions, it's when someone does something odd that things go wrong. In the case in the video, the car driver had no reason to carry on making the manouevre so the cyclist would be assuming that they were going to stop. In a way they both got it wrong but it was the car driver's fault.
Agreed - "ride as if everyone else is out to kill you" is a snappy reminder, but if you followed it strictly you'd never leave your house. In practice you've got to draw the line somewhere and assume some level of competence from other people on the road.
Perhaps a more sensible idea is that you shouldn't deliberately put yourself at risk just in order to assert your priority. If you think someone is going to do something stupid, let them, humour them, wave your fist or raise a finger if you must, but live another day.
Fair dos. A technically true statement but I can see how it could be construed misleadingly. Not sure what a more aligned statement would be "Driver puts car in front of cycle sending cyclist airport" is not such a snappy headline...
That's where the cyclist has to look specifically *at* the car driver to see if they have any recognition of the cyclist, or if their head is already looking where the car is going to go. In the video the cyclist never adjusts their gaze towards the car, and peripheral vision is not good enough to tell you where a car driver is looking. The cyclist assumed the car wasn't going to try and kill them; whilst I agree that if you don't you might end up cowering at home behind the sofa. In practice - eye contact, or at least look to see where the driver is looking. Every time.
You cycle much Shani?
Only ask because I do, and I'm 6 foot 4, 21 stone, quite broad (in short I'm far from a narrow profile) and my hi-viz jacket and flashy LED lights jacket appear to double as a Klingon cloak of invisibility.
That's the only explanation as to why I've had about three of these types of things happen to me (luckily they were near misses).
It could also explain why people often overtake me on the roads (leaving a lot of space, which is nice), come to a crossroads and then do a sharp left, almost taking me out. They must have noticed me when overtook me, yet they forgot I was there when they came to the turn?
Maybe they all just hate me. I have one of those faces. :)
I probably use the roads about 70% of the time on a bike, and 30% in a car. I'm slowly getting more and more convinced that you shouldn't be allowed to pass unless you've spent three weeks on a bicycle riding around the streets of a major city.
I don't see how it's possible to make any appreciable difference to his speed from the moment the car starts turning till the moment of impact - around 1.5 seconds. It doesn't really matter how quick your reactions are, or how good your brakes are, on a road bike with skinny tyres on a wet road you're not going to get the traction to make any difference.
However, you do tend to have enough grip to change direction, if you have the space to do so. The main thing the video highlights for me in regard to the cyclist is the importance of ignoring the cycle lane markings and taking up a dominant position in the driving lane, giving yourself the most possible room to maneuver if someone does something stupid.
I cycle weekly at the moment, on occasion daily. I've also been knocked off my bike by a car trying to get past me on the road leading up to the Botanical Gardens from Hunter's Bar in Sheffield. It was dark but I had three flashing rearward lights, high viz jacket and at 6ft 3" and 80 odd kg, figured I was visible.
And do you know what? The motorist DID see me, he just thought he could make the gap on a narrow bit of road (traffic was double lane on the opposite side of the road thus making things tight).
Nowadays I ride such sections further out from the gutter to prevent motorists 'going for it'. Yes I am assertive when I need to be. But I also know that being 'right' shouldn't preclude you from reflecting on how you could have made the situation better for yourself.
Agree. And so do I. Point I was trying to make was that sometimes, no matter how much better you try and make the situation for yourself there are some people who shouldn't be in control of a 1 ton piece of steel on the roads. I didn't feel the need in that clips to find reasons why the cyclist was at fault, because he wasn't. The motorist was. The motorist made that situation happen. And although there is no way of proving it I reckon she would probably have hit that cyclist even if he was lit up like a christmas tree.
This exact thing happened to me two weeks ago. I had decent lights on my bike but the driver (who incidentally was uninsured and drove off) just turned right without looking. I smashed my face up and dislocated my AC joint, can't climb for 6 weeks. My forks snapped exactly like in the video and I think the rest of the bike is a write-off
It's crazy to think that Shani and sgitl are stupid enough to suggest that the cyclist 'forced this situation' or deliberately took the hit to avoid backing down. If a car turns right when you are already over the junction there is no way you can stop. I slammed my brakes and all that happened was that I skidded for a second before my face and shoulder slammed into the passenger door. Perhaps I avoided going under the wheels but i don't think it made any difference. My crash could have easily been much more serious as could this one. I don't know what planet Shani lives on to suggest that cyclists in these situations deliberately take an impact on a point of principle. I've cycled across traffic almost daily for probably 8 years and never been in a situation like this before. I know how and when to assert myself and when to be vigilant but there are some situations you can't legislate for.
I was probably doing 20mph ish. A similar speed to what a car would have been doing on the stretch of road where I was hit, and I'm fairly sure that the driver would have seen a car.
I don't think you can tell whether or not the driver in this video indicates but it's irrelevant really. I can't remember if the car that hit me was indicating (probably because I immediately smashed my face on his car) but even if he had been, I would have taken his indication to mean that he would turn right after I had passed the junction, not drive straight into me. I take on board the point that its no good being dead but in the right but if you assume that everyone on the road will drive as if they haven't seen you, you couldn't get on the road in the first place
Did you see that the one who ran over his bike also claimed not guilty?
There seem to be a lot of drivers who, despite bearing no ill will towards cyclists, don't seem to understand that we can and regularly do exceed 5mph.
... its a 18 second clip (8 seconds before he's hit) There was no reason look over his shoulder, he's going in a straight line. Do you look over your shoulder every 8 seconds? Thought not. He might have seen that car the whole time, but it doesn't change anything, he has a second or two max as the car turns. You have thinking distance and braking distance, absolutely impossible, what is he supposed to do? Throw himself into oncoming traffic?
If the driver keeps driving like that, they're going to kill someone. Better focus on the cyclist though.
He had no chance of stopping.
So what are you actually doing? You're not slowing down so you get hit by the car same as this guy.
Where would you go? You've got a second to check over your shoulder for moving out and then try miss the car (if the way is clear).
It looks like he's avoided serious injury and has got a insurance payout. That's a pretty good state of affairs when someone pulls out infront of you like that. You don't sound like a cyclist.
Btw the whole "make eye contact with the driver" this isn't any use. They stare right at you and pull out, that advice isn't used anymore.
Believe me, there are times where I would say 'had he been more defensive', but this isn't one of them.
While I agree that it is wet and thus it is unlikely the cyclist would have been able to stop completely, the point is not necessarily stopping but slowing down and mitigating the consequences.
I regularly look back, yes. I also regularly look up. I would have looked up once in that clip, maybe back once for reasons revealed in a bit... Changing view is a big help to helping your vision system perceive hazards.
Yes and he has a long time before that second or two to perceive an obvious hazard. If you perceive an obvious hazard and it gets you, you're not working very hard to preserve your safety against the idiocy of others.
I started by stating the driver was an idiot and at fault. Against such idiocy the cyclist absolutely has to focus on the cyclist or else they will get broken.
Go read my other post. Look for eye contact, look for recognition the driver has seen me - where are they looking? Change road position - get their attention by motion other than towards them. Hands on brakes - ready to slow down if all else fails.
You know earlier when you said I'd not have checked over my shoulder. Now you know why I might have! Perceive distant hazard? Check shoulder. If I can't for some reason it's a good sign I am going I fast and should slow down. Also, breaks are pre-gripped approaching a hazard like this, that's another half to quarter second of breaking, and I don't ride slicks. The more you slow down, even of you don't stop, the better.
>. You don't sound like a cyclist.
Well I am. You sound like a tit for assuming that all cyclists must have the same mindset Motorbikes for 5 years, owened a car for five, used to cycle commute 2500 miles a year. Still cycle a lot.
Well then you're screwed, nothings perfect. If you look at them and they are looking not at you but at where they're aiming to go, it gives you a damned good idea of what's going to happen. Not perfect but hey; it helps in some cases.
I'll moderate my opinions on suitable punishments: the driver should have her license revoked but be permitted to apply for a new one after a one-year ban. She should have to take the driver's license test, again, and pass an advanced driving course or awareness course.
This would rehabilitate the driver and avoid a permanent sentence. It would also force her to experience the plight of pedestrians (and even, perhaps, cyclists) for a year - lending some much needed perspective.
Can I just ask, would any of you *drive* like that? Fast approaching a narrow junction with a car creeping out of it and a car indicating into it (nowhere to go if the car keeps creeping), in the wet and without any appreciable sign of slowing, covering the brakes or even acknowledging the hazard?
Yeah, the car turning in made a mistake but it's not the only one on that video. People make mistakes, you can't change that so you accept it and take what action you can to keep yourself safe on the road.
Flying instructors know that as people scan a scene, the brain blanks out the bits where the eyes are actually moving between objects because the brain doesn't want the blurry bits. This explains whey drivers, even good drivers, can easily miss a relatively small object in an apparently obvious position in their field of vision. The answer is for the cyclist to move laterally across the driver's field of vision so that the movement attracts the driver's eye. As a motorcyclist I used to move right across the field of vision of drivers waiting to come out of junctions, s well as covering horn and brakes and sometimes even holding the headlight full beam button down.
Exactly, you need to ride defensively. (I certainly do since being T-Boned by a bus last year). It's no use arguing over rights of way from a hospital bed.
I doubt I would, but realistically it would depend on the junction, conditions, speed of events, etc.
Someone mentioned about having a flashing front light even in bright daylight - imagine as a driver if thirty cyclists with flashing lights all moving at different speeds came at you! Wearing hi-viz, well so many people are wearing hi-viz jackets or gilets these days that you hardly notice them.
The underlying problem (more correctly: one of them) is that everyone is in such a rush, no-one seems prepared to wait for anything or anyone regardless of what they are driving/riding. Is the 5 or 10 seconds you "save" by overtaking on a blind corner or squeezing through in the face of oncoming traffic going to be used for anything other than being part of the next traffic jam?
You are making an awful lot of assumptions about the cyclist that you cannot substantiate based on the video.
Would I drive like this. Based on the information I have, I like every other driver in the world would likely have been travelling faster than the bike on that road.
Sounds like you were cycling like a tw*t.
Indeed. But a bike is smaller and less visible than a car.
Yes, car drivers should watch where they are going. But they often don't. They also have a big metal cage around them, so if they crash, most likely they won't die. A cyclist or motorcyclist is different.
Do you want to die? If not, it is sensible to ride more defensively than you would drive a car.
"Someone mentioned about having a flashing front light even in bright daylight - imagine as a driver if thirty cyclists with flashing lights all moving at different speeds came at you!"
This is a good point. But now all new cars have daytime running lights and have had for a couple of years, soon all cars will have them. Then a cyclist without them will be hidden - and they will be at risk as a result.
It's one reason I am not a fan of DRLs, but they are not going to go away, so in practice cyclists will need them soon enough.
I suppose this sort of idiotic response to to be expected.
I was making to simple points. People are making far too many assumptions about the actions and thought processes of this cyclist and secondly, cyclist generally and me definitely do ride more defensively than drivers drive. Speed being a factor in that.
"I suppose this sort of idiotic response to to be expected."
It's not idiotic, it's self-preservation.
A cyclist should not assert their right of way if it will put them at risk. Shout, wave your fist, raise a finger or whatever by all means, but if you're dead your right of way was worthless. As soon as you see someone starting to do something stupid (you're looking at their wheels occasionally, right?), let them do it.
Not saying the cyclist could have avoided this one. But some cyclists do not ride in any way sufficiently defensively.
Speed is in some ways less relevant. Above about walking pace, if you collide with something on a bike it is really going to hurt. In a car it'll hit your wallet, but probably not cause serious injury until a much higher speed.
Total random aside, but isn't it fascinating how creep is more obvious from small wheels than a great big car. Yet another example of how important the quirks of human vision are to hazard perception.
A good point. You can of course also see the front wheels of a car turn just before the car's body actually turns. More warning = more safety.
I look for it all the time, both when driving and when cycling. It's particularly useful for ensuring idiots in the wrong lane don't side-swipe you on roundabouts. Has saved me an insurance claim a couple of times.
They really should teach that sort of thing in driving lessons. (The other thing they really should teach is that a car does not have zero length, and a younger friend who side-swiped a bollard at low speed with me in the passenger seat highlighted this a couple of days ago).
Having watched the clip several times I fail to understand how the car driver could not have been looking in the direction of the oncoming cyclist before turning right, and therefore could not have been driving with due care and attention.
Lights on the bike especially a flashing one may have helped given the overcast conditions.
I'm both a cyclist and Audi driver yes I know a dichotomy ;-)
The car driver was at fault, but the cyclist seems to take no evasive action or ride defensivly (as I would on that road in those conditions) and all cyclists have the most to lose.
Its a busy road with lots of street furniture to break you, most injuries heal but not all. Right or wrong cycle like you want to ride again folks.
Exactly. It was clearly fully the driver's fault (in insurance claim/legal terms), but knowing that is of no use whatsoever if you're dead.
Also worth noting that in some cars a cyclist can get hidden behind the pillar for a short period. The driver, of course, should plan for this and move their head, but again, knowing that is no use when you're lying in a hospital bed with serious injuries.
It is idiotic because it relates in no way to what I have written.
I look for position on road, any turn on front wheels and most importantly look at the driver, you can see if they have seen you.
A fast ride is good and strava sections have to be beaten but not at all costs.
But this isn't about asserting your right of way in the sense of seeing someone in the process of pulling across you and thinking "well, instead of stopping I'll smack into his bonnet and risk killing myself, that'll teach him". It's about not assuming that everyone who has any possibility of ignoring your right of way will do so. Not slowing to a crawl every time you pass a side road just in case someone comes out of it without looking, that sort of thing. For instance, there are two more points in the 8 seconds of that video before the accident where he passes people waiting to pull out - should he have slowed right down for each of them so he could have avoided them even if they'd pulled out at the last minute?
As someone said above, the only sensible way to really "ride like you're invisible" is to stay off the road...
He's moving quickly.
It's visibly wet.
The junction hazard is visible and rings alarm bells from early in the clip.
He doesn't slow.
I'd be surprised if you were moving much faster looking at that road I'm assuming it's wet, in a 30 limit and the bike is really shifting along. Even if you were you're highly visible, what other road users are looking out for and if they still somehow miss seeing you you have 4 big contact patches, abs and a padded metal box around you.
"As someone said above, the only sensible way to really "ride like you're invisible" is to stay off the road..."
True to a point. But yes, it might well be worth slowing down on approaching a turning where there are cars in a position where they might unpredictably turn.
Or at least look for *any* sign of them turning, and when you see it assume they will.
The question is how quickly and if that speed is reasonable.
This relates to the above.
A number of hazards are visible. We don't know about the mitigation from the video.
We don't know if he slows at all or covers his breaks.
You know fine well that even at 25, which is considerably faster than the cyclist is going, you would have traffic queued up behind you. I'll slow in these conditions, but I'm in a minority of drivers.
It's the sort of thing you're probably too busy learning to drive to pick up while learning to drive but worth a mention for sure. It's easy enough to pick up once the actual driving is automatic and the workload has dropped. Like the rest of driving, for most people it just becomes automatic, they often probably couldn't tell you exactly why a hazard situation triggered a response but they respond none the less. Sitting in with a novice driver vs an experienced one is quite eye opening and occasionally alarming as you go to cover the brake pedal you don't have while they blithely accelerate toward whatever it is that's spooked you.
Scanning junctions properly and moving your head around to clear blind spots and change perspectives really should be taught, it costs nothing in terms of added workload. I'd be grounded for not doing it in the air but nobody ever pointed out the huge flaws in my (our) vision while learning to drive among the visual clutter of our roads. The first time I realised I don't always perceive what I can clearly 'see' was when I pulled out on a car from a T junction. I'd looked up the road in good conditions and it wasn't obscured by anything other than my brain blanking out the blurry bits as my eyes flicked around. As soon as I pulled out the perspective changed and a bloody great big car (with a thankfully awake driver) appears in my door window.
There is a car in front of him at the beginning of the clip which accelerates away. Car traffic on the road is moving faster than he is.
"but nobody ever pointed out the huge flaws in my (our) vision while learning to drive among the visual clutter of our roads"
Not just that, but the hazard perception test works only on a view out of the front of the car. Which actually freaks me out a bit, as I am used to looking out of the sides and in the side mirrors very frequently.
You've got to love it, he's riding in the middle of the lane clear as day and at the last minute she pulls across him. His tone of voice says it all, Oh ***k off.
Just like those climbing moments when suddenly the cliff face is whizzing past your nose and you're totally calm just thinking sh*t.
So what? Doesn't mean either of them (cyclist or car early in clip) approach the junction with sufficient caution. The guy in the car will walk away from his error of judgement if it turns out to be one.
"Oh ***k off"
I just watched that section again a few times, and I can see no evidence of any evasive action by the cyclist other than *possibly* slowing a little. I think he assumed the car would see him when he made his assertion.
That phrase was said over about 2 seconds. Probably enough to react in some way.
Still the driver's fault for turning onto oncoming traffic (of any kind) but I think the cyclist could have saved himself anguish by mitigating it a bit, perhaps by turning left alongside the car so it was only a sideswipe rather than a full-on collision. (I've avoided a muppet pulling out on me on a roundabout by that kind of action - she still hit me, but not even with enough force to knock me off, and I don't think there was any damage to her car either, probably just a bit of a thud as the bar hit the window and bounced off).
Edit: Even the way it was said was a typical "I'm sick of cars doing this, pack it in" rather than "My life is in danger, I must react now".
! Neil, I'm not even going there on this discussion, just thought the tone and phrase amusing.
I think your point about the lack of defensive cycling in the video is valid. Especially when you add in that it was his second time out on his new cycle commute.
Incidents like this used to happen to me on a bike, but they generally don't these days. Some of the reasons for that are explainable (in this instance I would have most likely clocked the potential hazard well back and would be slowing and moving towards the centre of the carriageway) but some of them are too subtle to really explain.
However that doesn't take away from the fact that the driver should have seen the cyclist, but they made a human error.
However the ultimate reason for the accident has a lot to do with the design of our infrastructure. If you mix bikes and large volumes of cars on a large scale like we do here, accidents like this are always going to happen. You can educate the driver and the cyclist to be more defensive but it isn't ultimately sustainably safe. There are acres of available real-estate in the video but the bike is being forced to use a narrow car dominated carriageway. There is no subtlety to the design of these streets based on analysis of how accidents happen.
I assume you slow to a crawl whenever you pass any junction (in a bike or a car).
I certainly find that in a 30mph limit I am doing 30mph only some of the time. I will at least be lifting off at quite a number of places when driver's intuition tells me there's a high chance of someone doing something silly.
While this isn't the case here, it's also worth noting that doing quite a fast speed on a bike (20+ mph, perhaps) requires enough physical effort that that physical effort can in itself be a distraction, FWIW. But then I cycle mainly as a mode of transport rather than for fun and mainly at lowish speed. Those practiced at going faster will clearly see this differently.
Crikey - round here you'd be getting continuous blasts of car horn directed at you. 30mph is seen as a target not a limit, drivers enjoy seeing the flashing speed signs as they head to work.
"However the ultimate reason for the accident has a lot to do with the design of our infrastructure. If you mix bikes and large volumes of cars on a large scale like we do here, accidents like this are always going to happen. You can educate the driver and the cyclist to be more defensive but it isn't ultimately sustainably safe. There are acres of available real-estate in the video but the bike is being forced to use a narrow car dominated carriageway. There is no subtlety to the design of these streets based on analysis of how accidents happen."
I saw a counterexample of this on the A5 south of Milton Keynes yesterday, in which the bus I was on almost hit a cyclist because the cyclist in front of him was riding in the shoulder (not, I think, officially a cycle lane there). The bus sounded his horn at the rear cyclist, who did not move into the shoulder (as indeed he did not have to, and given how poor quality and overgrown the shoulder is there nor would it have been sensible to) and as a result came within a few inches of hitting the cyclist (and then overtook far too close). I would certainly have been giving evidence against the bus driver had a collision actually occurred, though won't take it further otherwise because it was a small, less reputable bus company who I know won't do anything about it if I do.
However...I'm with you on the idea that Dutch-style quality cycle infrastructure is needed in our towns and cities. But that said, most such infrastructure is not suitable to cycling at 20mph.
Look at the speed of the white lines going past on the left, it's clear he does slow down.
It appears so, but only slightly. It does not appear to be a full emergency braking, or if it is, his brakes need adjusting or he needs (for his own benefit) to perhaps consider a bike more suited to urban cycling.
 I really, really don't understand why so many people choose road bikes for riding in heavy traffic in places like London. The brakes are far less strong than V-braked hybrids or anything with disc brakes, the narrow wheels more susceptible to damage on the regular potholes, and unless you ride on the drops or you have extra "proper" levers (not the crap linked ones you had in the 80s) on the horizontal bit of the bars you can't put full force into the brakes you do have. Yes, you can go fast, but in city traffic I am more interested in the ability to stop fast and to take evasive action than my top speed.
My commuter has disk brakes. They have a nice loud squeal as well which does make dozy pedestrians take note when they decide to step out in to the road whilst reading their latest status update on their mobile phone.
Hee hee, that can help!
My saddle has developed an irritating squeak of late, I expect I will have to replace it soon but until I do you can definitely hear me approaching.
I would not want brakes any more efficient than those on my road bike, I would suggest they are far more efficient than v-brakes on a hybrid. They are Dura Ace, so top end, but they really are amazingly efficient.
I think they've become contaminated with diesel off the road, even new pads don't get rid of the squeal. They sound more like an HGV applying emergency brakes than a bike! :-)
This raises an interesting point or two; Given that the cyclist was aware of the limitations of skinny tyres on a wet road:
- should he have ridden with this in mind and altered his riding behaviour accordingly (such as reducing speed according to his compromised stopping distance)?
- should bikes of such specialist design (and resulting poor braking qualities - particularly in the wet), be allowed on public roads? We have controls on specialist racing cars and sports bikes to make them road-legal.
I make it 1.5 seconds between seeing the car start to turn and impact. Especially in those road conditions, over that time frame the only thing that slamming on the brakes is going to achieve is locking the wheels up and skidding, where he would have risked going under the wheels. Similarly for a sudden swerve to the left.
V brakes would only make the problem worse, you have too much stopping power and not enough modulation, what you want at speed is modulated braking which is exactly what you get with dual pivot brakes on road bikes.
Not sure I follow any of this. Something is wrong if you are loosing traction under heavy braking with skinny tyres, wet or dry skidding the front wheel is virtually impossible on tarmac.
Road bike brakes on anything but a bottom end bike are really very good in the dry but I admit they loose some performance on the wet.
The reason road race bikes are a poor choice for commuting is because they put you in a head-down position which makes it harder to look a long way ahead and behind as well as many of them not allowing the fitment of mudguards and racks for carrying/keeping you dry.
Why on earth would I do that?
That said, assuming I was paying attention I'd most certainly cover the brake (and usually horn) and/or slow as appropriate when approaching a junction with a car creeping out of it in wet conditions with oncoming traffic restricting my ability to go around if it keeps creeping. I'd suggest any other approach was indicative of inattentiveness, recklessness and/or inexperience.
I'm not claiming I'm a perfect driver, not even a good one. I, like everyone else have been and will be guilty of of being inexperienced, inattentive and even reckless from time to time. I accept that and I accept that like me, others will make mistakes, I just do my best not to get tangled up in them.
Any better straw men to offer?
Eyeballs can rotate. You do realise this? He could have had a perfect view of the road infront, 99% of cars don't turn across your path or you'd have an accident every week.
It's a car on the road pulling up to the middle of the road to turn right? There's no more obvious hazard than that. He could have easily stopped at the speed he was driving.
You may quickly add the caveat about car driver, but here we go again, blaming the cyclist.
As I said, drivers can look straight through you, the fact they are looking at you means nothing, you should know this by now.
It's not just behind you, but there's also the incoming traffic you'd need to throw yourself under. Road bikes don't aqua plane, the tyre doesn't need to shift water in that way. Might help on a motorbike but it's ineffective as road bike tyres cut through.
Cyclists must have the same mindset as motorcyclists? When did I say that? Clearly not. Driving a motorbike is not the same as cycling.
The guy just hasn't seen him, he might have looked directly at him, it's not a sure fire thing. To be honest, trying to brake hard and swerve sounds a good way to end up under someone's tyres in those conditions. Brake gradually, hit head on seems to be the wisest move which is pretty much what he did. How much speed did he scrub off? Not a lot, but he's done well and had good reflexes for his fall landing on his feet like that. Took it like a pro that dive.
I understand why we are focusing on the cyclist because there is no debate about the driver but it's still unfair imo.
Is this a competition in ignorance?
The cyclist was reckless inattentive and inexperienced? 0/10
Covering the brake is not enough when someone pulls out in front of you 10m ahead, slowing down to a crawl was the only way. As we've heard in this thread most wouldn't slow down to that degree then most would have hit the car.
Sometimes misalignment of the pads can cause that kind of vibration - unusual with new pads though as you never quite get them on exactly the same as the previous set.
I was discussing *driving* towards that set-up without slowing but yeah, since you want to go there I'd say possibly all three, possibly a bit of one a bit of another, possibly just one. He got creamed by a car at an obvious hazard he approached at speed in poor conditions... Kinda hard to argue he did everything right!
The car driver is in the wrong but both parties made mistakes.
The point I've been making all along which seems to piss off cyclists and drivers alike is that we're fallible and our vision system is flawed, we make mistakes. We need to accept that and work around it to make our own luck on the roads.
Slowing down to a speed where you can get stopped or take evasive action at least until both vehicles at the junction have clearly acknowledged you visually is the only sensible course of action in that situation. You could change your road position a little to help them lock onto you and you could be well lit but ultimately you have to accept bikes are easy to miss at junctions. If you realise that and are willing to plough on regardless then fine (join the club we're almost all in every day) but you have to accept you drop into the reckless category.
> Is this a competition in ignorance?
If it is, then you've just won with that question.
Go on, justify that! Whilst you are at it, explain why the brakes on road bikes are inadequate for the road.
> Go on, justify that! Whilst you are at it, explain why the brakes on road bikes are inadequate for the road.
First ask yourself what is the objective of most modern road bikes and their design/build. Is safety up there, or is it speed perhaps?
Yes eyeballs do, and they continue to view the world from the same point. Moving your point of view is important - and not just moving it by letting it move with your direction of travel.
There's no obvious hazard other than the big hazard? A minor hazard if you are in a car, but the sort that is dramatically increased by both your relatively poor visibility and the significantly higher consequences of a crash when on two wheels.
I AM NOT BLAMING THE CYCLIST. Read my posts. My opening words of my first post were blaming the driver. I am giving my thoughts on why it would be very unlikely to be me getting side swiped by a car in that case. There is no debate that the actions of the cyclist could have prevented the crash, only over to what level such actions might be reasonable (better hazard awareness, moving position on the road to catch the drivers eye, ultimately slowing down, ) vs unreasonable (yielding to every car, going slowly, staying at home, wearing a full set of christmas tree lights)
I never argued this. If the driver looks through you, you are no better off. HOWEVER, if you see that they have never looked at you, you know for sure that they are unaware of you. So it can save you, some times.
1) If there's no escape route then your hazard perception should automatically crank up another notch or two.
2) Do you know how I read that? I'm out on a high speed road vehicle with tyres unstable for the conditions and am riding to fast for that and that's okay because I'm a cyclist. Can you imagine the reaction if a car was unable to stop and said "Ah but I'm out with my track day slicks on"
Yes, heaven forbid that anyone should discuss ways in which a nasty crash might have been prevented.
Well, pro road races frequently involves tightly packed groups of riders hitting about 70kph descending twisty mountain roads with big drops to the side, so I'd hope that safety was fairly well up there...
Safe, efficient riding. Now answer my question.
> Well, pro road races frequently involves tightly packed groups of riders hitting about 70kph descending twisty mountain roads with big drops to the side, so I'd hope that safety was fairly well up there...
And do you think that the road conditions experienced in pro road races involving tightly packed groups of riders hitting about 70kph descending twisty mountain roads with big drops to the side are the same as an urban commute where roads are 'unsecured' (ie there are lots of other road uses, pedestrians, motor vehicles, all going in one of several directions), and where motor vehicles are mixed in large numbers with cyclists?
I wonder, do Pro Roadies use different tyres for different conditions?
No, but having working brakes is a pretty fundamental requirement for both.
There is nothing to suggest he wasn't covering the brake. The fact that he slows just before the impact suggests that he was. Most bikes have brakes conveniently located on the handlebars so that riders are generally 'covering the brakes' at all times.
From the instant the car moved across the path there is no way that collision was avoidable. It wouldn't have been avoided by a care driver with his foot over the brake either. The first opportunity the cyclist had to react was when the car started to move right and by then the only thing he could do was try to minimise the impact.
It seems you are suggesting that the crash was avoidable by anticipating the cars movement before it happened. But taken to its logical conclusion that means nobody should ever be on the road in any vehicle.
> Safe, efficient riding. Now answer my question.
Wow - that is your answer to a question about the objective(s) when building a modern road bike? I am not sure if you are naive or deceitful.
I went to the Boardman site (http://bit.ly/1pLaGgX), and looked at one of their premium road bikes. I searched the page for any mention of 'safety'. No hits.
Interestingly the opening sentence is:
"Whether you're racing for the win in the World Triathlon Championships or one of the world's greatest road races, it's all about exploiting minimal gains and the AiR/9.8 has enough of them to make the difference between the win and 2nd place."
Even the page on their basic bike (http://bit.ly/1oh5J1s) has no mention of safety. But again alludes to speed:
"full carbon fork with tapered steerer and a full Shimano wheelset offers race bike performance to match your competitive desire whether racing, training or commuting."
So you might want to revise your response above.
> No, but having working brakes is a pretty fundamental requirement for both.
Agreed. But building with safety in mind would facilitate a wet weather build and/or 'urban' build for specific conditions. You know this.
> - should bikes of such specialist design (and resulting poor braking qualities - particularly in the wet), be allowed on public roads? We have controls on specialist racing cars and sports bikes to make them road-legal.
Most UK public roads are not really 'designed' for cars at all (laying down some tarmac on an existing lane is not 'design'). They came into being based on the requirements of slow moving pedestrians and animal-drawn carts. Bikes are a reasonable fit. Cars are a very recent fad and the onus should be on them (well, their drivers) to fit in without compromising other users' safety.
I'd be quite happy to add disc brakes to my commuting bike if cars are limited to 30 BHP (more than enough on our non-motorway roads) and had a spike in the middle of the steering wheel (to balance the risk). We all then would be 'suitable' for public roads.
> If it is, then you've just won with that question.
I can't help feeling that watching this thread is a bit like watching a drunken brawl outside a pub at throwing out time. Vaguely facinating, somewhat demeaning and runs the risk of getting yourself drawn in to the fight.
He doesn't appear to slow much if at all to me, in fact he appears to sit up somewhat suggesting to me that he may not even be down on the drop bars at the point of impact, hard to tell though. And thanks for the condescension, I do have a bike and funnily enough I know where the brake levers are. They're only really 'convenient' if you're down on the drop bars with your head and shoulders down and even then, unless you're actually covering them with a finger it's going to cost you 5-10m at that sort of speed just to get onto them.
The hazard (actually the creeping car on the left and the restricted options caused by the turning car would be my main concern) is visible long before the one on the right actually turns. Saying the accident is unavoidable at the point where it's happening is both obvious and pointless nonsense. Avoiding accidents is about knowing what your options are, making some if the ones you have are no good and looking well ahead for hazards, not reacting to accidents that are already happening.
If that's your idea of a logical conclusion we have very different definitions of logical.
> Most UK public roads are not really 'designed' for cars at all (laying down some tarmac on an existing lane is not 'design'). They came into being based on the requirements of slow moving pedestrians and animal-drawn carts. Bikes are a reasonable fit. Cars are a very recent fad and the onus should be on them (well, their drivers) to fit in without compromising other users' safety.
> I'd be quite happy to add disc brakes to my commuting bike if cars are limited to 30 BHP (more than enough on our non-motorway roads) and had a spike in the middle of the steering wheel (to balance the risk). We all then would be 'suitable' for public roads.
Agree with much of this.
Let me reiterate; I am NOT pro-car or anti bike. I cycle and I like cycling. But as discussed above, the roads are a dangerous place for cyclists, many humans are not good at looking out for cyclists from the luxury of their cars, and as you've pointed out, roads weren't designed with cars in mind, or bikes - never mind the mix of cars, lorries, bikes etc...
Now chuck in to the mix for exmaple, an increasing number of mamils riding round on £2k worth of bike designed to be a "Fast, race-orientated road bike with precise handling and class-leading efficiency” (http://bit.ly/1AaT1X3), and you can see a problem .
Of course "Cars are a very recent fad and the onus should be on them (well, their drivers) to fit in without compromising other users' safety" but this isn't going to happen any time soon.
So given these points, and given that legislation is unlikely to make drivers better to the point that cyclists no longer get broadsided at junctions, we as cyclists need to think about how we can reduce our risk of injury.
Riding a bike designed for competition and speed would not look like a bike designed for the erratic nature of urban road riding in a variety of conditions.
Have you ever heard of marketing?
Modern road bike brakes work perfectly well in all these conditions.
"Most bikes have brakes conveniently located on the handlebars so that riders are generally 'covering the brakes' at all times."
Unless they're on the hoods, where unless you've got very big hands you will have to move, either to the tops of the bars or the drops, to be able to apply maximum braking force. Though that may be irrelevant to this situation as in wet conditions maximum force may just cause a skid.
"Cars are a very recent fad and the onus should be on them (well, their drivers) to fit in without compromising other users' safety."
Indeed. Meanwhile in the real world?
If a cyclist goes around thinking that and acting accordingly, however morally correct it is, they aren't going to be alive very long.
> Have you ever heard of marketing?
Two can play at that game. Have you heard of 'design'.
Ever wondered why racing cars have different compound tyres for different weather conditions? Ever wondered how different tyre footprints affect braking? Ever wondered why there are different kinds of brakes?
Again, you know this, but let's keep up the pretence eh?
"Riding a bike designed for competition and speed would not look like a bike designed for the erratic nature of urban road riding in a variety of conditions."
Agreed. I personally find that a 700c x 35 wheeled hybrid with either V-brakes or disc brakes is the optimum for those conditions. I personally prefer a more upright seating position, but that is a matter of opinion. (Coincidentially that's what I bought for use in those conditions).
Of course, if you have a road bike for use out on the open road you're going to want to ride it through the town first if you live in one, but that's vastly different from rush-hour commuting.
 I find that that wheel size gives a good combination of not too much resistence (provided you keep the tyres well inflated) but also shock absorption and not being easily damaged e.g. on potholes.
> He doesn't appear to slow much if at all to me, in fact he appears to sit up somewhat suggesting to me that he may not even be down on the drop bars at the point of impact, hard to tell though. And thanks for the condescension, I do have a bike and funnily enough I know where the brake levers are. They're only really 'convenient' if you're down on the drop bars with your head and shoulders down and even then, unless you're actually covering them with a finger it's going to cost you 5-10m at that sort of speed just to get onto them.
If you can't reach your brake levers (and be able to pull on them enough to lock up your wheels) from your hoods then you need to adjust their position/add spacers so that you can.
I have no problem braking when on the hoods (yes it is a greater force required than on the drops, but they are still perfectly good)
Shani... in your googling, did you come accross any cars that are advertised as being sporty, nippy, accelerating fast? how many of these talked about what their stopping distance was or how good their brakes were?
It may surprise you, but the gains refered to in your boardman post would include better braking for obvious reasons. It's probably worth pointing out that adverts and marketing are very different to design purpose (unless you really think driving a polo will suddenly mean all your maates who are scared sh!tless of your driving will suddenly think everything is OK?)
Prove to me that brakes on road bikes are inadequate for road use.
I'm not pretending anything.
Does it vastly affect your braking ability?
Does what? Having wider tyres and easier to pull brakes? Yes, of course it does.
It also means you're more likely to be able to take evasive action, e.g. swerving, without losing grip.
So you are upset with the car driver because you noted that they didnt have the wet weather specific tyres on?
Ever wondered about the rather obvious difference between a racing car and a road bike? Ever wonder why although there are different types of brakes each discipline tends to select just one?
I am somewhat baffled by your reference to that bike review as well. Do you really think that safety is ignored because it isnt mentioned?
If, and its a big if, they did review an unsafe bike I can pretty much guarantee it would have a truly awful review.
likewise if you found a brakeset which didnt work it would score rather lowly.
Sounds like operator error to me.
> Prove to me that brakes on road bikes are inadequate for road use.
> I'm not pretending anything.
Sadly it must be ignorance then. I am not saying that brakes on road bikes are inadequate for road use as their is not bike MOT against which to quantify their performance. But they are not the best choice for urban riding where conditions can vary (http://bit.ly/1lzlHz5)
"A decent set of rim brakes are lightweight, relatively easy to adjust and offer fairly predictable braking so long as they are properly maintained. In a moderately dry environment rim brakes are great. If you find yourself only riding in the summertime or are what you might call a fair-weather rider then these brakes will work great for most applications. Where they start to fall down is when the weather turns ugly."
If your bike is properly set up you can operate the brakes perfectly from the hoods, more easily in fact than if you are on the drops.
> So you are upset with the car driver because you noted that they didnt have the wet weather specific tyres on?
No. I am upset with the car driver for not looking out for cyclists.
Avoids my question about tyre compounds.
> If, and its a big if, they did review an unsafe bike I can pretty much guarantee it would have a truly awful review.
> likewise if you found a brakeset which didnt work it would score rather lowly.
It is not about a bike being unsafe. It is about the best tool for the job. It is about specificity.
This comes back to the point that a bike built for all-weather urban commuting would not be the same kind of bike as one built for racing.
Is that the best you can do? Must try harder Shani!
Very evasive Nick.
Your question "Prove to me that brakes on road bikes are inadequate for road use" cannot be answered as there is no objective measure. But are there differences in brakes that make some better than others in certain conditions? Yes.
Why do manufactureres provide different kinds of brakes? What are the limitations of each kind of brake type? What factors affect performance?
> I have no problem braking when on the hoods (yes it is a greater force required than on the drops, but they are still perfectly good)
I'm not arguing he couldn't brake or about the merits of various brake and lever designs. We can't see hands or bars, maybe he could reach the levers, maybe he couldn't, point is he didn't or if he did it was long after alarm bells should have been ringing.
Sorry, what question was that and what relevance is it to this case? Bearing in mind I somewhat doubt you recognised the tyre and its tread I am not sure how you have decided it isnt suited.
Yet you have yet to show any evidence that a different tool would have been any better for some halfwit deciding to ignore those tedious rules. Unless you were riding a fat bike with downhill discs I doubt you would have been able to get the speed off safely and, of course, that would have disadvantages in every other scenario.
well it depends on your commute really doesnt it? For example what you seem to think is the best design would have difficulty keeping up on a faster stretch of road.
Exactly my point! Well done.
I also note you allude to speed when, given the topic, having a bike optimised for quick stopping might be more appropriate.
No, just on my phone.
So you admit your original statement about inferior brakes was wrong.
Different types of activities. We are talking about biking on the road.
> No, just on my phone.
> So you admit your original statement about inferior brakes was wrong.
You are the only one to mention 'inferior'.
Exactly. Different brakes are better for different activities (and by extension different conditions).
So in an urban environment where conditions can be mixed, on a bike that will be used in all weather, where drivers can pull out in front of you unexpectedly, one might want to express a bike's features that promote the quickest and safest reduction in speed.
You got there in the end. Well done to you too!
That'll be "walking", then?
Dont be so condescending, particularly when you fail to grasp the point being made.
I commented about speed because, despite your fantasies about urban riding, it isnt all stop and go.
As for stopping. As several people have patiently tried to explain to you a road bike can stop perfectly capably and quickly.
The difference between good calipers and discs is minute and generally overruled by issues such as grip. Its not as handy as disc in mud etc or when you need to brake heavily and continously eg on serious downhills but for most usage its more than adequate.
To take this particular case. Do you honestly think different brakes or bike would have made any difference? Short of it being a trials bike ridden by a pro (although if it was a pro then the type of bike would be less important) I dont.
"resultant poorer braking qualities" contextually I think we can safely say you mean inferior. If you don't think they are inferior, we can just agree that you have wasted everyone's time.
Or that one type of brake is perfectly adequate for a range of conditions within a specific sort of activity, such as cycling on the the road, even in the wet.
No bike, or car or motorbike, could have stopped in the circumstance in the video, but my brakes have brilliant stopping power, wet or dry, but they are the same as the pros use so they must be the wrong sort somehow.
> Dont be so condescending, particularly when you fail to grasp the point being made.
> I commented about speed because, despite your fantasies about urban riding, it isnt all stop and go.
Wow - after accusing me of being condescending, you condescend!
And a different set up of bike could have enabled the cyclist to stop sooner.
The difference between good calipers and discs is NOT minute when you account for set up, conditions, tyres etc... That is the whole point.
> "resultant poorer braking qualities" contextually I think we can safely say you mean inferior. If you don't think they are inferior, we can just agree that you have wasted everyone's time.
Or that you are willfully wasting everyone's time by ignoring the fact that some setups can improves stopping distance.
Adequate against what criteria?
yes its called returning the favour.
Not in time to make any difference in a safe manner, in fact quite possibly could have made things worse. Unless, as I already said, possibly a fat bike with downhill brakes. However outside of dealing with morons driving directly in front of you they aint the most practical bike in the world.
No the point is you are one of those strange people who feel the need to rant and rave about cyclists even when its fairly clear they couldnt have avoided the accident. If they had been driving the results would have almost certainly been the same, although the damage would be more even. I will leave you to it.
Clearly the operator needs to know the limits of their vehicle. But also clearly some vehicles have better grip and braking ability than others.
A modern car, for example, can brake more quickly than a 1960s equivalent, even with the most skilled driver.
> yes its called returning the favour.
> Not in time to make any difference in a safe manner, in fact quite possibly could have made things worse. Unless, as I already said, possibly a fat bike with downhill brakes. However outside of dealing with morons driving directly in front of you they aint the most practical bike in the world.
Again exactly my point. Different set ups could affect braking distance. To quote YOU "Unless, as I already said, possibly a fat bike with downhill brakes".
I am a cyclist. I am suggesting that some bike setups would be safer than others in an urban commuting environment. That is it. Nothing more. I don't think that that is controversial.
As for 'ranting and raving', we can all spin it our own way with an emotive flourish. Are you one of those rabid cyclists above any form of advice or criticism...yada yada...yawn.
We are not going to agree, but let me just clarify, bikes should only go on the road if they have the latest disk brakes? All rim brakes should be banned.
A ridiculous summary and an immature synopsis.
Thing is most of these road bikes are far more technologically advanced than your hybrid and ridden correctly probably stop better.
Or the logical conclusion to your idiocy. Bye.
So people should only commute on fat bikes with downhill brakes then?
Well, you were asking whether "bikes of such specialist design (and resulting poor braking qualities - particularly in the wet)" should "be allowed on public roads" - which suggests that you don't just think they're marginally less optimized but that they're potentially so dangerous as to be worth banning. Unless you think the answer is "no, obviously", in which case why ask the question?
The expensive ones most probably yes. But not every road cyclist is riding an expensive high-tech road bike. In London you see a real mix.
Nope. Different bike setups favour different environments an conditions. Given that drivers pull out unexpectedly then you might want to favour a commuting build optimised for sudden, safe braking rather than a bike favoured for speed.
> Well, you were asking whether "bikes of such specialist design (and resulting poor braking qualities - particularly in the wet)" should "be allowed on public roads" - which suggests that you don't just think they're marginally less optimized but that they're potentially so dangerous as to be worth banning. Unless you think the answer is "no, obviously", in which case why ask the question?
Your uber-defensive ranting is symptomatic of a big problem in online discussions. To summarise my position as one "which suggests that [I]don't just think they're marginally less optimized but that they're potentially so dangerous as to be worth banning" is bizarre.
Given that cyclists are hit by careless car drivers, it makes sense to discuss how we as cyclists can improve our chances of avoiding serious injury or death. It doesn't matter if the cyclist is in the right - what matters is that you've improved your chances of a safe journey. Not sure why you are attacking this line of thinking.
With respect specifically to optimising a bike for certain conditions and activities, it is worth exploring the idea not least because if the various motoring lobbies attack cyclists from this angle, we had better be prepared with well thought out arguments in response. Your histrionics above will not suffice.
> Or the logical conclusion to your idiocy. Bye.
"Nope. Different bike setups favour different environments an conditions. Given that drivers pull out unexpectedly then you might want to favour a commuting build optimised for sudden, safe braking rather than a bike favoured for speed."
Exactly my point. It's not dissimilar to helmets, perhaps. Most probably you can ride a bike for years without wearing one and not get killed - they have only been the norm for 10 years or thereabouts at most, and still aren't in many places (most Boris bikers don't wear one, and few leisure cyclists in Milton Keynes do either). However, if you do have an accident they may well prevent serious head injury.
You mostly might not need the additional grip or braking force of a commuter bike - but it might come in useful if you do.
Sure, but that is different debate. The expensive ones still have rim brakes and thin wheels. Anyway, it is the expensive ones that Shani seems to have an issue with.
I hear you Neil! Seems there are a few precious folk on here who think that "drivers SHOULDN'T hit us so we don't need to take any precautionary measures" rather than realising you can't legislate for ALL driver-muppetry and so you should anticipate that it is likely to happen and what steps can you take to minimise those chances of it happening - and reducing the consequences when it does. Hardly an "anti cycling" stance and hardly a 'rant'.
Happy cycling! ;)
What's the old saying, beware arguing with an idiot, a bystander may not be able to tell who is who.
Right I'm off to heat up some more on the Brompton.
Step away from your computers.
Toby smiley face smiley face in case I get any death threats.
Nope. This is a mischaracterisation. I have reiterated my position explicitly in several posts. You are willfully avoiding it despite having acknowledged the thrust of it in several places.
Stop with the lying!
In the wet the limit for bicyles is rubber on tarmac, in the dry the limit is going over the handlebars. Brakes stronger than that don't achieve anything.
Weight and riding position will further affect those, as will the width of tyre.
You think it's bizarre to infer that position from:
"This raises an interesting point or two...
- should bikes of such specialist design (and resulting poor braking qualities - particularly in the wet), be allowed on public roads? We have controls on specialist racing cars and sports bikes to make them road-legal."
It seems like a fairly reasonable summary to me.
The well thought out argument is that a cyclist shouldn't have to have the reactions of a fighter pilot and be riding some sort of super-optimized urban commuting bike to have a reasonable chance of surviving city roads. If we want to have a decent rate of participation in cycling then, by driver education or better infrastructure, cycle commuting should be reasonably safe for ordinary, relatively sensible cyclists on ordinary, relatively sensible bikes. And a modern road bikes - like cheapo "student special" hybrids, bromptons, fixies, Boris bikes etc - are well within the bounds of "relatively sensible."
If, whenever we discuss cycle safety, we turn the focus onto very marginal gains that could be made at considerable expense and inconvenience to cyclists - in this case, owning and storing an extra bike for commuting when you already have one that's entirely serviceable for that activity - then we just pour further fuel onto the victim blaming fire that says that it's all our own fault and there's no point expecting anyone else to try to improve things.
True. But equally there are quite a lot of new cyclists who are buying bikes on the Bike to Work scheme and are spending up on expensive road bikes purely for commuting (because they look cool) when they could go for something that is both cheaper and better for their intended use.
No it is not a reasonable summary for you to turn what I think is an 'interesting point' in to a suggestion that I "think that they're potentially so dangerous as to be worth banning". Motoring lobbies may well take this line of approach in the future and so there is benefit in exploring the point.
You start of with the usual banal rhetoric here but get past that and I agree with everything you've written in this paragraph.
NO ONE ON THIS THREAD HAS BLAMED THE CYCLIST. Stop trying to push that agenda.
Yes, road conditions and legislation should be improved for the benefit of cyclists, I have no problem with that and fully support it. But ,shit happens and so a few people have discussed how to improve survival when the shit hits.
Let me give you a climbing analogy. When an accident happens at the crag, on occasion it gets discussed on here in the hope that people can learn from it. Even the victims of the accident bring up their tales as cautionary events.
Why the inflamed, defensive response when someone addresses actions that may improve survival in a biking accident?
Spot on, well said.
I would be amazed if they were using it for bike to work. I remember seeing the takeup rate for where I work and thinking, since we only have a single shower, thats its quite lucky none of the buggers will commute in (I know being picky it can be used for part of the journey but since the train would be rather inconvenient I think it is safe to assume that doesnt happen).
Cycle to work is even more dodgy in terms of stated goals than the previous computer scheme.
As for what is better. My CX bike is rather handier for the commute than the boardman I had previously. I was dubious about drop bars, since I was fairly biased towards the mountain bike side, but difference isnt noticeable in the traffic bits.
To follow your analogy, you are doing the equivalent of proposing that climbers should use two harnesses and two belay devices (optimising against belay loop failure) because it would improve safety in certain situations.
While it's true that using two belay devices and two harnesses provides marginal improvements to safety albeit to what is already a reasonably designed system, you are suggesting that wearing two harnesses might improve the odds of walking away from an accident involving ripping gear - the point people have been making all afternoon and that you have been steadfastly ignoring is that braking performance is totally irrelevant to the current scenario.
> "Cars are a very recent fad and the onus should be on them (well, their drivers) to fit in without compromising other users' safety."
> Indeed. Meanwhile in the real world?
> If a cyclist goes around thinking that and acting accordingly, however morally correct it is, they aren't going to be alive very long.
Real World? What do you mean? This is the Internet, not the Real World! It's both bad thing and a good thing that some people can't tell the difference (make of that what you will).
No I am not. It would be more akin to suggesting one wore a helmet on a mountain route but not on a sport climb. Or that a bad landing be pedded out with a bouldering mat.
Again, a preposterous suggestion. Two harnesses? WTF are you on about?
I wonder if it took him a few moments to catch up with what was actually happening, there's actually some quirk to do with how the human brain works which means we don't always pick up on things which are happening in time, but as somebody who rides a bike in traffic, he does seem perhaps a 'little' bit slow in reacting to what's happening.
It's pretty easy to be precise when you're viewing the footage from home though.
This is exactly what happened to me about a month ago (except it was in Canada so the car turned left across my path. I broke his passenger side window on impact but (luckily) didn't go over the top.
Two broken ribs and a f**ked wrist later I am recovering well. The driver got a ticket and the insurance will cover bike damage (surprisingly minimal), new helmet and shirt and any additional physio.
In my mind, I can replay this and wonder how I couldn't stop, but I was travelling at about 35km/hr and I really didn't have a chance. I can assure everyone that I had no desire to hit a car at that speed and I doubt this guy did either.
I often wonder why we have to blame one person or the other and why blame can't be apportioned.
Anyone who has driven a car in rain knows their vision is not as good as in good weather. There are also blind spots presented by the A pillar. I've lost whole transit vans in mine as I've approached mini roundabouts at the same speed.
As a cyclist riding along at high speed in the rain is a recipe for disaster. If that guy was only doing 20mph I would be very surprised.
The London Cyclist article above points out what happens to our vision when travelling at the same speed at the object we're trying to track.
The adverts say that if you get hit by a car doing 30mph you have an x% chance of dying, so why do cyclists increase this likelihood by riding so fast?
No one is perfect.
Firstly 20mph isn't high speed, but I have watched the video a few more times and I don't even think he is going that fast.
Because in urban cycling, there is often safety in speed and swift acceleration.
On a bike, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Someone's going to find some way to blame you for their cock up.
That's a terrible piece of driving. She, or her insurance company, have some nerve disputing culpability.
When I cycle down a road like that I am twitching about every car that might pull out in front of me. (I twitch watching this clip.) To have it reinforced that it's not just me--the cars really might do that--is not reassuring. But I suppose it might save me a short stay in hospital, or a longer one in the cemetery.
"I often wonder why we have to blame one person or the other and why blame can't be apportioned."
Insurance companies do apportion blame, but in practice an 80-20 doesn't differ in its effects (loss of NCB etc) from 50-50, so in reality you just get one person's fault or 50-50.
I'm not saying that you or anyone else here has blamed the cyclist. I'm saying that when "motoring lobbies" argue against cycle safety improvements that aren't convenient for them, victim blaming is a standard tactic. And if we continue along this line of seriously debating the suitability of road bikes for commuting then we're giving them more ammunition to do that with - "why do you think a bike lane is going to improve safety - cyclists are a bunch of thrill-seeking daredevils who ride high speed racing bikes with dangerously inadequate brakes - they'll find a way to kil themselves anyway."
It's not an "interesting point" that needs to be "explored", it's an irrelevant point that needs to be dismissed before it grows roots. Whether you commute on a road bike, a hybrid, a fat bike with downhill brakes, a brompton, a unicycle or whatever, you just have to have a basic idea what it can do and adjust your riding accordingly. FWIW, I ride a knackered hybrid with rather sluggish brakes, and I just ride fairly slowly if I can see anything with the potential to turn into a hazard ahead of me. If I had nice disk breaks I'd probably get to places with the same margin of safety, but faster.
'Angonnamo, isn't it cyclists who often argue against cycle lanes because riding on the road allows a greater speed/freedom/pleasure of cycling/whatever?
Not so clear cut. Indeed, rather a paradox - fast cyclists are better on the road, but without quality cycle facilities takeup of slower cycling will never near the Dutch level. But if you have cycle lanes and most cyclists are on them, treatment of cyclists on the road by motorists gets worse because they think the ones on the road shouldn't be there.
> I'm not saying that you or anyone else here has blamed the cyclist. I'm saying that when "motoring lobbies" argue against cycle safety improvements that aren't convenient for them, victim blaming is a standard tactic. And if we continue along this line of seriously debating the suitability of road bikes for commuting then we're giving them more ammunition to do that with - "why do you think a bike lane is going to improve safety - cyclists are a bunch of thrill-seeking daredevils who ride high speed racing bikes with dangerously inadequate brakes - they'll find a way to kil themselves anyway."
Actually Dave, you said "If, whenever we discuss cycle safety, we turn the focus onto very marginal gains that could be made at considerable expense and inconvenience to cyclists - in this case, owning and storing an extra bike for commuting when you already have one that's entirely serviceable for that activity - then we just pour further fuel onto the victim blaming fire that says that it's all our own fault and there's no point expecting anyone else to try to improve things."
Now given that I was talking about what could be construed as 'marginal gains', the inference is clear. I am glad to see you back peddaling though.
A clear attempt to stifle debate. Let's not talk about it and ignore this possible line of attack eh? How productive do you think that approach is, rather than rational discourse.
As for your boasting that you 'ride a knackered hybrid with rather sluggish brakes', there is safety legislation covering various builds of bike ('normal' bikes, Mountain Bikes etc...) and there is legislation covering brakes specifically (if you ride a normal bike, you have to have two independent braking systems - one which operates on the front wheel, and one which operates on the back). The law also requires you to keep your brakes in efficient working order (not rubbing on a pneumatic tyre for example), but there doesnt seem to be any compulsory stopping distance or other standard test, so this is likely to be a matter of judgment.
A uniformed officer can perform a roadside inspection and you could be charged with a consequent offence - particularly if you are involved in an accident where someone is hurt.
So you want a rational debate. You have yet to present any actual evidence that impaired stopping distances (in the wet or the dry) as a specific result of brake or bike design, is a contributory factor in cycle accidents? What proportion of cycle accidents could be avoided or mitigated by a better braking system?
Taking into account the fact, pointed out, that the limiting factor on braking distance, especially in the wet, is grip of tire on tarmac. (tire tread doesn't improve grip on tarmac in either wet or dry conditions, hence slicks are more grippy than tires with tread as you have more rubber in contact with the road, let's get that one out of the way).
The point I tried to make yesterday, which perhaps didn't come across, is you seem to have fixated on the one factor of brake design without any actual evidence that it contributes to, or might mitigate, accidents. While my earlier point was perhaps hyperbole, your argument is akin to those who argue that climbing harnesses could be made safer by provision of two independent belay loops (eg http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/safe-tech_all-around.html ) while all the evidence suggests that belay loops are sufficiently strong to be irrelevant in virtually all cases.
While it seems appealing to believe that shorter stopping distances would make bikes safer, the overwhelming cause of fatal injuries in eg. Central London is being run over by HGVs, particularly being caught in a blind spot when they are turning left. Indeed, a bike 'optimised for stopping' might well encourage inexperienced cyclists to ride closer to heavy vehicles with large blind spots, when the real danger is not being seen when they start to manoeuvre. Focusing on spurious issues about bike design just distracts from the real safety issues, which are about road layout and HGV cab design.
Insurance companies do but car drivers and cyclists don't.
The roads would be a lot safer if instead of taking sides people looked at common accidents like this and worked out why the accident occurred and what, if anything can be done in this situation to lessen the likelihood of it reoccurring or reducing the suffering afterwards.
Instead it just boils down to
A) Cyclist was going too fast.
B) Car driver didn't look properly.
When no one was actually in either of those positions to judge properly.
For the car;
Highway Code 180 states
Wait until there is a safe gap between you and any oncoming vehicle. Watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and other road users. Check your mirrors and blind spot again to make sure you are not being overtaken, then make the turn. Do not cut the corner.
For the cyclist
Highway Code 72 states
On the left. When approaching a junction on the left, watch out for vehicles turning in front of you, out of or into the side road.
Note, the highway code makes no mention of the need to slow down when approaching the junction. This, I presume, is because whatever the mode of transport (legs, bikes, motorbikes, cars) you have priority over those turning.
Based on highway code, the car failed to comply with code 180. The cyclist complied with code 72 as there is nothing in the highway code directing him to slow down or take extra precautions.
I cannot see how the cyclist is at fault as he had priority on the road.
"I cannot see how the cyclist is at fault as he had priority on the road."
Nobody said the cyclist was at fault. However asserting your legal priority over all else as a vulnerable road user (cyclist, pedestrian, motorcyclist) is a good way to get killed.
According to Road Cc, the cyclist was on his way to a Cirque du Soleil rehearsal.
any other punter would be in the council fridge, cooling nicely...
I have no argument with this.
"Indeed, a bike 'optimised for stopping' might well encourage inexperienced cyclists to ride closer to heavy vehicles with large blind spots, when the real danger is not being seen when they start to manoeuvre. "
What bollocks is this?
"Focusing on spurious issues about bike design just distracts from the real safety issues, which are about road layout and HGV cab design."
I agree that we need to tackle road layout and HGV cab design to make cycling safer. In the meantime, and until this happens, we should look at ways of ensuring our safety as cyclists.
To slow down may even be dangerous as the oncoming car *may* take this as a sign that you are slowing down to let him/her turn. I made this point above about riding assertively.
right, I'' try and answer some of your questions.
1) given that the largest road bike market is driven by the Septics and they all love a bit of litigation having working brakes and attendant bits and bobs is generally held to be in the manufacturer's best interest
2) there are many different tyres, with commuter tyres having a slightly harder compound, puncture resistant belts and light tread. counter intuitively, slick racing tyres can also be the grippiest using a mixture of ground glass (or ceramic) and some rubbish called Black Chilli - whatever that is....
3) Most rims brake work fine and for winter can be improved by swapping the blocks out for a wet weather compound which is usually softer, hydrophobic and treaded to shed crap and grime.
4) There is a drive for safety - that's why a lot of commuter bikes are cross bikes or similar with disks.
5) Of course, any amount of braking is useless if the road surface is covered in diesel or any other range of shit that finds itself there with depressing and bruising regularity
6) It's not really the same to compare the marketing of bikes as that of cars in terms of performance. One is a little mix of metal and carbon and skin and the other a fecking great lump of iron that can deliver the driver and all his screaming passengers into a motorway bridge at speeds your grandad could only dream about.
7) when you've perfected air bags for bikes I look forward to Mr Bannatyne saying "Shani, I'm in".
Personally I think the road law should be like the Collision Regs, everyone gets the blame then it's apportioned after wards. the one with the largest amount gets his arse well and truly fried.
and on the nautical theme, don't underestimate the "radar affected collision" phenomenon, whereby you are so busy watching the hazard you lose context and then two become one, with no cuddling afterwards.
I'm suggesting that while a bike 'optimised for stopping' might be intuitively appealing to some, it is not clear whether it would actually provide a safety benefit in heavy urban traffic, especially if it encourages you to ride in a way which puts you more at risk, ie. riding more reactively rather than planning ahead. While you might feel this is unlikely, I am just pointing out that things are not as simple as the 'quicker braking = safer' assumption which you are making.
FWIW my main urban bike is a steel framed tourer, which was done up as an urban commuter. I recently took the V brakes off and put dual pivot calipers on, because at the sort of speeds encountered on my commute I would rather have brake modulation than raw stopping power. I am sure whoever put V brakes on it in the first place thought they were optimising it for stopping, but if they offer less control over my speed than dual pivots, then they are less safe in the specific context of my commute.
Additionally, it has repeatedly been shown that the main thing which makes urban cycling safer, per mile, is more cyclists on the roads. But you risk putting people off if you try to convince people that the streets are unsafe unless you are riding something prescribed as an 'urban-optimised bike' and flashing like a christmas tree, while the truth is that exactly what sort of bike you are riding does not make that much difference to your safety as long as it is roadworthy.
Also what happened to me last year, head went through the passenger rear window, bust jaw, collarbone, knocked out front teeth and wrote off bike.
Still waiting for a payout :(
> Instead it just boils down to
> A) Cyclist was going too fast.
> B) Car driver didn't look properly.
> When no one was actually in either of those positions to judge properly.
It really does boil down to that though. Change either one of those, or both and the accident doesn't happen. That's the obvious bit.
What's less obvious is what to do about it, how do we educate drivers many of whom will be experienced and never again take instruction to improve their lookout, check their blind spots, consider what they can't see, look ahead for hazards and act early to avoid them. Likewise for cyclists.
There isn't an easy practical answer.
I meant you were providing additional ammunition to people who might want to blame victims, not that you were doing it yourself. But I can't be bothered arguing semantics.
There is no rational discourse to be had because it's a totally specious point. By trying to prolong a discussion of it, we'd make it a more dangerous line of attack by giving it some appearance of credibility.
I said "slightly sluggish" not "dangerously ineffective". My point is that I go a bit slower on it than I would on a bike with well set up disc brakes, in order to keep my stopping distance within what I'd consider to be safe for the situation. So in fact, as far as I'm concerned the argument for having a bike with better brakes is speed, not safety!
If nothing else because stopping distances are dependent on speed, so brakes that are entirely safe on your granny's sit-up-and-beg three speed would be suicidally dangerous on a downhill mountain bike. Once again - it's not the choice of bike that's important, it's whether you ride in a manner that's appropriate to the bike, the conditions and the situation.
Are you still getting all this from "slightly sluggish"?
Being in the right doesn't stop you getting creamed.
The fault is not a legal one, it's in not accounting for the obvious hazard. If I had that accident on a bike or in a car I'd rightly be aggrieved but I'd also feel like a proper wally for not seeing the danger and giving myself options in advance.
That's all true, but technically I guess the safest situation would be to have pin sharp disc brakes and to ride as if one has brakes which are pretty bad. It's not something I find myself doing though.
We can't tell if the camera view is the full story.
You still haven't explained how you would react to this hazard, you have already stated you wouldn't slow down for a car turning right. So then what?
Yes you are, you're fully concentrating on what the cyclist has done wrong, you're still at it. Mashing your capslock button doesn't change that. We're obviously talking about what he could have done once he was aware (or could have been) the car was turning across his path. Staying at home isn't a valid answer.
We don't know if he clocked the driver, so there's not much point arguing he didn't.
Yeah, I get you, crank it to 11.
Car tyres and bike tyres work are not the same, if you have noticed car tyres are a much higher volume and lower PSI. The problem with slick car tyres is that they lose contact with the road over pools of water. They use tread to divert water from the middle of the tyre outwards. Cycling tyres don't work that way, especially ones that are mountable on a road bike and are generally run at 70-100 psi. They cut through the water, any tiny bit of tread they put on is just for show. Yes, you would use 'slick' road tyres in the wet. Again, you would know something about this, if you were actually a cyclist.
Yeah, if you get hit on the motorway because someone pulled over without checking there blind spot I will say 'you could have stayed at home that day', 'should have turned up that hazard perception up a notch', brilliant.
Ideally you change both. But while the two factions are arguing that it's the other person's fault nothing will change
> It really does boil down to that though. Change either one of those, or both and the accident doesn't happen. That's the obvious bit.
> What's less obvious is what to do about it, how do we educate drivers many of whom will be experienced and never again take instruction to improve their lookout, check their blind spots, consider what they can't see, look ahead for hazards and act early to avoid them. Likewise for cyclists.
> There isn't an easy practical answer.
Perhaps one way would be to accept that most accidents are not malicious but a product of various conditioning stresses on road users. The response therefore should focus less on blame and punishment (although there is obvious a place for that where appropriate) but more on changing peoples' ingrained habits and attitudes. The current system of lessons on how to use the controls, a rudimentary test and then you're off to 'learn on the job' as best you can is pretty anomolous for someone in charge of dangerous machinery in a public place. Ongoing (lifetime) training and assessment (kept up to date as road use changes) is one way. A move to regarding driving as a priveledge (earned and potentailly lost) rather than as a birthright is also key. Practical? I don't know. But probably more practical than thinking we can redesign the whole road network or thinking that simply jailing anyone who knocks a cyclist off their bike will work.
"Yeah, if you get hit on the motorway because someone pulled over without checking there blind spot I will say 'you could have stayed at home that day', 'should have turned up that hazard perception up a notch', brilliant."
You *don't* avoid being in someone else's blind spot, and if you do end up there watch very carefully what they're doing until you can remove yourself from there by slowing down or speeding up slightly?
I pay particular attention to that on roundabouts, particularly those with confusingly marked lanes, and it has avoided more than one collision.
Similarly, having been rear-ended once when I was much younger, I pay attention when stopping in a queue to ensuring that those behind me know I'm braking (if particularly heavily I knock the hazards on as I slow) and leaving myself a decent amount of space to the vehicle in front such that (a) there's an escape route if I see someone approaching too quickly from behind such that I don't think they'll stop, or if (a) is not possible as it often isn't then (b) at least leaving a decent space to the car in front such that if someone does shunt me from behind I'm far less likely to go into the car in front as well, thus minimising the complexity of the insurance claim, injuries to myself from a secondary shunt and avoiding injuries to further drivers.
Do other drivers really not think like this? (I think I know the answer, sadly.)
If you're sat in someone's blind spot then you should be assessing your options in case they move and acting to get out of it, not 'staying at home'.
Exactly. At least I'm not the only one.
Here you are once again back-pedalling and tending to hyperbole. You said "rather sluggish". A notch up from "slightly sluggish" I am sure you'd agree.
But whilst you wriggle like this, the thread is descending in to pedantry so let's move it on.
We all agree that in this case it appears to be the driver's fault. We all agree that roads are not really designed with bikes in mind. Accidents WILL happen given the current state of affairs and so some of us have speculated how a cyclist might improve their chance of survival in a collision situation (something discrete from 'blame' and 'fault').
Somehow, discussing ways of improving survival are being interpreted as an attack on the cyclist and of fomenting a dangerous line of attack.
Welcome to the Internet.
But still a lot of notches down from "dangerously ineffective", no?
You weren't discussing ways of improving survival, you were saying that "road bikes should be banned because they're unsafe" is an "interesting point" worthy of "rational discourse" and then failing to provide any example of rational discourse on the subject that's more appropriate than "of course not, don't be stupid."
Ways of improving survival = whatever bike you chose to ride, be aware of its limitations and what it's safe to do on it given the conditions and the situation.
This thread makes for depressing reading. Shani, what you and others are doing here is victim blaming.
The argument you're constantly trying to push in this thread is is exactly analogous to a woman being raped then saying 'We all accept it's the rapists fault, but if she hadn't worn that short skirt and make-up it wouldn't have happened'.
Your argument only reinforces a very unpleasant attitude of entitlement many motorists have that cyclists encounter day to day.
If we're actually going to get more people cycling, which I for one believe will be a great thing, it gets sedentary people active, reduced hugely congested cities easing the flow of traffic and reduces pollution. And not just keen young cyclists going at 20mph, but mothers taking kids to school, 50 year old on their way to work, then entitled, victim blaming attitudes like the ones on this thread need to change.
People need to look at videos like this and instead of saying 'It's the cyclists fault for not slowing every time they pass a car/not having lights on every joint even in daylight(actually in this thread!)/not having breaks as good as a cars, etc', but 'what would we do to make commuting better for cyclists'.
It'a also like saying that while it is bad that you can't leave your house unlocked and go out without your stuff being nicked, you should keep your house locked to ensure (as far as you can) that your stuff doesn't get nicked. Does anyone really argue with that?
I think your bringing in of the issue of rape to the argument is too emotive, TBH.
"what would we do to make commuting better for cyclists"
Dutch-style dedicated cycle lanes are the only way you'll get Old Mrs Jones cycling down the main road to the shops. But I'd level a bet that the cyclist pictured in the video would not support these, as they are pretty much never suitable for going that fast.
These work where present in London, though they are actually getting congested!
What if you are passing through someone's blind spot while over taking? Or do you never overtake either? Perhaps they veer quickly and wildly into your lane? What about when a car isn't paying attention and rear ends you at lights? Should have assessed the situation and act to get out of it doesn't always cut it.
You're moving the goalposts. When overtaking on a dual carriageway, you are safest spending as little time as possible in someone's blind spot. You don't just sit alongside them. If you end up in that position, either speed up to complete the overtake quickly, or slow down and abandon it.
Note to idiot drivers who speed up while being overtaken: if being overtaken has awoken you from your slumber, allow the overtake to take place then re-overtake. Accelerating while being overtaken is inconsiderate and unnecessarily dangerous. You should maintain a constant speed until the overtake is complete.
The thing is, things you and others have said on this thread have been specifically aimed at focusing the problem on certain sectors of the cycling population:
Although you seem to have backtracked from this position, which is welcome.
Outside the context of this accident, yes of course I think that cyclists increasing their skill set and selecting equipment appropriate to their riding environment can be nothing but a good thing.
The problem is when this becomes the central focus to attempts to improve cycling safety, as it pretty much is at the moment. Requiring cyclists to have the reactions and hazard perception of fighter pilots is never going to amount to a coherent safety strategy. If we are going to encourage more cyclists onto the roads (and like it or not, this is what pretty much every urban transport strategy in this country is committed to), we will have a more diverse cycling population, which inevitably will include more novices, more children, more elderly people, and yes, more MAMILs on bikes. The constant message of "slow down and be prepared to get out of the way" (which succinctly summarises the safety tips on this thread) deters and intimidates nervous cyclists from being assertive about their road positioning, which is counterproductive. While making eye contact with the right-turning driver before they turn into your path and having lighting fast braking reflexes might be a sensible tactic, it is unreasonable to expect all cyclists to be able to do this, at speed, from 50m away, in poor visibility, 100% of the time. Instead the expectation needs to be that other road users will follow the highway code and this expectation needs to be enforced using laws which are already in place.
Yes, everyone does what they can to avoid being the next statistic but if we want to improve those statistics, the strategic focus needs to be shifted away from individual cyclists who are obeying the rules of the road, and has to come onto road design and other road users; ie. enforcing existing traffic laws and prosecuting drivers where they endanger lives and cause injuries and deaths.
Victim blaming is victim blaming. In your analogy I'd much rather live in a society that tries to remove the causes of burglary than just victim blame and have people invest in ever more severe security.
Who said sit along side them? No one is saying "do something really stupid like drive in someone's blind spot for ages". I'm not moving the goal posts you are.
Obviously... and if you are hit whilst choosing option A?
You should re-read the thread again. Here are explicit quotes from my posts:
15:17 Wed "The car driver is to blame"
17:04 Thu "NO ONE ON THIS THREAD HAS BLAMED THE CYCLIST. Stop trying to push that agenda."
And RambliDave said "I'm not saying that you or anyone else here has blamed the cyclist."
Let's go back to a climbing analogy as this is a nice example of where 'shit happens' but we discuss it without little consideration to blame. Climbing is dangerous - so we have improved and look for ways to improve safety - wires, smaller and lighter gear, friends, sticky rubber, mats. I am questioning how, given that the roads are dangerous, can the survivability of a crash from an incompetent motorist be increased?
You mar what is a good paragraph with and emotive straw man. As Rambling Dave said, neither I nor "anyone else here has blamed the cyclist". I have not idea why you are willfully misreading the situation.
Another strawman. NOBODY on this thread is blaming the cyclist. What is being mentioned is how one could improve survivability in this situation.
I'm surprised you cannot understand this difference.
You really aren't worth engaging with.
What are your options... You've checked the outside lane is clear, right? You know where the horn is without looking, right? You're a smart guy so you're obviously not overtaking with a tailgater in tow and you know what the middle pedal does, right? You're largely in control of your own destiny and if remaining so requires a little thought and god forbid maybe slowing down or waiting for a few seconds here and there then so be it.
What about what about what about. There are some things in life we have a lot of control over, some we have a little and some we have none. Accepting we have little to no control over some situations is a pretty shit excuse for abdicating responsibility in those situations we can at least partially control.
Incidentally having been badly hit from behind before and not wishing to repeat the experience in the same way I do what I can to avoid it or at least reduce the severity: Horn. Hazards. Move car to make space if possible and safe. Head back against the rest, shoulders square in the seat if not! All four of those have either saved me from a smash or meant I walked away without whiplash. We have some control even over situations that are not of our making.
Sometimes whatever you do you'll still get caught out. Life eh.
Dutch-style cycle lanes, as frequently implemented in the UK, are actually terrible for the type of accident in the original video. This is on my regular commute:
It is a notorious accident black spot, motorists apparently don't expect there to be an extra two-way carriageway and frequently turn across cyclists. Cyclists forget they are on a road and frequently run down pedestrians who don't realise the cycle lane is there. Total horror show, it's safer to use the road.
I don't think there is an easy answer to this one, while I think London needs improved cycle infrastructure for sure, I am deeply ambivalent about 'Going Dutch' as a panacea.
No, it isn't, it's pragmatism.
You can leave your house unlocked if you like. It makes my house less likely to be broken into as they'll choose the easy option.
That is I accept a downside. But then in Holland you tend to find that because there are so many cyclists people expect them so much more. You could argue that would also work if they were on the road, as indeed it would. But to get them there... :)
Then let me reiterate that NO I am not backtracking from the position that a bike designed for urban riding would be different from one aimed at road racing.
Apart from your emotive flabber about 'fighter pilots', yes, I agree with pretty much all of what you have written here. I don't think anyone at any time on this thread has, or would, argue otherwise.
Given that such improvements are not going to manifest any time soon, I am happy to reflect upon what actions could be taken in the interim to increase the survivability of an RTA.
Out of interest, how many times would you say that the cyclist in the video did this? (Asserted his priority, that is, not got killed.)
That's a genuine question, by the way, not some sort of trap. As I see it, everyone makes some allowances while assuming some level of competence and predictability from other road users, but it's a matter of degree what that level is.
For instance, I'll normally be careful passing cars that are waiting to pull out of side roads, particularly if it's a busy road and there are a lot of distractions around, but if I've made eye contact with them and they aren't moving or obviously about to start, I'll ride past their front end without leaving myself many options in case they have a sudden fit of homicidal rage or short-term amnesia for no reason and unexpectedly step on it.
It's easy with the benefit of hindsight to point out how someone could have avoided a particular incident, but a question of whether it's worth applying the same rule in the tens of thousands of situations you're in every year that don't lead to an accident because the drivers behave, as they almost always do, in a relatively sensible manner. I'm not sure whether I'd have been more cautious than the guy in the video or not, to be honest.
"Out of interest, how many times would you say that the cyclist in the video did this? (Asserted his priority, that is, not got killed.)"
From viewing the video a number of times it seems he took some time to react to the car beginning to turn. But I might be wrong there, and it might not have been deliberate.
I didn't pay a lot of attention to the rest of the video, TBH, other than to notice a number of muppets sticking their noses out of junctions and that the cyclist seemed by his breathing to be going at full pelt, which was perhaps not best for the conditions.
> 17:04 Thu "NO ONE ON THIS THREAD HAS BLAMED THE CYCLIST. Stop trying to push that agenda."
There is a difference between explicitly and implicitly blaming. It really doesn't matter how strenuously you say you are not blaming the cyclist in your opening sentence, if you then go on to focus all your energy on what the cyclist should have done differently. You are saying one thing and doing another - it's like the 'I'm not racist, but...' people. If you genuinely weren't blaming the cyclist you wouldn't need the disclaimer.
Encourage more people out on bikes. The risks of an accident are still outweighed by the health benefits of being out on a bike in the first place. Where the roads are dangerous, campaign to make them less so. Write to your local councillors: 20mph limits on non-arterial roads in Central London (Islington and a few other boroughs have done this already), Banning HGVs from city centres during rush hour, enforcing ASLs - LCC has had genuine success with similar initiatives. (Sorry, all my examples are London-centric as that is what I know.) Road bike design and covering yourself in flashing lights, I'm sorry, are neither here nor there.
Y'see, what I find interesting is that there are a couple of cars waiting to pull out from the left, and the one that hits him waiting to pull across from the right. When I first watched it, knowing that it involved someone pulling out without looking but not having processed the bit about "opposite lane", I twitched as much when I saw him ride past each of the cars on the left as when he approached the car on the right.
I'm honestly not sure whether or not I'd have had the same reaction if I'd watched it thinking it was going to be about a white van man chucking a drinks bottle at him or something...
Disingenous and limited understanding of the threa. The reason I have to put in the disclaimer is because people like you keep claiming I am blaming the cyclist. I am not. Even Rambling Dave has conceded this point.
I agree with all of this apart from your rather poorly argued last line. Now until this all comes to pass, what is wrong with reflecting upon what actions cyclists could do to increase the survivability in an RTA?
Now back to your last sentence, ever wonder why Volvo's have daylight running lights? Ever wonder why those lights now appear on motorcycles? There are indeed drawbacks to running with them, and campaigns against it, but what is important is that such ideas are explored and their impact assessed.
the car starts to turn at 19 seconds, impact is at 21 seconds. If you factor in reaction time from an unexpected event, I think you have unreasonable expectations of what could be done in those two seconds other than brace for impact.
"It really doesn't matter how strenuously you say you are not blaming the cyclist in your opening sentence, if you then go on to focus all your energy on what the cyclist should have done differently"
Because it was concluded in about the first two posts that the fault clearly lay with the car driver, the discussion has moved onto what the cyclist might have been able to do different to mitigate the risk and/or level of injury. That isn't blaming the cyclist.
If you think it is, you're being over-emotive and not rational.
You need to increase your bran quotient Shani.
You think slamming on your brakes will be safe just as long as the car behind is more than a foot a way? Why mention tailgating? I'm all for slowing down and waiting here or there, but people act like idiots even in the most textbook overtake.
We can control situations, but guess what shit happens. From your armchair you reckon your car would have stopped in 10 feet and not hit the idiot who hasn't checked properly before turning right in front of you. Good for you, we're all impressed at your internet driving skills.
Basically the last sentence. You can do everything perfectly, but sometimes there are split seconds where someone else can f*ck up your destiny for you. You don't drive on the road, there are morons out there. This attitude where we have people who have never rode a bike saying 'if he had better brakes' is astounding. V brakes are plenty enough to lock up your tyres, after your skidding is that extra braking power needed? No. 'Perhaps if he had spent 10 years developing ABS for bicycles happened to be riding a prototype', it's just bullshit. A dear jumps out in front of your car, you hit it, do you say 'should have been driving a aerial atom, lighter, better brakes'. The reasons why the accident happened are about 100 ways the cyclist could have avoided and one way the driver could have avoided it.
(Emphasis mine) - ie. you believe (notwithstanding that you might be wrong) that the cyclist rode into the impact deliberately (?!)
Elsewhere, you have said:
I think a reasonable reading of your words is that you believe that even though the cyclist is not legally in the wrong, if he had made different choices (choices more like the ones you would have made) the accident would have been avoided. If that is a misrepresentation, my apologies and tell me where I am going wrong here because you can see why people are getting wrong end of the stick.
If that is what you believe then in my book that is attributing blame for the accident to the cyclist's actions no matter how strenuously you assert that it isn't.
I think that given the choice of sitting where you are doing nothing vs braking to drop back a bit avoiding an imminent crash there is no choice to make. Pulling an emergency stop in that situation in the middle of the road is as unnecessary as it is obviously stupid. If your brakes only do off or on then I'd suggest having your right foot re-calibrated ;)
Who mentioned having a car a foot behind?
I mentioned tailgating while overtaking as it's an obvious hazard you see all the time, two or three cars in tight convoy going for an overtake on each other's arses, restricting visibility, closing off escape options. Stupid, dangerous and avoidable even if it means passing up on 'your' opportunity to overtake.
My point was that if you don't have a car immediately behind then 'backwards' is one of your available options for avoiding a 'pulling into blindspot' collision. If you do have traffic close behind then you'd be sensible to consider whether the other options you have available are adequate.
No, given the wet conditions I reckon I'd have hit him but probably not very hard. Knowing how I drive I'd have likely been slowing gently on/over the brakes with my thumb over the horn a second or two before that car starts to go. Even if he goes then stops when you beep the car on the left has narrowed the road so a bump is hard to avoid. I'm not a good or highly trained driver by any stretch but I do have the skills/instincts we all accumulate over thousands of hours of doing something.
I'm behind my keyboard now but in 10 minutes time like most days I'll be back behind the wheel doing it for real, paying attention, thinking ahead... Hopefully staying out of trouble.
You lost me a little there, probably my comprehension skills but given the thread and video is taken from the cyclist's perspective, of course we've focused on the things the victim could have done better. To suggest there is nothing he could have done better is moronic, he got creamed at a junction and in conditions a wet-behind-the-ears learner driver would be expected to flag up as hazardous and react to.
I've at least twice covered what the driver can do in that situation to reduce the risk and why.
Down to ad hominem. Great.
Falling is fact of life in climbing. We look at how we can better survive the fall.
RTAs caused by careless drivers are a fact of life. Until road designs and legislation improve the lot of the cyclist I look at how we might better survive an RTA caused by a careless driver, and in doing so you think I need to increase my bran [sic] quotient.
Several times. Clearly. A series of events - including moving across the lane to take the drivers attention, pre-gripping brakes well in advance, watching their gaze and wheels, and - if all else fails - slowing down.
No I'm not. I'm not saying he was "wrong", I am sating he could and should have done better. Or do you think he should allow idiot drives to smear him all over the road?
I am actually a cyclist you twerp. Then again I wouldn't be cycling at those speeds in heavy traffic on 70-100psi tyres as I don't want to be an injured or dead cyclist. Or do you mean I'm not your kind of cyclist, because in that case, no I'm not.I understand the bike tyres work differently; the analogy is not slicks per sey, but riding with equipment that is unsuitable for the conditions. Or more precisely, wontonly riding beyond the limits of your chosen equipment.
Spot on. If you are in someone's blind spot you should damned well be aware that you are in a dangerous position and turn the hazard perception up a notch. I try to be highly aware of being in a blind spot. I won't put myself in one unless I have a clear path out of the other side. If I get put in one, I will accelerate or slow down out of it. After a few seconds in a blind spot the drivers sub conscious vision routines forgets you. So please do, if it ever happens to me I'll post on the forum here and you can be the first person to tell me those two things. I'll welcome the feedback.
As I said above, a cyclist-centric approach to improving cycle safety:
1. puts off new cyclists (when it revolves around specialist equipment or wearing silly clothing) and the evidence suggests that more cyclists on the roads makes cycling safer for everyone
2. where the approach is skills-based (ie. advanced hazard awareness, defensive road positioning), it is not appropriate, realistic or reasonable to expect from all cyclists, especially the most vulnerable - ie. novices, the elderly, children.
3. distracts from the real issues and allows transport authorities to claim to be doing something about cycle safety, where that 'something' consists of sending police officers to stop cyclists at junctions and telling them they should be wearing high-viz clothing or wearing helmets, as recently happened in response to a recent spate of left-turning-HGV-related fatalities: https://www.google.com/search?q=hgv+turning+cyclist+deaths+police+response+high-viz )
4. when a cyclist-centric message dominates discourse about cycle safety (as it is at the moment) it makes it harder for cycling victims of accidents to get redress or compensation or for campaigners to fight for improved cycling infrastructure, as it becomes all about the ways in which the cyclist didn't conform with safety 'best practice'
No. I believe there is a chance he may have decided that if he continued assertively, the car might well see him and stop, albeit in a stupid position in the road, and thus chose not to take evasive action. I don't know if that is the case or not, but the expletive was not spoken in a "I'm going to die" tone, it was a "you idiot" type of tone. We can't know that without speaking to him to ask him if that was the case, though.
*May* have been avoided, or reduced in severity.
OK, it is, if you prefer. But that's irrelevant. Go cycling/driving without considering how you're going to deal with idiots not driving/riding/walking correctly, and without the view that avoiding collisions, howsoever caused, is paramount, and you'll either get hurt, die or kill someone in very short order.
If you want to cycle in that manner, I wish you the best of luck. I'd prefer to get to my destination, by whichever mode of transport, a bit slower, a bit less stressed and not dead.
Why are you so polarised? Surely it is best to work on *both* approaches to cycle safety?
Hi Quiddity. I agree with most of this.
No one is arguing for a cyclist-centric message. On the last point; this thread might be cyclist-centric but that is because a few of us discussing how to improve survivability of RTAs given that the roads are dangerous RIGHT NOW and it will take time until things improve.
But yes, bigger picture is that drivers need to pay attention to driving and cyclists in partiuclar, cycling infrastructure should be heavily invested in and improved as cycling is a great way to locomote.
Why won't you look at the bigger picture?
Because I feel strongly that there is far too much emphasis on the cyclist when it comes to accidents. Explore some of the stuff I linked to in my post of 16.50 - this is a very real-world consequence of the type of debate that is had around cycling. *You* might think that what you are suggesting is just a sensible safety strategy, next week cyclists are being stopped and warned by the police for having the wrong kind of brakes on their bike:
So that's a problem with ill-informed police, needing to be solved, then, isn't it?
It isn't a reason why cyclists shouldn't consider their own safety.
By the way it isn't just cyclists. I know drivers who say of low-speed collisions in towns where you're unlikely to get killed things like "Well it doesn't matter, because if someone else crashes into me then their insurance pays, and I might get a whiplash claim". Genuinely. IMO, anyone taking that line shouldn't be on the road.
I think we probably don't disagree so much pragmatically. I just don't think the daily commute should be about survival-of-the-fittest. While clearly I'm going to do what I can to improve my own chances - I just think there is too much emphasis on cyclists being the problem, which this thread seems to have aligned itself with.
On a more optimistic note. I have recently got back into Central London cycling after a couple of years off the bike and just in that short time I have things have changed substantially, for the better. For sure the roads still need to be much safer and there will always be maniacs around, but I think the pace of change might be faster than you think.
"I just think there is too much emphasis on cyclists being the problem, which this thread seems to have aligned itself with."
As I've already pointed out, that's because the car driver was unequivocally and undebatably in the wrong. There was therefore no point in discussing that point any further.
Because there seems to be a school of thought, from TfL, the Mayor, the police - that the problem with cycle safety is primarily cyclists. I wonder where they get that idea from?
"On a more optimistic note. I have recently got back into Central London cycling after a couple of years off the bike and just in that short time I have things have changed substantially, for the better. For sure the roads still need to be much safer and there will always be maniacs around, but I think the pace of change might be faster than you think."
The fact that there are now so many cyclists on London's roads means you can't so easily ignore them. The Boris bikes have helped there, but not just those.
Certainly not from reading debates on UKC.
Some cyclists (the ones who jump red lights, ride aggressively etc) don't exactly help the cause, though. Sadly it is those, not the law-abiding majority, who are the visible ones.
I have, however, noticed over the last couple of years that obedience of traffic rules by cyclists in London has improved. Perhaps this is because cycling in London is now no longer the preserve of the MAMIL, but is becoming something a wider cross-section of society does, including those from outside London using Boris bikes?
These debates feed into each other though. Certainly it would be better if cyclists could agree amongst ourselves.
100% agree, I think red light jumping, bombing along pavements or through crowded pedestrian crossings with a green man, etc. are among the worst things that cyclists do to alienate ourselves in the eyes of the non-cycling public. Personally I would be glad if the police cracked down on this sort of stuff.
I don't think this needs to be a tribal issue. That being said, on my commute, by far the worst offenders for totally ignoring the rules of the road tend to be riding Boris bikes, take from this what you will...
Quiddity is spot on.
I am polarised because I believe taking the stance of victim blaming only reinforces a very unpleasant attitude amongst some motorists that cyclists shouldn't really be on the road. As roads are for cars as they pay road tax, so cyclists who do ride on the roads deserve whatever comes their way. Emma Way is an example of someone at the extreme end of this mindset.
If however you take the opposing view, that this was in no way the cyclists fault and that we need to improve conditions in cities to reduce this type of accident, then you're not reinforcing the Emma Way attitude. You're making a statement that cyclists should be on the roads, and as this way of thinking spreads it will hopefully lead to more people cycling, and more changes being made to infrastructure to facilitate this.
Well, what the driver did wrong was obvious. That's why I started my first post by saying the blame lies with them. What do you want me to do, call for their public execution?
Let me try and explain this to you.
The driver turned across oncoming traffic without adequately checking for fast moving cycles. This is a bad fault, and is why my first post opened with saying that are to blame.
For many seconds before this, their car presented a clear, obvious hazard. Despite this, the cyclist was apparently totally unaware of the hazard and was promptly wiped out by it.
The driver of the car did wrong. The cyclist did no wrong but also did not do enough right to avoid putting themselves in a potentially life altering position because of the wrong of the driver.
No but it vents frustration at someone who is looking to reduce a complex set of circumstances to a simplistic discussion in which any attempt to discuss how one might prevent serious accidents is seems as "blaming the cyclist".
No, we obviously are not. I for one am saying he should have been aware much sooner. Then I - and others - have said he could have done more to mitigate the obvious hazard, such as altering road position to help the driver see him. A grown up view backed by vision science realises it's hard for a driver to see a fast moving, oncoming bicycle. So help them out. This does not in any way excuse the driver, but understanding why accidents happen helps prevent them. It takes a combination of the flaws in our vision and the judgement of the driver. You can help break one link in that chain.
If you want to reduce this to me saying "the cyclist is at fault and should have stayed at home" then go right ahead. You'd be spitting in the face of the comments I've made, but fine. If this is your attitude when cycling I suspect that you're much more likely to be involved in a potentially life altering accident than me, per mile cycled. Don't worry about it, get a helmet camera so you can upload the video to youtube. After all you are indeed morally in the clear and you can continue to be so. From your hospital bed. No skin of my nose, literally. Maybe yours though.
I once slid down a road some distance on my side with my motorbike on top of me where the legal and moral fault lay squarely with the car driver that did this to me. Clearly I am wrong to welcome comment and discussion that may help me learn and develop more so as to reduce the chances of it ever happening to me again. I should just carry on, head down, and know that I am not to blame when it happens again.
Do you really think that putting one subset of road users on an un-reproachable pedestal is the way to reduce stress and conflict on the roads and encourage harmony between all?
I've seen nobody saying this cyclist did wrong, only that they could have done more right. This is a pretty important point regardless of your mode of transport. Any road user has a responsibility to themselves to try and protect themselves from the idiocy of others
I would agree 100% that a newspaper article, or police statement or the like that leads with what the cyclist should have done, instead of the fault of the driver, would be utterly unproductive for cyclists. In fact, to even mention that the cyclists could have prevented it (worse still, should) would be counter productive for cyclists in a general press article. However, does that mean there can't be a grown up discussion about the fact someone was taken out by an obvious hazard, and how they might or might not have been able to reduce the probability of that reoccurring? I would rather that than the "hang 'em high" topic of the OP.
It seems there can't, because every time the "OMG you're blaming the cyclist you pig" brigade come out. Thank you for your post because it's the first time I have seen a rational reason for this view explained, and whilst I may disagree it's nice to see that it's not all motivated by parochial attitudes.
happened to me at the rear of York Race Course right in front of a Policeman ,who did nothing but make sure I didn't need an Ambulance..
I'm really not clear why you have to say "it was no way the cyclist's fault" to also say "we need to improve conditions in cities to reduce this kind of accident". Drivers and cyclists alike (most people who are cyclists are also drivers) are not perfect.
If you have a particularly badly designed junction and a driver causes an accident by not being careful at it, the accident was the driver's fault. However it doesn't mean we should not lobby the Council to redesign the junction to reduce accidents.
In a way one statement is rather emotive, the other rather more practical. And as I've said before when "think of the children" and such comes up, road safety issues should be dealt with purely practically, not emotively.
 Edit: I don't think I'd use wording so strong as to say it was the cyclist's fault, I'd more say "there may have been actions the cyclist could have taken to avoid or reduce the severity of the collision, given that the car driver had caused it". Clearly he did one such thing with his rather good landing!
"I would agree 100% that a newspaper article, or police statement or the like that leads with what the cyclist should have done, instead of the fault of the driver, would be utterly unproductive for cyclists. In fact, to even mention that the cyclists could have prevented it (worse still, should) would be counter productive for cyclists in a general press article. However, does that mean there can't be a grown up discussion about the fact someone was taken out by an obvious hazard, and how they might or might not have been able to reduce the probability of that reoccurring? I would rather that than the "hang 'em high" topic of the OP."
Exactly. I agree that the explanation is a good one, by the way, but equally legislation of any kind, be that road design or anything else, should never be prompted by emotion, rather the consideration of cold, hard facts and nothing else.
I was luckier than you. I hope you get it sorted. But anyone on this thread who thinks the cyclist could have stopped needs to try it one day to see how it goes for them.
The question 'What could the cyclist have done more right' is not an unreasonable one. What I, and the 'victim blaming brigade' object to is the point at which it is asked, which I believe shows where your thinking is in cyclists rights to be on our roads.
If you do believe that cyclists should have much more of a presence on the roads, then after seeing a video like this where it's 99% the drivers fault, the questions you'll likely want to ask in order to reduce this type of accident are:
1. What would we do to alter the infrastructure to reduce risk?
2. What could we do to alter driver behavior to reduce risk?
3. How could we reduce the number of cars on the roads to reduce risk?
4. How could cyclists alter their behavior to reduce risk?
I think though, after you’ve fully addressed points 1-3, the question of 4 will start to fall away in all but the most extreme examples, as cyclists do much less damage than cars. Have a look at a picture of people riding in Holland and count the number of helmets and hi-viz jackets.
Though if you believe that on the whole you’d rather not see cyclists on the roads, and that cars take priority, effectively just trying to maintain the status quo of the roads, then then when thinking how to reduce risk you’ll skip points 1-3 and go straight to 4. With the ultimate outcome of this line of thinking being that cyclists shouldn't be on the roads as they’re too dangerous, and just not for them, or if they are they should be regulated and covered in all manner of bizarre, likely ineffectual protective gear so that only the most militant of cyclists remain. See this guy as an extreme example of this http://kspeat.wix.com/driversunion#!europe-cycling-myths/c22gr.
As for the cold hard facts to make the decision that Neil’s after, then you’ll find such ‘facts’ produced by both camps, and pointing in the opposite direction. I don’t believe it’s possible to eliminate emotion from a political decision in which people care about the outcome either way.
Why I find a thread like this depressing as a large number of people on this thread are jumping straight to point 4. I would have thought UKC would have a more progressive readership (being an already healthy, outdoorsy bunch), much more aware and open to the benefits of cycling than the general population. Though reading this thread, looks like I may end up in a Range Rover sport, sitting in traffic in 20 years’ time, but I hope not!
Wintertree, you said a press release or police statement blaming the victim would be a bad thing, and unfortunately they are all over the press (just look at the itv headline in the OP’s link). In terms of the police, then look no further than ‘operation safeway’, which Quiddity linked to above. The Police’s response to the week of about 7 cyclists deaths in London in Nov 13 was to randomly stop cyclists and tell them to make sure they wear a polystyrene helmet. The Government often talks a good game about promoting cycling but when it comes to spending money, trying to change drivers attitude or reduce cars on the road they take point 4 as well.
"1. What would we do to alter the infrastructure to reduce risk?
2. What could we do to alter driver behavior to reduce risk?
3. How could we reduce the number of cars on the roads to reduce risk?
4. How could cyclists alter their behavior to reduce risk?"
Yes. But as a cyclist, only #4 is in your control. It's mad not to consider it, surely?
No, it is entirely possible to think 1) is important and not want to see cyclists on the roads so much. In fact this is precisely the approach in Holland, Denmark etc. where very often cars have roads, bikes have bike paths and pedestrians have pavements. What is rarely possible is to have room for bike paths and bikes on roads. This means bike paths need proper design and maintenance, and cyclists have to accept that infrastructure is for getting from A-B, rather than racing on - using a bike path may be a little slower than the road.
The point is that to give cyclists infrastructure that infrastructure, you must take space away from motorists, so if you don't want your journey as a motorist impinged upon, you wont accept point 1.
And furthermore, whilst #4 might not be important in Holland which is much more cyclist-friendly, in the UK and on what may be CURRENTLY deemed as cyclist-unfriendly roads, "helmets and hi-viz jackets" etc... may be a good interim measure.
Once the UK reaches Holland's level of cycle-friendliness we may then be able to do away with "helmets and hi-viz jackets".
Looking at this another way; you have listed four areas where cycle safety could be improved. Out of your 1-4 list, which area could be tackled with greatest expediency?
In the very small picture (eg you on the road getting to work) obviously take all measures to keep yourself safe in the environment you find yourself in.
In the bigger picture (eg a public discussion forum), the other 3 take much greater priority in my mind, and are the ones I'd like to see being discussed.
Read my post, that's exactly what I said.
It is a question of assigning road space, yes. But I think most people are supportive enough of bike lanes, certainly in cities - objections from motorists aren't really the problem. Design and maintenance certainly are though. The amount of pointless or downright dangerous bike lanes is high. Also the mindset among some cyclists that using bike lanes is somehow beneath them needs to go. If there is a good bike lane, cycling in the road should be no more acceptable than walking in the road where there is a good pavement. There simply isn't space for both.
So you are in agreement that there ARE practical steps that could and should be taken by cyclists until such time as 1-3 come to pass?
There, fixed that for you. :-)
Given the current cost cutting by this government, the only one of those four options that is likely to see the light of day is #2. The problem then is that attitudes take a long time (in the order of decades) to change. Effectively the blame for any failure can be laid at the door of whichever set of mealy mouthed politicians happen to be in power at the time.
What is increasingly happening on our roads is that drivers are becoming distanced from the consequences of their actions, both in terms of guilt "it was just a cyclist" and in terms of justice - how many cases of dangerous driving get presented in court as driving without due care and attention? In a way it's symptomatic of a lot of modern day life: "It's somebody else's fault".
Are you actually editing in comments on your post after I've responded, then using them to try and score points??
I wrote exactly what I believe in the post of 13:12, just read that.
No, you cross posted as I was editing my post. A genuine mistake. I wanted to add that question at the end to whit....
None of which escapes the question "Out of your 1-4 list, which area could be tackled with greatest expediency?"
just seen this and reminded me of the crash in paris yesterday where a guy was starting to go hover his bars and then he miraculously released his pedals before landing feet first? would this be possible with spd pedals?
It's not so much that "they are beneath them" more that even when they are reasonably continuous they are often in such a poor state that it's less risky to be back out in the traffic than use them.
On my commute of 21Km there's about 3Km of cycle lane, 2Km of this is fine and clear and I use it as does every cyclist I see on that stretch, the other 1Km is full of broken glass, potholes and currently rather a lot of parked lorry trailers. What's slightly ironic is that this latter section goes past the local police station. Also the council have put in a new cycle path to avoid the very congested main road with three busy roundabouts that leads on to this section, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
I find it depressing that you emote so heavily that you refuse to see that pretty much everyone on this thread is in support of the cyclist in the OP, endorses your points 1-3, and, is generally pro-cycling.
The warning signs were there with your rape-analogy ("analogous to a woman being raped then saying 'We all accept it's the rapists fault, but if she hadn't worn that short skirt and make-up it wouldn't have happened'").
I think it is advisable that women avoid walking home at night alone, carry an alarm, avoid unlit areas, learn some self-defence etc.... None of which means I support rapists. Has this made it clearer for you?
Yes, agreed. An annoyingly high proportion of dedicated cycle lanes are more trouble than they're worth, so I'll normally only use them if a) the road is sufficiently nasty that it's worth risking having to deal with potholes, protruding tree roots, gormless pedestrians, random street furniture, unexpected detours and incomprehensible junctions in order to avoid it or b) I ride there regularly and know that it's not too bad.
I'm sure that even with excellent off-road cycle facilities you'd get people who prefer to ride on the road, but they tend to be few and fast moving enough that people can reasonably be expected to deal with it...
Given that there is no systematic training required to take to the roads on a bike, and no means of actually getting cyclists to undertake additional training, from a pragmatic point of view point 4 is currently the least tractable of those options to implement on a large scale on any kind of short or medium term timescale.
Whether there *should* be more provision of cyclist training given the amount that cycling is being pushed by transport authorities, is a debate I would be very receptive to. But this is where we are for the moment at least.
Shani, despite your subsequent support of the cyclist, and I don't doubt that it was there from the outset, your fist post on this thread was:
"Shouldn't the cyclist have had lights on his bike and be wearing high-viz clothing given that he presented a narrow profile and so was harder to see?"
You're first response was BJP001's point 4, which kind of supports their argument. Generally, what BJP001 is saying makes sense. Of course, you've got to look after yourself, but the mentality has got to change. A lot of the non-cyclists I know have the attitude that it's too dangerous to cycle. My response is always that we should be looking at removing/educating the dangerous road users, not removing those that aren't dangerous. It's a very negative approach, that will in the long run, not improve anything for cyclists.
Victim blamers do not support the criminal. What they do is use the crime against the victim to push their agenda. In the case of rape, the victim blamers are generally bigoted older men who were very uncomfortable with women's new found freedom in the 60s, and would much rather they were dressed plainly, cooking in the kitchen while they watched match of the day, hence the victim blaming.
So the analogy with cyclists, people who victim blame don't think all cyclists should be hit by a 7 ton truck, but I do think they believe their freedom on the roads should be restricted.
I'd wager that the majority of cyclists on the road hold a driving license and so systematic training is probably not required. It might be more fruitful to force all motorists to undertake a commute by bicycle as a part of their driving test, to illustrate the vulnerability of cyclists.
But none of this precludes analysis of what steps (if any), could be taken by a cyclist to increase survivability of a journey.
You are very wide of the mark.
Falling off a bike hurts.
The faster you are going when you fall off the more it hurts.
You balance the risk. This is done unconsciously. The more unlikely it is that you think you are going to fall off, the faster you ride, this makes it more likely you will fall off and more likely you will hurt more when you do fall off.
It's one thing to say change all the infrastructure, but all you will do is encourage cyclists to ride even faster and their injuries (although there may well be less of them) will be more severe.
The extent of the injuries in this kind of accident are entirely down to the cyclist.
The cause of the injuries are down to the car driver.
You cannot eliminate all accidents.
You can mitigate the damage quite easily.
You are reading too much in to this. I was responding with some reflection on what steps the cyclists may have taken. Whether the cyclists could have done anything in this instance is a moot point. Whether those same steps would have a benefit at a population level....well that is exactly the point.
To clarify, I am reflecting on the most expedient actions to improve safety. Not of this precludes 1-3 above, which I absolutely endorse. You can read what you want in to my OP but I have now added context that should leave you in no doubt.
Better infrastructure reduces the chance of you being hit by a truck, which hurts far more than just falling off your bike at any speed.
And so by this definition, I am NOT in any way a victim blamer as I do not believe cyclist's freedom on the roads should be restricted in any way.
Well if that's what you actually believe, then for the love of god man stop victim blaming!
It's poisonous and fuels the fire of people who actually want to restrict cyclists, like this guy http://kspeat.wix.com/driversunion#!europe-cycling-myths/c22gr.
Well I've been accused by several on here of blaming the victim. I don't much care what you think I think but for your information you're a little way off the mark.
jk (A bigoted old man)
Back in your pram. Re-read what I have written, especially those lines where I explicitly state that I am NOT BLAMING THE VICTIM. I don't understand why you cannot comprehend the fact that the driver is entirely to blame but that there may be steps that the victim can take that mitigate the consequences of the accident.
A strawman argument. Do you really think that if I want to explore how I, as a cyclist, can mitigate the risk of an RTA, I am spreading a poisonous ideology which fuels the fire of people who actually want to restrict cyclists? Or has your emotion got the better of you again?
Of course this applies to cars. Rather hit a right turning car at 20 or 30?
What about children? Lower income people who don't drive? I live in Hackney and I would suspect these sectors account for quite a lot of the bicycles on the roads. Irrespective, if you were to propose this I would probably agree wholeheartedly that this would be a good thing. Politically however I think this would be extremely difficult to do.
Well yes, if you are happy with the survival-of-the-fittest approach to cyclist safety then by all means, analyse away. However given a big increase in the number of journeys undertaken by bike, we are going to end up with a lot more inexperienced cyclists on the roads - overall the skill level of the average cyclist is likely to go DOWN, not up, purely as a result of cycling increasing in popularity.
What really pushes my buttons though is when cyclists who clearly feel they have this whole riding defensively thing down, tut disapprovingly whenever some other hapless cyclist gets taken out by a driver having an off day, because they didn't have enough lights on their bike or were wearing the wrong coloured clothes or weren't riding according to whatever defensive riding strategy they endorse. By attributing blame for the accident to the cyclists actions or inactions, they make themselves feel safer about their own behaviour. This is quite a well-studied phenomenon in social psychology: ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_%28psychology%29#Defensive_attribution_hypothesis ) and I can't help but suspect this is some of what is going on here.
What are you suggesting then? Above you seemed to object to the police pointing out dangerous behaviour to cyclists, you don't like relying on driving tests and you don't like other cyclists pointing out ways safety could be improved?
I disagree strongly. It is valid to discuss actions at all levels on a discussion forum. Indeed, on a discussion forum like this that has no clout whatsoever with regard to building road infrastructure or changing driver licencing systems and such, what individual cyclists (like us lot) can do is of greatest relevance.
"cycling in the road should be no more acceptable than walking in the road where there is a good pavement"
Amusingly, and as an aside, last week I saw a runner running down the middle of a London street (the one that goes down the side of Paddington on the high-numbered platforms end, towards where the Bozza bikes and the hospital are) who ran in front of a cyclist (by changing his path without looking) and almost got clouted. Where he was running there is a pavement and it was clear, and he was not crossing the road. That kind of behaviour is just inconsiderate; there was no good reason not to run on the pavement in that location at that time.
As is typical for London, instead of apologising to the cyclist he shouted and made a rude gesture.
(Edited to clarify exactly what occurred)
You just read what you want to read. Quiddity has already pointed out to you that if you say you're not blaming the victim, even in capitals, then go on the blame the victim, you're a victim blamer.
You're now circular and I'm not much interested in scoring points on the internet.
The fact that they are turning will naturally reduce their speed, so 20 vs. 30 is of little relevance. When turning right in a 30 zone you are likely to naturally slow your car well below 20.
Personally, though, when cycling I prefer 30. The time I am most at risk from a car, provided it doesn't do anything stupid like in the video, is when it is overtaking me. In an enforced 20, this takes longer.
To prevent cars overtaking bikes you'd need to set a lower limit - perhaps 10. But then that'd have to apply to bikes as well...
The world isn't black and white, even if the law thinks it is. In pretty much any accident there are things all parties could have done differently to prevent it or reduce the consequences. Considering what the cyclist may have done differently in this case doesn't equate with blaming the victim. Similarly noting that the driver probably behaved as practically all drivers do on many occasions (checked for cars but not explicitly for bikes and missed a fast moving small object her eyes and brain would not be well developed for noting) isn't clearing her of blame.
I think whether we are nominally "blaming the victim" is irrelevant. The point that the victim (of the car's stupidity) could perhaps have mitigated their injuries is a rather more relevant one. If you see that as giving the cyclist a small percentage of the blame for the entire course of the collision, then yes, that is what we are doing.
Does that make you happier?
I like the point made further up - the car driver was responsible for the occurrence of the accident, but the cyclist's actions will have contributed to its severity (in both directions - were he riding faster it might have been worse).
If you feel that we should never ascribe any blame to anyone other than the car driver in a car vs. cyclist accident where the accident's initial cause was the car driver's actions, purely because this might cause some Clarksonesque lobby to print garbage about it, then I respectfully think you are wrong, as that is tantamount to saying that defensive driving/cycling is not necessary, and it very much *is*.
Edit: As another example, so is defensive pedestrianism. If you walk out on a zebra crossing in front of a car who is obviously not slowing to stop and get clouted, of course that's the driver's fault. However you could as a pedestrian have avoided it by looking both ways before beginning to cross at a zebra crossing and observing traffic behaviour, even though the traffic SHOULD stop. If we conclude that road accidents are a bad thing howsoever caused (I certainly think so), then it is sensible to me to say that every driver, rider and pedestrian should do their utmost to avoid them, regardless of who might have been the initial trigger.
I refer you to my post on Friday for some suggestions:
Overall I think transport planners should focus on changing the urban environment to make it more bike friendly, rather than expecting radically different behaviour from cyclists or motorists. Enforcing existing laws would be a start - eg. ASLs are routinely ignored. Before you ask, YES I think that should include cyclists eg. red light jumping. Implementing safety measures in the most dangerous vehicles eg. heavy construction traffic - I think there was a Europe-wide proposal for changing the design of HGV cabs to make them safer and eliminate blind spots that was recently kicked into the political long grass.
But if I don't blame the victim, then I am not blaming the victim no matter how much you say I am.
Now if you could post examples of where I am blaming the victim we can progress this thread...
The trouble is, it's a lot easier to point out things that they could have done differently when you know what's going to happen, ie that this is the one time in thousands that the car that's waiting to turn right will fail to spot the cyclist. You have to suspect that we're taking advantage of a bit of hindsight when we point out that he could have slowed down for the "obvious" hazard of a car waiting to turn right, but barely register the two cars waiting to pull out that he passes at the same speed...
In an extreme case, you could prevent almost any road accident by not leaving your house that day. The question is how much trouble it's reasonable to expect someone to go to to avoid being caught out by other peoples' incompetence.
Context is relevant here. If someone were to start a 'defensive tactics for urban cycling' thread I would probably actively participate in it. In the context of a specific accident, I think quite a lot of the tutting that is going on is largely self-serving - it's people reassuring themselves that the accident wouldn't happen to THEM.
Thank you! That is exactly what some of us are trying to discuss here!
Indeed, HGVs and the lack of visibility from them are a very big issue. But this is again one where cyclists can help themselves a bit while the due process is going on to make them safer - don't cycle down the side of an HGV that is either moving, about to move or could move. Then you definitely won't get clouted.
As to London I think the construction traffic does make things unpleasant at times, but I'm unsure of the real solution to this.
I didn't see any trucks in that video.
I did notice those two cars sticking their noses out, and think he might have done well to move more towards the centre of the road so he would have a little more warning (and the ability to pull to the right of them) if they did.
"The question is how much trouble it's reasonable to expect someone to go to to avoid being caught out by other peoples' incompetence."
Depends how much of an injury risk you are willing to accept, I guess, it's rather a continuum.
Well yes, which is why discussing these things isn't such a bad idea as you get various perspectives. Generally being defensive when driving or cycling is a good thing, I would say, but quite where the line between defensive and timid lies is something for debate. Trying to shut down any discussion of the cyclist's behaviour as "victim blaming" just increases the chances of an exact repeat at some point.
To be honest watching that video I thought it was the car sticking out of the junction that was going pull out and hit him and wondered about his speed there, so it's not all hindsight.
What's your point? That's a confusing question.
In heavy traffic I slow down to a speed at which I would hope to be able to either stop, avoid, or reduce impact. When driving a car I have many things to avoid; cars are the easy ones. Cyclists and pedestrians pulling crazy stunts tend to be the most difficult to predict.
Riding in the rain down a busy road with cars pulling out from all directions requires a very defensive stance. If it means slowing to 10mph. Then I do it.
Although the example in the video is more comparable to stepping onto a zebra crossing when there's an approaching car that has ample time to see you and stop and not waiting until they're actually stationary before starting to cross.
You seem to be rather stuck on the idea that the cyclist in the video has made the rather insane decision to risk getting himself killed or seriously injured purely to make a point, which seems implausible enough to require rather stronger evidence than you're offering...
In any accident, we would do well to look at it like an air accident. Consider all contributing factors and causes, and some of them are easier to alter than others.
If I think they will reach the crossing before I have left it, I certainly wait for them to visibly start to slow before stepping out, just in case they haven't seen me. Don't you?
Edit: I particularly do this when running. A runner moves more quickly than most pedestrians (even if I am a heavy lump doing 8-9 minute miles) and as such drivers often indeed don't see you approaching.
I'm not making that point, though I did offer for consideration the possibility he felt that if he continued the driver might see him before completing the turn, rather than starting evasive action as soon as he saw the car's front wheels start to turn towards him.
There is already a survival of the fittest reality in cycling, there always has been and there always will be. Same with driving. Same with anything where having better skills reduces the chance of you becoming involved in a potentially serious accident.
Better roads and more dedicated cycle routes are coming, slowly. Quieter roads probably aren't. In the meantime it makes sense for us all to learn how to share the spaces we have as safely as we can.
We don't have to accept a net decrease in cyclist road skills as a consequence of more people cycling. Education is relatively cheap (compared to new infrastructure) whether it's delivered through schools, youth groups, TV campaigns, or even something as cheap and simple as info-boards on the back of trucks/buses clearly explaining and warning of blind spots.
Huh, I look at that video (predominantly from a driver's perspective) and think first not about what I know or what I might have spotted but what there might be there to learn from, what I might have missed, what warnings were there, what options are available and when. That I subsequently point out there are things one could do differently to avoid accidents of this type is not smugness. That I point it out several times increasingly bluntly is an exasperated response to the "la la la, I'm not listening, it's all the driver's fault and it's unavoidable" reaction threads like this always seem to elicit.
Imagine how awful aviation would still be if there were the same unwillingness to look analytically at what what happened, why and what could be done better from each and every perspective rather than starting with apportioning blame before stifling debate as to how similar accidents might be avoided in the future.
Exactly. (I personally find Air Crash Investigation type programmes fascinating, though obviously I would far rather they ran out of material to cover as soon as possible because of improvements in aviation safety).
I'm glad you have clarified that comments like this:
Are purely for the purposes of forensic crash analysis rather than smugness, which is how it comes across.
The difference in attitude between some of the posters on here and the sometimes astonishingly frank and dispassionate safety bulletins I get from the BGA is striking.
> Are purely for the purposes of forensic crash analysis rather than smugness, which is how it comes across.
I don't really do smug, it's just not the way my brain works. Read it as you like but if it seems smug you should probably re-read it or just skip it because it's not meant to be.
looking again at the quote you chose, perhaps you could suggest an alternative reason why someone might approach that situation in that way (beside inattentiveness, inexperience or recklessness)?
Can you imagine if town planners had the same mentality of some of the people on this thread?
There would be uproar if town planners made the case that as it was all the driver's fault, we should not look at how to make roads safer for vulnerable users.
Just curious who it is on this thread that you think is arguing this?
Those who think that reflecting on mitigating factors outside of the driver's actions somehow mean we are blaming the cyclist.
Total straw man.
So with regard to this accident and its severity, you agree that we can look beyond the actions of the driver without shifting the blame from the driver?
Yes, as I argued here:
I just think that fixating on things that individual cyclists can do to make themselves safer is counterproductive when it excludes considering approaches to making the environment safer (which it effectively does at the moment), as I argued here:
I think this thread has pretty much run its course now.
With regard to this accident and its severity, you agree that we can look beyond the actions of the driver without shifting the blame from the driver (which clearly includes the choices and actions of the cyclist).
So it looks like you are now in an opportunity to make the apology you offered here:
"I think a reasonable reading of your words is that you believe that even though the cyclist is not legally in the wrong, if he had made different choices (choices more like the ones you would have made) the accident would have been avoided. If that is a misrepresentation, my apologies and tell me where I am going wrong here because you can see why people are getting wrong end of the stick.
If that is what you believe then in my book that is attributing blame for the accident to the cyclist's actions no matter how strenuously you assert that it isn't."
No because he (NW) did not complain that was a misrepresentation of his words.
But that does not escape the fact that as you AGREE that we CAN look beyond the actions of the driver without shifting the blame FROM the driver, this DOES include us reflecting on the choices and actions of the cyclist.
Given the above, no matter how you spin it, if NW was commenting on the actions of the cyclist, it does not necessarily follow that he was apportioning blame on the cyclist; something that you state quite clearly above!
Excessive dissection of the choices and actions of the cyclist, which is what I was specifically referring to, is going beyond productively discussing what can be learned and is well into the realms of victim blaming which is the point I was making to NW.
Because we are arguing semantics. If you feel that suggesting that the cyclist could have avoided or mitigated the effects of the collision over and above what he did is blaming the cyclist, then we are part-blaming the cyclist. I really don't care about that.
What I care about is that we should consider all aspects of how such a collision can be avoided. But because we (as cyclists on a forum on UKC) can only change one (our actions if it happens to us), and possibly one other (when we're driving how we act) those are the most relevant to discuss. The latter can be summed up as "look before you turn". So that leaves only the former.
I sense we have reached an impasse.
It certainly seems there is a disagreement between:-
1. It is unacceptable to apportion blame against the cyclist because this promotes the idea that cyclists are bad.
2. We should consider the actions of all involved, including the cyclist, to see how the occurrence and severity of any similar future accidents may be mitigated, on the basis that an accident rarely has one cause contributing to the entirety of its cause and outcome.
Personally I'm definitely a 2. I'm guessing you're a 1.
Are you intentionally misrepresenting the counter argument or have you just not grasped it?
Well, the above is my understanding of it, essentially. What other reason is there not to discuss that aspect of the collision?
I know you want to discuss other aspects as well, but they have no bearing on whether that action should be discussed or not in my book.
I think the argument is
1) The cyclist should have slammed him brakes on, lost control in the wet and skidded putting himself in more danger, as opposed to landing on his feet and escaping all but bruises.
2) The cyclist didn't do anything wrong, the car driver shouldn't have pulled out immediately in front of him.
You're in one, I'm in two.
While skill was involved, the cyclist was lucky to be in the position to land on his feet after being thrown in the air by a car. Having had that experience myself, it all happened far too quickly for me to be able to control how I landed, and the result was a very heavy landing on my knee (fortunately on the grass of the central reservation rather than the road) and an irritating knee injury left over (yes, I'm very lucky that was all I got, well, that and the need to buy a new bike).
(My fault, by the way, I turned right across a car on a dual carriageway, having misjudged his speed)
There is a mid point between those 2 statements
The driver got it wrong, but a wise road user backs off at busy road junctions to ensure that they can stop if necessary.
I think that mid-point is more where I am, FWIW.
That is a very blinkered view. Nothing will improve while people think like this.
True, but point 4 is the only one I can control when cycling, and this thread has not been about road design. I fully agree with addressing points 1 and 2 above, although I accept that there are direct failings in human vision and perhaps "smarts" in the car are going to help as much as road design etc. I don't care so much for point 3, as I do for reducing the environmental impact of those cars. Certainly that is possible to a large extent, I await the Tesla Model 3 with interest.
I get where you're coming form but I just plain disagree here. Everyone on the road - regardless of their mode of transport - should have safety as their first priority, not point scoring on road design. Pushing this is not victim blaming, it is recognising that one has to accept - and survie - the world one is in today. Separate to that by all means try and push a safer world for tomorrow.
No, I think there is quite a lot more to it than that.
I am not opposed to considering defensive strategies for cycling. I have just been questioning whether there is any point doing it in the context of a video of a specific accident - I suspect there is a way to do this productively, I am just not sure what it would look like - these threads always seems to get bogged down in specious arguments about what the victim did wrong.
Certainly the tone has a bearing. It seems better to start from a position of 'that sort of thing could happen to anyone, what can I do differently to protect myself' than 'obviously he was insufficiently defensive/going too fast/wearing lycra' (with the implication that since I ALWAYS cycle defensively and NEVER go too fast or wear lycra, I'll be fine) - I think we have had plenty of examples of the latter type of language for much of the thread.
But what can we really learn here? I guess we can see from the video that sometimes other road users do unpredictable things, and that your riding style should, to some extent, take that into account to stay safe on the road. In the associated discussion we also got the fact that not all brakes are created equal, and that your riding style should also take account of this to some extent.
But pretty much anyone who didn't just beam down from Mars is already aware of those two things. I'd imagine that the guy in the video was, for starters. So we're left trying to decide is how careful it's necessary to be to allow for these factors, and to help us do that we have the fact that one cyclist, once, cycled as in the video and got hit by a car doing something unexpected and couldn't stop in time to avoid it. This is hardly the basis for a solid statistical analysis, so we're pretty much straight in to speculation and personal prejudice.
If we were talking about something like less intuitively obvious like someone nearly getting caught out by cycling into a lorry's blind spot then there might be something to learn for people who weren't already aware of the issue. But as it goes, I don't really see what we're going to gain.
Set against that, as Quiddity keeps pointing out, is the fact that by constantly shifting the focus back onto what cyclists can optimize to improve their "chances of survival", we're increasingly portraying riding a bike on the road as a deadly game that requires skill, knowledge and specialist equipment to pursue safely, rather than as something that most people with a reasonable level of common sense (and maybe a few bits of basic advice) can manage without incident on a daily basis.
"True, but point 4 is the only one I can control when cycling, and this thread has not been about road design. I fully agree with addressing points 1 and 2 above, although I accept that there are direct failings in human vision and perhaps "smarts" in the car are going to help as much as road design etc."
There already exist cars that at slow speed will not hit something in front of them, which is a start. But they won't protect against this kind of sideswipe. Give it time, though.
I think that sort-of depends where they're cycling and in what conditions. There are certainly places in London where cycling probably is "a deadly game that requires skill, knowledge and specialist equipment to pursue safely". This is where the Dutch approach could do with coming in.
I'd also say that cycling fast requires more skill than cycling at a more sedate pace.
> 1) The cyclist should have slammed him brakes on, lost control in the wet and skidded putting himself in more danger, as opposed to landing on his feet and escaping all but bruises.
> 2) The cyclist didn't do anything wrong, the car driver shouldn't have pulled out immediately in front of him.
You have seem to have some pretty serious comprehension issues which is odd, I always took you to be a smart guy.
In would say that 95% of 'The Dutch Approach' is the Dutch people. Try to implement anything like that here would require personality transplants in half the population.
Holland is a fairly big country with a fairly small population.
Bollocks. Its a small country with a medium population and other than city states the highest population density around
What on earth are you on about? There has been no excessive dissection of choices and actions of the cyclist. The only reason this thread is perpetuating is because some commentors seem unable or unwilling to concede that we can look beyond the actions of the driver without shifting blame from the driver.
Thankfully you got there in the end but you'd do as well not to conflate the fruits of your initial intransigence on this point with 'excessive dissection of the cyclists choices and actions'.
A subset of the skills required by other road users to pass their tests, hardly an unreasonable aspiration.
They do tell you not to admit liability, and to an extent you may think you are to blame, but that is sometimes a very subjective thing, and as we all know some people that never admit to bring wrong( when they are) and many people who will apologise when someone bumps into them in the street or a pub, and may blurt out an apology that is seen as a admission of fault.
The companies also have to deal with the fact that it can be a cultural thing , or seen as the polite thing to do.
Anyway time is coming that we will all have to start to film our journeys to protect ourselves of get a discount on insurance. ( as they do elsewhere as you can see on you tube )?
On the issue of high vis cyclists, it is not just an issue for cyclists, the insurance companies already have the statistics of what colour cars are much less likely to be involved in accidents, they should reward us by giving a discount for choosing a white car.
( or we may have government legislating in the interests of safety against the worst offending colours )
I suppose that is the unpalatable alternative if insurance companies don't act on their own stats.
Ieply to Ramblin dave:
Good question. If we don't explore all angles though, then the answer will be 'less than we could have done'.
I am sure UKC'ers can handle the sophisticated position of the driver having all the blame and cyclist wanting to maximise their chances of survival on the roads.
As for the deadliness of cycling we've seen plenty of stories and statistics on this thread to show that cycling can be deadly and that being knocked off your bike is reasonably common (it has happened to many of us and none of these incidents seem to have been recorded in official statistics). YOUR comments way above about improved driver education and improved infrastructure for the benefit of cyclists also imply how dangerous cycling can be and how much we should seek to improve it in the future.
That driver education and road infrastructure should be addressed for the denefit of cyclists is something I think we can all agree about.
The advantage is actually unclear. TRL research, although on motorcyclists not cyclists, indicates having a contrast is what counts. This could be a hi-vis colour, white or even black.
As an aside this article shows why people get pissed off with the auto comments about hi-vis etc.
Amsterdam has one tenth the number of people London does. It's half the size. The country in general has a population density half that of the UK.
You just can't compare them.
I was alluding to accidents generally
"A study conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland, New Zealand indicates that there may be a link between car color and serious injuries as a result of car accidents. Their findings were published in the The British Medical Journal in December 2003.
The study involved accidents in New Zealand between 1998 and 1999. According to their findings, drivers of brown cars had the highest risk of sustaining serious injuries caused by auto accidents. Black and green cars also had elevated risks.
Which are the safest cars? Drivers of silver-colored cars, according to the report, have a 50% less chance of being involved in an injury-causing accident than do drivers of white cars! While the results are surprising, more studies need to be performed before we all rush out and repaint or replace our vehicles.
The scientists did not explain why there was such a disparity in accident rates. Perhaps lighter colored cars are more visible,
(or perhaps the people who choose such cars are a self-selecting group of safe drivers.)
( I drive a black car!)
And here is the link we don't want to believe.....
Yes. Red js fast. Black is loud and grey (silver if you must) is boring.
They needed a survey to find that out?
It is in a lot of ways not dissimilar to the South East of England, with the exception of the single-centre commuting you get around London.
Except, of course, that it's flat.
Other way round
As per post one up, SE England and Netherlands are pretty comparable.
Two of my 3 daughters have a silver or white car, the other has a dark car.
Statistically they argue the one with the dark car should have had more accidents.
They happen to be correct. ( she has had two accidents to the other's none)
When she changes, I will be pushing her towards a lighter colour. ( it can't hurt)
What "angles", though? What are we actually learning here that we didn't already know?
Asking this suggests you need to read the thread again. Various perspectives have been offered (specifically those by people accused of blaming the cyclist).
> The study involved accidents in New Zealand between 1998 and 1999. According to their findings, drivers of brown cars had the highest risk of sustaining serious injuries caused by auto accidents. Black and green cars also had elevated risks.
I wonder if they controlled for vehicle type and age? Available (or at least popular) colours change significantly across the model range and over time.
Only semi related but: There's a wonderful semi-precious 'stone' that was collected out of the Detroit car factory paint booths when they closed down, you can see the fashions and decades changing in the distinct layers. The 70s were the best bits with the oranges, greens and browns. Wish I could remember its name.
The best way forward for avoiding this in the future is for the cyclist to be more careful.
I'm not convinced.
I'm sure most cyclists are quite careful otherwise they might die in a horrible accident under a few tonnes of metal.
I'll check back in on this ground breaking debate in another 100 posts.
Without casting such aspersions at the cyclist in the video, I see plenty of cyclists, particularly younger ones and in London, who are anything but careful.
I think the conclusion is the cyclists should drive tanks (possibly with the bike suspended on a turbo trainer in the middle so they can still "ride").
Is this where the sympathy for the right turning car comes from? Most has agreed that he wasn't able to come to a complete stop, if he had hit the car at a slightly slower speed he might have landed on his back which would have been much worse. There's little point in second guessing what he did, but he's alive and relatively uninjured despite someone's mistake. If we change any of the conditions of the accident there's a good chance of a worse result. So why the hand wringing?
This sounds great but even at 5mph, if a car turns late enough you will take some paint off. How much should one slow down for at a junction, got a speed in mind?
I don't normally get into these debates but curiosity got the better of me so I watched the video.
There's no way I'd cycle at that speed in that environment due to the fact that there are f**kwit drivers like that around.
I have a policy where unless I make eye contact with a driver who wants to cross my path, I slow right down to a speed which might not hurt as much if it goes wrong.
This policy is totaly unpractical on roads like in the video and is the reason why I'll never commute in an urban environment and if I ever had to go back to the UK I'd probably sell my bikes.
Craig, I've been driving and made eye contact for a second or two with a driver waiting to come out of a side road and he still set off and drove in to the side of me!
Generally it's not that bad commuting, OK it's summer holidays and Eid at the moment so generally quiet, there is the occasional numpty who obviously believes the tripe about bikes not paying road tax and therefor shouldn't be on the road but mostly everyone just gets on. I'm not saying that every driver gives you the correct space when overtaking or that they obey every single road sign etc but I don't feel like I've made a wrong turn and ended up in a stock-car race.
My commute is part rural then small village then old main road, slightly urban finishing off with about 5Km on a canal tow path so I probably ride through most environments. I don't have to ride in either of the main urban areas round here (Leeds and Bradford) so I can't comment on what it's like there.
The media also fuel the fire, headlines like "war on our roads" may improve sales but they don't help in road safety. Looking at the video it's not easy to figure out his speed because of the lens distortion but I'd guess he's doing under 20MPH, unless he's super strong he doesn't look like he's "racing" as the image is relatively steady.
It's not about a named speed it's about the ability to stop if necessary.
IIRC there are at least 2 other points in the video prior to the accident where I would have chosen to lift off due to the possibility of someone pulling out but the cyclist doesn't appear to.
Being "in the right" doesn't count for much when you're dealing with the expense and inconvenience of an accident that could have been avoided if you had backed off :(
I am not quite sure what it is you think you have gotten me to concede in this post but well done you nevertheless.
Have This thread reached any sort of agreement yet?
Agree with this 100%.
Yes, accidents happen but this is set against the .58 million daily journeys undertaken by bike in London alone. The facts are that the health benefits of cycling massively outweigh the risks associated with being involved in an accident. Yes I think defensive strategies have a place but that it is counterproductive when you obsess over it, as Neil, Shani et al seem keen to do, and that all the big-picture improvements in cycle safety will come from designing safer environments and getting more cyclists on to the roads.
That is all - I am out.
To a speed where you can deal safely with the situations that could develop ahead of you and do you serious harm. It's a really really simple concept and it costs next to nothing in time or energy. I really don't see where any reasonable objection to this could come from!
Do you drive?
No one has 'gotten' you to concede anything. You reached this point yourself when you expressed exactly the point that many of us on this thread have been making when you wrote:
"I am not opposed to considering defensive strategies for cycling."
Hardly an 'obsession'.
In addition you've agreed that we can look beyond the actions of the driver without shifting the blame from the driver (which clearly includes the choices and actions of the cyclist).
So I should be congratulating you. Well done.
I think if you look at all of what I have written rather than cherry picking quotes out of context it's fairly obvious that there is substantive disagreement between our positions but I don't think you are even trying to grasp the counterargument, so whatevs.
Let us know when you are done analysing all the possible accident causes in this video, there are still some people looking for a missing airliner in the indian ocean who can use your skills.
No there is NOT substantive disagreement between our positions; I too am not opposed to considering defensive strategies for cycling and agree that we can look beyond the actions of the driver without shifting the blame from the driver.
In any case, my bike doesn't have a speedometer, so I don't necessarily know exactly what a given speed feels like.
I must admit that I am quite obsessive over defensive driving, cycling and pedestrianism - but that's because I've seen and heard of an awful lot of collisions that could have been avoided if the "victim" was more defensive. I also get completely fed up of drivers (and it is mainly drivers) who go "it doesn't matter if someone else crashes into me, because their insurance will pay".
Collisions are to be avoided, and many would be avoided if all road users just occasionally accommodated the errors of other road users, and many more would be reduced in severity.
And unlike campaigns and infrastructure work, it doesn't cost you anything other than possibly a couple of minutes on your journey time.
My situation was different, I turned across a car that was overtaking me. But where do you get the idea I have any sympathy for the car driver? He clearly was in error as he turned onto another road user, and had he not done so the collision would not have occurred. I was more highlighting how these things happen so quickly that landing on his feet will have been a load of luck and a small amount of judgement.
What's your view on air crash investigation, then? Shouldn't we investigate all avenues?
As noted I have no idea because I don't have a speedo on my bike, though I think I would have been going slower in that setting than the cyclist shown, given the number of hazards (particularly idiot drivers poking their nose out into the road) already encountered. I don't ride flat-out on city streets, and it sounded from the cyclist's breathing like he was doing so. Riding flat-out is saved for roads with fewer hazards.
I'd imagine he was under the speed limit by some margin, but even if it did legally apply to cycles (it doesn't) it's a limit, not a target. And while I wouldn't allege he was doing this (he clearly wasn't), "furious cycling" (or whatever it's called) can be charged well under the speed limit for motor vehicles.
It often feels like it's costing time but take backing off to make space when following a car, it takes maybe 10-15 seconds to grow the gap between you and the car in front but in reality all it's added to your journey is the extra 1-2 seconds you've added to the gap between the cars. Cost is next to nothing and you'll still get where you're going if they hit their brakes.
Even in a car with big speed differentials it often makes little difference. At the weekend on the way back from the Peak I overtook a car doing 40mph in a 60 as he was getting on my nerves, and it was perfectly safe to go faster than that. He caught me up at the following roundabout despite having not visibly increased his speed.
The difference being air crash investigation is actually done by people with a clue. Not by anyone who feels like they know what they are talking about because they caught a plane once.
So only professionals should discuss things like this? I'm not with you there at all, I'm afraid.
I do get the feeling this thread is at an impasse.
Interesting you mention colour. I am sure I heard a story about the fact that fire engines seem to have a lot of accidents at night. A study was conducted and it was found that red turns black under sodium street lights. The proposal was to change the color of fire engines to lime green thus reducing accidents, injury, lives and money.
"Nonsense!" screams politician in charge. "Fire engines have always been red." Nothing new there then!
"Next on the agenda: the protective qualities of blue paint on tarmac and how we should apply them to London roads to create a cycling haven."
You keep trotting out the air crash investigation line. I am pointing out it is a dumb comparison since those are done by experts. As such they are effective.
correct. There is plenty of room for discussion for sensible cycling strategy but whilst we have people who dont understand that a modern road bike is both capable of handling well and braking efficiently, to the extent of easily being better at those than the average town hybrid, then its going to go nowhere fast.
This nearly happened to me this morning. Thankfully the driver saw me (eventually) and stopped otherwise I might well have been over the bonnet. Much locking up of wheels, shouting oaths and tightening of bum hole was had on my part.
I'll be more circumspect approaching that junction in future and probably slow down a bit as it is at the bottom of a hill. However if I'd been more into the middle of the road to (perhaps) make myself more visible then I might not have been able to swerve out of the way enough. Six of one...
And it was an Audi. I'm just sayin' ;)
That is a testable claim. You are saying that a modern road bike is both capable of handling well and braking efficiently, to the extent of easily being better at those than the average town hybrid.
Wouldn't the greater footprint of a town hybrid's tyres improve stopping distance particularly on a wet road road for example?
Aviation was raised to illustrate a very different safety culture, one where it's not taboo to ask what could have been done better and what can be done better by everyone. There seems among many on this thread to be an unwillingness to do this with bike accidents (in general and specifically) for fear of diluting the blame they place (often rightly) on drivers or unhelpful road layouts.
Even suggesting cyclists should have similar road skills to a learner driver seems unpopular for fear of cycling being seen as elitist. It's simple stuff but it's not all common sense, if it were there wouldn't be so many conflicts on the roads.
The "I'm in the right so I shouldn't have to modify my behavior" attitude, while understandable is counterproductive (and exasperating). It's the only thing you can realistically modify to make you safer on the road whether that be in a car, on foot or on a bike.
Aren't all the blue flashing lights a clue for people?
Unless it's the fire engines doing the crashing, in which case changing the colour probably wouldn't help.
Although, as everyone knows, red does make anything go faster.
Test it then rather than pontificting. Once you have done that come back.
Not necessarily no.
The thing is it really isnt taboo. There are plenty of sensible discussions about cycle safety. However generally they go downhill when people who dont tend to have a clue start pontificating.
Then you are failing to understand peoples arguments.
Apart from no one is saying that. What people are saying are most of the change behaviour comments being made are bollox and about as useful as a waterproof teabag.
YOU are saying that a modern road bike is both capable of handling well and braking efficiently, to the extent of easily being better at those than the average town hybrid. YOU are therefore obliged to support your pontificating - or is it all hot air and emoting again?
You say that the greater footprint of a town hybrid's tyres wouldn't improve stopping distance? If we have two identical tyres save for 'footprint' I would tend to disagree on the basis of the second law of thermodynamics.
I'm very interested in your post you made. Dissonance refers to the footprint in wet conditions. I confess I do not understand your reply. Could you explain this a bit more for me so I can appreciate what you mean.
Well if you want a formal test then you pay for it. I have ridden both and know the difference. Bearing in mind you came out with this gem.
"should bikes of such specialist design (and resulting poor braking qualities - particularly in the wet)"
I would suggest that short of arranging that test you have absolutely nothing to contribute. Since you clearly dont have a clue about bikes.
WHat are you dribbling on about now?
In wet conditions as I understand fat, wide tyres can have a smaller contact zone in the wet and so trap more moisture as it takes longer for water to displace around the tyre but the impact of this changes as moisture rates reduce. But there are other factors such as tread and length of footprint to consider.
I'm looking for Dissonance to elucidate/clarify.
Shani is clearly an intellectual powerhouse (who's already awarded himself 1-0 in this thread over quiddity), so he's surely not attempting to imply the fact that entropy in a closed system will only ever increase has any bearing over the stopping distance of thin or fat tyres.
I think it's an insightful comment that this thread is tending to chaos.
There has been some fairly spurious discussion I'll give you that but then there have also been some pretty ridiculous attempts by cyclists to claim that this sort of accident is practically unavoidable (by the cyclist), that discussing how it might be avoided deflects blame and that the only appropriate behavior modification would be to stay at home. Somebody has even suggested increasing speed rather than slowing so as to achieve a complete flip might be appropriate!
When lights and high-viz are discussed again people get into a tizzy about how it shouldn't be necessary. It shouldn't but it may help. I run with my car lights on year round to improve my visibility to others. I shouldn't be missed by other road users but I accept I could be and doing little things to help me be seen a little earlier could one day give me the extra second or two I need.
I think I understand them, I just don't agree with some of them.
What on earth is bollocks about saying you should approach a potential hazard at a safe speed, a speed where given the conditions you could get stopped or take evasive action or at the very least avoid serious injury? If you (one) can't tell what is a potential hazard then perhaps some training is appropriate. You'd do that in a car or on a motorcycle so why the resistance to riding in the same manner!
What speed is that? If someone puts their bonnet in front of your car while your doing 30mph you're going to hit it, 20mph if they pull out later, you'll hit them, 10mph it might be more a case of them hitting you but you still haven't avoided the accident. If someone literally doesn't see you (like in this case) they will pull out whenever. It's not like having to slow down where someone has just misjudged your speed/distance.
This isn't an objection to slowing down for hazards but I'd like someone to actually quantify what speed a bike should pass a junction and then say they would do that themselves. Give over with the, 'I always go the perfect safety speed', quantify it.
You didn't answer my earlier question, do you drive?
The appropriate speed depends *entirely* on the situation. If someone hasn't looked at me at a junction, if they've crept out into the road and are clearly transfixed looking for a gap in the other side traffic I have on occasion stopped to let them go, in that situation that was what I considered a safe speed. My decision, I get to choose the risk I consider appropriate, not them and not left to chance.
Make your own decisions.
I haven't once claimed I always go the perfect speed. I've said or implied several times that I don't consider myself very good driver, I sometimes speed, I sometimes let my concentration lapse, I sometimes miss hazards, make mistakes, misjudge distances, speeds and intentions. I'm like pretty much everyone else on the road but that's no excuse not to try, not to work around known problems not to keep learning!
It boils down to case by case judgement, what could happen, have I been seen, am I sure, what are the options, what options do I have if I slow a bit... Not a simple number. It's a simple thought process and the result is often "no action needed, keep going, keep it under review". It's not (I'm not) foolproof but it's a damn sight better than "my right of way, maintaining momentum, coming through regardless!".
It's down to the cyclist to judge that given the road conditions, likelihood of accident and fondness for pain.
It's not a matter of avoiding the accident. It's a matter of avoiding serious pain.
Riding in the rain is dangerous because the drivers vision is reduced due to practicalities such as spray and windscreen vision.
I'm sure cyclists who don't drive have no idea how vision becomes limited in the wet.
"I have on occasion stopped to let them go"
That can of course also cause accidents as well as preventing them. A common scenario is a car stops to let someone go, and a cyclist to their left in a cycle lane (or just filtering) doesn't.
Suppose it just highlights how it isn't at all clear cut.
I'm afraid that isn't my problem, I'm responsible for me and the things I can control, If I think someone is likely to hit me I'll stop or avoid them. That goes for whether I'm in the car or on the bike.
As a driver that's something I look for when someone lets me out, it's also something I look for as a pedestrian when crossing a road with queuing traffic.
Indeed. As I said, judgement needed, not hard and fast rules or numbers.
You can see the situation.
No answer. Great. It's simple physics, the car has turned across him at X, he's travelling at Y in the wet and he needs to stop in Z. Everyone can see the exact scenario, Why are you putting thoughts in the cyclists head? My my. I'm sure he was thinking about hurting kittens too, the barsteward.
Sorry, what situation can I see?
You've had your answer about appropriate speed, it varies, there is no magic number.
I'm not sure which cyclist I'm accused of manipulating and perhaps I'm misunderstanding the bits about simple physics, kittens and bar stewards, could you try again in coherent English?
Do you drive? It's not a trap, I'm just curious.
Ok. According to your profile you're 20years old. I think that's the end of the debate for me. Get some driving experience and grow up a bit.
Of course there isn't for different situations. This is one situation, how ever many times you play it back, it doesn't change. What's the magic number?
"my right of way, maintaining momentum, coming through regardless!".
Who thinks this? Is this what you believe cyclists think?
I drive, Cars and motorbikes. Funny enough lots of cyclists drive, I imagine most with nice bikes do.
The age hasn't been updated for some time. The good old 'profile digger' response.
You are implying that when you make a mistake, it is because
Yet when someone else (I assume we are still talking about the cyclist in the video?) makes a mistake it is because they are thinking
roxor wolfo is pointing out that you have no grounds for imagining you have any idea what the cyclists state of mind prior to the crash was, but it seems you have decided he is "reckless, inattentive or inexperienced" and your rationalisations are in line with that.
Oh now I see, you mean how fast should the cyclist in the video that started this thread have been going on approach to that junction? Slower. Obviously.
> Who thinks this? Is this what you believe cyclists think?
I don't think cyclists think any single thing, I don't think they're a coherent group, they're individuals. There's a lot of them so I'm pretty sure some think like that, some think like the alternative I presented (one at least for sure), others have different thoughts. As do drivers.
Thanks for answering. You seem have a curiously fatalistic view of it.
So... how fast? He's going around 20mph, so approaching the junction what does he slow to? 15mph? 10 mph? 5mph?
'Some' that brilliant completely meaningless word, it could mean anything from 1 to all cyclists. Of course you're not psychic, what do you want us to derive from this gem of information? I can only think you're deriving this from your own thoughts.
I wasn't talking about the video, I was talking about different approaches I could take to the same situation while driving or riding.
And he's right, I have absolutely *no* idea what the cyclist in the video was thinking. It does appear he maybe wasn't applying much thought to his surroundings and safety.
He got creamed by a car at an obvious hazard that he made no apparent effort to respond to in advance. If he wasn't inattentive, inexperienced or reckless (or a little bit of each) what else might account for that?
The mistakes and errors of judgement I make generally stem from those three things. I could perhaps have chosen less emotive words but I went for expressing my thoughts clearly over sugar coating them, there is no offence or judgement for that matter intended.
Which bit of it depends don't you get. I'll say it again: Slower than he was going self evidently. I can't say any more than that.
Some is as good as I can do, it's as good as anyone can do in this context. Some people ride carefully, some don't, some people drive carefully, some don't, few are in one group exclusively.
Example differing thought patterns were obviously derived from my own thoughts and observations on how people (me included) drive and ride. I'd have thought that was blindingly obvious.
The point people are making is most of the discussion is ill informed and likely to make people think the only appropriate behaviour is to stay home. You seem to have reversed what people are saying.
Cant see that one. My suspicion is they were either taking the piss or commenting on the fact that, occasionally, when the shit hits the fan its better to go in stable and upright as opposed to braking and being thrown all over the place.
Not a decision I would want to make, though.
Or it may not. Hi-vis in particular has dubious results in more recent research. The advantage, in daylight, seems to be gained by contrast not bright colours. I says seems since its an area which could do with a lot more work.
Yet by doing so you may well end up making things worse for other users.
Since you say run with them on I am assuming you dont have a car with built in running lights?
As such you could well be increasing the risk to motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Its why the Government decided not to require low beam lights on but instead went for only agreeing to dedicated lights which are designed in order to avoid this.
Apart from many drivers and motorcyclists dont. There are several examples of drivers incompetence in that clip alone.
As such its not adding anything useful to the discussion.
Even if it hasn't been updated since you joined it puts you in that 18-25 age bracket that insurance companies like to think are at a greater risk.
Reading your responses I would agree with them.
There are posters here with upwards of 35 years experience of crashing cars and bicycles. Every crash teaches you something.
I think you were doing better when you were playing the ball, not the man.
Maybe he was late? It was raining, he was cold, he wanted to get to work? He was hurrying to get past a road junction with cars obviously waiting to pull out? He was distracted by said cars pulling out into the road from the left? Other things going on in the road that we can't see in the clip? His wife was about to give birth? We don't know.
You are exhibiting a classic reasoning bias in assessing others behaviour. Social psychologists call it the 'fundamental attribution error' because it is so prevalent. You are assuming another's actions are due to dispositional things about that person (ie., ie it must be because he is reckless, inattentive and inexperienced) and not due to the situation, whereas you suggest your own behaviour is based on adapting to the situation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error -- You could write an undergraduate social psychology essay about the attributional statements made on this thread alone.
I think that learning from the mistakes of others is something you learn with experience. Constantly asking the same ridiculous question shows a lack of understanding in the answer you are being given.
All the things you list suggest inattentiveness. Probably the car driver was inattentive too - she certainly doesn't seem to be being reckless or deliberating aiming to cause a crash in the clip. According to the rules of the road, it's entirely her fault. Objectively both could have done things differently to avoid the accident.
I accept that and don't for a second doubt factors like this were at play but these aren't the same class of thing (sorry, I don't have the right words) are they, these are things that could perhaps distract leading to inattentiveness or push someone to accept more risk than they otherwise might leading to recklessness but they're not the fundamental things that lead us to miss or misunderstand the situation we're getting into.
I accept I'm capable (regularly guilty) of the same three basic 'flaws' I mentioned up the thread, they're at the root of most of the mistakes I make in life. I'm not sure that fits with what I'm accused of, it doesn't seem to but I'm sure there'll be a reason for that.
Ok but if you are arguing that 'he was inattentive' covers momentary diversion of attention by other things going on in the road (eg the cars on the left stopped way out into the road) then surely you would do better to focus on talking about strategies for allocating our attention when riding so as to not be miss less salient but more urgent features of the developing road situation. I mean I thought you guys wanted to consider ALL angles of this thing. Rather than just 'he was inattentive and/or reckless' which doesn't tell us anything except that you think he made a mistake.
Also from your armchair and with hindsight you could point to ANY video of a road accident and conclude inattention or recklessness, but it only functions to apportion responsibility on the victim and doesn't actually tell us anything interesting apart from 'don't be inattentive' - hold the front page.
Well they are factors which might help to explain WHY something happened (and as such might actually be useful if you are hell bent on learning practical things from this video which I thought was your rationale), rather than some quantity of 'inattentive' or 'reckless' which just describes how you feel about the guy given you know what the outcome is.
Don't know if anyone else has added but the cyclist posted the following;
The second time I rode into London in an effort to gain some fitness, rather than take the train, ended like this.
I was travelling around 22mph through Romford. Drizzly conditions so I was being cautious around bends and roundabouts. I didn't expect this!
I just about got my hands to the brakes (it can just be seen on the frame before impact) but I had no chance of stopping.
I'm not quite sure how I wasn't seen. I'm over 6ft and was wearing a bright blue jacket. If I was seen then it's a very bad judgement in my speed.
After a very uncomfortable trip to the hospital in a neck brace and spinal board and various x-rays I escaped with just bruising. So I consider myself lucky.
At the time the driver was apologetic and was informed by the police that I was recording my ride and seemed to admit fault. But when it came to my insurance claim against her she disputed it. Safe to say the video has saved me a lot of hassle and 3 weeks later the cheque has already arrived from the insurance company.
My 4 week old Giant bike was written off but thanks to the guys at Cycle Store they put me one of the two they had left aside and I'm looking forward to getting back out there.
I will say the condition of the cycle lanes are a disgrace along that road, along with many I come across. With the usual obstacles of parked cars, drivers edging out of junctions, pot holes, glass, drains - why would you cycle in a cycle lane?
The first time I used those terms they were in relation to me and how I would consider my actions if I were caught out in a similar scenario*, I was not directly discussing the man in the video though the conversation was steered that way a few posts later.
*It's happened in my youth, in that instance it was mostly inexperience mixed with recklessness. I learned from it.
He might well have done - I think the camera was chest mounted.
Bloody hell. Is there no scenario you wont blame the cyclist?
Unless he is a true freak of nature thats obviously a chest mounted camera.
I had exactly that happen to me, and I avoided serious injury or bike damage by looking left (as you say) with a distinct mistrust that the car approaching would have seen me. As soon as it became evident that they had not, and were indicating left, I moved right very quickly and went round the right hand side of them, managing to stay on my bike, though the driver knew they had hit me because my bar end smacked against the window, fortunately not hard enough to break it. (There wasn't enough time to avoid it completely without going flying fully into the next lane, and there wasn't time to look over my shoulder to check if that would have been a safe option).
The driver stopped in the adjacent bus stop, and was pretty shaken, so I left her be rather than report it.
Wouldn't have worked had the car been going in any other direction, though. Looks like in this case it may have been going straight on and therefore unavoidable.
I would expect the cause was similar to a great many rear-end shunts at roundabouts - the driver is looking right, and doesn't look in front of them again before proceeding onto the roundabout. Quite possibly the cyclist was in their pillar at the point they looked right.
> Unless he is a true freak of nature thats obviously a chest mounted camera.
Plenty though if asked how might this have been avoided there won't be many where something couldn't have been done better, that's kind of the nature of accidents whether they're car on bike or car on car.
I confess I've assumed he didn't look left since he appears to cycle straight into the path of an oncoming car he'd have seen in plenty of time if he had. Perhaps he saw it and assumed it'd stop, who knows.
The question wasn't "who is to blame?", the answer to that is simple and obvious, the driver, he ran through a give way and straight into the cyclist. The question was "how might this have been avoided?". Don't let any of that get in the way of a good rant though.
I'll admit that the post in which you use those words is ambigious, I would argue that in context, 'anyone else in that situation' strongly implies the cyclist in the video and you don't subsequently dispel this impression. But ok let's move on.
The wider point still stands that those who want to conduct a forensic, aircraft-crash-investigation style examination of all the angles have yet to look at any situational factors - eg. systematic ways in which attention might be diverted from the car that cuts across by the cars edging out on the left - and instead have focussed exclusively on the cyclist - so far we have: going too fast, insufficiently defensive, too assertive and wrong sort of bike. As yet I have yet to see any actual, practical take away messages.
A cynical observer might conclude that the 'consider all the angles' rationale is just a rationalisation for having a pop at the cyclist, because why else would you not be considering other angles? Just sayin'.
diverted from the car that cuts across by the cars edging out on the left - and instead have focussed exclusively on the cyclist - so far we have: going too fast, insufficiently defensive, too assertive and wrong sort of bike. As yet I have yet to see any actual, practical take away messages.
-cycle defensively and cautiously in traffic
-check explicitly for cyclists when turning right, remembering they may be in your peripheral vision.
I don't think Quiddity is likely to move beyond his current, obstinate viewpoint.
FWIW I don't think bike type makes much difference so long as the brakes can be used from the normal riding position and looking ahead and around isn't seriously impeded. Nor do I think he was being deliberately assertive, I think he just missed some warning signals that were there and as a result wasn't in a position to avoid the crash given the conditions.
I'm not trying to distil a message for cyclist from this one crash video, I think most will learn from their own mistakes but if you want some then how about these for discussion:
*Act early to give yourself options in traffic.
*Assume you haven't been seen and plan for it until you're certain you have been.
*Move your head deliberately and in discrete steps when scanning junctions, clear your blind spots, consider the unusual. Do it again.
That goes for cyclists and drivers.
Think what you like of me as a person, I can't change that but you're wrong about me just having a pop at cyclists, I like most others on this thread am one from time to time and my Mrs is a daily cycle commuter. I just really dislike the petty tribalism that often goes with cycling (on here) and the sometimes bizarre unwillingness to consider how we might each and all improve our skills in favour of mudslinging. Just sayin'.
In all honesty I have a pretty high regard for you, I think you usually make well reasoned arguments and I usually agree with you. I just think on this issue you are probably arguing with the best of intentions but being a bit blinkered and haven't fully considered the wider implications of what you are advocating.
I agree with you here that we should look beyond petty tribalism. Indeed, above I was taking issue with the excessive stereotyping that is going on from one cycling tribe, in defense of the MAMIL which is not particularly something I identify with. Similarly I would never suggest that cyclists never do anything wrong, and have said on this thread that there are plenty of inexcusable things some cyclists do that alienate other road users. The behaviour in the video is not one of those things and is well inside the norms of cyclist behaviour - if he is taken out in this situation, there are many, many, many other cyclists at risk. Personally I am interested in the roads being safer for all cyclists, including those with a relatively low skill base, for whom rapid improvement of skills is not necessarily a reasonable expectation.
I think that when these things come up, there is a tendency to disproportionately asssign responsibility if not outright blame to the victim, even with the best of intentions. If indeed we come with in-built biases (the fundamental attribution error being one) then it is an argument that we should take greater care in how we examine these situations and apportion responsibility. Obviously most people won't change their opinion but if this thread makes a few people think a bit more about the consequences of their words then I am happy to be an arse about it.
Well, yes that is the correct procedure for a car joining a roundabout.
I guess he could always always crawl round every roundabout although crawling would be what he would be doing after the inevitable rear end collision which would result from that.
I find it rather telling you failed to see the obvious signs of it being body mounted and jumped to the conclusion that he wasnt looking.
What did the cyclist do wrong in this video. Jump to about a minute in.
Well you dont let evidence get in the way of your rants so why should anyone else?
Thanks, I'll remember that next time I'm checking I've been seen rather than assuming.
I assumed he hadn't looked left because he didn't react before he got hit! As I said, maybe he did and assumed it'd stop. He doesn't 'look' (move the camera) over his shoulder at the end of the cycle lane nor right at the roundabout, I presume he actually did, why would I be looking for the camera to pan left on the roundabout?
Unless it's a trick question about Aussie road rules: Nothing I can see. What's your point?
I'm going to make one further attempt to explain.
The analogy is with obesity. While on a personal level, everyone is responsible for their own health, all the research suggests individual responsibility is not an effective strategy for dealing with an obesity epidemic on a population-wide level: the evidence shows that dieting is one of the least effective strategies for weight loss - the more people binge diet, the more weight they end up putting on in the long run.
One argument runs that obesity needs to be treated as a public health issue - ie looking at factors like the content of food - the prevalence of sugar and refined carbs, say, and the factors that systematically affect people's behaviour - advertising of junk food to children, soft-drink vending machines in schools, portion sizes in restaurants, etc. Not until we do that, will we get obesity under control on a population wide level.
It's not a position everyone agrees with, like the current argument it is quite controversial. Plenty of people (the food and drinks industry, for one) thinks that obesity should be about personal responsibility alone. The problem with this though is that the fat shaming that goes with fixating on individual responsibility is counter-productive - all the evidence suggests that those who feel most negatively about their bodies are the least likely to lose weight, and the more negatively you make obese people feel about their weight, the less likely they are to succeed in losing it.
Obviously it is true that we are, to an extent, in control over our own health, and certainly no one else will take responsibility for it, and so yes, it is obviously a good thing for each of us to take care over what we eat and how much exercise we do. On another level, however, the research says that to succeed in tackling the problem, we need to look at the bigger picture - the environments people are in and the food that they are eating - if we want to start moving the trend in the other direction. Moreover, research has shown that the individual responsibility message itself is counter-productive in that it makes people behave in an opposite way to that which they need to in order to lose weight.
I think we have rehearsed the cycling arguments enough so I am not going to labour the analogy any further, at this point either you see that there is a counterargument, (even if you disagree with it) or you're not going to.
What the flock are you wittering on about? This is worse than that 'two harnesses and two belay devices' rubbish earlier in the thread!
The high-viz shark has been well and truly jumped.
Between junctions keeping up with traffic avoids having cars squeeze past where they shouldn't so again faster can be safer.
About 10 minutes ago I was driving down a 70mph dual carriageway without acceleration lanes at the junctions, as is the case in most of MK. A car was approaching the junction to join the dual carriageway. I felt he was likely to pull out on me and slowed (of late there has been an obvious increase in ignorant idiots doing this, and also notably a spate of serious accidents, which I suspect may be related). He did pull out. I didn't hit him. Had I continued at 70mph towards the junction I would have done.
Nothing whatsoever, and IMO the driver of that car should be done for attempted murder, as that collision (or at least the actions leading to it) were very obviously deliberate and the driver could not possibly have misunderstood its likely consequences.
Not in every case is there something the cyclist could have done.
 Hoping he didn't die.
"Moreover, research has shown that the individual responsibility message itself is counter-productive in that it makes people behave in an opposite way to that which they need to in order to lose weight."
You're getting into the nanny state argument territory with that, and it is one where we definitely will differ, as it isn't quite the same as the cyclist situation. There is, and always will be, unhealthy food, and nobody is physically ramming it down anyone's gob. So personally, if people want to eat (or smoke, or drink, or whatever) themselves to an early grave, provided society has made a reasonable effort to educate them in how not to do so that's their loss, IMO.
I am a *very* strong believer in personal responsibility in that kind of area.
"WHat are you dribbling on about now?"
I still want to know the relationship of the 2nd Law of Thermodymanics and wet bicycle tyres works. Please enlighten me!
I was reading this thread at work when a cyclist friend ( very occasional poster on here Humphrey Jungle, ) turned up with a photo of a car with a badly cracked windscreen . ( driver side)
He was cycling home last Friday early evening( glorious day if you recall, ) he had a lime green luminous top on, a car going in the opposite direction turned right , right in fron of him and hit him, he went up hit the screen and rolled off, not badly hurt but his bike was damaged .
The guy was turning up onto the drive of his home apparently, and 'did not see him!
That is all well and good to have personal responsibility, but what about responsibility to society , the taxpayer has to pick up the bill if the get long term illness, and or cannot work.
( if they die young as a result of their own unwise actions fair enough, it then balances out)
I've tended to take the line that taxation is the way to cover financial costs to society. So I am not, for instance, opposed to a "fat tax", but only on the basis of covering healthcare costs caused by unhealthy eating.
This is on the basis that if we had a privatised health service like the US (I don't support this, FWIW, I do support *some* safety net features, as it were) it would be covered by premiums instead.
You don't need to agree with it to appreciate that there is at least a coherent counterargument, which is all I am shooting for at this point.
I think its interesting that you and Shani are so vicerally opposed to the public health argument as I think that tells us something about the root of the current disagreement.
Do you think regulating for safer HGV cab designs with reduced blind spots is nanny state? Do you think not getting crushed by construction traffic shouod be about personal cyclist responsibility? What about redesigns of road junctions to make them safer for cyclists? You say this is different, perhaps you might articulate what you think the differences are? This might lead us on to areas where we agree rather than disagree.
Do you not think that if the practices of a company are systematically causing health problems in a population then society has a responsibility to intervene in order to protect the public? Would you not support the banning of food additives that were unequivocally harmful - trans fats, say? Or is this too nanny state for you?
Sorry I dont mean to labour the analogy, I just think it is interesting to establish the parameters of your opposition to measures which curtail the freedoms of some in order to protect the public (this is not a trick question, btw, I think there is a spectrum of valid opinion on this issue that I think we just disagree on).
I understand the argument you're making, I have from the outset. These things (education vs infrastructure) occur on totally different timescales and are largely unrelated. It's going to be decades before our roads are by any objective measure cycle friendly and let's be realistic, I mean our urban roads, our country roads will be as they are today long after I'm gone. To have generations of cyclists riding those roads deliberately kept oblivious to the simple things they could be doing to stay safer on them is unacceptable.
It's akin to saying we should stop educating our youth because our schools are poor (they're not) and without the incentive from a flood of completely uneducated people we'll never get around to implementing better schools. It's not true and even if it were the cost to individuals played as pawns in that game is far too high.
I hear you, I understand you, I even think in some areas (the food example is well chosen) you have a valid point but in this case I cannot agree.
I think that's an excellent idea, tackle the aerodynamics while we're at it. However, these things are built to last and represent a big investment, even if we start today the last of the current crop will still be working for a 15-20 years.
In part, yes. My girlfriend got caught up with the wheels of a turning truck last year, she'd snuck down the side at a junction having no idea how dangerous it is, I was aghast when she told me but she didn't know, nobody had ever told her. Luckily she recognised what was happening in time and escaped unhurt, she's learned but she could easily have been killed. I'd much rather she'd learned at school or the truck had been carrying a big sticker warning of the dangers like most buses do these days. I'd *also* much rather the truck had been retrofitted with mirrors or cameras covering this region. While it would be nice for there to be dedicated cycle space at every junction or in parallel to every route I'm a realist, unless we displace cars from our cities (and I don't think we will or practically can without major social change) that isn't always going to be practical to do properly.
And pedestrians, and to improve traffic flow. Great idea, fully supportive of it but they take a long time and a lot of money and for every hit there seems to be a botched miss. This will take time.
Don't know if it's helpful, but with that one you've got me firmly on "not sure". I can see that it might apply differently for different products, or in different situations.
To take an extreme line, I am opposed to the idea of smoking being banned completely, though I can see the argument in favour of the ban in public places because of its extremely harmful nature *to others*. However, I do think the idea of putting health warnings on the packs is a good one. And no, I don't smoke nor do I wish to.
With regard to trans-fats, do they...
- Make a given product taste nicer than alternatives?
- Make it substantially cheaper?
If they do either or both of those things, leave them in and just require a clear warning on the pack and publicise the issues. Then people can choose to eat in moderation, or to eat loads and take the hit. Or they can choose to buy only those products without it in, and let the market do its thing.
If I'm going to eat a chocolate bar, I don't expect it to be healthy. My criterion is that it tastes nice and isn't too expensive.
Another comparison: I'm gluten intolerant. I do think it's useful that companies are required to show ingredients, as I can choose what to avoid. I don't think any company should be banned from putting flour in whatever it happens to want to put it in.
I have a feeling we may be quite some distance away from one another on the spectrum.
But back to the cycling, or indeed anything else - while I might support the idea of making things safer through infrastructure (perhaps banning the right turn at that junction if there's a good alternative, e.g. roundabouts at each end?) sorting out every junction to its optimal design is never going to happen, and there are always going to be idiot drivers unless you ban cars. So the cyclist needs to take some responsibility themselves, or they're going to get hurt. Of course, it's their choice if they do want to take a higher risk of getting hurt - but there's no harm to me in pointing out how to avoid it.
Edit: Or another example. Unless the railway wishes to do so to avoid its drivers having the life-changing experience of squashing someone who has been stupid enough to walk in front of a train, it shouldn't need to fence off railways. It's glaringly obvious that they are dangerous. (There is the suicide argument, but in reality if suicide by jumping in front of a train is not practical, those wishing to do so will just find a different method). I always find it amusing cycling along a local path which first crosses the West Coast Main Line (6' fence with spikes) then immediately the A5 dual carriageway (4' fence with gaps at the end). Jump off either into the path of something and you're equally squashed.
I respectfully disagree, I commute in central London and I think it is already pretty cycle friendly - London is GREAT on a bike, notwithstanding that it could be much better and safer - and this is not just me, the people you see on the commute are a pretty diverse bunch and by no means all die-hard cyclists. Statistically, accidents occur in a tiny minority of cases - above I quoted 0.58 million journeys undertaken by bike in Central London, with a KSI figure of 657 (14 deaths), in 2012. Obviously this is 657 too many, but statistically it represents a very small percentage in the general scheme of things.
Change is happening *now*, there is momentum, we can do our bit to continue this push to make cycling better - it is the critical mass argument - repeatedly studies which have looked at the increase in cycling in a population and show that past a certain point, as the number of cyclists increase, the accident rate per mile goes down. Personally I believe we are at or near this tipping point - though I accept things are different in different cities so your experience might differ wildly from mine.
I agree with you here, despite how I am coming across here I am not into deliberately suppressing information. I just think that when we see or hear about isolated cycling accidents, the message that is typically associated is one that defensive cycling is required to stop this happening to you -- this is a message which has been shown to put off exactly the people who are interested in giving cycling a try but are a bit nervous about it. Note that I am not opposed to promoting defensive cycling (Bikeability schemes are great, there should be more of them and more easily available), what I am opposed to is the association of viceral images of isolated incidents, combined with the CYCLISTS - THIS COULD BE YOU message, promoting the idea that elite cycling skills are the only thing that can keep you safe in a hostile environment, which I think misrepresents the reality.
I think we agree here that we should start today, unfortunately the EU has deferred making a decision about legislation on this until 2017 but hey ho.
I think we are largely in agreement here. Education is obviously important, I am horrified when I see cyclists whizzing down the left hand side of obviously left-turning HGVs and my heart goes out to the people who are tasked with driving such vehicles in those conditions as they are often visibly terrified of seriously injuring someone they can't see. Unfortunately the stickering has gotten out of hand in London with 'Cyclists STAY BACK!' stickers stuck to even small vans with good visibility ( http://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2014/jun/12/the-madness-of-stay-back-cyclist-sticke... ) which I would argue is the wrong message - TfL has recently started replacing them with 'Cyclists beware of passing this vehicle on the inside' which is much better. Painting the exterior of HGVs corresponding with blind spots and danger zones would be even better and with the political will to do it, could happen tomorrow.
Similarly, inner London boroughs seem to be moving in the direction of 20mph only roads (I think this excludes red routes) which is quick to implement and makes a big difference.
I think we substantively agree on the main points here which I think is progress.
York's pretty good too but we both live in bubbles in that respect and there are still plenty of problems even in these cycle friendly cities.
I find that quite interesting. I think it's fine if you know where to go, but cycling down main routes is horrible. One solution to this thorny little problem is to put cycle contraflow lanes down more one-way streets, because otherwise it takes ages to find and learn pleasant back-street routes.
I for instance have a nice backstreet route to take a Bozza bike from Euston(ish) to Paddington(ish) I use whenever I visit our head office. But it took me several visits to work it out because I kept being caught by one way streets.
While it's slightly simplistic, I think the "if you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you" message is quite a good one for anyone who has never driven/ridden anything with substantial blind spots where you can't just do a simple over the shoulder check like you can in a car. Though that said you can be in the blind spot and able to see the mirrors. "If you can't see my face in my mirror, I can't see you"?
(note: URL removed because UKC didn't like it)
(from the article)
"Amid all this, what does the authority that spends more on cycling than anyone outside Whitehall want cyclists to do? Stay back. Defer. Know your place. It's pathetic."
Funny thing, I never read it that way, and I cycle in London (weekly at least) far more often than I drive there (about 3 times ever). I read it as "don't sit behind another vehicle so close they can't see you in your mirrors, don't sneak down the side when it might be turning, and don't sit so close at the side that there is a tiny margin of error before a collision".
Why are people so quick to take offence at a simple piece of wording? A cyclist can already do far more than a motor vehicle driver on London's roads. The sticker just serves as a reminder that there are some of those things they'd be better off not doing. Self preservation says give lorries and buses a wide berth - they're bigger than you.
 Brilliant sign I saw in Thailand once: "WARNING: Elephants are bigger than you."
I certainly don't think there are any easy answers on this issue, for either food or cycling.
London is massively transport-dense with a lot of different road users in the same place - I don't envy the job of transport planners, who have to trade off making things better for one set of people but worse for another. I think there is a more optimal solution than the one we have now but I don't think anyone knows what it is.
My feelings though are that the driver-awareness issue can largely be sorted out with more cyclists, promoting the expectation that as a driver you have to look out for them. Therefore, the foremost thing we can do to improve safety is to promote the idea that cycling is a safe, practical and healthy way to get around, which it by-and-large is. On the other hand if there are more cyclists than they (we) need to behave predictably and responsibly on the roads - that means no red light jumping, no bombing through pedestrians crossing, no going the wrong way down one-way streets, but also that transport planners need to appreciate that sometimes cyclists do some of these things to improve their own safety - getting out of a danger zone quickly at the lights, avoiding dangerous sections of road with heavy traffic - and respond by changing road designs accordingly (more ASLs, cyclist-only filters on lights, making one-way systems permeable to cyclists)
With regards space on the roads, on non-arterial roads that are limited to say 20mph, I don't see any problems with cars and cyclists sharing the same space. On busier highways (which tend to be wider) then dutch-style segregated infrastructure may be appropriate. I think this is actually closer to the Dutch reality where as I understand it the pragmatic approach is 'shared space where possible, segregate where necessary'.
> I for instance have a nice backstreet route to take a Bozza bike from Euston(ish) to Paddington(ish) I use whenever I visit our head office. But it took me several visits to work it out because I kept being caught by one way streets.
My experience is similar, I often find if I am trying a new route for a first time I end up taking bigger roads as there is a tendency for road layouts to funnel you toward them - I agree that having multi-ton HGVs thundering past two feet away with the dubious protection of a bit of blue or green paint, is not nice. After a couple of attempts I sort out a route which is largely on quiet sections of residential 20mph road and it is much more pleasant - the trick is finding the route.
Unfortunately I think the current strategy from the Mayor - cycle superhighways - is really regressive as it funnels cyclists toward a non-segregated section on a really busy road. This is why I am opposed to dutch-style segregation as a panacea but I agree it is a necessary part of a wider solution.
The section from Euston to Paddington is nasty, I often find myself crossing the Euston Road which is a bit grim. When I lived in Camden I used to get to Paddington via the back of Regents Park and down through St John's Wood/Maida Vale, which is a nice ride though it might be a bit of a detour for you.
Good call, I also try to look up to make eye contact with HGVs behind me to make sure I am in their line of vision.
Well it promotes the idea that cyclists should be passive, when being more assertive (albeit defensively) would in many cases make them safer. Hugging the left hand kerb makes you vulnerable to large vehicles turning across you, strategically taking primary position in the middle or right of the lane is safer if you are going straight over or turning right at junctions, say.
The problem with 'Cyclists Stay Back' is it is not specific about what the dangers are, also when it is stuck to everything it loses it's impact and people routinely ignore it. 'Beware passing this vehicle on the inside' is much better because it tells you what to watch out for.
I think it depends how busy it is. Segregating on backstreets is probably pointless, but then there are few cars and almost no lorries/buses on backstreets. The thing that to me feels threatening is being overtaken, particularly by large vehicles when you might get sideswiped (and being sideswiped at 20 by a bus isn't noticeably better than at 30, you still get knocked off sideways).
Where I find the noticeable benefit in those 20 zones is that car drivers avoid them unless there is no choice.
Or you have the bit like the segregated path along the road that runs parallel with the Euston Road (I forget what it's called) where it's so narrow you now get cyclist jams!
I tend to go further south - from Euston, get a Bozza bike from by the university (there are usually plenty there unlike elsewhere around Euston) then follow the segregated bit as far as Tottenham Court Road, continuing on backstreets parallel to the Euston Road until you meet the main road near Paddington. It's as pleasant as it's likely to get without taking too long (typically I have between 0805 arrival at Euston and 0852 from Padd to do the journey and get some breakfast).
I personally don't read those signs as suggesting the idea of hugging the left hand kerb, to me they just suggest staying away from large vehicles. But then I suppose I already know what the message is.
True. Though it is always good to give large vehicles leeway in other ways as well.
Fair enough, though it is an scenario where going faster might be safer - if you are doing 20mph you are (theoretically) keeping pace with the traffic so you might as well be out in primary position toward the middle of the lane. What really gets on my tits is black cabs (and it usually is black cabs) that feel the need to bomb past you to overtake even though you are going at the same speed, then slow right down to get over the speed bumps.
This is right outside my work! I am at the University. Personally I think the Tavistock Place cycle lane is a death trap and try to avoid it :-) but there aren't that many options for E-W there. I am currently favouring Guildford Street but then you have to cut right onto Tavistock Place anyway to avoid Russell Square - don't get me started.
Edit: Actually a lot of what you are saying makes more sense to me knowing that this is your commute. The traffic is quite aggressive certainly on this section - cabbies use it as a rat-run to get between the stations, and I do sometimes feel like I need to be hyper-vigilant until I get further N and things calm down.
No, but a lot of nervous cyclists (ergo, the most vulnerable) habitually hug the left hand kerb by default because they are intimidated from coming out into the main bit of the carriageway where appropriate, as is their right. 'Cyclists stay back!' contributes to the intimidation especially when it is stuck to everything.
I saw my first "Cyclists Stay Back" sign yesterday (on a Thales van in Manchester, I'm not in London often) and thought it was pretty shitty, Google suggests they are being changed after a long campaign.
My personal rule is to never attempt to f*ck with HGVs or construction vehicles but when confronted, cautiously but firmly asserting your right to the highway and behaving as any other vehicle would is the safest policy.
They have a pretty big backlog to clear, it seems they are everywhere around here. Personal favourite - minivans with them stuck to the right hand side.
Changed to what? "Cyclists Stay Back" is a bit blunt, I agree. Generally giving large vehicles plenty of room (whatever type of road user you are) seems sensible, and specifically not cycling up the inside also wise. How do you distil those points into a few words for a sticker?
The new wording is 'Cyclists beware of passing this vehicle on the inside' which I think is a massive improvement.
It would be less objectionable on a lorry or bus, but it is on all TfL vehicles and those of their commercial partners, small cars and vans included.
You can google the new wording.
I personally think there are more important things to bother me about (non) provision for cyclists than a slightly badly worded sticker. But that just sounds like a policy someone made without thinking about it.
Should also add that staying behind an HGV is not always the safest policy, it depends on the situation. If it is stopped a few cars back from some lights, quickly coming past so you are well ahead of it in traffic by the time the lights change is safer. If it is stopped at the front of the queue, especially with indicators on, it is usually better to keep well clear. Overtaking it while it is manoeuvring is death on a stick.
There are, but as a non-Londoner who had not seen it before, I was surprised by it and the attitude by TfL it betrayed. Curtesy is very important on the road, it is what generally makes things run smoothly, whatever you ride / drive, this sign definitely suggested the wrong attitude.
Perhaps, but given that HGVs are overwhelmingly the biggest cause of cyclist deaths in London it makes sense to get this right so there is a clear message going out to cyclists on how to deal with these beasts (if the aim is to educate you should make sure you have the right message, surely?).
Also - 'Cyclists stay back' is easy to get in the habit of ignoring, as it is so often inappropriate. 'Beware of...' is better as even if you choose to disregard it, you do it in knowledge of the warning. A subtle point I grant you.
True, and there are some times when it is appropriate, so "cyclists do not..." wouldn't make sense either.
Indeed, though doing 20mph on a Boris bike is a lot of effort! :)
That said, I do really like them, I barely cycled in London before them. I had considered a Brompton but being 6' 4" with 35" inside leg and 17.5 stone they aren't really ideally suited to me, and the "full size" folding bikes are a bit awkward and slightly antisocial in terms of the amount of standing room they take up on busy trains. I'd also considered buying an old bike and leaving it at Euston overnight, but I don't go every day so that wouldn't really be worth it.
So I hear, I love seeing crazed men in suits out of the saddle and mashing the pedals like they think they are Alberto Contador :-)
In seriousness I have never actually ridden one but deffo think they make a lot of sense especially for people who commute into London such as yourself, and I like seeing them around as they do break down tribal barriers between 'cyclists' and non-cyclists, and reinforce the idea that specialist equipment and silly clothing is strictly optional for cycling in London.
It is practical to design cycling into every junction James; its just that we don't have that design in the UK. Almost universally cycling provision actually ends at junctions in this country, which is a massive problem since junctions are disproportionately dangerous.
The state of the art basically requires no more than another set of lenses on traffic lights and a little bit of political will. Its called the simultaneous green junction http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2014/05/the-best-traffic-light-solution-for.html (there are other ways of dealing with roundabouts)
The reasons it doesn't get implemented is that our transport planners don't have the designs or the culture of providing it and councils are not prepared to take a minor hit on junction capacity for motor vehicles to encourage cycling. Catch 22 we can't give the capacity to cycling, so it doesn't grow, so we need the junction capacity for cars...
Indeed. The way conditions affect other road users should also affect the way you walk/run/cycle/ride/drive.
Many accidents are a combination of a series of low probability events. Understanding each link in the chain, and accepting that many of those links lie with other people, is a key skill.
It's never taught to cyclists, and it's only recently that the driving theory test has started to emphasise this for drivers.
I think (this thread is a good example) that a lot of cyclists are firmly in the "Cyclists are always being persecuted" camp. To be offended by the wording of a sign is just one more excuse for them to feel righteously persecuted. Wearing helmet cams to 'prove' the other person was at fault is another.
Some people just like to feel offended.
You are perhaps not the most objective person on this subject.
To an extent your are right but the wording did/does imply cyclists (in particular) are somehow automatically wrong for overtaking or coming close to large vehicles. HGVs used to have "long vehicle" signs on them, some more neutral warning like this would seem more appropriate.
Many lorries and buses do have warnings on them that use more curtious language. I have no problem with that.
You couldn't make it up.
Looks good but you still have to get the bikes to the junction and have space to hold them.
That's what I mean by unless we displace cars from cities, schemes like this need space at the junctions and before/after them, they also reduce car throughput so unless some of those drivers get on their bikes congestion becomes a problem. Space is easy to provide where your road is 10 lanes wide and making space means repainting lines and planting a kerb, nearly impossible where your street is narrow and already tightly constrained by buildings.
Are you coming up this weekend? Turns out I'm free this week and next.
Clearly people can offended by signs and are all the time.
In this case you have.
So. Someone worried about the number of cyclists being run over by lorries puts a sign on lorries warning cyclists.
And the cyclists feel persecuted and offended.
I'm really starting to think talking to these kind of people is a complete waste of time.
With respect I think you are having some serious comprehension issues. Above, people have raised a number of objections to the original wording that have nothing to do with 'being offended' - rather than waste everyone's time getting them to explain again, perhaps you could go back through and read them again, and then explain what is wrong with them, rather than this ludicrous straw man you seem to have come up with.
You'd do that with either Dutch style lanes or with "white line down the side of the road" lanes. The advantage is that unlike at present, the lanes of that type don't end before the lights.
It would take discipline, though, in that cyclists would have to wait at the cycle lights *when the road lights were on green*. In the Netherlands they do, I doubt it here though where people are completely unable to obey pedestrian crossing lights even where there is a car or bike coming (in London at least). I seem to have to approach crossings with my bell ringing continuously in some places in London.
I've been thinking of getting a helmet cam for in case I'm seriously injured enough to need help in adapting to continue to live independently and a driver is at fault. Wouldn't you wish for the same thing?
You'll obviously only have my word on this, but if I do make a mistake I always give an apologetic wave to any other road users I cause to brake or confuse, through not riding adequately well.
If you've not cycled regularly in busy traffic you'll not understand how vulnerable one can feel.
Edit: I do agree that cyclists like you describe exist by the way, a while ago anticipating what was going to happen by looking ahead, I slowed down to let a car change lane, when another guy on a bike came steaming up and had to brake suddenly, and (unfairly I thought) waved his fist at the driver.
I half tried to cycle after him to suggest why I thought he was at fault, but he was fitter than me...
They have tried some variations of this, particularly in London.
Not overly good so far since you have the problem of lack of familiarity and also, in the bow roundabout case which was subsequently redesigned, absolutely horrendous layout.
Watched a video of a cyclist trying to use it and whilst they might be more obvious in real life it was a tad confusing. I am pretty sure I would have stood a good chance of jumping the light by accident.
I've just been round it.
The cyclist has a separate lane and light. However both lights turn green at the same time so traffic turning left cuts straight across the cyclist. Would be much better if the cyclist had 30 secs of green then the light turned red and the cars then go.
Thats after its been "improved". It was worse a few months back.
At the moment we filter them down the left, and then don't give them anything at the junction, then blame stupid cyclists for getting run-over by left turning trucks ("they shouldn't be wearing headphones whilst cycling" Boris)
The "we don't have room" argument is a myth, the missing ingredient is will to do it. Even when we have 10 lane highways they fill up with cars and the space can't be taken away because there is always a traffic jam (see the motorway systems that they put into most major towns and cities in the 70s).
We won't ever have people moving away from using cars whilst they are the least-bad option. Until it feels subjectively safe and is convenient to cycle people won't do it, but it requires some vision and political will to create the environment for cycling to grow. It will be very interesting to watch what happens in Bristol, which seems to be the city that has the most potential to make headway on cycling. They don't seem to be any further ahead on junction design however...
A cyclist who doesn't bother to wait for a cyclists-only phase wouldn't be any worse off than at present, though, would they?
Part of the problem is that there needs to be a change in the law to allow some common but sensible improvements to make it to the UK.
A particularly sensible option is that in Germany and the Netherlands, where a bus route turns left (right in the UK) the bus stop is on the nearside as usual at the lights, then when the bus wants to go it creeps forward onto a sensor (or uses a transponder to request the lights) and the whole junction goes red. The bus then uses a tram signal to proceed across the junction. This kind of arrangement means that buses tend not to have to stop unless they want to despite fewer congestion-causing bus lanes.
To achieve the same thing in the UK, because tram signals can't control buses, you need far more road space because you need a traffic island for regular traffic lights. This means you get far fewer of these.
I imagine you'd need similar for cycle-only traffic lights.
It would be better if the cyclists didn't have traffic lights in that situation.
Giving all the traffic lights a 30sec delay would allow the cyclists to live off like a regular roundabout.
Can I be controversial for a second...is it always better for the cyclists to be off first?
Looking at the safety angle, for this to happen, the cyclists must filter past the motor vehicles, then inevitably, except in very heavy traffic with long queues, the motor vehicles then proceed to re-overtake.
Does that double-overtake not present a safety issue? I certainly don't always use the ASL, sometimes I just sit in the primary position in the traffic queue, because I don't want that lorry in front overtaking me again, and by using the ASL I'll gain all of 30 seconds.
Best, I suppose, that the cyclist gets to choose, though.
At the Bow roundabout the cyclist is segregated by an island
I'm on iPhone and can't link but google streetview probably shows it.
Lots of the junctions here have big green advanced stop boxes fed by filter lanes on the left or between outer lanes (what's the point in that, they generally start in the middle of nowhere). Assuming the box isn't clogged with cars or bikes and the lights don't change while you're getting into position and you can maneuver your bike in the box (easier with flat pedals no doubt) you can get to the front of the right queue... Sometimes.
For junctions with no space to grow I'm thinking of places like the junction near your old place on Gillygate, a major route into and around town that barely works as is and has no room to provide good segregation or holding of bikes/cars.
The will to do it is there, the council is clearly trying, there just isn't the money to do it right.
Given our climate it's never going to be properly convenient year round compared to driving.
Probably as a recommendation to cyclists that where there is a junction with a left-turn lane, you're safest filtering to the right of the left turn lane and to the left of the straight-ahead lane?
So you'd think, but our climate is almost identical to the Netherlands. A bit warmer in the South East if anything.
They removed advanced stop boxes in the netherlands because they were dangerous. They aren't cycle infrastructure, they are an excuse.
I am really surprised at you using such constrained thinking James.
That's why the state of the art unravels cycle and car infrastructure. It takes the bikes the direct route whilst the cars have to go the long way round. Your Gillygate example is perfect - we definitely shouldn't be routing bikes down streets with that density of vehicle movements. York's problems in the town centre (which are typical of many medieval towns) stem from the attempt to fill the town full of cars. It wasn't designed for them, it never will be, yet the cycle infrastructure is still very sub-optimal, it doesn't feel safe, convenient or direct.
No, there isn't the will or the knowledge. Universally there are outrageous costs associated with implementing this stuff and councils will do anything they can to avoid actually provide what is needed (in part this is understandable - Councillors don't want to provide for a cohort of voting cyclists that don't yet exist because the environment is not there). There also isn't the vision. We are still designing the urban realm in the way that got us into the situation we are in now. They were quite happy punching holes in the city walls to accommodate cars that didn't fit in the city in the 70s and we are still living with that legacy.
Like pretty much the general public, our councils and planners you aren't using enough imagination to see what is possible. Poor design manuals and standards for our streets; and even supposedly pro-cycling bodies like sustrans promoting the painting of pictures of bicycles in the vehicle carriageway as cycle infrastructure don't help!
The model countries for this have the same climate as we do. The rest of the list of excuses includes:
our streets are too narrow, it's too expensive, our population is too spread out, we have hills, our distances are too great, it took decades in the Netherlands, it's because of the price of gas, it's the weather, Cycle-paths cause indirect journeys, Cycle-paths make people slow.
None of which are actually problems with the correct design.
I agree its a lost cause though, despite the obvious benefits to the quality of life we won't be making a large scale shift to bikes any time soon for our short journeys. Its possible, but it won't happen.
"They removed advanced stop boxes in the netherlands because they were dangerous. They aren't cycle infrastructure, they are an excuse. "
At least I'm not the only one who thinks that. My issue with them is that it causes repeated overtaking then re-overtaking, which presents an unnecessary risk each time it occurs. It also causes motorists to get frustrated, and frustrated motorists, like it or not, are dangerous motorists.
I'm highly unconvinced by this. In the absence of advance stop boxes then regardless of when you approach the junction you're going to have to sit in the middle of the lane to go straight on or turn right, and sitting in front of them in the middle of the lane is another good way to frustrate motorists. With an advanced stop box you can normally get to the front and get across the junction in whatever direction without coming into conflict with motor vehicles. If you get overtaken dangerously on the road you've ended up on then that's a problem with that road or with your positioning on it, not with the junction.
Presumably in the Netherlands they removed them and replaced them with better designed junctions even if it meant a slightly worse motor vehicle throughput - I'd imagine that if UK junction designers got wind of the idea that ASZs are deprecated you'd get nothing at all.
I think it depends on where you are. I find them useful because I ride in central London and the distance between lights is usually short, so you can stay in the primary position from box to box. Most drivers will sit behind me fully in the knowledge that I'm not effecting their overall journey time at all. Also, we're not talking about single cyclists - at peak times the boxes are full of bikes and (IMO) it's safer to be part of a bigger group.
I guess that depends how fast you ride. At 10-15mph (if that) on a heavy Bozza bike, exactly the situation you describe results in that kind of multiple re-overtaking.
The answer is probably to provide them but for cyclists to choose whether to use them or not - often I choose not to.
I suffer the daily shame of Suits flying past me on Boris bikes and Bromptons!
(UKC wouldn't let me just post :) )
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