Questions tagged [traffic]

Questions referring to a cyclist's interactions with other vehicles, mainly motorized ones.

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84
votes
9answers
12k views

How to pass a bicycle while driving a car

I understand this is more of a driving question, but I'm curious to know the answer from the bicycling community and perhaps gain insight into how to act both as a bicyclist and driver. The other day ...
77
votes
10answers
24k views

Why is it safer to bike with traffic, instead of facing oncoming cars?

There has been an ongoing debate in my area's local newspaper, regarding biking with vs. against the flow of traffic. A recent incident in which a cyclist was hit from behind, and later died of his ...
55
votes
29answers
13k views

How can I make my bike (and myself) visible at night?

By winter I will be commuting on my bike at night. How can I make my bike as visible as possible to all car drivers?
52
votes
17answers
9k views

How to get over anger at inconsiderate drivers

Fortunately, I have very few strongly negative interactions with cars (most people generally seem to respect the way I ride), but those that do stick with me for a while. The scenario is almost ...
40
votes
15answers
9k views

Best ways to avoid getting hit by cars?

When riding through city traffic, what are the best ways to increase the chance you are seen, given a bit of space, and are not touched by any vehicles?
35
votes
9answers
2k views

How can I be visible in the dark when I'm signalling a turn?

My bike and I are fairly visible at night--white light in front, red light in the back, bright yellow fenders, reflective tabs and a light on my helmet. I use hand signals to alert motorists when I'm ...
31
votes
5answers
3k views

Intersection detection doesn't notice me, what should I do?

I have just come to the USA (Bay Area) and got a bicycle to commute to my university. Being new to this place I kept wondering why sometimes I have to wait for a long time for a green light to make a ...
30
votes
8answers
7k views

How to indicate you are going straight?

I live in a country where people drives on the right. Say I am riding my bike like this: - main road vvvv vvvv - narrow path vvvv vv \ \ | | \ \ |* | &...
28
votes
10answers
9k views

Arguments for/against bike lanes?

What are the arguments for and against bike lanes? Can anyone summarize the best reasons they're good for and bad for cyclists and automobile drivers? For example, Are there some environments ...
27
votes
10answers
4k views

Which states or countries have stop-sign-as-yield laws for bicyclists (Idaho stop law)?

In Idaho (PDF), bicyclists are allowed to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs (essentially; see the actual law for details). This seems like a very reasonable approach, balancing ...
25
votes
12answers
1k views

Safety guidelines for cycling in traffic

Please post your safety tips for cycling/commuting that should help you get to your destination place in one piece. I came across a nice printed guideline a few years ago when working as courier, it ...
24
votes
6answers
1k views

Discouraging motorists from stopping at an intersection when they have the right-of-way

Where I live, bicycles are widely accepted in traffic; motorists are on balance considerate and careful around us. But on an almost daily basis, I run into motorists who are too "polite" at ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

Is my stopping dangerous when Idaho Stop is de facto but not legal?

I've been bike commuting in the East Bay Area of California (5mi/day, plus public transport) for a few weeks now. I recently attended an in-class safety course, where I learned the fine for not ...
22
votes
8answers
3k views

What are some alternatives to fruitlessly ringing my bell at a motorist?

I doubt that motor-vehicle drivers can hear the "ding" sound that a bicycle bell makes. What are some better alternatives?
22
votes
7answers
995 views

Do cyclists warrant special consideration under traffic laws?

I recently saw a YouTube channel where a motorist with an agenda has taken it upon himself to film cyclists as they break traffic laws. Most (perhaps not all) of the actions I observed would be what I ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Passing cars on the right, and later merging into their lane

My commute takes me along a fairly busy road, with 4 lanes of traffic and parked cars along most of it. There are no bike lanes, but in some places, it's wide enough that I can easily pass traffic on ...
20
votes
8answers
5k views

Bicycling and a Right Turn Only Lane?

When commuting with a bike I usually stick to the right lane (I am based in the USA). When approaching a right turn only lane while biking, should I stay in the turn lane and signal to the car behind ...
19
votes
12answers
8k views

Anxious about riding in traffic after 20 year absence from cycling

I have got back to cycling after 20 years and whilst I can ride easily where there is no traffic, I am struggling with the following: I am anxious and struggle to maintain balance in traffic when ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Does it make sense to complain to companies about bad driving?

On my commute in this morning I found myself in another situation where I was in conflict with another road user. (Briefly, a truck and I arrived at a roundabout at a roughly similar time, but I was ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

Is cycling in the Netherlands without a helmet safer than cycling with a helmet in the USA?

We moved to Netherlands and no one seems to wear a helmet. My teenage child did have a helmet but said she lost it. When my wife wanted buy her a new helmet, my daughter said she will refuse to wear ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

What to do when a car turns into a side road (etiquette)?

If a car is turning right onto a side road and not an intersection, what must I do? Perhaps I am 25 feet/7.5 meters (and another cyclist just passed the car that's turning right), should I A) Try ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Determining if a road is safe to bike on

How do you determine which roads are safe to ride on and which should be avoided? What traffic patterns do you feel comfortable riding in, and which ones set off alarms? What sorts of intersections do ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “claiming the lane” mean?

If one is "claiming the lane" does that mean: a) they simply ride on the street (i.e. on the left side of the lane in the US, Germany, France, ..) or b) they are riding in the middle of the lane, ...
13
votes
4answers
827 views

What is the best way to approach train tracks?

I commute on my bike through an industrial area and cross many train tracks. They very in degrees: most are perpendicular to the road, but some have a very low angle. This question is two part: What ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Why signal stop with your left hand in the US?

Why are cyclists in the US expected (or required) to signal "Stop" with the palm of their left hand? If I'm stopping or slowing down, I'm using my front brake. The brake operated by my left ...
12
votes
5answers
8k views

Is it legal to pass a car on the right when that car is turning?

So I've been poring over the bikes SE, and as a recreational biker and an automobile commuter, I'm naturally most interested in topics addressing how bikes interact with automotive traffic. In one ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the proper technique for crossing railroad tracks?

I cross railroads as perpendicularly as is possible, but that's all I know to do. Safety is a priority, speed not so much. Specifically: Is there an optimum speed? Should you pedal through them ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

Bike lights with beam cut-off to avoid dazzling drivers?

Are there any bike headlights available that have a cut-off similar to a car's low beams, designed to avoid glare for other drivers? I am using the Light in Motion Urban 400 and while it's plenty ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Are there sirens/horns that are like a car horn?

I am going to start commuting on my bike, but I often use busy roads that are not cycle friendly and cyclists are not often noticed. I need a horn to be noticed. (and to vent my anger without losing ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Can bicycling cause runner's knee?

I'm a longtime runner who has never, I mean NEVER, had any running-related injury before. About 2 1/2 months ago, I started bicycling to my new job, about 5 very up-and-down, stop-and-go urban miles ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What do you do when a bus stops in front of you?

When a double decker bus stops in front of you, what do you do? Is it safe to attempt to overtake the bus?
11
votes
2answers
595 views

How do Traffic Lights Notice Bicyclists?

This totally unrelated reply raised my question about traffic lights. I am starting to think that my chinese head lamp is a magical instrument, every time I go near traffic lights they turn green. It ...
10
votes
4answers
384 views

Supervising a beginner in traffic

Let's say you persuade some significant other to ride with you in the city. You both have good bikes, they are inexperienced, and you are (I am) used to commuting, including in traffic. How do you ...
10
votes
6answers
784 views

Is it rude to take the lane, then filter when encountering congestion?

In the city I live in, there's a lot of two lane roads. I feel much more comfortable taking the lane, as to not have a car come up from behind and clip me while overtaking. However, when I ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you ride on a road that doesn't have a bicycle lane?

I live in Washington State and here the law states cyclists have the choice to ride on the sidewalks, bicycle lane, or on the road with other traffic. I usually just ride to school and back, which is ...
9
votes
2answers
243 views

What natural features and governmental conditions contribute to a bicycle friendly town/city?

I enjoy bicycling the most in cities that provide separate lanes for bicyclists - Portland and Boulder come to mind. In addition to bicycle lanes, what other governmental/civic actions ensure a safe ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the best way to stop and restart at a stoplight?

Since your feet should hardly touch the ground when the saddle is at optimal height, what is the best approach to stopping at a stoplight and then quickly re-starting when riding in traffic.
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Strategies against getting blinded by oncoming cars

When I ride on a bike path alongside an unlit road in the dark, I find myself blinded by the lights of oncoming cars, even when their lights are dimmed. This is even more true if the bike path is on ...
8
votes
3answers
505 views

Which traffic light do I have to follow?

There is one situation in Bonn, Germany, where the buses have their own lane (right one) and the cars are separate (left lane). The cars have a regular traffic light (red, yellow, green) and the buses ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the best time to cycle during the day (traffic)?

I started cycling a year ago and I have a favourite route for my time trial training since it is very hilly. However, I cycle on a major road (just outside town) and thus I like to cycle when it is ...
8
votes
1answer
674 views

Do bikes with carbon frame get detected by induction loops?

Induction loops in my experience usually manage to detect bicycles with steel and aluminium frames. Do carbon frames also get detected? I'm wondering if a possible inability to trigger induction loops ...
7
votes
6answers
840 views

Left Turn Across Major Intersection

I'm new at biking, and have seen many examples of left-turn situations, but none that quite match this one. Simply, what is the proper / best way to complete the turn pictured below, or is it smarter ...
7
votes
4answers
912 views

How far do I “pull over” in a bike lane?

If I am riding down a marked bike lane on a road which is adjacent to the curb, and I need to stop for a very short time (e.g. to adjust something, turn on lights, or drink some water), how far should ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How to deal with motorist's road rage (after prevention has failed)

A few weeks ago I had my first experience where I really worried for my well-being at the hands of an angry motorist-- so, what can a cyclist do when being threatened and followed by a motorist? ...
7
votes
3answers
892 views

How to cross major road 3 way intersection

I'm curious about the best way to get across this intersection. I will be traveling north (top of the picture is north), and want to turn left at this light. Path indicated by red arrows. As can be ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Road positioning when stopping at an intersection with stationary traffic

When the light is red and there are cars in a line. Since bicycles ride on the very right do we go ahead to the stop light or stay behind the cars? I live in British Columbia, Canada.
7
votes
2answers
380 views

How to get back on the road again?

I am from Mumbai, India. And as some of you might be knowing, it is a pretty crazy traffic on roads here. Many times, it so happens that trucks, cars etc. may force you to get off the road while you ...
7
votes
4answers
860 views

wind noise obscuring traffic noise

My eyesight isn't so good so I'm more reliant on my ears to let me know that there's traffic close by. Normally I'm fine, but at higher speeds, the noise of wind blowing past my ears can obscure the ...
7
votes
1answer
611 views

Traffic lights: double red

I have seen several times bike traffic lights like these: This one is from Vienna, Austria. One can also find them in Bordeaux, France and in Paris if I remember well. What purpose do these serve ? ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Bicycling 36 km per day in city traffic is feasible?

I am planning (still in planning phase since last 1 month :( ) to use bicycle as my commute to and from office. My office is around 18 km away from my home. Almost half the road will be full of ...