Hot answers tagged

95

I found this article which has some statistics on accidents involving wrong-way cycling: Table 4 shows that all categories of bicyclists traveling against the direction of traffic flow are at greatly increased risk for accidents—on average 3.6 times the risk of those traveling with traffic, and as high as 6.6 times for those 17 and under. This result is ...


88

For one thing, if you cycle with traffic the closing speed between car and bike is the DIFFERENCE in speed between the two. If you're doing 20mph and the car is doing 45, the closing speed is 25. Reverse it and the closing speed is 65 -- over twice as fast. This affects the time the driver has to react to the cyclist's presence -- over twice as much time ...


77

After 50+ years as a cyclist, this is my approach - ride according to the conditions ride in reasonable proximity to the curb if safe, move over a little as traffic approaches know where I'm going, and do it assertively if somebody honks / shouts / waves, assume that they must be a friend, or are telling me something important, so smile broadly and wave ...


62

The problem is ambiguity. Sometimes you'll be unfairly judged by cyclists you're trying to pass. It will happen. Sometimes it helps to reduce the sting of the judgement with some perspective on what's going on. When you’re on a bicycle, cars are death monsters. You spend your time trying to keep distance from them. You wish they would all just disappear. ...


59

As long as you give a cyclist plenty of space, and obey traffic laws and drive safely in general you are OK. 1 meter or 3 feet is generally considered enough space when passing, but I know I prefer more. If you can move into another travel lane to overtake please do that. Don't follow a cyclist too closely before overtaking, it's really scary for the ...


50

It's difficult to say without seeing photos of the road layout. However, if the road itself continues round to the left, you should indicate right when you're leaving it. In general, you should think about the topology of the road, rather than its geometry. It doesn't matter that you're following a geometrically straight line; you're still leaving the ...


49

As cyclists, we are vulnerable to any collision. A collision with a truck, bus, car, bicycle, pram, skateboard, rollerblader, pedestrian, dog, or even a domestic cat, will almost always cause a problem, if not an injury. Vehicle drivers are just people like us, except that they are in a comfortable safe box, maybe with crying kids in the back, and a have ...


38

Good to hear that you are back on a bike! From what you are saying about struggling to maintain balance, I suspect that you are riding slowly, and pedaling slowly. The part about feeling like you'll fall over when turning is consistent with that too. Maintaining control when riding slowly is actually one of the hardest skills to master. So I recommend ...


31

There's a fake Buddha quote on some internet sites which says, "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." The most popular of the genuine Buddha quotes (the Dhammapada) begins with, "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred. "He abused me, ...


30

Well, regarding the question asked: "why is it safer etc." let's go: (already mentioned) The closing speed between a car coming from behind is much slower. He has more time to see you before overtaking, and if you need to cross, you can signal your turn, so he can slow down for you to pass; By the same reasons, you can flow with traffic, take the lane, ...


29

Don't create the situation in the first place. Every large event I've ever been on would either have the roads closed down, or send the riders out in waves so as not to create a situation where a car would have to pass so many cyclists at once. Obviously the guy in the car was in the wrong, but there are still things that can be done to prevent the ...


27

In most states it's the law that if the signal is malfunctioning you can proceed through "with caution" against the signal. Forester and others have argued that if a signal does not appropriately recognize the presence of a bike it's "malfunctioning" and you're on reasonably firm legal ground to invoke the "malfunctioning signal" provision. (However, I've ...


27

When it comes to stop signs, I live by some simple rules: If it's a multi-way stop and there's another car waiting or just arriving, I stop. If I can't clearly see or judge what I'm riding into, I stop. If it doesn't feel right for some reason, I stop. If there's a cop there (or a history of cops), I stop. I don't necessarily clip out and put my foot ...


26

The key thing, is that you never want to be to the right of cars that are turning right. Depending on the exact lane setup and traffic amounts, I would do one of these: Merge left into the go-straight (left) lane, so that anybody turning right is in a separate lane to the right of me. Be in the center or left third of the right-turn lane, so that anybody ...


25

Try making up a different backstory for the driver. You are already making one up, you know: speeds off to annoy the next bicyclist I do very well with assuming that the driver must have an unhappy marriage, or be on their way to a job they hate, or otherwise be preoccupied with their own misery, which impairs the way they drive. If they beep or say ...


24

There are tips here: Car Bike Collisions I especially like the first tip: Also there are tips about riding in traffic on pages 13 through 30 of this document: Cycling Skills Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling It's all good, including the pages about trucks and buses. Also the (Ontario-specific) law about riding on the right is interesting: HTA 147 - Slow ...


24

As you're in Ontario the following references are official. Look at the picture at the bottom right of Toronto's Understanding Bicycle Lanes -- here's an excerpt: In summary, stop behind or pass to the left of the turning car. I generally expect drivers to see what's happening out the front of the cars, but never expect them to know what's happening to ...


23

b) is most correct, except that you don't need anyone else by your side. Taking the lane is riding pretty much right in the middle of the lane, and asserting control of the entire lane. Riding in the middle makes it obvious to motorists that they'll have to change lanes, or wait for a safe opportunity, in order to pass you.


22

I'd go for the air-horn, for example the AirZound. It is my opinion that screaming and yelling (the primal scream) can cause a lot of unnecessary social distress, and is not a good alterntive for traffic communication and signalling under normal conditions. It ends up being more effective when you're in "panic" as said, which is barely a day-by-day ...


22

Once the other car is in front of you generally the law and the legal system both suggest you need to give way to the car. In some places motorists technically need to give way to cyclists in the same lane or a bike lane, but that's something that the court will decide after the fact. It's IMO rude for a motorist to overtake you then turn, but it's going to ...


21

The key point here is that 90% of drivers immediately forget about any vehicle they've passed, unless it has bright flashing lights. The diagram you have added shows that you're behind, and in the driver's blind spot. Attempting pass on the inside is now to attempt suicide. The only time it's reasonably safe to pass on the inside is when the traffic is ...


21

There's a simple answer to the question you didn't actually ask: in the Netherlands cyclists who wear helmets are much more likely to be hospitalised than those who don't Although the Netherlands is probably the safest country in the world for cycling, helmet wearing among Dutch cyclists is rare. It has been estimated that only about 0.5 percent of ...


19

Is it legal? That depends on the country's traffic laws and on the exact layout of the intersection. The traffic laws that I am familiar with (Denmark, Austria) indicate that the bicyclist you describe was wrong to overtake a right-turning car on the car's right side. If there is a bike lane that extends through the intersection, then AFAIK the cyclist ...


18

I took a pretty quick look at the map, but I'm going to make a kind of general suggestion: If this is a trip that you're only used to traveling by motor vehicle, you might fall into the trap of thinking that the route you're used to is the only route available. Bikes can go lots of places that cars can't, and lots of places that cars just as frequently don't....


18

Screaming is faster and much more effective: I suspect it's usually best. Or use an electric horn or air horn. About screaming: The BHSI writes as follows. We don't find that horns do much for safety on a bicycle. Your voice is faster to react and adapts better to different situations. The primal scream produces good adrenalin-based reactions in ...


16

In the long term, you can also lobby and campaign for better cycling provision. The personal safety advice (better visibility etc.) is all valuable, but there is only so much you can do when a junction s poorly designed and creates conflict between different road users. Basically, if you feel unsafe on the road, then the road needs to be designed better. ...


16

The consequences for you as an individual are perhaps not as important as the broader ramifications of your behaviour. By behaving as if you think that the local rules of the road don't apply to you, you are contributing to a perception that cyclists are dangerous idiots who disregard the rules and the safety of themselves and others. This has the effect ...


16

My personal list in order of importance: Overtake when it’s safe to do so. This means no oncoming traffic (unless the lanes are wide enough to overtake even despite traffic) and that you can see far enough ahead. Don’t overtake on crossroads or crosswalks. Don’t drive too close behind. Bicycles usually don’t have braking lights, so you’ll need some time/...


15

This is not strictly a bicycling issue. Do-gooders who ignore the rules and want to give the right of way all the time are also irritating to other drivers. They are not necessarily safer drivers, because "scared" is not exactly the same thing as "safe". There isn't anything you can do; just take cautious advantage of the right of way and keep going. The ...


15

I'm not sure why you think it puts you in danger. My rule of thumb is that I will only do the Idaho stop when I can see all the roads at an intersection far enough to know that a car won't show up before I get through the intersection and I can't see any cars. I've been riding in the East Bay for 15+ years and I've never felt like my stopping at stop ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible