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Road Safety - Cycling

Michael McMahon

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Hi. I'm just inquiring about cycling and road safety.

Should cyclists travel against traffic? This would allow cyclists to see oncoming cars. They'd have a better chance of dodging any close vehicles. Any collision with a fast car, whether from behind or head-on, would be very dangerous. So we must choose the optimal one for avoiding the collision in the first place, rather than slightly reducing the impact of a potential collision.
 

Rexedgar

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Hi. I'm just inquiring about cycling and road safety.

Should cyclists travel against traffic? This would allow cyclists to see oncoming cars. They'd have a better chance of dodging any close vehicles. Any collision with a fast car, whether from behind or head-on, would be very dangerous. So we must choose the optimal one for avoiding the collision in the first place, rather than slightly reducing the impact of a potential collision.

I live in a rural area; I cringe when I see pedestrians walking with the flow of traffic for the reasons you point out. Bicycles fall into another category, I think. I recommend checking with your local jurisdiction as to the laws pertaining to this.
 

KevinKohler

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Cyclists go with the flow of traffic, but I always hated it. Never liked having to trust my safety to others like that.
 

Ikari

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Bicycles are considered as regular road traffic. They are to obey all the standard rules of the road, the same as any other vehicle would. As such, they are to ride with traffic. Many places have bike lanes to cut down on the interaction, but ultimately driver and bicyclist a like need to be aware of the rules and their surroundings to safely make it from point A to point B.
 

Visbek

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Hi. I'm just inquiring about cycling and road safety.
Bikeforums.net is thataway ---->


Should cyclists travel against traffic?
Hard no.

Riding against traffic ("salmoning") is illegal, because it's incredibly dangerous. Cars won't expect you, and are thus more likely to hit you. Pedestrians won't expect you, thus you're more likely to hit them. If you have a collision, in most cases that means you're adding 10-15mph to the collision, rather than subtracting it, and that can get you killed.


They'd have a better chance of dodging any close vehicles.
No, you won't. If you're already in the shoulder or side of the road, and an oncoming car drifts into that area (or deliberately heads for you), you're SOL anyway.

Don't do it. Don't advocate for it. Seriously.
http://bikeeasy.org/blog/archives/1385/
 

beefheart

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Hi. I'm just inquiring about cycling and road safety.

Should cyclists travel against traffic? This would allow cyclists to see oncoming cars. They'd have a better chance of dodging any close vehicles. Any collision with a fast car, whether from behind or head-on, would be very dangerous. So we must choose the optimal one for avoiding the collision in the first place, rather than slightly reducing the impact of a potential collision.

Always go with traffic, and always have a rear view mirror. Always keep an eye out when on a busy street.
 

joko104

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Hi. I'm just inquiring about cycling and road safety.

Should cyclists travel against traffic? This would allow cyclists to see oncoming cars. They'd have a better chance of dodging any close vehicles. Any collision with a fast car, whether from behind or head-on, would be very dangerous. So we must choose the optimal one for avoiding the collision in the first place, rather than slightly reducing the impact of a potential collision.

Hell no! They should travel with traffic and in dense urban roads (not highways) travel in the lane of traffic the same as a motorcycle. Right in the middle of the lane and following exactly the same traffic laws. If it pisses someone off stuck behind a bicycle, **** 'em. Honk their horn and scream all they want to. The cyclist has as much right to the road as anyone else. The person in the car should start out 5 minutes earlier next time.

That is the only way cyclists in heavy traffic are safe unless there is a bike lane or open sidewalk. If they ride to the far right of a lane to allow cars and trucks to get by in the same lane, it's only a matter of time before they're hit in the back of the head at 45 mph by a truck mirror sticking out. That's how most cyclists get killed. Hogging the lane exactly like a car or truck is the only way to avoid it.
 

Bodhisattva

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Hi. I'm just inquiring about cycling and road safety.

Should cyclists travel against traffic? This would allow cyclists to see oncoming cars. They'd have a better chance of dodging any close vehicles. Any collision with a fast car, whether from behind or head-on, would be very dangerous. So we must choose the optimal one for avoiding the collision in the first place, rather than slightly reducing the impact of a potential collision.

Cyclists should get the hell off the roads...
 

Bodhisattva

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Hell no! They should travel with traffic and in dense urban roads (not highways) travel in the lane of traffic the same as a motorcycle. Right in the middle of the lane and following exactly the same traffic laws. If it pisses someone off stuck behind a bicycle, **** 'em. Honk their horn and scream all they want to. The cyclist has as much right to the road as anyone else. The person in the car should start out 5 minutes earlier next time.

That is the only way cyclists in heavy traffic are safe unless there is a bike lane or open sidewalk. If they ride to the far right of a lane to allow cars and trucks to get by in the same lane, it's only a matter of time before they're hit in the back of the head at 45 mph by a truck mirror sticking out. That's how most cyclists get killed. Hogging the lane exactly like a car or truck is the only way to avoid it.

Every time I see a cyclist riding in traffic like that I think... dang, they have "the right" to do that... but gosh darn if that guy ain't a ****ing moron for doing it. And when I see a body bag covering a guy that did that I think... what the hell did that moron expect would happen by riding in his little Tour de France outfit among 2,000 lb cars?
 

joko104

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Quite some time ago occasionally I would bicycle in a major urban setting. I would pedal dead center my lane, stopping at lights and stop signs in my place among the cars. (It ticks me off when a bicyclist will go down the curb to the front of every stop light, having to pass him over and over.)

Some would get ticked off and wildly pass me in the opposing lane if that got the chance. Only one went road rage, wildly passing in the oncoming lane and slamming on his brakes in a parking lot jumping out of his car. I stopped. He looked me and decided that was a bad idea on his part.

The only time it was hairy was when some huge ass dog took after me on a back road. Never knew I could pedal so fast and fortunately he didn't want to get too far from home. With that experience I decided why the hell am I on a bicycle? This is what motorcycles are for! I have 5. No adult bicycles.
 

joko104

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Every time I see a cyclist riding in traffic like that I think... dang, they have "the right" to do that... but gosh darn if that guy ain't a ****ing moron for doing it. And when I see a body bag covering a guy that did that I think... what the hell did that moron expect would happen by riding in his little Tour de France outfit among 2,000 lb cars?

The reason to ride center lane (if no bike lane or open sidewalk) is because you only get hit if the driver WANTS to hit you. If you ride over to the far right to be courteous they can easily accidentally clip you or hit you with their big steel trailer towing mirror sticking a foot out to the side - exactly at a cyclist's head level.
 

PirateMk1

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Hell no! They should travel with traffic and in dense urban roads (not highways) travel in the lane of traffic the same as a motorcycle. Right in the middle of the lane and following exactly the same traffic laws. If it pisses someone off stuck behind a bicycle, **** 'em. Honk their horn and scream all they want to. The cyclist has as much right to the road as anyone else. The person in the car should start out 5 minutes earlier next time.

That is the only way cyclists in heavy traffic are safe unless there is a bike lane or open sidewalk. If they ride to the far right of a lane to allow cars and trucks to get by in the same lane, it's only a matter of time before they're hit in the back of the head at 45 mph by a truck mirror sticking out. That's how most cyclists get killed. Hogging the lane exactly like a car or truck is the only way to avoid it.

Not motorized vehicles should not be on roads for motorized traffic, the speed differential is too great.
 

KevinKohler

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Every time I see a cyclist riding in traffic like that I think... dang, they have "the right" to do that... but gosh darn if that guy ain't a ****ing moron for doing it. And when I see a body bag covering a guy that did that I think... what the hell did that moron expect would happen by riding in his little Tour de France outfit among 2,000 lb cars?

Most cars weight between 3-4 thousand pounds.
 

KevinKohler

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Not motorized vehicles should not be on roads for motorized traffic, the speed differential is too great.

Most roads like what he is talking about are 35-45 mph, slower with traffic. Easily managed on a bike.
 

Bodhisattva

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The reason to ride center lane (if no bike lane or open sidewalk) is because you only get hit if the driver WANTS to hit you. If you ride over to the far right to be courteous they can easily accidentally clip you or hit you with their big steel trailer towing mirror sticking a foot out to the side - exactly at a cyclist's head level.

A driver can accidentally hit you from any spot on the road... proximity to large metal cars is the problem.
 

cabse5

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What is wrong with riding your bike on a sidewalk?
 

PirateMk1

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Most roads like what he is talking about are 35-45 mph, slower with traffic. Easily managed on a bike.

If your training for the Tour De France maybe. Regular bicycles cant and don't do that.
 

PirateMk1

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A driver can accidentally hit you from any spot on the road... proximity to large metal cars is the problem.

Proximity and the speed differential not to mention visibility issues.
 

ecofarm

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What is wrong with riding your bike on a sidewalk?

I'm going downhill on an ice covered sidewalk. I usually ride in the street, but conditions were treacherous. So slow and sidewalk it was. But it's not like that meant I could stop. A woman, carrying a ****ing cake, steps out of a storefront. The cake goes flying. No one was hurt and thankfully I had some money in my pocket to replace the cake.
 

Irredentist

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Riding slowly in front of large metal objects that can kill you?

It is every drivers basic responsibility to pay attention to what's in front of them. So if they hit a bike, that's on them.
 

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Not motorized vehicles should not be on roads for motorized traffic, the speed differential is too great.

There's no safety issue if car drivers pay attention to the road. Which they're supposed to be doing anyway. So what's the argument here? That bikes are inconvenient for motorists? Big whoop.
 

PirateMk1

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There's no safety issue if car drivers pay attention to the road. Which they're supposed to be doing anyway. So what's the argument here? That bikes are inconvenient for motorists? Big whoop.

The safety issue is the speed differential, and visibility.
 
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