Always assume car drivers can't/don't/won't see you?

moonio Posts: 802
edited December 2008 in Commuting chat
Is the best way to commute, assuming that you will never be seen by a car driver? Or Does that take all the pleasure out of cycling?
How do we stop the carnage?

(Sorry but this is my pet topic)


  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    moonio wrote:
    Is the best way to commute, assuming that you will never be seen by a car driver? Or Does that take all the pleasure out of cycling?
    How do we stop the carnage?

    (Sorry but this is my pet topic)

    I always assume that everyone will do something stupid, better to be safe than sorry, see my rant yesterday, it's a perfect example.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • Yes.

    Even when I'm driving I assume other drivers wont see me and I drive accordingly.
  • gpsBRM
    gpsBRM Posts: 123
    Definatly assume they won't see you. If they do see you, they will probably think your not going that fast anyway. The amount of people I've had pull out on me obvoiusly not thinking I'm doing 30mph is unreal.

    Although since communting in the dark, I've had a lot less near misses or people pull out on me.
  • Konan
    Konan Posts: 43
    I always get a sense when a car driver hasn't registered me when I'm on my bike. The same way I get a sense that a cyclist is about to try something daft when I'm in a car (or hear a bang on the side of the van ;) ).
  • Until I've actually made eye contact, I assume the other person hasn't seen me. This is obviously a nightmare in the dark and with less confident cyclists who are unable to turn their head and pedal at the same time, and also also those who think that by clinging to the kerb when turning left out of a junction they don't need to look.
    gpsBRM wrote:
    The amount of people I've had pull out on me obvoiusly not thinking I'm doing 30mph is unreal.

    Oh, there's a cyclist. Cyclists move slowly. I therefore have plenty time to pootle into the middle of the road. Grrr. It's an instant driving test fail too - "not taking proper observation before emerging at junctions".
    Trek XO1
  • moonio
    moonio Posts: 802
    I havent fitted my Airzound bike horn yet (I havent actually ridden my bike for a month!!) but once I do I will take great pleasure in frightening all car drivers who find it impossible to drive and look at the same time.. :twisted:
  • *looks up airzound*

    Ooh, that looks like fun! Random review quote: "ever seen a bloke try to open a sun roof with his head?" :lol:
    Trek XO1
  • To be fair, most drivers are OK, but it's the small number of bad drivers that you remember.

    I'm paranoid at junctions when I have the right of way. You know the scenario.... Car pulls up to the give way mark. Ok so far. Drivers sees you. Then they pull out as if you weren't there. That's my bug bear.
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    When i started out cycling i was told 2 things: 1. assume other road users haven't seen you, and as often as it might not seem like it, 2. most other road users *don't* want to kill you.

    I've since realised a lot of other road users - drivers, other cyclists, pedestrians - do stupid things even if they have seen you and even made eye contact. So i've changed to "assume the worst". And as for the 2nd one, i do wonder at times...
  • I think it's just better to be safe than sorry.

    I'm sure a lot of people don't mean to cut you up and I'm pretty sure very few people would deliberately strike a cyclist with their car deliberately, but it doesn't stop cyclists needing to keep the spidey senses a-tingling.
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Spidey sense....yes, definitely required for cycling around pretty much anywhere, though I've probably had to use it more in the past 2 weeks of cycling London than almost the past 20 months in East Cork, where the population in an area larger than London is not very much at all really.

    Greater concentration of vehicles or higher percentage of bad drivers?

    Both methinks.

    I feel for those who haven't got it and who come from other European countries where cyclists have more of a right of way developed (legally), have more respect anyhow and face less outright aggression from motorists.

    It must make being on the roads here a truly frightening experience.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I trust NO ONE not even myself.

    For all the measures I can take when cycling I know that some portion of my safety is down to luck and the vigilence of the other road user.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • edhornby
    edhornby Posts: 1,780
    I think that the higher concentration of vehicles on the roads is the problem, in that the motorists have less space so if and when they make a mistake (and I include myself in that population when I'm driving cos I'm not perfect, only human) the issue affects the other road users more due to proximity.

    however when I'm on my bike the spidey sense is always tingling (thanks LiT, never thought of it like that before but I will in future :-) ) and in particular when I'm at any junction I always think, what's the worst outcome here, and then wait for it to occur !

    99.5% of the time it doesn't happen
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    I assume folk haven't seen me - not much you can do when you are actually in front of the car when they 'haven't seen you'.......bang ! :shock: