Are some drivers really that blind?

Jackal79
Jackal79 Posts: 39
edited October 2011 in Road beginners
I was driving home last night following another car as we came up to an island on a large housing estate. He had to stop for two other cars and a cyclist. Both cars went past and the cyclist was no more that 6ft away from passing infront of the car when the car pulled out on him. How he managed not to go straight into the side of the car is beyond me. I would have thought that the fact the driver had to physically stop for two other vehicles, and that the cyclist was hi-viz'd up to the maximum, the driver couldn't have missed him in a million years.
Maybe I see cyclists easier because I am one, but surely we shouldn't be driving a car if we cant see something thats right infront of us in plain sight? Just thought I'd share that anyway.
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  • Had a few similar experiences in the past week. I guess some motorists just have difficulty in judging how fast a bike is travelling. Thinking of attaching an air horn to my bike for riding at this time of the year. :D

    Oh and fed up with being squirted with windscreen washers.........what a great laugh.
  • Something akin to the "Squeeze Me Gently" gag from The Mask? Check You Tube if you dont know what I mean.
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  • t5nel
    t5nel Posts: 365
    I get really irritated being overtaken just before a queue of traffic by cars that then have to pull in and brake forcing me to brake hard. Drivers often seem unable to think ahead at all about consequences of actions.

    To be fair with respect to judging speed I do not think that motorists expect cyclists to tank along at 25mph + on the flat and this can catch them out pulling from junctions. Not an excuse but ... I guess the point is they are not necessarily trying to judge speed, just think ooh look a bike, that will be slow, I can pull out :roll:
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  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    I think it is just nature. I remember a few years ago just walking out in front of a car, I know I looked that way and saw the car but, for some reason, just did not take it in. Fortunately for me the car was a Porsche being driven sensibly within the limits...so a big screech of tyres/brakes and it stopped about 1 foot short of me. I apologised profusely to the lady, who was very nice in return but I simply could not explain why I did not register that I should stop having seen the car!

    When I got knocked off when cycling on a mini-roundabout a couple of years ago by a motorist it was much more simple, the lady in question just did not look in my direction so visibility of me, positioning, etc., played no part in the accident. She was very nice and apologetic but admitted she was thinking of something else at the time. Hard as I tried, I just couldn't get angry.
  • Bobbinogs wrote:
    When I got knocked off when cycling on a mini-roundabout a couple of years ago by a motorist it was much more simple, the lady in question just did not look in my direction so visibility of me, positioning, etc., played no part in the accident. She was very nice and apologetic but admitted she was thinking of something else at the time. Hard as I tried, I just couldn't get angry.

    Similar story, bloke looking around the roundabout well behind me to see if he was clear to pull out - at no point did he look in my direction and it was sheer luck that I was not a metre or 2 further forward as I would have been under the front of his car rather than bouncing down the side of it. Unlike Bobbinogs, I did get very angry.... but I blame the adrenalin !
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  • fnb1
    fnb1 Posts: 591
    you need to remember that you have joined the superhero elite, pull on lycra, you immediately have powers of invisibility :D
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  • Ringo 68
    Ringo 68 Posts: 441
    Sometimes I think that because you are 'only' on a bike motorists can do as they please.

    The other day I was happilly riding along when a woman in a car stopped at a junction in front of me. She looked straight at me, no way she could not have seen me, and just pulled out.

    Luckilly I had already slowed down so managed to stop in time but she just tootled off in her own little world.
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  • I had a near miss recently, the driver stopped got out and started to shout at me and tell me I had no right to be on the road on a bike and I should be on the pavement.

    I love cycling on my road bike but I hate our roads and drivers attitudes and I am now finding myself riding the quiter roads only at the moment.

    I cover 25000 miles a year in a large van and I am incredibly respectful of cyclists and motor bikes but some of the near misses I see really put me off cycling. :(
  • racingcondor
    racingcondor Posts: 1,434
    t5nel wrote:
    I get really irritated being overtaken just before a queue of traffic by cars that then have to pull in and brake forcing me to brake hard. Drivers often seem unable to think ahead at all about consequences of actions.

    This. MUST OVERTAKE!!!

    The number of people who overtake me while I'm doing 25 in Zone 1 of London only to realise that they're now fast approaching the next red light (no really, traffic in central London :!: :roll: ). Taking the lane helps but some people are very stupid/determined.
  • t5nel wrote:
    I get really irritated being overtaken just before a queue of traffic by cars that then have to pull in and brake forcing me to brake hard. Drivers often seem unable to think ahead at all about consequences of actions.

    To be fair with respect to judging speed I do not think that motorists expect cyclists to tank along at 25mph + on the flat and this can catch them out pulling from junctions. Not an excuse but ... I guess the point is they are not necessarily trying to judge speed, just think f**k em, I'm bigger and heavier and insulated in a metal cage I can pull out and they'll have to stop or take the consequences :roll:


    FTFY.

    I've become more cynical recently as my near misses have shot up despite lights, high viz, mirrors etc. It does seem to becoming more of a battleground out there, but thats when driving too and my wife/pals who only drive say the same thing. The roads are getting increasingly nastier and more selfish places.

    according to the guy that stopped to help me after my recent hit and run left hook, the guy actually sped up deliberately to beat me to the corner, (but didn't!)
  • Well my wife just got knocked off again this morning on the way to work.

    going down a cycle lane along side stationary traffic and a camero pulls out on her, he sees her and pulls back in, so she carries on. He then pulls out again and over the boonet she goes.

    Usual story of he didnt see see.
    Bright red fluro jacket and flashing lights, for fcuk sake
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,289
    People seem to struggle to see me driving around in over a ton of bright red metal with running lights in broad daylight so I always make the assumption that they won't see my svelte 14 stone, 6' 2" frame in bright lycra even if I'm lit up unless they give a very obvious sign that they know I am there.
  • It amazes me how badly some cyclists ride on the open road in terms of defending themselves. Of course in an ideal world everyone would obey the rules and see what's in front of them all the time. But I think cyclists can often contribute to their own vulnerability because of the way they ride.
    Put me back on my bike...

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  • Teece
    Teece Posts: 138
    I'm starting to enjoy the challenge of getting to work without being involved in a near miss/road rage incident.
  • It amazes me how badly some cyclists ride on the open road in terms of defending themselves. Of course in an ideal world everyone would obey the rules and see what's in front of them all the time. But I think cyclists can often contribute to their own vulnerability because of the way they ride.

    I know what you mean, I've seen some cyclists do strange and dangerous things in the past but this chap was definately doing everything right.
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  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    Human being in human error shocker.

    We're none of us machines, you know.
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  • Nearly got cleaned up tonight by a taxi driver who decided to pull out in front of me. I swerved out into the middle of the road to avoid him only to see him pull a u-turn and nearly hit me again. I swear the driver didn't see me at any point despite having £100 worth of lights on the front of my back and a hi-viz jacket on. Funny thing is I knew he was gonna do it so I'd already slowed down. Strange how you develop a sixth sense for these sort of things - stranger still how pig ignorant some drivers are when it comes to sharing the road.
  • anto164
    anto164 Posts: 3,500
    i nearly knocked someone off the other day.

    I had stopped at the end of a road turning left, waited for a gap in the traffic and someone on a bike decided to undertake me and turn left then go straight into the middle of the road just as i was pulling away.. that was me about 2 inches away from his rear tyre in my car, and him oblivious.

    I'm all for defending cyclists as i am one, but sometimes common sense should really prevail.
  • benno68
    benno68 Posts: 1,689
    I nearly got taken out about an hour ago by a BMW M5. I was second in line at traffic lights behind a small van and going straight ahead (single lane road), the road veers slightly to the right, the BMW couldn't wait to try an overtake and very nearly took me out, I "gently" tapped on their blacked out rear window to make sure they knew I was there!

    The stupid thing was that I was going at the same speed as they were for another 1/4 mile so they gained absolutely nothing from doing this "stunt".

    I really think that we're considered as a mere inconvenience to many motorists who feel that they must pass us whether or not it's a risky manoeuvre.
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  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,842
    The answer to the original question: yes. It seems not to matter how much you've spent on lights or high-viz stuff, the fact that you aren't a car seems to result in some car drivers simply not registering your presence on the road. I've lost count of the SMIDSY occurrences I've had - fortunately only two of them have resulted in my coming off the bike.

    The most recent one was almost comical: the driver only doing about 5mph cutting the corner at a junction and driving directly at me while I stood there completely stationary. He only realised I was there after I'd thrown the bike out of the way and moved sideways, by which time I was standing by his driver's window, pressed against his door.

    The scariest was as I was doing 30mph a safe distance behind a car in front, and someone waiting to turn right from the other direction across my direction of travel waited for the car in front of me to pass her, then started to pull across my path, leaving me only a narrow bail-out option (and that relied on her not accelerating too fast). I'm sure she just didn't register me until the last moment, despite it being a bright day and me being in the middle lane wearing bright blue lycra.
  • A couple of weeks ago I was riding along a dual carrigeway (A638 Doncaster) a tart in a Citroen pulls up at junction to my left looks right at me then as I get just in front of her offside wing she proceeds to drive straight through me, bless! i screamed at her something along the lines of oh I do wish you would be more careful miss! whereupon she stopped, I stayed on the bike but both wheels were buckled from being shoved sideways, only had bike 9 days!
  • Maybe it's because people are on autopilot when they're driving?

    Perhaps they're mentally tuned to only recognise other motor vehicles as thing they should look out for and bike's don't compute?

    Perhaps they're unconsciously trying to get me out of sight so they don't have to worry about hitting me?

    Only the Gods know. I just assume anyone in a motor vehicle is going to do something stupid/dangerous until proven otherwise.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,842
    Maybe it's because people are on autopilot when they're driving?

    Perhaps they're mentally tuned to only recognise other motor vehicles as thing they should look out for and bike's don't compute?

    Perhaps they're unconsciously trying to get me out of sight so they don't have to worry about hitting me?

    Only the Gods know. I just assume anyone in a motor vehicle is going to do something stupid/dangerous until proven otherwise.
    Yes to all of these, except I'm sure there are scientific reasons for our not being seen, and that these reasons have been and are being studied by scientists. Autopilot is necessary to a degree in any complicated human activity - we have to do unconsciously so many things, and we rely on our brains to prioritise those things that we need to do consciously. Dealing with the extremely complicated images presented when driving needs incredibly complicated and quick processing by the brain, and part of that is junking 'unnecessary' information. Unfortunately, for cyclists, we are dumped into that 'unnecessary information' bin from time to time.
  • DrKJM
    DrKJM Posts: 271
    I nearly got taken out this morning, despite having a flashing rear light on the seat stay and another on my helmet. It was broad daylight and the car passed between me, on the side of the left lane, and a car in the right lane. I was doing 20+ and according to my friend cycling behind he swerved inside the car on the outside lane and then straightened up narrowly missing me - I could have touched him with my right hand. He was doing more than the rest of the traffic and the limit is 40. The car he was desperate to pass had the nerve to be in the the correct lane in anticipation of a junction 20 yards ahead. It doesn't seem to be lack of observation - it's an arrogance borne out of insulation from the surroundings and a belief that their day is so very much more important than anybody else's. (Audi A3 this morning - driven in my experience by more to$$ers than is statistically justified without some sort of selection being involved).

    I love going out on a weekend but getting to the quiet lanes requires a short run on major roads and these roads are the source of almost all my near misses.

    I don't have any suggestions or solutions for improvement short of clubbing the miscreants but feel better for getting things off my chest. Thanks for the indulgence.
  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    Not only blind but also stupid.

    I had to laugh last week. Prawny and I stopped at road work traffic lights, a car stopped behind us, lights on red. As the road ahead was very narrow I waved to indicate that she could go ahead of us - so she drove through the red light! Thankfully there was nothing coming the other way and she got away with it.
  • Perhaps they're mentally tuned to only recognise other motor vehicles as thing they should look out for and bike's don't compute?

    +1 They look, but don't see. Unfortunately the police and judiciary don't want to, or are unable to remove these careless drivers from the road. They just chalk up a SMIDSY incident as another 'accident'.
  • DrKJM wrote:
    Audi A3 this morning - driven in my experience by more to$$ers than is statistically justified without some sort of selection being involved

    Agreed, Audi A3s do seem to attract some of the most impatient drivers on the road.

    Times change though, a few years back it often seemed to be Golf GTi drivers.
  • wyadvd
    wyadvd Posts: 590
    i seriously think hi viz is invisible to motorists. I'm being serious here.Its not the colour a generic vehicle should be so they don't see it. I am now in black head to toe, and I get FAR FAR fewer people pulling out on me at junctions, noticeably so. Dont believe the hi viz superstition.
  • Drivers are pretty representative of the human race, and humans are pretty stupid.

    You know those people you see fighting outside bars on a Saturday night? Those people drive cars.

    You know people who ring into The X Factor to vote? Those people drive cars.

    Think of it this way. Have you ever spoken to someone with an IQ of 100? It is frightening how stupid they are. Now consider this: half of the population are even more stupid than that. And those people drive cars.

    Given the above, is it any wonder that poor observation, failure to anticipate, and pig ignorance, are daily occurrences on our roads?
  • Drivers are pretty representative of the human race, and humans are pretty stupid.

    You know those people you see fighting outside bars on a Saturday night? Those people drive cars.

    You know people who ring into The X Factor to vote? Those people drive cars.

    Think of it this way. Have you ever spoken to someone with an IQ of 100? It is frightening how stupid they are. Now consider this: half of the population are even more stupid than that. And those people drive cars.

    Given the above, is it any wonder that poor observation, failure to anticipate, and pig ignorance, are daily occurrences on our roads?

    This