Where do you preceive the danager to be

AndyH01AndyH01 Posts: 616
edited November 2013 in Commuting general
Been meaning to post this for a while now, but more than ever as can't decide to get another light or not.
Where do you think the highest danger comes from; cars in front or cars behind? (eg trying to over taking without leaving sufficent room)
It strikes me the number of people riding without any lights at all or have super bright light on the front and very little on the back. My personal view is I'm more worried about been hit in the rear by vehicles squeezing too close (I ride secondary or primary where required, not afraid to take the lane if needed and ride out from the gutter) despite good road position. I am less concerned with the traffic in front, that I can see and predict and take action where needed (even if I'm just thinking rather than it actually happening) eg that car at the side road hasn't seen me/mis judges my speed and gap and might pull out in front of me, I can tell which cars are going to do this. I can think of a couple recent examples where I've had close encounters with drivers not paying enough attention (filtering on the right of stationary traffic, doing aprox 18mph, after already slowing due to conditions, lighs on red no ones going anywhere, car few cars down decides without looking/indicating, to pull out of line of traffic and turn right, just as I'm passing, I've already seen this on the brakes and swerved round; another time car praticaly right hooked me as they're turning left, as going uphill they'd misjudge the speed | was going at, and heading straight for the back of their car, I ended up taking the cornor with them to avoid collision as well as braking) whilst these instances show the danager as being in front (rather than behind) along with as I understand it, wider evidence, I have seen them and responded to them, whilst i haven't been rear ended I can't help but feel more vonlurable from the back, maybe I should get a miror so I can see what's behind to aid my hearing and shoulder checks when changing direction, but even so with a mirror, I don't see how I could take avoiding action if I saw a vehicle passing too close for comfort, unless of course it was heading straight towards me and about to rear end me. The point I'm trying to make is I find it easier to know whether someone in front has seen me or not compared to someone behind and whether they've seen me or not; What are your thoughts and experience and do you have a brighter front light then the rear?

Posts

  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Neither! The ones I worry about are the ones who come in from side roads. They tend to be looking for cars (in the wrong place), and it's for that reason that I tend to focus on a nice bright front light.

    Cars coming up from the rear tend to have a lot of time to spot you. As a driver, I see the odd 'unlit' cyclist, and you tend to pick even them out from reflectors in plenty of time to avoid them.
  • turnerjohnturnerjohn Posts: 1,249
    As above.....its cars come from and turning into side roads that are the issue. I've been hit twice and several near misses from cars not looking properly. Cars in the same direction of travel have far longer and will see you easier....espcially with flashing rear lights (I say the plural as I use 2 proper bright and 2 backup) .
    OP is right though I see so many idiots riding around at night with no lights on at all....not even a reflector and usually wearing dark clothes....if they got hit theyd be the first to moan ! I have to confess to speeding past them shouting "lights" :roll:
  • The moral of the story is clearly don't filter at 18mph.

    A few worthless opinions:

    1) If your positioning is good then even if you dont get seen from behind you can have room to get out of harms way.

    2) Drivers behind you tend to see you for more time before you both are in close proximity, rather than when you're coming up on them emerging from a junction.

    3) When I'm driving, the lights I notice 'most' are helmet ones (rear)
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    If your positioning is good then even if you dont get seen from behind you can have room to get out of harms way.
    Not really. On a narrow road, with a HGV driven by someone who hasn't seen you you'll have no escape room. And that's if you even have time to react. You might be completely unaware that he's going to squash you!

    That said, being hit from behind is very rare, most collisions are at junctions.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • jibberishjibberish Posts: 151
    The 2 times I've been hit (in 7 years of daily commuting) have been from the side. I got one of these for exactly this reason:

    http://www.monkeylectric.com/m232_bike_light/

    I know it looks a bit knobby....but I don't really care. :-)
  • AndyH01AndyH01 Posts: 616
    The ones I worry about are the ones who come in from side roads
    This is the thing, however, IMPE I can see/predict this and know which cars are likily to pull out and avoid the situation.

    That said, being hit from behind is very rare, most collisions are at junctions that be my thought, is this based on actual fact or assumption/opinion?
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 686
    I don't trust any of 'em but the front light is probably more use in town where it alerts people pulling in/out of side roads as well as people pulling into the kerb to park.

    Out on the lanes, where narrow twisty lanes increase the risk of being clipped a good, bright back light lets drivers see you before they round the corner & drive up your back wheel.

    Having said all that, I'd never ride in the dark without lights, generally at least 2 at each end.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    AndyH01 wrote:
    The ones I worry about are the ones who come in from side roads
    This is the thing, however, IMPE I can see/predict this and know which cars are likily to pull out and avoid the situation.

    That said, being hit from behind is very rare, most collisions are at junctions that be my thought, is this based on actual fact or assumption/opinion?
    http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/advicea ... gures.aspx
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • AndyH01AndyH01 Posts: 616
    Thanks for the link. Makes interesting reading.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,572
    For me vehicles from behind are the highest risk, you can rarely do much 'actively' to protect yourself, you can ride in a defensive manner, the best place on the road, you can speed up when it aids safety, but you are/should be considering that all the time, but you can do nothing ultimately from preventing a moron driving into you.

    Traffic approaching rarely poses a risk to me (very little opportuinity for right turns across my path) and vehicles from junctions I can see and assess the risk of and either carry on or take preventative action (slow right down or even wave them out.

    Classic the other day, white van overtook me on a narrow bridge, no room for me+him+car coming the other way, road turns sharp through 90 degrees at the other end of the bridge so he has no way of knowing he was going to get a clear overtake, I hit the brakes as a preventative measure as soon as he started the pass, he only had to wait about 5 seconds and we'd have been off the bridge, had a car come the other way I'm sure he'd have squashed me into the parapit and there would have been nothing I could do.
  • turnerjohnturnerjohn Posts: 1,249
    The Rookie wrote:
    For me vehicles from behind are the highest risk, you can rarely do much 'actively' to protect yourself, you can ride in a defensive manner, the best place on the road, you can speed up when it aids safety, but you are/should be considering that all the time, but you can do nothing ultimately from preventing a moron driving into you.

    Traffic approaching rarely poses a risk to me (very little opportuinity for right turns across my path) and vehicles from junctions I can see and assess the risk of and either carry on or take preventative action (slow right down or even wave them out.

    Classic the other day, white van overtook me on a narrow bridge, no room for me+him+car coming the other way, road turns sharp through 90 degrees at the other end of the bridge so he has no way of knowing he was going to get a clear overtake, I hit the brakes as a preventative measure as soon as he started the pass, he only had to wait about 5 seconds and we'd have been off the bridge, had a car come the other way I'm sure he'd have squashed me into the parapit and there would have been nothing I could do.

    Hitting the brakes when anyone is behind you is about the worst thing to do..especially as cycles don't have brake lights if he'd hit you that would have been your fault.
    Without doubt vehicles from front or side are the most dangerous without taking into account the greater collision speed (their speed plus yours) !
  • I think you also need to take into account the environment and the also the likely outcomes/injuries. In towns/cities you are more likely to be hit by vehicles pulling out or turning across your path because the the SMIDSY effect and that you are part of a busy and complex traffic flow. However the likelihood physical damage to you is probably reduced due to the slower speeds involved. Conversely on a rural road your probably less likely to be hit by a vehicle in this way and I'd be much more concerned from a rear shunt, the consequences of which (due to the higher speeds) are probably going to be much more serious?
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 21,993 Lives Here
    turnerjohn wrote:
    The Rookie wrote:
    For me vehicles from behind are the highest risk, you can rarely do much 'actively' to protect yourself, you can ride in a defensive manner, the best place on the road, you can speed up when it aids safety, but you are/should be considering that all the time, but you can do nothing ultimately from preventing a moron driving into you.

    Traffic approaching rarely poses a risk to me (very little opportuinity for right turns across my path) and vehicles from junctions I can see and assess the risk of and either carry on or take preventative action (slow right down or even wave them out.

    Classic the other day, white van overtook me on a narrow bridge, no room for me+him+car coming the other way, road turns sharp through 90 degrees at the other end of the bridge so he has no way of knowing he was going to get a clear overtake, I hit the brakes as a preventative measure as soon as he started the pass, he only had to wait about 5 seconds and we'd have been off the bridge, had a car come the other way I'm sure he'd have squashed me into the parapit and there would have been nothing I could do.

    Hitting the brakes when anyone is behind you is about the worst thing to do..especially as cycles don't have brake lights if he'd hit you that would have been your fault.
    Without doubt vehicles from front or side are the most dangerous without taking into account the greater collision speed (their speed plus yours) !
    I think the van was already overtaking so it was alongside him. There is one corner on my route that drivers seem to think they can see round corners, pre-emptive braking so they don't force me into the kerb is often the safest option.
    As with many above I'm generally more concerned with the idiots in front of me. I've been hit in the side by someone that didn't see me coming and I've been doored by someone that was in the right hand lane of a dual carriageway. Being able to see what was in front of me didn't help as I couldn't brake on either occasion so I ride with an Exposure light on flash even in broad daylight, both of the above were in perfect visibility.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Hitting the brakes when anyone is behind you is about the worst thing to do..especially as cycles don't have brake lights if he'd hit you that would have been your fault.

    Bo11ocks! If someone drives into the back of you then they're at fault.

    The Rookie: Stoneleigh?
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    For me the worst danger is cars coming out of side roads and turning into.

    Also blind pedestrians who simply walk out into the road without a care in the world.
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
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  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    the thing that really sets my internal alarm bell is the car in a side street waiting for a gap in traffic - a driver on the main road gives them a wave to let them in and they mentally switch off because 'the other guy waved so it must be safe to pull out'

    mini roundabouts are my other hated road furniture, drivers either hesitate and brake when it's safe to go and others just plough through them regardless of whether it's safe or if they have right of way (and they are usually a great big blob of white paint to whip your wheels out from underneath you...)
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,572
    bails87 wrote:
    Hitting the brakes when anyone is behind you is about the worst thing to do..especially as cycles don't have brake lights if he'd hit you that would have been your fault.

    Bo11ocks! If someone drives into the back of you then they're at fault.

    The Rookie: Stoneleigh?
    Stoneleigh indeed, and yes I hit the brakes when he had started to pass not when he was behind me, what sort of moron would interpret what I wrote as saying that? Did you read the bit about "as soon as he started to pass"? Clearly that was not when he was behind me.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    People passing too close.
  • Unthinking idiots overtaking on blind bends. My road position does nothing to slow some of these berks down.

    And strangely, a lot of them give me loads of room but completely fail to think through what they're doing - driving on the wrong side of the road on a blind bend where they themselves will happily travel at 40mph+ the other way on the other side of their commute.

    :roll: doesn't sum it up .. it's more :evil:
    Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

    strava profile
  • .. 99% of my miles is country lanes with not much traffic.
    Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

    strava profile
  • GlasgowbhoyGlasgowbhoy Posts: 1,341
    I commute on busy B roads. I was being recently hit by a rear shunt. I am much more concerend about traffic hitting me from behind/ as they pass too closely than cars pulling out from side roads. Almost every commute I get people trying to squeeze past sometimes just mm's from my bars to their wing mirrors and sometimes at high speeds even when there is nothing coming towards us in the opposite direction. It's crazy!
  • Along with lights wear a wig over your helmet so that people think you're a woman. You'll get 14cm more passing space according to one study :wink:

    As for dangers, all the usual suspects plus:

    - Buses overtaking as they pull into a stop, forcing you onto the kerb.

    - Petrol stations, home of the left hook - last minute decisions to fill up.

    - Taxi u-turns. If one slows for no apparent reason coming the other way, look out!

    - People getting off a bus and immediately crossing in front of it without looking.
  • My three near collisions since I started cycling a couple of years ago have been cars pulling out of side roads on the left without looking. The driver's have all been the same sex too but that's obviously just a coincidence 8)

    I must admit I dont worry about getting shunted from behind. I take a good position, I dont have eyes in the back of my head so I trust motorists behind me not to squash me. what else can you do?

    The only rules I give myself are not to go up the inside of buses or HGVs. Happy to hang back. I try not to be in a rush to get anywhere while cycling.
  • #1 is the negative light the press present us in (dailies and editorials written by dunces like Clarkson),

    #2 danger is the 40 years of increasing car use. As someone said on another thread, roads have been around for 100s of year before cars were invented but now drivers think they're only for motorized traffic,

    #3 is oncoming right-turners in start-stop traffic. The scenario is thus: A slow-moving car 20 meters ahead does the corteous thing and waves an on-coming driver to turn in front of him. By the time I'm level with the stopped car the right turner comes into view. Queue screeching brakes. No one's really at fault b/c he can't see me b/c of my speed and his impaired vision. Beware of gaps in the traffic.

    Moral of the story - in any collision between bike and car. It's not who's right, it's who's left :-)
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
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