How to Not Get Hit by Cars
Topic can be kind of misleading because I'm sure that someone could follow all of the suggestions in the article below and still get hit by a car. Anway, I came across this article and thought tht I would share it with you all. Enjoy!
The biggest thing for me that improved my safety was starting to ride in the street and avoid all unnecessary sidewalks. 99% of the close calls I had were the "Crosswalk Slam" as described in this article.
The author admits to being hit anyway, but rolling off a hood rather than going head first into a car door. "How not to get hit by cars too much or too badly, excluding those driven by sociopaths or a significant other out to get you" Would be a bit long.
The riding like you are invisible serves me well. Watch for the drivers who appear to see you and appear to have made eye contact. You are not safe until you have gotten by them, and even then they could turn into your lane and run you over if they turn a wide left or a tight right. Though claiming they did not see you when you just finished riding past their car's hood, would be very lame. Maybe "I can drive worth sh--." would be more accurate and yes there are drivers like that (drunks, texters, phone users, people eating....)
The shout and arm moves work. A very bright very narrow helmet light to aim at drivers, works to get that eye contact when you need it right now!. He implies to ride shoulders to the right on fast roads. That will place you out of the view of cross traffic similar to riding too close to the curb), make you more ignored by overtaking traffic (out of their tunnel vision) and give you more flats and trash to avoid or end up in your spokes. Other safety people say ride close to the right side of the traffic lane to be seen.
He also doesn't mention listening to your gut. If after some experience riding, a situation feels too dangerous, it very likely is. It may be time to become a pedestrian, take to the sidewalk, or side street and get out of Dodge. In my case, I upped the lights and clothing ante and avoided certain routes and times. Route research and planning including time of day (factory and school let outs) is a part of listening to the prudent side of your character.
In Indiana, all vehicles are required to pull over and let faster traffic pass, once 4 or more vehicles queue up behind. Unfortunately, farm equipment rarely is driven this way, and I expect no one knows that law is on the books. Still, it avoids an idiot overtaking the lot of you with a semi oncoming and your space as the only way out of a head-on with a semi for the idiot. Taking to the ditch voluntarily to let traffic pass beats being snow plowed by a car's bumper there, anyway. Using the mirror to detect texting drivers about to run your up your backside is another case of yielding the lane in a hurry. Better than being dead right about your right of way.
I had an overtaking (20-25 mph) crop sprayer 12 + feet wide which I sprinted in front of so I could turn right into a side road and get him by as oncoming traffic meant he needed the shoulder I was riding on. Without that close side road, the ditch would have been my choice. Nice I got a wave of appreciation (it was an uphill, and I felt like I won a stage on the Tour). Small wins are better than no wins.
Of those, all my incidents have been #10s.
I generally agree with most of his advice, BTW, although he seems to repeat himself a bit about "find a quieter street".
Which while a good idea, also slides onto the easier-said-than-done scale with "don't ride in rush hour", "use a bike path with no cars at all on it" or "just work from home".
it is all a matter of degree...there are many ways to skin a cat....you need to identify all of them mitigate each route's risk and then select the safest.
Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
Indeed. He was also (paradoxically really) sliding towards a "vehicular cycling" mantra with some of his other advice, which is another can of worms best left unopened.
But bumps from cars aside, all my actual commuting injuries have come when I veered onto technical MTB trails on the way home, often on totally inappropriate bicycles/tires, so who exactly am I gonna preach to about safety?
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