Author Topic: Biking is dangerous  (Read 30025 times)

paddedhat

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #200 on: November 26, 2017, 08:36:10 AM »
Are there ways to significantly limit the dangers of cycling if you still want to do it?  The data would seem to indicate 'yeah, probably':

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812382
http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm

Stay off the sidewalks/don't go the wrong way down a one way street/cycle where you're supposed to:
- 6% of cyclists were killed while cycling on the shoulder of the road.
- 3% were killed while cycling in a bike lane
- 28% were killed while at an intersection
- A whopping 61% killed were not at any of the the above (hello sidewalk cyclists!).


Don't ride your bike drunk:
- Just over 25% of cyclists killed had been drinking before riding their bikes.


Wear a helmet:
- About half of all cyclist deaths occur when the cyclist isn't wearing a helmet.


Distrust people driving light trucks:
- 45% of all deaths are caused by SUV, Van, and pickup truck drivers.


I knew that I could count on you. You "accidentally" forgot to paste this from that publication, LOL.


Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing
fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at
dawn and dusk. To be noticed when riding at night, use a front
light and a red reflector or flashing rear light, and use retroreflective
tape or markings on equipment or clothing


Somehow, your firmly held belief that, dressing to be as invisible as possible, and getting your ass run over, while operating a  bicycle is not your fault, failed to be included in real world statistics and best practices, according to that publication. Huh. who knew?

Also, your claim regarding the 61% figure just indicates that you do not understand the data, nothing more. Typically one generic sounding category being heavily populated only means that the a lot of the raw data failed to specify an exact location of the death, and/or a location that failed to conform to the rigid categorization of the study. You many have reached the conclusion that 61% of all deaths happen on sidewalks, but unsurprisingly, this is not what the data states...........the study may have specifically grouped "sidewalk" into the "other" category, and specified that any police report on a bicycle fatality that failed to note the exact location as shoulder, other, bike lane, or intersection, be listed as non-intersection.

It's also important to note that nearly half of all fatalities happened at night. Now obviously, getting struck by a vehicle at night is going to be highly dependent on visibility. However, as I'm sure you will attest, if you decide to dress in black, from head to toe, and ride at night, in the middle of a traffic lane, you are well within your rights as a cyclist. The law is on your side. So, in the magical world of Stuville, the person who accidentally runs your invisible ass flat is a criminal, and you have zero responsibility for the event.

So to answer this question of yours.
"Are there ways to significantly limit the dangers of cycling if you still want to do it?" 

  Yes, be as visible as possible, (including hi-viz helmet and jersey) use a rear strobe, wear a helmet, bike with the thought in mind that everybody is trying to kill you, and don't ride like an asshole. Honestly, when it comes to the road bike types I see in my 'hood. The ones out for a weekend cruise with the bros. They would probably cut their risk down by 90% if they just followed that short list.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 09:27:25 AM by paddedhat »

scottish

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #201 on: November 26, 2017, 05:54:03 PM »
You know, this is one of those cases where the lawyers might be useful.    I think there's a lot of law around who's at fault in a vehicular collision.

From nolo.com:

Quote
Who is at Fault -- the Bike or the Car?

Legally speaking, in nearly every state a bicycle is considered to be a "vehicle" and therefore, just like motorists, cyclists must follow the rules of the road. When it comes to collisions occurring at intersections, liability usually boils down to who had the right-of-way -- the car or the bike.

It's pretty obvious that someone driving a car doesn't have the right to ignore a bicycle.   However, the cyclist is also obligated to comply with traffic laws.

I find this discussion of 'blaming the victim' a little confusing.   Are we concerned with 'blaming the victim' because the bicycle is always the victim and often blamed for the accident?     Surely this depends on the scenario.    If traffic laws say cyclists must wear high-viz jackets & a cyclist is in an accident when he is *not* wearing a high-viz jacket, then he will bear some amount of responsibility for the accident.   Same goes for riding at night without lights (lights at night were required in Canada the last time I looked into it).

I think the more common scenarios occur when a vehicle brushes a bicyclist when passing too closely, or when a car door is opened in an unsafe manner in front of a bicycle, or when a bicycle is hit by a vehicle making a right turn.   

So my question for Just Joe and PaddedHat:   Under what circumstances do you feel that it's the cyclists' fault when he is involved in a accident in a scenario where the law would find the motorist 100% at fault?   

paddedhat

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #202 on: November 26, 2017, 06:19:56 PM »
Scottish, the answer to your question is: Shared fault is found when the cyclist has put zero effort into addressing the realities of the area where they are riding, and how they appear and behave, compared to what can reasonably be expected of local motorists. Pontificating about how things work in this world, when you are a biker from SF, Vancouver, or Boulder, when you have never ridden in a rural part of the mid-Atlantic, or New England, etc...is fine, as long as you realize that many of your rigid beliefs has little to do with reality. Rural roads in my region do not generally see a lot of bike traffic, and therefore the average motorist is not anticipating that there will be a pack of weekend warriors pretending to be a Tour de France Peloton, over the next rise. So, there are cases where a motorist may be technically 100% at fault, but the cyclist could of easily avoided the situation in the first place, by being highly visible, riding far enough to the right to give the motorist a chance to get around, and being aware that in many places you are a real anomaly and need to be defensive. The screwed up mentality of, "I have every right that a motorist does" is what gets some of these guys killed. OTOH, so do idiot drivers, cell phone users and drunks. Also be aware that a lot of what happens when it all turn to shit, and local law enforcement is deciding how to proceed, is highly subjective. You end up dealing with a local cop who is faced with the fact that you were hit from behind, while riding in a pack, around a blind corner, dressed in a charcoal grey jersey, and no helmet, don't be surprised when all of your "rights as a bicyclist" are trumped by a cop who says to his partner, "what did this asshole expect was going to happen?".
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 06:21:34 PM by paddedhat »

Just Joe

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #203 on: November 26, 2017, 06:35:18 PM »
I like your answer paddedhat. That's what I was talking about all along. The rule in some places is no bikes on the sidewalks.

The reality here where I live is that at any given time in my town I might be the only bicycle in operation for miles. People here might go for weeks without seeing a bicyclist who isn't riding on a driveway and who is eight years old.

The cyclist here does whatever they have to in order to arrive alive and without causing any collisions of any kind.

I assume always that I am invisible and that the drivers are half-blind as well.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #204 on: November 27, 2017, 08:10:28 AM »
Are there ways to significantly limit the dangers of cycling if you still want to do it?  The data would seem to indicate 'yeah, probably':

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812382
http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm

Stay off the sidewalks/don't go the wrong way down a one way street/cycle where you're supposed to:
- 6% of cyclists were killed while cycling on the shoulder of the road.
- 3% were killed while cycling in a bike lane
- 28% were killed while at an intersection
- A whopping 61% killed were not at any of the the above (hello sidewalk cyclists!).


Don't ride your bike drunk:
- Just over 25% of cyclists killed had been drinking before riding their bikes.


Wear a helmet:
- About half of all cyclist deaths occur when the cyclist isn't wearing a helmet.


Distrust people driving light trucks:
- 45% of all deaths are caused by SUV, Van, and pickup truck drivers.


I knew that I could count on you. You "accidentally" forgot to paste this from that publication, LOL.


Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing
fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at
dawn and dusk. To be noticed when riding at night, use a front
light and a red reflector or flashing rear light, and use retroreflective
tape or markings on equipment or clothing


Somehow, your firmly held belief that, dressing to be as invisible as possible, and getting your ass run over, while operating a  bicycle is not your fault, failed to be included in real world statistics and best practices, according to that publication. Huh. who knew?


What are you talking about? None of the statistics in that article demonstrated a direct link between bright clothing/reflective clothing/lights and accidents which is why I didn't quote any stats on the matter.  I do think it's a good idea to make yourself visible while cycling, and it's something that I regularly do.  It's also something I've been saying pretty consistently through this thread:

Is it a good idea to wear reflective clothing, a helmet, and use lights while cycling?  Yes, absolutely.

I haven't argued that risks can't be mitigated while riding.  Actually, I completely agree with that statement.  That's why I said that you should wear bright clothing, use a helmet, and have lights.

I'm totally for wearing stuff that will keep you safe.  I advise people to:
- always use lights, reflectors, reflective clothing if cycling at night or dusk.
- try to wear flouro clothing if it's rainy/overcast . . . it really does make you more visible.

Should you wear a helmet?  Sure.  Should you use lights?  Yep.

Yes, wear bright clothing and put lights on your bike.  Wear a helmet.  Pick streets that are safe to cycle on.  These are all good ideas and will likely increase your safety.

Really a bit of a straw man you're attacking, no?





It's also important to note that nearly half of all fatalities happened at night. Now obviously, getting struck by a vehicle at night is going to be highly dependent on visibility. However, as I'm sure you will attest, if you decide to dress in black, from head to toe, and ride at night, in the middle of a traffic lane, you are well within your rights as a cyclist. The law is on your side. So, in the magical world of Stuville, the person who accidentally runs your invisible ass flat is a criminal, and you have zero responsibility for the event.

Most places in North America have laws regarding bike lights and reflectors while cycling at night.  If you're cycling while ignoring the law (running red lights, cycling on the sidewalk, not using lights at night), then yeah . . . you are certainly to blame for an accident.  By the same token, if a driver is operating his/her automobile while ignoring the law (by speeding too quickly around blind corners, driving distracted, failing to yield right of way) and hits a cyclist . . . then the driver is certainly to blame for the accident.  That's what I've been saying consistently throughout this thread.  Why is this such a controversial concept to you?





I find this discussion of 'blaming the victim' a little confusing.   Are we concerned with 'blaming the victim' because the bicycle is always the victim and often blamed for the accident?

No.  I have pointed out several times in this thread the tendency for drivers who drive while breaking the law (distracted driving, driver faster than they are able to safely, failing to yield to slower moving traffic, passing unsafely, etc.) to blame accidents that they get into (or nearly get into with cyclists) on cyclists who are following the law.  That's a pretty clear cut case of blaming the victim.








Shared fault is found when the cyclist has put zero effort into addressing the realities of the area where they are riding, and how they appear and behave, compared to what can reasonably be expected of local motorists.

Wear bright clothing and put lights on your bike.  Wear a helmet.  Pick streets that are safe to cycle on.  Get to know times of day when cycling is safer.  These are all things that I do, and that I suggest others should do.  However, if local motorists cannot be reasonably expected to follow the law . . . then there is a really big problem.  We shouldn't just shrug our shoulders and accept that!


there are cases where a motorist may be technically 100% at fault, but the cyclist could of easily avoided the situation in the first place

Classic example of attempting to shift blame to the cyclist.  This despite the fact that you've just said that the motorist is admittedly 100% at fault for unsafe driving.

You end up dealing with a local cop who is faced with the fact that you were hit from behind, while riding in a pack, around a blind corner, dressed in a charcoal grey jersey, and no helmet, don't be surprised when all of your "rights as a bicyclist" are trumped by a cop who says to his partner, "what did this asshole expect was going to happen?".

Let's parse this hypothetical scenario we've been presented with for a second:

- hit from behind . . . which means that the automobile should have had time to stop if the driver was operating the vehicle safely
- riding in a pack . . . means that it would be even harder to claim the group of cyclists couldn't be seen.
- around a blind corner . . . honest question here, what is the acceptable action you're expecting from a cyclist when there's a blind corner?  Should they exit the road, dismount, then walk in the grass until they're past every right hand turn where there are trees?
- dressed in a grey jersey . . . so the entire group of cyclists were riding in identical grey jerseys?  And nobody had reflectors and lights on?  Has this ever happened in the history of a group ride?
- no helmet . . . how would a helmet have prevented the automobile from hitting the cyclist from behind?

But the cop says to his partner "what did this asshole expect was going to happen?".  This is some grade A blaming the victim.

Here's a similar hypothetical scenario:
You end up dealing with a local cop who is faced with the fact that you were grabbed from behind and raped, while walking at night, around a dark section of road, dressed in a short charcoal grey skirt, and not carrying mace and a rape whistle, don't be surprised when all of your "rights as a human being" are trumped by a cop who says to his partner, "what did this asshole expect was going to happen?".

Hopefully you're starting to feel a bit disgusted by the victim blaming.

paddedhat

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #205 on: November 27, 2017, 09:33:37 AM »
Twist as you wish stuyie. There is the real world, and your version. It is what it is. Being safe, visible and proactive is all you can do. Your version is a place where, as a cyclist, motorists aren't following the letter of the law and actively protecting you, therefore you are the victim, regardless.  I love all your "victim blaming" crap, and your need to whip up some bullshit about rape to justify yourself, FFS.............What's next? Will you be requiring a safe space here on the forum to protect your feelings?

dougules

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #206 on: November 27, 2017, 10:28:04 AM »
Twist as you wish stuyie. There is the real world, and your version. It is what it is. Being safe, visible and proactive is all you can do. Your version is a place where, as a cyclist, motorists aren't following the letter of the law and actively protecting you, therefore you are the victim, regardless.  I love all your "victim blaming" crap, and your need to whip up some bullshit about rape to justify yourself, FFS.............What's next? Will you be requiring a safe space here on the forum to protect your feelings?

You are apparently the one that needs a safe space for your feelings. 

paddedhat

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #207 on: November 27, 2017, 12:23:58 PM »
Twist as you wish stuyie. There is the real world, and your version. It is what it is. Being safe, visible and proactive is all you can do. Your version is a place where, as a cyclist, motorists aren't following the letter of the law and actively protecting you, therefore you are the victim, regardless.  I love all your "victim blaming" crap, and your need to whip up some bullshit about rape to justify yourself, FFS.............What's next? Will you be requiring a safe space here on the forum to protect your feelings?

You are apparently the one that needs a safe space for your feelings.
. Clearly, since I advocate for not taking responsibility  for your own behavior and personal safety. I create some delusional bullshit about "victim blaming" and I devalue women,  by comparing being raped to being a asshole while riding a bike. Got it. Glad you pointed that out. Thanks for the  valuable critique.

MOD NOTE: If you can't have calm, productive discourse, bow out of the thread.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 08:04:40 AM by arebelspy »

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #208 on: November 27, 2017, 12:51:56 PM »
Twist as you wish stuyie. There is the real world, and your version. It is what it is. Being safe, visible and proactive is all you can do. Your version is a place where, as a cyclist, motorists aren't following the letter of the law and actively protecting you, therefore you are the victim, regardless.  I love all your "victim blaming" crap, and your need to whip up some bullshit about rape to justify yourself, FFS.............What's next? Will you be requiring a safe space here on the forum to protect your feelings?

You are apparently the one that needs a safe space for your feelings.
. Clearly, since I advocate for not taking responsibility  for your own behavior and personal safety. I create some delusional bullshit about "victim blaming" and I devalue women,  by comparing being raped to being a asshole while riding a bike. Got it. Glad you pointed that out. Thanks for the  valuable critique.

You are clearly very emotional about this, but I'm not entirely sure why.

My comparison was an attempt to take the situation (a crime committed by someone in a position of strength against someone in a position of weakness who is then badly hurt) and show you why your responses weren't acceptable.  You should feel shame for defending a rapist by commenting on the clothing that a woman wears . . . just as you should feel shame for defending a motorist (who broke the law and caused an accident) by commenting on the clothing that the cyclist wears.  Even your comment "being a asshole while riding a bike" is really just a hair away from saying "just asking for it" . . . especially when your definition of being an asshole appears to mean using lights, with reflectors, cycling legally, but has a dark coloured jersey on.

You're acting a bit ridiculous here.

scottish

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #209 on: November 27, 2017, 03:52:30 PM »
I find the semantic differences small.

One the one hand PaddedHat and Just Joe think we should be safety aware and sensible.    That aren't saying bike riders are assholes, just that certain rural law enforcement personnel may think that way.

One the other hand, GuitarStv wants to use at-fault as a mechanism to get certain drivers to be more aware of their legal responsibilities.   It's pretty hard to argue against becoming better drivers.

Not being visible on a bike is a little bit like 'brake checking' an F-150 when you're driving a Yaris.    It may be the fault of the driver in the F-150 when he rear ends you, but you're still the one folded into an accordion in your sub-compact.    The insurance companies, or possibly the legal system, will sort out who's really at fault.

Hargrove

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #210 on: November 27, 2017, 04:29:32 PM »
The semantic differences are a values call on whatever one emphasizes.

Is the responsibility required of a car driver greater than that of a cyclist? Is there no difference? Is the responsibility greater on the party that most stands to get hurt?

Everyone in the thread can apparently agree drivers should drive well and bikers should be visible. Where it goes off the rails is where one says "but I get that there are too many drivers for all of them to be safe so bikers gotta be even more careful" or "it doesn't matter if the biker wasn't visible, it was the deathmachine pilot's fault."

Idealists (probably correctly) argue that tolerance of irresponsible behavior empowers it (intolerance of that behavior can reduce it).
Pragmatists (probably correctly) argue that irresponsible behavior is a stubborn feature. They would not bet their lives against it.
MMMers (probably correctly) argue that the bet against your life for not cycling is greater than the bet against your life for cycling (with proper safety gear!).

paddedhat

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #211 on: November 27, 2017, 04:40:29 PM »

You are clearly very emotional about this, but I'm not entirely sure why.

. . just as you should feel shame for defending a motorist (who broke the law and caused an accident) by commenting on the clothing that the cyclist wears. 


You are not sure, why because you have zero interest in reality, and even contradict yourself with what you claim is your behavior, and you beliefs on this topic.

First, lets move past the concept of "accident". This word is easily abused in that it infers two very wrong concepts. The first is that something occurred that is unavoidable, as in, "God's will" and if there are two parties involved, there is always a clearly defined perpetrator, who wronged a undeniably innocent victim, who suffered their unavoidable fate through no fault of their own.  The second issue with the word accident is that it assumes that it was essentially unpredictable, and that at least one party involved, could not of foreseen, engaged in behavior to avoid, or done something that could of created a slightly different set of conditions, that would of prevented it's occurrence. In reality, an accident is a culmination of a series of poor decisions, created by a lack of knowledge, experience, training, and preparation. Doesn't matter if you back the car into a pole, or get your ass run over while biking, in most cases YOU could of done something to potentially avoid the "accident" or improved your chances of a better outcome. Therefore even thinking of co-opting the term "victim blaming", which should be limited to the very serious issue of sexual abuses, and the having the gall to try to cobble up some sort of rape analogy, to defend the misuse of the term, is beyond fucked up.

In the case of road biking, it's obvious that a lot of common behavior is not done with any though toward self preservation, or accident prevention.  In the city, red light and stop sign running, riding the wrong way on one way streets,  riding on busy sidewalks, etc...are extremely common sights. When it comes to rural riding, there are other issues, from riding in groups that include multiple riders, shoulder to shoulder, speeding, assuming that others are aware and agree that you have the right of way, etc... blocking traffic because "you know your rights" etc....   Every one of these moves places you in a lot more danger than if you are being defensive, assuming that motorists are not paying attention and are trying to run you over, just because THEY drive like idiots. Other issues include evaluating the roads you are on. I live in one of the largest rural tourist draws in North America. Every year, eight million visitors come to our county, and many are driving roads they are unfamiliar with, and not paying attention as they gawk at how plain sect folks live their lives. This all happens on a complex maze of winding, hilly, shoulderless, antiquated back roads. IMHO, it's a place that I would only ride in an extremely defensive manner, and not at peak times like nice sunny Saturday afternoons. That said, if there are big packs of peloton. bros out there, taking the road over, it's whenever fast, clueless tourist traffic is at it's peak.

 I believe that there are many accidents where there is no clear victim, and when it comes to bike-vehicle collisions, many times, the outcome could of been much different if the rider had taken the time to ride like everybody was out to get them, like there wasn't a single driver out their who gave a rat's ass about the law, and their rights as a cyclist, and they were actually clearly visible. There is a big difference between being dressed in all black, no helmet, no lights, no strobe etc, tucked tight, speeding down a steep, rural hill, when a car that doesn't even see you makes a left in front of you, and replaying the same scene, when you have a high-viz jersey and helmet, and an LED strobe on the front, and the left turner waits for you to pass.

The most common and bizarre rant from the bike crowd is the topic of laws.  There is an assumption that bike rights and laws have meaning, and a dramatic bitch-fest flares, whenever your crowd has been disrespected. The fact that the vehicle driving public, and much of law enforcement, has little understanding, knowledge, patience or concern for any of that, seems to be of little interest to this crowd. "I have every RIGHT to use the whole lane. You rounded the blind corner, and struck me as I was straddling the center line and it's you fault. the law is on my side".  FFS, it's a really defective way to view your own self -preservation, and could get you killed, but it some sort of twisted militancy with your crowd. Oddly, there is a bit of "do as I say, not as I do" in your case. You continually agree that wearing bright clothing, helmets, and lights are all important, then default to you obsession with lawless motorists. In my comment about the idiot I observed in head to toe gray, biking in low light conditions, being real vulnerable to being run over by the next little old lady driving by,  you immediately comment that the driver who doesn't see the rider is at fault (which is bullshit) and that they need to be punished. But you would never do something this stupid, would you?   Hopefully, for you and a lot of your fellow aggressively angry cyclists, a lot of this mindless blather is just blowing off steam. Since much of what you believe about motorists, the law and your rights, has little to do with reality, and is of little concern to your next of kin. 

BTW, I will happily remove any reference to your use of the rape analogy, if you will be so kind as to scrub it from your post. It is unacceptable, and I find it to be horribly offensive. Given my high tolerance for most offenses, I doubt that I am alone.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 04:48:28 PM by paddedhat »

RidetheRain

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #212 on: November 27, 2017, 05:52:02 PM »
The fact that the vehicle driving public, and much of law enforcement, has little understanding, knowledge, patience or concern for any of that, seems to be of little interest to this crowd.

I'll admit to being one of those people up until recently. I moved from Illinois to California which required taking the written driving exam in California. Typical stuff, but I was thrown by a question on the test asking about the legality of motorcycles driving in the double yellow between the regular highway lanes and the carpool lanes.

I was thrown first because I had no idea (I assumed it was illegal. I was wrong). Then I was thrown because I didn't understand why on earth it mattered since I was not taking the motorcycle license exam. Now that I am enlightened, (read: rides a bike in public) I can absolutely understand the need for people to know these laws. I only wish there were non-motorized bicycle (analog bikes?) laws on the test too. I can completely understand why drivers don't consider the rights and safety of bikers when the exam doesn't require that knowledge. I had a conversation with someone that thought all muscle-powered bikes needed to cross at crosswalks regardless of circumstance.

Turns out educating the public is important. Who knew?

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #213 on: November 28, 2017, 08:00:44 AM »

You are clearly very emotional about this, but I'm not entirely sure why.

. . just as you should feel shame for defending a motorist (who broke the law and caused an accident) by commenting on the clothing that the cyclist wears. 


You are not sure, why because you have zero interest in reality, and even contradict yourself with what you claim is your behavior, and you beliefs on this topic.

First, lets move past the concept of "accident". This word is easily abused in that it infers two very wrong concepts. The first is that something occurred that is unavoidable, as in, "God's will" and if there are two parties involved, there is always a clearly defined perpetrator, who wronged a undeniably innocent victim, who suffered their unavoidable fate through no fault of their own.  The second issue with the word accident is that it assumes that it was essentially unpredictable, and that at least one party involved, could not of foreseen, engaged in behavior to avoid, or done something that could of created a slightly different set of conditions, that would of prevented it's occurrence. In reality, an accident is a culmination of a series of poor decisions, created by a lack of knowledge, experience, training, and preparation. Doesn't matter if you back the car into a pole, or get your ass run over while biking, in most cases YOU could of done something to potentially avoid the "accident" or improved your chances of a better outcome. Therefore even thinking of co-opting the term "victim blaming", which should be limited to the very serious issue of sexual abuses, and the having the gall to try to cobble up some sort of rape analogy, to defend the misuse of the term, is beyond fucked up.

In the case of road biking, it's obvious that a lot of common behavior is not done with any though toward self preservation, or accident prevention.  In the city, red light and stop sign running, riding the wrong way on one way streets,  riding on busy sidewalks, etc...are extremely common sights. When it comes to rural riding, there are other issues, from riding in groups that include multiple riders, shoulder to shoulder, speeding, assuming that others are aware and agree that you have the right of way, etc... blocking traffic because "you know your rights" etc....   Every one of these moves places you in a lot more danger than if you are being defensive, assuming that motorists are not paying attention and are trying to run you over, just because THEY drive like idiots. Other issues include evaluating the roads you are on. I live in one of the largest rural tourist draws in North America. Every year, eight million visitors come to our county, and many are driving roads they are unfamiliar with, and not paying attention as they gawk at how plain sect folks live their lives. This all happens on a complex maze of winding, hilly, shoulderless, antiquated back roads. IMHO, it's a place that I would only ride in an extremely defensive manner, and not at peak times like nice sunny Saturday afternoons. That said, if there are big packs of peloton. bros out there, taking the road over, it's whenever fast, clueless tourist traffic is at it's peak.

 I believe that there are many accidents where there is no clear victim, and when it comes to bike-vehicle collisions, many times, the outcome could of been much different if the rider had taken the time to ride like everybody was out to get them, like there wasn't a single driver out their who gave a rat's ass about the law, and their rights as a cyclist, and they were actually clearly visible. There is a big difference between being dressed in all black, no helmet, no lights, no strobe etc, tucked tight, speeding down a steep, rural hill, when a car that doesn't even see you makes a left in front of you, and replaying the same scene, when you have a high-viz jersey and helmet, and an LED strobe on the front, and the left turner waits for you to pass.

The most common and bizarre rant from the bike crowd is the topic of laws.  There is an assumption that bike rights and laws have meaning, and a dramatic bitch-fest flares, whenever your crowd has been disrespected. The fact that the vehicle driving public, and much of law enforcement, has little understanding, knowledge, patience or concern for any of that, seems to be of little interest to this crowd. "I have every RIGHT to use the whole lane. You rounded the blind corner, and struck me as I was straddling the center line and it's you fault. the law is on my side".  FFS, it's a really defective way to view your own self -preservation, and could get you killed, but it some sort of twisted militancy with your crowd. Oddly, there is a bit of "do as I say, not as I do" in your case. You continually agree that wearing bright clothing, helmets, and lights are all important, then default to you obsession with lawless motorists. In my comment about the idiot I observed in head to toe gray, biking in low light conditions, being real vulnerable to being run over by the next little old lady driving by,  you immediately comment that the driver who doesn't see the rider is at fault (which is bullshit) and that they need to be punished. But you would never do something this stupid, would you?   Hopefully, for you and a lot of your fellow aggressively angry cyclists, a lot of this mindless blather is just blowing off steam. Since much of what you believe about motorists, the law and your rights, has little to do with reality, and is of little concern to your next of kin. 

BTW, I will happily remove any reference to your use of the rape analogy, if you will be so kind as to scrub it from your post. It is unacceptable, and I find it to be horribly offensive. Given my high tolerance for most offenses, I doubt that I am alone.

Again, I get that this is coming from a really emotional place for you.  You've made multiple incorrect assumptions about me in this post.  If you're able to calm down and quit with the personal attacks, we can keep discussing this.  Otherwise, I don't think there's much reason to continue.





I find the semantic differences small.

One the one hand PaddedHat and Just Joe think we should be safety aware and sensible.    That aren't saying bike riders are assholes, just that certain rural law enforcement personnel may think that way.

One the other hand, GuitarStv wants to use at-fault as a mechanism to get certain drivers to be more aware of their legal responsibilities.   It's pretty hard to argue against becoming better drivers.

Not being visible on a bike is a little bit like 'brake checking' an F-150 when you're driving a Yaris.    It may be the fault of the driver in the F-150 when he rear ends you, but you're still the one folded into an accordion in your sub-compact.    The insurance companies, or possibly the legal system, will sort out who's really at fault.

I'm clearly not explaining what I want to very well.  Let me try one more time:

Cyclists should be safety aware and sensible.  Cyclists should use safety equipment, make themselves as visible as possible, cycle defensively, and choose routes to maximize safety.  Drivers need to be aware of the law, and follow it.

Why then the argument from me?  Because a cyclist who is following the rules of the road, wearing a helmet, cycling defensively, wearing neon/reflective clothing, using bright front/rear lights can still easily be killed by a driver who is speeding around a blind corner too quickly.  At the end of the day, the driver of the vehicle is going to determine whether or not the cyclist survives.  This is true if the cyclist is wearing all grey on a cloudy day, or if the cyclist is lit up like a Christmas Tree in the middle of the desert.  I can't accept that cyclists should be to blame for the actions of motorists because I don't believe that a cyclist who follows every possible safety precaution will be able to avoid all accidents from negligent drivers.  I do believe that a focused and aware driver can avoid all accidents with cyclists.

This is not a cars vs. bikes thing at all.  I drove to work yesterday, I cycled today.  I split my transportation between my bike and car pretty evenly these days.  There are dangerous things commonly done every day by people in automobiles (driving while looking at phones, driving while playing with the radio, driving too fast for the conditions, out-driving your visibility, speeding, running red lights/stop signs, failing to signal) and there are dangerous things commonly done every day by people on bikes (running red lights/stop signs, cycling on sidewalks, cycling the wrong way on a street, cycling at night without lights, cycling aggressively in traffic, etc.).  Both are frustrating and annoying to see.  Only one mode of transportation will cause death and injury though.  This is why I believe that the onus for safety must always lie with the automobile.

To reiterate, this does not mean that it's a good idea to wear all black without any lights on your bike on a rainy day.  You should always do whatever you can to keep yourself safe.  But that's the key difference.  On a bike, you're doing things to keep yourself safe.  In a car you are doing things to keep every other road user safe.  Onus therefore must lie with the driver.  The law tends to recognize this, which is why in the types of cases we've been discussing during this thread the automobile is legally at fault.

paddedhat

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #214 on: November 28, 2017, 08:40:33 AM »

Again, I get that this is coming from a really emotional place for you.  You've made multiple incorrect assumptions about me in this post.  If you're able to calm down and quit with the personal attacks, we can keep discussing this.  Otherwise, I don't think there's much reason to continue.


It would be easy to claim that I made multiple incorrect assumptions, if your contribution to this thread were a few sentences. In fact, it's far more voluminous than that, and I, and others, are reacting to your clearly stated beliefs and claims.

In the end you still are promoting a completely baseless concept that "a focused and aware driver can avoid all accidents with cyclists". This is why it's east to get really passionate about this issue.  That claim, your thinking, and the strongly held belief of many in the cycling community is a huge problem, and creates a climate where YOU are a contributing factor to what you erroneously claim is an "accident" , and when the event takes place, YOU have zero liability. It really doesn't fly in the real world. Your closing comment, once again reinforces your belief that much of this is about laws, regulation, etc.... I claim the opposite. When it comes to motorists, and their knowledge of laws regarding the rights of cyclists, and overall awareness of the importance of being aware of cyclists on the road, it is basically non-existent. In reality the average driver views cycling as an annoyance that is impeding their travel, and a significant minority are openly hostile to the fact that you are even on "their" road. Given this, even mentioning the fact that drivers have a duty to follow the law and protect your interest is either wishful  or magical thinking. It's really no different that walking in the bad part of an American city and ending up with a gun in your face. You can loudly protest that the area the perpetrator is standing is a gun free school zone, so his behavior is not allowed. At that point you are either going to part with your valuables, or get shot. The law, once again, is of little concern to your next of kin.

Finally, you have an issue with personal attacks, but none with using "victim blaming" and rape analogies, even when I politely asked you to remove them. Odd, that you reserve such high moral ground for yourself, while engaging in such slimy behavior?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 08:44:15 AM by paddedhat »

HenryDavid

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #215 on: November 28, 2017, 09:29:10 AM »
Biking IS dangerous. It's also fantastic.
For 40+ years I've been doing it year round, in Canadian winters. So far so good.
But you gotta remember that every moment out there is REAL: the car I don't see because I didn't shoulder check could actually kill me. The car that didn't see me because I dressed in black--ditto.
As I get older I make different choices. No more riding on ice next to city buses! I know my hearing is worse, especially when it's windy. So that affects route choices. Etc.
Just keep your priorities clear at all times. Mine (in order) are:
-staying alive and uninjured
-enjoying biking
-claiming my rights
Happy pedalling!

Slee_stack

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #216 on: November 28, 2017, 01:51:19 PM »
Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.

That sums up my perspective on how a cyclist should view and act on their 'legal rights'.


The most ridiculous extreme scenario would be a cyclist dressed fully stealth from head to toe on a pitch black night with no lights or reflective materials... in the center of a lane.

A car hits them from behind coming around a turn.   The cyclist dies, but their family wins in court.  It was the driver's fault.  OK.

Throwing the legality aspect out the window...is the cyclist fully beyond reproach in this scenario?   

Are we still allowed to ridicule any of the cyclist's choices under the circumstances or would that also be considered victim blaming? 

Maybe that's what bothers some.  I think its the suggestion (?) that if law says XXX, the 'victim' is automatically forgiven all personal accountability...no matter how many poor choices may have increased the likelihood of a bad scenario.

If we are to be THAT careful as to not 'victim blame', how are people to learn that maybe, JUST MAYBE, they can take steps to be safer and reduce their chances to be a victim at all.

The world is unfair.  Laws are not followed 100% of the time.  Human beings are imperfect.  Some are criminals.

Just because you can walk through a dangerous section of town at night doesn't mean you necessarily should.  Yes, you probably have a right to.  Unfortunately, you also might become a victim.  And its not your fault.  But was it worth it?


GuitarStv

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #217 on: November 28, 2017, 02:53:00 PM »
Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.

That sums up my perspective on how a cyclist should view and act on their 'legal rights'.


The most ridiculous extreme scenario would be a cyclist dressed fully stealth from head to toe on a pitch black night with no lights or reflective materials... in the center of a lane.

A car hits them from behind coming around a turn.   The cyclist dies, but their family wins in court.  It was the driver's fault.  OK.

Throwing the legality aspect out the window...is the cyclist fully beyond reproach in this scenario?   

That's a bit of an odd situation you've come up with.  Most places that I'm aware of have rules regarding reflectors and lights on a bike after night, so the family wouldn't win in court and it would be considered the cyclist's fault.  Around here, a cyclist is required to cycle within three feet of the right hand side of the road unless a hazard exists, or they are making a lane change . . . so again, the cyclist (or his family) wouldn't win in court.  In both of those cases, the cyclist is pretty clearly at fault.

Throwing the legality aspect out the window is generally a bad idea.  The rules of the road exist so that everyone can co-exist with a minimum of carnage.  If we want to change your scenario to one that's realistic:

* A cyclist is dressed fully in black from head to toe on a pitch black night with lights and reflective materials, close to the edge of the road.
 A car hits him/her from behind coming around a turn.   The cyclist dies, but their family wins in court.  It was the driver's fault.

There are certainly things that the cyclist could have done to have mitigated the risk of being hit by a car.  None of them would have prevented an accident if the driver of the car was negligent enough though.  That's why at the end of the day the responsibility for safely navigating the automobile rests upon the driver of the car.



Are we still allowed to ridicule any of the cyclist's choices under the circumstances or would that also be considered victim blaming? 

Maybe that's what bothers some.  I think its the suggestion (?) that if law says XXX, the 'victim' is automatically forgiven all personal accountability...no matter how many poor choices may have increased the likelihood of a bad scenario.

If we are to be THAT careful as to not 'victim blame', how are people to learn that maybe, JUST MAYBE, they can take steps to be safer and reduce their chances to be a victim at all.

The world is unfair.  Laws are not followed 100% of the time.  Human beings are imperfect.  Some are criminals.

Just because you can walk through a dangerous section of town at night doesn't mean you necessarily should.  Yes, you probably have a right to.  Unfortunately, you also might become a victim.  And its not your fault.  But was it worth it?

There's an implicit and incorrect assumption when you start blaming the victim for the actions of another.  The myth is that bad things don't happen to people who take precautions.  I get it, it's a comforting thing to think.  It's not true though.

Usually this sort of thing happens when someone is doing something innocuous that they like.  Maybe they're out walking late at night, maybe they're riding a bike, maybe they've stopped off to go to a restaurant in an unfamiliar part of town.  The person gets raped, hit by a careless driver, or mugged.  In each case it is certainly true that there are things that a person can do (don't go out at night if you're female, always dress like a traffic cone, don't ever go to areas of town you haven't researched) to reduce the chance of the crime being perpetrated against them.  Maybe taking these actions would prevent the crime from happening, but maybe they wouldn't.  At the end of the day, the rapist, negligent driver, or mugger is responsible for the crime committed.

Is it worth it?  I guess that's a personal decision of trade-offs to make.  I think that telling a woman she can't go out after dark is way more severe and limiting than recommending that someone wear bright stuff while out cycling.  That's why I would recommend the latter, and not the former.  It's very important to remember though . . . taking precautions helps, but you will never get enough control over another's actions to prevent them from doing something bad to you.  That's why blaming the victim is a bad argument to take.




There's also a final aspect of blaming the victim that I find difficult to come to a conclusion on.  How exactly do you decide that the cyclist has done enough to no longer receive your blame?

To give an example . . . if I'm riding at night, I'll run a rear and front light.  Riding after dark is pretty much only during the winter for me, so I'm wearing my cycling jacket which is a neon orange and has some reflective patches on it.  I usually have a neon orange backpack on my back.  My bike and helmet both have SOLAS retro-reflective tape.  I cycle the safest route that exists between my house and my work.  I follow the rules of the road, signal my lane changes, and stay to the right of the lane as long as it's safe to do so.  That seems to be reasonable as far as personal safety . . . but is it?

Is this enough?

What is enough?

- Sometimes in the winter if it's snowing I'll run two tail-lights and two headlights for extra visibilty, but I don't do this regularly.
- I'd certainly be safer from distracted drivers if I never cycled to work at all.
- Today was a freakishly warm November evening.  15 degrees C (59 F).  It was too warm to wear my bright jacket, so I cycled home just wearing my red, blue, and black long sleeved jersey.  It's not as bright as the jacket.
- In the summer on a sunny day, I don't use a front or rear light.  I don't always wear fluorescent jerseys.

Which of these actions makes me responsible for a distracted driver hitting me?  All of them?  None of them?  What unwritten level of safety gear is necessary for me to be considered safe?  Is there ever a point where a car can hit me and you'll say "Yeah, that car that was breaking the law is probably responsible for what happened?", or do we just keep moving the goal posts?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 07:57:04 PM by GuitarStv »

ACyclist

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #218 on: November 28, 2017, 03:28:44 PM »
Biking is dangerous, if you like to schralp.

:)




paddedhat

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #219 on: November 28, 2017, 04:41:17 PM »
Do you believe in this odd victim mentality in other aspects of your life, of is this just limited to some strange ideas about cycling? 
 
If society degrades to the point that everybody is a victim, and everything that happens to them is not their fault, but obviously an unavoidable "accident",  how long do you think society will continue to function? 

Does it occur to you that being a victim is pretty much antithetical to the values, and consequential success, of many MMMers here? 

How did you develop this obsession with rule of law, and why, absent that it does anything to improve your personal safety while cycling,  is crime and punishment such a theme in your writing on this topic?

In the states, most law enforcement is local, and has extraordinary discretion when it comes to charging anybody with motor vehicle violations. Your claim that every driver is capable of avoiding every accident with a cyclist is something that a typical LEO in the states would laugh at, especially if they are in a city patrol car, and watch dozens of cyclists breaking the law, every day. Is there some notable difference in cyclist behavior, and  how this is handled in Canada? Because here, you have to be pretty blatantly guilty if you tangle with a cyclist, as in DUI, obviously struck a biker who was doing nothing wrong and clearly visible, hit a child while texting, etc..... to be immediately charged. If  there are mitigating circumstances, it's pretty common to list the incident as "pending investigation" for while, then close the report. I guarantee that here, if you hit a rider at night, who in the traffic lane, and the operator wasn't using lighting and "dressed like a traffic cone" to quote you, there had better be some pretty compelling evidence as to the drivers guilt, or the only problem the driver will ever face is potential litigation.


arebelspy

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Re: Biking is dangerous
« Reply #220 on: November 29, 2017, 08:05:49 AM »
MOD NOTE: I think this thread has run its course, people have said their piece, and it is no longer productive or valuable.

Locking thread.

Please PM me, or another mod, with any questions.

Cheers!
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