Author Topic: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!  (Read 28207 times)

kendallf

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I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« on: February 05, 2013, 06:34:21 PM »
So I'm on a training ride, going hard near my house today.  I'm on a slight downhill, nearing 30 mph. I see a giant SUV in the opposite turn lane, with a woman driving. I think, surely she sees me.. she proceeds to make a U-turn into both lanes of traffic and the bike lane. The SUV is so large she can't make the turn and comes to a stop.

I pile on the brakes so hard I'm skidding the rear and just barely manage to avoid her. I'm screaming, of course. She drives a few feet and stops in the lane. When I pull up beside her and call her stupid for risking my life, she screeches "I'm in a car! I have the right of way!"

No, you don't.  And I hope the kid in the car with you doesn't pick up your sense of reckless, stupid entitlement.

marty998

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 06:41:22 PM »
Most light aircraft have a turning circle smaller than that. How can an SUV doing a U turn parked across 2 lanes and a bike lane have any sort of right of way. WHat driving school did she go to

Idiot deserves a facepunch

Paul der Krake

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 07:07:56 PM »
WHat driving school did she go to
Nobody goes to driving school in the US. You only need a pulse and an even number of limbs to be allowed behind the wheel.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 07:32:11 PM »
From a purely physics standpoint, cars/SUVs/trucks ALWAYS have the right of way.  I am always shocked when people can't see me in my huge-o work truck, so I never expect people to see me when I am a pedestrian.

However, I'd have to put some rockets on my shoes to be able to go fast enough, to have trouble stopping, like you did ;)

I'm glad that you were able to stop, and yes, that woman was an idiot.

I would have been apologizing profusely if I were her.

I had an 'encounter' with a cyclist when I was driving my truck last year, and although it wasn't my fault, I still felt really bad.  I was sitting at a stop light, and the cyclist was leaning on the back passenger side of my truck (instead of putting both feet on the ground).  I was turning right (which is legal here on a red light), so when the traffic cleared, I shoulder-checked to make sure I wasn't going to hit anyone in my beast of a vehicle, and started to move forward.  I saw the cyclist at the rear on my right side when I looked, and he was clearly stopped, but I didn't notice that he was leaning on me, which was unfortunate, because he fell over on to the curb when I started to drive.  Another cyclist that was sitting on my driver's side started yelling at me, as soon as I drove, so I didn't run the guy over or anything, but I felt bad for him.  That being said, cyclists leaning on vehicles at stop lights isn't a common practice here. I've talked to a number of my cycling friends about it, and they all agree that it is a dangerous thing to do, and that it wasn't something I should have known to look for.

I try to be even more aware of cyclists since then; Some of them in our city don't pay any attention to traffic lights, and will come zooming out in between cars stopped at lights, and run through the intersection on a red light.  It always scares me when someone does that, because it would be much easier to get hit doing that.  I've seen a few near-misses with cyclists coming up the curb side past cars that are trying to turn right on red lights as well.

sol

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 08:30:01 PM »
I no longer harbor any pretense that I have the right of way on my bike.  Too many homicidal drivers to be anything other than purely defensive at all times.   If you ride regularly in traffic in any major city, you will eventually get hit.

marty998

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 12:26:11 AM »
Sometimes I think cyclists are the proverbial "new kid at school" and have to be on their best behaviour, whereas car drivers can get away with anything.

The worst car drivers are not the blind as a bat ones who think they own the road. It is the idiots who think its fun to scare you by swerving dangerously close to you and pull out of the way at the last minute whilst their drunk idiot mates hang out the window laughing.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 12:31:20 AM by marty998 »

sol

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 01:34:42 AM »
The worst car drivers are not the blind as a bat ones who think they own the road. It is the idiots who think its fun to scare you by swerving dangerously close to you and pull out of the way at the last minute whilst their drunk idiot mates hang out the window laughing.

I'm also a big fan of the lady who passes me every morning on my way to work; when she times it just right, she she can floor it off the red light at which we're both waiting, hit 35 mph in half a block, then slam on the brakes and cut in front of me to park in the alley at her favorite coffee shop.  This happens with sufficient regularity that it no longer surprises me.

I don't so much mind the occasional random shouting (e.g. "get off the road, hippie! roads are for cars!") because that I can shake off.  I mind the people who endanger my life by behaving in ways they would never even consider if I were in a car.

Last spring, on our city's "bike to work day" I was sitting with another cyclist at a red light on a one way street, when a city garbage truck made an illegal left turn onto my street going the wrong way.  He couldn't quite make the corner, so he rolls down the window and starts shouting at me to get out of his way and on to the sidewalk so he can finish his turn.  What are the odds that we would have asked a parked car to drive on the sidewalk so that he could make an illegal turn onto a one way street?

I wrote to my city councilman over that one.

kendallf

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 04:14:33 AM »

I don't so much mind the occasional random shouting (e.g. "get off the road, hippie! roads are for cars!") because that I can shake off.  I mind the people who endanger my life by behaving in ways they would never even consider if I were in a car.

I keep a sense of humor about it most of the time; I ride too many miles to stay pissed over every incident.  The yelling ones are funny because most of the time I can only hear snatches of what they're saying anyway "..uck off the.." and I can play guessing games as to which cuss words they were shouting.

With the truly dangerous ones, the adrenaline rush makes getting angry almost unavoidable.  I can tell people about such incidents, and they play Monday morning quarterback, critiquing my responses, but it's much easier to be calm and rational when you haven't just had to dodge a serious accident at 30 mph.  :-)

Milkman666

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 06:47:07 AM »
There's being right, and there's being dead. You gotta have yer head on a swivel out there!

jpo

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 07:29:59 AM »
My route includes crossing a major road. Last time I crossed it, I was first in line to go through the light. As the light turned green, I rode in the center of the lane straight through the intersection. The truck behind me decided to swerve around me to pass. :-/

zhelud

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 07:35:24 AM »
I have to say- I ride my bike to work almost every day and I encounter almost nothing but courtesy from drivers. They give me room when they pass, they wave me through intersections even when they don't have to, etc. I try to be as courteous as I can in return. There are always a few a-hole drivers - and bikers- but they are in the minority.

I do see a lot of distracted driving, though- texting, etc. Not good.

Khao

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 07:50:09 AM »
I've biked to work a whole summer and from my experience, the dangerous ones on the road are the cyclists, not the drivers!

Stop signs? Not for bikes, suckas!
Red lights? Don't even need to slow down
There is a bike lane but you prefer the sidewalk/the street? Sure, go ahead.
A ton of "I don't know how to ride a bike but I do it anyway"
Old lady in a wheelchair blocking the bike lane for everyone...

Montreal is very bike-friendly and so there are tons of cyclists on the roads and since I've done both bike to work and drive to work, I'd say that there is a higher ratio of douchebag cyclists than there are douchebag drivers in my city at least. I can't believe we don't have more bike-related death each year.

venkol

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 07:59:57 AM »
I've biked to work a whole summer and from my experience, the dangerous ones on the road are the cyclists, not the drivers!

Stop signs? Not for bikes, suckas!
Red lights? Don't even need to slow down
There is a bike lane but you prefer the sidewalk/the street? Sure, go ahead.
A ton of "I don't know how to ride a bike but I do it anyway"
Old lady in a wheelchair blocking the bike lane for everyone...

Montreal is very bike-friendly and so there are tons of cyclists on the roads and since I've done both bike to work and drive to work, I'd say that there is a higher ratio of douchebag cyclists than there are douchebag drivers in my city at least. I can't believe we don't have more bike-related death each year.

This.  I feel bicyclist are much worse than drivers, especially when they are cycling in the middle of the road pretending they are a car and back up traffic.  Cyclists also don't seem to understand that sometimes cars turn right and going full speed in the bike lane through the red light is bound up to get you hit.  I'm sure they would blame the driver as well.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 08:14:33 AM »
My route includes crossing a major road. Last time I crossed it, I was first in line to go through the light. As the light turned green, I rode in the center of the lane straight through the intersection. The truck behind me decided to swerve around me to pass. :-/

Uggh.  That makes me shiver!

I'm glad that I'm not the only person who feels like some cyclists are breaking the road rules though, by not obeying street signs and lights.

mustachecat

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2013, 08:36:54 AM »
I would love to bike to work, and it's totally doable distance-wise and most of the route is covered by bike lanes... but yeah, I can't get over the idea that biking in the city is a death wish.

Do y'all have ghost bikes where you live? It's where they paint bikes white and chain them up to near where cyclists were killed. I saw this one last night--a little kid's bike, memorializing a little boy who was killed. (And yes, he had a parent with him, and yes, they had the right of way; it was a mail truck turning.) Chilling.

We also have a problem with rule-breaking cyclists, but assholes are universal.

Forcus

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2013, 09:23:31 AM »

We also have a problem with rule-breaking cyclists, but assholes are universal.

This. And it applies to so many areas of life!

destron

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2013, 09:26:07 AM »

This.  I feel bicyclist are much worse than drivers, especially when they are cycling in the middle of the road pretending they are a car and back up traffic. 

Cyclists have just as much legal right to be in the lane as you do.

going full speed in the bike lane through the red light is bound up to get you hit.

They also have to obey all rules of the road just like a car.

GuitarStv

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2013, 09:32:07 AM »
I would love to bike to work, and it's totally doable distance-wise and most of the route is covered by bike lanes... but yeah, I can't get over the idea that biking in the city is a death wish.

Do y'all have ghost bikes where you live? It's where they paint bikes white and chain them up to near where cyclists were killed. I saw this one last night--a little kid's bike, memorializing a little boy who was killed. (And yes, he had a parent with him, and yes, they had the right of way; it was a mail truck turning.) Chilling.

We also have a problem with rule-breaking cyclists, but assholes are universal.

There is some danger associated with cycling . . . but it's not huge.  You pay attention, follow the rules of the road, make yourself visible (reflectors and lights) and should be safe 99% of the time.  Just don't do unexpected stuff, and realize that car drivers are human and make mistakes.  You have to remember that we all have vivid images in our minds of the scary stuff that happens, but few of us remember the thousands of miles of uneventful cycling as clearly.  Biking in the city is not as risky as people like to make out.

I bike in the city to work a few times a week, and 98% of my route is on the road with no bike lanes.  I also bike when it's raining, snowing, foggy, and dark.  Not dead yet .  .  .

jpo

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2013, 09:39:18 AM »
There is a bike lane but you prefer the sidewalk/the street? Sure, go ahead.
This.  I feel bicyclist are much worse than drivers, especially when they are cycling in the middle of the road pretending they are a car and back up traffic.
There are reasons for taking up the middle of the lane, like not getting sideswiped as someone tries to dangerously pass.

Quote from: http://bicyclesafe.com/
Take the whole lane when appropriate.
It's often safer to take the whole lane, or at least ride a little bit to the left, rather than hug the right curb. Here's why:

  • Cars at intersections ahead of you can see you better if you're squarely in the road rather than on the extreme edge where you're easily overlooked.
  • Taking the lane prevents cars from passing you too closely on narrow roadways.
  • Riding a bit to the left prevents you from being a victim of the door prize.

BlueMR2

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2013, 10:11:57 AM »
I've biked to work a whole summer and from my experience, the dangerous ones on the road are the cyclists, not the drivers!

Stop signs? Not for bikes, suckas!
Red lights? Don't even need to slow down

I've quit doing group rides because of that.  These days I'll only ride solo or with trusted friends.  Unfortunately the bulk of the cyclists I've met have a complete disregard for the rules of the road.

dragoncar

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2013, 10:26:13 AM »

This.  I feel bicyclist are much worse than drivers, especially when they are cycling in the middle of the road pretending they are a car and back up traffic. 

Cyclists have just as much legal right to be in the lane as you do.

going full speed in the bike lane through the red light is bound up to get you hit.

They also have to obey all rules of the road just like a car.

Yeah, and usually the rules for cars is if there are 5 cars behind you then you have to let them pass.

I agree that assholes are universal.  However, an asshole with a car is far more dangerous (to others) than one on a bike.  In turn, the one on the bike is more dangerous than an asshole on foot.  Many pedestrians are assholes, but they get the short end of the stick because they can't walk in the road, but many cyclists use the sidewalk.


destron

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2013, 11:02:28 AM »
Yeah, and usually the rules for cars is if there are 5 cars behind you then you have to let them pass.

I agree that assholes are universal.  However, an asshole with a car is far more dangerous (to others) than one on a bike.  In turn, the one on the bike is more dangerous than an asshole on foot.  Many pedestrians are assholes, but they get the short end of the stick because they can't walk in the road, but many cyclists use the sidewalk.

Not legally, they don't, but courtesy is definitely the best course of action for all people on the road. The delay caused by a bicycle seems longer than it really is because, once a car does pass a bicycle, they quickly catch up to the traffic ahead of them. There was no actual time lost. To quote labreform.org:

"The actual delay to traffic from a bicycle is almost always trivial.  Most traffic is able to pass with no impact other than slowing a bit and perhaps changing lanes.  Occasionally, a passing driver must wait a few seconds in order to fit a gap for safe passing.  Very rarely is the wait as much as 30 seconds.

Remember, the passing driver needs only to slow to the speed of the bicycle.  Typically, the bicycle is traveling at half the speed limit, so the delay is half what it seems.  Then after passing, the driver can go faster in the open space ahead of the bicycle.  Most soon catch up to their earlier place in the traffic queue.  This means the real delay is usually zero.

I often see someone pass me in a huff, and then shortly the brake lights come on as that driver catches up to other traffic.  The motorist will perceive that I caused a delay.  The reality is there was no delay.  The presence of my bicycle simply redistributed the delays already present due to the other traffic.

Both cyclists and motorists must use courtesy on the roads.  Better driving by all improves safety and allows efficient traffic flow."

Emphasis is mine. The worst bicyclists I see are usually teenagers on fixies (of course with no helmets). They often assume everyone is going to stop and do a really poor job of watching out for their own safety. I always assume that no one is going to stop, even if the light is turning red. I just assume that the first car is going to run the light and run me over.

I have also ridden out with critical mass around a dozen times. In my experience, the ratio is 1/2 bicycle enthusiasts/evangelists and 1/2 fixie teenagers. Some thuggery has occurred on the rides and it really turned me off to the organization.

madgeylou

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2013, 11:32:08 AM »
I have to say- I ride my bike to work almost every day and I encounter almost nothing but courtesy from drivers. They give me room when they pass, they wave me through intersections even when they don't have to, etc. I try to be as courteous as I can in return. There are always a few a-hole drivers - and bikers- but they are in the minority.

I do see a lot of distracted driving, though- texting, etc. Not good.

yes the texting/talking/drinking coffee and laughing while operating a machine capable of being a lethal weapon is terrifying!

i wonder, though, since your experience of bike riding seems like mine (people seem pretty respectful) -- are you a woman? because i've read about something called "the mary poppins effect," where people on bikes who are ladies / dressed in street clothes instead of biking gear / riding an upright bicycle get treated with a lot more respect than dudes / people on road bikes/ people who look like hardcore bikers.

tomsang

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2013, 12:45:17 PM »


There is some danger associated with cycling . . . but it's not huge.  You pay attention, follow the rules of the road, make yourself visible (reflectors and lights) and should be safe 99% of the time.  Just don't do unexpected stuff, and realize that car drivers are human and make mistakes.

I hope it is better than 99% or those that are biking everyday are getting in 2-3 accidents a year:)


dragoncar

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2013, 01:03:55 PM »
Yeah, and usually the rules for cars is if there are 5 cars behind you then you have to let them pass.

I agree that assholes are universal.  However, an asshole with a car is far more dangerous (to others) than one on a bike.  In turn, the one on the bike is more dangerous than an asshole on foot.  Many pedestrians are assholes, but they get the short end of the stick because they can't walk in the road, but many cyclists use the sidewalk.

Not legally, they don't, but courtesy is definitely the best course of action for all people on the road.

Wrong


    Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles

    21656. On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.
    —California Department of Motor Vehicles, CVC 21656, Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles[14]

kendallf

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2013, 01:29:16 PM »

There is some danger associated with cycling . . . but it's not huge.  You pay attention, follow the rules of the road, make yourself visible (reflectors and lights) and should be safe 99% of the time.  Just don't do unexpected stuff, and realize that car drivers are human and make mistakes.  You have to remember that we all have vivid images in our minds of the scary stuff that happens, but few of us remember the thousands of miles of uneventful cycling as clearly.  Biking in the city is not as risky as people like to make out.

This.

I ride between 8,000 and 10,000 miles per year, every year, and I have never been hit by a vehicle.  I have had several bad crashes, but they all involved other bikes while racing.  If you ride solo to commute or train, obey the rules of the road, use lights when it's dark, and generally use common sense, you'll be fine.

zhelud

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2013, 01:35:13 PM »
I have to say- I ride my bike to work almost every day and I encounter almost nothing but courtesy from drivers. They give me room when they pass, they wave me through intersections even when they don't have to, etc. I try to be as courteous as I can in return. There are always a few a-hole drivers - and bikers- but they are in the minority.

I do see a lot of distracted driving, though- texting, etc. Not good.

yes the texting/talking/drinking coffee and laughing while operating a machine capable of being a lethal weapon is terrifying!

i wonder, though, since your experience of bike riding seems like mine (people seem pretty respectful) -- are you a woman? because i've read about something called "the mary poppins effect," where people on bikes who are ladies / dressed in street clothes instead of biking gear / riding an upright bicycle get treated with a lot more respect than dudes / people on road bikes/ people who look like hardcore bikers.

I'm a woman, but in the winter when I'm on my bike in 20 layers you probably can't tell.

I think part of the Mary Poppins effect is that you have to be bareheaded with long flowing hair and a nice outfit- which isn't me in the summer either.

I see lots of drivers who are courteous to male bicyclists too.  I really worry more about inattention among drivers than malice or rudeness. Everybody please stop texting!

destron

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2013, 02:11:19 PM »
Yeah, and usually the rules for cars is if there are 5 cars behind you then you have to let them pass.

I agree that assholes are universal.  However, an asshole with a car is far more dangerous (to others) than one on a bike.  In turn, the one on the bike is more dangerous than an asshole on foot.  Many pedestrians are assholes, but they get the short end of the stick because they can't walk in the road, but many cyclists use the sidewalk.

Not legally, they don't, but courtesy is definitely the best course of action for all people on the road.

Wrong

No need to be rude.



    Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles

    21656. On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.
    —California Department of Motor Vehicles, CVC 21656, Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles[14]

You didn't say that. You said that a bicycle can't be in the lane on the road if there are 5 or more vehicles behind it, which is incorrect. That is only true on a two-lane highway where it is unsafe to pass because of traffic on the opposite direction. Additionally, the bicyclist only has to pull over when there is a safe place to do so. They can then continue in the lane.

strider3700

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2013, 02:13:16 PM »
A guy stepped out in front of my truck today.   He had right of way.  I didn't see him.  Had I not stopped in time I'd be wrong and he'd be dead.  I'm not a fan of putting blame on pedestrian's/bikers but the consequences are so out of balance  they really do need to take self preservation into account.    When on my motorcycle I had to radically change my understanding of the laws on the road as I had numerous instances of I was in the right but could have easily died had I not avoided other drivers.

secondcor521

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2013, 02:48:12 PM »
This.  I feel bicyclist are much worse than drivers, especially when they are cycling in the middle of the road pretending they are a car and back up traffic.

For what it's worth, this is perfectly legal cycling behavior in the state of Idaho.  It is also recommended practice as a matter of cycling safety -- riding on the shoulder of the traffic lane unfortunately encourages unsafe passing practices by the cars on the road and is a good way to get clipped and crushed.

2Cor521

ladycygnus

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2013, 03:19:28 PM »
When I first started commuting to work I thought I was being safe by going down the sidewalk and got smacked by a car...not hard, but enough to get my adrenalin pumping. It was mostly an encouragement to learn real bike safety (like that MMM post where he says to NOT buy bigger pants because the tight ones will encourage better eating). That website bicyclesafe.com really helped.

Quote
especially when they are cycling in the middle of the road pretending they are a car and back up traffic. 

This is actually something I do frequently at several locations. I've avoided smacking into someone getting out of a parked car and a parked car that was suddenly ON AND MOVING HOLY CRAP. I also will take the lane on a small curvy downhill road with no shoulder, especially the one my house is on as I'm going the speed limit and about to make a left turn - so be patient and don't try to pass me!

Although, I admit, I usually only slow down at stop signs whenever possible...especially going up hill. Lights I always stop for red lights, but will run them if I'm alone and they don't turn since almost every light here has those weight sensors that a bike can't hope to trigger.

Jack

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2013, 03:55:37 PM »
Although, I admit, I usually only slow down at stop signs whenever possible...especially going up hill. Lights I always stop for red lights, but will run them if I'm alone and they don't turn since almost every light here has those weight sensors that a bike can't hope to trigger.

They're not weight sensors, they're induction sensors. Look for one of the longitudinal saw cuts in the pavement and put the bike directly over it. If there are three saw cuts, pick the center one. If it still doesn't work, try lying the bike down parallel to the road.

See this article for more information.

smalllife

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2013, 05:06:40 PM »
I have to say- I ride my bike to work almost every day and I encounter almost nothing but courtesy from drivers. They give me room when they pass, they wave me through intersections even when they don't have to, etc. I try to be as courteous as I can in return. There are always a few a-hole drivers - and bikers- but they are in the minority.


i wonder, though, since your experience of bike riding seems like mine (people seem pretty respectful) -- are you a woman? because i've read about something called "the mary poppins effect," where people on bikes who are ladies / dressed in street clothes instead of biking gear / riding an upright bicycle get treated with a lot more respect than dudes / people on road bikes/ people who look like hardcore bikers.

The Mary Poppins Effect is one of the reasons I keep my bulky baskets on my bike (the others are that they are  pain to take on and off and make my bike look wider than it is.  Very few people want to scratch their paint.).  I'm lucky in that my commute is mostly through a college area with lots of bikers/pedestrians, and down a street known for it's bike friendliness - wide lanes (enough to be out of reach of opening doors and not impede traffic too much), low car traffic, and few stoplights.  I admit to doing rolling stops through the stop signs, but I always double check before proceeding. 

amustache

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2013, 06:15:37 PM »
Destron has been right on. Common sense is going to win the day all the time.

That being said, let's not overthink things and become like a bunch of Laputa dwellers (an island in Gulliver's Travels where people have thought themselves to insanity). If nobody is around, it is okay to roll through a stop sign or red light SLOWLY. This means SLOW DOWN and take a GOOD look around to make sure you don't have to stop completely. These have been put up to calm automobile traffic, not bicycles (this can be a whole different thread) so it's fine to treat them as yield signs. Making a full stop and contorting your bike like a balloon ornament to get a light is a waste of time and energy.

dragoncar

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2013, 06:41:30 PM »

No need to be rude.

...

You said that a bicycle can't be in the lane on the road if there are 5 or more vehicles behind it, which is incorrect.

Wrong.

No, I didn't say that.  I apologize if my curt reply sounded harsh.  I don't always have time during the working day to add pleasantries when correcting inaccurate legal advice on the internet.

ladycygnus

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2013, 07:03:12 PM »

They're not weight sensors, they're induction sensors. Look for one of the longitudinal saw cuts in the pavement and put the bike directly over it. If there are three saw cuts, pick the center one. If it still doesn't work, try lying the bike down parallel to the road.

See this article for more information.

Wow, learn something new everyday! That explains why the light would sometimes trigger with no cars around, I had always thought someone had just run the light or turned right. Thanks for the info :)

crazy jane

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2013, 08:45:37 PM »
Thanks for the info. Looking forward to putting it to good use tomorrow.

grantmeaname

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2013, 07:35:40 AM »
No, I didn't say that.  I apologize if my curt reply sounded harsh.  I don't always have time during the working day to add pleasantries when correcting inaccurate legal advice on the internet.
Isn't applying California state law to at least two nations' worth of cyclists inaccurate legal advice? That's not how the law works in Ohio, and I seriously doubt it's how the law works in Newfoundland.

TwoWheels

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2013, 11:11:16 AM »

I don't so much mind the occasional random shouting (e.g. "get off the road, hippie! roads are for cars!") because that I can shake off.  I mind the people who endanger my life by behaving in ways they would never even consider if I were in a car.

I keep a sense of humor about it most of the time; I ride too many miles to stay pissed over every incident.  The yelling ones are funny because most of the time I can only hear snatches of what they're saying anyway "..uck off the.." and I can play guessing games as to which cuss words they were shouting.

Yep, laughing it off is the way to go. It really is funny just how clueless some of those people are. Recently I passed two pedestrians and one of them said "hey I'm gonna ride my bike on the road and be really oblivious". Which is funny because I saw them well in advance and gave them plenty of space (and wasn't even going fast). Not sure what that was about, but you're not in the position to act superior if you're the one walking in the middle of an unlit road at night.

My favorite one, though, was when an SUV whizzed past and all I heard was "...HOMOSEXUAL..."

BlueMR2

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2013, 11:17:15 AM »
Isn't applying California state law to at least two nations' worth of cyclists inaccurate legal advice? That's not how the law works in Ohio, and I seriously doubt it's how the law works in Newfoundland.

In Ohio it looks like we're not even instructing people right.  There were a number of cycling law changes a few years back.  I just went and got my motorcycle temps a few months ago and studied the "current" Ohio handbook.  Apparently it's not been updated.  The part pertaining to interaction with bicyclists still reflects the laws as they stood before those "recent" changes of a few years ago!

dragoncar

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2013, 12:15:11 PM »
No, I didn't say that.  I apologize if my curt reply sounded harsh.  I don't always have time during the working day to add pleasantries when correcting inaccurate legal advice on the internet.
Isn't applying California state law to at least two nations' worth of cyclists inaccurate legal advice? That's not how the law works in Ohio, and I seriously doubt it's how the law works in Newfoundland.

Who said anything about "two nations," Ohio, or Newfoundland?  The inaccurate legal advice was destron's blanket statement that you do not legally have to pull over.  I cited one counterexample (from California), which is sufficient to invalidate the blanket statement.

We do have California readers here who may have been misled to break the law.


destron

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2013, 02:51:30 PM »
No, I didn't say that.  I apologize if my curt reply sounded harsh.  I don't always have time during the working day to add pleasantries when correcting inaccurate legal advice on the internet.
Isn't applying California state law to at least two nations' worth of cyclists inaccurate legal advice? That's not how the law works in Ohio, and I seriously doubt it's how the law works in Newfoundland.

Who said anything about "two nations," Ohio, or Newfoundland?  The inaccurate legal advice was destron's blanket statement that you do not legally have to pull over.  I cited one counterexample (from California), which is sufficient to invalidate the blanket statement.

We do have California readers here who may have been misled to break the law.

You are simply wrong, even about California. I am a police officer in CA and I worked on a bike for three years. The times when you cannot ride in the lane are few and far between. 99% of the time it is completely legal. You need to have a more careful reading of the vehicle code section you cited.

Additionally, it is wrong to quote one state's law to prove your point. CA is only 10% of the US population, and that doesn't account for foreign countries.

Bicycles are considered vehicles. They are subject to all rules and regulations of the road. They are allowed to take a lane.

CptPoo

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2013, 02:24:20 PM »
I'll share one little story.

I used to ride about 2.5 miles from my apartment to school and there were a couple of moderately busy roads that I rode down that had no shoulder, so I used the tactic of riding in the middle of the lane. This worked out pretty well most of the time until I had a very impatient elderly man in a beater truck attempt to fly by me less than 25 yards from a stop sign. It just so happens that someone was turning towards us from that very same intersection and I watched, slightly amused, as this man avoided collision through a combination of slamming on his breaks, swerving, and flooring it to get out of the way. I caught up to him at the intersection only for him to lean out of his window and yell something at me in a very thick Midwestern mumble.

I have no idea what he said to me, so I just gave him a smile and a wave and went on my way.

FitStash

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2013, 03:07:25 PM »
  When on my motorcycle I had to radically change my understanding of the laws on the road as I had numerous instances of I was in the right but could have easily died had I not avoided other drivers.

I had to do the same thing when I started riding my motorcycle.  I assumed that every person on the road was actively trying to kill me.  And it saved my life a number of times.

That lady at the stop sign?  She's gonna wait until the worst time, then pull out to kill me. 

That guy in the lane next to me?  I bet he changes lanes really fast with no signal to catch me off guard.

You get the idea.

dragoncar

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2013, 03:15:01 PM »

You are simply wrong, even about California. I am a police officer in CA and I worked on a bike for three years. The times when you cannot ride in the lane are few and far between. 99% of the time it is completely legal. You need to have a more careful reading of the vehicle code section you cited.

Additionally, it is wrong to quote one state's law to prove your point. CA is only 10% of the US population, and that doesn't account for foreign countries.

Bicycles are considered vehicles. They are subject to all rules and regulations of the road. They are allowed to take a lane.

That's my point.  Bicycles are vehicles and thus have to pull over according to the same rules for cars (i.e., under the circumstances cited in CVC 21656).  The difference is that a bicycle is more likely than a car to be traveling too slow.

It is not wrong to make any correct statement of law, when it's clear what jurisdiction that law applies to.  What is wrong is to make incorrect blanket statements such as "Not legally, they don't" where your are not considering that there are jurisdictions (including yours, apparently) in which, legally, they in fact do.  In logic, proof by counterexample is sufficient -- I don't have to cite the law for every jurisdiction in existence, just one.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterexample)

I don't know what your personal experience is in CA, but the times I've seen motorists angry at cyclists are exactly the situations in CVC 21656.  Otherwise they will easily just pass the cyclists.

uspsfanalan

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2013, 08:31:52 AM »
Good idea on the smile and wave. I've done that before and it works well. I tend to get really angry at drivers when I'm on my bike and it ruins the ride for me. Usually I let it go but I've snapped on occasion. Six months ago some lady in a Mercedes laid on her horn at me for a solid 5 seconds. I'm embarrassed to admit it but I flipped her off. That's dumb on so many levels that I've been disappointed and angry at myself every time I think of it. I've actually avoided biking almost entirely since then. I mostly ride to places that I can get to by the bike path near my house. I'm reluctant to go back on the streets and face traffic for fear that I will do something stupid again and the situation would escalate. It sucks because I used to really enjoy biking.

A few years ago I lived 6 miles from my office and worked 12:30 PM to 9 PM. I biked to work three days a week and loved it.

I'd like to start biking again. Any tips on getting back in the saddle?

Khao

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2013, 08:54:59 AM »
I'd like to start biking again. Any tips on getting back in the saddle?

Step 1. Take your bike outside
Step 2. Ride your bike
Step 3. Do not give a fuck about other crazy people
Step 4. Enjoy your stress-free ride

http://inoveryourhead.net/the-complete-guide-to-not-giving-a-fuck/

tooqk4u22

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2013, 11:28:04 AM »

You are simply wrong, even about California. I am a police officer in CA and I worked on a bike for three years. The times when you cannot ride in the lane are few and far between. 99% of the time it is completely legal. You need to have a more careful reading of the vehicle code section you cited.

Additionally, it is wrong to quote one state's law to prove your point. CA is only 10% of the US population, and that doesn't account for foreign countries.

Bicycles are considered vehicles. They are subject to all rules and regulations of the road. They are allowed to take a lane.

That's my point.  Bicycles are vehicles and thus have to pull over according to the same rules for cars (i.e., under the circumstances cited in CVC 21656).  The difference is that a bicycle is more likely than a car to be traveling too slow.

It is not wrong to make any correct statement of law, when it's clear what jurisdiction that law applies to.  What is wrong is to make incorrect blanket statements such as "Not legally, they don't" where your are not considering that there are jurisdictions (including yours, apparently) in which, legally, they in fact do.  In logic, proof by counterexample is sufficient -- I don't have to cite the law for every jurisdiction in existence, just one.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterexample)

I don't know what your personal experience is in CA, but the times I've seen motorists angry at cyclists are exactly the situations in CVC 21656.  Otherwise they will easily just pass the cyclists.

Over the weekend I was in the car travelling down a two lane road and happen to come upon a bicycle rider in the lane - normally would just go around but it was two lane road with on-coming traffic.  Bicyclist stayed put like they owned the road (btw it was 45mph speed limit) - but here is the rub, there was a paved and clear shoulder that was almost as wide as the part of the road that is to be driven on and he would not move into it.

I am all for respecting bicyclists but I was ready to run him down, it is just rude and arrogant to act like this. There are two rules of the road - the legal ones and the commonly understood ones.

grantmeaname

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2013, 11:31:42 AM »
Shoulders are often filled with a lot more gravel and glass than you would think from looking at it in a car. And, to be clear, the bicycle owns the road the same amount you do.

Paul der Krake

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Re: I'm in a car! I have the right of way!
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2013, 12:00:01 PM »
Yup, it's a tough call. If I have to use the lane because the shoulder is too narrow or filled with trash, I typically try to remain roughly where a car's right tires are in the lane. Blinking red LED, even in broad daylight, and I try my darnest to be going 20+ mph at the very least.

In my opinion it's the perfect safety balance: motorists to speed past you too closely like they would if you were on a very narrow shoulder, yet don't get too mad about having to slow down because it appears that you are trying your best not to bother them too much.

A 45mph road is where I go borderline uncomfortable though. I can stomach angry jackasses in a 35 zone day in and day out, but it takes just one asshole blasting/honking past at 50mph to piss me off for the rest of the day.