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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    550

    Do motorists not look before they back out?

    I think there is something in the air today! I was almost hit by TWO little old people, one woman, one man, each in the Bay Area icon - the Toyota Prius - and yes, I like Prius's. They were backing out of driveways on to rather busy roads. The first, almost hit me, so I slammed on the brakes, then she realized what she did and stopped while still in front of me (man am I glad I keep my clips loose!), then proceeded to pull out in front of another motorist. The second just caused me to slam on the breaks - it was good for a nice increase in the ole heart rate. Heard that's good for the heart.

    But on the good side of people, I had a construction worker go out of his way to show me newly poured tar so that I did not run over it.
    Christine
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

    Cycle! It's Good for the Wattle; it's good for the can!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Drivers often back out without looking. It's what they do after a cursory glance to look for approaching cars. If you expect them to do this at every opportunity, you'll less likely get hit by them. Never count on them seeing you.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,057
    Besides the fact that drivers are just more inattentive these days. OK, unsupported by facts, but, really, ask a young person about defensive driving and see the bambi-in-the-head-lights look. But, I digress...

    The Prius is one of the worst cars I've ever driven with respect to blind spots. I've backed up the car, knowing that some thing was there, but unable to see it. So, compound elderly and probable lack of full range of motion, only looking for cars, and heavy blind spots......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    550
    Good to know that the Prius has horrible blind spots. I'll be even more careful around them as they are EVERYWHERE here. And I do see the point of treating every car as a potential threat. Thanks!

    Yeah, I guess I'm dreaming of a perfect world. I drive a bright red Mini Cooper when I drive, and people have problems seeing that - I'm much less visable on a bike.
    Christine
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

    Cycle! It's Good for the Wattle; it's good for the can!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    mo
    Posts
    706
    They don't look for bikes or think to look to their left for pedestrians when they are backing up.

    They don't look to the right when making a right turn, only left.

    They don't see crosswalks or believe they have to stop just because someone is in one.

    They don't believe a cyclist they drove by 2 seconds ago will be in their path when they make that right turn....a school bus almost got me doing that a few days ago.
    I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,667
    Always assume you're invisible to drivers unless they indicate otherwise.

    Back when I was an instructor for the club's Road Skills course, one of the students told me I was the friendliest rider he'd ever seen, always giving a cheery wave to drivers as I approached them at intersections.

    I explained to him that heck no, I wasn't being friendly - I wanted to make sure the drivers saw me, and I was looking for some sort of reaction from them acknowleging my presence.
    Last edited by jobob; 08-25-2008 at 02:48 PM.

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
    2007 Rivendell Bleriot - Rivet Pearl

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Orygun
    Posts
    1,195
    Nope. They don't. And don't expect them to. They hit large cars on a regular basis. What makes you think they will see you on your bike? That's the way I ride. Every side road I come to, I'm looking behind me in case someone is coming to make a right turn into it. (and into me) Then I'm looking up that road to make sure someone isn't coming down it and not stopping at the sign. Cars coming out of a driveway... don't even bother to assume they see you. Even if they do, they still seem to back out.

    Think about this: Have you ever been riding along at a good rate of speed and see something in the road. You keep looking at it so you can avoid it and what do you do? You run it over. You will go where you are looking no matter how hard you try. Drivers in cars are the same way. If they see you or don't, the odds are they will tag you. Be your own advocate for personal safety. You have no blind spots. Anticipate and adjust. You will live longer and better.

    Am I saying be paranoid when you're riding? Well, only a little. If we aren't enjoying the ride, then what's the point? Learning to balance the freedom and fun of riding with the dangers of the motorized population around you is essential. Or... just stick to the paths. Of course then, you have children, unleashed dogs or errant little old lady motorists backing up in Prius' who don't even know they aren't on a road anymore...

    Good luck and stay safe.
    Oh, that's gonna bruise...
    Only the suppressed word is dangerous. ~Ludwig Börne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Quote Originally Posted by Xrayted View Post
    Nope. They don't. And don't expect them to. They hit large cars on a regular basis. What makes you think they will see you on your bike? That's the way I ride. Every side road I come to, I'm looking behind me in case someone is coming to make a right turn into it. (and into me) Then I'm looking up that road to make sure someone isn't coming down it and not stopping at the sign. Cars coming out of a driveway... don't even bother to assume they see you. Even if they do, they still seem to back out.

    Think about this: Have you ever been riding along at a good rate of speed and see something in the road. You keep looking at it so you can avoid it and what do you do? You run it over. You will go where you are looking no matter how hard you try. Drivers in cars are the same way. If they see you or don't, the odds are they will tag you. Be your own advocate for personal safety. You have no blind spots. Anticipate and adjust. You will live longer and better.
    Well said. Expect cars to do the wrong thing. Half the time, they will.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by Xrayted View Post
    Nope. They don't. And don't expect them to. They hit large cars on a regular basis. What makes you think they will see you on your bike? That's the way I ride.
    Agree totally with that comment - and way too many of them are doing other things besides paying attention while they are driving....cell phones specifically

    So many times I've had a vehicle pull up just ahead of me and immediately turn right...what the heck was that about?

    Here's my thought - every driver should be required to spend at least XX hours riding a bike in traffic before getting (or renewing) their licence. Maybe then they would understand and possibly pay a bit more attention when driving.

    One can only hope! Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.

    On the other hand, there are those drivers that wait for me to go through an intersection before turning left, those that give me a wide berth when passing me and those that give me lots of room when I'm the first in line waiting for a red light. So, it's not all bad.

    Serendipity

    "So far, this is the oldest I've ever been....."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
    The Prius is one of the worst cars I've ever driven with respect to blind spots.
    +1!!!!!! Although actually, since it has that backup camera, if you keep twisting and turning to look out the window and then in the camera, you can actually see much more going backwards in that stupid car than you can going forward. When you're taking a left hand curve, you literally cannot see the road in front of you.

    Supposedly they'll have a new body style for '09.

    A lot of older people have neck mobility issues. Which means they can't see out of most cars, particularly when backing. My dad asked me about the Prius - he's had cervical vertebrae fused at two levels, and I told him absolutely not to get that car.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 08-25-2008 at 03:25 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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