Received this link in an email. May be of interest, could have been seen before, just thought I would pass it on.



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Having trouble with your link. Try this.

This is another example along similiar lines Keith.

Vital information particularly when you hear the usual victim-blaming crap about cyclists having to wear hi-viz.

Thanks for sharing that article. I've just shown my daughter as she's learning to drive.

This may sound stupid but modern cars are safer for drivers and occupants but I'm not sure they are safer for cyclists. Here's what happens to me a lot and I'm sure it happens to others. You're riding along a major road and approaching a T junction where a minor road terminates at the major road. A car comes screaming up to the T junction from the minor road and the driver does not appear to be even considering stopping but at the last second when you are about do something drastic to avoid dying, the car pulls up.

Modern cars have better brakes and if they are performance cars, they are massive. Great for the driver, but not sure if it's great for cyclists. The driver is getting a much shorter view of the T junction because they are approaching it so rapidly, and if there is a need to stop, they believe they can pretty much pull up instantly. I'm not excusing the driving, they shouldn't be so confident the car will pull up anyway as the road surface may be slippery etc. I just see it all the time and as the article notes, you see that their head is not directed towards you. Unbelievably, you see a lot of drivers doing the speed racer approach to the T junction and they actually look left before they look right.

Other drivers seem surprised and or amused when I show surprise or fear that they don't appear to be considering stopping as they approach the T junction so rapidly. I've often thought about turning the tables on them and seeing how they would like it. 

I honestly think that the performance of the car does not help cyclists because often the driver of the car is devoting minimal time to negotiating the T junction. Some drivers slam up to the line as fast as they can, have the merest glimpse and then blat out left or right with lots of power at their disposal. 

As the article notes, if the saccadic moment corresponds with the short visual inspection of the intersection, then it's good night nurse for the cyclist.

Common sense dictates what the article explains in having a deliberate view of the approaching traffic in various positions and distance perspectives and this also emphasises the point that we should not hug the gutter too closely on bikes because riding further out increases the angle between the cyclist and the rider and you are less likely to get lost in the clutter of roadside signage, bins, stobie poles and trees.

Without any evidence, I do believe that I am being seen much better now that I run a flashing Mako light day and night. I also have a constant white light beside it at night. I never bothered about the flashing lights during the day until a gobsmacking incident a few months ago made me run them front and back, all the time, regardless of how bright it is.

Interesting point about the brakes.  I've also started using my flashing lights during the day and I've noticed an increase in people braking suddenly who seemed to otherwise been planning to turn out in front of me.

It also seems to me that people approach an intersection or a Give Way sign with the wrong mind set. They should be planning to stop unless they are sure it's clear. Instead they are planning to go through unless they see a reason to stop.  Reason usually means a car, bus, truck etc.  The brakes as you point out make it a lot worse.

Also, many drivers do not understand the need to drive smoothly, slow on the accelerator, and slowing down gently (rolling) with minimal brake usage.  Perhaps they all need to have a few days driving overweight, underpowered 1940-50's English cars (with slowing devices euphemistically called "brakes") to get the idea of the need for smooth and gentle motoring.

Come to think of it, my (well-maintained) old English BSA bike with me on it is overweight, underpowered, with slowing devices fitted.  Smooth cycling is a necessity.

Agreed, I'm surprised how few people understand how to drive efficiently!

Then there is another approach of inconsiderate drivers that alarms me. Me cycling towards an intersection where a vehicle has briefly stopped at a stop sign. Then the vehicle moves forward and I consider drastic action to minimise outcome. Next moment the vehicle turns (without using indicators), the driver expecting the bicycle to fit between the kerb and turning vehicle. No way does the driver want to lose seconds by obeying the road sign and showing courtesy towards a vulnerable road user.

Simpson, you refer to driving style combined with design of newer vehicles. The latter introduces another hazard. It is recognised the newer vehicles have thicker pillars to store airbags. Safer for vehicle occupants but impedes drivers' views, so increases danger for cyclists. But would Australian authorities ever put the safety of vulnerable cyclists before people cocooned in vehicles . . .

The wider/thicker door pillars on many new cars are no thicker (in terms of visual angle) than those on many older cars were.  The visual angle obscured by the fairly thick door pillars and door framing was often worse in older cars because they were so much closer to the driver. 

There was a period in which door pillars were reduced in thickness because of the use of high-tensile steels, and frameless windows.  Those days are gone (because of extra "safety features" invented because the Yanks can't be compelled to wear seat-belts).

In addition, with many older cars, the vision out of the door windows was partly obscured by the quarter-light/vent window framing, which does not happen with full glass windows.  (Hate that tinting, though!)

Standard calipers front and back, but, I suspect, they were not designed for the loads (weight and speed) that I could put on them now.  Much better than those near-useless old SA drum brakes.

I have never had to resort to using my left heel against the back tyre :)

Most of my driving experience has been in overweight, underpowered, old English cars (with slowing devices fitted).


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