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Bicycle Safety

2008-07-22 18:08:18.253039+00 by ebradway 8 comments

From Bicycle Safety: How NOT to get hit by cars":

This page shows you real ways you can get hit and real ways to avoid them. This is a far cry from normal bicycle safety guides, which usually tell you little more than to wear your helmet and to follow the law. But consider this for a moment: Wearing a helmet will do absolutely nothing to prevent you from getting hit by a car! Sure, helmets might help you if you get hit, and it's a good idea to wear one, but your #1 goal should be to avoid getting hit in the first place.

Real information about the myriad ways of getting hit by a car and the best ways to avoid each situation.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Television Automobiles Pedal Power Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-22 19:38:14.407972+00 by: Larry Burton

I like that article. I have always believed that too much emphasis is being placed on personal protective equipment and not enough on personal safety equipment and accident avoidance. Yeah, helmets and all the rest of the PPE should be worn but if people can't see you or can't be warned about you being there and you aren't being aware of people not seeing you then you are placing way to much faith in your helmet.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-22 22:05:49.636006+00 by: Dan Lyke

Interesting. Similar thread is running on Tandem@Hobbes[Wiki] right now, with the claim that rear end collisions are statistically the least significant. That article claims about the rear end that they note as "type 2":

This is what many cyclists fear the most, but it's not the most common kind of accident (except maybe at night, or on long-distance rides outside the city).

and yet that's the way I've been hit, in the city, and the bad accidents I've known of have been of that type.

I ride further right than most riders, and despite that I've yet to be doored, probably because if I can't see whether or not there's a driver in the car I give that car a lot more room. Other than that, it seems like most of the rest of those accidents can be avoided by riding like a vehicle, and riding fairly aggressively, taking the full traffic lane where it's unsafe to do less.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-23 17:16:26.82242+00 by: meuon

Outdoor Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Bike club has done "street/traffic riding" courses, and it is often addressed at the beginning of the rides. They hit most of the points on that page, and I've found my big bent gets a lot more space than a standard diamond frame, but then I ride it more like a pedal powered car, in lane and with traffic. Being able to look at a driver easily helps a lot.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-24 10:10:10.678826+00 by: DaveP

Much the same message as in Effective Cycling.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-24 10:17:33.012329+00 by: DaveP

Dan, as for getting rear-ended, it's least likely for the normal cyclist because they're breaking all the other rules. But it's the one case where things are almost entirely out of control of the cyclist. Mirrors are the only defense I can think of.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-24 13:40:59.299115+00 by: Larry Burton

Even with mirrors your only option is usually just to pucker.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-24 15:42:38.055491+00 by: ebradway

meuon: It also helps that you're very visible person. Of course, if the drivers new you were likely packing heat, they'd give you even more room. Plus, it's much easier to fire a weapon from a 'bent than an upright!

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-27 01:12:30.548274+00 by: meuon [edit history]

I've only carried while cycling once. in rural Alabama. But maybe while Mike Cunnyngham aka Jabba is back in town for a visit, I need to be more paranoid. What is the appropriate caliber and weapon for a recumbent bicycle? It's a big bike, .45, or .50, rifle or pistol, Other large game calibers would work as well. Hmm..

Note: I've used pepper spray once on a pack of dogs from the bent, but I've also thwacked a couple on the nose. Harder to do that from a diamond frame. I've stopped riding on back roads in rural Tennessee and 'Bama. Too many yard dogs.