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Car’s don’t kill, people do:(33 posts)

Car’s don’t kill, people do:Too much time on my hands
May 23, 2001 7:52 AM
Ok, I've been thinking about this for years and was wondering if anyone else does too.
Which make and model of vehicle seems most likely to run you off the road, pass you a little closer and faster than others, speed up to pass and then jam on the brakes to stop at the stop sign or red light 25 feet ahead, etc.
I've left out taxicabs because they're in a class of their own.

Here's my top 5 list:
1. Ford Explorer (must be no more than 4 years old)
2. BMW SUV (most aggressive but can't make #1 due to lack of # )
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee (watch out for the gold ones)
4. Cadillac Seville
5. BMW 5 and 7 series
re: Car’s don’t kill, people do:MatMan
May 23, 2001 8:00 AM
My vote goes to any old pick-up truck with more rust than paint and a gun rack in the back window.
AgreeDave Hickey
May 23, 2001 8:07 AM
I agree, the higher the number on the truck. Eg: F150,F250,F350 or 1500,2500,3500, the worse the driver.
It isn't the cars, it's the driversPaulCL
May 23, 2001 8:04 AM
My "problem" list of drivers:

#1. The elderly. Will not move over. Will kill me before crossing the yellow line.
#2. Teenagers. They're immortal, I'm not. They think its funny to door cyclists.
#3. Moms in mini-van. Too distracted.
#4. BillyBob's in Pickemups: Aren't the most common, but the most lethal. They might TRY to hit a cyclist.

I can't really narrow it down to a make or model of car.
Nail on the headLCRIII
May 23, 2001 9:32 AM
PaulCL, I could have not said it better. Same list for my SE Texas area. I had a friend that did a cross country ride. She said the worst part were the "elderly". Would rather kill a cyclist than cross the center line; did not matter if an oncoming car was in sight or not. Had to bail out if they were pulling a travel trailer.

Closest call I ever had was a mom in a mini van. Go ahead and kill the cyclist (me) but don't let the kids be late for school.

BTW; to be PC, I am "old" and drive a "94 Areostar m-van.
To be fairPaulCL
May 23, 2001 1:18 PM
I'm married to a Mom who drives a mini-van, I was a teenager once, I will get old (if I don't get hit by an elderly driver), but I have never even once coveted my nieghbors pickemuptruck...OK, maybe once, but only to buy mulch for the yard...

And to add one to the list...anyone, particularly early in the AM and late to work, on a cell phone.
re: Car’s don’t kill, people do:Len J
May 23, 2001 8:13 AM
My (Hopefully) avoidables:

1.)Old Guys hugging the right side of thier lane (and part of the shoulder) Because they are afraid of oncoming traffic & thier own lack of depth perception.
2.)SUV's. The larger the more I worry. Drivers don't seem to know where the vehicle is.
3.)U-Hauls. See #2 above.
4.)Tourists. Living in tourist crazed area, lot's of small shops, lots of spontaneous right turns.
5.)Anyone who appears lost. No telling when or where they are going to turn.

Can't be vehicls specific, the above groups usually travel in camo.
Teenagers, angry women in SUVs...Gadfly
May 23, 2001 8:22 AM
...or mini-vans

Chicago cops

and, the drivers that I fear most:

gravel/construction-hauling trucks (Short-haul angry white men who drink way too much beer at night, hate their jobs, their wives and their lives. Conversely, long-haul, OTR drivers seem to be more considerate, capable. One OTR driver I know keeps his bike in the truck with him and hits the trails on stop-overs.)
People aren't demons, driving a car makes them that way (nm)vram
May 23, 2001 8:24 AM
absolute worst4bykn
May 23, 2001 9:00 AM
A Camaro/Firebird/Mustang with 5 high school age males. A loud muffler increases the danger level by a factor of 1.5
Surprisingly, the best vehicle (around here) is agricultural equipment that takes both lanes of the country roads here. I've seen farmers drive halfway into the ditch with their 20 foot wide behemoths to let me by on my 1 1/2 foot wide at the waist :( bike.
And there's our own problem riders, you know the type. You are riding along enjoying the solitude and without warning some wanna-be racer flies by about 6 inches away.
I guess my least favorite was a few years back when a hot rod motorcycle passed me at what had to be over 100mph, on his back wheel! He was going so fast that when he let his front end down, there was a puff of smoke from the front tire, kinda like an airplane landing!
AHEM...any vehicle with >1 school-aged malesHaiku d'état
May 23, 2001 9:37 AM
especially when following or joined in the car by school-aged females. vehicle unimportant.
Should be out lawed really...Kristin
May 23, 2001 10:47 AM
I've been riding streets for 5 weeks now and the only problems I've had are with packs of boys riding around in daddys new red mustang. Ever notice that the car is always new? Must be nice to be 16 and have a new car. My first car was a $500 Chevy Citation with a dented door.

Actually, its a refreshing change of pace, really. I'm always glad when they ride up behind me and lay on the horn for a minute before blowing by. And I LOVE the cat calls--does wonders for my self esteem! These boys are the real reason I don't carry a weapon! :-)
It is in Californiamike mcmahon
May 23, 2001 12:33 PM
Within the past two years, CA passed a new law that placed substantial restrictions on the driving privileges of novice drivers. For example, new drivers under 18 cannot drive with other minors in the car unless accompanied by an adult. The law also places restrictions on driving hours during the first six months. I have a feeling the new laws will show some decrease in accidents involving novice drivers and this type of law my come soon to a state near you.
Any 250 or greater pickupmr_spin
May 23, 2001 9:11 AM
Especially if it is lifted. Gun rack optional. Unless there is the name of a construction company painted on the side, there is a redneck inside, and they are aiming for you.
Tought to stereoypemoneyman
May 23, 2001 1:02 PM
I drive a 99 F250, and I don't believe that I could be considered a redneck. Also, I do not threaten cyclists at all. I do not have a gun rack, and I am not aiming for anyone.

Pretty easy to get carried away with these things, but please realize that not all owners of Ford Trucks are trying to run cyclists off the road.

Sorry, it's truemr_spin
May 23, 2001 1:09 PM
Not sure what "tought" means--taught or tough?

Okay, maybe you're the ONE guy who isn't a redneck. Anyway, I didn't single out Fords. Any 2 1/2 ton pickup or greater qualifies.

It's not tough to stereotype. I'm sorry, but when and where I ride, these things are the most reckless vehicles on the road. They are big enough so the driver has no idea how close he (always a HE) comes to my shoulder, and they are usually driving way too fast. I can hear them coming from a long way away, and I brace for impact. Luckily, I've never been hit, but I've come real close.
Sorry, it's NOT truemoneyman
May 23, 2001 3:12 PM
Should be "Tough" - hit the "T" too early.

Stereotyping drivers of vehicles is a mistake, just like stereotyping roadies is a mistake. Not all drivers of pickups are rednecks. Not all roadies are weight weenies. Not all drivers of pickups are insensitive to the rights of others on the road. Not all roadies are snobs. Not all drivers of pickups don't know how close they are to the shoulder. Not all roadies are insensitive automotons. Get the picture?

Anyway, I didn't single out Fords. Any 2 1/2 ton pickup or greater qualifies.
As a matter of fact, you did, perhaps out of ignorance. Fords are the 150 - 250 - 350 models. I don't believe that Dodge or GM products use those particular numbers.

A 2 1/2 ton truck often has a dump box and tandem axles. I don't think that's what you meant. An F250 is a 3/4 ton, an F350 is a one ton. Has to do with payload and GVW.

Always a HE? Hardly. My wife drives our truck as much or more than me. And in the ranch country around Cheyenne, you'll find that women drive trucks as much as the men.

I was wrong with the heading on my post. It is EASY to stereotype. It is tough to be accurate with stereotyping.

Polls like this pose an injustice to those being stereotyped and those doing it. What if we were to ask about why all African Americans like watermelon and fried chicken? Why are all Italians members of the mob? Why are all Mexicans thieves? Doesn't work, does it?

You have had some bad experiences with some drivers of pickups. But to buy into the stereotype of the redneck, beer-swilling, gun-toting reckless driver is just not true.

I have had lots of close calls with drivers, and they have driven many
different kinds of vehicles. These polls just promulgate and reinforce stereotypes.

You Are So RightRedneck
May 23, 2001 1:20 PM
I own an F250 pickup and ride a bike. I am always amazed by the change that comes over me when I get into the truck. It is an older model complete with peeling paint, rust and a rack for four guns. My name immediately changes to Billy Ray Jim Bob and when I see a bicycle rider on the road, I aim right for him and knock him down. None of them escape (four guns in the rack). It is very hard to understand because when I am on my bike, I am an unusually sensitive and thoughtful citizen. I may have to sell that durned truck and give the money to the Green Party. How many whales do you think we can save with the $50?
height of monster truck/jeep/SUV inversely proportional to...Haiku d'état
May 23, 2001 9:39 AM
operator intelligence/acceptance of others. present company excluded.
People talking on cell phones ...bianchi boy
May 23, 2001 10:29 AM
Absolutely the worst, doesn't matter the make or model of car. Talking on the phone while driving ought to be illegal. As far as specific vehicles go, I most fear the large SUVs -- Suburbans, Expeditions, etc. I don't think their drivers are necessarily worse, but they don't always seem aware of how wide they are, particulary with mirrors. As far as cutting it close, I am often surprised to see drivers of small Hondas and other compacts passing uncomfortably close even though they have lots of space to go around.
paranoiaDuane Gran
May 23, 2001 10:33 AM
I think I'm in the minority here, but I routinely ride with traffic and I'm rarely concerned about it. There have been a few close calls, but by the same token often enough in my car I have to cleverly dodge someone's poor maneuver. Truth be told, I have on occassions accidentally put another person in danger while driving. I certainly try to avoid it though.

I will volunteer though that I ride in a fairly urban area (DC) and there is a critical mass (no intended reference to the political organization) of cyclists, so maybe motorists are used to sharing the road. As I get a bit futher out into the boonies I experience more honking and various ambigious communication from motorists. The funny thing is that people who live in the countryside tell me how they would hate to ride in an urban area, but it suits me.
It isn't really that bad...Greg Taylor
May 23, 2001 11:03 AM
...if you ride defensively. I'm a DC commuter too, and (knock wood here) I don't think that I've had any more close calls on my bike than in the days when I drove my car. The difference is that an "oops" in the car means a dented fender, while an "oops" on the bike can mean a trip to the hospital. You have to use common sense riding on city streets: keep your head on a swivel, no headphones, wear loud colors (to be seen), take your place in the traffic lane (no sneaking off to one side -- it invites a car to squeeze you over), ride confidently, and expect idiocy.
in southwest florida, its....ken vining
May 23, 2001 10:43 AM
Lexus drivers are the worst -- they won't give an inch. Next seems to be the retired people who can't afford a Cadillac and drive Buicks. Rednecks in pick-up trucks are the best. They always give me plenty of room. I don't understand why this is -- maybe they can somehow sense that I drive a "redneck pickup" myself.
re: Car’s don’t kill, people do:wink
May 23, 2001 10:59 AM
The worst is any vehicle by an African American woman.
re: Car’s don’t kill, people do:peloton
May 23, 2001 11:26 AM
My worst list in no particular order:

1) Logging trucks and 18 wheelers- Most would rather kill you than endanger their precious truck over the yellow line. And when they do buzz you, the wind tries to suck you into the wheels.

2) Teenagers- Most have no clue where they are on the road, and quite a few have an attitude to match. They scare easily when you chase them at 30mph through residential zones though. Most don't deal well with direct confrontation.

3) The genetically challenged in jacked up trucks. The higher the truck, the lower the IQ. It's a thin family tree.

4) Old people- LOOK, LOOK, LOOK, before you back out of your driveway! The eyes are at 12 o'clock, but the car is moving towards 6! During which point in time was this a valued driving technique?

5) People who don't pay attention. Put down the phone, stop adjusting the radio, stop eating, stop yelling at the kids, stop singing, and concentrate on driving.

6) People who don't use a signal. Don't you love it when someone passes you and then makes an immediate right turn without a signal? When did the turn signal become a lost art? If I were a cop, I would give more tickets for failure to signal than for anything else.

7) People who park their cars in the street. Is there something the matter with your driveway? I hate having to go into the oncoming lane to get around some guy parking in the middle of the road when his driveway is right there, and empty. I suppose he owns the street too.

8) And lastly (for now!)....other cyclists? Only the ones who can't wave or say hello. Is it that much of an effort? Maybe I should start another 'Why are roadies such pricks' thread. No, I know why- many have the inability to say hello.

Aahh, the rant is out of my system now.....
1) Lexus; 2) Mercedes; 3) Expedition; 4) Cadillacmike mcmahon
May 23, 2001 11:27 AM
IMHO, Lexus drivers have surpassed Mercedes drivers as the most hazardous drivers. However, the negative Lexus experiences may be due in part to the fact that there are so many of them on the road. On a per capita basis, Cadillac drivers are probably the worst. They tend to be grumpy old men, with a trunk full of golf clubs, who haven't been on a bike since they got their drivers licenses in 1934.
Could they be voted off the island?128
May 23, 2001 11:59 AM
re: Car’s don’t kill, people do:CA
May 23, 2001 12:21 PM
Metro buses are the worst in my book( well an SUV with mom in the front and kids in the back are a close second). Those big buses will go right around you with an inch to spare then stop right in front of you for thier bus stop. You take in a big lungfull of exhaust and go around the bus. The bus driver gets his people on board then stomps on the accelerater to go around you again and the whole process repeats again.
"MTA Leapfrog" is a pain in the @$$ (nm)mike mcmahon
May 23, 2001 12:39 PM
Charlton Would be Proud!grz mnky
May 23, 2001 1:30 PM
So why do we license all drivers, but not gun owners?
That pesky Constitution again..."Well REGULATED militia...?"128
May 23, 2001 2:23 PM
re: Car’s don’t kill, people do:Mark Hollander
May 23, 2001 8:06 PM
As someone mentioned Quarry trucks are by far the worst, there so damn wide! Also buses can be quite scary when they miss you by 6 inches. Also, I find women to be less careful when passing cyclists, most of them are doing their make up or eating breakfast while driving. Some one else said that mobile phones should be banned while driving, here in Australia it is now illegal to drive, or be in a car with the engine running (ie traffic lights) while using a phone. You are allowed to use hands free phones though. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how quiet new cars are, you just don't here them coming.
re: Car’s don’t kill, people do:Mike P.
May 24, 2001 6:13 AM
It seems like my Sunday rides are when I most frequently nearly get killed.

I guess if you just finished praising God, having all your sins forgiven and are filled with the Holy Spirit, it's ok to kill someone. Oh, it's also ok to kill someone if they are in the road when you are running late to have your sins forgiven.

I'm not bashing religious folks, perhaps all those people dressed up and driving like maniacs Sunday morning and early afternoon are not going to/from church.

Ride really erly on Sunday,