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Whos to blame?(9 posts)

Whos to blame?GTrider215
Jun 9, 2001 6:55 PM
Ok i hope some peeps can help me with this. First off im 15 years old and i just started Road bikeing not too long ago. Mainly where i live there are just too lanes, one going up and one going back. There is no sidewalk either. So i ride very closely on the side of the road. IF there is a car coming the opposite of me on the other lane then that makes the car coming behind me barely not able to get by me without head on accident with the other car. the speed limit is like some 30 mph and i can really only keep up about a consitent 20 mph barely. so the other day i was riding on teh side of the road very straight and this one car trys to pass me but there were cars coming in the opposite direection too. and as he tryed to pass me he almost had a head on collsion with the other car, but the other car swivered over. The road is kinda thin so there isnt much road. I see a few other Cyclers everyday though riding. But after i saw that thes 2 cars almost crashed i got pretty mad cause i thoguht i caused it. What am i supposed to do? pull off the side of the road to let a car get by everytime,which i would barely be excercising because a lot of cars go by,or just tough it out until i can keep up with the cars lol?
re: Whos to blame?mackgoo
Jun 9, 2001 7:33 PM
You need to think about your safety. As far as responsibility goes, I place it on the car. AT 30 mph they should be able to safely navigate around you and go on. But again if your on the road with a bunch of idiots it really doesn't matter who is responsible if you get hit you still get hit. I personally don't let this bother me if I did I wouldn't be able to ride. I always say if they hit me they better take me out, if they don't everything they own will be mine.
It's not your faultdavidl
Jun 9, 2001 8:37 PM
You have the right to use the road, too. Just be careful and ride assertively so that the cars must consider you just like other traffic - and be careful. Just assume they're all trying to kill you!
re: Whos to blame?DINOSAUR
Jun 9, 2001 8:36 PM
The driver of the car was at fault. I don't know what state your are from, but in Calif, a bicyclist is required to ride as near as PRACTACABLE to the right edge of the roadway (the roadway is the part you drive on, NOT including the shoulder). It is the overtaking motorist responsibitly to pass you with due caution and yield to oncoming traffic. I ride the same type of roads, and I move over as far as I can, and I've had idiot drivers pass me on blind curves crossing the double yellow center line at 60MPH and nearly cause a head-on collision. I ride in the morning when traffic is light, and some roads, I just won't ride on. If you take a small portion of the road, say ride a couple of inches to the left of the roadway edgeline, motorist will give you the road. If you ride at the very edge of the road, a few inches to the right of the edgeline, motorist will go bombing by nearly sideswiping you. I always leave a little room to manuever, and if there is a wide shoulder, I ride on it when I hear a car overtaking me from the rear.
Going back to safe riding, if you have other places to ride, select another route. For what it's worth, very few cyclist get hit from behind, but this doesn't mean you should not be careful and use good sense.
Hope this helps
Ride safe
One of the few good things I got out of Bicycling Mag...biknben
Jun 9, 2001 10:48 PM
...was a quote many years ago (about 15 years ago). Anyway, it was "Ride fast, hog the road, act like traffic!"

Choose a path on the road that allows you to ride comfortably. I choose to take more of the lane than some others I ride with. I do this so that I rarely have to steer around storm drains, ride through less debris, and get fewer flats. I also do it so that I am more visible to motorists.

There is a road I ride on which seems similar to what you described. One narrow lane each way, no shoulder, white line painted on the edge of broken pavement, 40 MPH speed limit. I ride in about the same spot as a car's passenger side tire would be. There is no way two cars can pass by me at the same time. That's tuff crap for them.

I fear that if I ride too close to the edge of the road a motorist will not notice me or not see me until it is too late. By occupying more of the road I force the motorist to notice and react to me. I may piss more people off but I think it's safer this way.

You give them an inch, they'll take a foot, and you'll be in the ditch.
I agree that you've got to be aggressivemike mcmahon
Jun 9, 2001 11:00 PM
without unnecessarily endangering yourself. You've got every bit as much right to be out there as any other person operating a vehicle on the road. Don't take unnecessary chances but don't let the fear of cars force you into the gutter. Given the choice between riding uncomortably close to the curb and uncomfortably close to traffic, I'll almost always choose the latter. Many motorists may get annoyed a few-second delay caused by a cyclist, but few are going to risk financial ruin or jail time by running into a cyclist who can be avoided by slowing down for a few seconds. My experience has been that riding with confidence in traffic increases your likelihood of having safe rides. Be safe, but don't let a few bad motorists scare you off.
re: Whos to blame?Mel Erickson
Jun 10, 2001 11:25 AM
I, too, choose to ride further, rather than closer, to the pavement edge for several reasons. I frequently ride on a county road with two lanes and about a 2 inch drop off from the pavement to the gravel shoulder. Most of the time I ride 18-24 inches from the edge of the pavement. 1) It makes it easier for mortorists to see me. 2) The pavement is often broken on the edge and riding too close is courting an accident. 3) I have room to manuever around other potholes, debris, etc.. When I hear a car coming behind me I will move over because they've probably seen and taken note of me and are now more cautious about passing. Generally they are now looking for oncoming cars. Besides, they think that dumb ass bike rider, who was 2 feet from the edge, might swerve out again. Occasionally there is a driver that still doesn't pass safely, but that would likely be the case no matter where you were on the pavement. Using this technique makes most motorists give me a wide berth when passing.
re: Whos to blame?KEN2
Jun 10, 2001 6:50 PM
I agree completely with the other posters about motorist responsibility. Bottom line: bicycles are vehicles in all 50 states. That means that you have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle operators. And unless you live in Idaho (maybe a few others, that have a law that you must pull over and let followers pass if there are 3 or more behind), it is the following vehicle's responsibility to wait until it's safe to pass. Again (unless you're on a few interstates) there is no minimum speed that you must maintain.

I have found in my daily commute of 30 miles that drivers give me more respect and actually honk/take chances passing much less, if I ride where the passenger tire would be on the roadway. Too close to the right and 1) they don't see you and 2) they are more apt to try and squeeze by between you and the yellow line.

If this makes you nervous get a small mirror that mounts inside your sunglasses, and you can keep an eye on following drivers without continually turning around.
Not youmr_spin
Jun 11, 2001 2:42 PM
The basic rule in every state says drivers can only pass when it is safe. It obviously wasn't safe if they almost had a head on.

The only thing you need to worry about is that the instinctive reaction of a driver will be to pull hard to the right to avoid a crash. If you can see that there might be a problem, take evasive action. It could save your life.