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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:07 
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This is an interesting piece about cycle safety, particularly positioning:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8296971.stm

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This year, seven of the eight people killed by lorries in London have been women.

Considering that women make only 28% of the UK's cycling journeys, this seems extremely high.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:31 
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Indeed. I keep saying adopt primary.. MAKE SURE YOU ARE SEEN! I think women are perhaps nervous about overtaking. Going up the inside of a lorry is a :nono: . The will be in the outer lane indicating left for a reason .. to clear the kerb safely.

As for the lak of changing facilities putting women off.. I think that's fair comment especially for office workers/teachers with a particular dress code. I recall Krissi mentioning this on a cycling forum in 2004 .. only to be shouted down by the resident trollster :roll:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:33 
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OTOH, maybe this is the old male/female "Spacial awareness" thing rearing its head agin. :bunker:

Poor spaceial awareness in a car might lead to the occasional scrape and parking disaster.

On a pushbike it can easily get you killed.

Having said that, IMO, best advice on how cyclists should safely pass slow moving/stationary trucks/vans/busses is that you cant!

So dont do it!

And particularly dont do it on the nearside!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 17:04 
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It would be interesting to know what proportion of cyclist fatalities and serious injuries arise from trying to pass slow moving or stationary motor vehicles.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 19:26 
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I was told by Dr. Ian Walker that, in a survey he conducted, half as much women as men look over their shoulders when cycling, so would therefore be less aware of what is coming behind them and might make a move into a vehicles path.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 21:56 
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Dusty wrote:
OTOH, maybe this is the old male/female "Spacial awareness" thing rearing its head agin. :bunker:

Poor spaceial awareness in a car might lead to the occasional scrape and parking disaster.

On a pushbike it can easily get you killed.


Eh?

Driver in a 18 tonne vehicle crushes a cyclist to death and it's the cyclist with poor spacial awarness?

I don't know if you've been round London lately but the number of bollards at 45 degrees, bent railings and knocked over street signs is astounding; I can assure you it's not cyclists doing this.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 22:09 
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weepej wrote:
I don't know if you've been round London lately but the number of bollards at 45 degrees, bent railings and knocked over street signs is astounding; I can assure you it's not cyclists doing this.

They, and other road users, could indeed be causing it, by forcing motorised traffic to evade into the bollards when they step into the path of the traffic without looking.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 22:25 
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Steve wrote:
weepej wrote:
I don't know if you've been round London lately but the number of bollards at 45 degrees, bent railings and knocked over street signs is astounding; I can assure you it's not cyclists doing this.

They, and other road users, could indeed be causing it, by forcing motorised traffic to evade into the bollards when they step into the path of the traffic without looking.


Or it could be the Flying Spaghetti Monster wrapping his noodly appendages round them. In fact that is more likely than your speculation.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 22:34 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Or it could be the Flying Spaghetti Monster wrapping his noodly appendages round them. In fact that is more likely than your speculation.

Really? Please do explain how you believe that is the case.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 09:17 
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weepej wrote:
Dusty wrote:
OTOH, maybe this is the old male/female "Spacial awareness" thing rearing its head agin. :bunker:

Poor spaceial awareness in a car might lead to the occasional scrape and parking disaster.

On a pushbike it can easily get you killed.


Eh?

Driver in a 18 tonne vehicle crushes a cyclist to death and it's the cyclist with poor spacial awarness?

I don't know if you've been round London lately but the number of bollards at 45 degrees, bent railings and knocked over street signs is astounding; I can assure you it's not cyclists doing this.



Poor "spaceial awareness" in this context also includes failing to appreciate that the back end of a lorry will take a diferent route round a corner than the front and believing that just because you can see the truck/van/bus means that the truck/van/bus driver MUST be able to see you AT ALL TIMES! (especially on the near side!)

Bent bollardss in the urban enviroment can also frequently be explained by a lack of "Spacial awareness" on the part of highway designers who seeem to think that as long as they can get their smart car through their brilliant new road design then the Sainsburys delivery artic should be capable of doing the samer!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 19:22 
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I must admit it's fascinating - if it's right - that laydees' habits of obeying traffic laws and cycling more cautiously puts them in greater danger.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 03:34 
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BBC News wrote:
This means that if the lorry turns left, the driver cannot see the cyclist as the vehicle cuts across the bike's path.
[from here]

I absolutely agree that this is fascinating, and I think I might understand it a bit.

When I cycled in London, I was confident and when passing stopped traffic was extremely careful and made carefully well thought out predictive judgments especially. This was particularly true of things about to happen and I'd ride accordingly. Many riders were good and bad from my view.
Many riders might wait behind a lorry which I thought was less safe as I could pull away at lights much more easily and I would always choose positions for the best get away and if possible good positioning to be seen as I waited and IF I wasn't sure a lorry could see me then I'd WAIT for him to pull out and turn if that was the sensible thing to do.
The article forgets how easy it is to stop on a bike and if you have a 26T or 40T or even big van going left one of your priorities is to ensure they have the road and you are second.
Women are prone to hesitating and being less confident and so less predictable. They often don't 'command' presence, they submit to others actions and in doing so make them selves less assertive and more vulnerable.
They need to learn how to understand the road and all manner of vehicles and how to ride sensibly and confidently.
I stay as close to the side of the road as I can often using the double yel lines as a cycle track to stay between - although avoiding the gully's maybe necessary at times. (And with less traffic a position outside of the DYL can be taken.)

It is not only about spacial awareness but also general vehicle movements and actions, other perspectives and predictabilities, so by (again) obtaining a greater knowledge, and improving skills and abilities anyone can improve. But I would also add to this assertiveness and road awareness especially positioning. If I was going R at the articles lorry example then (if lorry indicating R) be on his left. (Why have they got a cyclist's position behind the lorry - even as if that had been their path!)
If the lorry is not moving then going up the front and 'ready to go' (Correct gear / clear path / checking lights cycles as you approach from 'way' back to learn the timings etc) on the left hand side keep you away from the main traffic flow.
I think to be up front and on the right is wrong and makes other traffic un-necessarily wait for you when the light turn green. You would then cross their path to turn right. Teach that system for small roads and on the big important one's the cyclists are then in real danger and have (by this action) think they hold more importance than other road users, and that is not a good idea. perhaps this is why we are seeing and increase in cyclists pulling out across other traffic paths - it has 'become' normal and expected that all have to wait for you - awful and as is prooving - deadly!
I like the idea of women getting into lorry's to obtain other perspectives, that's great.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 09:24 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
Women are prone to hesitating and being less confident and so less predictable.



Have you any evidence at all that the seven women killed after being struck by lorries in London this year were "hesistant, less confident and unpredictable", or by extension wholly culpable of their demise?

SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
I like the idea of women getting into lorry's to obtain other perspectives, that's great.


I've done this, you can see so little it makes me wonder why it's legal at all to move these things around in urban environments at all, and doubly wonder why sometimes they are driven like rally cars (particulary skip and refuse lorries).

We often joke about people like me wanting a return to the days of a man walking in front of cars with a red flag, but in the case of lorries this might not be far from the truth.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:25 
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weepej wrote:
Have you any evidence at all that the seven women killed after being struck by lorries in London this year were "hesistant, less confident and unpredictable", or by extension wholly culpable of their demise?

I think we can agree that, given their massive over-representation, those women had something about them.

What could that something be?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:56 
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weepej wrote:
I've done this, you can see so little it makes me wonder why it's legal at all to move these things around in urban environments at all, and doubly wonder why sometimes they are driven like rally cars (particulary skip and refuse lorries).
We often joke about people like me wanting a return to the days of a man walking in front of cars with a red flag, but in the case of lorries this might not be far from the truth.


It appals me that lorries carry those notices saying "If you can't see my mirrors I can't see you". This is saying, in effect, that the lorry driver is not fully aware of what is going on around him and is abrogating his responsibilities towards other road users. Those "reversing voices" represent a similar abrogation of responsibility. If a driver cannot see behind his vehicle he should only reverse with the assistance of another person.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 13:15 
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Quote:
It appals me that lorries carry those notices saying "If you can't see my mirrors I can't see you"


Now see this is where we differ in thought process. You're immediate reaction is that it's a "cop out" from the driver's responsibility.

My first reaction, when seeing one of these notices for the first time, was to think....yes if I am too close to the rear end of this lorry he can't see me behind him in his mirrors.

Why is it that some people look at things from a safety aspect and others look at the same thing looking for an excuse to condem a safety warning as a "responsibility cop out"?

Surely anything that makes inexperienced drivers, peds or cyclists think twice about their own safety and actions can't be a bad thing?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 13:39 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
"If you can't see my mirrors I can't see you" ... "reversing voices" ... abrogation of responsibility.

Is this right? I mean, if a driver of such a vehicle reverses into someone stationary, with the warning signs, sounds and lights, can the driver never be at fault?

Could these warnings merely be a reminder to other road users to be careful around such vehicles, instead of (effectively) allowing an "abrogation of responsibility"?

dcbwhaley wrote:
If a driver cannot see behind his vehicle he should only reverse with the assistance of another person.

Within places like industrial estates, where people should expect it, I suspect the risk so small (accounting for exposure) to be not worth it. However...

This is a case of 'where do you draw the line?'

There have been many instances where car drivers have ran over their family within their own driveways, even with all-round visibility, mostly because they were within the blindest spot of all: low down (below the boot level). Given this would you now suggest that all drivers (including yourself) always must have assistance when reversing, regardless of anything else?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 23:16 
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Steve wrote:
There have been many instances where car drivers have ran over their family within their own driveways, even with all-round visibility, mostly because they were within the blindest spot of all: low down (below the boot level). Given this would you now suggest that all drivers (including yourself) always must have assistance when reversing, regardless of anything else?


From experience at work ,driving Transits etc , even sensible people ,with driving licences giving assistance can get it wrong and "dissapear " FROM MIRRORS .
Reversing is a choice of finding the least dangerous of methods of seeing behind you .i choose "by mirrors " as it lets you see left/right/ and in a car immediatly behind .If in doubt ,I'd ask passenger to get out and assist .Problem these days is that the "no win ,no fee 2 merchants ,and the lack of pedestrian education have brought society to a position where the PED sees a car/van etc and thinks "I can see him ,ergo ,he can see me ".Me" - been in a van driving seat in that sort of situation -so I wait till driver indicates that he's/SHE'S seen me (MORE SO IF IT'S A SHE).That s something else the "THINK" ADS HAVE TO ADDRESS .PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THE LIMITED VISIBILITY TO A DRIVER WHEN REVERSING .
on a drive ,with young kids around ,I'd ask for a head count and restraint of kids -after all most times they'd be my grand kids .And after a walk round and a second head count would I proceed .

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 07:34 
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weepej wrote:
SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
Women are prone to hesitating and being less confident and so less predictable.
Have you any evidence at all that the seven women killed after being struck by lorries in London this year were "hesistant, less confident and unpredictable", or by extension wholly culpable of their demise?

No I was talking generally about what I have experienced as a long term rider when I used to do a typical 150 mile sin and around London each week for years ... although I have not cycled in London for years I still see and observe all around the Country all sorts of behaviours from all sorts of riders and drivers. Women tend to behave differently. I often find a mix of different bad driving habits from women and men.
Whilst I was being general it is from my own reasonably sized experience.
SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
I like the idea of women getting into lorry's to obtain other perspectives, that's great.

I've done this, you can see so little it makes me wonder why it's legal at all to move these things around in urban environments at all, and doubly wonder why sometimes they are driven like rally cars (particulary skip and refuse lorries).
We often joke about people like me wanting a return to the days of a man walking in front of cars with a red flag, but in the case of lorries this might not be far from the truth.[/quote]
I had a 3 ton lorry that I used to move us out of London and my first trip was right across the whole of London on a Saturday! But it was fine.
I took it very carefully and 'learned' the spacial awareness first, then understood where all my blindspots were and so on. Within 24hrs I was holding good 9" gaps and although being very careful felt that I was confident and had started to understand the new techniques.
As for reversing sirens they are there to simply aid those that have been in the drivers blindspots. I don't personally like them as I'd like to think everyone was responsible enough, to understand that a lorry cannot see in many variable areas, but sadly people are not so encouraged so a direct notice becomes a good reminder to those less capable.

The point about going slowly up beside a lorry is about when it is moving. I was rarely do so if the vehicle was moving and never ever go into a 'closing gap' no matter what you rider or drive.
So if you have a slow moving vehicle and you are on a bike and the gap is closing then you rode into it - not a wise or responsible thing to do. So stay back - same on motorways in a car don't sit beside a lorry wait and then overtake in one quicker overtake manoeuvre. Although this is not strictly a closing gap but an exposed one. (As in exposed to danger for longer - so you lower the risk and make is less.)

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