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 Post subject: Car overtaking cycle.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 21:45 
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Coming up to a right hand turn on a country road I was confronted with a 5 series (sorry Paul) on the wrong side of the road overtaking a cycle.

Immediate adrenaline rush, hit brakes steered to left as far as I could without going down embankment. BMW squeezed by bike and me without hittting anyone. Had wife and two of my kids on board. Thats it really.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 05:07 
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fergl100 wrote:
Coming up to a right hand turn on a country road I was confronted with a 5 series (sorry Paul) on the wrong side of the road overtaking a cycle.

Immediate adrenaline rush, hit brakes steered to left as far as I could without going down embankment. BMW squeezed by bike and me without hittting anyone. Had wife and two of my kids on board. Thats it really.


Yeah this is nasty. The bike, coupled with the behaviour of the oncoming idiot, almost made the road a single track road. ('almost' because it did actually fit.)

The thing about single track roads is that they modify the safe speed rule because oncoming vehicles have stopping distances too. You have to be able to stop in HALF the distance you can see to be clear to allow for the oncomer to also stop.

If you see the oncoming bike first, that's an extreme danger signal if the road is too narrow to support all of you side by side. It's far too common for a vehicle to overtake a bike in this sort of circumstance. The normal way to react to the danger signal is to reduce speed and keep left. I suppose there might be some circumstances where moving right would enable longer vision - both for us and to help any potential oncoming overtaker to see us sooner.

If we were the oncomer, then OBVIOUSLY we stay behind the bike until we can see enough to overtake safely.

If we were the bike we could move out to discourage overtaking (primary riding position) and consider giving a 'hold back' signal to a potential overtaker.

When suddenly faced with an impossible gap it's wise to look beyond the road for an escape route. Possibly there's a verge or a bank that could come in handy. Even a wall will usually be better than hitting an oncoming vehicle.

It's well worth training yourself to frequently consider such escape routes. There must be thousands upon thousands of crashes that could have been avoided if one of the vehicles had deliberately taken to the verge. But of course when faced with an emergency we tend not to think beyond the road itself. That's where 'training yourself' comes in.

[btw: I'm driving a camper van these days]

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 09:30 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Even a wall will usually be better than hitting an oncoming vehicle.


I don't agree with this for a number of reasons.

Even if it's a drystone wall, you can't say for certain it will give way, it may be backed by earth, the ground level behind could be higher. Another vehicle will have crumple zones and will probably be as forgiving as a wall, even though it will be moving. Modern cars are designed with collisions with other cars in mind, not solid objects.

By swerving to the side you are presenting the weakest part of your vehicle to the oncoming vehicle, if you don't make it and the other vehicle collides with the side of your car you and other occupants of your vehicle are more likely to suffer serious injuries. If you are going to hit something then hitting head on at speed is preferable to being T-boned.

You are moving off the road where there will be undeterminable levels of grip and possibly a ditch which could bring you to a dead halt with your rear passengers right in the path of the oncoming vehicle. Depending on your speed you may even roll the vehicle and wind up back on the road in exactly the position you did not want to be.

If the other vehicle is unscathed there is a good chance he will simply drive on. He may have the unjustified opinion that you driving into a wall is your accident and nothing to do with him. If you are lucky you'll get his reg. no. More likely he will be gone round the next bend before your airbag deflates. This may be an acceptable outcome if it is avoiding personal injury but I would much rather give the other driver reason to stop and exchange details.

You are deliberately damaging a 4th party's property (the wall).

I would.....
1. Move over but keep on the tarmac to keep control of the vehicle.
2. Brake, hard.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:43 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Even a wall will usually be better than hitting an oncoming vehicle.
My bold
Homer wrote:
...

Even if it's a drystone wall, you can't say for certain it will give way, it may be backed by earth, the ground level behind could be higher. Another vehicle will have crumple zones and will probably be as forgiving as a wall, even though it will be moving. Modern cars are designed with collisions with other cars in mind, not solid objects.

In this particular instance, any collision witrh the oncoming vehicle could have sent the back end of it into the cyclist, causing death of the innocent party.

Homer wrote:
By swerving to the side you are presenting the weakest part of your vehicle to the oncoming vehicle, if you don't make it and the other vehicle collides with the side of your car you and other occupants of your vehicle are more likely to suffer serious injuries. If you are going to hit something then hitting head on at speed is preferable to being T-boned.
My bold.
The angle would be extremely acute. Energy in the direction of the car would be minimal. Also, we have to assume that the oncoming car will swerve back toward his side if any, making the angle even more acute. Hardly t-bone.

Homer wrote:
You are moving off the road where there will be undeterminable levels of grip and possibly a ditch which could bring you to a dead halt with your rear passengers right in the path of the oncoming vehicle. Depending on your speed you may even roll the vehicle and wind up back on the road in exactly the position you did not want to be.
My bold.
The rear will possibly jump back toward the road, and yes your vehicle may roll. However, time your offroading such that you do so at the last moment and you should miss the vehicle coming at you (with a net double speed) while you're offroad.
Homer wrote:
If the other vehicle is unscathed there is a good chance he will simply drive on.

True. So what? You saved the cyclist's life.
Homer wrote:
He may have the unjustified opinion that you driving into a wall is your accident and nothing to do with him. If you are lucky you'll get his reg. no. More likely he will be gone round the next bend before your airbag deflates. This may be an acceptable outcome if it is avoiding personal injury but I would much rather give the other driver reason to stop and exchange details.

I would at alll costs avoid a double speed impact and choose a glance along a wall or take my chances off road. The exception is a tree/lamp post/telegraph pole. All these are point source impacts and even more dangerous than a double speed head on.
Homer wrote:
You are deliberately damaging a 4th party's property (the wall).

The lesser of the evils.
Homer wrote:
I would.....
1. Move over but keep on the tarmac to keep control of the vehicle.
2. Brake, hard.

I would too - but if I then judged that, despite this, a fast vehicle coming toward me would either hit me or an innocent cyclist or pedestrian, I'd usually take my chance off road.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 16:43 
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Having grown up in t'countryside and been in the situation many times I'll stick to my tried and tested method.

If it comes to swerving off the road then the other driver has probably already decided to go for the lesser of two impacts (i.e. the cyclist). It's never come to that, both vehicles generally find the space to stop or pass.

Though I did once see a cyclist disappear through a gateway coming down Wrynose pass, never to be seen again.


Last edited by Homer on Sun Apr 16, 2006 16:50, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 16:50 
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Homer wrote:
Having grown up in t'countryside and been in the situation many times I'll stick to my tried and tested method.

If it comes to swerving off the road then the other driver has probably already decided to go for the lesser of two impacts (i.e. the cyclist). It's never come to that, both vehicles generally find the space to stop or pass.


Having less than three months ago had to pick up the pieces from an impact between a cyclist and a four-wheeled vehicle, I'll continue to explore alternatives to avoid any impact if at all possible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 13:23 
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im with Homer on this one. off road convoy training in the army taught us to follow exactly in the tracks of the vehilce in front. the reason being, you know its SAFE. you dont know what is in the verge so i would pull across to the edge of the road and stop (if possible).
i heard of one of my colleagues in this situation with a truck. his reaction was pull onto the verge and he hit something which ripped his axle off. in this case, the damage was to the vehicle but you dont know what is in there that could cause unexpected reaction to the vehicle.
you cannot condone the action of the overtaker anyway. he should have waited for a clear spot to overtake and he should have been ready to react to an oncoming vehicle. clearly, neither of these were on his mind :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 18:44 
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about fifteen years ago one of the guys i worked with didnt turn up for work, turned out he had been driving to work down a B road notorious for accidents

It was lovely straight road but undulated and cars could get concealed in the dips (which was a surprise if you were overtaking)

he was driving along in his metro and a camper van overtaking in the opposite direction appeared on his side of the road, he swerved left and ended up going through a hedge into a field a couple of feet below

neither the camper van or whatever it was overtaking stopped and it was an hour or so before someone noticed the hole in the hedge and the metro on its roof and called the police.

He wasnt hurt that badly but it cost him a fortune to get the car recovered (your car recovery policy only covers vehicles on the road.....you have to pay to get the car back as far as the road)

if he had been badly hurt he could have died in that field without anyone even knowing he was there............sometimes it might be better to have an accident on the road


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 22:26 
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Trouble, as i've tried to instill on here is that single track driving is an art -once you've mastered it , you've learned a lot of the COAST skills - you've also learned a lot of road holding and cornering skills - coz most single track roads have negative cambers, which you learn to view with experience , bad surfaces , changing surface grip ( you don't expect first class surfaces in the back of beyond do you) --al ot this you learn through the contact with the road - your wheel - now go back 30 years - drive this in a Moggie 1000 or a A40 Farina , then graduate to a wolsely 1300 or the ultimate machine in these days - lotus cortina 1600e.
Then tell me that you can drive.
Then you get the same road with 4 inch of snow, you against the elements, and your shovel , to find that Austin 1800 are gliding around , and you are sanding hills to get up.
And once more tell me that you can drive.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 07:45 
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weety wrote:
he was driving along in his metro and a camper van overtaking in the opposite direction appeared on his side of the road, he swerved left and ended up going through a hedge into a field a couple of feet below [...]

He wasnt hurt that badly...


And how would you rate his chances if he'd hit the campervan head on in a Metro?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 08:45 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Yeah this is nasty. The bike, coupled with the behaviour of the oncoming idiot, almost made the road a single track road. ('almost' because it did actually fit.)


I think you meant:

"The behaviour of the oncoming idiot almost made the road a single track road."

Sadly there are many of these idiots about and if you cycle, you will see them. It never used to be like this.

Who is to blame and how can it be fixed?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 09:02 
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More speed cameras :?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 09:23 
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B cyclist wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
Yeah this is nasty. The bike, coupled with the behaviour of the oncoming idiot, almost made the road a single track road. ('almost' because it did actually fit.)


I think you meant:

"The behaviour of the oncoming idiot almost made the road a single track road."


I think the physical contribution of the bike is important. It's the 'immediate cause' of the idiot's behaviour, and that's important because when you see a bike in such a situation, that's your cue to think about the possibility of an idiot. Of course it doesn't have to be a bike - any nearside obstruction for the oncomers will do.

B cyclist wrote:
Sadly there are many of these idiots about and if you cycle, you will see them. It never used to be like this.

Who is to blame and how can it be fixed?


I think there will always be idiots, whatever we do. So I prefer to consider how the rest of us can survive our encounters with idiots.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:42 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
weety wrote:
he was driving along in his metro and a camper van overtaking in the opposite direction appeared on his side of the road, he swerved left and ended up going through a hedge into a field a couple of feet below [...]

He wasnt hurt that badly...


And how would you rate his chances if he'd hit the campervan head on in a Metro?


not good....but if you survived you would get prompt medical attention rather than bleeding out unnoticed in a ditch


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:55 
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weety wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
weety wrote:
he was driving along in his metro and a camper van overtaking in the opposite direction appeared on his side of the road, he swerved left and ended up going through a hedge into a field a couple of feet below [...]

He wasnt hurt that badly...


And how would you rate his chances if he'd hit the campervan head on in a Metro?


not good....but if you survived you would get prompt medical attention rather than bleeding out unnoticed in a ditch

If there's a ditch, matters are less clear cut. A friend of mine at work took four days off inside two weeks to attend four separate funerals a few years back - all four having drowned when their car (ironically also a Metro I believe) went into a live ditch on its roof, virtually undamaged, but the tapered sides of the ditch prevented any escape. However, a 2' drop into a (probably green-cushioned) field, no matter which part of the car takes the initial impact, is orders of magnitude more preferable - even if the thing is going to roll over a dozen times, than a head-on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 13:11 
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For me personally, given the choice of an offending vehicle and a wall/ditch I'd rather ram the vehicle.

My immediate family has already suffered the consequences of taking the moral high ground and driving off the road into a wall. Other driver buggered off, our NCD gone and insurance up through the roof.

Providing there's no a significant weight disadvantage I'd rather hit the other car and make sure it stung his wallet rather than mine.

Just my 2p

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 14:18 
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I agree - hit the brakes hard, move left as far as you can without leaving the road and brace for impact. The vast majority of the time there will be no collision anyway, as the other driver will get back onto their side of the road, and any collision that did result will be entirely the other drivers fault as you were stationary or nearly so at the time.

Choosing to leave the road yourself will leave you in insurance hell, the fault will be a matter of opinion (did you just panic over nothing?), and can make most of the safety devices in you car redundant.

Airbags won't save you from being impaled on a tree branch, or save your child from drowning because you couldn't get to the harness of their child seat in time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 15:45 
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Roger wrote:
weety wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
weety wrote:
he was driving along in his metro and a camper van overtaking in the opposite direction appeared on his side of the road, he swerved left and ended up going through a hedge into a field a couple of feet below [...]

He wasnt hurt that badly...


And how would you rate his chances if he'd hit the campervan head on in a Metro?


not good....but if you survived you would get prompt medical attention rather than bleeding out unnoticed in a ditch

If there's a ditch, matters are less clear cut. A friend of mine at work took four days off inside two weeks to attend four separate funerals a few years back - all four having drowned when their car (ironically also a Metro I believe) went into a live ditch on its roof, virtually undamaged, but the tapered sides of the ditch prevented any escape. However, a 2' drop into a (probably green-cushioned) field, no matter which part of the car takes the initial impact, is orders of magnitude more preferable - even if the thing is going to roll over a dozen times, than a head-on.


but when you choose to swerve of the road you have no idea what you will hit


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 17:55 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
B cyclist wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
Yeah this is nasty. The bike, coupled with the behaviour of the oncoming idiot, almost made the road a single track road. ('almost' because it did actually fit.)


I think you meant:

"The behaviour of the oncoming idiot almost made the road a single track road."


I think the physical contribution of the bike is important. It's the 'immediate cause' of the idiot's behaviour, and that's important because when you see a bike in such a situation, that's your cue to think about the possibility of an idiot. Of course it doesn't have to be a bike - any nearside obstruction for the oncomers will do.

B cyclist wrote:
Sadly there are many of these idiots about and if you cycle, you will see them. It never used to be like this.

Who is to blame and how can it be fixed?


I think there will always be idiots, whatever we do. So I prefer to consider how the rest of us can survive our encounters with idiots.


Actually the immediate cause is not the cyclist, but the idiot's inability to drive properly with due consideration for others. The cyclists is no more of a cause than the fact that there is a road there.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 19:03 
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B cyclist wrote:
Actually the immediate cause is not the cyclist, but the idiot's inability to drive properly with due consideration for others. The cyclists is no more of a cause than the fact that there is a road there.


To be fair, I don't believe Paul is using the word 'cause' to attatch culpability to the cyclist.
The motorist moved out 'because' the cyclist was there, the fact that he did so was the blameworthy action.


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