I had a nasty incident a few days ago.
I cycled outside of town and wanted to turn left to get on the joined cycling/foot passenger path on the left side of the road.
Naturally I indicated with my left hand (a cyclist's turning light) that I wanted to turn left.
Looking over my shoulder I saw a white van. First it slowed down when the driver saw me. But it did not stop nor made the driver any indication that I could safely turn left. Then the van sped up. Thinking that the van would overtake me I made the move to turn to the other side of the road.
Well, fuck that damn bitch of a driver - she hit the brakes right next to me and I, trying to prevent an accident, I kissed the asphalt. (The scrape on my arm still hurts like hell and it is all black and blue.) Naturally I gave her a piece of my mind, including flipping her the bird. She was totally taken aback, chattering something in a language I did not understand. (It was neither German nor English nor any other language that I could identify.) The van was rental, marked with the "Sixt" logo.
Since nothing had really happened I called her a bunch of names for good measure and then took my bicycle and pushed it to the left side of the road.
I still don't know what she wanted (pick me up ? ask me for directions?), but damn, where in the world does a driver not get the "hands are a cyclist's turning lights" thing ?.
I feel your pain! I ride a bike to and from work every day. One of the roads actually has a bike lane! (unheard of in Philadelphia!) anyhow Drivers always ALWAYS drive into it to either turn or to pass other cars that are turning. I'm constantly getting dirty looks or getting honked at. Plus these people never ever use their turn signals and they are almost always on their phones!!!!I get one Road with actual bike lanes and they have to drive into them!
it's not that people don't understand the hand turn signal. it's that they just don't care.
The thing is, I think she really did not understand that I wanted to turn left into the bicycle lane.
The bicycle lane was marked with a big blue and white sign, it was kinda hard to miss. And to top it off, this was on one of the EuroVelo routes, so locals are pretty used to cyclists.
About the talking on the phone thing: I am so glad this is forbidden in Europe. Getting caught with your ear on your mobile carries similar fines as to driving under the influence here, maybe they'll introduce this in the US someday too.
I can feel ur pain Maria !
Some of the people behind the wheels tend to be casual and reckless and disregard the rules and regulations and most of the accidents happen due to this.
Wish u a speedy recovery !!
In San Francisco cyclists consider bike lanes to be some of the most dangerous places to ride
I live in America's bike-friendly city - Portland, Oregon - the place is absolutely filthy with bikes and cyclists, but every year a few cyclists still get hit by cars and die
My opinion is that it's far too easy to get a driver's license in this state, and I say outlaw cell phones while driving everywhere!
Such a useless driver. Polish maybe?
Anyways...I hope your recover soon.
I now take the bus down a busy downtown street to get to work. It's total chaos--frustrated drivers and crazy cyclists alike. Those cyclists--and moped drivers--weave in and out of traffic like drivers are supposed to guess their every move. And drivers take out their frustrations by honking and speeding and revving their engines. Not a terribly friendly atmosphere.
And not all countries are cyclist-friendly, so it doesn't surprise me that some people don't know cycle arm talk. She does sound like a bit of a loony, though.
Texting while driving has now been identified as a significant contributor to crashes in the US. There is discussion of a Federal Ban on all Texting by drivers. Talking on a phone while driving is also considered a hazard but the Texting problem is being taken more seriously. I suppose that is to be expected when driving texters are crashing into the rears of Police Cruisers!
Again here in the States I'm seeing more television advertising this year to educate drivers to give the right of way to motorcycles and bicycles.
At home in Florida I experience near daily contempt for my own bicycle riding. It is so bad here that I almost always ride on the sidewalks! It is alarming how many drivers behave as if they have no idea whatsoever what to do when they encounter a bicycle! Those encounters in turn scare the hell out of me because I feel that I'm dammed if I stop and dammed if I keep going! I guess I can be exceedingly glad I don't live in Kansas, where I actually witnessed MONSTER TRUCKS using the SIDEWALK to overtake and pass traffic!
There is a major cycle and pedestrian pathway; no motor vehicles permitted (called the Pinellas Trail) that I use here whenever I can. The entire world could use more "Pinellas Trails" and until that happens, we bikers will have to be vigilant and alert because the life we save will most likely be OUR OWN!
I'm sorry. But I completely disagree. For me it's Darwinian and survival of the fittest.
If cyclists want to share the road with cars, they should get metal skins and be able to
go inaccess of 200 km/hr. There's an underlying assumption that the two modes of travel
are mutually compatible, and there are "rights" being violated when disagreements occur.
They're not. I think bicycle and cars should be kept well away from each other.
Unfortunately, most modern cities are designed around cars (not even pedestrians even).
Despite what the law says, a slight bit of inattention, lack of skill, over aggression, over
cautiousness, etc. (on either side), will lead to accidents. And accidents do happen; what
ever the cause, it will happen.
Very sad to hear this.
However, I'm a professional driver (have been for years, not just in GB either - but across Europe) and there are two sides to the cyclists - v - driver stories.
I have to dodge round many idiotic cyclists and motorbikers every day. So many of them think they have some sort of given right to weave in and out the traffic, mount pavements, overtake on the inside and go straight through red lights.
So many times I've had to slam my brakes on to allow them to continue violating traffic laws.
I feel for your story, but please don't assume that all drivers are the same.
Get well healed soon please.
[ Edit: Edited on 18-Jun-2009, at 04:05 by Redpaddy ]