a piece of advice from a professional driver

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  • a piece of advice from a professional driver
  • 6079smithw
    Member

    Firstly, that taxi driver is a **** for what he did.

    Pavements, RLJing… it’s all fair game on a bicycle. It’s even statistically safer.

    I think that attitude is as prevalent as it is among non-professional drivers.

    antigee
    Member

    reading the comments in the Guardian on the guy knocked off by car following a hearse cam across this one

    As a motorist, LGV driver and cyclist I would suggest the first rule of cycling is look out for yourself. Having the law on your side wont repair a broken body or worse.

    now I ride defensively on the road but the “look out for yourself” bit caught my attention as its what a taxi driver said to me yesterday after he’d deliberately forced me out of my lane

    I was in centre of middle lane which goes straight ahead moving at the speed of traffic – he came up behind in right lane which was moving slightly faster came along side looked at me and then started to edge slowly across – I banged on passenger side window but he ignored and carried on until I was in the left lane which had parked cars in it and becomes left only – I carried on banging on the side (it was a taxi not some ones pride and joy or white van man and a hammer) so he stopped
    Me “you deliberately forced me across out of the lane”
    Him cool as a cucumber “you need to look after yourself – cycling is dangerous”
    I gave a wasted lecture based on aggressive driving doesn’t help and then shrugged my shoulders and waved him on as quite a lot of traffic behind – though the immediately following driver gave me the thumbs up

    So how prevalent among professional drivers is the attitude that its cyclists that have to take avoiding action or face the consequences?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    In any part of life looking out for yourself is important. I don’t want my headstone to read died on the moral high ground. I ride and drive defensively try to never be boxed in or trapped but you can’t always avoid it.

    I can’t make everyone else a better or safer driver so whining about it is a waste of time in reality. I can do what I can to look out for myself.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    A mate of mine, bike messenger in that there London, started carrying a far sized ball pein hammer clipped under the top tube for instances like that.

    * Not that I’m suggesting you do the same.

    cynic-al
    Member

    When someone deliberately does this I see red mist.

    There would have been dents all over his taxi, I hope I’d have got his keys and chucked them away first.

    They just don’t seem to value our lives – and I keep getting flamed for criticising people who accept unsafe driving.

    uselesshippy
    Member

    He’s right, you do need to look after yourself while cycling.
    I recomend a large, heavy lock within easy reach for just such occasions.

    Edric 64
    Member

    Taxi drivers are the worst ,as a job its like being a whore any lazy **** can do it .

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    I love how easily the phrase “professional driver” is thrown around. It just means you get paid for it, it doesn’t mean you’re any good at it.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    I don’t think I’ve ever typed this before, but I agree wholeheartedly with mikewsmith. And breathe…..

    m1kea
    Member

    Professional driver = someone who has been trained to drive a vehicle for their job i.e emergency services, HGVs and buses.

    Someone who drives for a living = taxi drivers, couriers, sales reps.

    The taxi driver in the OP was/is a cock. Unfortunately even being trained doesn’t necessarily make you a better driver person as a clubmate will attest to as he got knocked of his bike by a local bus.

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Sometimes its nice to have ratchet closing shoes, the ones with those nice scratchy ratchets…. that and metal lock on bar ends….

    +1 mikesmith..

    atlaz
    Member

    now I ride defensively on the road but the “look out for yourself” bit caught my attention as its what a taxi driver said to me yesterday after he’d deliberately forced me out of my lane

    Did you report the taxi driver to the relevant licensing authority in your area?

    Premier Icon Haze
    Subscriber

    Cycling isn’t dangerous, driving is.

    antigee
    Member

    Professional driver = someone who has been trained to drive a vehicle for their job i.e emergency services, HGVs and buses.

    fair point – I was thinking it more in terms of people who drive all day (or night) for a living would just from experience of having seen a lot of shit go down actually be more considerate than average rather than develop a lack of concern for potential consequence

    gwaelod
    Member

    the automated robot google car thing will render driving jobs obsolete within 20 years or so.

    MrSmith
    Member

    Pavements, RLJing… it’s all fair game on a bicycle. It’s even statistically safer.

    Is it? Says who?

    trail_rat
    Member

    its the uk all over and its not just against cyclists.

    ive experianced similar in my car !

    PEOPLE just have no respect , it doesnt matter what your driving and what they are driving , they want you out the way.

    russian dash cams all the way “looking out for my self”

    recently drove 1500 miles on mainland europe and yes drivers were erratic and dont seem to adhere to braking distances but on the whole they looked to have spacial awareness and slot their cars into small gaps , they always looked and around town were hugely curteous to walkers , cyclists and other car drivers.

    coming back to the uk was a shock tbh id relaxed and mellowed out while i was there and coming back to the uk i found that i just get wound up by the stupid manuvers folk make , the fact that the majority of people cant go ROUND a round about and they have no ability to utilise two lanes

    mattsccm
    Member

    “Professional driver = someone who has been trained to drive a vehicle for their job i.e emergency services, HGVs and buses.”
    I disagree to a great extent. That is giving a different status to those people. Why. It doesn’t mean that their driving is any better. In fact I would argue that many of those are the worst, both in actions and attitude. I would suggest that almost every bus I see s driven with little regard to the highway code, HGV’s regularly exceed their speeds limits or break other rules. Why? Because it makes the job easier for the driver. Just how many times have you been “flashed” across at a T junction so that the driver of a large vehicle can cut a corner. The very fact that he flashed his lights is wrong and shows a failure to understand the Highway Code. I have no sympathy for those who break the rules for their own convenience.
    Of course there are exceptions to every generalisation, be they good or bad.

    Pigface
    Member

    Taxi drivers are the worst ,as a job its like being a whore

    I think you are being harsh on whores.

    justatheory
    Member

    I worked in Licensing for a while and can’t say this surprises me. Some of the complaints we received about taxi drivers were beyond belief. If taxis behave like this get their plate number and report it to the local authority, it will go on record and might make them think twice if their livelihood is threatened.

    b r
    Member

    As a motorist, LGV driver and cyclist I would suggest the first rule of cycling is look out for yourself. Having the law on your side wont repair a broken body or worse.

    Is about the best bit of advice you can give any vulnerable road user, whether they are a pedestrian. cyclist or motor-cyclist.

    A bit like:

    Q – the car in front has its right indicator on, what is the only safe thing you can assume?

    A – the light works…

    b r
    Member

    recently drove 1500 miles on mainland europe and yes drivers were erratic and dont seem to adhere to braking distances but on the whole they looked to have spacial awareness and slot their cars into small gaps , they always looked and around town were hugely curteous to walkers , cyclists and other car drivers.

    Probably because of the pretty common law across Continental Europe that basically states:
    “the driver of the motor vehicle is assumed at fault until proven otherwise when in collision with a pedestrian/cyclist/motor-cyclist”

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Probably because of the pretty common law across Continental Europe that basically states:
    “the driver of the motor vehicle is assumed at fault until proven otherwise when in collision with a pedestrian/cyclist/motor-cyclist”

    Partly that but partly because in Europe, most kids grow up owning mopeds, very few ever wear a helmet and they discover the hard way that falling off/hitting cars hurts. So when they graduate to driving, they see these kids on mopeds and they know how much it hurts (and how much they’ll be held at fault) so they’re much more careful.

    Over here, we’d just moan about them not wearing helmets.

    29erKeith
    Member

    it will go on record and might make them think twice if their livelihood is threatened

    agreed, but I bet it doesn’t change his opinion of cyclists.
    In fact it will probably galvanise his hatred further 😥

    I doubt we’ll ever win or change the attitude of so many who hate cyclists 😥 😥 😥 😥 😥

    hora
    Member

    “Look out for yourself”.

    You know, my first rule in driving is its not me/my driving that I’m worried about its having to share the roads with people who SHOULD wear prescription glasses, shouldn’t drink drive/should drink more water, shouldn’t drive tired, shouldn’t be on the road due to a disguised medical condition, are too old to drive now, have no lack or consideration, are aggressive or just plain lacking in courtesy.

    thomthumb
    Member

    i drove to work the other day and i couldn’t work out why so many people pulled out on me, cut me up and generally drove so badly around me.

    Then it dawned on me – i’d taken the OHs car, instead of the van.

    I never have people pull out in front of me on roundabouts etc in the van, i assume because it’s big. If drivers are happy to bully a 306 then what chance does a cyclist have!

    antigee
    Member

    As a motorist, LGV driver and cyclist I would suggest the first rule of cycling is look out for yourself. Having the law on your side wont repair a broken body or worse.

    its not a bad piece of advice in itself I just think that in the situations where it was given it implied something more like “I’ve not got any intent of being considerate or even safe around other road users so you’d better look out”

    I agree with all the its good to ride defensively don’t assume anything don’t get in positions of danger – learnt the hard way 30years ago

    another instance same day but positive – car reversing fast out of drive and will almost certainly not stop before crossing into cycle lane – I look over shoulder to see which way to bail and the car driver who could be passing me has spotted the potential problem and slowed to let me out

    the you’ve got to look after yourself arguments would say tough – my lane sort it yourself

    bencooper
    Member

    A mate of mine, bike messenger in that there London, started carrying a far sized ball pein hammer clipped under the top tube for instances like that.

    Safety glass break hammer tucked up the sleeve – quick flick, it pops into your hand, tap on the side window, “You must have hit my handlebar”.

    Another good one is to simply open the back passenger door. They have to stop, get out and go all the way around to close it again.

    Premier Icon funkrodent
    Subscriber

    I normally ride into work on the bike, but this morning I took the car. I wasn’t rushing or running late but I near as dammit hit a cyclist. Was approaching a roundabout that I cycle round every day and had a quick glance to my right to check for oncoming traffic. Nothing there so I pulled out. To my horror a guy on a race bike flashed in front of me. I just didn’t see him at all. If I had hit him would have been my fault, yet I wasn’t driving aggressively or in a rushed fashion. I suppose the moral of the story is that as a cyclist you have to be aware of the fact that, with the best will in the world – and professional driver or not – sometimes people just won’t see you. I’m off out at lunch to buy two of those cheap flashing lights for my handlebars and a high vis jacket, because if someone who commutes by bike every day and always gives cyclists room and space when driving can have a SMIDSY, then anyone can. Ultimately we would be crazy not to take as many precautions as possible and remember, as a cyclist your biggest enemy is cars/vans/lorries/busses pulling out or turning into a road.

    wrecker
    Member

    Firstly, that taxi driver is a **** for what he did.

    Pavements, RLJing… it’s all fair game on a bicycle

    Do you not see the problem with these two statements at all?

    hora
    Member

    i drove to work the other day and i couldn’t work out why so many people pulled out on me, cut me up and generally drove so badly around me.

    Then it dawned on me – i’d taken the OHs car, instead of the van.

    I never have people pull out in front of me on roundabouts etc in the van, i assume because it’s big. If drivers are happy to bully a 306 then what chance does a cyclist have!

    Try driving a C1 or an Aygo. From behind you’ll get abuse (only occassionally), they’ll pull alongside and realise you are not a female. Disgusting.

    Whereas in one of my Subaru’s NO ONE takes the piss. Ever.

    bencooper
    Member

    I don’t know if any serious studies have been done on it, but I’m convinced that a lot of SMIDSYs are a subconscious thing – a person on an upright bike looks to your subconscious brain a lot like a pedestrian – two legs, torso, head – so you automatically filter it out of your list of things to look for on the road.

    I definitely find, even with very low racing recumbents, it’s much less of an issue – drivers do a noticeable double-take as their brain tells them there’s something weird on the road heading straight for them.

    plus one
    Member

    I’m a professional driver and keen cyclist I always give cyclists plenty room(maybe cause I’m a cyclist) I’m more tuned in.. But yes I do see other professional drivers squeeze/cut cyclists up and it makes me cringe 🙁

    But no I never feel its the cyclists job to fend for him/herself it goes against everything in the training .. And we get constant refresher training and no end of posters/reminders involving cyclists..

    Premier Icon funkrodent
    Subscriber

    Another brief note. In the ’80s my parents lived in Lagos, erstwhile capital city of Nigeria. Driving tests, MOTs, Highway code all didn’t exist. The only requirements to whether or not you could drive a car were did you own, or have access to, one and did it have petrol in it. If the answer was yes then you were on the road! It was like something out of wacky races, traffic lights were ignored, horns were used instead of brakes, directional lanes were viewed as being purely advisory and indicators were occasionally used in their hazard light capacity when someone decided to stop in the middle of a busy lane for no particular reason. Intermingled amongst all this were legions of kids trying to flog sweets and cigarettes, packs of random stray dogs, hordes of nutters on mopeds etc.
    My mum drove amongst all this for four years without ever having an accident. When asked how she managed to do it (most European women wouldn’t have driven there if you paid them) she explained that she worked on the basis that every other driver was about to do the most stupid thing possible. That way she was ready when, inevitably, some of them did. Seems to me that that’s a pretty good analogy for how to keep safe on a bike. Expect all drivers to do something stupid, so that when one does, you’re ready for it.

    Premier Icon funkrodent
    Subscriber

    I don’t know if any serious studies have been done on it, but I’m convinced that a lot of SMIDSYs are a subconscious thing – a person on an upright bike looks to your subconscious brain a lot like a pedestrian – two legs, torso, head – so you automatically filter it out of your list of things to look for on the road.

    +1 for this. Given that I completely failed to see a cyclist on a roundabout this morning, there may well be truth in this. Bit shocked too tbh because I’ve never previously bought into the whole SMIDSY thing, but I genuinely didn’t see this guy. Could so easily have been me on the bike. Definitely taking steps to increase my visibility to other road users

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    I think the one thing I have learned is that the word professional doesnt mean good when it comes to drivers. Sure they are paid to be drivers but that doesnt mean they are any better than anybody else… indeed i often see them driving a lot worse because they do it every day so make a lot of assumptions about the way they drive.

    Personally I wonder how many more will need to die before the spirit of looking out fo cyclists takes hold. sadly it took many more than we are seeing before it happened in holland.

    wrecker
    Member

    I find driving instructors are often very, very poor drivers.
    Seeing a learner car one-up always makes me cautious.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Pavements, RLJing… it’s all fair game on a bicycle. It’s even statistically safer.

    Evidence please? Not anecdotal. Both also make you look like a ****, and there’s a whole lot of evidence for that!

    Premier Icon Speshpaul
    Subscriber

    A line worth remembering for taxi drivers

    ” why don’t you **** off and get a proper job!”

    ping- fire in the hole!

    rsmythe
    Member

    As another comment on the Guardian article says, just: “leave cycling to the professionals” 🙄

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