a piece of advice from a professional driver

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  • a piece of advice from a professional driver
  • MrSparkle
    Member

    A line worth remembering for taxi drivers

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

    ping- fire in the hole!
    Not having a go but…that’s great. You’d feel really good about delivering that one. Maybe the next cyclist to come up against him now that he’s got his back up against ALL cyclists wouldn’t though.
    The other night I got hit by a car on the ride home from work. There was a line of stationary traffic at lights so I rode up the cycle lane on the inside to the ‘cycle box’ at the front. There was a car parked slap bang in it. I went in front of it and waited for the lights to change. When they did I set off and then there was a big bang and he’d driven into me catching my leg and the bike with his wing. We all stopped. I got off, looked at my leg and my bike which were both luckily undamaged. A bit shocked I just looked at him instead of going off on one. He said – and I quote – ‘Sorry mate, I didn’t see you’. I was right in front of him at the time so not sure how this works. I didn’t say anything and got on my bike and continued on my way. He drove alongside me with the window open apologising profusely. I wondered afterwards if his attitude might have been different if I’d reacted aggressively, but also which scenario would have meant that he might be a bit more careful to cyclists in future.
    Maybe I’m kidding myself and he’ll just carry on driving like a nob.

    gonzy
    Member

    when it comes to cycling on the road the vast majority of drivers are completely ignorant…they get in their choice of transport and automatically think “i’m nice and safe in my metal box on wheels”…they dont care that they cut up cyclists, not give enough room when passing them etc…
    i ride defensively on the road, but i also realise i have to be aggressive when the situation arises just to try and protect myself…but even then what chance does a cyclist have against a 1 tonne car?

    IME its not just car drivers and taxi drivers who are a pain…bus drivers are just as bad…the number of times i’ve had buses squeeze me against the kerb because they dont want to go around me or when they are at a bus stop and they see that i’ve gone around them, they decide to pull out before i’ve gone past them forcing me to swerve into oncoming traffic…
    with regards to taxi drivers i’ve had similar incidents where the taxi driver deliberately forced me into the pavement…banging on his passenger window didnt do the trick…he just looked at me and carried on, so i did the next best thing…i slowed down and pushed my bars against the side of his cab and let the alloy bar plug do its business on his paintwork…the knob didnt even realise what i’d done and just carried on….if he’d have stopped i’d like to think i would have had the balls to do what cynic-al suggested and took his keys and chucked them down the gutter…

    5thElefant
    Member

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

    That’s always been my philosophy, particularly with motorbikes as that’s where I’ve done the most road miles.

    Not dying comes first. Being in the right doesn’t come into it for me.

    And, I don’t take it personally. Traffic is a hostile environment, not a social interaction.

    Big Dave
    Member

    As a motorist, LGV driver and cyclist I would suggest the first rule of cycling is look out for yourself

    To an extent I agree. Just because you know the rules of the road and that you have a right to be there don’t assume that you aren’t surrounded by morons. Having said that I hold an LGV licence and passing cyclists when driving something the size of a detached house can be tricky as the blind spots are huge and things simply disappear from sight. A ‘professional’ driver would be aware of this and take responsibility for the safety of those around them. It is not enough for only a cyclist to be alert to the dangers.

    Seems to me not enough drivers are properly skilled or prepared to consider the duty of care that they have towards the safety of other road users. Only a change in the law is likely to make sure things change. Perhaps an online petition to force a debate in parliament is needed…

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Not dying comes first. Being in the right doesn’t come into it for me.

    Nail on the head.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    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.

    So why only a quick glance? A quick glance simply is not enough to know what’s actually going on around you:

    I’d recommend anyone who drives or rides on the roads reads this:
    http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilot-teach-cyclists/

    When you move your head and eyes to scan a scene, your eyes are incapable of moving smoothly across it and seeing everything. Instead, you see in the image in a series of very quick jumps (called saccades) with very short pauses (called fixations) and it is only during the pauses that an image is processed.

    Your brain fills in the gaps with a combination of peripheral vision and an assumption that what is in the gaps must be the same as what you see during the pauses.

    This might sound crazy, but your brain actually blocks the image that is being received while your eyes are moving. This is why you do not see the sort of blurred image, that you see when you look sideways out of a train window.

    The only exception to this, is if you are tracking a moving object.

    The faster you move your head, the larger the jumps and the shorter the pauses. Therefore, you’ve got more of a chance of missing a vehicle.

    taxi25
    Member

    As a cyclist for the last 49yrs I watch out for myself, seems to have worked so far.
    As a taxi driver for the last 23yrs I watch out for all the other road users, includind the Edric 64’s and Speshpauls of the world, seems to have worked so.

    johnellison
    Member

    Is this aggression towards cyclists just a Southern/Midlands thing? I can’t think when I’ve ever really had a bust up/run in with a cage driver here “Oop North”.

    That said I do ride defensively and I tend to stay away from main thoroughfares wherever possible – I prefer looking for ways round the major choke points and junctions. Backstreets, subways, footbridges, and other sundry ginnels and rat-runs are all fair game for a push iron my book.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I accept the “look out for yourself” premise – but I’m not sure how it relates to the Funeral-vs-Cyclist incident?

    The cyclist there WAS looking out for himself in my opinion. He quite correctly took the Primary before making a right turn. e.g. Looking after his own safety before worrying about whether he might mildly inconvenience the driver behind. Then they (seemingly deliberately) rammed him.

    Not sure what he could have done differently?

    I’d say the “professional driver” quoted by the OP seems to think look out for yourself means that the “professional cyclist” shouldn’t have been riding in the road.

    (or course, the “professional drivers” are also the first to complain about cyclists who look out for themselves by jumping lights for safety or riding on pavements)

    user-removed
    Member

    johnellison – Member
    Is this aggression towards cyclists just a Southern/Midlands thing? I can’t think when I’ve ever really had a bust up/run in with a cage driver here “Oop North”.

    I’ve lived near Sunderland / Durham for the past eight years, and no, it’s not a Southern thing. Pretty much stopped riding on the road altogether due to the incredibly, astoundingly poor quality of driving in general. It’s the aggression towards two wheelers as much as the complete lack of ability to safely overtake / notice bicycles.

    And contrary to the various Twitter debacles, it’s usually blokes in their 20s / 30s who have come the closest to (usually deliberately) killing me.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    More sage words from a “professional driver” and motoring campaigner:

    “I think Boris’ plans for spending more on cycling are, in essence, bonkers. Cycling is one of the most dangerous occupations you can undertake. You should realise that. And that’s why, if you’ve got any sense, you get off your bike and actually use public transport or buy a car.

    They are becoming a very pushy minority group. You don’t get that from motorists who are much better behaved generally.”

    Roger Lawson, Alliance of British Drivers, speaking to Newsnight on 7th August 2013 (31 mins in)

    😯

    Is that what they mean by “look out for yourself”? Go buy a car?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Being in the right unbreaks no bones.

    But, this isn’t an either/or thing. A cyclist has to be insane to assume that other road users will do the right thing, and should always, always act accordingly. we have it in our power to make a massive difference to our safety. But there’s nothing in that which takes any responsibility away from the driver.

    b r
    Member

    There is though one taxi driver in London who does look twice now before U-turning. 🙂

    Imagine this aiming at you, about 10m away – stopped, but only just and did crease his drivers door.

    Premier Icon amedias
    Subscriber

    “I think Boris’ plans for spending more on cycling are, in essence, bonkers. Cycling is one of the most dangerous occupations you can undertake. You should realise that. And that’s why, if you’ve got any sense, you get off your bike and actually use public transport or buy a car.
    They are becoming a very pushy minority group. You don’t get that from motorists who are much better behaved generally.”

    – Roger Lawson, Alliance of British Drivers, speaking to Newsnight on 7th August 2013 (31 mins in)

    no f3ckwit, it’s not intrinsically dangerous, but some drivers make it dangerous. Cycling is one fo the safest, easiest and most beneficial modes of transport next to walking (and quicker round town), and that’s why if you’ve got any sense you’d ditch you car and use a bike!

    we are not becoming a very pushy minority group, we are an increasing group of normal people that are finally beginning to stand up for ourselves against people like you who think you have a right to endanger the lives of others.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    A cyclist has to be insane to assume that other road users will do the right thing, and should always, always act accordingly.

    But how is it possible to ride at all like that?

    How do you turn right if you assume that the driver behind has seen you, but doesn’t really care, and will deliberately drive straight through you?

    I think it is wise to be incredibly wary of other road users – but there is only so much we can do.

    I don’t see what the cyclist the OP mentions could/should have done differently: he looked back, confirmed the driver behind had seen him, signalled, took the Primary, and was (allegedly) deliberately struck.

    His only other option was to pull over to the left (on double yellows, next to a junction and a traffic squeezer island) and then wait for a long gap in the traffic so he could cross like a pedestrian.

    Or buy a car.

    6079smithw
    Member

    wrecker – Member

    Do you not see the problem with these two statements at all?No. That driver deliberately barged into a cyclist.

    njee20 – Member

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

    Male cyclists who jump red lights ‘are safer’

    Published: 24 April 2007
    Women cyclists are more likely to be killed by lorries than men because they obey red lights and then wait in drivers’ blind spots.

    Research by Transport for London, which has been kept secret since last July, suggests that cyclists who jump red lights may be safer than those who stick to the law.

    According to the study, 86 per cent of women cyclists killed in London between 1999 and 2004 were in collision with a lorry. This compares with 47 per cent for men.
    Source: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/male-cyclists-who-jump-red-lights-are-safer-7181197.html

    unovolo
    Member

    In my experience there are d!ckheads walking round,on bikes,in cars,driving buses & taxis so on and so forth.
    But its the d!ckheads who are driving a couple of tonnes of metal and just really don’t give a sh!t who they cut up or realise how bad their driving is who are the most dangerous.

    Be interesting to see the reaction of one of these kind of people if one of their loved ones was injured or hurt by a tool like them.

    vickypea
    Member

    I’ve lost count of the number of non-cycling motorists who tell me they ‘hate cyclists’.

    I’ve had 2 cycling holidays in France and felt, in general, much safer cycling on the road in France than over here.

    northernmatt
    Member

    I’ve lived near Sunderland / Durham for the past eight years, and no, it’s not a Southern thing

    Near me then <waves>. Definitely not a southern thing, I’ve only commuted a few times recently but stopped when on one commute home I nearly got knocked off three times. Twice on roundabouts when cars just pulled out and once at a junction, guy pulled out and I hauled on the brakes and stopped about 6″ away from the side of his car. Cue window down and SMIDSY.

    Unfortunately for me where I work and live I have to take main roads as there isn’t really a back roads/off-road way but even then the quieter roads I find to be worse as there’s generally less room for people to try and squeeze past and worse visibility at junctions.

    kcr
    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.

    This book:
    http://tomvanderbilt.com/traffic/the-book/
    refers to some psychology experiments that suggest drivers only see what they expect to see on the road, so “unusual” features like cyclists are just filtered out. Hence why getting more cyclists on the roads increases safety.

    It’s not an excuse, though, and we need effective education and enforcement to improve the behaviour of motorists.
    Unfortunately, in Scotland, we are currently getting the dreadful Nice Way Code campaign instead, which misses the point in almost every way.

    5thElefant
    Member

    no f3ckwit, it’s not intrinsically dangerous, but some drivers make it dangerous.

    Well, yes. Falling off a cliff isn’t intrinsically dangerous either. It’s hitting the ground that’s the problem.

    Unfortunately you can’t ignore the environment.

    glupton1976
    Member

    I find driving instructors are often very, very poor drivers.

    I think you’ll find that all of them had to pass an advanced test before being allowed to become a driving instructor.

    The problem with the UK is that it’s a proctologists and gynaecologist’s dream. Full of ****s and arseholes.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I’ve just moved oop north and the drivers were a lot worse down near London.

    Still get a few angry arseholes up here of course, but I don’t think I’ve had a proper stand-up row since I moved.

    lazybike
    Member

    In your life you will meet intolerant, impatient people, how you deal with them says a lot about your own mental state…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    glupton1976 – Member

    I think you’ll find that all of them had to pass an advanced test before being allowed to become a driving instructor.

    Of course- but then, all new drivers have to drive to test standard, once. Many of them never will again once they have the bit of plastic. Big difference between “can drive well” and “chooses not to drive like a ****”

    antigee
    Member

    my manifesto would include

    all drivers every 5 years redo test and be up to date on current signage / road layout

    anyone that drives for a living be that delivery van/LGV/taxi/sales rep/merchandiser (mileage already recorded for tax?) every 2 years as above

    cyclists min 3rd party insurance and some sort of road awareness test
    (prepares to run)

    school run mums and dads – hopeless just let them drive like ****

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    antigee: wouldn’t be against a road awareness test for cyclists but I outlined some of the issues with compulsory insurance on this thread:
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/presumed-liability-please-make-it-so

    Basically the main difficulty is enforcing it.

    Karinofnine
    Member

    I am waiting for the AA to respond to my email of complaint, sent two weeks ago, reminded them twice, no reply yet. I was in primary, in a bus lane, good visibility. AA driving school car, pupil driving, instructor in passenger seat. Turned left across my path, without looking, then stopped across my path to let pedestrians cross the side road. Not one single look.

    It isn’t the first time I’ve had problems with driving school cars.

    Having said that, today I was waiting at a small side road to pull out into Ware High Street. Waiting, checking around, checking to the right, waiting for a gap. There was a gap, checked all round again, some idiot kid on a BMX had cycled along the pavement from my left and was in the road RIGHT in front of the car, could just see him over the bonnet. **** me, lucky I am a driver who checks and checks and checks again. I only hope that any new laws about presumed liability take into account that sometimes it’s the cyclist who is totally at fault.

    Premier Icon simmy
    Subscriber

    I am waiting for the AA to respond to my email of complaint, sent two weeks ago, reminded them twice, no reply yet. I was in primary, in a bus lane, good visibility. AA driving school car, pupil driving, instructor in passenger seat. Turned left across my path, without looking, then stopped across my path to let pedestrians cross the side road. Not one single look.

    It isn’t the first time I’ve had problems with driving school cars.

    The AA should respond. All the instructors are self employed working on a franchise, but they will know who has which car and trace who was instructing at the time.

    Even if the car was on test at the time, they will be able to trace the instructor and then explain whether it was a normal lesson or a test situation. If it was a test, the candidate will have failed for this.

    As said before, all instructors pass a advanced test as part of the qualification process but I know of some instructors around here that I would not get into a car with they drive that bad.

    How they can get students through tests when they drive so poor themselves is a wonder.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Missed this thread first time round.

    One of the things I notice on the roads here is the need to be in front, the attitude of ‘you’re not getting in front of me’.

    In the OP, the cyclist could have conceded the space and allowed the taxi in; equally the taxi could have dropped in behind the cyclist (but I’ll bet the driver behind the cyclist would probably resist this!).

    Drivers are annoyed by cyclists who need to filter through traffic stationary at lights (I’m not including cycle lanes and forward boxes in this example) rather than wait and move with the traffic for the same reason; they hate anyone getting in front of them.
    Same occurs sometimes when you’re overtaking in the car and the person you’re overtaking speeds up to close the gap you’re heading for that was there when you started the manoeuvre!
    Another example is when two lanes filter into one; it’s generally best to fill both lanes and merge in turn but most people get apoplectic that someone is pushing in and getting in front.

    You want safe roads? Allow longer for the journey and chill. Yeah, right…

    antigee
    Member

    agree probably should have let taxi in but he came up from behind and chose to force me across rather than pick another gap – wasn;t what he did but his attitude that got me

    currently living in Melbourne, Aus and rule is vehicle that is in front has right to merge (from inside or outside) – also must indicate and most do – lots of 2 and 3 lane highways with 3 going to 2 and works ok – downside is that every traffic light junction is a bit of a gamble for drivers – inside lane = left turners and they have to give way to peds crossing (fact)
    straight ahead means have to out accelerate other lanes = no problem as 4litres is a typical engine! bigger V6’s are common but as a cyclist you are sat in front of it all

    longer journey times – def the answer – get everyone out 10 mins earlier and most dumb, impatient behaviour would be fixed

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Mmmm, Aus. A friend of mine is currently living Margaret River, WA. I get the impression life is a bit more laid back there 8)

    antigee
    Member

    Margaret River -get there! great beaches and very good wine! bit more laid back but not so sure how all the tourists deal with cyclists – some ways not so different from the UK – city is dangerous but can sort of see it coming – main roads outside of the city you are fair game after 10am on a weekend

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