Who's worse, Cyclists or motorists?

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  • Who's worse, Cyclists or motorists?
  • Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    molgrips wrote:

    However, blame is due where it’s due. And as previously mentioned, sometimes cyclists are dicks, and they need to be called on it just like eveyrone else.

    Yet it’s only bad cyclists who give all cyclists a bad name – strangely the same principle doesn’t seem to apply to bad drivers.

    I’m certainly not about to suggest there aren’t cyclists who are dicks – you only have to look at the videos posted by some of the caped crusaders – but in the overall scheme their impact on road safety is minuscule.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    sometimes cyclists are dicks, and they need to be called on it just like eveyrone else.

    Agreed – the “cyclists are all angels” attitude isn’t helpful

    BUT…

    Neither is the “cyclists are lycra-clad scofflaws” attitude which seems prevalent everywhere – even on cycling forums.

    Speaking for myself, when I ride on the road I try to obey the law and if I don’t then it is either ignorance or because the circumstances leave me little sensible choice.

    When I drive on the road I knowingly and willfully break the law on almost every single trip.

    Yet it is the bike riding I get criticised for. ๐Ÿ˜•

    jon1973
    Member

    Who’s worse, Cyclists or motorists?

    Sorry if its been done before.

    No you’re OK, no one has ever has brought up this subject before in the whole history of the internet.

    crankboy
    Member

    On the drivers don’t try to kill cyclists point I have had a driver deliberately pull out of a side road and stop dead in my path blocking the bus/cycle lane I was in so that I had to jam all on and skid sideways into his door he claimed he had seen me coming. I have had a guy on too occasions swerve into me at a bottle neck for cars as I go into the cycle lane seen what I believe to be the same driver do it to others there. Today I was in a single lane splitting in two at lights I was in the left but needing to turn right as I looked and clearly signalled right a car behind accelerated up and cut right as close to me as he could when he had had a good 10 meters of lane he could safely have moved into . This last in the week I decided my cycling moto was to be “dress like a Xmas tree act like a Buddha.”
    I do believe that a great many drivers find it very hard to come to terms with the mixed traffic on roads.

    Junkyard
    Member

    You’re being very idiotic. Are you trying to prove I’m anti cyclist or something?

    Why the insults when I post about what you said?

    Others have said pretty much the same as I have get stuck in ๐Ÿ™„

    Graham sums it up almost every driver breaks the speed limit but only cyclists are dicks.

    IanMunro
    Member

    As I drove past I politely asked him to reconsider his habits,
    “**** OFF”

    I’d have probably said the same. I wouldn’t have been cycling through the red light, but I’m just tired of drivers winding down windows to pass on their wisdom, so my default response is normally along similar lines now. Maybe I haven’t been in the right place, but with the exception of the Police I can’t recollect seeing a car driver and ask another car driver to politely reconsider driving at 30mph in a 30 limit.
    But in answer to the question , cyclists and motorists are just people and are as good and bad as each other. The problem is that they have different viewpoints as to what counts as safe as opposed to legal conduct when driving or cycling and tend to be blind to the transgressions of their own group to a greater or lesser extent.

    Hadge
    Member

    This is a topic that will go on and on forever and sadly both sets have their idiot set. I hate anyone who jumps a red light and it’s unbelievable when you see a cyclist do it as at least in a car you have some “protection”
    I don’t know why that a minority of cyclists seem to think you don’t need to stop at a red light and it baffles me.
    To answer one post though whoever jumps a red light, yes the cyclist may get hurt and a driver doing it won’t but just remember the trauma caused the any driver who does hit a cyclist who jumps a red light and seriously injures that person or worse still kills them as sadly it’s the innocent party that has to live with it.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Why the insults when I post about what you said

    I thought it idiotic to suggest anti cyclist bias when I failed to mention both cyclists and motorists in a situation I considered it implicit.

    Anyway. There are some cyclists whose disregard for the rules is so flagrant that it creates a very high profile. They are pretty rare nowadays though, but the damage to cyclists’ reputation is done.

    IanMunro
    Member

    I don’t know why that a minority of cyclists seem to think you don’t need to stop at a red light and it baffles me.

    I imagine because it rarely results in an actual crash, or even possibility of a crash. The same being true for driving whilst on the phone. I’m not advocating either BTW, but you’ve got to assume that the person in question has gone though some internal risk assessment and come to the conclusion that it’s safe to do so. Much as I would when I drive a 35mph in a 30mph zone.

    So I won’t ride through a red light, even when I know I could do so perfectly safely, because it’s not a law I feel comfortable breaking. But there’s plenty of other ones I’m quite comfortable in breaking – probably because they are considered socially acceptable to break.
    Though what makes some laws socially acceptable to break and others not and any given time and place is going to be pretty complicated and has no doubt been given a lot more thought by others.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Junkyard – lazarus

    I dont know why I thought this place would be pro/sympathetic to cycling

    I think being a cyclist makes me more critical of bad cycling, not less.

    Having said that I don’t personally think RLJing is automatically bad cycling. No doubt at all in my mind that it’s sometimes safer than obeying the law, which isn’t something you can say of many road traffic offences. Americans manage to allow right turns through red lights…

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I think being a cyclist makes me more critical of bad cycling, not less.

    I wonder why the same doesn’t hold for driving?

    (for anyone that is, not you specifically Northwind)

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    It does, for me. But then I am a superior human being. The idea goes that most people view bad/dangerous driving in a sort of “could be me” way, rather than “what a dick” Whereas for a decent cyclist, I suppose we look at it as “wouldn’t be me in a month of sundays” way.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Some great deflection here.

    Hadge is the best. Keep the focus on cyclists…eg those who RLJ.

    How many cyclists are hospitalised through their own RLJing? **** all I bet.

    Premier Icon markrh
    Subscriber

    Cars Undermine National Transport Spectacularly, it makes a great acronym if nothing else.
    I am a car driver,
    but i’m sick of our car rules everything mentality.

    Junkyard
    Member

    I think being a cyclist makes me more critical of bad cycling, not less.

    I always knew you were a judgemental **** though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Molly everything you said in that post could be said about car drivers but you mentioned only cyclists. Would it be idiotic of me to point this out again ?
    Not one of your posts says anything about car drivers either FWIW – have a re read.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    No doubt at all in my mind that it’s sometimes safer than obeying the law

    Depends what you call RLJ doesn’t it? Crossing the line – sure, it sometimes is safer. Going on amber – yes. Sailing through a junction in the middle of the red cycle – no.

    Molly everything you said in that post could be said about car drivers but you mentioned only cyclists. Would it be idiotic of me to point this out again ?

    Yes. You know I’m pro cycling so why allege otherwise?

    Premier Icon imnotverygood
    Subscriber

    So let us try to take the ‘us’ and ‘them’ out of this;

    Road users x are entirely or jointly responsible for 80% of accidents.
    Road users y are entirely or jointly responsible for 32% of accidents.

    Over 100 y were killed by x last year
    0 x were killed by y last year.

    Who is worse x or y?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    So you’re saying that y don’t need to bother with the rules because they aren’t likely to kill people?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    molgrips – Member

    Depends what you call RLJ doesn’t it? Crossing the line – sure, it sometimes is safer. Going on amber – yes. Sailing through a junction in the middle of the red cycle – no.

    But not all RLJing through red is “sailing through”- it can be done perfectly safely. (TBH it can also be done safely by cars, that’s just less common- though again, the yanks manage it)

    I make it exactly this complicated- if I can do something to make me safer, that doesn’t harm anyone else, I do it without hesitation. If the rules would prevent it then they were pretty bloody awful rules and I’ll treat them the same as I would any other danger.

    molgrips – Member

    So you’re saying that y don’t need to bother with the rules because they aren’t likely to kill people?

    I think it matters less when you break rules if the consequences are smaller.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    1) Don’t read too much into the US left turn on red thing. Their roads are completely different, very few junctions here are anything like theirs IME. In place where right turn on red would be suitable here, we generally have filters anyway.

    2) I would like to see a junction where it’s safer to go all the way through it when you’re on red, and the other roads are on green. I don’t think I’ve ever found one.

    I think it matters less when you break rules if the consequences are smaller.

    This could be a bit misleading here. The stats don’t say that the consequences are only 25% as bad when cyclists break the rules. They say that the consequence are just as bad but in in a quarter of cases. Out of 100 accidents, 20 will still be cyclists fault. They could perhaps be prevented if cyclists stuck to the rules and rode well.

    Or to put it another way – the conesquences of a car hitting a cyclist are just as bad regardless of whose fault it is.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    molgrips – Member

    2) I would like to see a junction where it’s safer to go all the way through it when you’re on red, and the other roads are on green. I don’t think I’ve ever found one.

    I can think of very few where this isn’t possible.

    Premier Icon imnotverygood
    Subscriber

    So you’re saying that y don’t need to bother with the rules because they aren’t likely to kill people?

    I don’t think I’m saying that at all. The OP posed a question. I was suggesting a way of answering it that did not involve any pre-conceived bias.

    thecaptain
    Member

    Well, motorists kill about 1000x as many people, but drive about 100x as many miles, so that makes them about 19x worse per mile.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I can think of very few where this isn’t possible.

    I don’t think you and I are talking about the same thing.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Molly the question is who is worse so far the stats say more car drivers cause accidents than cyclists and more cyclists die in these accidents*

    So are you,in your pro cycling view, any closer to an answer ?

    They could perhaps be prevented if cyclists stuck to the rules and rode well.

    Yet the majority cause does not deserve a mention in any of your posts.
    You are indeed free of bias ๐Ÿ˜€

    Could you add grums comment as your signature ?

    taking the concept of playing devil’s advocate and stretching it way, way past any kind of usefulness

    * I have to say I genuinely laughed at your wording but I doubt this was your intention.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    molgrips – Member

    I don’t think you and I are talking about the same thing.

    Could be. I’m talking about junctions where it can be safer to go all the way through it when you’re on red, and the other roads are on green.

    ask1974
    Member

    Who’s worse, Cyclists or motorists?

    Haven’t read the whole thread so just stepping in, but answering the OPs question I’d say, on the whole, Cyclists. To put my opinion into perspective I spend about three out of five days doing 100mile round trips into and out of London, during rush hour. Very simply there are some pretty hopeless drivers around but, considering the number of cars, most drive legally and safely. However every single journey, without exception, I see cyclists breaking the rules of the road and taking risks. Just because they can move faster than queuing traffic and fit into small spaces city riders seem to think the rules don’t apply to them. I’m not surprised at all by the number of accidents.

    However around the Surrey hills where I live cyclists are very well behaved, it’s daft drivers steaming round corners that are more of a problem. I think it depends on the circumstances and each should be aware of their environment and ride / drive in such a way as to minimise the chance of danger to themselves and other road users.

    Of all road bound vehicles by far the worst is the motorbike rider, I’ve never seen such stupidity and of the twenty or so major accidents I’ve seen this year I’d say 75% involved a motorbike. Just last night I spent two hours waiting whilst the air ambulance pealed some poor chap of the M3 right in front of me, I hope he’s OK and it may not have been his fault but another motorbike rider hits the deck… hard. I’m sure some (maybe even most) accidents are caused by four wheeled vehicles but, from what I see, riding a motorbike that way it’s not if, but when. As a motorist during the week the least trouble I see comes from Lorries and buses. They’re big, slow and in the case of buses very colourful. Easy to keep clear of.

    IMO of course.

    [sits back and expects to get flamed]

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Could be. I’m talking about junctions where it can be safer to go all the way through it when you’re on red, and the other roads are on green.

    You’ll need to explain how that’s possible.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    You look, there is no traffic, you go. (or, let’s say there is no relevant traffic- there may be some turning into exits you won’t be using, or immobilised) I must be missing something here as this isn’t exactly brain surgery…

    kcr
    Member

    Streets Ahead, the Edinburgh City Council road safety website has collated road safety statistics for Edinburgh from 2004-2010. Their Cycle Incident Analysis concluded that:

    Two thirds (66%) of serious P/C (pedal cyclist) collisions involved conflict with a car. Goods vehicles were involved in 14% of collisions resulting in serious injury to a P/C.
    For all incidents resulting in serious injury to P/Cโ€™s, 72% of contributory factors were assigned to the other vehicle driver and 28% to the P/C.

    Transport Scotlandโ€™s road casualty statistics for 2011 show that by far the biggest contributory factor was driver/rider error or reaction (39% of all accidents). In this category, 6585 accidents were reported in total and in 203 cases the vehicle was a pedal cycle.

    There were 168 accidents where a contributory factor was the driver or rider disobeying an automatic traffic signal. In 9 of these accidents the vehicle was a pedal cycle.

    For the UK as a whole, I think there are around 25,000 Killed or Seriously Injured per annum, with something like 5 or 6 deaths per day. Have a guess who is responsible for the overwhelming majority of that carnage.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    considering the number of cars, most drive legally and safely

    Really?

    Perhaps things are different in London, but when I drive the vast majority of motorists do something illegal (including me!).

    Could you be ignoring the “socially-acceptable” illegal driving such as speeding, going through amber lights, using bus lanes, tailgating etc?

    There were 168 accidents where a contributory factor was the driver or rider disobeying an automatic traffic signal. In 9 of these accidents the vehicle was a pedal cycle.

    Interesting one! So despite the “all cyclists jump red lights and it is very dangerous” stuff it seems that drivers jumping red lights is the real danger?

    ask1974
    Member

    Perhaps things are different in London, but when I drive the vast majority of motorists do something illegal (including me!). Could you be ignoring the “socially-acceptable” illegal driving such as speeding, going through amber lights, using bus lanes, tailgating etc?

    Well, I am talking about London during rush hour so tailgating is the only option, only at about 5mph so it’s definitely not about speeding. This is more my opinion based on what I see; swerving at speed between vehicles, jumping ‘red’ lights, sudden stops, undertaking everything regardless or junctions or turnings. I’m not defending the motorist or suggesting for one minute that they are perfect, far from it, I’m just saying that IMO, in London, the cyclist is worse. Most of them seem to be bonkers or have some misplaced sense of invincibility.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    This is more my opinion based on what I see; swerving at speed between vehicles, jumping ‘red’ lights, sudden stops, undertaking everything regardless or junctions or turnings.

    That is kinda my point though – the behaviour of cyclists is far more noticeable because they are distinct from the other traffic and generally move around in a different way.

    As a result drivers readily notice those cyclists who ride badly and break the law, but fail to notice that most motorists are breaking the law too – because that is just “normal” traffic.

    That’s why the stats are useful. They show that, despite the overall impression that cyclists are dangerous lawbreakers, in reality it is the motorists that are at fault in the vast majority of bike-vs-car collisions.

    Experiment: okay so maybe speeding isn’t an issue in central London, but on your next journey try counting how many cars you see illegally go through lights on amber or “just-turned-red”, enter box junctions or cross ASLs, park illegally, use the no-car or bus lanes, cross solid white lines, go straight on from a turn-only lane etc etc. My theory is this stuff is so common that people just filter it out. They can spend all day in traffic like that and at the end they will complain about the cyclist they saw jumping a red light.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    Cars don’t kill people, people kill people.

    Bikes don’t jump red lights, people jump red lights.

    In short, some people are dicks.

    The pro-gun lobby argument. Shall we review the US homicide rate?

    Every piece of statistical evidence we have, as well as the laws of physics, tell us that being a dick on a bike has far less serious consequences than being a dick in a car.

    One day, i’m going to setup a camera after work and actually record a junction. GrahamS is correct, its far easier to notice a bike going through a red light than it is a motorists various infractions.

    These are mostly the same people too, is the bicycle somehow altering someones moral compass??

    Do we really only obey laws when we think we might get caught?

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    And following on from GrahamS’s point:

    This is more my opinion based on what I see; swerving at speed between vehicles, jumping ‘red’ lights, sudden stops, undertaking everything regardless or junctions or turnings.

    you’re picking on things that aren’t even illegal.

    “Sudden stops”?! Cyclists are a bigger danger than people driving cars because sometimes they *gasp* stop?

    2tyred
    Member

    “…gives cyclists a bad name”

    This sanctimonious, patronising, belittling pish is getting boring.

    What is this ‘name’? Some sort of collective reputation? Do drivers of motorised have a ‘name’?

    No, this only appears to apply to people riding bikes. Why is this? Its because people riding bikes on the road are a minority, yet shoulder a disproportionate amount of risk of injury and death while using the road, and are in a physical position that makes it very easy to be bullied and intimidated.

    This idea of a collective responsibility or even a collective identity makes it easy to shift a disproportionate amount of blame away from the motorist (who benefits from an overwhelmingly powerful media lobby presence) onto the cyclist.

    Many motorists clearly feel persecuted for a number of reasons, and no wonder because its an increasingly miserable and expensive pursuit that bears little resemblance to how it is marketed, and many people feel cheated by this.

    Cycling – especially for urban commute journeys – has visible advantages (assuming the cyclist avoids accident or near accident), so those people, thankfully a small albeit vocal minority of the motoring population, who already feel cheated that motoring doesn’t quite fit their expectations (on a subconscious level) have their anger stoked by feelings of jealousy as well, hence the bellicose outrage at individual cyclists making any kind of minor Highway Code transgression.

    So far, so understandable and I wouldn’t condone breaking the law by default.

    What I don’t get though is this obsequious, sanctimonious acceptance by cyclists of the notion that (all) cyclists have ‘a bad name’. Individuals behave differently from one another, we’re not all in some umbrella organisation. This notion is being used to lend weight to arguments we all know are unfair, why would any of us want to go along with it?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    we’re not all in some umbrella organisation

    True, but yet here we all are on this forum: individuals gathered together by a common interest in cycling*

    The thing is, as you say, we are a readily identifiable minority group. As such we do have an overall public image, whether we like it or not. And unfortunately that image, however ridiculously flawed it may be, has direct influence on how we are treated by the public and the laws of the land. ๐Ÿ™

    .

    * (and IT, Audis, coffee and wood-burners obviously).

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    This notion is being used to lend weight to arguments we all know are unfair, why would any of us want to go along with it?

    Because there is no way to not go along with it?

    5thElefant
    Member

    I’m certainly far worse on a cycle than in a car. It’s not like I can get banned from cycling and I’m only likely to get myself killed so there’s no moral dilemma…

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