Pedestrians are supposed to walk on the side of the road facing traffic, and many people think bicyclists are essentially "rolling pedestrians" (rather than vehicle drivers) and so should act and be treated accordingly, rather than follow the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. They think the biggest threat is from parallel traffic, and they would rather face it and see it coming than be blindly passed by it. They have no idea the much bigger threat is from cross traffic, and that riding against traffic multiples that already much higher risk by several times (because moving traffic is unexpected where they are traveling), nor do they seem to realize that being passed by 40 mph traffic while going 15 mph is a differential of only 25 mph, while riding against is a differential of 55 mph... more than 2 times faster. A pedestrian pace of 2 mph makes the difference between those differentials much less significant (42 vs 38 mph), and a pedestrian can stop and move laterally practically in an instant.TheDude said:Just about got run off the road this morning by some delivery guy trying to look up somehting on a laptop while driving.
What gets me, almost daily on the ride home some kid or drunk guy or something will come down the road on a busted-up old mountain bike right at me (i.e. down the wrong side of the road). Where did they ever get the idea that riding towards traffic was a good idea?
It should be noted that bike lanes seem to encourage wrong-way riding. In fact, on hills the ideal configuration (if you are to have any bike lanes) is to have a bike lane only on the uphill side, encouraging cyclists on the downhill side, because there they can keep up with normal traffic, to take the vehicular traffic lane. But it has been found that configuring streets in this manner encourages downhill cyclists to ride the wrong way in the bike lane on the other side of the street!
Yes, bad drivers kill people, but only very rare and extraordinarily bad drivers kill law-abiding bicyclists who are paying attention and following safe-defensive traffic practices. Such crashes account for such a tiny percentage of bicycling fatalities and amounts to such a tiny risk to such cyclists that the rational cyclist is compelled to essentially ignore this possibility. I'm convinced that the cyclist who believes every crash is avoidable - whether that is actually true or not - is much better prepared to learn crash avoidance and to actually avoid crashes than is the cyclist resigned to the fact that some crashes are unavoidable and to which he is essentially a sitting duck.TheDude said:Moral of this story - there are MANY bad drivers and bad riders, but drivers kill people, riders only kill themselves.
I mean, of course a drunk driver might suddenly swerve from across the road right at me. But if that happens am I doomed for sure? Who knows? Are not my chances to evade collision in such a case much better if I believe there is always a chance to pull it off? What point is there in convincing myself that sometimes there is absolutely nothing I can do to evade a collision, especially considering there is no way to prove that anyway?