Daily Archives: February 11, 2012

What if riding a bike was as dangerous to drivers as drivers are to bike riders, and the Feed

A little thought experiment here: What if bicycle riders were as dangerous to car drivers as car drivers are to cyclists? To be honest I can’t see a whole lot of difference in driver attitudes except maybe a little more respect on the roads. Drivers already act like the presence of cyclists is somehow damaging to them, but when they hit us many times there is little to no damage to the car and a seriously injured cyclist or a fatality, But if hitting a cyclist did as much damage to the driver as it did to the cyclist by some magical means, don’t you think that drivers would back off from cyclists? Lets examine a situation IRL that two road users face an equal chance of injury or fatality: the Bike/Ped wreck. There are some parallels between the bike/ped and the bike/car wreck, in that there is usually one party to the wreck that has a significant speed differential over the other party and that in most cases it is perceived that the faster-moving party bears the most responsibility in the wreck. In most bike/ped wrecks the wreck happens in shared space, in almost every bike/car wreck the wreck is in shared space or in immediately adjacent space (cars hitting bikes in a bike lane). In bike/ped wrecks casualties are about 50/50 between cyclists and pedestrians, in bike/car wrecks the casualties are about 99% on the cyclist. How many cyclists complain about the danger that pedestrians pose to their well-being (in places that actually have a significant pedestrian presence), and how many pedestrians complain about the danger cyclists pose? Well there is some psychological transfer of fear of getting hit by a car to getting hit by a bicycle for pedestrians, but even in the days BC (before cars) pedestrians saw cyclists as a mortal peril, ditto for cyclists’ view of pedestrians. But the thing is back then pedestrians knew that cyclists had as much to fear from hitting them as they did from cyclists, a sort of M.A.D. pre-nuclear weapons. Now peds assume they will always be the injured party in a bike/ped wreck because of having their perceptions warped by car/ped wrecks where the pedestrian is 100% likely to get injured and drivers near zero. But B.C. everyone hated everyone because no matter who caused the wrecks someone was going to get hurt, and the probability was as high on the innocent party as the guilty party, with the actual cause of the wreck as likely on the pedestrian as the cyclist. But in my magical fantasy cyclists will be respected by car drivers because drivers are as vulnerable as cyclists and have equal probability of getting hurt.

Most of the links today are updates on wrecks from earlier, most of those from this week. A wreck that has drawn a lot of media attention was the wreck in Anderson (home of a former GF of mine) of the man hit from behind on his bike after running to the store to pick up a light dinner. Man Killed While Riding Bike In Anderson Identified and Friend says bike rider was rebuilding his life before fatal accident and also Anderson cyclist killed in crash with car In that last link you can see the blinky light in mid-blink. Also note that they are blaming the cyclist for not wearing a glow in the dark clown suit (“Welty was wearing dark clothing“) and not having the lights that are visible in the picture… Anyway, hit-from-behind use the protocols to avoid a similar wreck and maybe a glow-in-the-dark clown suit and a Honkin’ Huge Taillight™ or 20, with police style flashing lights (red only).

A driver runs a red light and hits a cyclist in the cross street. Boy Struck While Riding Bike In Fairfield I can’t find anything about this wreck that indicates the driver stayed at the scene except that they didn’t call it a hit-and-run. Anyway, the driver ran the red after the cyclist had already entered the intersection, nothing any cyclist could have done to prevent it no matter what their age…

Still in CA the defense attorney for a driver accused of hit-and-run claims the whole thing was a set-up to frame his client for a lawsuit. Attorney for driver in Saratoga hit-and-run case blames cyclist Yeah, all those independent witnesses were all conspiring to frame this guy for a share of the payout? Lawyers like this are the reason my late uncle Vito claimed to be a hitman for the mob, it was (is?) held in higher regard than being a lawyer… and Vito was a corporate lawyer, not a trial lawyer. Poor Uncle Vito would have been really heart-broken from the stuff that went down on Wall Street after he died.

Moving up the road to OR from CA, a cyclist is hit from behind by a drunk driver. Police arrest DUII suspect after crash with cyclist on bridge The original link said the cyclist and the truck “somehow came into collision” but by the time I read it during filtering it was a drunk driver hitting the cyclist from behind. More Pickup driver hits cyclist on St. Johns Bridge and Driver charged with DUII after striking bicyclist on St. Johns Bridge From the later links it appears the driver has been released on his own recognizance or that charges were dropped somehow… Who did the driver know and what did he know about that person? Portland police arrest a man after his pickup hits a cyclist on St. Johns Bridge

An infrastructure story that has me mad, with several links. Family Sues UC Santa Cruz for Fatal Bike Accident and Family and friends remember UC Santa Cruz student a year after his death amd Gathering memorializes UC Santa Cruz student who died in accident on campus bike path If the statistics on that bike path are accurate, that in less then 5 years more than 18 people have been medically transported for injuries and 2 fatalities on a bike path not shared with motor vehicles, then there is a serious design deficiency with that path.

And infrastructure from OR. Many drivers in Clark County continue to break cellphone law Also up, bears poop in woods and sky blue when clouds not present.

And that’s all the links that give me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus