Spelling it out: Hit-from-behind and intersection wreck avoidance protocols

Copied and added to, from the post with a similar title.

I was checking my blog stats again when I noticed a particular string being repeated looking for the hit-from-behind protocol on my blog. I never actually made that searchable because I never used the word “protocol” when I was describing the protocol. So now that I have used the word protocol several times to make this post findable by search engines:

1. Mirror(s), have ’em, use ’em. I have two on my helmet so nobody sneaks up on my right.
2. Split your attention front and rear. Watch where you’re going, but keep aware of what is behind you, use your ears as well as your eyes.
3. Have an escape route to use when someone tries to hit you from behind or just wanders into your lane from behind you.
4. Be willing to use the escape route or to abandon your bike and let the bike take the hit and inflict as much damage to the car as possible.

1. Threats may come from any street and from any direction on those streets, so head up and locked.
2. Since you are dealing with multiple threats you need to keep that head on a swivel, and using mirrors to look both ways at the same time.
3. As with hit-from-behind you need to have an escape route for each potential threat. The escape route for right hooks and left crosses is the same, turn right to minimize angle of impact and reduce levels of impact energy transmitted to your body.

I hope this helps keep a few more cyclists alive.

Billed @$0.02, Opus


6 responses to “Spelling it out: Hit-from-behind and intersection wreck avoidance protocols

  1. John J Wilde

    Good solid info. Thanks for reminding me.
    BTW, Love the name of your blog.


  2. Pingback: 2010 in review | Witch on a Bicycle

  3. Don’t rear bike lights and flashers and reflectors and lasers and reflective tape and really tall flags and such actually draw drunken drivers attention, making them veer into the cyclist? I’m thinking that if they don’t notice me I might be less apt to be hit by their car.


    • There is that theory, but it hasn’t been proven yet, and still making one’s self conspicuous does make it easier for drivers who don’t want to hit you to do exactly that, not hit you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am thinking a steady red light would induce a reduced capacity motorist to assume a motorcycle and safe to follow and don’t notice the rapidly increasing size until too late to brake. I would think a blinking yellow light, like hazard lights or on a barricade, would give the message “go around”. Or perhaps red lights in a slow moving vehicle triangle shape.


    • Opus the Poet

      Unfortunately a blinking yellow is only allowed as a turn signal or emergency flasher. Current theory on rear lighting for bicycles is a stack of a bright but not too bright flashing light over a very bright steady light, both red.

      I’m unaware of any restrictions on the shape of a taillight, so maybe a rework of this light as a bike light would do the job.


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