Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Why drivers should tell cyclists to NOT ride to the far right of the lane

The next time you drive down the street and see someone cycling up ahead in the lane and you start to get annoyed at the prospect of having to slow down a bit and change lane to pass a bicycle (even though you wouldn't be half as annoyed if you have to do the same thing for another car), and the voice in your head goes; 'look at that inconsiderate biker! There are 3 feet between him and the parked cars. Why can't he scoot a foot or two closer to the car so that I can just squeeze by without losing any speed?' Watch the videos below and be glad that the bike rider is riding outside of the 'door zone' rather than in one, and tell the next cyclists you see on the road who do ride close to parked cars on the right side of the lane that they SHOULD BE riding closer to the middle of the lane instead. The cyclists you can easily see near the middle of the lane are the ones you can easily avoid getting into a collision with. It's the cyclists riding nearly invisibly (obscured by parked cars) to the far right of the lane that have the potential to suddenly get bumped into your path with little or no notice at all.

Do you see what happens when a cyclist is hit by an opening car door? Here is another look...

What happens to the cyclist when she is hit by an opening car door? She gets deflected into the next traffic lane, doesn't she? Now... imagine yourselves the driver of the car just innocently passing by in the lane to the left... Do you see what I'm talking about now? It isn't the idiot that opens the car door without first checking traffic that will end up delivering the fatal blow to the hit cyclist. It's YOU!

You will be the one that ends up with recurring nightmare of a helpless cyclist suddenly landing on the pavement right in front of you with no reaction time at all. You will be the one that feels the thump of the impact (and probably also the sickening sensation of the wheel rolling over a human body). Your car will be the car with almost all the damages and all the blood splattered on it. Yes, you... all because another person opened his car door when traffic isn't clear, and because another person was riding his bike close enough to the parked car to be hit by its opening door.

Also, to my fellow cyclists, you actually need to ride a bit further away from the cars than the length of their doors. You need to be far enough away to not instinctively swerve away from the opening door because there's no time to check for passing traffic! It's much better to get honked at by impatient people than to end up dead and making a manslaughter out of another innocent road user. Don't ride in the door zone where you can end up a human ping pong ball or be screened (by parked cars) from view of any car coming out of the side roads! This is especially important when you are riding in a group (where if you get hit by a car door you could end up sending the cyclist to your left flying helplessly into the next traffic lane... not to mention causing many others behind you to crash into the wreckage, of course)!

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Thanks for stopping by. Be safe on the roads!