Avoid Being Hit by a Vehicle While Cycling

Truck1Most cyclists ride in conditions where vehicles are present, so how do we make sure we don’t end up getting hit by one of them?

This podcast came together as a result of our own Victor Jimenez having a very close call on the bike, and the tips and information found in the recording are there to help other cyclists prevent being hit.

Listen in as Darryl and Victor discuss:

  • Tips on staying safe
  • How riding at certain times of day can make things better or worse
  • The Cyclist VIP and how it can help
  • Being Focused and Pro-Active
  • Darryl’s views on vehicles and traffic
  • Victor’s personal “close call” story
  • Plus more on this very important topic

Additional Links:

Stay Focused and Don’t Get Squashed Like a Pancake

 

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Comments

  1. Mike Michael says:

    Gentlemen,
    Great podcast. I too have had many close calls, some of which were my fault and many others which were the fault of motorist either thinking its funner to mess with a cyclist or just being a idiot. I have had bottles, rocks and even a phone book thrown at me. However, I have been on rides with groups who cruise through red lights and completely ignore traffic laws. If, we as cyclists, want respect on the road, we have to earn it.

  2. Julia T says:

    Victor, I’m glad your number wasn’t up that day! Sounds like a scary experience. Great podcast. We all just need to slow down when driving our cars.

  3. Hi Victor,

    I am really new to cycling and I love your show.
    As a rookie, I get really anxious if not even nervous when cars are coming. My buddy, who is a pretty avid road rider tells me that this will get better with experience. My question is , do mirrors help? She wears a small one on her helmet. Thanks.

    • Phil

      You will feel less anxious as your confidence and skills get better. Personally I dont like mirrors, I find them distracting. I use my ears and peripheral vision too.
      Many riders to like mirrors though. I guess its personal preference.

    • Phil,

      I always have a mirror on my handlebars, and feel “naked” without it. It helps me judge how close cars are, and usually if there is more than one passing.

    • Phil,

      Yes a rear view mirror is a great tool to have. However many dislike the helmet mounted versions as they block your peripheral vision and a mess to deal with. The best solution we have found it the high quality Italian Road mirror, look it up on Google. It’s a real high quality glass mirror that fits very nicely on your handle bar end! If you ride in the US on the right side of the road install it on your left bar end.

      This tool is very impressive and doesn’t get in your way at all but there when you need it! Highly recommended…

  4. Hi Victor,

    Love the podcasts and have really benefited from them, but I just had to comment on what you said about flashing lights in the daytime. A few years ago I had a car pull out on me and I wound up with, amongst other injuries, a fractured C1. I was wearing a fluoro yellow jersey and helmet, but the driver said (and testified!) that she didn’t see me. I realised that a more active approach was necessary. I now ride with a 900 lumen flasher on all solo rides, and have noticed a remarkable change in driver behaviour, absolutely and exclusively for the better. The intensity of the light makes me appear closer to drivers than I am, so they are less likely to try to beat me across intersections, etc. Unlike bright clothing, I know that if they’re looking in my direction that they see my light. Having said that, I still ride as though they don’t.

    Regards,

    Allan

    • Allan

      Thanks for the comment. Interesting that the you have noticed that driver behavior has changed because of the lights. You are right that no matter what we do to be seen we still need to ride as though the cars dont see us.

      Victor

  5. Sandyrose says:

    V I P and ride into the sun great rules of thumb. Thank you

  6. Victor,

    There are times in bright sun when we have shadows along the road, and I’ve noticed when driving myself that it tales a few seconds for my eyes to adjust. A light makes you more visible in those transitions.

  7. Liked the ‘cast. I speak at schools, churches, YMCA’s etc. about brain injury and helmet safety. I use the same three cautions – be seen (visible), be aware (in the moment), be predictable (same)
    I LOVE the V.I.P. – I think it’s easier to remember. Thanks.

  8. I forgot to mention that you were saying something like “let the cars know you are aware of them”, but you didn’t elaborate HOW. I teach using hand signals, especially for turning. That follows with being both seen and predictable.

  9. Cave Dave says:

    Nice podcast! I currently live in Colorado and “ride lots” on and off the road. I have been riding for 20 plus years and I used to be a bike messenger in Pittsburgh, PA. I have ridden in many cities around the world that are bike friendly and many that are not. One thing I always hear is that bad cyclist give all cyclist a bad name. If that were the case then since there are ten times as many motorists on the road then there are a ton of bad motorists. I see motorists running redlights and driving recklessly everyday. We can all recollect a case of road rage in our lives. There is a such thing as breaking the law while remaining courteous to those around you. I used to make a living at it. Yes, I have been hit and I have made some mistakes. Some were my fault and some were not. Professional messengers on the job do ride up one way streets and run lights but we do it reasonably. If that makes sense. If you have never messengered then you will never understand. Some guys don’t give a shit and some guys are more reserved and steady but still make just as much money, since they make commission you have to be calculating and precise not blatantly disrespectful. There is an art to urban riding while still remaining professional and maintaining speed cautiously. You can still be courteous and fast as hell. I have seen guys get hit and basically never ride again or are lucky to be alive because they didn’t respect the motorist and lost sight of their awareness in traffic. Another words, they got lazy and assumed everyone would stop for them or that everyoneelse is obeying the law. It’s not advanced physics, 1 to 3 ton vehicles vs. a cyclist weighing around 200lbs. You can be road kill real quick and nobody will give a shit. I like how Darryl said you have to own your space. You do have to own your space and learn to pay attention to things that most cyclist are unaware of. Lane splitting in France is a common thing and not just for cyclists. Motorcycles will lane split and ride straight to the front of the traffic jam or intersection and they do it for a good reason, “to get out of the way”! If you think biking in America is dangerous, try Indonesia or India and suprisingly we still have more traffic related deaths. I would rather safely run a light and get ahead of traffic and out of the way than sit in traffic and contribute to the onslaught of gridlock that accumulates in urban environments. Oh, and to all the whiny cyclists and motorists who feel as though they need to say something to the “lawbreakers”, think about how many times you have broken the law because you knew you would get away with it. What we do when we are alone is what defines us, and I am doing it in front of everyone becuase I am good at it. I am certainly not ashamed of breaking the law and don’t feel as though I am giving other cyclist a bad name. However, I would never teach my son to ride the way I do because it is not something that can be taught and I wouldn’t want to see something happen to him. This is the way I ride and this is who I am. I respect cyclist as who they are all over the world and I am also a motorist, so I have to do the same. I think we just need to change our perspective and “pay attention” a little more. That means put your cell phone down while driving, stop playing with the radio, don’t drink and drive and don’t be a hall monitor and think that anyone cares what comes out of your mouth.
    Good podcast, thanks guys!

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