HEALTH AND SAFETY!!!. How safe do you think we are on our bikes?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Pelumb A-Level, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Pelumb A-Level

    Pelumb A-Level New Member

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    Well the answe is: Not safe !!!

    Hello there everyone, my name is Pëllumb Gurra, I`m a product design student in Oxford. I have chosen to do a design project on bike mirrors and i need your help. We might not think about bike mirrors alot and we dont consider them as a standart component on a bike, but the fact is that most of the bike accidents and deaths result from riders not having a clear view of what`s behind (in a simple way not having MIRRORS!!!)

    Now I`ve set some questions and I would really appreciate if u can take a little bit of your time and answer them:

    1. How often do you use your bike?

    2. Do you feel safe when biking?

    -If no, what do you think lacks your bike in safety?

    3. Would you consider buying bike mirrors (first read the fact about bike accidents, lol ;)?

    4. Which of these would you prefer : Handle Bar Mirrors, Helmet Mirrors, Eyeglass Mirrors or On Lens Mirrors (mirros mounted on the lens of your glasses)...

    5. Do you think mirrors loose the aesthetics (looks) of a bike?

    -Mirrors have a big dissadvantage, they have blind-spots and sometimes the blind-sopts are big. On the product (mirros) which I`m designing, I`m going to use a tilting mechanism (my invention) which would tilt the mirrors automatically, cutting the blind-spots enourmously. This means much more security but it also means that there will be two components, the mirror mounted in the handle bars and the second component on the frame.

    6. Therefore would you consided buying the automatically tilting mirrors?

    Or, if you don`t want to answer those questions, then ignore them and just say what you think about bike safety and mirrors ;)

    Many thanks to all of you
     
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  2. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Well, I think anyone interested enough to design safety Products for Bikes should be encouraged, so I hope you get a lot of replies....

    Last Summer a Local, highly experienced Rider on his $9000 Colnago here in southern California was killed outright on a side street as he was out riding with his new wife...he was ahead of her, she got warm, stopped to take off her jacket, or whatever she was wearing...he decided to make a U-Turn in the road to ride back towards her and did so in the path of a Truck...it wasn't the driver's fault, according to his wife, he wasn't speeding, the Cyclist just turned out in front of him...
    Also, a few weeks ago, I was riding behind a pack of road bikers, probably about 15 feet behind...a safe distance (I have good brakes and reflexes)...they slowed to a halt, I yelled "on yer left" and proceded to overtake them...anyway, the lead rider also made a U-Turn right in front of me as the Guy in the rear yelled "NO"!!!! I don't know how I missed him...he pulled out without checking behind him...as I rode away I could hear his fellow riders yelling at him...I don't think any of them, especially me, expected him to do this...

    I think the reason why the great majority of Road Bike Riders here in the US don't use any kind of Mirrors is because they consider them "Nerdy"...they also don't use them for aesthetic reasons...I'm not knocking them,I don't use a Mirror either....

    If Lance and other Top Riders started using a Mirror you could safely bet that 90% of Riders would use the exact same one...

    On the other Paw, if you could invent an invisible, weightless Mirror you could become a millionaire overnight...

    Good luck and let us know what develops!!

     
  3. Telegram Sam

    Telegram Sam New Member

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    I use a mirror to see where my wife is- didn't stop her from running right over me last weekend, but I use the mirror none-the-less. I have a helmat mounted mirror that I epoxied so it won't move every time I take my helmet off- it works great-regardless of wether I look like a dork (I think my shorts are far worse)

    Good luck with the invention- I would be interested to see how it works
    Cheers
     
  4. lonz

    lonz New Member

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    I somute about 1 hr daily in a high conjested Malta but i do not use a mirror, i just practiced turning my head backwords and still going straight, found it good.

    I have never felt the need for a miror since i am used to turning my head.

    Good luck with your design.
     
  5. wyllisx2

    wyllisx2 New Member

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    I've tried bar end mirrors & eyeglass mounted mirros. They both were more dangerous to me than not using one. I spent most of my time trying to get them adjusted so that they actually aligned with any useful info behind me. Drifting into the road was a huge issue for me. Fortunately I never crashed, probably that's because I only tried to adjust them when nothing else was around.

    if you have a mirror that can self tilt so that I could see something behind me I'd be interested.
     
  6. saviourag

    saviourag New Member

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    I look back over my shoulder too when I need to know what's behind me, and I find that it works perfectly. However if you make these mirrors make sure they won't be too big cause one might risk scratching the side of a car with the mirrors while riding through traffic jams. I personally find flat handlebars already too wide in these circumstances.
     
  7. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

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    I don't use mirrors but can't say that I've tried any or have any preferences. I've never felt the need for them. To me the safety issue is more a factor of being seen by motorists(as in bright colors and lights), than seeing(what's behind me)!

    Best of luck with your worthy project. Maybe your design will convert me to being a mirror user.
     
  8. origanic

    origanic New Member

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    1. How often do you use your bike? 3x a week at the moment

    2. Do you feel safe when biking? For the most part yes. It is the traffic that doesn't let the bikers have space that makes me feel scared.

    -If no, what do you think lacks your bike in safety? Drivers on the road and their disrespect for space. See my post from my ride 2 days ago: http://www.cyclingforums.com/t252127-transport-trucks-attacking-cyclists.html

    3. Would you consider buying bike mirrors (first read the fact about bike accidents, lol ? Honestly, I wouldn't personally.

    4. Which of these would you prefer : Handle Bar Mirrors, Helmet Mirrors, Eyeglass Mirrors or On Lens Mirrors (mirros mounted on the lens of your glasses)... I suppose lens mirrors? I'm not sure really.

    5. Do you think mirrors loose the aesthetics (looks) of a bike? Honestly, I think they make the bike loose its aerodynamic appeal.

    -Mirrors have a big dissadvantage, they have blind-spots and sometimes the blind-sopts are big. On the product (mirros) which I`m designing, I`m going to use a tilting mechanism (my invention) which would tilt the mirrors automatically, cutting the blind-spots enourmously. This means much more security but it also means that there will be two components, the mirror mounted in the handle bars and the second component on the frame.

    6. Therefore would you consided buying the automatically tilting mirrors? Possibly, if I were to purchase mirrors then yes.

    Thanks, Hope things go well for you.
     
  9. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    I use an eyeglass-mounted mirror and many of the people that ride regularly where I live use one as well since it's light, easy to adjust and is a good safety device. I've had to learn how to change my focus to see behind me. Once adjusted to the change it's now automatic. I keep mine adjusted and just turning my head slightly allows me to scan my rear, eliminating blind spots to my left. I am not as concerned with the right since here in the US we ride on the right and the curb is there.

    I would be interested if some better mirror came along but it's going to be very hard to beat the low price of a glasses-mounted mirror and how light and simple it is.
     
  10. jessmcph

    jessmcph New Member

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    1. How often do you use your bike? 5x's a week

    2. Do you feel safe when biking? most of the time i bike in a very bike friendly area but if i leave that area people in cars often yell and even try to run me off the road. so i guess my safety depends on where i am.

    -If no, what do you think lacks your bike in safety? no i think drivers lack respect

    3. Would you consider buying bike mirrors (first read the fact about bike accidents, lol ;)? I have before

    4. Which of these would you prefer : Handle Bar Mirrors, Helmet Mirrors, Eyeglass Mirrors or On Lens Mirrors (mirros mounted on the lens of your glasses)... I have a mirror that attaches to my glasses but i don't use it because it makes me dizzy.

    5. Do you think mirrors loose the aesthetics (looks) of a bike? yes and i have a small road bike i don't know how much more stuff i can fit on it.

    -Mirrors have a big dissadvantage, they have blind-spots and sometimes the blind-sopts are big. On the product (mirros) which I`m designing, I`m going to use a tilting mechanism (my invention) which would tilt the mirrors automatically, cutting the blind-spots enourmously. This means much more security but it also means that there will be two components, the mirror mounted in the handle bars and the second component on the frame.

    6. Therefore would you consided buying the automatically tilting mirrors? I don't know if i'll try mirors again. I think i'd still get dizzy looking into it as i ride and i think i function fairly well looking behind me and listening.
     
  11. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    I feel as safe on my bike as I would be in an equivalent situation off it.
    I do not trust mirrors because of their limited view. I always turn my head to look and it has always worked for me.
     
  12. astroluc

    astroluc New Member

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    Answers follow.
     
  13. John Ruff

    John Ruff New Member

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    [ but the fact is that most of the bike accidents and deaths result from riders not having a clear view of what`s behind (in a simple way not having MIRRORS!!!)
    I have nothing against mirrors. I use one when I ride, but the fact is that this statement is simply not true. The most common accident happens involving no one other that the cyclist him ( or her) self. Ninety percent of bike collisions happen in FRONT of the cyclist , not from behind.
     
  14. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    I used a mirror for a short while, then gave up because I found it almost useless.

    I also disagree that most accidents happen because you don't know what's behind you. If you don't believe me, go read the thread I started entitled "Your Worst Crash".

    But, cheers to you for trying to do something good all the same.
     
  15. dterner1

    dterner1 New Member

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    Hello.

    1. How often do you use your bike?
    Every day. Maybe one day off in 10.

    2. Do you feel safe when biking?
    Absolutely.

    -If no, what do you think lacks your bike in safety?

    3. Would you consider buying bike mirrors (first read the fact about bike accidents, lol ;)?
    Bought them, and stopped using them. I now check under my arm and over my shoulder. Works like a champ. The old mirrors were a pain in the a#### and messed up a) my helmet b) my handlebars. I used them on my old bike and now have no problem hearing what is coming up on me (like cars).

    4. Which of these would you prefer : Handle Bar Mirrors, Helmet Mirrors, Eyeglass Mirrors or On Lens Mirrors (mirros mounted on the lens of your glasses)...
    Er... actually none. Tried (as above) handlebar and helmet mirrors.

    5. Do you think mirrors loose the aesthetics (looks) of a bike?
    Betcha meant "lose" .. well, they distract. My field of vision is too busy with stuff receding in the mirror.

    -Mirrors have a big dissadvantage, they have blind-spots and sometimes the blind-sopts are big. On the product (mirros) which I`m designing, I`m going to use a tilting mechanism (my invention) which would tilt the mirrors automatically, cutting the blind-spots enourmously. This means much more security but it also means that there will be two components, the mirror mounted in the handle bars and the second component on the frame.

    6. Therefore would you consided buying the automatically tilting mirrors?
    I would beta test it on my old bike, but I got blinded by sunlight (sunsets) in my mirror more often than not, so maybe you should try a coating that would reduce glare? :)
    d

    Or, if you don`t want to answer those questions, then ignore them and just say what you think about bike safety and mirrors ;)

    Many thanks to all of you[/QUOTE]
     
  16. mises

    mises New Member

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    And the majority of fatal bike crashes are kids and mirrors wouldn't be any cure for the recklessness and carelessness behind those accidents.

    I think mirrors are useless. Assuming you can ride a straight line and be predictable there are really 3 categories of drivers 1) those that know what they are doing and are not going to hit you, regardless how close they pass 2) the bad drivers that may hit you because they have no sense of where the boundaries of their vehicle are or because they are not looking at the road 3) those that are actively trying to kill you.

    In #1 and #3 mirrors are not needed or of no use. For the bad drivers there are a number of issues that make a mirror of little value. First driving in the rear view mirror is dangerous in itself and should be minimized so how do you know when to look in the mirror? Most would probably say they just glance occasionally but in reality choose to glance based on other sensory information like the sound of the approaching vehicle. But if hearing or other sensory info is an accurate way to measure the risk you have no need of a mirror; if not then either you won't be looking into the mirror when you need to or you will be looking all the time and have no clue what's in front of you.

    Assuming you can choose the correct times to check the mirror what are you going to do if you see "something"? If you take evasive action into the ditch or further to the edge and into the debris that gets swept there you are increasing the odds of a crash that may take you straight into the path of the vehicle (which odds are wasn't going to hit you). If you wait how do you determine when to stop waiting for more data points and get out of the way? Unless you have been hit frequently, most likely you will continue to wait until it's too late and you are a bumper decoration. So you are either in the ditch all the time or you sit in analysis paralysis until you get hit. Might as well forget the mirror, roll the dice and go for a ride.

    I think hearing is good enough anyway. Vehicle sounds are reflected differently off pavement versus gravel or vegetation so the closer to the edge they get the more different they sound. Big knobby off road tires sound closer to the edge than they are but that's an acceptable error to me.
     
  17. fabrice

    fabrice New Member

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    Hi, I think what you're doing is great.
    I agree with a lot of it, but you are touching different issues, here...
    Anyway, first, I'll take your test:

    1. How often do you use your bike? Every day.

    2. Do you feel safe when biking? Mostly, but I'm often concerned about the behaviour of many motorists.

    -If no, what do you think lacks your bike in safety? Not much. I'm very conscious about safety (see my rant below!)

    3. Would you consider buying bike mirrors (first read the fact about bike accidents, lol ;)? Definitely. I wanted mirrors for my last trip but couldn't think of anything really adapted or theh bike shop didn't have it. ("Mirror?! For a bike?! Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha... The guy's still laughing...)

    4. Which of these would you prefer : Handle Bar Mirrors, Helmet Mirrors, Eyeglass Mirrors or On Lens Mirrors (mirros mounted on the lens of your glasses)... Handle bar mirrors. Helmet mirrors could be distracting: You want to know what's behind the bike, not necessarilly what's behind your head.

    5. Do you think mirrors loose the aesthetics (looks) of a bike? That's also the argument against helmets, lights, etc. On the bike ad, the sun always shine, there's no traffic, long stretches of straight clear roads await you as you ride in the sunset... Reality is different. Anyway, you cycle because it's "in you", not because you want to look good.

    -Mirrors have a big dissadvantage, they have blind-spots and sometimes the blind-sopts are big. On the product (mirros) which I`m designing, I`m going to use a tilting mechanism (my invention) which would tilt the mirrors automatically, cutting the blind-spots enourmously. This means much more security but it also means that there will be two components, the mirror mounted in the handle bars and the second component on the frame.

    6. Therefore would you consided buying the automatically tilting mirrors?
    Definitely. :cool: If you need to test prototypes, give me a shout!

    Now, my safety rant :) The main reason why bike in themselves are unsafe, is because cycle shops will systematically try to puch products onto ther customers that are grossly inadapted to their needs.
    If you mostly ride in town, i.e with traffic around you, for instance in a place like Oxford, then buying a traditional Dutch bike makes lot of sense
    (hub breaks, lights, long wheel base, stand, "swann neck" frame so you can get in and out of the bike in a split second, etc.) Yet, check what the average bike shop will try to sell you if you get in and tell them you want a bike for in-town commuting...
    I'm used to riding long distances and, before I got my first bike that was actually adapted to do just that, I had bike shops trying to make me purchase the most ridiculous bikes, always using the same kind of fake authority: "I know what I'm talking about because I'm the one standing on THIS side of the counter..."
    If I'd listened to them I could have ended up with anything, ranging from a BMX to a carbon road racer....
    This is also due to their total lack of experience and interest. Not only they've never heard of anybody cycling more then 5 miles a day, but also that they sell bikse, but they might as well be selling shoes, or groceries, or whatever...
    Actually, speaking of shoes, another important point in safety: You wouldn't walk out of the shoe shop with the wrong size shoes, would you?
    So how come cycle shops systematically try to sell you the wrong size bike?

    Then, there's the problem of brakes. many cyclists are simply not equiped with reliable brakes for what they do.

    Lastly, lights: Apart for Dutch bikes and some commuters, most bikes come without lights. It's not so mush that you can't see, but that you aren't seen!

    These, to me, are but few of the key problems with cycling safety....
    Best of luck,
    f.
     
  18. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    I have a bar-end mirror that has finally be properly adjusted. I don't like helmet mounted mirrors.
    I use the mirror to warn me of what's coming up behind me. Any mirror should be used to augment your head and shoulders, just like a car. You glance into the mirror every now and then to keep you aware of what's around you. Then, if turning, or making any other maneuver, you glance into the mirror first, then look over to check before making the move.
     
  19. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    Mirrors are not much use against terrorist bombs, but a bike will get you home when the trains aren't running.
     
  20. wheelist

    wheelist New Member

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    1. How often do you use your bike? Every day to ride to work

    2. Do you feel safe when biking? Not at all - trucks and 4x4s frightne the life out of me.

    -If no, what do you think lacks your bike in safety? A forcefield.

    3. Would you consider buying bike mirrors (first read the fact about bike accidents, lol ;)?

    I saw a helmet mirror the other day - that looked pretty cool, though I'd have to try one out.

    4. Which of these would you prefer : Handle Bar Mirrors, Helmet Mirrors, Eyeglass Mirrors or On Lens Mirrors (mirros mounted on the lens of your glasses)...

    Not sure - how do Eyeglass mirrors work?

    5. Do you think mirrors loose the aesthetics (looks) of a bike?

    Yep. (Unless it's a cruiser). As do reflectors, mudguards etc.

    -Mirrors have a big dissadvantage, they have blind-spots and sometimes the blind-sopts are big. On the product (mirros) which I`m designing, I`m going to use a tilting mechanism (my invention) which would tilt the mirrors automatically, cutting the blind-spots enourmously. This means much more security but it also means that there will be two components, the mirror mounted in the handle bars and the second component on the frame.

    6. Therefore would you consided buying the automatically tilting mirrors?

    Maybe - I'd like to see it in a bike shop so that I could try it before I buy it.


    Keep up the good work Pellumb!!!
     
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