Is road cycling dangerous?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by sammyjay, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Same same.

    Ohio law regarding cyclists:

    § 4511.55. Operating bicycles and motorcycles on roadway.
    (A) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles and exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

    (B) Persons riding bicycles or motorcycles upon a roadway shall ride not more than two abreast in a single lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorcycles.

    (C) This section does not require a person operating a bicycle to ride at the edge of the roadway when it is unreasonable or unsafe to do so. Conditions that may require riding away from the edge of the roadway include when necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, surface hazards, or if it otherwise is unsafe or impracticable to do so, including if the lane is too narrow for the bicycle and an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

    http://ohiobike.org/bicycle-law-digest.html
     


  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I would have been hit several times if I did not ride to the far right. Most bad drivers are in the middle of the road.
     
  3. Omeganoddy

    Omeganoddy New Member

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    OK US Law - not UK
    But still think its the position that you'll get ignored and abused the most either by not being seen- and potentially hit .. or by being clipped by a wing mirror
    Doesn't sound like US law is on the side of the bike rider
    I thought we were badly treated in UK - in comparison to the continent - where the emphysis of blame in any collision between bike and motorised transport automatically puts the burden of proof upon the motorist - until they can prove otherwise!
     
  4. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Each state varies in it's laws. Tennessee has very good laws for cyclists but laws protect your rights not necessarily your body.
     
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  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Agree that our "as far right as practicable" laws in the US put cyclists at a disadvantage. European law is way ahead in protecting pedestrians and cyclists, because it puts the burden on the heavier, faster vehicle. You might be surprised to learn that in the southern US states (eg, Alabama and Tennessee), a driver can hit and kill a cyclist from behind without facing any criminal charges, not even a traffic ticket. Here in beautiful Alabama, there is no criminal penalty for negligent or careless driving, unless the driver is under influence of alcohol or drugs. All the driver has to say is "didn't see the cyclist". As a result, many veteran riders here use a bright flashing red taillight in the daytime, as well as a rearview mirror.
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Actually Tennessee has a law requiring reasonable care be exercised. Simply saying you did not see them is not good enough. The penalties are another matter. It is a fairly new statute .
     
  7. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Believe I read about the "reasonable care" standard In the LAB magazine. It applies to cyclists, pedestrians as "vulnerable road users" who are entitled to special care when passing. The sample wording I saw had minimal criminal penalties in the event the "VRU" was killed or disabled by the careless driver. Good to know TN passed that kind of law, but protecting the rights of cyclists require enforcement too.

    In the specific case I mentioned in TN, "didn't see the cyclist" was good enough for the driver to avoid all criminal penalties three years ago. Maybe with the new law things would be different. In AL, it's worse because the laws are weaker, there are fewer shoulders and wide lanes. And there is generally the notion that "traffic accidents just happen". Football and NASCAR are our sports. Only children ride bikes until they grow up and get their driver's licenses, so what are these adult fools doing out on the road?

    In a state without criminal penalties for negligent driving, we aren't left with much. There is a state-wide cycling advocacy group, but they haven't accomplished much to date because of this prevailing culture. I'd go to work helping them if it didn't seem so hopeless.
     
  8. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Yes that is was what I meant about penalties being another matter but we will see how it evolves. Don't give up I got the 3' passing law passed about fours back. There is more awareness not if nothing else.
     
  9. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    i have relatives living in birmingham AL, you really need a car there, even public transportation wont take you everywhere, i did saw some road cyclists training though
     
  10. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I remember riding my bike in Birmingham over to Sammy's Go Go to pick up a can of ..... wait that was a bile ride and Sammy's isn't a convenience market. Nerver mind!
     
  11. chaserr

    chaserr New Member

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    Hi, I created an account today because I was looking at buying my first bike. I have had serious elbow injuries from "BMX" riding when I was 14, I'm now 24. I am in excellent shape but with running I've missed riding and was looking at buying a specialized allez. I apologize to get off topic, but reading this particular post is almost changing my mind from cycling, I live in a small city with no bike lanes. Recently to raise awareness my city has posted a lot of those "share the lanes" signs, which obviously will not combat the texting while driving, nor the drinking or applying makeup. The deaths and severe injuries are what I feared, yet the health benefits outweighed them. Reading this, it appears that it is far more dangerous than I first suspected and cycling may not be for me.
     
  12. maturner

    maturner New Member

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    Well there are risks in everything however no one should ever underestimate the risks in cycling especially in an urban environment. I've only been cycling for three years but I could have easily been killed 4 times and it was mostly because I was underestimating the risks. It all involved possible collisions with cars and I'm not saying it was all the cars fault although there are some terribly bad drivers out there. All I'm saying is don't underestimate the risks. However I would never give up cycling because of the risks. I save lots on fuel costs by biking to work and for getting most of my groceries, going to appointments, etc. The health benefits are worth a lot. I love it.
     
  13. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Usually, I tend to stay out of threads like this, but I feel a need to relate this here. A local road cyclist was killed in our town yesterday, struck head-on by an SUV. It appears that the driver, also local, may have misjudged a left turn and was heading west in the east-bound bicycle lane. My daughter, heading out on a date, arrived at the scene just as the ambulance arrived, and phoned us. (No, she wasn't driving). This was about a quarter-mile from home and a block away from the fire station.

    I started road cycling in 1970 but pretty much gave it up in the '90s because I was tired of the traffic and 'tudes of the local cyclists. I started rock climbing and ski mountaineering because I believed they were safer. The hazards involved the terrain, the weather, time, and the judgement and skill of you and the people you were doing it with, your partners. Nobody got hurt or killed on our outings. We felt that since we weren't pushing the bleeding edge and we had families and careers, there was no need not to take precautions, take our time, learn some skills, but challenge ourselves scare ourselves just a little bit. I had just participated in my first ice-climbing clinic before our daughter was born, and that took me out adventuring for a while.

    When my career turned bad with the economy in 2001, I felt compelled to do something that didn't involve gyms, memberships, or driving great distances and dealing with logistics. I needed something I could start by walking out the door. I returned to cycling, and now I work in the industry, advocating and selling the sport to others. It's times like this, though, when I wonder if it's worth putting families through the worry.
     
  14. chaserr

    chaserr New Member

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    Perhaps the more people that start, the safer we will all be. The bad thing is as teens we all rode around with no helmets, no lights, and no worries in the world. I think I may continue on with this purchase, along with the necessary safety precautions and attitude. So I will continue looking for the perfect bike to start out with.
     
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  15. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    OBC, appreciate your sincere message; it certainly hits home with me. After losing a close friend here to a driver who "didn't see the cyclist", I have the same thoughts. It's hard for me to be encouraging to newcomers when you know you're introducing them to a dangerous sport.

    I ride in daytime only, with a bright DiNotte flashing light and helmet mirror. My daily solo riding is mostly on a paved bike trail and lightly-trafficked back road, not high traffic situations and risky roads with limited sight lines, etc, etc. But the fact remains when we venture onto public roadways, even those with shoulders and marked bike lanes, are totally at the mercy of the vastly heavier and faster vehicles which are often driven by impaired, distracted or negligent drivers, drivers who just aren't looking for cyclists.
     
  16. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    I believe most of us do what we can to be safe and advocate safety. For 22 years I never wore a cycling helmet unless I was racing, and that was a hairnet. I had plenty of crashes but only hit my head once. Maybe it would have been worse without the hairnet, but I was OK driving home. When I became an expectant father I got my first Bell helmet.

    Things were different then. Racing wasn't as aggressive so the crashes were less serious. Traffic was lighter and less aggressive. It's hard to be an aggressive driver when your car handles like an ocean liner and you're trying to keep from sliding across bench seat, usually without a seat belt. In general I think most people are more conscious of safety now, and the hardware has become excellent, but social pressures some of that hardware improvement have pulled some of the safety back.

    The name of the victim hasn't been released, but it was reported he was 47. The name of the driver has been reported, and he was arrested for vehicular homicide, careless driving, DUI, and carrying a prohibited weapon. He's 69. Bond has not yet been set. He had been arrested for DUI in Summit County, in 1975. All his life I'll bet he never thought he'd go to jail for killing a man.
     
  17. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    inmy area a driver with repeated DUI crashed his car into a group of runners killing a couple of them, you cannot put a policeman stationed in his door 24/7, very sad,
     
  18. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    As dangerous as cycling is, without this wonderful hobby I am certain I would have perished to a fate of viceful excess long ago. That's coming from someone who's banged out at least 20,000 miles on streets in and around New York City over three decades. In my humble opinion any life worth living has a multitude of dangers, of which can arrive in various form. Ride safe.
     
  19. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "I am certain I would have perished to a fate of viceful excess long ago."

    Same here.

    But hell, no one gets out of here alive and you might as well have some fun while we're stuck on this rock full of dumbasses and morons.

    Besides, I needed to earn reward points towards my Viking Funeral.

    Now, back to riding in Ohio's Global Warming Climate Change Nuclear Winter Ice age Inland Flooding Other Stoopid Scientific Psycho-Political Babble Never Ending Winter of Discontent. 34° this morning...bah!

    Edit: Three decades in NYC and you didn't know Judah Apsell? I thought everyone in NYC knew Judah, God rest his soul.
     
  20. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Didn't know Judah. I remember you mentioning he was a bike messenger. My first year roomie in college was an ex-messenger in addition to being a major coke fiend. Apparently bribes paid in peruvian flake to the dispatcher were the only way to earn the high $$ runs at the major messenger outfits in NYC in the late 80's. Maybe that's how Tornado Tom got his start in Belgium?
     
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