Saturday, May 9, 2009

Buzzed While Making a Left Turn!

People keep getting more and more ridiculous out on the road.

I was riding a very popular route for cyclists using a wide shoulder. I had no trouble until I signaled and moved over to make a left turn. The speed limit here is 35 mph and I was going 25 mph so I wouldn't think it would be too much to ask for a driver to slow 10 mph for a few seconds while I make my left turn. As it turns out my speed wasn't what required him to wait to pass, the oncoming car would have meant anyone turning left would have to slow down, requiring the driver behind them to slow, or make an illegal pass. I signaled and moved over with plenty of time for him to slow down to wait for me to turn. He didn't wait. He decided to pass me while I was in the process of making my left turn and while another vehicle was in the oncoming lane. Unfortunately I didn't get the plate number. The rear facing camera angle starts just before I signal and begin to move over to turn.

Untitled from Bikesafer on Vimeo.


Grendel said...

Recommendation--Put your arm straight out when signaling. I've been behind cyclists who do what your rear view appears to show you doing which is sticking out your arm at about 45 degrees. I can never tell if this is a left or a slow signal and I'm a bicycle commuter every working day of the year.

Other than that I have to say I really appreciate your blog as it helps me formulate strategy for educating novice commuters.

Tom said...

There are too many stereotypes that can be hauled out to describe these inconsiderate (or worse) drivers. IMO, it is just plain too easy to get a driver's license in any of the 50 states. We should learn from Germany, the UK and other countries and raise our standards to get a license.

I like this quote: character is what we do when we think no one is looking. (Eg when there are no cops around.)

I'm glad you survived you ride with no injuries. That car driver should not have a license.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the comments,

Grendel, I did signal with my arm straight out initially and off and on after that. The part of the video where you can see my hand dangling is when I was deciding if I needed to put both hands back on the bars. There is one frame of the video where you can see my arm is fully extended, well you can only see my hand, but it is up high as in, straight out. I was going to address that in the initial post but ran out of time. Be safe out there on your commute.

Anonymous said...

Your video adds fuel to the fire that roadies are a bunch of self-righteous pricks.

You say it wouldn't be too much to ask for the driver to slow, but you insist on moving in front of a vehicle that is traveling at a greater speed just to have some content for your blog. Why couldn't you wait until the car passed? Why did you risk being hit by a car?

Anyone who feels the need to invest in camera equipment to show all of their close calls must be doing something wrong on a regular basis.

This video is solid evidence of that.

Jeff said...

Mr. Anonymous,
I didn’t “move in front of a vehicle traveling at a greater speed”, I was already in front of him. I just tried to make a legal left turn while in front of him. Should I have stopped on the shoulder of the road and waited for him and anyone else who was on the road to pass before continuing on my ride? The reason I didn’t think it would be too much to ask for the driver to slow, is that it is the LAW! I also figured since his not slowing would jeopardize my life, his life, and the life of the driver in the oncoming lane. So if my thinking that he would follow the law and not put all our lives at risk to save 5 or 10 seconds makes me a “self righteous prick”, so be it.

The only thing the video appears to be solid evidence of is this drivers disregard for anyone’s safety while behind the wheel. Your post appears to be evidence of your ignorance of the rules of the road or lack of common courtesy.

Wayne said...


You started your left too late; you should have been near the lane line sooner.


Ron said...


Be in command of your lane. You are traffic.