Judge Judy gets a vehicle/bicycle collision right!

why not? I use to do it all the time. it is easy if you know how to ride a bike. I use to go over downed trees in the woods on my mountain bike

You can’t compare a mountain bike environment to what a road bike that can travel at some very decent speeds . Maybe you should call one of the local bike shops and have then explain why it is not a good idea to ride facing traffic .

Actually I agree with this as we have discussed before. I’ve heard all the arguments but I think what it really comes down to is the DOT/Public Safety need for definitions. They have to classify a bike as a vehicle not a pedestrian so that traffic laws apply. It doesn’t fit their world view to create a separate classification for bikes, mowers, horses, and motorized easy chairs so they remain “vehicles”. Guy was running his mower in the street at dusk and was hard to see. Much better for all if he would have been facing traffic-headlights on, no tail lights. I have tail lights on mine but normally don’t drive in the street.

It doesn’t work because of the closing speed. Typical roads that commuting cyclists use would have the bicycle going 15-20 mph with the automobiles going 30-40 mph. If bicycles ride against the traffic flow that is a closing speed of up to 60 mph. It would be quite nerve-wracking and give almost no time to react to a problem! Additionally, it creates probably twice the number of times that the bicycle and an automobile would have to cross paths; therefore more opportunities for a collision that is also worse with the two vehicles approaching each other.

Believe it or not, bicycles being hit from the rear is very rare compared to the two most common ways they are hit: automobile passes bicycle and then immediately turns right causing bicycle to unavoidably hit the right side of the automobile (a.k.a. “right hook”) or oncoming left-turning automobile does not yield to oncoming traffic and runs over bicycle (a.k.a. “left hook”).

I ran into a cyclist while walking. On the campus where I taught, there was a one way drive that went around part of the campus. I was crossing the drive and looked in the direction that vehicle traffic would be coming. Seeing that there was no cars going, I started to cross the drive and walked into a coed on a bicycle going the wrong direction. I grabbed her and kept her and the bicycle from falling over. The bicyclist was clearly wrong in going the wrong direction on a one way drive, but the experience taught me to look both directions.

A few mornings ago, I observed a bike–w/o any lighting–being ridden on one of our narrow country lanes (without shoulders), in an area heavily shaded by big trees. I was going in the opposite direction and was just able to see him, but I could easily imagine a motorist coming up behind him in that very shady area who might not see him in time to avoid him.

The bicyclist was an elderly man, and I think that he exercised very poor judgment to ride his bike on that road.

Judge Judy got it right but when I was much younger I used to bike a lot and was hit once and run off the road another time, both times the driver just drove off leaving me in the road.

While the great majority of drivers are decent people, there’s a small number of psycho drivers who don’t give a hoot about anyone else, whether it’s bike riders, motorcyclists or pedestrians.

It’s such an unequal battle between 2 tons of iron and an exposed body that I would support felony charges and serious jail time for a driver injuring a rider/pedestrian who’s otherwise obeying the law.

Sometimes we cyclists make mistakes. So I was racing my bud home from work, he was driving and I was biking. I tried to pass a car behind him with not much room. My wheels got to close to the curb and ended up doing a superman into a street sign. Luckily I only got a scrape on my wrist and bruised my collarbone and put a 15 degree bend in the sign, still like that today. There are nice people in the world, in fact an armored truck the guy opened up the back and asked if I was OK. Thinking he was probably breaking protocol and I appreciated the concern.

I was really surprised once, a guy on a powered bicycle going pretty fast, passing all the cars on the right, could not see him until I was making a right hand turn and saw him in my right side mirror just in time. He blew through the intersection at least 25 mph, no care in the world.

I try to use the bike trails or quieter streets when possible, I’ve been in a bike lane where drivers have to cross to get to the freeway onramp so I kept looking behind to make sure i wasn’t holding people up, the Ford Excursion that had crossed behind me passed by with the mirror way too close for comfort. I’ve seen some near collisions where the other cyclist blew through the stop sign almost getting hit by the vehicle i was waiting for.

I use to bike ride a lot until I moved to New England. Narrow roads, rude drivers that average 20-30 over posted speed limit made for a very dangerous situation. And then there’s Boston…it takes the dangers of riding a bike to a whole different level.

For example:

Still the only collision I’ve had in 31 years of biking to work.

I would agree with this, but I would also say the great majority of bikers are decent people, there’s a small number who don’t care about traffic laws, right of way, or other bikers. And in the long history of cars vs bikes, I think the majority of the worst offenses are involving minorities of both groups


I’ve put over 40,000 miles on my road bike over 20 years.

First off, yep … Judge Judy had it right. A cyclist that blows through a red light is insane. Over the years I’ve seen far more bone-headed drivers than cyclists, but as a percentage, I’d say 99% of the drivers were respectful and careful. On the other hand, about 1/2 the cyclists out there either don’t know what rules to follow or they just don’t give a hoot. Lots of car drivers also don’t know what the rules are for cyclists.

I follow all the rules, lots of signaling, stopping at lights and stop signs. Cars have a hard enough time dealing with bikes, cyclists shouldn’t make it worse.

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That has also been my observation. I do most of my walking/hiking in a nearby state park which also hosts cyclists and equestrians. There are fairly prominent signs listing the rules of the trail: Cyclists should yield to both pedestrians and those who are riding horses

When I first started walking/hiking in that park about 25 years ago, the vast majority of cyclists obeyed the rules of the trail, and it was the norm for cyclists to call out “passing you on the left” when they approached, or to sound a bell to warn pedestrians of their approach. Now, I estimate that fewer than 25% do so.

The norm is now for people who are SPEEDING along the 6 ft wide trail on bikes to approach pedestrians from the rear without giving any warning, and some of them come w/in just a few inches of the pedestrians who don’t know that they are approaching.