Tuesday, 22 May 2012

There is No Excuse

Is there ever an excuse to overtake a cyclist badly? I've been driving for almost 20 years and I've never had a problem with overtaking a cyclist on any stretch road. I was going to put together a video showing that overtaking a cyclist is rarely a problem, but then found someone on youtube had saved me the effort.

In most cases there is an ample of time to react to a cyclist, even on fast open roads if you are paying attention they are visible from many hundreds of metres away, and you usually have at least 10 seconds to react. Even in urban environments where you first see the cyclist from a smaller distance there is still plenty of time to anticipate the situation At first thought 10 seconds doesn't sound like much, but that a look at the video you can clearly see the driver has plenty of time to react to each cyclist he encounters.

I simply can't see an excuse for overtaking a cyclist badly or cutting them up.

The problem is people think they have an inherent right to overtake cyclists. They simply carry on at the same speed and will only slow down at the very last second if they are forced to do so. Sometimes people will give you room but usually it's by chance. This scenario happens too often

10 secondsSee cyclist - meh
9 seconds
8 seconds... Keep same speed
7 seconds
6 seconds... Keep same speed
5 seconds
4 seconds
3 seconds... Keep same speed (and perhaps move out)
2 secondsOh shit the road is narrowing, there's a bend and a car coming the other way
1 secondsWTD? Slam on brakes or overtake cyclist leaving little room?
0 secondsDamn cyclist! They shouldn't be on the road

There is no reason to drive like the above. It comes down to poor observation, poor anticipation, and is driven by the automatic assumption that they can overtake because they are in a car.

It's simple, if you see a cyclist you have to be prepared to slow down because you might not be able to pass them in a continuous movement. There is always plenty of time to assess the situation and then overtake when safe.

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