Dangerous car door opening

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AlanD
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Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 1:29pm
Location: South Oxfordshire

Dangerous car door opening

Postby AlanD » 14 Jan 2011, 10:20pm

Hi all,
This is probably 'fishing' but would anyone care to go to my youtube postings and leave some supportive comments?
The postings are:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwqWU5AfyWA
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1JwMkpa0Z4

The story behind this is that I posted something, with the first link, asking drivers to always check before they open doors, on the residents association website for where I live, because that's where it happened. The reply I got was this:

" Perhaps I'm stating the obvious, but it doesn't look like your cycle lights make any impression, no reflections on the road surface, no reflections in the cars etc.
So perhaps, YOUR visibility was less than perfect?"

So since this person had cast doubt upon my visibility and completely undermined the message that I was trying to get across, there was nothing for it but to reply. I produced the second film link and put it on the website with this measured reply, although what I was thinking was far stronger:

"Perhaps it is stating the obvious but bicycle lights do not have behind them the sort of power that car headlights have and so cannot be expected to flood the road with bright light.
When you have studied this video, I trust that YOU will retract YOUR accusation. Thank you."

I think that I defended my honour and gave him the clip round the ear that he was asking for, although I doubt that he will publish a retraction. But just in case other residents take a peek, it would be supportive to me, for them to see suitable comments from other cyclists. Oh I nearly forgot. I was wearing a yellow Altura Dryliner jacket with a Hi-Viz vest on top.

Thanks all. Have a good w/e.
Alan

alicej
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Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby alicej » 14 Jan 2011, 10:53pm

Signed up to youtube just to comment! Good luck with those residents.

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gentlegreen
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby gentlegreen » 15 Jan 2011, 8:50am

You do seem to have some particularly half-asleep neighbours - given your half-decent front light, but if that had happened to me I would be hogging the road in anticipation.

What sort of light is it ?

----------------------

It's always a challenge deciding where to strike the balance when passing within the door zone but it depends on the particular circumstances. Mostly I ride well clear, but thanks to having insanely effective DIY lights, there are one or two places where I feel reasonably confident to pass close.

Image

(This is just my 4 watt 48 LED 180 degree "be seen" light - I also have three LED spots of similar power which I feel the need to use in some circumstances. There's one particular road with a day nursery where I even light my high beam before entering - not just for car doors, but random pedestrians carrying children.

Image

recumbentpanda
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby recumbentpanda » 15 Jan 2011, 11:52am

Holy candlepower Batman! You must lose at least 3mph off your top speed just from the recoil from all those photons!

downfader
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby downfader » 15 Jan 2011, 11:58am

I think the person who replied to you is doing so out of either a) ignorance or b) excuse making.

Nothing wrong at all with your lights, your position saved that getting nasty. There is absolutely no reason for any driver to fling a door open in such a manner. When I'm a passenger in the family's cars I look in the mirror and wait for a second, then I look back in the blind spot to double check. It aint that hard, even for a nondriver like me. :wink:

I think the driver made one of two mistakes, possibly both: 1 not looking, 2 over-reliant on using their ears.

alicej
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby alicej » 15 Jan 2011, 12:59pm

When you're looking to see if there's anyone inside a car who might suddenly open the door, I'd imagine that having strong lights yourself might make it harder to see them, as all you'd get would be your own lights reflecting off the outside of their car.

downfader
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby downfader » 15 Jan 2011, 1:10pm

alicej wrote:When you're looking to see if there's anyone inside a car who might suddenly open the door, I'd imagine that having strong lights yourself might make it harder to see them, as all you'd get would be your own lights reflecting off the outside of their car.


I have used some pretty bright lights in the past.. 200 lumens and above, and I have to say I dont have any problem as the lights typically going forward enough not to worry about it. A cursory glance inside is always good if you can, even if you think you're wide enough out. Thats when its quiet though, when theres a fair bit of traffic about you tend to have other concerns..

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gaz545
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby gaz545 » 15 Jan 2011, 5:22pm

alicej wrote:When you're looking to see if there's anyone inside a car who might suddenly open the door, I'd imagine that having strong lights yourself might make it harder to see them, as all you'd get would be your own lights reflecting off the outside of their car.

If you are looking in the car, then you are worried about being hit by an opening door, which in turn means you are cycling in the door zone. If you cycle out of the door zone then there is no requirement to look into the parked cars.

Anyway, at the point where you can clearly see if someone is in the car and what their intentions are, you are too close to stop in time if going around 15mph.
Stay safe by keeping out of the door zone at all costs.

downfader
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby downfader » 15 Jan 2011, 5:33pm

gaz545 wrote:
alicej wrote:When you're looking to see if there's anyone inside a car who might suddenly open the door, I'd imagine that having strong lights yourself might make it harder to see them, as all you'd get would be your own lights reflecting off the outside of their car.

If you are looking in the car, then you are worried about being hit by an opening door, which in turn means you are cycling in the door zone. If you cycle out of the door zone then there is no requirement to look into the parked cars.

Anyway, at the point where you can clearly see if someone is in the car and what their intentions are, you are too close to stop in time if going around 15mph.
Stay safe by keeping out of the door zone at all costs.


Gaz, I think its still a useful skill to utilise when filtering, or if you've not been able to move as far out as you'd wish (poor road surface for example). I know you know this, but I'm just verbalising it for others. :D

snibgo
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby snibgo » 15 Jan 2011, 6:05pm

That's an instructive video in the OP.

Personally, I don't bother to watch out for drivers. They hide behind headrests, or I mistake headrests for drivers. If there is enough space for a car to get past, there is enough space for me to get past outside the door zone.

irc
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby irc » 15 Jan 2011, 6:31pm

Sometimes riding close to cars can't be avoided for example low speed filtering. I wouldn't ride that close to those cars though. I particularly would not ride in the doorzone of a parked car I knew to be occupied. When the lights got turned off it is almost certain the driver will open the door. A narrow street with parked cars both sides? If there is no other traffic I ride at the center line.

The driver was in the wrong in not checking first but having been in the right is no consolation when you are lying on a bench in thew ambulance.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

PW
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby PW » 15 Jan 2011, 6:42pm

I always check cars for occupants - not purely because of the doors but for the idiot who shoots out into the road with no warning. Another clue is exhaust fumes and I always look at the wheelnuts, that way the rotation shows up.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

thirdcrank
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Jan 2011, 8:27pm

This is the Highway Code
67
You should
... . Leave plenty of room when passing parked vehicles and watch out for doors being opened ...

I mention this because the last time I bothered to participate in the sham of HC consultation, I pointed out the absence of advice to drivers that they should expect/ permit cyclists to do this.

gentlegreen

Without wishing to take this off at a tangent, does the stuff in your pic include a Gatling Gun? :shock:

downfader
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby downfader » 15 Jan 2011, 9:36pm

thirdcrank wrote:Without wishing to take this off at a tangent, does the stuff in your pic include a Gatling Gun? :shock:


Would be handy. :wink:

AlanD
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Re: Dangerous car door opening

Postby AlanD » 19 Jan 2011, 10:58pm

Now I'm really down in the dumps about this.
I just took a peek at the residents association website and someone called 'Thinker man' has put his penniesworth in:

"Ummmm..... Really? What a waste of time putting this video on YouTube.
So you travel on the roads and have a camera on your head. Congratulations."

I go and raise awareness for a safety issue that's really serious and what happens is that someone has to go and belittle me in this mocking manner. Perhaps the 'Thinker man' has not thought this through enough to realise that self-publicising on Youtube is not the real goal, it's having tangible evidence to take to the Police and the Court when someone tries to deny responsibility after running me down.

Without going into details, my self esteem is already at rock bottom, I'm in a fragile state that sometimes borders on depression. A response like this really knocks me down and I wish I'd never looked now. I'm going to bed :(