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Motorists overtaking cyclists - AIBU

(75 Posts)
PintofWineForMe Wed 27-Jul-16 17:15:16

I went to the supermarket today which is about a mile from my house. It's just a normal B road but with a 40mph limit.

On three separate occasions on this journey cars were crossing into the oncoming side of the road to avoid cyclists. It wasn't particularly busy so if they had just hung back for a few seconds they would have been able to pass the bike without almost driving into me. One car missed me by a few inches.

I totally get that people are in a hurry. I also understand that bikes need plenty of space and I'm not advocating driving close to cyclists. I just don't understand the mentality of someone who would rather have a head on collision rather than waiting behind the cyclist for a few seconds so the driver can pass safely.

Is it unreasonable of me to think that drivers could be a bit more patient and aware of other people on the road, be it motorists or cyclists?

wasonthelist Wed 27-Jul-16 17:18:55

Yanbu there are a lot of impatient selfish ignorant people out there

DullUserName Wed 27-Jul-16 17:27:40

I feel your pain. I regularly drive up one of the rare hills in the area. It's always full of cyclists. Yes, being held up by them is bl**dy irritating, but not half as much as nearly getting whacked head on by the impatient idiots who come hurtling over the blind summit on the wrong side of the road.

IggyPopsicle Wed 27-Jul-16 17:31:48

YANBU. I have recently started cycling to work through the city and I have to go through 5 roundabouts on the way. You wouldn't believe the amount of motorists that just decide to pull out without waiting 2 seconds for me to pass when its my right of way. A few times I have had to slam my brakes on to prevent a collision and obviously this puts me in danger of a car behind crashing into me.

I took up cycling to get fit but tbh I think I'll just start taking the bus again sad

sisterignatius Wed 27-Jul-16 17:37:28

You are completely NBU. This happens to me all the time. It seems to be an unwritten rule that motorists overtaking cyclists have priority over everyone else, including oncoming traffic. I think that many drivers simply can't STAND being held up behind a bicycle to the point that they lose hold of their senses and take ridiculous risks.

purplevase4 Wed 27-Jul-16 18:02:41

YANBU - people are just stupid.

And in fact when I am the one behind the cyclist I have been beeped at for NOT overtaking when someone is coming towards me!

People need a reminder that when the obstruction is on your side (stationary or not) you have to stop/slow down. The driver coming the other way does not.

PintofWineForMe Wed 27-Jul-16 21:55:18

To be honest it happens almost every time I go out in my car. It's getting to the point where I feel like I'm going to have a crash. Tonight I was driving on the same road and someone pulled out on me. He wasn't even looking. I slammed my brakes on and he just drove on front of me with no acknowledgement that I was even there. I hate bloody driving these days (old and curmudgeonly)

ToastDemon Wed 27-Jul-16 22:00:49

We can thank our lovely government for driving becoming more dangerous. They've stopped bothering to set accident reduction targets and claim that the fact that the death rate rose last year was just statistical variation.
Add to that cuts to police forces and I think the roads are going to become a lot more dangerous. Speed limits certainly appear to have become optional.

RealityCheque Wed 27-Jul-16 22:13:09

I just don't understand the mentality of someone who would rather have a head on collision rather than waiting behind the cyclist for a few seconds so the driver can pass safely.

But there a head on collision, was there? So the drivers generally did pass safely.

As this happens almost every time you go out, it sounds more like you are a nervous driver. Don't mistake confident, experienced drivers with a better sense of spacial awareness as always driving dangerously.

Have you considered an advanced driving course to increase your confidence?

RealityCheque Wed 27-Jul-16 22:13:56

"There wasn't a head on collision"

CointreauVersial Wed 27-Jul-16 22:16:15

Tell me about it. I live near Box Hill, and the roads are heaving with cyclists.

It's not colliding with a bike that I worry about, it's coming round a bend to find a car on the other side of the road that concerns me more.

pearlylum Wed 27-Jul-16 22:41:00

It's often not just a few seconds though. I live in a semi rural area with a lot of cyclists and a lot of windy roads with few opportunities to overtake.
Often I can drive behind a cyclist for a mile before getting an opportunity to pass.
It can be frustrating to pass a cyclist, especially if there us a tail of traffic behind waiting to pass too.
I can't cyclists on the road, cars and cyclists don't mix.
I have never encouraged my kids to cycle.

PintofWineForMe Wed 27-Jul-16 22:43:47

No, there wasn't a head on collision but I had to move to the side of the road to avoid them. It's not a case of a lack of confidence, I drive a powerful car myself, it was idiots driving into oncoming traffic as they couldn't be bothered to wait for ten seconds for me to pass before they overtake.

PintofWineForMe Wed 27-Jul-16 22:47:04

Pearly - I take your point completely. Country lanes are their own circle of hell for overtaking. I am only talking about a normal B road where there is little or no traffic. Waiting for a few seconds wouldn't impede anyone's journey for too long.

MrsMook Wed 27-Jul-16 23:01:38

I had the joy of driving at 10mph uphill behind 4 cyclists earlier. I managed to safely pass two of them, and they did space themselves to give space to pull in between them.

Between blind summits, bends, parked cars and chicanes there was little space to pass safely. Being tailgated by the van behind wasn't helpful, but I'm not risking me, my passengers, the cyclists and oncoming traffic for the sake of a minute or so's progress up the road.

Revving my engine probably sounded impatient as I did pass, but is because my car doesn't have much kick and I have to plan and gear down ready for an efficient manouver.

I did admire their quads of iron though, as running up that hill would be pretty evil!

ChrissieS79 Wed 27-Jul-16 23:02:58

YANBU husband cycles to work and often talks about motorists and their 'must get in front' mentality. He was knocked off and injured two summers ago when someone went tearing past him only to slam on the brakes to make a turn into a side road, he ran straight into the back of them.

So many people are too impatient and unaware of everyone else.

pearlylum Wed 27-Jul-16 23:10:19

Being rude and impatient is not confined to motorists. Every time I drive around the city I see cyclists ignore red lights, or conveniently avoid them by cycling on the pavement through a junction, or cycling through a green man crossing with pedestrians in order to escape red lights. They rarely signal. Many cyclists are a menace on the road

bojorojo Wed 27-Jul-16 23:11:33

I try and overtake safely and wait until there is a gap and it is safe to do so. Going up the lane to my village, that is never so I just have to sit there! However, a really big grumble is that it appears to be only parents and children who use the expensively installed and well signed cycle paths. The larger groups and individual keen cyclists never use them!!! This makes using the roads a lot more dangerous for everyone but guess who would be at fault if anything happened? Not the cyclist who should not be on the road but should be on the dedicated cycle path! A bit of understanding and commonsense all round would be ideal.

pearlylum Wed 27-Jul-16 23:11:55

Part of the problem is that some cyclists are very road unaware- they don't have to take a test like motorists do.

bojorojo Wed 27-Jul-16 23:20:06

If you are a motorist and you run into the back of a car because it has had to brake sharply, it is your fault because you are too close to it, regardless of the quality of driving of the driver in front. You will pay for the damage to the vehicle you run into. A car could brake sharply to avoid a child. A cyclist is also too close if they cannot stop safely. Cars may have to brake suddenly from time to time and defensive riding is sensible. Motorists should not be blamed for every accident.

PintofWineForMe Wed 27-Jul-16 23:23:01

Pearly - again I agree. Cyclists can be unaware or dangerous too. I don't know if it's an age thing (I'm 42) but there seems to be more cyclists on the pavement now and more commuters cycle to work. As a car driver you need to realise that you have metal all around you. Cyclists have no such protection. Unfortunately dedicated cycle paths are not and cannot be everywhere so cars and bikes will come into close contact from time to time. I don't mind waiting behind a cyclist if road conditions are not safe to overtake. My main point is consideration for other road users and a bit of common sense would go a long way. For me driving is a necessity. If I didn't have to drive then I wouldn't. Not because I have a lack of confidence but because it's just not pleasurable anymore.

CelticPromise Wed 27-Jul-16 23:24:36

Cyclists have every right to be on the road, many cycle paths are dangerous, badly planned or just bloody inconvenient. Going into the back of someone - take your point but if a car turns left across you that's hardly your fault, it would be more like turning left from the outside lane across the traffic.

CelticPromise Wed 27-Jul-16 23:27:08

OP YADNBU. I cycle and drive, i always wait until it's safe to overtake and I always thank drivers who do the same for me especially if I'm puffing up a certain hill where there is no safe place to overtake.

PintofWineForMe Wed 27-Jul-16 23:28:16

This is not a cyclist vs motorist argument. I just don't understand why crossing the road into oncoming traffic is ok or safer than hanging back until it is safe to over take. After all a bike is nowhere near the same width as a car. I don't need to drive into oncoming traffic to make sure the cyclist is safe.

PintofWineForMe Wed 27-Jul-16 23:34:09

Of course cyclists are right to be on the road. I've never said otherwise. It's impatient motorists that cause many of the problems on our roads. Cyclists are not perfect, who is? But car/van or lorry drivers at least have the luxury of airbags and metal to protect them. What I cannot understand is drivers who cross the carriageway when it is clearly dangerous to do so.

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