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post #21 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 4:08 pm
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[QUOTE=rjhartmann]
How about the people talking on cell phones as they drive? You can tell as you come up behind them - a dozen a day with a death wish. They're worse than drunks; goodness knows how many of them I've been by without ever noticing impairment.
QUOTE]

You know, there was a study done here recently about people talking on cell phones (hands free devices included) I can't remember exactly what it said, but something like they have the same amount of accidents as drunk drivers. I'll have to find it and post it up here.

Great feedback! Thanks so much!

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post #22 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 11:53 am
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I live in Aneheim CA, and comute everyday to Riverside and split lanes. Many Californians are aware of Bikes, but I still have had someone move way left into the lane and I ran my mirror into theirs.
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post #23 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 12:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dug
Yup, the cell phone users are usually pretty obvious. They're the ones going 5-10mph slower than everyone else (while they're in the middle lanes, no less).
Last week, my daughter called us while she was on her way home from work. She's in South Florida and drivers there are fast and agressive. She was very upset, had a bad day. Even though her car is bluetooth and her phone is completely hands-free, I told her to call back after she got home. She was already distracted because she was upset and I didn't want her even more distracted, even though she's a great driver.

On her way home she was rear-ended by a guy talking on his cell phone! She just found out that his insurance lapsed too. And she's in a 2 month old (new) Acura TSX that she adores.

I see it every day. In fact, I followed an idiot in a huge SUV yesterday morning. We were on a 4 lane (2 each way) inner city street. He was taking up about a lane and a half. Since I had an escape route and since I was particularly angry yesterday morning, I pulled up next to him and stared over at him. Really stupid on my part. Sure enough, he's got his damned phone glued to his ear.

I made a FRIENDLY gesture to him and he swerved back into his lane. I never provoke people in cars because I'll always lose, but this guy was driving pretty dangerously in my neighborhood and there are kids and dogs around.

After I passed him I watched him move into the right lane and he cut off a car doing it. I then saw him turn right and the guy he cut off followed him. Wonder what happened?

Unfortunately, this stuff won't stop until driving while on the phone becomes illegal. I don't think it's as dangerous as drunk driving, but it's close. When I'm following an erratic driver, I always check for phones.

Andy

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post #24 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 2:06 pm
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Wow, a lot of my pet peeves touched upon in this thread...

First of all, the cell phone. Let me take a different tack here. Obviously, we've all seen plenty of cell phone users who were driving poorly. But I've been riding for over 25 years, and for the first 10 or 15, there was no such thing as a cell phone. Guess what? There were terrible drivers back then, too!

Here's the thing: If they were to ban the use of cell phones, would you really feel any safer out there? I know I wouldn't! And you shouldn't either, if you know what's good for you. I honestly don't think the people you see out there driving like crap with cell phones in their ears are really "good drivers gone bad" because of the phone. I think they are crappy drivers, period. If it's not the cell phone that distracts them, it's going to be something else.

The point being, when you're on a motorcycle, you can't take anything for granted. You have to be the one paying attention to everyone around you, because sometimes you ARE the only one paying attention. Try not to focus on the cell phones. They aren't the problem, their owners are.

Okay, on the lane splitting:

It's not technically legal here in AZ. I don't know if they enforce it or not, because I rarely do it. I wish I could! But people here (and in most other places where it's not common, I would guess) get pissed when you go by them on a bike, even when traffic is at a standstill.

I don't get the resentment. The way I see it, once you pass them, they'll never see you again, so what's the problem??? It's one less vehicle in the traffic flow that they have to deal with, so you'd think they'd be happy. But nooooo....

I think it comes down to the classic American attitude: "I may be slow, but I'm ahead of you!"

When I'm in California, I love to be able to split lanes. It's efficient, and safe when done correctly. Of course, it's meant to be used when traffic is going extremely slow or stopped. I see some people splitting lanes on the freeway doing 90 mph when the traffic is going 75. Stupid!

As for people in cars not seeing lane-splitters, I've been on the other end of that, too. I've spent plenty of time driving vehicles in California, and when you're stuck in stop-and-go traffic, you can't be scanning your mirrors the whole time looking for lane-splitters. You're generally focused on the brake lights in front of you because the traffic repeatedly stops on a dime. When you're going so slow, or completely stopped, a lane-splitting bike can appear in a matter of seconds, so if a bike surprises you suddenly, it's not your fault. Sorry, bikers.

Riders have to be aware of that fact. Expecting drivers to be looking for you in their side mirrors is unreasonable. Again, it's up to the rider to "scan and predict" what's going on in front of him. Drivers can help by not making sudden side to side movements without checking mirrors first, but they are going to do that sometimes, and it's up to us to pay attention to the clues.

As we all know, it doesn't matter who's right or wrong in these situations. We're going to lose either way...
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post #25 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 2:57 pm Thread Starter
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Since starting this thread there have been a lot of great comments and I hope that they keep coming. AZ Scott summed up my feelings with his last post and especially with his last sentence. At this point I can't see myself splitting lanes in moving traffic (too many cars darting in and out of lanes with hardly a glance nor signaling, too many distracted cell phone users, too much road rage, etc...) but maybe splitting to the front of stopped traffic if it "feels right".

Craig



Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_Scott
...it doesn't matter who's right or wrong in these situations. We're going to lose either way...
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post #26 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 3:10 pm
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Quote:
Here's the thing: If they were to ban the use of cell phones, would you really feel any safer out there? I know I wouldn't! And you shouldn't either, if you know what's good for you. I honestly don't think the people you see out there driving like crap with cell phones in their ears are really "good drivers gone bad" because of the phone. I think they are crappy drivers, period. If it's not the cell phone that distracts them, it's going to be something else.
Really good point by AZScott. I wouldn't feel safer if phones were banned or if they started up road side executions of drunk drivers, it's imperative that we all ride defensively. However, and speaking in generalizations, the more we can do to reduce distractions, the better.

As far as why people resent lane splitters? Being that I'm never riding in rush hour traffic, I never split lanes, plus it's illegal here. But I chalk it up to the fact that people are competitive when they're driving. If I pass a guy in a stopped car in rush hour traffic, I'm "winning" and he's "losing". It's bound to piss off some people.

Andy

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07 GT1000 (gray), traded for Hypermotard
06 Genuine Buddy 125
04 Aprilia 50cc 2 stroke, 65 cc cylinder head, touring exhaust, RIP
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post #27 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 4:49 pm
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The craziest thing I ever saw was a motorcyclist on the cell phone, riding down a busy road.... (and I've seen this twice!)

That's just crazy.

AZScott, nice post - I always said that another adrenaline sport is to haul horses through Phoenix during rush hour.... talk about competitive drivers! As soon as someone can squeeze in front of you they do - and forget about using your blinker - if the person next to you sees it, they speed up to block you out. Driving is so frustrating sometimes.

Somehow though, I feel safer on my bike then in my truck. I can see better, and I can get out of situations much faster. Plus, I'm super focused on what's going on around me.

"What we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat"
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post #28 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 4:56 pm
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Saw a knucklehead eating a Burger on a bike in traffic. He would put it on his seat at a couple of stops as I rode besides him. You have to be in some kind of serious hurry... or just plain dumb.
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post #29 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 5:43 pm
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Cool Buellfire...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buellfire
I always said that another adrenaline sport is to haul horses through Phoenix during rush hour....
(OT) Are you a horse person, too??? My fiancee, Jessica, has horses (and a Sportclassic). Next time you're in Tucson visiting your family (or buying a bike ) you'll have to look us up...
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post #30 of 89 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2006, 9:52 pm
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Excellent post, Scott

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_Scott
(1) If they were to ban the use of cell phones, would you really feel any safer out there?
(2) When you're on a motorcycle, you can't take anything for granted.
You've summed it up pretty well. Allow me two small comments / additions:

Ad 1 I know that I wouldn't feel any safer, but then, statistics don't lie. Traffic would be just a little bit safer.

Ad 2 In traffic, you can't take anything for granted.

RonB
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