Author Topic: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am  (Read 5403 times)

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Offline webm8

Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« on: July 03, 2012, 08:37:34 am »
Hey there, the ACA group out yesterday had a really near miss with a truck, he buzzed all of our riders by blowing his horn and trying to ram us off the road. Please share this video to try and get this jerk banned from driving before he kills someone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvHGZBbQmjo

http://webm8transamerica.blogspot.com/

Offline jamawani

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 11:03:07 am »
Simon -

I am sorry that you had this close call, but I believe that you have interpreted the situation wrong and should rethink it.

From your video, it is clear that there is a "scissors" situation - vehicles approaching in both directions - at highway speeds on a shoulderless road.  The white pickup passed you at 0:02 and the semi passed at 0:05 - so the semi driver had just over a second after he passed the pickup to respond to you.  Not to mention that the pickup driver was way over to the right - - should have been a serious clue.

From earlier clips, it also appears that you are taking this video with a hand-held camera.  Plus most of your posts have a long music playlist - so you may have an ipod going, too.  I could not see a handlebar mirror on your bike or on the bike of the rider in front.  Do you use a mirror?

Added to this, your group appears to cycle, at times, as a cluster strung out over a half mile or so.  This makes overtaking even more difficult for vehicles.

<<<>>>

From some of your comments - such as the condition of the showers in parks - you seem not to understand the people or the communities through which you travel.  In west Kansas, these communities are small, poor, often with an average age of more than 50 - - yet residents take the time and effort to make sure cyclists have accommodations - - using their weekends and funds to do so.

<<<>>>

In the U.S. there are signs which say "Share the Road" - meant to alert motorists to cyclists on the road.  Still, this motto works both ways.  Although this is a dream vacation for you, for the motorists you encounter along the way, it is yet another workday - often at very low pay and great distance in rural America.

Hopefully, that is something you can gain from this experience.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 11:10:46 pm by jamawani »

Offline hem

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 02:40:30 pm »
I had a situation happen to me on the Cycle Utah ride. Going up steep curving hill with passing lane and no shoulder. A double bottom truck being passed by a class A RV towing an SUV whizzed by and I looked death in the eye. Shaking I got off road and walked the rest of that hill until there was a shoulder again.  Because of the sight line and the situation the truck driver saved my ass.

It happens and there is not a whole hell of a lot you can do about it. 

Offline indyfabz

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 10:08:02 am »
+1 on everything Jamawani wrote. I think that horn was a warning rather than part of an attempt to ram you off the road. Maybe you can find the pick up truck driver and buy him a beer. He was obviusly altert enough to recognize the "scissor situation" and move far right to give the truck more breathing room. Learn to recognize the impeding situation and to take defensive action.

There is a good chance the truck driver was as nervous as you were, if not more. I work in the rail industry where, unfortunately, sometimes people are struck and killed. The train crew is often helpless to do anything about it and is often traumatized, especially when the last thing it sees before the accident are the victim's grapefruit-sized eyes.

Offline Clem

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 10:13:27 am »
I have had good luck as well as bad luck with truck drivers. Last year I got blasted by a truck horn. Fortunately I had a pretty wide shoulder and was well out of the way. Earlier a truck had waited patiently while I was going through a tunnel with no shoulder. He waited behind me while I cleared the tunnel and moved over to the shoulder on the road. I really appreciated that.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2012, 10:43:26 am »
I think that it looked like a pretty routine pass and I would have thought little enough of it that I would have not bothered to mention it.  Something very similar has happened to me more than once on every tour I have done.  It looked like there was pretty close to 3' of room and I think that the driver made a good effort to warn the riders with the horn and move over as far as he could with the oncoming pickup truck being right there.

I have generally found professional truck drivers to be just that "professional".  The drivers that worry me most are the rental RV drivers.

Offline windrath

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 06:37:18 pm »
I am glad to read the comments that don't summarily denounce the truck driver.  As a cyclist and a motor coach driver, I see both sides of the equation every time I am out riding or driving.  A good commercial driver is looking at least a 1/4 mile down the road for possible issues.  While it does seem to me that he going a little fast, I was appalled at the cyclist who was well into the traffic lane.  When I am driving and encounter cyclists doing this, I try to toot-toot, slow down, and give wide clearance to minimize the draft effect.  BUT, it is not always possible due to traffic conditions.

We cyclists are there for pleasure.  The drivers are there for a living.  Even though the rules state we have as much right as the vehicles do, a cyclist who flaunts that is asking for an accident.

On a road like that, the cyclists should be spread out, tucking the white line as much as possible, using a side mirror, and definitely not listening to music (as bad as texting while driving).  if the cyclists can't follow those rules, they should find another road to ride for everyone's safety.

This situation reminded me of a time in Idaho when we were riding on a high speed 2 lane road with minimal shoulder.  Thank God I had a side mirror because, when I scanned behind me, I saw a truck pulling a double wide trailer at 70 mph.  You better believe I was off my bike and down an embankment in a hurry to respect the truck driver's challenge.

Be a courteous cyclist for the sake of the rest of us.

Paul

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 08:20:02 pm »
These situations happen a lot on the highway. You've got to give yourself every advantage and be thinking about what to do as vehicles approach from the rear. You can't do that without a mirror.  I would have been off the road before that truck even got to me.  I've had to do it before and I'll likely do it again.  Also, I wear the shock yellow/green color at all times and when rigs are passing I'm farther over to the white line.  As cyclists, we are reallyresponsible for our own safety, even if an incident may not be technically our fault.  There are going to be terrible drivers distracted by phones, eating, grooming, etc.  Also drunk ones and drugged ones. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline MrBent

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 02:36:07 pm »
Dang, I hate sharing the road with big trucks when no shoulder is around.  I, too, have had a mixed bag of experiences.  For some reason I've had many more bad encounters with logging truck drivers.  Not sure why this is true.  The driver shown in the OP would have pissed me off mightily, too.  The horn was totally unnecessary.  That shows a level of aggression I find disturbing.  I think EVERY SINGLE DRIVER should have to live and bike on the roads of his or her country for at least a year before getting a driver's license.  Once you know what it's like to be at the mercy of trucks and cars, you'll never drive the same way again.

Be safe out there, everyone!

Scott

Joe B

  • Guest
Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2012, 12:39:38 pm »
As cyclists, we are reallyresponsible for our own safety, even if an incident may not be technically our fault. 

  • Laws of Physics
  • Motor Vehicle Laws
We may be right under part 2, but we need to live through part 1 first.

Offline irc

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2012, 04:10:30 pm »
I was appalled at the cyclist who was well into the traffic lane.  When I am driving and encounter cyclists doing this, I try to toot-toot, slow down, and give wide clearance to minimize the draft effect.  BUT, it is not always possible due to traffic conditions.

If a vehicle driver can't pass safely  he should slow down until he can. If that means slowing to bike speed so be it. In the clip concerned all the truck driver had to do was slow down another 15mph or so for a few seconds before reaching the cyclists. This would have allowed him more time between the pickup passing and him passing the cyclists. He could then  have overtaken safely.

I've cycled the road involved it has very light traffic. A close pass like that in the video was not justified.

I've experienced close passes from trucks refusing to move fully into the other lane despite the road being clear for half a mile ahead. It is just inconsiderate bad, and dangerous driving.

Offline webm8

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 05:54:06 pm »
The camera is attached to the handlebars and records at all time.  The driver should have anticipated that he could not get through the gap safely and slowed down, simple as that.  Read the road ahead and drive to that effect - at least that is what we are taught in the UK.  The driver buzzed all the group the same as us two EVEN when there was no other vehicles on the road at the time, so unless you are there at that time, it is very hard to make some of these comments.  Others in the group use mirrors too and had to jump off the road onto the side to escape him

I listen to some music in one ear, not the road ear, just like I do on all my rides and commutes around London, no safety impaired.   I think some of the comments are pretty scarey, almost suggesting that it is ok to do this to cyclists and that we don't have any rights on the road at all.  I'm not sure what some of the other comments "jamawani" makes off topic though.  Interesting reading!  Thanks guys

Offline jamawani

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2012, 10:13:53 pm »
Jamawani has 100,000 miles of touring experience - -
Speaking of "off topic".

Offline twalls

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2012, 07:17:00 pm »
I think a lot of close angry encounters result from the last second sighting of a cyclist by a vehicle. So, flashing rear lights, a flashing front light and flags seen from a long distance help with avoiding the near disaster. I have flags front and rear pointing out to the road side to give drivers a gauge of how much space to give me. I usually don't wear bright colors myself because there is a tendency to turn into what a driver is looking at, so the flags give them a "target" that isn't me. Make sense?  It seems to have worked well for me. Using a mirror of course.

I have found most everyone across the country to be very considerate using the above method. Excepting the occasional knuckle-dragger, to be sure.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 09:32:53 am »
OP:  Let's not forget that you ascribed intent to the semi driver when your wrote that he tried to ram you off the road. Don't know how you can do that without the ability to read his mind. Let's assume that he could have safely slowed down (i.e., doing so would not have caused a wreck that squashed you and your pals) until there was enough room to pull out. One could argue that his failure to do so makes him a bad driver, but it doesn't evidence intent to ram you off the road.