Why You Didn't See That Cyclist

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Interesting. I was aware of the mechanism (I've come across it in relation to the "stopped clock illusion") but hadn't thought about the possibility of a saccade completely hiding something like that.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Me too.

In case anybody thinks this could make a valid defence on a "driving without due care and attention" charge, don't bet on it.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
This is why on a bike or motorbike when approaching a junction with a car waiting to turn out I move laterally across the carriageway to create movement across their field of vision.

In a similar vein, if I am the one in the car waiting to turn out then at night it can be hard to judge the distance and closing speed of approaching traffic from just their headlights which is why I often let the first one go to get a better idea of the gap then turn across the next one which may actually be a little closer than the one I let pass.
 

RobH1

Well-Known Member
I was a Motorcycle dealer for 25 years and during that time we had many instances of "I didn't see you."

We carried out a primitive study of junctions as described by gomezz and noted that two-thirds of drivers approaching the T-junction
made the error of looking left first, then right rather than the basics of R-L-R as taught since childhood. (This still happens regularly-check it out, yourself included!)
This resulted in many cases of misjudgement of the approaching speed of the motorcyclist and the associated accident or near miss.
This article however gives another dimension and food for thought.
 

Mike2

Scrat
Additional tips for cyclists:

* Don't ride along the pavement
* Don't ride the wrong way along a one way street
* Don't overtake on the left
* Don't ride 2+ abreast on narrow roads

The first also protects pedestrians.
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
For many years door pillars got thinner, but now they got fat again which is an unfortunate reversal of driver visibility.

As regards peripheral vision, the prevalence of fashionable spectacle frames, especially women's, with a big fat side arm is also a big downer, though maybe more in general traffic terms than for avoiding cyclists. Tint your windows? NoNo! Block half your vision? No problemo!
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Soddin' cyclists don't do themselves any favours. 5pm today (ie dark) I approached a roundabout and only just spotted a cyclist coming around it with no lights (I didn't stop, there was enough gap for me to keep going). Further up the road there was a cyclist coming the other way with a bus up his back side, the cyclist was only visible because he had a flashing headlamp... but he was dressed in black with black gloves and using hand signals to turn right that we're not visible at all until I went by!

It's like they are not aware of the accident statistics.
 

Mike2

Scrat
Soddin' cyclists don't do themselves any favours. 5pm today (ie dark) I approached a roundabout and only just spotted a cyclist coming around it with no lights (I didn't stop, there was enough gap for me to keep going). Further up the road there was a cyclist coming the other way with a bus up his back side, the cyclist was only visible because he had a flashing headlamp... but he was dressed in black with black gloves and using hand signals to turn right that we're not visible at all until I went by!

It's like they are not aware of the accident statistics.


I almost saw a teenager kill himself recently. He lives two doors away. I had just dropped Mrs Mike at work and was heading back home. There was a turn on the right and a bus had stopped to let a car turn right out of it, ie, onto my side. The kid came down at a pace towards me, centre road, overtaking the stationary bus, and missing hitting that car by inches right in front of me.

I notice that more and more motorists are stopping in those bike-reserved boxes these days. I suppose if you have dawdled along at 10mph behind a bike for miles and just managed to get past it, you don't want to let it go in front of you again at the next traffic lights. Not that most of the bikes actually stop there anyway; most just ignore the red light and edge across the traffic or mount the pavement! Do they leave their brains behind?
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Bike reserved boxes? That's nothing. Many drivers seem to ignore the stop line these days, think it's OK to roll a yard or two over it and then stop (maybe).
 

Mike2

Scrat
Bike reserved boxes? That's nothing. Many drivers seem to ignore the stop line these days, think it's OK to roll a yard or two over it and then stop (maybe).


I never said their front wheels were in the box!

One thing I find dangerous is those crossings where the two oncoming streams have different traffic light settings. Turning right at one of those, you are never sure whether the oncoming cars are jumping the red light or are still on green, when the light in front of you is red and you are in the middle of the junction.

If the lights are synchronized, I often nudge the car across the oncoming cars, but my wife gets very upset if I do that and says it is aggressive. So what about those light jumping b*stards stopping me from exiting the junction, plus the car behind me? Are they not aggressive too? By the time I manage to turn right, the cross flow has already started to move!

It's even harder being a pedestrian on one of these junctions. Kids stand no chance!
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
One thing I find dangerous is those crossings where the two oncoming streams have different traffic light settings. Turning right at one of those, you are never sure whether the oncoming cars are jumping the red light or are still on green, when the light in front of you is red and you are in the middle of the junction.
Info: by definition, if your green is an arrow there is no other traffic permitted to cross your path at that time. If it is an ordinary "round" light there may be oncoming traffic to give way to.
 

Mike2

Scrat
Info: by definition, if your green is an arrow there is no other traffic permitted to cross your path at that time. If it is an ordinary "round" light there may be oncoming traffic to give way to.

I am talking about when I am still mid-junction and my round green has become a round red!
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
Don't understand. Why would you *ever* risk turning in front of an oncoming car even if it has run the red?
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I am talking about when I am still mid-junction and my round green has become a round red!
Fair enough, and for anybody unsure you are allowed to proceed even if the red has turned against you if you are over the stop line when it was green.

Traffic lights and other rules of the road only work if road users universally respect them, and (frankly) the selfish sod-everyone-else attitude on our roads is increasing to the extent that I would scrap speed cameras in favour of total coverage for traffic light cameras. If the only way to make progress across a junction (when you have the legal right) is to force other drivers to respect your right of way, then you just have to do it.
 

Mike2

Scrat
If the only way to make progress across a junction (when you have the legal right) is to force other drivers to respect your right of way, then you just have to do it.

My feeling exactly. At one particular junction, one car gets through per cycle, usually. The poor s*d behind that one has to wait for the next cycle, every time!
 
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