TOURNEYPLAYER wrote:maybe because the way cyclists have responded. as if they are innocent in all this.
A cyclist who runs stop signs, stoplights, or does other dangerous stuff deserves whatever they get.
A bicyclist who obeys the rules of the road, does not.
Can't you understand both these points?
Also, bicycles have to respect pedestrians. Bikes aren't allowed on sidewalks. I sometimes give them hell when I see them riding up the sidewalk toward me, or I will purposely walk on a part of the sidewalk that forces them to swerve off the sidewalk. Those assholes deserve whatever they get. I've been hit by bicycles, as a pedestrian. For example, a road had a stop sign and crosswalk so people coming out of a building could cross over to a parking garage. The stop sign was necessary because the road was a hill coming around a curve, and people tended to come down too fast. A big truck had just pulled up to the stop sign from the left (going downhill), and I was crossing the street in front of it. A stupid bicyclist coming from behind the truck decided to pass it on the left side and blow the stop sign. I had a split second to react, I lowered my left shoulder, pounced from my legs, and drove my left shoulder right into his center of mass. The bicyclist went somersaulting down the road, as I chased after yelling and screaming and cussing and telling him I was going to kick his ass all the way down the road.
Here in Santa Cruz we've had many bicycle deaths. Some of them are the fault of the bicyclists. Some of them are the fault of the motorists. That's just the way it goes with accidents of any kind. The asymmetry between bikes and cars is simply the fact that the bicyclist is always the one who ends up dead. It's kind of like the bankers on Wall St vs ordinary citizens (heads, they win...tails, you lose); either way it's the bicyclist's life that is on the line.
Just down my street (=highway 1) a guy was riding a bicycle without brakes, a gravel truck passed him up and then turned right and the next intersection, and you can imagine what happened after that. But there are 2 parallel bike routes to highway 1, just 20 seconds ride in either direction, and numerous signs to direct bike traffic to these very nice quiet neighborhood streets, and off the busiest road in town (which doesn't have a bike lane, anywhere).
On the other hand, at least 2 bicyclists were killed here in the past year while riding down the bike lane on quiet roads...cars swerved into the bike lane in both cases, hitting the bicyclists from behind. In one case, which happened in the late evening, the bicyclist was incapacitated by the collision but still alive and treatable if taken to the hospital...yet the drunk driver who hit him took off and left him to bleed slowly to death in agony overnight...no other motorists could see him in the dark grass just off the side of the road. When they found the car the next day, the guy tried to claim he had hit a deer, but screwed up his story...later the newspaper reported that the hit-and-run driver was a disc golfer. In another case, also a hit-and-run, the car mowed down a bicyclist in the bike lane and never slowed or stopped or anything. The police caught them later, the car was covered in blood.
A very awesome young colleague of mine was run down by a teenage girl driving Dad's Mercedes, while riding in an ostensibly safe bicycle lane in Florida.
I used to ride motorcycles a great deal, and I love to ride. But car and truck drivers don't really watch out for motorcyclists, or bicyclists. They only watch for other cars and trucks. You have to have eyes on the back of your head to survive. And how many times have you seen some asshole tailgating a motorcycle? One mistake, and the motorcyclist is toast. The advantage that most motorcycles have over bicycles is that they are faster, and can accelerate more rapidly, than any car on the road. As such, they can get out of trouble as much by accelerating, as by braking. Bicycles are sitting ducks.
I'm a pragmatist when it comes to risking my life. As such, I understand that I live in a world where drivers are the way they are, they are not the way I'd like them to be. This is enough to keep my bicycle off the road. This is enough for my wife to keep me away from motorcycles.
In my humble opinion, drivers in the US are terrible, they are very poorly trained, and many fatal accidents occur because they reacted to something in the wrong manner. Gov'ts refuse to require more driver education because our entire transportation infrastructure is based upon on cars, trucks, and cheap gas. Drivers in many other countries have to pay thousands of dollars, and go to special schools, before they are able to earn their license, but those countries also have fantastic transportation alternatives. People who want to ride bicycles in the midst of this setting are fighting a steep uphill battle.