Comment 71430

By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted November 18, 2011 at 15:11:32

On a bike, I typically commute at 20 km/h and slow to roughly 12 km/h when approaching a residential stop sign intersection. At that speed, if suddenly I see a car, I can stop in about 2m - the length of the bike.

When approaching the same intersection in a car, I'm doing about 40 km/h. If I slowed to 12 km/h to go through the intersection, it would appear to an observer that I was going slower than the bike did because of two factors:

1) velocitization - a large percentage reduction in speed makes it seem that you're going slower than you really are. It's also why cops set up radar traps on roads close to highway off ramps.

2) size - the car is larger, therefore looks to be going slower at the same speed as the bike

But at 12 km/h in a car, you can't stop in 2 meters, you can't see or hear as well, so a collision is more likely, and the consequences of that collision are more serious.

And btw, only someone who's never biked on roads could claim that cyclists are no more aware than drivers.

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