October 5, 2010

Sunblindness.

Maybe some day you will be driving and you will kill someone before you see him.

28 comments:

traditionalguy said...

It happens. The baseball style cap was invented to be an easy to use sun shield when the sun becomes low on the horizon.

AJ Lynch said...

"Vic Tanny" - wow when is the last time you heard that name? 1980's ?

John Lynch said...

Perhaps bicycles shouldn't be on busy streets.

I wonder when the public safety movement will begin.

Bicycles on roads with auto traffic are a hazard and make everyone less safe. Cyclists don't follow rules, get in the way, and cause accidents.

How many people have to die before we wake up to the danger?

Maybe we're a bit too obsessed with healthy lifestyles and fuel conservation, at the expense of human lives.

Or, maybe, we should accept that letting people do unsafe things is simply the price of freedom.

traditionalguy said...

The summer sun comes up at 4:30 and staring east is near impossible for a driver for 20 minutes. I learned this driving harvest field trucks from 5:00 PM to 5:00 AM one summer.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Maybe someday we'll pass a law keeping bicycles off the car roadways, so the idiots riding them don't get hit by the fucking cars.

These roads were built for automobiles ... not bicycles. People who ride bicycles on roads deserve everything Darwin has coming to them.

The good news is that the gene pool is cleaner today. We have evolved ... as a race ... just a tiny bit.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"How many people have to die before we wake up to the danger?"

According to the Journal-Sentinel?
At least eight.

"Littmann is the eighth bicyclist killed by a motor vehicle in Wisconsin in 2010. The total for 2009 was seven.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Littmann is the eighth bicyclist killed by a motor vehicle in Wisconsin in 2010. The total for 2009 was seven."

That number, of course, is meaningless being as it is, devoid of any context. But what more can you expect, really, from the MSM?

Palladian said...

You're a real charmer, Ham-bone.

Really, it's the strident tone and the hyperbole, and especially the swearing! that keeps people comin' back for more.

The Crack Emcee said...

As much as the eco-fascism of bicyclists have driven me to disliking them, drivers should at least know to slow down when sunblindness is an issue, instead of speeding up to get through the trouble spot quicker.

Oh well, no more "attitude sports" for him.

pst314 said...

"The baseball style cap was invented for when the sun is low on the horizon."

On rare occasions even that isn't really enough. Eskimos make anti-glare sunglasses consisting of a narrow horizontal slit in a piece of bone or ivory. (Have never seen them.) I wonder if something like that might be useful for driving at sunrise and sunset.

Bob_R said...

Slowing down is a good idea, but you don't have to be going that fast to kill someone on a bike.

Down here we have the problem of fog banks in the mountains. You can come on them very suddenly. Zero visibility. If you stop (and people do - it's a mountain road after all) you can be pretty sure of causing a multi car pile up. The rule of thumb is to slow down and drive till you hear the crunch.

Eric said...

The rule of thumb is to slow down and drive till you hear the crunch.

Which crunch would that be? You running into the guy in front of you?

edutcher said...

I swear they cut the roads in Ohio with the express intent of blinding drivers as the sun rises and sets. This doesn't surprise me at all.

They do it better in PA.

Rialby said...

As someone who lives in Austin, which means everyone thinks they're Lance Friggin Armstrong, I have to say the following:

1) I regret this man's death and feel horrible for his family.
2) As long as the driver wasn't doing anything wrong - texting, speeding, whatever - I feel horrible for him as well. He'll have to live with that forever.
3) Most roads are made for cars that weigh a lot and go very fast. I have seen too many cyclists in my time who either didn't try to stay as far off the road as they could but who are actively playing like they're automobiles. They are not and something needs to be done to eliminate these kinds of unnecessary deaths.

Cedarford said...

Rialby - "2) As long as the driver wasn't doing anything wrong - texting, speeding, whatever - I feel horrible for him as well. He'll have to live with that forever."

It sounds good to say that killing a dog or a person or some hapless squirrel or an enemy soldier will "haunt" the person forever - some sort of "reverence for life" BS people are instructed to believe in.

But if it was an accident with no responsibility, or war, or Bambi just happened to get in arrow range of someone in a tree stand - I say the "haunting" is a psychologically bad thing to convince yourself to have.

We also have the "guilt trip" phenom, where ernest do-gooders say we are responsible and should be "haunted" by a failure to save Pakistanis from floods, build new houses for noble Haitians, or send 300,000 Americans into a Congo jungle or Darfur to "stop the genocide".

I fail to see the rationale why we should be guilty and "haunted" when Brazilians or CHinese harbor no suck feelings.

As for the biker-driver collision, I hope that the driver, if not at fault, doesn't let it bother them in the slightest..

k*thy said...

drivers should at least know to slow down when sunblindness is an issue

Exactly. Assuming the bikes were in their lanes, which was the witness of the other rider (in another report I read today) really are no excuses on a situation like this. The car needs to slow down until it's safe to proceed.

As for the comment about bikes playing like automobiles and not staying off to the sides - there could be a lot of reasons for this, including them being asses. There's often a lot of broken glass, rocks, sticks, twigs, potholes, that make riding dicey. Also, at times a biker (and sometimes I have done this) takes up space in a lane for their own safety, not to be jerks. Believe me, bikers know they'll always lose.

MrBuddwing said...

One of the few smart investments I ever made was buying a pair of polarizing prescription sunglasses. Work like a charm during glaringly bright sunny days, especially when I'm behind the wheel.

Word verification: forrobri.

leon said...

sun blind or not seems weak to me. if you really can't see at all STOP.
really 2 bikes side by side at once are good for extra points and all but i bet he comes up on involuntary or something

chuckR said...

For drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, sun glare is something that can be anticipated. It is not a random occurrence. How is this not failure to maintain control of the vehicle?

When I cycled, there were times when and places where I wouldn't cycle - making some point about access to a road can come at too high a price. Right or wrong, dead is still dead.

AJ Lynch said...

I do a fair amount of bike riding mainly on the weekends and on bike trails. I avoid cars and roads due to the attitudes of some of the commenters here [New Ham - I would love to meet you and kick your f-ing ass anytime] Most motorists are assholes - too distracted etc- I cursed one out this past weekend. Call me racist but she was DWA goddamn distracted dumb beyatch.

Kylos said...

I drive and bike and understand the frustrations of both.

To Rialby, while some roads are better for bicyclists to avoid, they do have the right to be on the road, and in most states have the right to as much of the lane as necessary. As kathy pointed out, debris on the edges can force the bicyclist to move to the center. I'll try to ride to the right as much as possible, but if it's not safe for a driver to pass me I will take the center and force a driver to wait (and probably steam) until it's safe for me.

Many bicyclists don't understand the rules of the road, but that's not an excuse for drivers to brush back bicyclists or engage in other aggressive behavior toward bicyclists. I particularly get frustrated with wrong-way bicyclists who make accidents much more likely by disrupting traffic flow.

Methadras said...

Bad things happen to good people. It's unfortunate. It's a terrible accident, but I've experienced the same effect even with sunglasses on. It's a tough thing for everyone involved to now deal with, but accidents happen.

MarkW said...

As for the biker-driver collision, I hope that the driver, if not at fault, doesn't let it bother them in the slightest..

Unless the cyclist was riding on the wrong side of the road or suddenly darted out, the driver ABSOLUTELY is at fault. If you can't see, you can't just keep driving along blind and hope for the best -- that is irresponsibly, criminally dangerous. It is the equivalent of pulling the trigger without knowing what's in the direction you're pointing the gun.

That said, I bike quite a bit, and I know the road is full of careless jerks like several posters on this thread who seem to think anything on a road that isn't a car (cyclists, pets, kids what have you) deserves to be run over -- so I'm quite aware of things like the direction of the sun.

TML said...

I race down in Illinois. This story is big right now in our community of cyclists. Burning up the FB posts. Jeff was well known to a lot of the people I race with. Really terrible, terrible story.

MadisonMan said...

The driver is at fault here. If you can't see, you shouldn't be driving. If you can't see a cyclist in front of you, how can you see a traffic light, or any random hazard?

AllenS said...

There are very narrow, hilly and curvey roads where I live. One thing that I've noticed over the years with walkers and cyclists, is that they claim the road as their own. They refuse to move over when a car approaches. They act like they're Amish.

jerryofva said...

I have been a serious rider since my early teens (I am just a tad older then Ann)havinb racked up some indeterminate number of miles in excess of 50K on a bike. I have bee hit twice and this year on a dark and windy night I tagged a biker. Fortunately he wasn't seriously hurt.

From my personal experience and by observation from the other side most bikers will bend and break traffic rules at any time. It is incumbant on drivers to be aware of bikes around them (motorcycles too) because you can do more damage to them than they can do to you. However, over the years I have seen a decreaing trend in cyclist survival skills ranging from talking on the cellphone to riding along narrow crowded streets during rush hours. I have to say that regardless of the cause of this particular accident that the biking community needs to ride with more common sense than I see them use on a daily basis.

Shanna said...

Most motorists are assholes - too distracted etc- I cursed one out this past weekend.

I could say the same about bikers. Many have no concern for cars, but they also often pay no deference to walkers when on a trail.

If you are driving and the sun is in your eyes for a second, there isnt' much you can do aside from keep going. You're not usually blind for more than a second, and usually nothing changes on the road in front of you in that time.

We had a biker killed here a month or two ago because someone blew through a red light. Even if you are in the right, you have to be careful biking...but accidents are going to happen regardless. Very sad.