Friday, April 23, 2010

Part of Chapter 13 of the Texas Driver Handbook


1. The most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a motorist
turning left in the face of oncoming bicycle traffic. Oncoming bicycle traffic is
often overlooked or its speed misjudged.

2. The second most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a
motorist turning right across the path of the bicycle traffic. The motorist
should slow down and merge with the bicycle traffic for a safe right-hand

3. The third most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a
motorist pulling away from a stop sign, failing to yield right-of-way to bicycle
cross traffic. At intersections, right-of-way rules apply equally to motor vehicles and bicycles.

Page 13-3


  1. I've always found "mistake" number three to be somewhat ironic.

    In my experience, most motorists are overly cautious and conciliatory towards cyclists at four-way stops. They are usually all too willing to surrender their RoW to the cyclist — even when the latter is arriving just as the former would ordinarily be departing the intersection.

    It is by far the scofflaw, poser cyclists who elicit this behavior by their propensity for blowing through stop signs as though they do not exist. I have rarely, if ever, experienced the scenario described in "mistake" number three. More often than not, I will refuse to allow the motorist to yield RoW to me.

  2. Mistake number three does not necessarily mean a four way stop intersection.

    I have had a near miss or two by motorists "shooting a gap" from my left to right on four lane highways where I have no stop sign.

    In Dallas, I have often observed motorists abandon all traffic rules in deference to a vehicular cyclist. They seem to expect cyclists to ignore all the rules (As the local hipsters have trained them no doubt!) and they seem spooked by me at intersections when I approach.

    I find it disconcerting and an impediment to my progress.

  3. I have had both issues with 4-way stops. The most frequent is motorists wanting to wave me through when it is not my turn. I agree with ChipSeal that it is an impediment to my progress. It screws up the whole traffic flow at a busy 4-way stop.

    In keeping with Herman's comment, I blame the scofflaws for this problem. I noticed when I rode in the White Rock area in Dallas that motorists froze as I approached a stop-sign. Watching the other cyclists in the area explained it. Motorists expected me to run the stop signs and didn't want to hit me. The positively beamed when I waved for them to go as I came to a stop (I find the preemptive wave effective for decreasing my delay in that situation).

    But I've also had many encounters with comatose motorists who don't notice me because I'm not a hummer. These are the ones who intend to roll the stop, don't really expect cross traffic, so when it comes to scanning, they phone it in. It has happened to me on a motorcycle as well. (There is a subset of those who intend to roll a stop sign, everyone else bedamned, and they'll violate the rightofway of other car drivers.) That same behavior happens at cross streets where I don't have a stop sign, but the motorists (neighborhood residents) don't expect traffic on that street, so they roll their stop signs without really looking.

    A few years ago, I abandoned one quiet bike route for this reason and moved my commute to a busier 4-lane road.

  4. I think I agree with Keri, but motorists that try to gret me to go when it it isn't my turn DO slow me down. The quickest is everyone just follow the rules...