Cyclists and Drivers - How Bad are Drivers?

Here is a record of my experiences in recent years.
Just how bad are drivers in the Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario region while in their reckless quest for speed? Read and find out.
For the record I've been commuting by bicycle for since 1983. I do wear a reflective safety vest in addition to having bicycle lights (20W front and 10W rear - those flashing LEDs are cute, but seriously, get some lights!) as well as a round super-reflective orange 7.5 cm (3") reflector mounted behind the seat.
What can you, as a cyclist, do to protect yourself?
2006, Oct 27: Yea - I've not been reporting much. Today I was northbound on FisherHallman turning east onto University Ave when a driver was coming up fast from behind - clearly aiming to cut me off. I went to the middle of the lane. Right after turning I'm getting back into the bike lane but the car infront of me starts swerving into it as well and then slams on the brakes! Better yet the idiot behind me decides to pass us both and boxes me in as I brake like mad to avoid the car infront of me who is dropping off a student for a nearby school.

2005, Apr 5: Things have been quiet but more hectic cycling now that I'm working 8 to 4:30 and in "rush hour". The basic problems are still people trying to pass me on the left when I'm in the left turn lan and there is a gap ahead of me and stoped cars ahead of that (red light). That or people blocking the bike lane because they want to do a right hand turn 5+ car lengths ahead - except that traffic is stoped due to a red light. Then there are the people who figure that they should just push bicycles out of the way. When I'm stoped in a lane I get people who pull up on my left - cutting me off when I'm stoped at a red light. I deal with them by picking up my bike and putting it between the car infront and them.
2003, Oct 9: A full sized dump truck driver license plate 618 4LJ forced me out of the lane the moment his front bumper passed me! I see that a fair bit; drivers assume that once you're past the front bumper you evaport or teleport or somehow are just not a consideration any more - even if they're flying by you and braking hard to pull a right hand turn!
2003, Oct 8: I had the right of way and was signaling a left hand turn. The woman on the road that I was turning onto pulled a left hand turn cutting me off and nearly hitting me.
No cycling during this time period as I was on paternity leave with our twins!
2002, Dec 12: A driver passing me on the left pulled a right hand turn into me on Northfield Drive Waterloo (by the Sobys where the right most lane ends). Luckily another driver caught up and stoped him long enough for me to catch up. He refused to compensate me for dammages to the bike (primarily a crushed front wheel and so the police were called. Sadly the witness left but the police office believed that there was enough evidence to charge the drive with a minor infraction (failing to yield or improper turn). Thankfully I was swerving right and breaking hard when he turned into me so I only sustained some scrapes on an arm and leg with no dammage to my clothing or helmet. The driver claims that he didn't see me at all and seemed sincere (unlike other drivers I've had run me off the road).
2002, Sep 3: I'm approaching an intersection and an oncoming (turning left) driver stops for me as I'm about 2 cars away. As I approach the driver starts to move but then stops again. As I'm about to enter the intersection the driver once again rolls ahead and stops. As I'm going thru the intersection the driver floors it and tries to pull the turn ahead of me!
2002, Aug 28: Students at the university brush food containers out of their car and drive away.
2002, Aug 28: Teenagers, stoped at a light, throw a drink container out of their car. I put it back in the car; whereupon the driver gets out, starts insulting, and approaching, me. In the end they drive off with the garbage in their car - probably only for a bit longer.

2002, June: On three seperate days:
An oncoming driver, swerved at me and drove fully in my lane right at me, forcing me off of the road.
A driver passed me on the left, blaring his horn as if the devil was coming, swerved right thru my lane (cutting me off) as he passed me to get into the right turn lane that he could simply have gone into - without passing me on the left or cutting me off.
I'm in the right turn lane - about 2 car lengths from turning when a driver starts passing me on the left. Luckily he started to break and I then took the turn - and blocked the lane - ahead of him.

2002, June 12: At Erb and University, while in the straight thru lane; right where the left and right turn lanes were forming - a woman (license plate ADZF 619) started passing me on the left (using the left turn lane and the lane I'm in) and _BEFORE_ she finishes passing me, she starts turning into me - it turns out that she wants to get into the _RIGHT_ turn lane!! Sadly I was too concerned about being hit and didn't start pounding on her new car. She looked at me as if I'd done something wrong.

2002, March: At FisherHallman and Victoria, I was in the left turn lane, coming up on a car stoped at the red light - when the driver behind me became impatient with how quickly I was approaching the red light so they passed me on the right and cut me off; only avoiding me because the light turned green and the stoped car moved out of the way!

2001, Jun. 26: It's been quiet few months. Yet again a woman, on my right, who was stoped against a red light; and as I approached the intersection at 55 km/h decided that she'd pull a right hand turn, cut me off, and not even try to accelerate. I blew by her at over twice her speed gesturing what I thought of her poor driving.

2001, Aug 06: A driver on my right stoped at a stop sign and then failed to yield by, accelerating barely infront of me at at some tiny fraction of my speed. I blew by him on the left and should have pound on the side of his #@$ pollution spewing van. 2001, July: I was cut off twice by drivers trying to overtake me while I'm doing left hand turns. In one case the driver slowly started to creep by me on the right as I'm about 1 car length from the intersection. They gave up 1/2 way thru the intersection when they finally realized that they're not going to be able to pass me. 2001, Jan 29: Yet another driver swerving and honking at me just because I'm cycling on the road.

1999, Dec. 13: Neary hit by a driver who did a rolling right turn against a red light.

1999, Mar. 23: Gack. It is 6:30am and fully 1/4 of the drivers feel that since the sun is at the horizon that they don't need to turn on their lights! This is the time of the year that I get to see accidents because people who are driving into the rising sun don't see me (with my headlight) much less cars that don't have their lights on.

1999, Mar. 22: A woman figured that I didn't belong on the road and felt that a swerving and honking was in order.

1999, Mar. 22: Yet another woman. This one did the "safe thing". I was in a left hand turn lane and she passed me on the right, cut me off and did the turn a fraction of a second before I did. According to her this was all fine because I didn't signal the turn. I supose that if I wasn't really going to turn then it would have been ok for her to nudge me off the road with her bumper? Perhaps that would have been an "unsafe" thing to do?

1999, Mar. 5: I'm stopped at a red light in the left hand turn lane and the driver behind me feels that this is a good time to pass me on the left!

1998, Oct. 14: Nearly hit by a driver who was already drifting into the bike lane as they passed me. This driver then fully blocked the bike lane for a bit after passing me.

1998, Oct 8: Nearly hit twice by drivers who attempted to pass me, on the left as I was in or just performing a right hand turn in a right hand turn lane.

Bicycle (Klein Quantum) destroyed as I was hit by a driver who accelerated from a stop sign into me. The driver, on a side street, was on my right, stoped at the sign but failed to check fully as rushed to beat a truck.

Hit from behind by a student, in a car, while stoped at a red light. I was in the turn lane outside the university front entrance. Fender and reflectors broken.

Nearly hit by 2 drivers who cut me off by pulling a left hand turn (from opposing traffic lane) while I had the right of way at the intersection.

Finally. A driver was trying to pass me when I was doing a right hand turn (in the middle of the right hand turn lane) and I forced them into oncoming traffic by edging out :) :)A

I was hit by a driver who passed me while I was doing a right hand turn in the right hand turn lane. He pulled up beside me and then started squeezing me into the curb as I pounded on the side of his van.

Bicycle fork (Klein Quantum) bent as I was forced to t-bone a driver who pulled a left turn infront of me (from the opposing traffic lane) and blocked the road.

A friend and I were nearly run over by a City of Waterloo bus driver who pulled up beside us and then proceeded to squeeze us into the curb.

Nearly hit by a driver overtaking me and pulling a right hand turn (tires squeeling as she passed me).

Run off of the road by a farmer with a combine who pulled up beside us and squeezed us off of the road.

My friend and I were nearly hit by a driver who was on my right and stoped at a red light waiting to do a right hand turn. They did nothing for over 5 seconds as we approached the intersection and then she proceeded to start doing the turn as we proceeded into the intersection at 40 km/h. We nearly ended up hitting her bumper.

Nearly hit by driver who passed me (I was doing 60 km/h) and then proceeded to jump on the brakes and pull a right hand turn just as they passed me.

You can add plenty of other times when I've nearly been hit by drivers who overtake me and then pull right hand turns into me.

Then there are the drivers who don't even pull over to pass you.
Back to my home page