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Old 13th July 2017, 09:25 PM
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Default SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

SMIDSY
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An acronym for ‘Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You’, which car drivers are alleged to say when they have hit a cyclist because they didn’t see him or her.



New study looks at attitudes of drivers toward cyclists, and it ain't pretty


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It appears that cars are like guns: Instruments of control and vehicles of intimidation.
It is a regular topic of discussion on TreeHugger and other sites like Streetsblog: Why do drivers hate people on bikes so much? Why, when there is a crash, do drivers (and the police) always blame the cyclist? Tara Goddard asked these questions and a whole lot more in her PHD thesis, Exploring Drivers’ Attitudes and Behaviors toward Bicyclists: The Effect of Explicit and Implicit Attitudes on Self-Reported Safety Behaviors. In it she tries to dig into what drivers are actually thinking, writing in the summary:
Drivers’ attitudes toward bicyclists, and how those attitudes may affect drivers’ behavior, are a largely unexplored area of research, particularly in the United States. Bringing together social psychological theories with existing techniques for measuring driver attitudes and behavior, this research utilizes an online survey to measure drivers’ explicit attitudes and self-reported behaviors and test drivers’ implicit attitudes toward bicyclists. Understanding drivers’ attitudes toward bicyclists, and whether those attitudes predict behaviors, is integral to advancing goals of community livability that incorporate safety and environmental sustainability.
It starts with some really interesting background on why crashes happen, including an explanation of what they call SMIDSY (sorry mate, I didn’t see you) in the UK. But it turns out that our attitudes affect what we see.
Crashes between drivers and bicyclists are frequently attributed to a driver’s failure to see a bicyclist, due to inattention or "looked but failed to see (LBFTS)” (Wood et al., 2009), and there is ample evidence from psychology that “seeing” is not purely objective but is influenced by socially directed thoughts and beliefs.
Drivers of cars also have the advantage that they are in private metal boxes looking out, so that they can think and believe what they want without retribution.
© bmw at crosswalk, from study
While the physical bodywork of a car essentially anonymizes drivers, bicyclists are visible in their variety of shapes, sizes, ages, gender, and “racialized bodies” (Urry, 2007, p.48). Drivers have shown bias in yielding behavior by the race, apparent disabled status, or age of a crossing pedestrian (see TreeHugger: Don't cross the street while black, according to new study); while drivers in higher status cars were less likely to yield to a pedestrian. (See TreeHugger: Study reveals the obvious: The rich are different from you and me, especially behind the wheel) When interacting with bicyclists, drivers used greater passing distance when the bicyclist was unhelmeted or appeared female. (See Ian Walker's work in TreeHugger here)
Learning about social dominance theory was totally fascinating. Humans organize into "group based social hierarchies" where the dominant groups get most of the resources.
More at linky
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Old 14th July 2017, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

Kill all cyclists, particularity competitive males.

A certain few members here notwithstanding, most male cyclists are arrogant, and think only they have the right to use the road. Of course, some dumb legislation puts them on the road when they should be on the footpath. And woe betide anyone who clips them, even after giving a metre of space-you will go to prision for murder.

Of course, cycle paths are the answer, but many cyclists don't actually use them when they are available.

There are some aggressive ass-hole drivers too. I am not denying that. But generally, if I see a cyclist in Lyrca, the behaviour is more like Tony Abbott than a polite road user.

Because I view most of them as a bunch of twats, I keep a careful eye out for them. Because testosterone driven stupidity and roads do not mix.

I am a regular bike rider myself, so I think I can see both sides.

Rant over.
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Last edited by Darwinsbulldog; 14th July 2017 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 14th July 2017, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

I have long thought that where there is no bicycle lane provided cyclists should be allowed to use the footpath as long as the keep their speed down to 20kph on an empty pathway and 10kph where pedestrians are also on the pathway.
My experience as a cyclist is somewhat dated but my main concern was cars turning in front of me, as I regularly broke the law and rode on the footpath.
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Old 14th July 2017, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

Bruce, You may or may not be pleased to know that in the ACT cyclists can ride on the road, cyclepaths and shared pathways ("footpaths").
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Old 14th July 2017, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

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Bruce, You may or may not be pleased to know that in the ACT cyclists can ride on the road, cyclepaths and shared pathways ("footpaths").
If there are cyclpaths available they should be prosecuted for road or footpath use.
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Old 14th July 2017, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

Live and let live is my approach.

They have as much right to use the road as I do.

My attitude to cyclists might be affected by my experience years ago as a cyclist, where it seemed like a significant minority of drivers literally wanted to kill me.

I figure that an asshole cyclist might slow me down a bit, or make me jump on the brakes occasionally. Whereas an asshole driver is likely to kill or maim a cyclist just because he doesn't agree with the law that says the cyclist can use the same road as him. There is almost no comparison.
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Old 16th July 2017, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

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Live and let live is my approach.

They have as much right to use the road as I do.

My attitude to cyclists might be affected by my experience years ago as a cyclist, where it seemed like a significant minority of drivers literally wanted to kill me.

I figure that an asshole cyclist might slow me down a bit, or make me jump on the brakes occasionally. Whereas an asshole driver is likely to kill or maim a cyclist just because he doesn't agree with the law that says the cyclist can use the same road as him. There is almost no comparison.
This.

As someone who used to cycle to work every day for years when I lived in Melbourne, I get right shitted off with drivers' general attitude to cyclists.

We have a right to use the road too. DO NOT use the "oh but you don't pay for registration" bullshit argument because it is taxes, not rego, that pay for roads. Even then, most cyclists do pay rego as they also typically own a car (funny that).

Yes, we do have some MAMILs that think they are Cadel Evens on the morning commute, but the Lycra brigade a small percentage. It does not give drivers the right to treat us like shit and put our lives in danger. I have lost count the number of near-misses I have had with doorings, drivers who pull out in front of me at the last minute, try to overtake me at the last minute, and do not get me started on fucking taxi drivers (one who almost killed half a dozen of us when he pulled in to the designated cycling lane during the morning peak then proceeded to almost door the cyclist in front of me). Riding on footpaths is not an option because (a) they are usually narrow and mediocre quality and (b) you are then putting pedestrians in danger.

A cyclist is one less car on the road, and takes up less physical space. A cyclist is one less bum on a train/tram/bus, which means more for people who do rely on public transport. More bikes = less traffic congestion, less traffic fumes, less crowding on roads, healthier people. You want to get pissy at someone - get pissy at the local/state/federal governments who ignore our calls for dedicated cycling lanes (despite decades of lobbying by organisations like Bicycles Victoria). Get pissy at governments who kowtow to the car industries and are still dicking around getting public transport to areas that desperately need it. Don't crack the shits at bike riders who are trying to do their bit to make your morning commute less gridlock and more flowing.

And believe me, cyclists hate the Lycra Brigade dickheads just as much as you do, because they make life 110% more difficult for the rest of us.
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Old 17th July 2017, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

I must admit, sometimes I get right shitted off with cyclists' general attitude to pedestrians.
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Old 17th July 2017, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

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I must admit, sometimes I get right shitted off with cyclists' general attitude to pedestrians.
Of course there are plenty of car drivers who are arseholes too. Not rare is the pedestrian, with total focus on their mobile phone, and oblivious to any situational awareness whatsoever, who rely on everybody else to get out of the way when on the footpath or crossing a road.

Conclusion: Most people are arseholes!
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Last edited by Darwinsbulldog; 17th July 2017 at 11:35 AM. Reason: forgot to add mobile phone use
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Old 17th July 2017, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: SMIDSY - Attitude To Cyclists Governs Perception Levels

@Pup: What is the velocity and impetus of an unladen arsehole, as opposed to one encased in, or riding on, a metal conveyance?

(Pup: I don't know.)

Whoooooooosh! Off the bridge he goes!

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