LexRides Forum Index LexRides
Lexington's Bike Forum
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

The Right Hook >> North of Center

Post new topic   Reply to topic    LexRides Forum Index -> Local Bike Advocacy
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 2434
Location: local

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:57 am    Post subject: The Right Hook >> North of Center Reply with quote

Another dispatch from the NoC Transportation Czar:

Full Text:

Despite the growing support for alternative transportation in Lexington, we are not suddenly going to find ourselves in a Norman Rockwellesque utopia where everyone waves, tips their caps, and rings their bicycle bells. It’s a nice idea, but the reality is that sharing the road can be a frustrating, tricky, and dangerous proposition.

The simple goal of this column is to create dialogue between everyone who shares the road. I invite you, as a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist, to send in specific concerns related to the flow of traffic or laws of the road. If you’ve given a hand gesture or were forced to yell a curse word or two because of a traffic predicament, let me know—let’s see if we can clear the air on what went down. In turn, hopefully readers will learn something they didn’t know and take the corrective measure next time they’re out and about.

Our road habits are flawed enough as it is—pedestrians don’t always use the crosswalk, plenty of cyclists magically don’t see stop signs, and I’m pretty sure most cars in town aren’t equipped with turn signals. Throw in all the distractions we keep adding to our daily commutes (calling, texting, checking e-mail, singing, righteous air-guitaring, applying make-up, eating, drinking, kid patrolling, and knitting some sort of hat or scarf), and it’s amazing we aren’t all in a tangled mess by the side of the road.

I do my best out there, but I’m no expert. Therefore, I will consult with people in the community who have the knowledge to guide us. I’d also like to give them one giant “thanks” in advance for contributing their time and knowledge. I’m a cyclist the majority of the time, and many of the issues that I’ll initially look at may be from that perspective. That being said, I highly encourage motorists and pedestrians to have their say in this forum. We need to break any “us vs. them” mentalities that exist because when they exist the number of injuries and even deaths only increases – and no one wins in that case.

The Right Hook

A situation I see often, and have been a victim of too many times, is what is known as “the right hook.” Enter Michael Galbraith, League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor who will guide us through the situation.

A right hook is the term used to describe when a car makes a right turn in front of, or into, a cyclist traveling in the same direction.

KY Revised Statute 189.300 addresses passing on Kentucky roads. The statute recommends at least three feet of space between the overtaking vehicle and the slower moving vehicle. It goes on to state that the overtaking vehicle should move back to the right only when well clear of the slower moving vehicle.

The right hook, though, usually occurs when the passing vehicle makes a right turn immediately after passing, placing the cyclist in danger. Often, this is the result of the motorist misjudging the cyclist’s speed. (Captain’s note: many motorists have the mindset that once they pass a cyclist they no longer have to think about the cyclist—hence the many right hooks that take place. A motorist makes a pass and is no longer aware that the cyclist, who is travelling at a pace only slightly slower, will be cut off).

As a cyclist, here are some suggestions to avoid the right hook:

* Always scan for overtaking traffic over your left shoulder.
* Look to see if intersections or parking lanes are located ahead where vehicles may bear right into your path. (C-note: this is particularly helpful if you have a daily route and know of an area that can be problematic. When travelling down Euclid Avenue, I find that the entrance to Kroger is always a right hook danger. Once a car passes a cyclist, it often slows down to nearly a complete stop because of the angle of the turn, the bump entering the lot, and the congestion that often awaits it. So, it helps to be alert and take precautions in known trouble spots like this one).
* Move further out into the travel lane before intersections to deter vehicles from passing and making a right hook.
* If cars do not have their right turn signals on, look and listen for overtaking vehicles slowing and moving to the right.
* Always be prepared to slow down. (C-note: yes, riding with no hands makes you look like a real bad ass, but if you are about to be right hooked then you will end up a real ass, and that’s bad).
* Never approach a large vehicle on the right at or near an intersection. The driver’s rear view vision is often obstructed, and you are placing yourself in a blind spot.
* At intersections that include a right turn lane, do not ride in the turn lane if proceeding through the intersection. Take the path that serves your destination; in this case, ride in the rightmost third of the through lane.
* If making a right turn, establish a position in the middle of the right turn lane and signal your intention to turn by crooking your left arm up at the elbow. (C-note: I’d also give the OK to the straight out right arm signal. Michael may disagree with me on that one – and we can break it down in a future column perhaps. I understand that signaling with your left arm makes it easier for motorists to see, but in my general experience, a good number of people are so disconnected from proper hand signal techniques that they have no idea that an L-shaped left arm signifies a right turn — sad, but true. So, I usually use the right arm signal, because I feel it’s the best choice for letting the motorist know my intention.)

How we travel the roads together is very important so please, please, please send any transportation quandaries or questions to ShareTheRoadLex@gmail.com. Also feel free to continue the transportation conversation by posting, in good cheer, on our website www.noclexington.com. Captain Comannokers over and out.
------------[] O
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    LexRides Forum Index -> Local Bike Advocacy All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group