Avoiding being knocked off at roundabouts?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by jasondeacon, 16 Aug 2012.

  1. jasondeacon

    jasondeacon Member

    Hi, I have been cycling to work 2/3 days a week since March.
    Generally goes alright, but there have been 3 times when drivers have not stopped at roundabouts for me and nearly knocked me off.
    I wear high viz vest, backpack cover, hi viz tape on bike and leave my flashing LED light on but I appear to be invisible to them!
    Im getting concerned about it now and dont know what the solution is beside getting off and crossing on the footpaths?
    Any suggestions how to be more visible at roundabouts so that they stop for you?
  2. jdtate101

    jdtate101 Ex-Fatman

    Boring Birmingham
    Sounds like you have taken all the precautions you can, not sure what more can be done apart from hiring police outriders!!
  3. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    I've had a couple of %*@$?! moment with drivers joining the roundabout right in front of me at speed without apparantly seeing me (until it's too late!). There's not a lot you can do to make them see you other than riding confidently in the middle of the lane you are occupying. However, there's quite a lot you can do to prevent yourself from being injured (or worse) when it does happen. YOU have to be highly aware of what is going on around you, anticipate that this might happen and be prepared to take evasive action. I find the best behaviour for negotiating roundabouts is to act like a car! If you behave like a car and feel like a car then a car shaped space seems to be generated around you. I know it sounds a bit bizzare but it seems to work and you just become accepted as part of the traffic.

    I also find the worst offences occur when it is a bit quieter. I think this is because the drivers assume it's less likely there will already be someone on the roundabout so only take a quick glance to see if there is any large vehicle shaped objects approaching from their right (and missing the much smaller and often slower cyclist completely!)
  4. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti
    Is it just the one roundabout or different ones?
    Are you taking the lane when approaching the roundabout and making your intentions clear?
  5. BSRU

    BSRU A Human Being

    I have a large fast roundabout near me where drivers have a habit of not looking to their right properly and just entering the roundabout.
    Often drivers will just pull out in front of me and I can see that have not bothered looking properly.
    I have actually seen someone pull out in front of a police car with it's siren and lights on, if they cannot see that then there is no hope for us "little" cyclists.
    You just have to ride defensively.
  6. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I have one that I won't ride round 270 degrees as its the one a driver hit me, one where they didn't look and drove into me. All you can do is take ownership of the lane and keep your whits about you.
  7. 400bhp

    400bhp Guru

    Above answers are as good as it gets I'm afraid.

    If there's a way you can go to avoid roundabouts then do it.
  8. OP

    jasondeacon Member

    Sounds like there is no easy answer, either way thanks for making the replies.
  9. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Act like a car and take the middle of your lane. Get proper lights, not silly little blinky ones, and consider a head mounted one you can shine in their eyes. Like an Exposure joystick. Be prepared to shout like a drill sergeant if anyone even looks like they might pull out, and be prepared to brake/manoeuvre.

    Last of all, you could dismount and cross the roundabout using the pedestrian crossings if you feel cycling it is too risky, or find another route.
    CotterPin, Norm, Hawk and 1 other person like this.
  10. TonyEnjoyD

    TonyEnjoyD Veteran

    Nope, no easy answer.
    Coincidentally, speaking to a colleague today who took up cycling to work 6 months ago and got a roadie 3 monts ago.

    Asked him if he'd been out much lately and he said that he'd been knocked off his bike 4 weeks ago riding to the gym at 07.30 one morning.
    He rode onto a roundabout less than a qtr mile from the gym, going straight over in primary when a driver shot out taking him out.
    He rolled onto the bonnet then onto the ground on his back at the edge of the RAB island.
    The car had stopped at that point , his bike mashed (written off) and she wound down the window and asked "are you alright?"
    He told her to pull over to the side of the road and she replied "but I have to get to work!"

    She did pull over and he was relatively OK.
    She is paying for his bike to be replaced through her insurance and apart from a bit of whiplash, he's ok.

    Just goes to show...getting to work is more important than the health of someone you just ran off his bike!
  11. sabian92

    sabian92 Über Member

    I wouldn't go around shining bright lights in drivers eyes, that's used as a defence when they knock cyclists off and kill them... I can see it in court now. "Sorry Your Honour, I hit and killed that cyclist on the RAB because he shone a light into my eyes and blinded me while I panicked and accelerated hard instead of hitting the brakes".

    The rest though is fine. Shouting doesn't always make a difference so maybe an AirZound is more effective.

    Oh, how Good Samaritan of her.... :rolleyes:

    Take the lane, doesn't matter how slowly you go, bollocks to everybody else. It's your funeral if you get knocked off (potentially) so ignore the beeps if you get them. Anybody stops, tell them the last time you rode in/outside you got knocked off and the driver got x or y months or years in prison. :laugh: Not tried it yet but I'm sure it would work or at least make their 2 brain cells rub together.
  12. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    Thinking about it, I think I tend to try to take RABs fast, in a definite primary.
    On the approach to the entry/exits I'll tend to coast, cover the brakes and stand slightly on the pedals....
    I guess it makes me feel bigger, more visible on the bike?
    Apart from anything else it leaves me in a position where I'm concentrating on whats going on around me and I'm ready to stop quickly or drop my weight through the pedals....
  13. Hip Priest

    Hip Priest Veteran

    Take the lane, keep your wits about you and cover your brakes. Nothing can guarantee your safety, but these things will improve your chances.
  14. Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    What the others said, plus: while riding around the roundabout, make eye contact with any motorist approaching the roundabout. It's tougher for them to pretend they didn't see you, if you've actually looked straight at them and they've looked at you.
  15. Crankarm

    Crankarm Guru

    Nr Cambridge
    The first time I was knocked down was on a roundabout. All I can remember is a car coming fast from behind, me turning behind to look just before the car drove into me, shouting "Don't break my legs ........!" The next thing I was flying through the air.

    Airzounds are good or an air/fog horn. I wouldn't ride without one not that I ride on the roads any more any way. But an Air zound is good and what you need.
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