A day in the life of a car driver

  • By ivan on at 7:19am 19 September 2011
  • Posted in: General
  • Tagged with:

I ride a bike, and like many cyclists I also drive a car.  I am also a member of the IAM.  I drive my car into central London every day to get to work, I will not ride my bike; it is too dangerous!  I drive from Croydon through Norwood Junction, Crystal Palace, Dulwich, Herne Hill, Loughbrough Junction, Kennington, Lambeth and the City.

This morning I was waiting at the lights at the junction of the A3 and A23 at Oval and just as the lights changed a cyclist dived in between my car and the car in front.  Now, I am used to this; it happens quite often, I always check to see if there happens to be a cyclist bent on his or her own desruction approaching from behind before I move off, but surely, as the majority of us are car drivers, it must make sense to ride in a manner designed to preserve one's life rather than endanger it?  The first time this happened to me I sounded my horn and received the finger - nice, put yourself in danger and blame everyone else; that's how to thank someone for not running you over!

There is something along these lines that happens every day: every day!  I promise to keep you informed.

Why do some cyclists think that they are invicible?  Flesh and blood does not come off well when confronted with steel and glass - anyone reading who has:

  • Run a red light,
  • Ridden the wrong way up a one way street,
  • Ridden the wrong way up the other side of the road,
  • Not stopped at a Zebra crossing,
  • Ridden up the pavement,
  • Cut in and out of moving traffic,
  • Ridden up behind a slow moving car on the left to undertake,
  • Ignored a left turn signal from a car,
  • and many other daft things that are done by cyclists, 

needs to realise that cycling can be detrimental to your health unless it is done correctly - look out for yourself, do not leave it to the car driver to look out for you.


  • By gegi at 1:35pm 19 September 2011

Still waiting for the rest of the 'day in the life' :-)

But the incident you decribe can happen quite easily. You pass stationary traffic and have to filter back in when traffic sets off. It's easy to misjudge.

Happens all the time to me when I'm in your position, but doesn't mean I have to honk my horn. What it has to do with the other 'sins' you describe I don't know.

If you're travelling from Croydon to the City, and you don't dare to cycle, why not take the train? That way you won't be contributing to congestion, you'll be the cause of less pollution, and you won't be worried by cyclists. Easy.

  • By mike_c at 12:56pm 23 September 2011

"This morning I was waiting at the lights at the junction of the A3 and A23 at Oval and just as the lights changed a cyclist dived in between my car and the car in front.  Now, I am used to this; it happens quite often..."

Right, so what's the problem?

You claim to be a cyclist, yet you have no understanding about the benefit, legality or technique of flitering.

Cyclists filter to avoid being stuck behind these massive steel objects (usually containing only one person) that routinely fill up the roads and prevent the free flow of bicycles.

As for the other things you mention, you seem to be suggesting that cyclists are the only ones who break rules of the road.

What about the two-thirds of motorists who admit speeding every time they get in their car, increasing the risk of death or serious injury for every Londoner?

Or the red-light jumping cars and taxis you see at pretty much EVERY junction in the city...

Or the people talking on their mobile phones EVERY time you go on the road...

Which of these demeanors we've mentioned are more likely to cause death and serious injury?

I notice from your two posts so far that you're keen to write long diatribes against cyclists, but not to engage in constructive discussion (surely the point of a forum?)

Why not try answering some of the criticisms of your statements before posting any more?

@ivan - I'm intrigued by your statement that cycling is "too dangerous". The annual risk of death of cycling in the UK is lower than the risk of death of a motorist in Germany: http://cyclehelmets.org/papers/c2014.pdf . Are you saying that if you happened to live in another country you'd give up driving because it's too dangerous?

I share your frustration with road users who act in an inconsiderate way, however they travel (foot, car or bike), and I wince to see the behaviour of some cyclists. However, at least dangerous cyclists are largely only endangering themselves.

Personally, I began cycling less aggressively, and more defensively and assertively after a near miss, and have had far fewer near misses since.

I've found this website invaluable as guidance to cycling safely: http://bicyclesafe.com/ . It's written for the US, so switch left and right throughout!

LCC used to have a great advice section, but the new website says only that this section is still "under construction". I hope it returns soon.

Oh, and I'd meant to say that I've returned to cycling intensively after years of not riding at all. I've cycled about 5000 miles in the last 20 months, mostly around central London, but quite a bit in the Dorset and Surrey countryside as well.

I've been struck at just how safety-conscious and reasonable most peoples' road behaviour is. In all that time, it's been pretty rare that a driver is deliberately aggressive. It's more of a daily hazard that a pedestrian steps out into a London back street without looking, but that just encourages me to cycle a little more slowly and give them more room than I used to. I've messed up sometimes, and overwhelmingly the drivers and cyclists around me have been very patient.

I've received damage to myself or my bike only twice: once when a driver opened their door without looking and I was too close; and once when I stopped in a traffic jam and the cyclist behind me hadn't allowed themselves enough room.

So a big thank you to all road users out there! I know most of you are a reasonable bunch, and I appreciate it.

The correct way for a cyclist to move up a stationary queue of traffic is to overtake on the outside and rejoin the queue at an appropriate point, this does mean filtering back in when the traffic moves off.

The only time you should overtake on the inside if there is sufficient room to do so and more precisely when there is a cycle path. Never undertake a large vehicle, especially nay at the front of a queue, or any that are signalling to turn left.

What you siad does happen to cyclists the other way round. I was approaching a set of traffic lights using a marked cycle path, a car pulled out directly in front of me from a drive way, drove about 5 yards and then stopped on the cyclepath right in front of me. I didn't shout or swear I just banged on the roof of the car and moved on. Banging on the roof was necessary as it helped me stop in time.

I also hope you are not one of those drivers who likes to stop at red lights in the safe space reserved for cyclists at the front of the  queue. I am sure you're not from what you have written.


Also if you are looking for a reliable minicab company you can try http://cabreviews.co.uk/hackney-central. It sure helped me. You can even leave a review or share your experience that you've had with any cab company, good or bad. Hope this helps.

Best Regards,


  • By Dagda at 3:16pm 9 May 2014

Hoot me in those circumstances and you will get the finger from me as well. 

I'm bored of reading these 'i'm a cyclist but' posts moaning about cyclists.

  • By phufbl at 3:26pm 9 May 2014

There are many problems with the original post, and I started to draft a reply but then realised the thread is from 2011 and has only been dredged up by the spam post for minicab firms.

LCC, please can we get greater forum controls to stop these spam posts?

  • By Dagda at 3:39pm 9 May 2014

good point Phufbl. I didn't notice that....

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