My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

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SimonAH
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My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby SimonAH » Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:01 pm

This is serious.

Right, firstly look at this;

Image

Now, I swear that that the above is true.

I read somewhere that about 80% of what we see is based on the mind ‘filling in the gaps’ as the sheer volume of visual information received is just too large for the brain to process. Basically the brain picks up a few expected clues and then joins the dots around the periphery and concentrates on the bits that matter (threats, opportunities etc).

In this example the mind is expecting to see the pattern of black and white squares and the shadow, so if you play with things out of the natural phase then it can be thrown off. The amazing thing is that (my mind at least) refuses to see them as the same colour. Even if I block off most of the rest of the screen with my hands and only look at the two squares – with a little of the rest of the image still visible my brain remains fooled. Unless you pull out colour sections on paint, or check the colour in another way, you really can’t see them as the same shade.

Copy and paste it into paint and see for yourself if you don’t believe me.

Have to say it’s one of the best optical illusions I’ve seen in years!

BUT this is where my theory comes into play.

I have had drivers pull out to almost T-bone me on the bicycle many times despite clearly making eye contact with me on the bicycle. My only explanation is that when pulling out into the path of a car a motorist judges the speed of the oncoming vehicle, but when pulling out on a bicycle the brain simply puts it into the category of ‘slow moving’ or essentially stationary (with respect to a car) and doesn’t bother to assess that I’m tonking along at 25mph. This may be less true in the city where motorists and bicycles interact daily (and presumably the brain is re-trained through repetition) but out here in the sticks, where a driver might share the road once a month with a bicycle, they just don't seem to look at them as vehicles.

Think about it. Do you consider the positions of trees when you're riding / driving? Or are they just green things in the periphery of your vision as you concentrate on the real threats on the road?

Discuss (if you wish) :-)
Last edited by SimonAH on Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JonGinge
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby JonGinge » Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:06 pm

Also read this yesterday. Illuminating:
http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilo ... -cyclists/
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rjsterry
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby rjsterry » Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:13 pm

If you turn the image 90˚ anti clockwise, it's easier to see them as the same colour. I don't know if you are at all artistically-inclined, but if you've ever tried to draw anything from life, and accurately portray the tonal variations, you'll know that you have to spend a lot more time looking than drawing.

As for the SMIDSY theory, I think that's part of it, but there's also the looming phenomenon. As something approaches at a constant speed, it appears to increase in size in proportion to the square of the speed, leading to the appearance that the cyclist accelerates dramatically as they get closer - Like the Think! advert with the m/bike hitting the side of the car.

Oh, and eye-contact means f*** all.
Last edited by rjsterry on Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Veronese68
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby Veronese68 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:13 pm

Looming. It's the technique dragonflies use to catch their prey. An object with a small frontal area travelling straight towards you doesn't register. So, if you weave a little as you do so you become a LOT more visible. You haven't actually made eye contact, the driver is looking straight through you.
Regarding a slow moving vehicle perception. Try driving a 150bhp Triumph Vitesse. Other drivers think quaint little old car and pull out on you.
The other option is of course that they know you. ;-)

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Rick Chasey
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby Rick Chasey » Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:16 pm

So what's the solution?

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rjsterry
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby rjsterry » Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:30 pm

Rick Chasey wrote:So what's the solution?


I don't think there is a solution to the looming problem, short of strapping a cut-out of the front of a car to your bars.
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Veronese68
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby Veronese68 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:31 pm

rjsterry wrote:
Rick Chasey wrote:So what's the solution?


I don't think there is a solution to the looming problem, short of strapping a cut-out of the front of a car to your bars.

A cut out of a fast car. And a bit of weaving may help.

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pangolin
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby pangolin » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:07 pm

Veronese68 wrote:
rjsterry wrote:
Rick Chasey wrote:So what's the solution?


I don't think there is a solution to the looming problem, short of strapping a cut-out of the front of a car to your bars.

A cut out of a fast car. And a bit of weaving may help.


To create a bit of motion I bob my head up and down as I pedal. It works really well.

Not like those weirdos who keep their heads really still.
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Kieran_Burns
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby Kieran_Burns » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:16 pm

Rick Chasey wrote:So what's the solution?


Don't play chess with Simon.

Oh, and for those (like me) whose brain is melting:

Image
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby rjsterry » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:27 pm

JonGinge wrote:Also read this yesterday. Illuminating:
http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilo ... -cyclists/


Aha! That's only taken 35 years. I have nystagmus - my eyes move involuntarily from side to side - but I have never been able to see it in the mirror, despite it being fairly obvious to others, so I have no idea what it looks like. The bit about Saccadic Masking explains why.
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Daddy0
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby Daddy0 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:36 pm

Solution - use more of the road. When I approach side road junctions /petrol stations /driveways /anywhere where a car is waiting to pull out, I tend to always pull out into the middle of the lane I'm in (after checking my 6 of course). I guess this makes the waiting driver notice me as I've never had a problem with people pulling out on me. I do it in order to stay away from the front of the car, just in case they edge out or their foot slips off the brake. A lot of the time I'm in the middle of the lane anyway, if you want to be treated like regular traffic then it helps to act like it I guess?

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DonDaddyD
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby DonDaddyD » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:38 pm

You lot are having a giggle.

The A is on a black square and the B is on a white sqaure. It's there plain to see. People who are claiming anything else are just pretending as attempt to appear more intelligent than they are.

A case of emperor's new clothes.
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vermin
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby vermin » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:51 pm

That's black magic and I want no part in it.

But the article posted by JG is insightful, and explains why I don't run into much trouble wearing the bright pink of Lampre.

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SimonAH
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby SimonAH » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:55 pm

DonDaddyD wrote:You lot are having a giggle.

The A is on a black square and the B is on a white sqaure. It's there plain to see. People who are claiming anything else are just pretending as attempt to appear more intelligent than they are.

A case of emperor's new clothes.


:lol: (not sure if trolling)

I also sent this to the guys in the office - one won't even believe it when you cut and drag a section out with paint - reckons it's to do with the way colours show on a monitor :roll:
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notsoblue
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby notsoblue » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:56 pm

Daddy0 wrote:Solution - use more of the road. When I approach side road junctions /petrol stations /driveways /anywhere where a car is waiting to pull out, I tend to always pull out into the middle of the lane I'm in (after checking my 6 of course). I guess this makes the waiting driver notice me as I've never had a problem with people pulling out on me. I do it in order to stay away from the front of the car, just in case they edge out or their foot slips off the brake. A lot of the time I'm in the middle of the lane anyway, if you want to be treated like regular traffic then it helps to act like it I guess?

I'm the same actually. Though this only really works well in London in my experience. Riding in the countryside or around faster traffic changes things significantly.

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UndercoverElephant
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby UndercoverElephant » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:58 pm

notsoblue wrote:
Daddy0 wrote:Solution - use more of the road. When I approach side road junctions /petrol stations /driveways /anywhere where a car is waiting to pull out, I tend to always pull out into the middle of the lane I'm in (after checking my 6 of course). I guess this makes the waiting driver notice me as I've never had a problem with people pulling out on me. I do it in order to stay away from the front of the car, just in case they edge out or their foot slips off the brake. A lot of the time I'm in the middle of the lane anyway, if you want to be treated like regular traffic then it helps to act like it I guess?

I'm the same actually. Though this only really works well in London in my experience. Riding in the countryside or around faster traffic changes things significantly.


Seems to work OK in Edinburgh too :wink:

Also has the benefit that there's definitely nobody boxing you in, so if the car does start to pull out, you have a good chance to go round it.

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Origamist
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby Origamist » Fri Nov 09, 2012 15:31 pm

Daddy0 wrote:Solution - use more of the road. When I approach side road junctions /petrol stations /driveways /anywhere where a car is waiting to pull out, I tend to always pull out into the middle of the lane I'm in (after checking my 6 of course). I guess this makes the waiting driver notice me as I've never had a problem with people pulling out on me. I do it in order to stay away from the front of the car, just in case they edge out or their foot slips off the brake. A lot of the time I'm in the middle of the lane anyway, if you want to be treated like regular traffic then it helps to act like it I guess?


Taking a more central lane position on the approach to junctions can certainly help (lateral movement is good), but it does not solve the intractable problem of cars pulling out into your path.

Case in point, from yesterday's commute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_yMNb2_GsU

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rubertoe
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby rubertoe » Fri Nov 09, 2012 15:42 pm

DonDaddyD wrote:You lot are having a giggle.

The A is on a black square and the B is on a white sqaure. It's there plain to see. People who are claiming anything else are just pretending as attempt to appear more intelligent than they are.

A case of emperor's new clothes.



I am with DDD on this (i apear to keep agreeing with him), I never get these things, is it cos I am from norf London?
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jejv
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby jejv » Fri Nov 09, 2012 15:58 pm

rubertoe wrote:
DonDaddyD wrote:You lot are having a giggle.

The A is on a black square and the B is on a white sqaure. It's there plain to see. People who are claiming anything else are just pretending as attempt to appear more intelligent than they are.

A case of emperor's new clothes.


I am with DDD on this (i apear to keep agreeing with him), I never get these things, is it cos I am from norf London?

Nope, squares A and B ARE the same colour. Use colour picker in Photoshop/gimp/paintshop/...

See also:
Image

http://www.wikiradiography.com/page/Mac ... +Illusions

Not sure that this is that relevant to road safety, though.

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Daddy0
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Re: My theory on why I keep getting pulled out on by cars

Postby Daddy0 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 16:24 pm

Origamist wrote:Case in point, from yesterday's commute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_yMNb2_GsU


Good foresight! I just subscribed to your channel :-)


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