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Our regular feature highlighting close passes caught on camera from around the country – today it’s Southampton

Several of the videos in our Near Miss of the Day series have featured motorists who have driven onto a roundabout after failing to spot that there is a cyclist already there, and here is another one for the collection.

Submitted by road.cc reader Alan Bishop, it happened on West Quay Road in Southampton city centre as he rode to work at around 6.45am

"This roundabout is a blackspot for me as a cyclist," he continued.  "I purposely bought a high powered helmet light, so I can aim the beam directly at the approaching traffic.

"As you can see, not as attention grabbing as it needs to be, with some drivers who have just woken.

"The driver was completely oblivious to me until I shouted. She jumped in her seat and offered up her hand in a gesture of apology. 

"I have to cover my brakes every time here. I have saved myself a number of times as you have to have an attitude of 'this driver hasn't seen me', when you're a cyclist. 

"It doesn't stop me being genuinely scared for my life at times.

"But I love riding too much. So I shall have to continue on, with my learned attitude."

Over the years road.cc has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.

If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).

Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

45 comments

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OldMixte [90 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Of course all of those who have never made a mistake will jump on me with abuse but I suggest you look at this report. The frequency of these problems suggest that there is some fundamental problem with how the Human brain is processing information. Not much  comfort to those who have suffered. Motorcyclists, who are a larger profile than cyclists, suffer also from SMIDSY, Sorry Mate I Didn't See You.

From personal experience I always try to look twice and it worked really well on one particular occasion . Perhaps we need the dept for transport to resurrect the adverts, look once look twice think bike?

Project: Looked But Failed To See Accident Causation Factor
Objectives
The project objectives are: to review the accident literature in order to estimate the magnitude of the problem and to investigate the types of road user and the road and traffic situations with which it is likely to be associated; to evaluate the probability that the reported problem represents a genuine psycological phenomenon of attention, perception and cognition, relative to a number of alternative predictable possibilities; and to consider whether the phenomenon, if genuine, is researchable and, if so, to recommend methods by which its psychological basis may be most satisfactorily understood and appropriate countermeasures developed.

Description
In-depth surveys of road traffic accidents have shown that a number of them are attributed to one or more of the involved road users having looked in the appropriate direction(s) but failing to see the person or vehicle with whom/which they collided.

Evidence has shown that Looked but failed to see (LBFTS) accidents contributed to upwards of 10% of accidents in surveys conducted in a number of countries. The problem is seen to be important and researchable. Recommendations are made for ways of improving the quality of LBFTS data from the contributory factors system and for on-raod and laboratory studies aimed at identifying training and engineering countermeasures against the phenomenon.

 

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Paul_C [533 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

they may have looked, but they have failed to move their heads to clear that massive blindspot caused by the door pillar...

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a1white [79 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I have a roundabout I use occasionally which is simmilar to this, exactly the same problem, you're constantly on the lookout for cars entering at sped that are not going to stop. a few times I've been forced to brake and giveway to cars entering, otherwise they'd drive straight into me.

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rkemb [57 posts] 1 week ago
6 likes

@OldMixte

"Of course all of those who have never made a mistake will jump on me with abuse but I suggest you look at this report. The frequency of these problems suggest that there is some fundamental problem with how the Human brain is processing information."

Not going to "jump on with abuse", but the logical conclusion from this is that humans are unsuited to operating motor vehicles and so we should ban them from roads. Is that what you meant?

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zero_trooper [41 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

'Looked but failed to see (LBFTS)'

Like that   1

 There is no doubt that in some of these near misses, the driver just didn't register the cyclist at all, as opposed to seeing and registering the cyclist, but still carrying out a dangerous maneuvre. 

 

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alansmurphy [1663 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Old Mixte - I have to believe that some of this is due to the rapidly accelerating evolution of laziness. You (and the report) are correct in terms of many of these incidents not being drivers deliberately ignoring the cyclist, though we have all also experienced these.

 

I do believe though that with the modern car, comfy seats, entertainment system, lane sensors et al. people feel so damn safe and are essentially travelling on their very high speed sofa. They would see it if it was a lorry because it is a huge threat. People are literally glanicing right and accellerating to ensure they get their piece of tarmac as quickly as possible.

 

If it can be proven that people are incapable of looking properly and this new attitude doesn't change, then the infrastructure needs changing. Nope, not cycle lanes. Halve all speed limits, make roundabouts a solid stop line, same with junctions. Anyone not coming to a complete halt on a junction or roundabout before executing a monouvere gets 6 points.

 

Easy.

 

To Alan, it wouldn't have helped in this situation but a tip I picked up from here, and an expensive bottle cage light, is genius. I now have a clear bottle in one of my cages with a pound shop light in the bottom, can even stick one to the underside of the lid. The impact is significant and very noticeable from a variety of angles, particularly good for the side on blind spot!

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OldMixte [90 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Well it's humans who cause traffic accidents. A common cause at roundabouts is for drivers to check to their right, see nothing is coming and move off but unfortunately the guy in front of them didn't move and you get a collision.

Every time a human does something there is a risk, the trick is to minimise the risk or effects. As to moving your head around a screen pillar, in my bog standard family car the only way to do that is to get out of the seat, so I don't understand that comment.

As I suggested, the best way seems to be look twice. If a cyclist is obscured by a screen pillar or another vehicle the time separation would probably reveal it. Perhaps people should fail the driving test if they don't look twice.

I have spent most of my working life doing root cause analysis and as soon as you see a cluster there is usually a common problem.

Unfortunately people do make mistakes, sometime the results are devastating.

 

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hirsute [115 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes

There is some validity in what you say OP, it was mentioned in this item http://road.cc/content/news/235330-new-research-finds-many-drivers-reall...

However, I do find it a little alarming the number of drivers who drive up to junctions and roundabouts at speed. I am always wondering if they are going to pull out on me and also why the hell are they driving so fast and reducing their ability to determine if anyone is coming.

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alansmurphy [1663 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
OldMixte wrote:

Well it's humans who cause traffic accidents.

Not according to the media, cars collide

 

OldMixte wrote:

As to moving your head around a screen pillar, in my bog standard family car the only way to do that is to get out of the seat, so I don't understand that comment.

 

Take it back to the manufacturer, it's clearly not fit for purpose.

 

OldMixte wrote:

As I suggested, the best way seems to be look twice. If a cyclist is obscured by a screen pillar or another vehicle the time separation would probably reveal it. Perhaps people should fail the driving test if they don't look twice.

 

At least. The best way would for people to realise the consequences of their actions and not be self-obsessed morons. Can't see that happening though!

 

OldMixte wrote:

I have spent most of my working life doing root cause analysis and as soon as you see a cluster there is usually a common problem.

 

Easy. People... In cars

 

OldMixte wrote:

Unfortunately people do make mistakes, sometime the results are devastating.

 

But in a rider versus driver situation there is usually one victim, one life devastated!

 

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kil0ran [708 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

That particular roundabout has only been two lanes on approach for a couple of years, and most traffic is straight through (the road the cyclist emerged from is a dead-end service road, and the exit immediately before he joins the cycle path goes to a security controlled dock gate and hotel car park). As a result the default driver behaviour (if you're familiar with the roundabout) is to proceed rather than check. Made worse because its one of those with a low profile cobbled outer ring to the central island which allows the boy racers to imagine they're kissing the kerbs through the swimming pool chicane at Monaco.

I used to drive it every day and its pretty rare for traffic to be approaching from the right there - you're either heading to the dock gate or are going all the way round to head back the way you came. As a driver I've had a similar near miss there, people just don't look.

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Paul_C [533 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
Quote:

OldMixte wrote:

As I suggested, the best way seems to be look twice. If a cyclist is obscured by a screen pillar or another vehicle the time separation would probably reveal it. Perhaps people should fail the driving test if they don't look twice.

conditions for a collision are constant bearing, reducing range...

as that vehicle swung in on the super 'swoopy' curved entrance to the roundabout, the vehicle was turning to the left, meanwhile, the cyclist was also moving and no doubt, due to the design of our roundabouts to maximise vehicular traffic, remain obscured by the car's door pillar...

It's up to the driver, to move his head when looking, to see around the pillar...

 

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=313894

 

https://www.drivingtesttips.biz/driving-test-tutorials/a-pillar-blind-sp...

 

 

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alansmurphy [1663 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

And slow, and look earlier, and not assume because the car on the inside went a few moments before that it is safe!

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HLaB [200 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

I could be wrong but I don't think it was a SMIDSY or due to an A pillar as the cyclist light was quite eye catching and spread over an area greater than a pillar (the camera probably doesn't show how good the light was).  It was a case of 'Its only a cyclist IDGAF'  2

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Sub4 [67 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

I was always taught to expect to have to stop at a roundabout. The practise these days seems to be to approach the roundabout anticipating NOT to have to stop. That’s what makes stopping seem difficult to these idiot drivers.

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Vehlin [44 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Some people truly suck at roundabouts. I've had that exact same near miss several times this year already, on bike, motorbike and even car. Some people just don't seem to look properly and it ends up with these interactions.

I keep swearing that one of these days I'm gonna equip my - still valuable on paper but with odd mechanical problems - car with a dashcam and get it written off by one of these idiots, safe in the knowledge that I won't have to accept a 50:50 split.

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OldMixte [90 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

 " as the cyclist light was quite eye catching and spread over an area greater than a pillar (the camera probably doesn't show how good the light was). "

My general observation is that a flashing light is much better than a steady one

From

https://www.drivingtesttips.biz/driving-test-tutorials/a-pillar-blind-sp...

"As seen, a motorcycle and cyclist are easily be hidden within the A-pillar blind spots. A small car can even be concealed within the blind spots. Pulling out of a junction without properly looking can easily result in a collision."

"Take effective observation – allow for enough time to look at least twice in each direction. "

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Mark B [10 posts] 1 week ago
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Sub4 wrote:

I was always taught to expect to have to stop at a roundabout. The practise these days seems to be to approach the roundabout anticipating NOT to have to stop. That’s what makes stopping seem difficult to these idiot drivers.

Anticipate and expect are not synonyms.  Expect means to think something is likely to happen, anticipate means prepare for it. Sorry for the pedantry, but the difference is actually important here:

In this case you should expect not to have to stop, but you should always anticipate having to stop. 

 

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hirsute [115 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
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CXR94Di2 [1960 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

"However, I do find it a little alarming the number of drivers who drive up to junctions and roundabouts at speed"

Having taught my kids in the last few years to drive. I taught them to stop at junctions,. look and move off when clear. The first child only just passed due to hesitation. The second child had some lessons and it became obvious that the instructions from the instructor, were all about keeping momentum at junctions, don't stop unless absolutely necessary. I then spoke with several parents of kids taking their test. They all commented the same surprise. I was never taught this keep rolling method, just too dangerous and easy to miss small objects like cyclists pedestrians etc.

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LastBoyScout [390 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
OldMixte wrote:

"As seen, a motorcycle and cyclist are easily be hidden within the A-pillar blind spots. A small car can even be concealed within the blind spots. Pulling out of a junction without properly looking can easily result in a collision."

I had an odd one yesterday approaching a small roundabout I've been round hundreds of times. Car coming from my right was obvious, but it was obscuring a motorbike behind and to the right of it. As they came onto the roundabout, my A-pillar was obscuring the rider. Fortunately, it was only a 125cc and I could hear the noisy exhaust, so stopped before pulling out to see where it was.

The car was going straight on, the biker was turning right and I'd argue the bike was way too close to the car, but it would still have been my fault if I'd hit him.

And that's WITH trying to look round the A-pillar.

OldMixte wrote:

"Take effective observation – allow for enough time to look at least twice in each direction. "

Oddly, my old motorbike instructor used to tell me off for looking twice, something I've always done in the car, with the line "Don't you trust your own eyes" - my muttered response (only 1-way radio) to which was "no".

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brooksby [2919 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
OldMixte wrote:

As to moving your head around a screen pillar, in my bog standard family car the only way to do that is to get out of the seat, so I don't understand that comment.

So, you're happy to drive your bog standard family car around knowing full well that your car (just a bl**dy car, not an HGV!) has such enormous blind spots? 

I'm pretty sure that car manufacturers don't make cars where you have to get out of the seat to see out of the windows...

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OldMixte [90 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:
OldMixte wrote:

As to moving your head around a screen pillar, in my bog standard family car the only way to do that is to get out of the seat, so I don't understand that comment.

So, you're happy to drive your bog standard family car around knowing full well that your car (just a bl**dy car, not an HGV!) has such enormous blind spots? 

I'm pretty sure that car manufacturers don't make cars where you have to get out of the seat to see out of the windows...

Didn't take long for the abuse.

I suggest you look at the URL above which shows blindspots and apart from finding a car with different screen pillars there isn't much I can do about it, except look twice.

Look at the evidence instead of throwing abuse. There is a problem with not seeing smaller objects, it's no use complaining, you have to do something about it.

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don simon [1769 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
Quote:

Of course all of those who have never made a mistake will jump on me with abuse but I suggest you look at this report. The frequency of these problems suggest that there is some fundamental problem with how the Human brain is processing information. Not much  comfort to those who have suffered. Motorcyclists, who are a larger profile than cyclists, suffer also from SMIDSY, Sorry Mate I Didn't See You.

Yes, it's called being a selfish twat.

That is the onkly way I can describe the truck driver on this afternoon's drive home. Wide road, cars parked either side and comfortable for cars to pass on each carriageway. Anything larger should, IMHO, wait in order to proceed safely. This twat obviously had a fundamental problem in that he couldn't see 1500-2000kg vehicle heading towards him, he probably had a fundamental failure when he didn't see my headlights and had a fundamental failure when he broke the speed limit.

No, he was a selfish twat who drives like a twat because he's in a truck and probably will get away with it until he has a collision (it won't be an accident), at that point he'll be safe in the knowlege that he can pull the SMIDSY card, fully supported by people saying it's a fundamental problem with how the human brain processes information.

For the love of god! Driving is a full time occupation, and if you think that you mind has a fundamental flaw, I suggest that you give up your fucking licence.

 

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brooksby [2919 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes
OldMixte wrote:
brooksby wrote:
OldMixte wrote:

As to moving your head around a screen pillar, in my bog standard family car the only way to do that is to get out of the seat, so I don't understand that comment.

So, you're happy to drive your bog standard family car around knowing full well that your car (just a bl**dy car, not an HGV!) has such enormous blind spots? 

I'm pretty sure that car manufacturers don't make cars where you have to get out of the seat to see out of the windows...

Didn't take long for the abuse.

I suggest you look at the URL above which shows blindspots and apart from finding a car with different screen pillars there isn't much I can do about it, except look twice.

Look at the evidence instead of throwing abuse. There is a problem with not seeing smaller objects, it's no use complaining, you have to do something about it.

i really don't think that was abuse. I'm genuinely concerned about you driving around in a car that you admit you can't see properly out of.

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hirsute [115 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Having taught my kids in the last few years to drive. I taught them to stop at junctions,. look and move off when clear. The first child only just passed due to hesitation. The second child had some lessons and it became obvious that the instructions from the instructor, were all about keeping momentum at junctions, don't stop unless absolutely necessary. I then spoke with several parents of kids taking their test. They all commented the same surprise. I was never taught this keep rolling method, just too dangerous and easy to miss small objects like cyclists pedestrians etc.

I don't object to cars still moving when on approach, it really depends on the road layout and visibility. What I really don't like is those that approach a junction with narrow visibility at inappropriate speed.

The last one I had the driver simply followed the car in front without even looking. Had I not positioned myself near the centre line, I would have been hit, as it was, I escaped with inches to spare.

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DaveE128 [981 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
OldMixte wrote:

As to moving your head around a screen pillar, in my bog standard family car the only way to do that is to get out of the seat, so I don't understand that comment.

As I suggested, the best way seems to be look twice. If a cyclist is obscured by a screen pillar or another vehicle the time separation would probably reveal it. Perhaps people should fail the driving test if they don't look twice.

The second of these two paragraphs shows that you need to learn about Constant Bearing Decreasing Range as explained here: http://singletrackworld.com/2018/01/collision-course-why-this-type-of-ro... It might save you from killing someone. Looking twice is essential, of course, but doesn't eliminate this issue.

Regarding the first of those paragraphs - I'd be really surprised if that's actually true. What car is it? Please try sitting in your car, noting what is just visible either side of the pillar, then trying l:
(1) turning you head side to side while keeping your eyes pointing in the same place and (2) leaning forward about 3 inches and/or roght and left a couple of inches
and check the effect on the hidden area. You should notice a small change from (1) which explains why turning your head is better for observations than swiveling your eyes. You should be able to pretty much observe the complete blind spot with (2). If not, please complain to your vehicle manufacturer and copy in any relevant safety bodies you can think of!

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Jitensha Oni [106 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
DaveE128 wrote:
OldMixte wrote:

As to moving your head around a screen pillar, in my bog standard family car the only way to do that is to get out of the seat, so I don't understand that comment.

As I suggested, the best way seems to be look twice. If a cyclist is obscured by a screen pillar or another vehicle the time separation would probably reveal it. Perhaps people should fail the driving test if they don't look twice.

The second of these two paragraphs shows that you need to learn about Constant Bearing Decreasing Range as explained here: http://singletrackworld.com/2018/01/collision-course-why-this-type-of-ro... It might save you from killing someone. Looking twice is essential, of course, but doesn't eliminate this issue. Regarding the first of those paragraphs - I'd be really surprised if that's actually true. What car is it? Please try sitting in your car, noting what is just visible either side of the pillar, then trying l: (1) turning you head side to side while keeping your eyes pointing in the same place and (2) leaning forward about 3 inches and/or roght and left a couple of inches and check the effect on the hidden area. You should notice a small change from (1) which explains why turning your head is better for observations than swiveling your eyes. You should be able to pretty much observe the complete blind spot with (2). If not, please complain to your vehicle manufacturer and copy in any relevant safety bodies you can think of!

Fair enough interms of driving skills, but I'm wondering how significant is constant bearing decreasing range on roundabouts when at least one agent is on a curved trajectory. Bez's article was about a crossroads where the arms are straight (his "this type of road"), and the effect is readily achieved. I only ask because most of the times I've been cut up on roundabouts in this manner, I've been able to see the driver's (blank) eyes.

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cyclisto [360 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Paul_C wrote:

they may have looked, but they have failed to move their heads to clear that massive blindspot caused by the door pillar...

This is a big problem. Car manufacturers brag about their EuroNCAP results but visibility has got much worse the last 30 years.

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Awavey [371 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
OldMixte wrote:

Look at the evidence instead of throwing abuse. There is a problem with not seeing smaller objects, it's no use complaining, you have to do something about it.

 

which may account for 1% of the problem, the other 99% is because people just dont bother to look properly. In that video there is no way on earth that car would have been able to stop in time had there been the worlds biggest cruise ship executing a turn at that point. They simply discounted all likelihood of there being anyone coming around the roundabout from that direction and chose not to look properly, not to slow down and not to approach that road layout with caution until they were sure it was actually safe to proceed.

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Jetmans Dad [10 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Mark B wrote:

In this case you should expect not to have to stop, but you should always anticipate having to stop. 

Interesting ... I was taught exactly the opposite of that when I learned to drive 30 years ago. Approach a roundabout expecting to have to stop but in a position to carry on if you didn't need to. 

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