Are Cyclist “better” Drivers?
Do you think cyclists are, in general, “better” drivers of vehicles? (I guess it depends on your definition of “better”, but hear me out) …
Today I had to take my car in to work (errands that I could not perform by bike). After turning off of S.R 436 (Semoran) onto Highway 50, I moved into the leftmost lane (three lanes heading West). A SUV driver passes me in the farthest right lane at a much faster rate of speed (1). He then swerved around traffic into the center lane (2), and then into the left lane (ahead of me) (3) before we are caught at a light. At the light he swerves into the center lane (4), around a car, and then back into the left lane (5). As we are approaching the next red light, the driver actually changes lanes at the stop light so that he is partially blocking both the left lane he was exiting and the center lane he was trying to get into (6). He takes off … and goes around another vehicle and gets back into the left lane (7). As we start to approach the Mall (we’ve now traveled about 2 miles total) the driver has gone back to the center lane (8), over to the left lane again (9), and then finally into the left-turn lanes at Maguire (next to the Mall), swerving into the farthest most left-turn lane (10).
I counted 10 lane changes in this two mile stretch. What was laughable was that this driver was only 5 cars ahead of me when he reached the left-turn lanes at Maguire!
The timing of the lights on Highway 50 (along with the usual morning traffic) really prevents anyone from gaining any kind of drastic advantage in getting anywhere any sooner than if you simply planted yourself in one lane and kept up with the traffic in front of you. I think cyclists recognize these things. I also think that cyclist are more aware of safety issues involving lane changes (e.g. from bike path to lane).
Finally and most importantly, I think cyclists are more patient drivers. We are willing to put up with small delays without resorting to driving around everything in front of us.
Maybe that’s what I meant by “better” — more civil.
Has riding a bike on the road influenced the way you think behind the wheel? Has it changed the way you drive?