I'm surprised at how many cyclists don't use mirrors. With this film, I'm trying to start a debate about what seems to me to be a vital safety feature. What do you think?

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Comment by Edward Re on May 12, 2014 at 4:07am

Having used a helmet mounted one for the last 6 or 8 years, I can't agree more Mike.

The guy who got rear ended by the impatient driver: if someone's driving aggressively, it's normal to take the lane and block them, so it may not have helped. Mind you, with a mirror, you can see when they're too close. In this situation, I turn right around and give them a dirty look. Honestly, they always back off. The driver didn't run the cyclist over, so presumably they're sane, just a bad driver.

It's always useful to know if you need to block the road, get right out of the way, or just sit in the middle and cruise when there's nothing coming. After buying one, I've never look back. (sorry couldn't resist)

Comment by Mike Rubbo on May 12, 2014 at 7:53am

Hi Edward, thanks for that. Could you post that on the viueo itself. Or  can I cut and paste if you dont haver time. it's a useful comment. Mike

Comment by Neil Alexander on May 12, 2014 at 8:33am

I have long been an advocate and user of helmet-mounted mirrors, though they don't suit everyone for one reason or another. Indeed, we have "debated" mirrors fairly comprehensively on this site. (Search, f'rinstance: "helmet mirrors")

Part of the problem causing low uptake of mirrors on bicycles is entrenched prejudice against them, also for one reason or another. This even comes from leading O'pinion-makers who feel obliged to comment from a position of total ignorance...

Comment by Si on May 12, 2014 at 9:30am

Are you really trying to claim that a mirror might have prevented either of those accidents? Especially the second (Australian) one?

Comment by Edward Re on May 12, 2014 at 9:33pm

Done!

Si - yes a mirror could have helped for these accidents. For the driver following too closely, if you can see them, you can stare at them or wave them back. For when the road is too narrow, you can block the lane or get out of the way, and so avoid a sideswipe.

Comment by Common Old Garrwain on May 13, 2014 at 12:22am

Thanks for putting this up Mike, I thought it had been a very neglected topic..but, well, Sir Neil has indicated otherwise. I must say it has never occurred to me that drivers might notice I had a mirror. At any rate I can't bear to be without one. Helmet mounted mirrors do take some getting used to but have the advantage that you can ride any bike and still have a mirror - some might even say that's the only thing the helmet is good for!

Comment by Mike Rubbo on May 13, 2014 at 12:28am

I wonder,  in the case of the second accident in the video, the one which happened in Queensland, whether the rider did know that the white car was hassling him from behind and decided to stand his ground, keep the lane.

I guess in most cases, drivers who are called out doing that sort of thing,  will back off. Maybe that's what the rider was expecting. It's also possible that the driver wasn't paying attention, texting, changing a CD,  et cetera. Lamentable as it is, one has to do assume that that sort of thing will happen. If you were on a pedestrian crossing, and you sensed that a car approaching was not going to stop for whatever reason, which you claim the crossing and step out in front of the car?

Is that a fair comparison to  standing one's  ground on the road? 

Comment by Common Old Garrwain on May 13, 2014 at 1:08am

Mike, if that rider had had a mirror, it might have been viable for him to stand his ground as he could have watched the car's position continuously and pulled over at the last moment if things looked like getting too close. Without a mirror, standing ground puts all faith in the car driver doing the right thing in between headchecks. The parallel with the pedestrian is the same: the pedestrian would (or should) be watching the car approaching continuously and so could withdraw at the last moment quickly and easily if needed; obviously it would not be a good idea to look, walk, and look again some time later.

I have stood ground, and sometimes to scare the s**t out of drivers who are obviously intent on doing the wrong thing, but I only do it when I'm certain I can pull out of the situation if the driver isn't sufficiently intimidated.

Comment by PeterT on May 13, 2014 at 1:39am
Mike, a better analogy is 'standing your ground' in any situation where anyone runs into a criminal is armed with a firearm and isn't afraid to use it. Yes, it's essentially a crime against someone going about their legal business.

As for mirrors, only time I wished I had it was when I'm riding with a sore neck or with kids, other than that I prefer the exaggerated head check, also potentially showcasing my helmet mounted camera. Mirrors aren't going to hold up at the copshop
Comment by Mike Rubbo on May 13, 2014 at 4:00pm

hi, Common old  Garrwain, I think you get to the nub of the matter here. it is very tricky knowing when to stand one's ground and when that is foolhardy . that's why I think the mirror is so useful. It just enhances one's all-round awareness so that you have more information on which to base your stand or give way decision. Knowing that such decisions have to be made constantly, why wouldn't you want to be as well equipped as possible?

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