Simple Intersection. Complex threats?

Compound risks

How many potential threats do you see?

I took this shot recently while on a ride. Although there are no visible vehicles, what in this scene is of concern to us as a rider with this vantage point? What do we need to consider? Where is our greatest threat? What, if anything, should we do as we approach? Post your comments and we’ll see how many potential threats we can identify in this one seemingly simple intersection.

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6 Responses to “Simple Intersection. Complex threats?”

  1. tshort Says:

    I came up with 9 (maybe more depending how you count):

    1. paint lines, tar snakes – can be slippery, especially in the morning when they are shaded and possibly wet.

    2. driveway – possible vehicle intrusion point

    3. driveway – possible source of road debris

    4. driveway culvert – hazard in the event of an offroad excursion. The ditch on the other side of the driveway is also a potential problem area in the case of an offroad excursion (not something to plan for, for sure – but good to be aware of in case emergency evasive action is needed).

    5. mailbox – not quite intruding into the roadway, but quite close to the edge of the pavement – if you or your passenger stretched your right arm out as you went by you could clip it (I know – why would anyone do *that*? Well, they likely wouldn’t – but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen).

    6. broken pavement edge, just past driveway – inconsistent with other parts of the road surface, a potential gotcha if you find yourself riding near the edge (which you shouldn’t be doing under normal circumstances)

    7. T-intersection roadway – possible source of vehicle intrusion; and since the intersecting road is below the grade of of the lot on the corner you may not even see a vehicle coming up to the intersection.

    8. Bushes on Left, in shadows – possible source of roadway intrusion – a dog, a ball, a kid chasing a ball.

    9. Blind hill approach – cannot see if there is a vehicle in the oncoming lane; or if there’s one parked or moving slowly in your lane just over the crest.

  2. tshort Says:

    10. Road curve over the crest of the blind hill – possible source of lane impingement of oncoming traffic. They don’t see you coming, they apex the corner into your lane as you come over the hill.

  3. tshort Says:

    11. (oops – one more) – T-intersection on left, obscured by bushes – is there a vehicle there? Can’t tell – be careful.

  4. stayinsafe Says:

    Great comments, tshort! These are exactly the kinds of things we want to recognize as we ride and approach intersections such as these. Now … which ones are the highest priority considerations?

  5. David Reeves Says:

    One thing to consider, no matter what intersection we’re approaching, is ALL the stuff we’re considering. What’s on our mind? Exactly what percentage of our mental faculties are on this intersection that’s coming up?

  6. tshort Says:

    The perfect way of seeing is by using a “no mind” approach. I don’t look at each hazard and evaluate it – I can’t as there isn’t enough time. Therefore all I can do is push my field of vision as wide as possible and remain prepared to deal with whatever may come up. In prefer to ride this way I must have a number of skills honed and ready to use.

    So perhaps another question to consider would be: What are the skills one should have available in order to deal with any of the potential hazards posed by this situation?

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