Test your awareness skills

Cyclists in the San Francisco Bay Area are mourning the loss of two world class athletes who died Sunday when a Sheriff’s deputy apparently fell asleep at the wheel and ran head on into a group ride. A few hours later, two other cyclists were seriously injured on Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County when a motorist turned left across their path onto Morse Lane. The driver claimed, “I didn’t see them.”

Yehuda Moon comic - Red light!

Cyclists frequently encounter near hits because motorists simply don’t look out for us. Motorists pay attention to the threats on the road, which is mostly other motorized vehicles. The cyclist on the edge of the road often doesn’t register.

Professional cyclist David Zabriskie started the Yield To Life campaign to get the word out to motorists that they need to pay attention to cyclists on the road. Transport for London has started a new awareness campaign for motorists, asking them to look out for cyclists. They note that only a tiny fraction going into your brain enters into your consciousness. If you are concentrating on something, you can become blind to other events that you would normally notice. This “inattention blindness” is possibly the reason why motorists collide with cyclists.

How situationally aware are you? Take the test to see how aware you are. Don’t spoil it for others in the comments by giving away the ending, but let us know how you did.


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0 thoughts on “Test your awareness skills”

  1. Tim Grahl says:

    Failed miserably…

  2. Edwin says:

    Wow…Holy crap did I fail…

  3. wannaCmore says:

    Aw, hell…

  4. Fritz says:

    I actually succeeded, but I was aware of research on exactly that topic at the University of Illinois a few years ago. They used basketballs and the same surprise ending, even.

  5. anakcu says:

    Failed big time.

    “Attention must be paid!” –Linda Loman

  6. Brian says:

    This same thing happened to me when a woman pulled out in front of me because she only saw the transit bus behind me.

  7. JoelGuelph says:

    Wow. That was an eye-opener (pun-intended). I have to say I was pretty confident going in, but I failed miserably.

  8. Nicole says:

    Man, I totally failed. I had to watch the video twice to verify they weren’t making things up.

  9. Quinn says:

    This brings up something that I have been thing about a lot lately- How far Into the lane should you ride?

    I know to not ride in the gutter, but recently I read an article that said to ride in the ride side tire track, What part of the tire track?

    I right now try to line up the end of my handlebar with white line/road edge.

  10. Stephen says:

    Yeah, I can count, but I failed the rest of it! At least I’m not alone…

  11. Scott says:

    Not even close.

  12. Jett says:

    That — is indeed — a trip. I hope this doesn’t scare cyclists as much as it raises the awareness of the danger involved in operating a motor vehicle while distracted. It’s not just cyclists that are endangered by this poor and increasingly accepted behavior.

    Quinn, I’ve got a few rules for different speed mismatches and traffic conditions. When traffic is below 30-35 MPH (most of my riding), I ride so I’m about a meter out which is generally where the right tire track of a car would roll. I give space to motorists when the road is wide and move closer to the center when there isn’t room or I’m near a major intersection.

    On higher speed roads where traffic can pass in a second lane, I’m in the same spot.

    On higher speed roads where there isn’t a second lane and there’s not much traffic, same thing.

    On higher speed roads where I’ll be holding up traffic, I find another route.

  13. FT says:

    I failed it flat out. As a former US Army helicopter pilot I always pride myself on situational awareness. Guess I’m getting old!

  14. Tim says:

    Got the 13, never saw the bear.

  15. Dave says:

    Nailed it! But I have to say that I stopped counting the passes as soon as I saw the man in a bear suit. Guess I’m not so good at multitasking.

    As for drivers…here in Tucson, people are constantly speeding to get across our sprawling town and are thus paying even less attention than normal. Even in my CAR I’m afraid of people pulling out suddenly for left turns (happened to me *twice* last night alone). I’ve been lucky so far, but we’ll see…

  16. david p. says:

    got the 13, missed the bear.

    i thought i’d pass for sure.

  17. bikesgonewild says:

    …hah, miserable failure !!!…

    …i intentionally relaxed my eyes before i started, i had a good count going in the calculating part of my brain & then the visually aware part of my my mind initiated a thought process of “anomaly, somethings wrong or different, what else is going on here, what is it ?, duh, you’re not counting anymore, dummyyyyyy !!!”…
    …& no, i wasn’t aware it was a man in a bear suit, i just knew something had changed as i lost count…

    …medical professionals say this ‘ type’ of test & other brain stimulation processes will become an industry in the future as organic methods of dealing w/ & facilitating mental health problems like attention deficit disorder & alzheimers disease & other forms of dementia are dealt w/.

  18. Siouxgeonz says:

    The ad seems to have gotten a fair amount of notice in the mainstream advertising industry, too, because a: its viral spread was notable (“black swan”) b: the industry realized it was a borrowed-without-asking idea.

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