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I am proposing this term for a common variation of the left cross collision.

In the standard left cross, an oncoming driver makes a left turn immediately in front of a cyclist who is going straight through the intersection.  They do this typically because they misjudge the speed of the cyclist.

In the lemming variation, there are several drivers in line waiting to turn left.  The first driver correctly judges that he has time to complete his turn before the cyclist reaches the intersection, and he does so.  Then, all of the other drivers in line, without looking for oncoming traffic, follow the first driver.  A cyclist who is not ready for this is likely to be hit.

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They do this typically because they misjudge the speed of the cyclist.

Don't forget that there are also drivers who think that they'll just turn left because there is space (not necessary ample time) and will make oncoming bicyclist, or another car coming to the same intersection, to make a correction (slow down, possibly stop, or make a correction). Just because they can.

IIRC, I read somewhere that doing so in front of a bicyclist is illegal - same as turning right in front of a bus. Don't quote me on this.

Sounds like a critical mass of people turning left. I can't say I see much of this in the US, though, except at the tail end of a green signal where the lights aren't timed properly for the volume of traffic turning.

Good name. When possible I move to the middle of the lane so the Lemmies can see me.

One driver piggybacking their judgment onto that of the driver in front of them is quite common once you're aware of it! Watching out for it is just one part of driving (car) or riding (bicycle) defensively.

Yup.  This is my biggest fear when I cross Brywn Mawr while riding on Broadway.  And there's often traffic stacked up to go east on Bryn Mawr to LSD, and drivers will often block the intersection as they make the left. I just slow way down and expect the dumbest behavior possible at this point. 

I see this when I'm northbound on Clark at Ridge. If I don't have traffic behind me, I'll move to the centerline and hook around behind the last lefty to continue on. If I'm the only traffic approaching an intersection I'll do the same and wave a lefty through as it's safer than assuming they'll wait for me.

I liked how you expressed your thoughts in words about today's drivers. I feel exactly the same way. I had a similar type incident yesterday after the snowfall while I was a pedestrian on the sidewalk. He came charging out of an alleyway nearly plowing into me. He clearly saw me also but continued his aggressive 'chicken' game while I proceeded assertively with the right of way. He shaved past me and took off down the street where he found a parking spot. I had the 'pleasure' to meet him and commented to him about his driving 'skills'. My final comment to him and any careless driver I encounter is, "TRY NOT TO KILL ANYONE TODAY ! - TRY !"

George Schick said:

I'm not sure that drivers even understand or even care about the rules of the road anymore…they just throw their vehicles around however they want.  Today I was leaving the parking lot of a public library when I witnessed a driver of one of those compact SUV's, the kind that like to drive at top speed wherever they go, exiting the lot just as a lady walking two small dogs was crossing the lot exit on a sidewalk.  The driver (who HAD to have seen the woman) just kept on going until the lady with the dogs had to jerk them back at the last moment to keep them from getting run over.  The driver got a puzzled expression on her face as if to say, "Oh, am I supposed to stop for you (a pedestrian)?"  and finally did stop to let them pass.  Amazing.  It's getting to be everyone for themselves...

Excellent use of 'critical mass' and something for cyclists to consider.

Tricolor said:

Sounds like a critical mass of people turning left.

Ugh, one of these scenarios got me at Diversey/Elston/Western, just about a year ago. Didn't help that the teenage driver had no license and it wasn't her car (and the car had that sketchy "I've had accidents" insurance). She was #2 in line. #3 stopped and #1 had time to clear. I can't understand why people would blindly follow the person ahead of them. I sure as hell don't trust a random driving stranger to make the right decision for the both of us.


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