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I find this to be especially true when walking across crosswalks. People drive less close to you and do less dangerous things when you make eye contact with them. On my bike, eye contact helps more often than not, but I have occasionally had people make eye contact with me and then do something crazy, like pull out in front of me. Usually, it is because they are used to thinking of someone on a bike doing 5mph and not the speeds that a road bike can achieve while cruising.

Not long ago, I was walking across that weird intersection near New Hampshire, 22nd and L and a driver looked straight at me and shrugged as she almost mowed me down. I would've preferred it if she pretended not to see me, because it was so insulting to be almost run over by someone who clearly saw you (especially since I had the right of way).

I was once clipped (I didn't fall) by a small truck with a bumper sticker reading: I'd rather be biking.

How nice that the motorist let the cyclist go first -- when the cyclist had right of way!

I'm all for eye contact, but I'll be Contrarian here and say that having to negotiate who goes first at an intersection is a symptom of poor facility design. Because DC insists on striping bike lanes up to and through intersections -- which shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how traffic works -- no one knows what to do at an intersection.

My only concern about eye contact is that because I'm so seductive I fear giving drivers the wrong idea. That could be awkward.

One thing about eye contact-- don't attempt it/fixate on it for so long that you lose awareness of other potential hazards. Keep your "head on a swivel," as would a QB in football not staring at his intended receiver, but rather seeing the receiver and then looking around to make sure he's not gonna get sacked/make a turnover.

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