Getting hit by a car, is it a matter of time?

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by Guest, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. DurangoKid

    DurangoKid New Member

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    Or they could phone the police and claim they did nothing wrong. Then it's your word against theirs and the crack in their windshield. Worst still, they could be drunk and belligerent and then turn around, flatten you, and drive away.
     


  2. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    That is why if it is a double lane road going in my direction. I use the entire right lane for myself. Rather have vehicles honk, and have to wait til other lane is clear to pass me. Then have them try to squeeze by me. When they honk, I give them the #1 sign with my middle finger. They all can go to hell for all I care.......

    Memph
     
  3. Can

    Can New Member

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    I used to think like you Memphman, I found that just letting go of the aggression is really wonderful, it is the biggest obstacle after getting on the roads. I treat myself as a rolemodel to all cyclists, as my actions could affect another cyclist down the road. A rock isn't going to stop a driver anyway, a gun might, but the consequences are too great. The best thing to do is be friendly and defensive, stick up for your rights, and if you feel the need, carry a knife just in case of some really demented person with a tire iron, knives have a practical purpose in some bicycle repairs (picking glass out of your tires, roughening the rube for patching ect..?) , and are valuble in many other applications, which gives you an excuse to carry them, even if you have no intention of cutting up your tubes to prevent a baby eagle from getting its head stuck in it.... =) If you are going way out into the country, I used to like a flare gun =) Which would be seriously useful if you ever found yourself in trouble with only a vague sense of where you are. If you intend to use it on a target be very careful, the flares bounce, and they are very innaccurate. I upgraded to the flare gun when a group of muscular men tried to pull me off my bike, and I reached for my knife only to remember it was the extremely rare occasion I had left it at home. I lucked out, there was a women with them who aggressively confronted them when they grabbed me, and she got them to let me go. I don't know what would have happened if I had my knife, but it would have been really gruesome! I don't even want to think about the consequences. I wouldn't recommend violence in almost any situation, just keep your hormones in check. =)
    Ride safe,
     
  4. richt

    richt New Member

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    Well, I'll add my story to this great thread. Got hit last year. 3PM in the afternoon, brilliant day in Seattle.

    Going not too fast (maybe 15 mph) down a road. Dodge Ram 2500 at the intersection. He stops at the stop sign. I look at him, I can see him look at me, I continue on.

    He accelerates through the intersection, T-bones me, I'm flying (and I should be dead for sure was my last thought as the bumper hits me in the thigh and launches me up). Next thing I know I'm on the ground spun around.

    Folks get out, I'm dazed. (BTW, one lesson, never ask someone who is hit by a car if they are Ok, I just said I'm fine. Right). Anyway, I was lucky. Bike was really wiped out, but I'm alive.

    Recent issue of Bicycling Magazine says that you are 30 times more likely to be killed on a road bike than in a car. Yuck.

    Anyway, I'm a little nuts, so I'm riding again. Did 3,000 miles this year, so I'm not that big a rider, but commuting a bunch. Main difference is the defensive thing. It's OK to slow down. Also, I'm more than a Christmas tree. In the summers in broad daylight, I have three lights (Light & Motion Cabeza ARC -- this is a 15 watt Metal Halide that is so bright it actually physically hurts at 20 feet and it is helmet mounted so I can focus right on drivers who don't see me, plus a pair of 2M candlepower strobes from Lightman Strobes--highly recommend both).

    In the winters and evenings (it gets dark up here in Seattle), I go to six lights (the above plus a Light & Motion ARC handlebar mounted, another Lightman strobe for front and finally a 3x5 inch 24 LED rear light).

    I'm paranoid and the lights actually cost and probably weight more than the bike, but at least I feel like folks can see me. I try to follow the other defensive tips, ride out in the road, etc. But the main thing is avoiding lots of traffic. Still think about the crash everytime I'm out and also have to say every intersection fills my head with visions of what could happen.
     
  5. DurangoKid

    DurangoKid New Member

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    There are problems with weapons.

    If you are relieved of your weapon, it can be used on you. At that point, your adversary may feel no inhibition against taking your life.

    For the weapon to be effective, you must be willing to use it before a situation puts you at a disadvantage. The escalation from threat to violence can happen in a fraction of a second. You will likely have very little time to make a decision that will affect the rest of your life.

    The law requires you to flee before fighting. You could be charged with manslaughter or worse should the police become involved. Who started it might not matter at that point.

    The person on the receiving end of your weapon could file a civil suit against you. The standards of proof and culpability are different in a civil suit. Just answering the suit could cost tens of thousands of dollars before it even goes to court. If the suit against you goes to court, the opposing council could claim that you were looking for a fight by virtue of carrying a weapon. The plaintiffs could lie under oath. The judge may not like cyclists. Your lawyer might suck and you didn’t realize it until just now.

    Weapons often give the wielder a false sense of security. This can lead to inadvertently escalating the confrontation. An unarmed person has an incentive to defuse a confrontation.

    This discussion may encourage others to carry a weapon. I think in the end, this is not good for the sport of cycling.
     
  6. al080166

    al080166 New Member

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    I don't really believe it is a matter of time it is more a matter of luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I was in the wrong place at the wrong time in November in Maitland Australia last year.

    A woman was making a a right hand turn and she had stopped as I clearly had the right of way, then when I was about 2 metres from the car she turned right in front of me. Me and my bike hit the car and went over the top of it I suffered 6 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, broken wrist, lost my 4 front teeth, had 12 stitches in my elbow and lost most of the skin off my face. My bike was totalled.

    As soon as I could I was back on the bike believing the accident was just one of those things like a car accident or a pedestrian being hit. I have just had to have major surgery to my wrist as a result of the accident and will be off the bike for at least 8 weeks as soon as I get the OK I will be back in the saddle.

    I know people who have ridden many more kilometres than me and never been hit and also people who have ridden less and have been hit. I put it down to luck.

    Al :)
     
  7. al080166

    al080166 New Member

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    After being hit by a car and fairly seriously injured I then had to deal with the fact that the woman who hit me had no property insurance and that her "financial position" would mean that my $5000 worth of bike and gear which had used every spare cent I had had for the last 5 years would not be replaced.

    But about a month after my accident it was my birthday and friends with a bike shop in Raymond Terrace rang me to ask me to go over. When I walked in the door there were about 20 of my cycling friends and a brand new road bike. With friends like that how could you give the sport away.

    I am still fighting to get any money from the woman.
     
  8. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    Good luck with your fight. You must be an awesome person to have friends like that. What a pleasant shock that must have been.....

    Memph
     
  9. kagey

    kagey New Member

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    I've been cycling on and off for over twenty years, and I have been fortunate enough never to have suffered a serious accident. Yesterday I came very close. It was a Saturday morning and I was on the homeward leg of my usual morning spin (from Surry Hills to Maroubra for Sydneysiders). I was on Anzac Parade, just south of the University of NSW, in that zone next to the parked cars that was a designated cycle path. I'm usually super observant about any parked cars with occupants, but somehow I failed to notice a driver in a parked van. With no notice, this idiot shot out right in front of me. Luckily I had just enough time to check that there were no cars in the next lane, and I swerved. The van still clipped my arm, but it wasn't hard, and I stayed on the bike. I yelled and I think the driver looked surprised and guilty (maybe that was just surprise). I noted the rego number but because she didn't actually injure me I guess there is nothing that can be done.

    I have fantasies that such driver behaviour should be punished with an automatic three month suspension of drivers licence, and the provision of a courtesy bicycle for the period. I reckon I the driver survives three months on a bike in Sydney traffic, they may end up a better motor vehicle driver.

    Just my fantasy though...
     
  10. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    That is an awesome fantasy. Would be great if this would be a law. Should teach them a good lesson. I handle these idiots the old fashion way, with a good fist to the face, man or women. What are they going to do. Call the police? Tell them what? This bloke hit me because I hit him with my vehicle. Lke to see this......

    Memph
     
  11. HellonWheels

    HellonWheels New Member

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    I must be pretty lucky...the worst that ever happened to me (knock on wood) is that I've been doored a few times when I lived in the city. Back when I originally was riding my bike (22 yrs ago), in Philadelphia, hardly anyone rode back then...lots of rude drivers. Times have changed in the last trwo decades and now that I've returned to riding my bike, things are MUCH safer and much more bike-friendly in the City of Brotherly Love/ I wish I still lived there, but being out here in the NJ burbs, drivers here are very nice...I think its actually that they are amused to see someone riding a bike with baskets attached with groceries in them...in the burbs it seems EVERYONE drives cars, so maybe I provide some amusement to them, and so they are nice. (shrug)
     
  12. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    You are lucky. Toronto, is turning into the rudest city in North America. I know the reason and can not say....

    Memph
     
  13. Ed Mueller

    Ed Mueller New Member

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    I've been cycling for some twenty years in the U.S., with a big percentage of that time spent commuting -- I've found it a great way to get some extra training time in.

    Unfortunately, I just suffered my first accident last week, when car stopped at a cross street decided to make a right hand turn -- right as I was square in front of him. I've had cars make right turns in front of me, but never run at my side.

    Even with yelling, and veering left (as far as was safe without going into the traffic next to me), he still ran into my side and somersaulted both myself and my bike, leaving me with only a separated clavicle and, from what my ortho doctor says, a long rehab before my shoulder is in proper shape again.

    The driver was a 17-year-old who had just gotten his driving permit the day prior, and said that "he didn't see me", although all the witnesses who stopped did (I always wear bright yellow helmet, jersey, and even a reflective vest when commuting, even though this was at 3:30 in the afternoon on a clear, bright day).

    As I see it, you can be EXTREMELY careful, and still have an unfortunate turn of events result in an accident. My only real problem is that neither he nor his mother (who was in the car with him) ever even had the courtesy of calling me to see how I was, even with the exchange of info with the police...
     
  14. Memphmann

    Memphmann New Member

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    So sorry to hear about that story. Hope you get better soon and are back on the bike. They are just uncaring ignorant ppl who probably blame you for her son's poor driving ability. Are they paying for you and your bike repairs???

    Memph
     
  15. Paco215

    Paco215 New Member

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    I, too, was hit by a car coming the opposite direction. A young 18 year old was waiting to turn into a driveway and looked right at me and stopped. I got on the pedals to get by faster as a courtesy (downhill also) and he turned right in front of me. I played Superman for an instant and the bike flipped over me. (I later found that I had broken a Look pedal on the flip.) I also landed on my head. My helmet, bike, jersey, shorts shoes and even sunglasses were destroyed. I had to take the young man to court and he admitted that he saw me coming but mis-judged my speed. In Pennsylvania we don't have a MOTOR vehicle code....we have a vehicle code and bicycles must be treated just like other vehicles on the road. His admission made him guilty of failure to yield and I was awarded the judgement.
     
  16. Ed Mueller

    Ed Mueller New Member

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    I'm now into the third week since the accident, and I am building a good range of motion, although the strength will take some time to return.

    I'm hoping that the son has learned some kind of lesson about this, and drives with a little more awareness...

    As far as the monetary side goes, they will get off fairly lucky, as I'm in the Navy, and the Government pays for all the medical expenses, including the upcoming physical therapy and rehab, but the Navy Legal did recommend that I get an attorney to ensure that my interests are upheld.

    The attorney is working with their insurance company and says that the bike will end up fixed, plus additional for the pain and suffering, and that the insurance company seems only to happy to get out so easy. We'll see..
     
  17. kim belfield

    kim belfield New Member

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    Best advice is to tret car drivers as idiots, wear bright clothes and lots of lights, avoid conflict situations where possible and go slower where you cant avoid conflict situations.

    Remember car drivers often have a lot on their minds and bikes dont rank high in that list, so it is important to raise their awareness of you.
     
  18. jacobxray

    jacobxray New Member

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    OUUCH!!!!!!!!

    got hit by a van 2 weeks a go. broke my collar bone. feel pretty stupid though as to 'save time', as it was only a short trip, had not put helmet on. got a nasty whack on my bonce as well.

    van didn't stop, bastard (and yes it was a white transit). walked about half a mile to mates house with blood dripping off my head wound and pushing my bent bike. this was in a busy city (sheffield). not one person stopped to see if i was Ok. thought it was pretty obvious to people what had happened , but nobody wants to get involved do they.

    broken collar bone hurt like nothing else, don't advise it.

    but in retrospect think i could have been riding bike safer, more defensively etc.

    hope to be back on bike next week though (with helmet this time).

    be careful out there
     
  19. HellonWheels

    HellonWheels New Member

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    You guys scared the bejeezus out of me! I've been riding a bike since age 16 (with a 22 yr hiatus, from age 23-42, only recently returned to it at age 43)...never had an accident (though I was doored a lot years ago when Philly was still a bike-unfriendly city.)

    I went out today and bought some very bright yellow tee shirts, shorts, etc to wear while riding. Maybe all that time I was just lucky??
     
  20. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    I was accident free until this summer and had two really, really close calls (one of 'em did hit my bike & knock me down). Both times folks stopped , I'm glad to say. Both times visibility was an issue - one on a corner, the other I was in the left turn lane wehre I wasn't expected. (No it wasn't my fault -- but neither was anybody aiming for me.)

    I do wear the bright stuff and am thankful there are enough cycles around here so people expect to see them.
     
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