Nearly got hit today...who was at fault?



mennitt

New Member
Feb 9, 2007
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I use my fixed gear to run errands, commute and just screw around. Today, I approached an intersection with a major highway. Here is the scenairo:

I am waiting at a red light, while cars are zipping by in front of me on the highway. I keep my eye on the green light, waiting for it to turn yellow, so I can get ready. A few cars speed through to avoid having to wait for the red light, which is 2 seconds away. The light controlling the highway turns red and I begin crossing the road. (My light was red too, but I proceeded to cross because it takes awhile to accelerate and I feel pressured with all the cars behind me.)

Anyway, a car ran the red light on the highway (just as it was turning red), and nearly hit me. I stopped in front of the car, and started yelling at the lady.

Basically, I began to cross the intersection when ALL the lights were red for that one second that all lights are red.

I think we were both wrong, but should I wait for my light to turn green, regardless if there are no cars coming?
 

Farmguy

New Member
Feb 27, 2007
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If the ls still red, you were.

But, a lesson I was taught/learned from riding motorcycles, never be the first one through a light or one day you will "catch" a person running a red light that was beating a yellow one. Let a 4000lb car catch it instead. The 1-2 secs you save, not worth a bumper across you hips :eek::eek::eek:
 

FreeHueco

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Sep 9, 2003
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If you know that you entered the light before it turned green, then you are at fault. You can't say for certain that the car driver ran the light, since she wasn't going your direction.

And I'll second the notion of not being the first vehicle to enter the intersection. Err on the side of caution!
 

bikinchris

New Member
Jan 10, 2004
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I understand why you wanted to get going, but you should wait until the light turns green. Then you should make sure the crossing drivers are really going to stop. The law reads that the green light means "proceed with caution".

Around here we have lots of big rigs hauling sugar cane that are only used a few months a year and being farm trucks they are driven by people who don't have commercial licenses. When the light turns green on the major roads, you will somtimes hear a air horn and the truck will run the light. Don't be in the intersection when that happens. Nor when that soccer mom is on the phone and doesn't see the light turn either come to think of it. There are not varying degrees of dead. Suburban or loaded 18 wheeler, the outcome is the same.
 

EoinC

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Feb 9, 2004
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mennitt said:
...My light was red too, but I proceeded to cross because it takes awhile to accelerate and I feel pressured with all the cars behind me...
You ran a red light and wonder whether you were at fault? The psychological pressure of cars behind you is less than the psi capable of being exerted by a Tintop t-boning you as he/she nails it to pass through the setting Sun of an amber traffic light. It ain't rocket science.
 

Camilo

New Member
Apr 5, 2007
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I wonder how you can even ask this question. You were a fool to do what you did. You are responsible for your own safety, period, regardless of what color the lights are. Your incident was ENTIRELY avoidable with YOUR OWN actions, simply looking both ways and waiting for that car to pass.

My first impression after reading your post is that you can hardly have been riding in traffic for more than a few days total because this is the ultimate rookie mistake, even beyond rookie because it doesn't take experience, only commonn sense to avoid this sort of danger.

On top of all of that, you went against a red light, multiplying my criticism above X1000 or more. It's black and white - your mistake, very inexperienced, stupid or both.
 

Parsnip

New Member
Apr 27, 2009
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I do the same as the OP, but ONLY when it's at a junction that I cycle through regularly enough to know the light routine like the back of my hand.
I make triple sure nothing is moving or about to move while I'm doing it though.

The way I see it is I'm safer running the red light and getting up to speed as I get overtaken than I am setting off with the traffic.

To answer your question though, you were both in the wrong.
 

burninglegs

New Member
Nov 13, 2009
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Wait until the light turns green for you and even then be careful. Cars are bigger and faster than bikes and it hurts really bad to get hit on a bike by a car.
 

tonyzackery

Active Member
Dec 23, 2006
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As others have mentioned (some with less tact than others) it's interesting you would even pose this question all the while admitting you entered the intersection when your light was still red. If there would have been an impact and depending on the statements from witnesses, I could see you two sharing the liability for the accident as you astutely mentioned. What percentage distribution is hard to guess as we only have information from you, and not the other driver or witnesses.

BTW, in a former life I was a claims adjuster/supervisor/manager for 12 years with 4 different insurance carriers. In that time I settled probably 10,000+ auto claims for property damage and/or bodily injuries. Heard many beyond-belief stories as to why a driver ran into that parked car, fire hydrant, etc...never got hardened to the facts where fatalities were involved, however...

As a cyclist, I am always vigilant to keep out of the path of those 2+ ton bulldozers on the road with me. Don't ever let yourself become one of those unfortunate souls who were "dead right".
 

mapof65

New Member
Nov 7, 2009
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I have to agree with everyone else. You're at fault. In most states, you are considered a vehicle. Almost all laws that apply to a car, apply to you. As most mentioned above, you don't want to be the shiny new hood ornament for the suburban running the red light.
 

tonyzackery

Active Member
Dec 23, 2006
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tonyzackery said:
As others have mentioned (some with less tact than others) it's interesting you would even pose this question all the while admitting you entered the intersection when your light was still red. If there would have been an impact and depending on the statements from witnesses, I could see you two sharing the liability for the accident as you astutely mentioned. What percentage distribution is hard to guess as we only have information from you, and not the other driver or witnesses.

BTW, in a former life I was a claims adjuster/supervisor/manager for 12 years with 4 different insurance carriers. In that time I settled probably 10,000+ auto claims for property damage and/or bodily injuries. Heard many beyond-belief stories as to why a driver ran into that parked car, fire hydrant, etc...never got hardened to the facts where fatalities were involved, however...

As a cyclist, I am always vigilant to keep out of the path of those 2+ ton bulldozers on the road with me. Don't ever let yourself become one of those unfortunate souls who were "dead right".

LOL! I gotta remember to check the dates when I respond to threads...LOL!