Recently involved in an accident with a bicyclist. Who is at fault here?



curiousdriver

Member
Aug 8, 2011
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Basically I sent the cyclist a check and a letter explaining my actions and what I've learned these last couple of days. I apologized and accepted blame, but also asked her about how she viewed the whole situation as well. Since she is an avid cyclist (we chatted a bit afterward), so I shared with her my thoughts about how this could have been avoided (by both parties) and hoped we would both walk away from this learning something.

Thanks everyone for the insight, even davereo,LOL.
 

jhuskey

Moderator
Oct 6, 2003
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Sounds like a done deal and since no injury occured the lack of a release will probably not be an issue but even without injury a release is good if the property damage is signifigant. Good luck in the future we can all take something from such experiences and become better drivers and better cyclists.
 

64Paramount

Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2009
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Originally Posted by curiousdriver .

Basically I sent the cyclist a check and a letter explaining my actions and what I've learned these last couple of days. I apologized and accepted blame, but also asked her about how she viewed the whole situation as well. Since she is an avid cyclist (we chatted a bit afterward), so I shared with her my thoughts about how this could have been avoided (by both parties) and hoped we would both walk away from this learning something.

Thanks everyone for the insight, even davereo,LOL.

Sounds like you have good integrity, a good heart, and a good sense of humor! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/icon14.gif
 

davereo

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
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Originally Posted by curiousdriver .

Basically I sent the cyclist a check and a letter explaining my actions and what I've learned these last couple of days. I apologized and accepted blame, but also asked her about how she viewed the whole situation as well. Since she is an avid cyclist (we chatted a bit afterward), so I shared with her my thoughts about how this could have been avoided (by both parties) and hoped we would both walk away from this learning something.

Thanks everyone for the insight, even davereo,LOL.
You did the right thing. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 

Andy0161

New Member
Jul 31, 2011
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From your description of lanes, I presume you are from the US, so I preface my reply by stating I'm from the UK - and a police officer! From your very honest account, the answers quite simple - I'm afraid you're the one technically at fault. Why? You cut in front of the other motorists path, and most importantly, you admit you never saw her, creeping into the realms of due care and attention. Simplify it like this if you like: if you HAD seen her, would you have still performed exactly the same manoeuvre? If the answers "No" then it was your fault for not checking the lane. In fairness to you, and in your mitigation, she could have been more prepared for you to pull back in, and most good cyclists would be. The fact she didn't however doesn't negate the above two facts though. Additionally, your mitigation regarding the fact that you didn't check the lane as no car could fit in it is an explanation, but as you've discovered, you should always check for those damn bikes! Please don't take this as a 'flame' - you asked for an honest answer. I applaud you for stopping and showing the care and compassion you did.
 

Lostfreight

New Member
Feb 12, 2007
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I would just like to add (posting from Canada now) that your desire to do the right thing puts you way ahead of most people who get into collisions like this. Whether a cyclist or driver, people typically look for ways to escape blame. Having said that, your admitted failure to signal your intent is a major and basic violation of the Highway Traffic Act. Cheers.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
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NE Indiana
The cyclist was riding as far right as possible which was her safe lane. You cut into her path and caused the impact to happen.

This is the correct answer, and it's simple and sweet.

Once you left your parking spot the cyclists has the right to ride as far right as possible, is this the best course of action in this type of area you were driving and she was riding in? No, but it was legal. What I would have done if I was on my bike in that same situation is that I would have taken the lane instead of going to the far right, that is also legal to do. By taking the lane I would have been behind the rear of your car, far enough so I could stop if you decided to stop or turn, it would have also kept me a safe distance from car doors suddenly opening and getting doored, and if you had jerked back into another parking spot no big deal because I'm not to your right I'm behind you just like I would be if I was in my car.

But she was in the legal right to be where she was at and you screwed up by not looking, she just was not as right in the aspect of her own safety.
 

Corzhens

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
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What happened to you is a common incident here because cyclists and motorcycle riders have that habit of overtaking on the right lane. That's why when I am driving, it is my habit to stay on the left lane. But that is not an assurance that I will be safe from the riders of 2 wheels because they are all over the road. What you did is right, be amiable and diplomatic because riders of 2 wheels are considered pedestrians so you cannot argue. Just charge it to experience and be very careful next time.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
756
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NE Indiana
What happened to you is a common incident here because cyclists and motorcycle riders have that habit of overtaking on the right lane. That's why when I am driving, it is my habit to stay on the left lane. But that is not an assurance that I will be safe from the riders of 2 wheels because they are all over the road. What you did is right, be amiable and diplomatic because riders of 2 wheels are considered pedestrians so you cannot argue. Just charge it to experience and be very careful next time.

Actually cyclists in America are not consider pedestrians, they are considered vehicles, not sure about where you live if that is true. Our vehicle laws and codes are written in a way that says Bicycles must obey the same rules as cars unless otherwise posted. In the case of the unfortunate doctor situation she had a law that superceded vehicle code and that was the bike lane which was posted and she failed to obey that.
 

Corzhens

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
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Actually cyclists in America are not consider pedestrians, they are considered vehicles, not sure about where you live if that is true. Our vehicle laws and codes are written in a way that says Bicycles must obey the same rules as cars unless otherwise posted. In the case of the unfortunate doctor situation she had a law that superceded vehicle code and that was the bike lane which was posted and she failed to obey that.

We definitely have a need for bike lanes here that will also apply to motorcycles. The statistics say that most accidents involve the 2-wheeled vehicles. The motorcycle lane is now being installed in major thoroughfares here and implementation of the rule has began before the Christmas season. But I find it not being implement strictly because the 2 wheels are still all over the road in spite of the blue color that signifies their particular lane.

Regarding the 2-wheels being considered pedestrians, that doesn't mean that they are free from liability when they cause damage to people and vehicles. That's where the argument arises because of the vague regulation about those 2 wheels. There was a time when our car was on a traffic stop and we were hit by a speeding motorcycle that was wayward. The rider admitted he lost control. And the sad story is that he did not pay for the damages to our car.
 

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