Victim of a variation of the right hook


New Member
Sep 16, 2017

Right Hook Bike Incident - So I was riding my bicycle. I turned left onto a street about the same time a car turned right. Of course, he had the right of way. If you see me slide by his right rear quarter panel, I am not attempting to pass. All that excess speed to get off the main road as to not hold up any vehicles translated into slightly more distance than the car in front was traveling. Anyway, he soon brakes and starts to slow down. I am thinking about passing him soon since he is traveling significantly slower than I am/was. After we pass the parked cars on the right side of the road, space opens up, so I attempt to quickly pass him on the right side. All of a sudden, he turns right in front of me without a turn signal, and I hit my front brakes as I get pushed off the road, causing the rear of my bicycle to fly into the air (realizing my braking mistake, I did the best I could to feather my front brakes in order to minimize the impact, but I still ended up bending my rear wheel some). I used my horn to let him know I was there (after the whole incident; it went by too quickly to use during). When we talked, he basically said that he knew I was behind him, but he believes that bicycles are not allowed to pass cars on the right (nor the left, he clarifies). My argument was that he didn't use a turn signal in order to signify to those around him of his intentions; therefore, I had no way of knowing that he would turn and could only assume that he was driving straight. We both left on the agreement that we were both wrong and could've avoided the incident in one way or another.

Now, I am seeking your "expert" opinions on this whole incident: who is at fault here? One-sided or both? If you ask me, honestly, I'd have to admit both. Sure, he didn't use his turn signal, but could I have waited a little more before passing? Sure, and I could've been more careful. Could I have passed on the left? Although (in my experience) motorists frown upon that, it is legally allowed and probably would've been better in my case. Please refrain from being overly critical. I just want to know who did what incorrectly so that I can take better actions next time. Thank you :)

Here are some VA laws for cyclists relevant to this incident:

Every person riding a bicycle on a highway shall be subject to the provisions of the Code of Virginia section on motor vehicles and shall have the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle unless a provision clearly indicates otherwise.

Bicyclists may overtake and pass another vehicle only when safe to do so. Bicyclists may pass another vehicle on the right or left, and they may stay in the same lane, change lanes, or ride off the road if necessary for safe passing. [Note from me: so my passing the vehicle was a legal action. Looking back at the footage, whether it was safe to do so may be debatable.]

Note that passing motor vehicles on the right side may be extremely dangerous if the motorist does not see the bicyclist and attempts a right turn. [Note from me: indeed, extremely dangerous, as I learned.]
Aug 6, 2016
The way I see it, it was the driver's fault. Forget whether you were passing or not, he turned right, RIGHT in front of you with NO signal. Although I'm not sure what the law would state about it. I've often been in a situation where I wasn't actually passing a car on the right but just on the shoulder and they turned like that in front of me causing me to slam on my brakes, it's scary and I've learned to watch out for it, although that won't always avoid an accident.

In my state, we are not allowed to pass motor vehicles on the right, only the left, but again, I don't see what the passing has to do with it because even if you weren't passing the driver basically turns right into you!

Glad your ok though!

Mr. Beanz

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2015
My idea of a stupid cyclist putting himself in harm's way.

He says he is riding behind the car, the car slows, Guess what dumbass!? The car is slowing for a reason. Even without the signal, there is only one way for the car to go. I would be smart enough to think if the car is slowing, he is going to make a turn at the next street.

Your fault for following too closely then not being able to figure out he is slowing for a turn. What did you think he was slowing for? Hand you and icecream?

Never do I turn that close to the back of a car then tailgate it. Pfft!


Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
NE Indiana
It's my turn to be a jackass; but that situation was your fault for not paying attention to the conditions that were present, you're too inexperienced being on the road and due to your inexperience you caused that situation to happen.

The first thing you did wrong was when the car first turned that semi U turn, you never bothered to slow down and ended up on the right side of the car, you should have slowed down and got behind the car and stayed behind at least 8 feet back from their bumper, and STAYED there! you would have been ok had you just stayed behind the car like you were doing for a bit, but instead of paying attention to the fact the car was slowing down which would have indicated to me they're going to turn you decide to pass...would you do that in your car and pass on the emergency lane if there was one? OF COURSE NOT, and you shouldn't have done that on your bike either.

And your little horn blowing tantrum? Really? Bike horns are so low in volume they never remotely heard it even if they were alongside you when you blew it! Toss that useless thing, you can yell louder than that.

Thankfully you weren't hurt, and if you had been it would have YOUR insurance paying and not theirs.

You were at fault, learn from it, end of discussion!


Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2005
Where I live (Toronto), that driver would have been at fault; however, it sounds like you weren't riding defensively and this incident could have been avoided entirely had you been.

If you ride enough, you develop a sort of 6th sense. Many times I have sensed something off about a car near to me and taken extra care - like not passing it when a street is coming up - and been proven right over and over again. I have avoided many collisions and close calls by careful riding - you can too.

Pretty much every day on my commute I would see cyclists doing stupid things (and I don't mean just not wearing a helmet). Mostly they get away with it, but it only takes one time not to and then it could be over. Don't do that to yourself and to the driver.