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  1. #1
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    So I hit a car today

    or a car hit me....what do you call it when she pulls right out in front of you when you're booking it?

    Anyway, short story even shorter, I was on my way to school about 1/2 mile from my home. Light turned yellow and I was too close and too fast to stop for it. A lady going in the opposite direction decided to make a left turn gunning, it for the yellow. She turned straight in front of me and I did my best to swerve out of the way, ended up hitting her passenger rear tire. I don't remember the fall, I know I hit my shoulder and hip pretty hard. She was nice enough to wait for me to stop shaking and take me to the hospital (also nice enough to pay for the bike ) Happy to say nothing is broken, just scraped up and bruised a bit.

    I try to commute responsibly. I take the lesser traveled main road. I never blow through stop signs and never go through a yellow unless I can't help it. I have ridden the same route for the better part of two years and haven't had a problem. Maybe because I was so familiar with the route I wasn't as vigilant. Anyone have any similar experiences with daily routes?

  2. #2
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
    Reputation: fred-da-trog's Avatar
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    It happens to all of us. I can almost guarantee, even though I don't know you, you will be vigilant in the future.

    I've been running a flashing white strobe on the front for a few months. I hate the geek factor, but I went from, at least, four left turn or pull out incidents a commute to zero.
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  3. #3
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Sorry you got hurt man, hope you're OK. At least she stopped to help and didn't take off! I have people pull in front of me all the time, in broad daylight when there's nothing I could possibly do to make myself more visible. I think it's usually because people either don't give a damn or they under-estimate the speed at which you're traveling. Surprise surprise, if it's a 25MPH zone I am perfectly with-in my right to be traveling at or nearly at 25MPH. Granted it is harder to judge the speed of approaching bikes and motorcycle. When I'm in the cage I always follow this simple rule; don't freakin' pull out in front of somebody unless they're a sufficient distance away!

    Anyway, enough rambling. Glad you weren't hurt too bad!
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  4. #4
    I'm SUCH a square....
    Reputation: bigpedaler's Avatar
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    Gary, you're right, they don't give a damn...you're on a bike, that's a toy, not a car or vehicle. You're lower than whale-sh** to them.

    In addition, with the younger drivers, who have grown up with the Playstation/etc., you're just a blip on the video screen, not a real person, not even moving. Most folks behind the wheel have to stare at you for several seconds to recognize that you are indeed moving!

    Don't care about data to back this up...I'm convinced I'm right, and I ride accordingly (except for Oct. 22, when I banged myself up and turned my c-bone into a kid's puzzle, multiple pieces!).
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  5. #5
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Yeah, been there done that. Fortunately, it`s never caused me to crash. I`ve pulled the same thing as the lady in the car did too, more than once in the same spot. I get so focused on watching the cars that I forget to watch for "other" traffic even though I`m a bicyclist and should REALLY be focused on that "other" factor. When you see the light about to change, sometimes you get a big ol brain fart and make big judgement errors. Shouldn`t be like that, but it is- for me, at least. Glad you`re reasonably OK.

  6. #6
    56-year-old teenager
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    Sounds like both you and the driver pushed the yellow and both lost, but you lost more. I'd split the fault 50/50 based on your description. Sometimes stuff happens. Did the cops get called?

    I'm happy that you weren't seriously injured. It could have ended up a lot worse. I hope you thanked the driver for her help after the collision.
    Work is the curse of the biking classes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucko58
    Sounds like both you and the driver pushed the yellow and both lost, but you lost more. I'd split the fault 50/50 based on your description. Sometimes stuff happens. Did the cops get called?

    I'm happy that you weren't seriously injured. It could have ended up a lot worse. I hope you thanked the driver for her help after the collision.
    I'd say she was in the wrong because you were going straight ahead, going through a yellow light is fine, as long as it is still yellow.

    She gunned it because she wanted to cross over to the other side of the street. Because of that, she didn't notice you and went infront of you. Drivers usually just don't notice cyclists or pedestrians... I have seen accidents where cars pull out directly in front of motorbikes, I saw an old lady run over a guy who was crossing the street (he was in the middle of the street, in the UK, so it's not jaywalking). I have had cars pull out directly in front of me (when i was driving my car, in a well lit area, with my lights on!)

    Car drivers exist in a warm cozy safe bubble, usually with music and other distractions. They aren't as focused as us, also, they are looking through an angled layer of glass, which at night time can cause reflections and refract the light they see.

    If you are riding, running red lights is fine, weaving in and out of traffic is also ok, but you have to be aware that the drivers probably don't see you, so you have to be super alert.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDon
    I'd say she was in the wrong because you were going straight ahead, going through a yellow light is fine, as long as it is still yellow.

    She gunned it because she wanted to cross over to the other side of the street. Because of that, she didn't notice you and went infront of you. Drivers usually just don't notice cyclists or pedestrians... I have seen accidents where cars pull out directly in front of motorbikes, I saw an old lady run over a guy who was crossing the street (he was in the middle of the street, in the UK, so it's not jaywalking). I have had cars pull out directly in front of me (when i was driving my car, in a well lit area, with my lights on!)

    Car drivers exist in a warm cozy safe bubble, usually with music and other distractions. They aren't as focused as us, also, they are looking through an angled layer of glass, which at night time can cause reflections and refract the light they see.

    If you are riding, running red lights is fine, weaving in and out of traffic is also ok, but you have to be aware that the drivers probably don't see you, so you have to be super alert.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDon
    I'd say she was in the wrong because you were going straight ahead, going through a yellow light is fine, as long as it is still yellow.

    She gunned it because she wanted to cross over to the other side of the street. Because of that, she didn't notice you and went infront of you. Drivers usually just don't notice cyclists or pedestrians... I have seen accidents where cars pull out directly in front of motorbikes, I saw an old lady run over a guy who was crossing the street (he was in the middle of the street, in the UK, so it's not jaywalking). I have had cars pull out directly in front of me (when i was driving my car, in a well lit area, with my lights on!)

    Car drivers exist in a warm cozy safe bubble, usually with music and other distractions. They aren't as focused as us, also, they are looking through an angled layer of glass, which at night time can cause reflections and refract the light they see.

    If you are riding, running red lights is fine, weaving in and out of traffic is also ok, but you have to be aware that the drivers probably don't see you, so you have to be super alert.
    I disagree. Running red lights is against the law and gives the whole bike community a bad rap. Weaving in and out of traffic while legal can be very dangerous and sometimes if you get into an accident while weaving it'd be all on you.

    I do agree that it wasn't my fault I got into the accident but I could of been a bit more proactive to prevent it. Drivers do exist in their little bubble and I try to be ever alert, glancing over my shoulder often and if I'm first at a stop light I look behind me to see if their going to stop soon enough

    All is well though, sore and a bit more wise.

  10. #10
    In the rear with the beer
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    Yeah, running red lights and weaving in/out of traffic is bad for the whole community . Gives us a bad rap with drivers. On the flip side, when I started commuting I was told "yes, everyone is out to hit you". So regardless of the rules or laws, we need to be extra vigilent and over-cautious, since we have the most to lose in a crash. Commuting is no time to get an adrenaline rush....find a nice downhill trail for that.

    Glad you are okay and that the driver wasn't a total d$ck and stopped. Get back on that horse!!
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  11. #11
    MTT
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    I assume, and ride like, every car will cut me off. About once a month I am right, which doesn't make me less mad- just alive. Good luck and heal up..........MTT

  12. #12
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    I have found that cars often don't think bikes have any right to the road at all. Furthermore, they usually assume that you're lazing along at 5mph on some little toy. I've had cars blow past me down hills when I'm doing 35mph (speed limit on that hill is 25). They will even cross the yellow lines (no passing zone) to do so, as once I reach the speed limit, unless there is a reason not to, I move to the center of the lane.

  13. #13
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by comptiger5000
    Furthermore, they usually assume that you're lazing along at 5mph on some little toy.
    I think you`re right. I also think that a big percentage of "car bites bike" incedents (and probably MOST right hooks) are caused by that bad assumption of a bicycle`s speed- not because the driver just wants to be a d1ck.

  14. #14
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    I'm happy to hear that it came out OK without a serious injury.

    In my humble opinion, based on over 40+ years experience, left turners are the number one hazard for road cyclists. They almost always underestimate our speed, and start turns without enough time. Often, halfway through the turn they realize their error and stop right in front of us.

    The cyclists dilemma -- speed up and cross in front them, or brake hard & veer left hoping they'll complete the turn. I always opt for the second, as you aparently did, since that offers a better outcome if I guess wrong.
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  15. #15
    Bike to have fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    In my humble opinion, based on over 40+ years experience, left turners are the number one hazard for road cyclists. They almost always underestimate our speed, and start turns without enough time. Often, halfway through the turn they realize their error and stop right in front of us.

    The cyclists dilemma -- speed up and cross in front them, or brake hard & veer left hoping they'll complete the turn. I always opt for the second, as you aparently did, since that offers a better outcome if I guess wrong.
    I once made the mistake of saying, "Oh he must *Crash-back shattered windshield flip over roof and land on street* see me "
    At least I got a new bike and sweet settlement out of it!

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