Crash anniversary reminds bicyclists of deadly 'right hook'- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Crash anniversary reminds bicyclists of deadly 'right hook'

    An occasional reminder of the hazards we face is never a bad idea. From a local news radio's website.

    :http://www.wtop.com/?nid=596&sid=2006702


    Crash anniversary reminds bicyclists of deadly 'right hook'
    July 20, 2010 - 8:58am

    WASHINGTON - The right hook. In boxing, it's a winning punch. On area roadways, it's a killer.

    Two years ago, Alice Swanson, 22, was killed by a right hook. Her mom, Ruth Rowan, has studied the facts of crash over and over again.

    "She was riding in the bicycle lane," Rowan says. "She had a green light. She had a helmet, and she was killed."

    Swanson was in the bike lane on R Street in downtown D.C. There was a trash truck to her left. The light turned green. Swanson's intention was to go straight. The truck took a right turn onto 20th Street.

    It was a classic example of what cycling advocates call a "right hook."

    The driver said he didn't see her and was never charged. Swanson's mother Ruth Rowan still can't accept that.

    "If someone is in my blind spot, and I pull into their lane and hit them, it's my fault," she says.

    Rowan insists that her daughter was not at fault in the crash that killed her, but the Metropolitan police investigation concluded Swanson was the one who actually struck the trash truck on the passenger's side door.

    Eyewitness accounts say Swanson was hit by the front-right side of the trash truck and pulled under the right front tire. Rowan says three experts in the civil trial, which was settled in January, agreed that Swanson was hit by the truck, not the other way around.

    The case does provoke the question: As a driver, how do you handle it when a cyclist is in a bike lane to your right and they want to go straight while you need to make the right turn?

    Drivers are repeatedly told to stay out of the bike lanes. Cyclists often complain of cars parked in the bike lane, forcing them to maneuver around the parked cars.

    Shane Farthing, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association, says this is the one time when a car should take the bike lane.

    "After checking your blind spot, so it's actually a merge process into the bicycle lane, and then a right turn," Farthing says.

    Farthing says in some cases, cities are painting a broken line along the bike lane on the approach to intersections. It's a visual cue to the motorist and to the bike rider that a merge for a right turn is ahead.

    Follow WTOP's Kate Ryan on Twitter.


    Farthing says in some cases, cities are painting a broken line along the bike lane on the approach to intersections. It's a visual cue to the motorist and to the bike rider that a merge for a right turn is ahead.

  2. #2
    weirdo
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    Jeez Luise! I`ve caused friction on this forum before by sticking with the "accidents will happen" view, but it really pisses me off when a cyclist can be blamed for stiking the door of a truck that cuts him/her off, just before being sucked under the wheels. And WTF is the director of a cyclists association doing by saying that it`s a case where a motor vehicle (a very large one, at that) should take the bike lane!?! It sure would have been better for the cyclist to be in a definite through lane for this one, but with all the pressure to ride in bike lanes where they exist, it can be tough to bring yourself to get out and take a "car" lane. I hope at least it helps to bring the point home to somebody that it`s often safest NOT to be in the bike lanes, maybe saving a life in the future.
    Recalculating....

  3. #3
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    In the end, big garbage truck on your left.........

    Sure it is "legal" to pull up and sit there like everything is good...

    I wouldn't....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    In the end, big garbage truck on your left.........

    Sure it is "legal" to pull up and sit there like everything is good...

    I wouldn't....
    This.
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  5. #5
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Here in California, it seems as though it is really strenuous exercise activating the turn signal lever in oneís automobile/truck/SUV/whatever. As a cyclist, a turn signal would warn me that the bonehead is turning right, such that I can prepare myself rather than be right-hooked.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    Unless the cyclist pulled up next to the garbage truck while the truck was already idling patiently at the intersection with signal engaged, there`s no way she could have seen the indicators. That might be what happened, but it`s only one of many possible scenarios.
    Recalculating....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Unless the cyclist pulled up next to the garbage truck while the truck was already idling patiently at the intersection with signal engaged, there`s no way she could have seen the indicators. That might be what happened, but it`s only one of many possible scenarios.
    There aren't many fellow cyclists here but the few who are, tend to pull up to the right of a vehicle at the intersection. If the vehicle is tall, they are out of sight below windows and mirrors, though the convex mirrors should show them distorted. Drivers here are not expecting a bike to their right nor do they use turn signals with great regularity. Actually I wonder if they use their brains with great regularity, but I digress.

    I take my lane in the center behind the vehicle and juggle my speed with overtaking traffic to do that safely. Rear enders are rare and with my red lights and caution moving into position, they'd have to want to run me down. No motorist has honked at me for taking the lane. A vehicle turning right moving right after checking a bike lane to block any cycists from getting to their right makes sense IF they pay attention to cyclists. I can see that becoming a brainless manoever and then Wham! they've sideswiped a cyclist they just overtook and forgot about and did not check for.

    Earlier this year, there was a case (wish I could remember the jurisdiction) where the cyclist was right hooked in a bike path marked across the intersection and the dirver's conviction was overturned on appeal. As I understood that one, the motorist overtook the cyclist and right hooked. That is open season on cyclists. In the intersection? Fair game. You don't have much warning IF the turn signal is on.

  8. #8
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    If I were to die on a bicycle, I know where it would happen. I have to cross the train tracks on my way home. I used to ride a fun little trail down to the tracks and carry my bike across until the railway police put an end to this. Now I have to go from my bike path to a stop light and cross over a sweeping bridge. The road dips and turns immediately after the bridge. There is another stop light at the end with a right hand turning lane that I have to take.

    If I were to die on a bicycle, this is how it'd all go down. I'd signal my turn and take my space on the road as I always do. A car, or more likely a truck or SUV, would come barreling down from the bridge, ignore my bright flashing light and obvious hand signal, and try to thread the needle between me and the line of stopped cars at the light. Of course the driver would fail. The tail of the car would smack me from the side, hurling me headlong into the guardrail. My helmet would offer little protection. I'd be mangled, bloody, and dead before the driver could even hang up the cell phone...

  9. #9
    weirdo
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    @ B Mc:
    Yeah, you`ve got a point about moving your MV into a bike lane to prevent a cyclist from sneaking into the blind spot.

    My comment about not seeing turn signals (if they were even on) was in response to the post before that. My lane positioning varies with the circumstances, but it sounds like it goes along the same lines as yours for the most part.
    Recalculating....

  10. #10
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    In my area, people are notorious for not being able to avoid Amish horse and buggy's....this scares me. They are now required to have lights all around and BRAKE lights.

  11. #11
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    The same exact thing happened in my town, with a trash truck even. I notice some trucks have windows in the passenger-side door that go down to the floor. Makes it easier to see what's to the right.
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

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