If you've been hit by a car...- Mtbr.com

View Poll Results: My tail light was:

Voters
15. You may not vote on this poll
  • I didn' t have/wasn't using one

    4 26.67%
  • a cheap blinkie or blinkies

    3 20.00%
  • a moderately bright (ie, PB Superflash, NR Cherry Bomb, etc)

    6 40.00%
  • blindingly bright (ie, the old NR LED, DiNotte)

    2 13.33%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    If you've been hit by a car...

    If you've been hit by a car while riding at night/in the dark, tell us about it. What kind of active (lights front and/or rear) and passive (reflectivity/clothing colors) visibility were you using?

  2. #2
    jrm
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    Never been hit from behind

    only head on. Light was in flash mode and so was rear blinkie.

  3. #3
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I almost went over someone's hood in LA county when they came out of a side street too far... it was broad daylight, no lights involved. I'm thinking the poll should specify if it was day or night...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  4. #4
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    I've been hit 3x - but luckily I was in a car! Still, these are interesting to consider:
    1. Car was legally parked & under a streetlight; totalled by a hit & run driver who had ricocheted his way down the street.
    2. F250 was rear-ended by car flying over blind hill - saw me but he could not slow down in time, his low car dove under the bumper & took the axle off.
    3. Sideswiped by following driver who saw me slow & signal to turn left but was doing a nascar impression trying to squeeze by on the right at top speed (he miscalculated badly, being drunk contributed to that)


    Pretty scarey to think if you were on a bike you would not just have walked away & called a towtruck. I agree, light up & reflect like crazy, but there are some really bad drivers out there.

  5. #5
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    I got rear-ended by a guy turning right on red. Actually he had a 'free right turn' but he merged from his right turn lane through (me in) the bike lane on his way to a left turn lane. I had a cateye ld1000 10LED tail light blazing away. It was visible flashing under his truck while we tried to sort stuff out.

    That was when I really learned that right of way doesn't mean anything. Although it did help w/ my claim against his car insurance.

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    When I was in about fourth grade, I fell right off the back of my bike on my way to school and the bike crashed into a parked car without me. Does that count?

    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
    I got rear-ended by a guy turning right on red. Actually he had a 'free right turn' but he merged from his right turn lane through (me in) the bike lane on his way to a left turn lane.
    Wow! Did I misunderstand, or did he swerve to the right before cutting left to get from the right turn lane to the bike lane to the left turn lane? Was that in the night time?
    Recalculating....

  7. #7
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    I totalled a bike in broad daylight into the side of a car that ran a stop 29 years ago. Does that count? I had a rear reflector. One of those old flat ones with the narrow viewing angle. We weren't much for lights in the daytime on our light 10 speeds then. There weren't any lights to "be seen" with for day. Come to think of it they didn't help you to be seen much at night, either. Carbon battery lights were crap. The generator systems ditto. Used to say that they were good for helping the motorist realize that he was about to run over a cyclist.

    Been lucky. Lived to see Nicd, Halogens, NiMh, HID, and now Li-ion and LEDs. I have a lots of lights day or night, bright colors, reflectors, and I'm still the invisible cyclist! Weird sort of Super Power, though, don't you think?

  8. #8
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    Really, when I posed the question, I was thinking night riding. However, ultimately, I would like to hear from anyone who's been hit (make a post if it doesn't fit in the poll responses). Tell us what you were doing, what they were doing, etc. The more details the more we can learn from your experience.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper
    If you've been hit by a car while riding at night/in the dark, tell us about it. What kind of active (lights front and/or rear) and passive (reflectivity/clothing colors) visibility were you using?
    I T-boned a car making an illegal right turn in front of me. I was headed downtown SF on Market Street with sufficient lighting: PB Super Flash rear and Dinotte 200L-AA. He passed me then turned right onto the Freeway ramp at Octavia despite all the signs prohibiting the turn. I dropped enough speed and avoided serious injury. But I had a big ugly bruise and one finger swoll up twice it's normal size. He was uninsured and his car didn't have plates. I was pretty pissed.
    I'm gravity challenged, adrenaline deficient, and looking for that endorphine high. Shout out, I'll move out of the way. :-)

  10. #10
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    #1 night riding
    I was on the receiving end of a left hook (in the UK). I had blinky headlights and taillights, no reflective clothing. I was biking through a busy and well-lit restaurant/evening party zone (the Curry Mile in Manchester). But I was pretty drunk, so it was probably my fault for not biking very defensively.

    #2 ice + snow riding during the day
    I was biking the wrong way down a one way street, a car pulled out and t-boned(?) me. He wasn't looking in the direction I was coming from. Again, probably my fault...

  11. #11
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    The gory details

    OK. You asked for it:

    Bike: a 2 x 5 classic 62 cm Raleigh 531 SuperCourse road upgraded with Campy/Mavic Wheels, Sugino Crank (Campy copy), and Suntour Cyclone deraillers about 21 pounds. Safety equipment: the usual for the time: 1 red reflector mounted to rear brake mount, two center pull brakes. (Bell's white and red reflecting stripe helmets with the small NACA shaped vents were new about then, and very few cyclists wore them. Yet. They bloomed in popularity and I was one buyer after this accident.) Clothing was a bright Orange and Blue U of Illinois sweat shirt over jeans and shirt. Even on the drops, pretty visible.

    Road: a sweeping downhill bend of 10 degrees maybe a bit more, heading west leading into a residential area with decent room in both directions for a cars and bike, Large wheel eating storm drains at high concrete (8-10") curbs. Center line but no fog line marked. Cross street ahead has two way stop. Stop line and crosswalk markings.

    Situation: cyclist cranking 52/14 at 80-90 rpm and still accellerating about 100 feet from intersection. My road is finishing its bend and leveling off to maybe a 2% grade at the intersection, Superb smooth pavement. No oncoming, no following traffic as far as I can see. Sunny September in the mid seventies about 4:30 in the afternoon and the sun is not yet down enough to be in my face. Notice large 1976? Chrysler Newport 2-door coupe (about 22 feet long maybe a bit more, huge long door, and swept-back C pillar, gold-yelow with half vinyl roof.) No trees, houses, parked vehicles to block view. Saw it coming since it made a right onto the cross street a hundred feet from the stop. Hard to miss something that yellow and that big. As I was to discover. It first approached the intersection as if it may treat it as a yield instead of a stop. So I come up on the brake hoods and slow. The car's front dives under hard braking as the driver brakes for the stop. OK. Stopping. (If cruising through stop, drivers don't jump so hard on the brakes. Experienced drivers, that is. Average drivers.) Good. Apply power to blast by before driver can think about launching off the stop.

    I remember making eye contact, but we edit memories each time we pull them up so I am no longer sure. Then at about 10 mph and not stopped, she guns it to cross. I guess thinking she can't wait for me. She didn't tell me after. I am too close and her car too long for me to swing behind now, especially if she panic stops. Besides the curb on the cross street is huge and a lay down is highly likely, and if she stops, maybe in front of her rear wheel!

    Funny, I went into a kind of Matrix time warp. Adenalin does that. I remember thinking that I don't want to be under that 2 1/2 ton car and know my adrenalin will make brake modulation nearly impossible. I get my butt back as far as possible and down to try to avoid an OTB with face plant in front of her rear wheel, Hit everything I have. I remember being glad that I was too close to fall to the pavement before I hit the car. I remember that I was just lining up on her A pillar when I both tires bit, hard. She fortunately keeps going, and I slow enough to bury my front mavic rim 8" deep into the rear quarter panel behind the door, and ahead of the rear wheel. So the roof edge and that big 'head crushing' C pillar move out of my path by the time I get to where they had just been. I hit my knee on the trim topping the rear fender, flip and land flat on my back. under where the trunk (boot for some of you) was when I hit the knee. Would have been fabulous for YouTube! I would love to see that!

    The seventeen year old driver was a mess. Drivers license was 2 months old (the most dangerous time). Explains the weird fake out non-stop. She thought she made me a quadraplegic (close, but I got the cigar). Contusions to the knee that flipped me. Torn knee in jeans. Sort of did an aerodynamic stall that also dropped speed, landing flat put max fabric area between me and the road, spreading the impact force so only light bruising, no contusions, minimal sliding. So kind of going with it mentally may have helped keep me loose. Hospital visit and a clean bill of health but my wife got to pick up the shattered remains of my bike and hear I'd been taken to the hospital. Not a good time for her at all.

    So what is to be learned from the sacrifice of my former faithfull and fleet flyer? (actually the Wide flange Campy Record hubs, handlebars and seat live on on two current bikes though the bar and seat are due for retirement, and the hubs for a future SS.)
    First: you can control only you. Adrenalin, alcohol, and attitude mess that up.

    1. Vigilance. Constant vigilance. (Professor Alastor Moody, J.K. Rollins.) Death eaters!
    2. Eye contact with no nod or some affirmation of ceding right of way means nothing.
    3. Leave yourself a way out. I did when I first slowed, then let it go and wrecked.
    4. You can misread driver intent. 90% right = 10% wrong. 10% wrong can mean dead.
    5. Inexperience, stupidity,and incompetence share the roads with us. And that's just fellow cyclists, sometimes even us! But the motorists! My Gawd! So much power, so little thought.
    6. Constant vigilence means no zoning out, no alcohol, and for me a mirror (best safety device IMHO for a bike in traffic and keeps me in the moment, well most of the time).
    7. Practice hard turns/hard braking with typical equipment/loads in a traffic-free situation. Learning that the rear breaks away at a certain point and lays you down, in avoiding an accident is NOT a good time to discover this.
    8. Keep a cool head. Think your way out, or the best way. Pretend someone's getting this all on video. They may well be. Fear helps, blind frozen doesn't. This works best if you are not surprised in the first place (see point 1). Watch for runners of red lights and stop signs: some last minute avoidance for a glancing blow is better than a t-bone.

    As Monk theme song says: its a jungle out there. But they will have to pry my still, cold, fingers from my handlebars if they want to hang up my bikes! We need to pool our experiences but we don't need to scare ourselves silly. I hope this account was of value, worth the read, but did not put you off riding.

    Unless there is a high percentage of cyclist centered sociopathic murderers in your area, be as visible as you can be. You will help the average person not screw up. Good for both of you. Would not have helped my accident, though. Rememebr you remain invisible to too many, even then. Ride accordingly. Your only satisfaction is when a driver says "I didn't see you!" and you can say "What!? What do you mean you didn't see me? How could you NOT see me? I am way over what the law requires! So don't give me that!" It helps a lot in blowing off some of the fight/flight reaction.

    You may have to avoid some times of the day, you may have to avoid some roads, or parts of road at some times but part of the process of riding safer is riding smarter and that means reducing exposure. You can't roller skate in a bufflao herd. But you can ride pretty safely if you've a mind to.

  12. #12
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    In High School, I used to ride on the sidewalk sometimes and against traffic as well. It was daytime and I only had reflectors. While crossing a driveway for a gas station, I noticed a women in an old, beat up Mercedes pulling out and obviously not looking in my direction. By the time I realized that she didn't see me and wasn't going to stop, I was right in front of her (and not going very fast, I was waiting to see what she was going to do). I made a quick decision to stop and back-up. Sounds weird, but I knew I wasn't going to get past her in time. She still ended up hitting me but only rolling over my front wheel. I had to scream my lungs out at her to get her to stop, she didn't even notice and probably would have had drug me down the street! She had the audacity to say it wasn't entirely her fault, but gave me her name and number anyway. I had to carry my bike the rest of the way home, because the front wheel was completely tacoed. We called the number, which of course was fake. It was some sort of business. The funny part was that the person on the phone said that she has apparently done this more than once and given that number out falsely. Needless to say, my Pops was pissed.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    I made a quick decision to stop and back-up. Sounds weird, but I knew I wasn't going to get past her in time. She still ended up hitting me but only rolling over my front wheel. I had to scream my lungs out at her to get her to stop, she didn't even notice and probably would have had drug me down the street!
    Nice demonstration of the glancing blow (well almost) being better that a t-bone.

    You did very well. Very well, indeed. Pops would likely have freaked if he had witnessed it. Here people do that to people in the crosswalk.

  14. #14
    One Colorful Rider
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    In the Last 5 years I have Ridden 30252 miles. I have only been Brushed once, not really hit.

    In the Winter I wear a RED Fox Storm Jacket in the winter with six Big Reflective strips.
    My Cannondale tights have reflective behind the Ankles and Behind the Knee.
    I wear a Planet Bike Super Flashy on my Camelback and a Planet Bike Super Flashy
    mounted on my Seatpost. The Last Five years I have been using a Nite Rider Digital 15 watt Helmet Mount Headlight.
    But late last fall I purchased a Magic-Shine Mj-808 light. I now wear that as a Helmet mount most the time on Medium mode.
    http://www.geomangear.com/index.php?...acturers_id=22

    In the summer I wear Always Brightly colored Jerseys and my Summer Bike has Lime Green Deep-V Rims. My helmets are alway bright colored either White,Red,Yellow or
    Lime Green. And My Summer Shoes are Old Shimano m-220 that have lots of refective on them.

    I ride from a Lake Zurich IL Population:20,000 to Palatine IL Population:67,232.

    In the summer my ride to work is 14 miles and back home 17 miles. Which summer I use the Palatine Bike trail.

    In the winter my ride to work is 12 miles and back home 15 miles all on rural roads.
    If there is No Shoulder (F-in Cook County) I ride more in the road and alway sit in the middle of the lane at Stop signs and Light. If I'm the first one at a light I get to the left of the lane to left traffic make a right on red. In Lake County, Where I live the shoulders are Wide.

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