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2 Stupid crash questions(5 posts)

2 Stupid crash questionsfiltersweep
Jun 9, 2002 9:44 AM
I was out riding around a lake this AM (Sun.- light traffic) on a wide one-way street. An accumulation of "Sunday drivers" eventually slowed the speed down to about 20. At this point there is a car and a motorcycle ahead of me, and I am riding to the right of traffic, even though I am going the same speed. (I'll "own the lane" when I need to under these circumstances, but usually prefer not to as I hate it when a car tailgates me, which happens often at these slow speeds, and when I give myself a reasonable stopping distance between me and the car ahead of me, it appears that I am slowing traffic, even though I'm traveling at the same speed... you know the drill).

At this point a car apparently delivering Sunday papers pulls out behind me and follows me (there was a big newspaper sign on the door). Even though I am going the speed of traffic, he pulls right along side me, which was annoying, since he had no room to pass (there is a vehicle right in front of him), I begin to back off. At this point he decides to suddenly hit the brakes and make a right turn- right into me- without signalling, no less.

I lock up the brakes and bring the bike down (an odd acceptance of the circumstances overcame me) and I had a slow speed collision at this point with his rear bumper. The left shift lever, both skewer handles, and some road rash were the only damage. A bunch of people came over, the driver stopped, I said I was OK (and begged him to use his turn signal once in awhile) and continued on the rest of my ride.

Anyway, this entire incident has me thinking... (QUESTION #1) if cyclists are expected to ride "to the right of traffic," what exactly is the obligation of motorists when making a right turn? I'm not trying to make this into a legal matter... I'm just happy we are both (bike and I) fine. On one hand, I realize that anyone who "rear-ends" someone is at fault- no matter what the circumstance, and to some degree, this is similar to what happened. In other words, I'm not asserting that I am not at fault here, and regardless of fault, who wants an accident anyway?

On the other hand, I was definitely NOT slowing traffic down, and he could easily have waited- there was no need to try to pass, then cut me off. In fact, he never actually cleared me before turning.

Frankly, I feel this is a lucky little crash... I've been overdue for one for quite awhile ;)

(QUESTION #2)- How do you get the blood out of bibs?
re: 2 Stupid crash questionsmmquest
Jun 9, 2002 11:35 AM
Sounds to me like a typical a-hole driver of the type we have all met. IMO, drivers have an obligation to drive safely around riders and NOT do things like the idiot who cut you off. In fact, one of my biggest car pet peeves is when someone forces their way around you and then immediately turns right in front of you. If the driver hadn't even cleared you, I certainly don't think that you are at fault. If he did the same thing to a car (i.e. pulled half way past them and then caused an accident by turning into them) I think he would be at fault.

Of course, the bigger issue, as usual, is not if the cyclist is at fault or not, but what the driver will actually do. In many cases, the cyclist will end up being "dead right," which isn't much consolation!

On your second question...how about that orange stuff that bearded guy on TV advertises? It seems to get out EVERYTHING. ;)
I would keep the blood on the bibs as a badge of honor-nmms
Jun 9, 2002 1:15 PM
Cold water.SnowBlind
Jun 9, 2002 3:52 PM
A broken nose left a LOT of blood on my jersey.
Cold water and Tide took it out easily after police were done using it as evidence some months later.
re: 2 Stupid crash questionsDobione
Jun 10, 2002 1:09 PM
Same thing happened to me this weekend. I was in a bike lane to the right of traffic, going straight with a green light and was on the side of a car. He turns, completely disregarding me. Somehow I managed to only scrape the side of his car, unclip, and stop all at the same time (i just got clipless pedals a few months ago...still learning how to use them). Most drivers, especially in New York City (where I live), don't care about things going around them. Whenever changing direction, ie changing lanes, turning, etc. the driver is supposed to signal, slow down, and check around them. That includes bikes, pedestrians, and other cars. Somebody oughta start a petition....