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My first car/bike encounter(8 posts)

My first car/bike encounterDiamondback
Aug 11, 2002 9:47 PM
Well, it finally happened... I was hit by a car today for the first time. I was approaching an intersection, a car was approaching from my right and performed a rolling stop at the stop sign (I had the right of way) and made a turn left turn into my direction. As I tried to anticipate the car turning in front of me, I was going to try to go behind it. As bad luck would have it, they short cut the turn and turned into my lane in front of me. I then had to turn hard left and try to accelerate. The car clipped my rear wheel and sent me over the handlebars. I rolled on impact and sat there dazed. The funny part was that I had just put a new wheelset on my bike yesterday and I was more concerned about damage to my bike than myself! Luckily, I only came away with a bruise on my elbow and some road rash. My bike however has a rear wheel in the shape of an "S". The woman jumped out of the car and was crying and asked me if I was OK. I snapped at her out of anger and then the next minute I was consoling her. Strange, huh? She offered to have my bike repaired and I decided not to call the police. What is the protocol for a bike accident? It was dusk and she said she did not see me and asked why I did not have reflectors on my bike. I usually don't ride at dusk or at night, but I got caught out on a training ride on a new route and was running out of daylight. Are there laws for safety gear on bikes? I am in Texas and would like to know if anyone has any info on the laws in my state or others.

Funny thing is... I am now more afraid of my girlfriend than other cars. When I got home I was sort of laughing (I guess it was a nervous reaction to the wreck) and she was pissed at me for not taking the accident more seriously! Anyway, just thought I would share my accident with ya'll. I am damn lucky I was not hurt worse, because she came within inches of my right leg.
I've been hit twice by cars. Any witnesses? Get her insurancePaul
Aug 12, 2002 3:37 AM
company? sounds like she might protest this, but usually insurance companies want to settle fast. I had a guy turn into me, said the sun was in his eyes. i went off in an ambulance. She went through a stop sign, and if there wasn't one in your lane, then she's wrong. I wouldn't worry about reflectors as she was wrong.

1. have your bike checked at a shop for other possible damage.

2. Contact her insurance company as she is breaking the law if she doesn't file an accident rport with the police/insurance company. You should also file an accident report with the police. You never know what the other person is going to do. Might try to claim it was your fault.

3. I would see a doctor as a precaution. Insurance companies move faster if there is a chance of a personal claim. If you see any problems, get a lawyer on a contigency basis.
I've been hit twice by cars. Any witnesses? Get her insuranceDiamondback
Aug 12, 2002 10:20 AM
I have to admit, I was a little worried this morning when I called her to report the cost of repairs to my bike. Before I left for the LBS to have it looked at I noticed that the rear drop was bent inward. Imagine calling her and saying "Well, my frame is bent beyond repair and you owe me $1000.00+ for a new frame". Luckily, the LBS was able to fix the bend in the drop and everything is fine. The woman has already given me a check for the damages. I guess I got lucky this time. Thank god, for the friendly attitude here in Texas. I feel exremely lucky physically too. No soreness whatsoever this morning and I only have minor scratches. I remembered to tuck and roll from my old tumbling days. But... next time I will definitely call the police, because I had nightmares (literally) last night that she refused to pay and was sueing me for damages to her car! I am going to order some lighting and a rear blinking reflector just in case I have to do that again. Can never be too prepared!

Thanks for the info on the laws. Can't get much better info than from the law enforcers themselves.
re: Always call the police...DERICK
Aug 12, 2002 5:00 AM
and get a report filed.You can still be nice and let her avoid going through her insurance.Most people think of bicycles as Walmart toys that can be replaced for under $200.00. When she finds out what it is really worth she could easily freak out and deny the whole thing.With a police report you can still go to her insurance co. no matter what she sais. Always cover your ass.
Aug 12, 2002 5:47 AM
Dont know about Tx, in NJ headlight and tailight must be used between 1/2 hour after sunset, and 1/2 hour before sunrise.

It's never really enforced outright, but a cyclist in your situation will always be found responsible for the accident.
Texas LawSteve_0
Aug 12, 2002 6:20 AM
§ 551.104. Safety Equipment

(b) A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with:

(1) a lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle; and

(2) on the rear of the bicycle:
(A) a red reflector that is:
(i) of a type approved by the department; and
(ii) visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle; or

(B) a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.
Texas LawPygme
Aug 12, 2002 7:46 AM
Nightime in Texas is defined as " one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise."

Sounds odd, huh? DOnt know why. I do know that this is one of the most missed questions at our Academy because it is counterintuitive.

By the way, ever hear the quote, "the person who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer?" Well, "the person who is not at fault and doesnt get an accident report is a fool of a motorists/cyclist."
Aug 12, 2002 8:16 AM
never understood that; I think that defintion is prettymuch the norm for both DsOT, and FG&W, though.

Based on your academy results, I do hope the LEOs carry a sunrise/set table with them