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Car crash, gas prices and anger on cyclists!(19 posts)

Car crash, gas prices and anger on cyclists!alansutton
Mar 12, 2003 2:02 PM
I just need to get this frustrating experience off my chest. Yesterday I'm on my daily commute to work to downtown Portland, waiting at intersection for a break in traffic to cross Sandy Blvd. A black Honda(car A) stops in front of me to make a left (no turn signal), and a green Volvo (car B) smashes into it from behind. It was a hard impact, air bags went off, glass, car parts and car juices all over the road.

When a break in traffic occurs, I go over to the cars to see if everyone is okay. Then the woman from car B came out and started to yell at me saying I caused the accident! The woman from car A gets out and said I wasn't even in the road. That didn't seem to matter to the screaming Volvo driver, who was going on about how "you idiots"- cyclists- always dart out in traffic and cause accidents.

A guy in a pickup pulled up to "help" and immediately assumed I was a cause to the accident. I told him I was just a witness and offered to help and I wasn't even in the street. Volvo driver cuts in and started saying it was my fault. When I started to roll away on my bike, the pickup guy jumped in front of me and threaten to "chase me down" if I left the scene. He then started spewing some bs about how environmentalists are the cause of high gas prices! In the background, the Volvo woman is on her cell phone and I hear her say "he pulled out in front of her.."

Then the Honda, who was calm the whole time finally yelled, "he wasn't in the street!" I asked her if she wanted my name/number as a witness and she said yes so I left her my card. Then I rode off.

I've been bothered by the followins feelings since:
1. Maybe I should have waited for the police at the scene. I feel like maybe somehow *I* might be blamed, and now there is an APB for me.
2. The anger toward cyclists. Even though I had nothing to do with the accident, I was immediately blamed.
3. How's does gas prices have anything to do with cyclists?! If anything we help lower gas prices by reducing consumption! Again, this has to do with anger toward cyclists.
4. Will I ever offer to help at a car accident scene again? Probably not. Or at least not yet.
You were correct in everything you did...HAL9010
Mar 12, 2003 2:21 PM
It seem as though the world is getting very tense.

Do consider getting back on the Good Samaritan horse soon. The world needs it.
Gosh, I just reading that makes me frustratedKristin
Mar 12, 2003 2:23 PM
Perhaps you may want to call the police department and speak to the office who took the report and explain your side of the story, telling him you want to be helpful and clear up any confusion. If it is a straight on rear-end collision, I don't see how the woman can blame anyone else for it. Those are pretty straight forward--always the rear-enders fault.

Geez, doesn't it seem like this kind of moronic thinking is pervading our society? I'm beginning to think about taking up a change of address someone outside our borders...seriously. America is starting to make me nausious. Even third world countries are beginning to appeal to me. At least I wouldn't have to encounter any Volvo driving soccer moms.
Gosh, I just reading that makes me frustrated52-16SS
Mar 12, 2003 2:54 PM
The US is a third world country when it comes to cyclists' rights

SS
Less anger towards cyclistsfiltersweep
Mar 12, 2003 4:05 PM
- and more her unwillingness to accept ANY blame- and you were conveniently there. In her mind- it was anyone's fault but hers. Anyone who rear-ends anyone is at fault. Period.
You have no right!the bull
Mar 12, 2003 4:24 PM
Thats what one motorist yelled at me once.
With his head sticking out the window.
I wanted to punch him in the face.

One time a guy went to pass us and ran a car in the oppisite lane off the road.Then he pulled over and put his middle finger in the air and just held it there.
I could not resist I grabed it in my hand and twisted it as hard as I could.Probally should not have done that.looking back on that situation now.most of my friend thought it was great.

But I think we all do stupid stuff when we are all riled up.
lets face it we all make mistakes.

People are just in a hurry to go home and sit in front of the telly.I have a friend who says, "Hey he is just in a hurry to go home and beat his wife".

Bad drivers used to piss me off real bad now they hardly bother me at all.I hope one day they wont phase me at all.
Don't let them get to you!TWD
Mar 12, 2003 4:42 PM
Sounds like you did everything right. Just another example of the problems with society today. Nobody wants to be responsible for anything. You were just an easy scapegoat. That's pretty obvious from the sitaution and their rediculous arguments. There is no point in arguing with incoherent illogical people.

Bike commuting can be the best thing in the world and the worst at the same time. On the days when it goes well, I wouldn't trade it for the world. On the days when people cut you off, run you off the road or any other combination of crap that the autos pull, you just wish you had a sawed off shotgun in your messenger bag to even the odds.

Back when I was in college, I would go ballistic, chase cars down, bang on the windows, threaten the drivers and all kinds of crap.

Since then I've gotten married, had a kid, and have mellowed out a lot. Yeah, I still get frustrated when a car damn near kills me so that they can get to Starbucks 1/10 of a second quicker. I'm just trying to not let it control my life.

A couple of months back a car passed me, then turned right in front of me to get into the driveway of a coffee shop, running me right to the curb (I was riding in a 6 foot wide bike lane no less). I followed the guy in to the parking lot and waited for him to get out. I then politely (seriously) asked him if he realized what he had done then asked him to please be more careful. Then I thanked him and rode off. I think he thought I was going to kill him or something.

I don't know how Portland drivers are, but I live a bit south of you down in Corvallis, and have noticed that while you have to watch out for the clueless cell phone in one hand coffee in the other drivers, the general driving public is alot more used to and accepting of bikers on the roads compared to the places I have lived in the midwest.

I've only had a few instances of anti-cyclist road rage in the past five years of living/commuting here compared to it being a daily occurrence in the midwest where bike lanes don't exist.

If I lived in Milwaukee, Chicago, or Minneapolis I don't think I would even risk commuting. Hats off to those that do!
re: Car crash, gas prices and anger on cyclists!Kvonnah
Mar 12, 2003 6:03 PM
Fortunately, Denver has some pretty good paths and I commute most of the way to work on the Platte. There are however, points where I ride on Broadway (4 lanes but 30 mph speed limit) and occasionally I get the anti-bike crap.

Once I was in the right lane with no other cars around except the SUV that was behind me and decided it would be better to honk at me then go around. This of course, pissed me off and I couldn't resist responding with the usual salute. They blew past returning the salute and calling out there opinions of my sexual orientation. Then I smiled because they had a red light and the driver was jumping out. I am a big guy, 6'5" and 195 lbs. I unclipped and carefully set my bike down. The driver had serious 2nd thoughts when I got in his face and reminded him that per Co. law I have just as much right to the road as he and that I just got done riding 12 miles and am not breathing hard while his fat ass was panting just jumping out of the car. Whether it was his sudden grasp of physics (larger solid mass vs. smaller flabbier mass) or his agreement with my logic I don't know but he apologized and returned to his vehicle.

I know I should not antagonize the drivers but here is MY spin, THEY suck down all these fossil fuels and pollute my air. THEY choke down fast food and run up my health insurance rates. THEY have no concept of how cycling is helping them money wise and could help them health wise if they tried it. I think WE should lobby to make cycling more recognizable as the wonderful activity it is!
You should have stuck aroundMR_GRUMPY
Mar 12, 2003 6:12 PM
You probably should have stuck around as a witness for the Honda driver, and to make sure the Volvo driver didn't try to pin it on you. You also could have told the cop that the pick up driver threatened to run you down if you left.
re: Car crash, gas prices and anger on cyclists!beaten leader
Mar 12, 2003 6:16 PM
Just remember, Cyclists and pedestrians always, I repeat always have the right of way legally. Of course that doesnt help much when you are in the hospital.
re: Car crash, gas prices and anger on cyclists!russw19
Mar 12, 2003 7:28 PM
Sorry beaten leader, but this isn't true. Cyclists in most states are motor vehicles, not pedestrians. And to top it all off, I am a big guy, with my bike I am around 230 pounds. A Ford Excursion is an 8000 pound truck. Who is going to win that battle or physics?

Remember cyclists and pedestrians always, I repeat always must be on the defensive becuase people in cars on roads are looking out for other cars on roads, not non-cars and not on sidewalks. If you don't want to get hurt, always be alert and defensive. Never take chances and never assume the motorist will do what you expect them to do. Same holds for you in your car, never assume other cyclists will act like you would act in the same situation.

Russ
re: Car crash, gas prices and anger on cyclists!blakester
Mar 12, 2003 6:29 PM
I live in the Portland area, and I drive and bike. Don't think everyone is that rude. People don't act rationally after screwing up.
I'll try 2 and 3kenyee
Mar 12, 2003 6:41 PM
2. Might be latent anger from bad cyclists they'd encountered (not you). These bad cyclists should obey traffic rules and ride predictably. Same could be said about crappy drivers, but Ms. Volvo obviously doesn't care :-P
3. Some people think we've got lots of oil reserves in Alaska and environmentalists are keeping us from drilling there. Only thing I can think of.

I've witnessed car accidents in my car and stopped to give my contact info willingly and didn't stick around for cops to show up, so you didn't do anything wrong. You'll get a letter from an insurance company and lawyers wanting your full statement, no doubt. Be glad the Honda driver is sticking up for you or Ms. Volvo might go lawsuit happy on you.

Ms. Volvo weanie just couldn't deal w/ her dumb self being totally at fault for hitting a stopped car. It's the typical "blame someone/something else because it makes you feel better" attitude of our society. She deserves a good spanking or maybe a good kick in the *ss :-)

I think people are a bit high strung nowadays w/ the war and recession...
Point one: Volvo is at fault.SnowBlind
Mar 12, 2003 10:17 PM
Even if you had done what the Volvo driver said, in a parallel bass ackward universe, the Volvo is still in the wrong. Rear ending another stopped vehicle ALWAYS places the driver in the wrong. Period.

Point two: Volvo lady has a legit complaint against pedestrians on bikes, which is what she though you were, and not a cyclist, which is what you are. Just the other day coming back from a training ride a Mountain cyclist riding on the wrong side of the road ran a stop sign (he even stood up to sprint it, trying to beat the cars). Nice older lady (seen and helped her at the local grocery store) in front of me making a left turn after a full stop tagged him good.
I stuck around to tell the Sheriff what happend so she would not get hit for it. She is so nice she was so sorry, crying and trying to take the blame. Officer got the cyclist medical attention (a nice road rash and a major goose egg on the head, no helmet) and wrote him up for wreckless driving, driving on the wrong side on a bike lane, and running a stop sign, for a grand total of 6 point against his record.

He was pissed at me for not backing him up, and I looked him straight in the eye and told him he was the reason I got yelled at, buzzed, spit on, and drinks thrown at me, and would he please stick to riding Big Wheels from now on. I also pointed out if he got any funny ideas, I had his name and address and repeated it back to him just in case he was'nt sure.
Jerks are jerks, two wheels, 4 wheels, whatever.
volvo has legit complaint? please!!!Frith
Mar 13, 2003 6:13 AM
I understand that some cyclists give other cyclists a bad name, but that doesn't mean she had a legitimate complaint. There exists a stereotype that Asians are poor drivers. This may or may not be due to a few who are. If I were to get out of my car after rear ending someone and blame it on the nearest Asian would I have a legitimate complaint?
This cyclist did absolutely nothing wrong and was the target of what can only be described discrimination. I don't buy your argument because it's that line of thinking that causes us to be treated unfairly not the actions of any percentage of the cycling population.
You're right.SnowBlind
Mar 13, 2003 11:18 AM
It's unfair, but yes, you would be entitiled to be an a$$hole if you wanted to be.
Start thinking why this happened, it's because to many pedestrians on bikes ruin it for the rest of us. Get used to it and do something about it.
sure about the driving record thing?kenyee
Mar 13, 2003 7:17 AM
If you get cited for wreckless biking, running stop sign, etc., does it really show up against your driving record? If so, that'd be a nice way to try to get bad cyclists to act more like the vehicles they want to be. I've never seen it publicized anywhere...
Solely up to the officer.SnowBlind
Mar 13, 2003 11:15 AM
The officer has the descresion to do so, as the cyclist was operationg a vehicle.
Long long ago I fought a ticket that I was given on a bike by an traffic officer who said I did not follow his instructions, a two pointer and a MISDEMENOR! For the record, he was a narc that got busted and was sent to traffic duty as punishment, so he had a chip on his shoulder.

I proved he was too short, 5' in working shoes, to be seen behind the stream of cars and could not have give me an instruction to halt. I eventually got my security clearance taken off probation and a refund from my car insurence co for the raise in rates.
I believe its the nature of the beastRickC5
Mar 13, 2003 6:32 AM
I recently witnessed a car wreck where one woman (on her cell phone) turned left RIGHT in front of a teen-aged girl in a small Honda. Even though the girl hit her brakes (good reaction time), she still smote the side of the woman's car.

I was in my own car, and had to make a u-turn to get back to where the two drivers had pulled over to share info. The cell phone woman was ranting about how the girl had hit her and it was the girl's fault. I spoke up and said I had witnessed the entire episode, and informed the woman that she had made the left turn directly in front of the girl, leaving the girl no room or time to do anything BUT hit her. Amazing how quickly the woman shut up. I then gave both of them my cards and offered to be a witness with no strings attached.

Your experience reinforces the idea I had at the time that a large number of people just will NOT be responsible nor be accountable for their bad actions. Amazing.....