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Old 07-09-05, 01:57 PM   #1
Mechoption
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I 'hit' a biker with my car :(

Well, before you get angry, let me tell my story:

I'm sitting at a T-junction waiting to turn right onto a fairly major rode. There's a fair amount of traffic so I'm just chillin' waiting for a gap in the cars. I see one coming, I look left, I look right, I look left again as I start to accelerate into the gap, then as I look ahead/right again I slam on the brakes as my front bumper clips a biker!! - who was in the right hand lane going AGAINST the flow of traffic !

Now, this dumba$$ was riding fast ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD past PARKED CARS so I don't think I could reasonably have seen him / expected him? Luckily though he just kissed my plastic bumper and bailed quite impressively onto the road. I got out to see if he was ok, he seemed fine, he jumped back on his bike with a now bloody knee - gave me the finger and some obsenities and then carried on riding down the wrong side of the road !!

My question is, if I'd seriously injured this guy would it be my fault ?? I'm an avid biker myself and ride all the time, but never the wrong way on a busy street !
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Old 07-09-05, 02:04 PM   #2
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I am an avid bike rider, but I also used to drive a delivery truck. I say that this was the biker's fault, not yours. Bikers need to be aware of traffic, more aware than cars. If 2 cars hit each other, a lot of the time the damage is simply monetary. When a biker goes down, there is almost always blood involved. Riding against traffic, too fast on sidewalks, things like this drive me nuts.
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Old 07-09-05, 02:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechoption
and then carried on riding down the wrong side of the road !!
I don't see how it could be your fault. Actually, one might argue that the bike hit you- since it is doubtful he had a legal right of way and he hit your car.

They never learn.

Here, it isn't legal to ride against traffic.

BTW- I accidentally "tapped" a bike while I pulling out of a parking lot of a bank in a heavily commercial/retail area near downtown a number of years ago. There were large pillars by the parking lot entrance/exit- and I was creeping out, since there was so much pedestrian traffic and my view was obstructed. Out of nowhere, a bike was flying down the sidewalk. Ironically, the city had just begun a campaign where they spraypainted "no bikes" signs on all the sidewalks in that area- not that it is legal to ride on the sidewalk anywhere around here.
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Old 07-09-05, 02:57 PM   #4
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Not your fault at all.
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Old 07-09-05, 03:12 PM   #5
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I agree--not your fault. He should have been the one on the receiving end of obscenities and gesturing.
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Old 07-09-05, 05:33 PM   #6
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If the biker clearly wasn't following traffic laws then no need to feel guilty. You're in the green.
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Old 07-09-05, 11:48 PM   #7
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Wrong-way bikers are a plague where I live, I almost had a head-on with one not too long ago, on my bike! Who would have won, me or Jose, I think we'd both have lost lol. There's a liquor store near me and 2X I've almost hit bikers who come SHOOTING out of the driveway without looking, no warning, the hedge hides them until they pop out, not good.

(drumroll please)

And, my ultimate confession, I was once, years and years ago, riding wrong way and got hit by a car! I think I ended up with some kind of gash on my leg, and once "the law" heard I was riding the wrong way, even though I was in the crosswalk, they said it served me right or something like that lol.
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Old 07-09-05, 11:57 PM   #8
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A few years back, I has clipped by a car's mirror and went down. Another driver called 911 and the police and ambulance arrived. The first question the police asked me was which direction was I going in. After I told him I was cycling with traffic, he ticketed the driver of the car that hit me. She had fled the scene, but another driver got her license number and her right passenger side mirror was all scratched.
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Old 07-10-05, 12:17 AM   #9
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Your not at fault, he violated the traffic law.

Had he been on the sidewalk, if it was legal for him to ride the sidewalk, if he was riding at or below the legal speed limit for a bicycle on the sidewalk (10 mph in Hawaii) and he had the crosswalk signal; then some lawyer could argue it was the drivers fault.
--------------
At the end of a long day of driving, I had just pulled into an Oregon college town at about 9 pm (night). At a red light I needed to make a right turn. Preparing for a right turn on red, I looked both ways and all looked clear except I did not have a good view of the side walk about 20 yards away due to some hedges. A eased the car up slowly about a yard into the crosswalk and stopped, deciding I would not have a good enough view to safely turn with a red, especially since it was a college town with lots of dumb student cyclist. Just then a college age cyclist appeared from behind the hedge doing about 15 mph on the sidewalk, dark clothes and no lights. As he is moving through the crosswalk he is yelling lots of bad words at me. I did not get mad, just said a thank you that I was not that dumb. That occurred a couple years ago, I wonder if the college kid is still alive or if he is any smarter.
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Old 07-10-05, 04:10 AM   #10
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If the above does not make you feel better, you might find a copy of Forester's "Effective Cycling". He has a long discussion with pictures showing why wrong way cycling is very dangerous. As I recall, he specifically deals with the situation you were in.
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Old 07-10-05, 04:39 AM   #11
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Having been involved in exactly the same kind of accident in the 1970's, I would say you are not at fault. And I say this from the viewpoint of the cyclist who was riding the wrong way. I was not so fortunate. I put my knees through the windsheild and my bike ended up a crumpled lump of metal and rubber. To add insult to injury, I received a traffic ticket and had to pay for the damages to the car. An expensive lesson, but I caught on after that.

There is absolutely no defense for riding the wrong way on a busy city street. Go ahead and do it, but remember it is real easy to get caught being stupid that way.
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Old 07-10-05, 08:34 AM   #12
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I agree that the cyclist was indeed a wrong-way cyclist... which brings the point: in Québec, many "designers" install dual-direction bike ways on a single side of the street. Sometimes, this dual-directin bike way is separated by a thin cement barrier (more psychological than anything else), but often, especially on low-traffic streets, it is separated by a yellow line. Not only this has little effect on safety, but how do you want to train children – and adults – to ride on the proper side of the street when government designers design such horrendous bike ways?

And then we complain about wrong-way cyclists!
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Old 07-10-05, 03:37 PM   #13
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I have to disagree with most of the above.

Sounds like the fault is split. The bike was clearly traveling in an illegal manor and deserves a share of blame. But if you are waiting at the T like you describe, you are required to yield to any and all traffic in the main road.

Who gets how much blame and if you are legally culpable are questions that a court would need to determine. Could be ruled as just an accident.

Sorry.
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Old 07-10-05, 03:57 PM   #14
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I was about to reply similarly to the previous response. As a motor vehicle operator, the onus is upon you, when changing direction, to ensure that it is safe to do so before proceeding with your vehicle. While what the cyclist did was moronic, foolish, in violation of traffic regulations and directives and dangerous, you could have been deemed at fault for the reasons mentioned above: you did not ensure it was safe to proceed. It does not seem fair, I agree, but the law is very clear about it, at least here in Ontario. Having been involved in a minor car accident while making a turn (and agreed upon by all that it was not my fault) and 'guilty' of violating the same 'rule' a number of years ago, I am well-acquainted with the subject. It could even be stated that a driver must expect the unexpected and anticipate reckless actions by others while in the course of changing direction. Personally, I don't blame you, but the law would. They see thingsin black and white, not grey.
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Old 07-10-05, 09:16 PM   #15
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I have to disagree with most of the above.

Sounds like the fault is split. The bike was clearly traveling in an illegal manor and deserves a share of blame. But if you are waiting at the T like you describe, you are required to yield to any and all traffic in the main road.

Who gets how much blame and if you are legally culpable are questions that a court would need to determine. Could be ruled as just an accident.

Sorry.
No, it was the bonehead cyclist's fault. Sorry.
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