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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Know of any Narrow Lane crashes?

    Does anyone know of any crashes (please cite online article or BF thread) where a cyclist was hit from behind while riding in a narrow lane that did not have sufficient margin space (bike lane, shoulder or extra width) in order to safely share the outside lane?

    Please note (if you know) whether the crash was day or night (and if cyclist had proper lights/reflectors if at night) and whether the cyclist was taking the lane, or trying to share it (riding as far right as possible) despite the narrow width.

  2. #2
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    What about left turn lanes?
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Hmm... I've almost been hit, and have been hit (two different occasions, different locations spaced a few years apart), were in narrow lanes. My father got hit in a narrow lane. I've never had an incident in a bike lane.

    I seem to remember a thread somewhere here about a cyclist getting hit on one of our rural roads near my house.

    Most of the bicycle fatalities my co-worker picks up (he is a volunteer firefighter in in the rural areas south of Portland) are on rural roads (no shoulder). I don't think he's ever seen one in a bike lane.

    The only incidents where people have yelled at me, including the one where a guy saw it fit to get out of his car, were on narrow lanes. Basically all the times when I have felt threatened or in danger by cars or drivers (i.e. unintentional and intentional harm) have been in narrow lanes.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Hmm... I've almost been hit, and have been hit (two different occasions, different locations spaced a few years apart), were in narrow lanes. My father got hit in a narrow lane. I've never had an incident in a bike lane.
    The crash I'm aware of he was in a bike lane.

    I seem to remember a thread somewhere here about a cyclist getting hit on one of our rural roads near my house.
    That too was a bike lane, as I recall.

    Most of the bicycle fatalities my co-worker picks up (he is a volunteer firefighter in in the rural areas south of Portland) are on rural roads (no shoulder). I don't think he's ever seen one in a bike lane.
    In that case I wonder if the cyclists were hugging the edge inviting a close pass, and sideswiped, or whether they were further out and hit flat-out from behind. Articles?

    The only incidents where people have yelled at me, including the one where a guy saw it fit to get out of his car, were on narrow lanes. Basically all the times when I have felt threatened or in danger by cars or drivers (i.e. unintentional and intentional harm) have been in narrow lanes.
    Interesting.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    What about left turn lanes?
    Sure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    The crash I'm aware of he was in a bike lane.
    That was the least serious of the two, the one where he hit his head, he was in the left turn lane preparing for a left turn.


    That too was a bike lane, as I recall.
    There are no bike lanes on rural roads around here. I looked on the google maps, and there was no bike lane. I believe my father was on site and reported a shoulder of 6 inches or so.


    In that case I wonder if the cyclists were hugging the edge inviting a close pass, and sideswiped, or whether they were further out and hit flat-out from behind. Articles?


    Interesting.
    Most stuff like this doesn't get reported in the paper. The stuff in the paper happen in the city, where most roads have bike lanes and cycling is more important to the community (for better or for worse). Since the stuff being reported is in the city, where there are bike lanes, it is not surprising that most of the reported incidents happen to be on a road with a bike lane.
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    Senior Member CTAC's Avatar
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    Friend of mine was hit on a narrow mountain road riding downhil. Car was overtaking him and hit his handlebar with the mirror. I do not have any more details on that, except that he is a very experienced rider.

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    Striving for Fredness deputyjones's Avatar
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    Working as a paramedic in Grand Rapids I took a crash where a cyclist was taking the lane and was left hooked by a car coming out of a driveway from his right.

    Narrow, busy, urban 2 lane road with cars parked on both sides. It was daylight.
    I am not sure on lane position as I did not speak with witnesses, but the road is so narrow that it would be virtually impossible to fit a car and bike side by side in one lane. The only way you would know would be to see the final accident report or speak with someone who witnessed the crash. They wouldn't report that sort of thing in the news as most people wouldn't care.
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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Does anyone know of any crashes (please cite online article or BF thread) where a cyclist was hit from behind while riding in a narrow lane that did not have sufficient margin space (bike lane, shoulder or extra width) in order to safely share the outside lane?

    Please note (if you know) whether the crash was day or night (and if cyclist had proper lights/reflectors if at night) and whether the cyclist was taking the lane, or trying to share it (riding as far right as possible) despite the narrow width.
    I was hit by a motorist while traveling in the outside lane of Broad Street in Philadelphia in the Logan section, 1975. The car came up from behind, started to pass in the left and came back in my lane to knock me to the ground. Daylight, I was taking the middle of the right lane. Good enuff for ya?

  10. #10
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    The only time I ever crashed I was not in a bike lane, and it was a single-vehicle crash. Just me and my bike.

    A friend of mine was hit and suffered a brain injury when crossing a street. He saw the guy coming to his left, made an attempt to turn and ride parallel to him, but was struck from behind. The guy claimed he did not see the red light at the traffic signal because he was focused on a traffic signal further ahead. My friend has to carry around a PDA because his memory is shot.
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  11. #11
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Does anyone know of any crashes (please cite online article or BF thread) where a cyclist was hit from behind while riding in a narrow lane that did not have sufficient margin space (bike lane, shoulder or extra width) in order to safely share the outside lane?

    Please note (if you know) whether the crash was day or night (and if cyclist had proper lights/reflectors if at night) and whether the cyclist was taking the lane, or trying to share it (riding as far right as possible) despite the narrow width.
    there have been three in my area over the last few years -- actually within an 18-month span. all three resulted in fatalities.

    one was on a two-lane road between my city and a nearby smaller town; a long-distance touring cyclist was riding in the lane (right 1/3), when an elderly woman in a car ran into him. she claimed the sun was in her eyes at the time.

    another was on the west side of town, and involved a cyclist traveling coast-to-coast. he was similarly struck and killed by a driver claiming not to have seen him. this driver, though, was under he influence.

    the last was a 'utility cyclist', riding in town on a main arterial, on the 'outbound' side of a curve (about 30 deg), was struck by another drunk driver who was caught with vehicle damage over a month later.

    unless someone dies, people around here don't care.

  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    initial response indicates YES.

    mr. head, if the majority of crashes between bikes and cars are due to ONCOMING traffic, what does this little straw poll attempt to prove? that yes, cyclists ARE hit from behind?

    And isn't your pet theory surrounding maximizing conspicuity to oncoming traffic?

    Cyclists are hit regardless of lane position. cyclists, cars, motorcycles are hit regardless of lane position. this straw poll proves nothing.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  14. #14
    pj7
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    You said "cyclist" and not just "bicyclist" right? I was on my old HD a few years ago riding to work one morning, it was at 6:45AM in the summer months and the sun was coming up to the east, I was heading north on Romeo Plank in Macomb Township, MI between 22 Mile Rd. and 23 Mile Rd. I had my lights on and was riding at appx 40mph. If I still had the police report I could verify the details. I was hit completely from behind by a motorist and went down on my right side, the bike slid away from me and we both slid off to the right of the road. I ended up in the ditch, the bike cleared the ditch and ended up in the field. The damage to me was just a fractured elbow and a donation of a good ammount of leg flesh to the asphalt gods. It took me over a year and a half to get the old sow back on the road again.
    The driver claimed to the officer that he saw me, but did not know how far ahead of him I was and he was beginning to gain speed in order to overtake me. By the time I realized that I was too close for him he had already become my impromptu proctologist.
    If I would have been on my bicycle I'd most likely not be here typing this post. I HAVE ridden my bike to and from work when I was employed up that way, and only had a few incidents (you can search for my post regarding some fat chic barking at me, about 2 years ago), but was always a little weary ever since my "incident".

  15. #15
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Does anyone know of any crashes (please cite online article or BF thread) where a cyclist was hit from behind while riding in a narrow lane that did not have sufficient margin space (bike lane, shoulder or extra width) in order to safely share the outside lane?

    Please note (if you know) whether the crash was day or night (and if cyclist had proper lights/reflectors if at night) and whether the cyclist was taking the lane, or trying to share it (riding as far right as possible) despite the narrow width.
    Four, in six years, from official police reports that I collected here in Cary, NC.

    All had the following characteristics in common:

    - The cyclist was riding on the right edge of the lane
    - The lane was less than 12 feet wide
    - The vehicle was wider than a car, i.e. it was a van or trailer
    - The posted speed limit was 45 mph
    - It was daylight
    - The side of the vehicle clipped the side of the cyclist.
    - The cyclist's injuries were minor

    Two of these collisions were the same driver towing a trailer, clipping two cyclists riding single-file on a narrow two-lane rural road.

    One involved a two-lane road with a raised center median at an intersection, creating a narrow lane between the median and a soft shoulder.

    The last involved a four-lane road with narrow lanes. This road is part of my regular bike commute; I ride near the center of the lane here. This was a hit-and-run; in the other cases the drivers stopped, and admitted that they saw the cyclist; they simply passed too closely or passed where there was not enough room.

    In the six years of car-bike collision reports that I collected, there were no direct rear-end collisions involving motorists hitting cyclists . There were the above too-close passes, a child cyclist who swerved across the road into the side of an overtaking car that had moved all the way into the oncoming lane (no serious injury), and a motorist who deliberately drove off the roadway onto a wide striped shoulder to bump a cyclist before fleeing (no serious injury). The other 68 reported collisions were generally intersection and parking-lot related.

    -Steve Goodridge

  16. #16
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    i've been clipped from behind while on a bike in a narrow lane, and hit from behind while operating a slow moving vehicle .

    seems like cyclists ARE hit from behind, regardless of how much they pretend they are a tractor, mr. head.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  17. #17
    one word, not two braingel's Avatar
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    I've been sideswiped in a narrow lane before...I was riding in the middle of the right lane with two lanes of traffic moving in each direction, and someone tried to squeeze in between me and the lane of traffic on his left...when that proved impossible, he swerved into me, knocking me into the parked cars. Now I ride in the left tire track.
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  18. #18
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    I've been hit by cars twice, but never from behind; not even close. On both occasions, it was because a motorist stopped to allow me to pass at an intersection. When I then tried to enter the intersection, another motorist would became impatient and speed around the first vehicle, and run into me as I tried to cross or turn. (In both instances, I was largely unharmed, and the damge to my bike was less severe than the damage to the car...)

    I've learned not to worry about traffic from behind. Motorists might get annoyed for several seconds on narrow roads, but I'm visible, and it's not like they're going to run me down or anything. And if traffic is really heavy, and the road is narrow, and it's a longish stretch, I'll break down and use the sidewalk for several blocks (gasp), to keep the traffic moving and to be a good neighbor. (It doesn't pay to be a wimp around drivers, but it's no good being a dogmatic jerk, either.)
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  19. #19
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I have been almost hit by the rear wheels of large vehicles on narrow roads as they passed me unsafely.

    And I've been almost hit head-on by an angry driver upset that other vehicles passed me on a narrow road.

    Driver impatience was the cause in all these cases. If they would simply wait behind me until there is room these things would not happen. They don't like to wait.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Two in my youth before Bike Lanes were a reality. Thread in roadie forum of down at 40 due to a trailer collision (I might add a bike lane would have prevented that one 100% as the vehicle would not have hit him if it didn't have to go around him).

    Oh and nearly squished by fast moving semis on several occasions between guard rail and lane due to semi's not stopping for anybody when they are climbing steep hills.

    Oh, also forced off road by drivers passing cars in the opposing direction to me.
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  21. #21
    SSP
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    Four weeks ago, while riding down a narrow canyon road at 40 mph, I was sideswiped by a dumb*ss who was towing a largish trailer with his pickup. He didn't realize how fast I was moving, and panicked when he realized he was approaching a blind left curve with his vehicle well over the double yellow line.

    As he moved back into my lane, the wider rear tires of the trailer hit me and put me on the ground.

    Full details here.

    FWIW, I was centered in the lane.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    Four weeks ago, while riding down a narrow canyon road at 40 mph, I was sideswiped by a dumb*ss who was towing a largish trailer with his pickup. He didn't realize how fast I was moving, and panicked when he realized he was approaching a blind left curve with his vehicle well over the double yellow line.

    As he moved back into my lane, the wider rear tires of the trailer hit me and put me on the ground.

    Full details here.

    FWIW, I was centered in the lane.
    Oh yea, something like this happened around here about a year ago, a woman got forced off the road by a passing pickup truck towing a wide trailer and broke her arm. This was a rural road; no bike lanes there. The police actually investigated this one and found and I think prosecuted the driver of the pickup truck. I might be wrong about that though.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  23. #23
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  24. #24
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    *chirp chirp chirp* go the crickets.

    A lot of silence from HH in this thread.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  25. #25
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    *chirp chirp chirp* go the crickets.

    A lot of silence from HH in this thread.
    I'm not getting much help with respect to this request from the OP:

    Please note (if you know) whether the crash was day or night (and if cyclist had proper lights/reflectors if at night) and whether the cyclist was taking the lane, or trying to share it (riding as far right as possible) despite the narrow width.

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