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Old 08-22-07, 11:53 AM   #1
sauerwald
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Crash Report

I was involved in a collision with an automobile the other day - I was not hurt, but I wanted to pass on the circumstances to share the experience.

I was riding on a road with one travel lane in each direction, and a wide clean shoulder. It was a Friday afternoon, and ahead was a LTOL to a popular lake, and traffic was backed up for about 1/2 mile, waiting to make the left turn. My route had me going straight through the light. I was riding on the shoulder, to the right of the stopped traffic, at a speed of about 12mph, which I felt gave me adequate ability to control my bike. I came upon an intersection with traffic merging from my right, there was a white compact car wanting to merge with the traffic to my left. There was a large, dark green SUV who had slowed to create a gap and allow the white car to merge in behind a large pickup with a cap on the back. As I approached the intersection I braked to an almost stop, and was looking at the driver of the white car who was merging. She waved me across, at which point I accelerated and entered the intersection, and immediately saw a dark green Prius who was making a left turn from the oncoming traffic lane, through the gap left between the SUV and the pickup. I was unable to avoid hitting the Prius, I turned to my left and sideswiped the Prius, with my right handlebar and brake levers scraping along the right rear quarterpanel of the Prius. I did not go down, although the collision made an alarmingly loud noise. My only injury was a bruise to my right hand, which had been on the brake lever. The Prius did not stop. Drivers of the white compact, the SUV and the Pickup all stopped to ask if I was OK. Once the adrenaline rush was over, I continued along my way.

As I analize the crash, the questions that I ask myself are:

Should I have been filtering forward to the left of the stopped cars?

I obviously should have looked to the left before entering the intersection, but in retrospect, I am not sure that I would do so if I were in the same position again - my attention was focused on the car to my right which was the major threat.

I am majorly upset at the Prius driver, who technically was probably the one at fault since she was in the process of executing a left turn at the time of the collision, and did not stop.

Grateful to have not suffered anything other than some angst from this, and I hope that both I and others will be able to learn from the experience.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
I was involved in a collision with an automobile the other day - I was not hurt, but I wanted to pass on the circumstances to share the experience.

I was riding on a road with one travel lane in each direction, and a wide clean shoulder. It was a Friday afternoon, and ahead was a LTOL to a popular lake, and traffic was backed up for about 1/2 mile, waiting to make the left turn. My route had me going straight through the light. I was riding on the shoulder, to the right of the stopped traffic, at a speed of about 12mph, which I felt gave me adequate ability to control my bike. I came upon an intersection with traffic merging from my right, there was a white compact car wanting to merge with the traffic to my left. There was a large, dark green SUV who had slowed to create a gap and allow the white car to merge in behind a large pickup with a cap on the back. As I approached the intersection I braked to an almost stop, and was looking at the driver of the white car who was merging. She waved me across, at which point I accelerated and entered the intersection, and immediately saw a dark green Prius who was making a left turn from the oncoming traffic lane, through the gap left between the SUV and the pickup. I was unable to avoid hitting the Prius, I turned to my left and sideswiped the Prius, with my right handlebar and brake levers scraping along the right rear quarterpanel of the Prius. I did not go down, although the collision made an alarmingly loud noise. My only injury was a bruise to my right hand, which had been on the brake lever. The Prius did not stop. Drivers of the white compact, the SUV and the Pickup all stopped to ask if I was OK. Once the adrenaline rush was over, I continued along my way.

As I analize the crash, the questions that I ask myself are:

Should I have been filtering forward to the left of the stopped cars?

I obviously should have looked to the left before entering the intersection, but in retrospect, I am not sure that I would do so if I were in the same position again - my attention was focused on the car to my right which was the major threat.

I am majorly upset at the Prius driver, who technically was probably the one at fault since she was in the process of executing a left turn at the time of the collision, and did not stop.

Grateful to have not suffered anything other than some angst from this, and I hope that both I and others will be able to learn from the experience.
You were riding in space where you should have known vehicular traffic would likely not be expected.

A left cross is one of the most common type of car/bike collisions, and you are particularly vulnerable to one when entering an intersection while riding in space where vehicular traffic is not expected to emerge.

I can see and understand why you were focused on the driver of the white car, the error was made earlier by putting yourself in a situation for which you were not prepared in the first place.

It's tempting to pass on the right, and I sometimes do, but once I get near the intersection, I usually try to find a place to merge in with traffic before entering the intersection, precisely to avoid this type of scenario. If I do choose to enter the intersection, I'm on hyper alert, and make darn sure I have all my bases covered.

Having said that it would have been nice if the driver of the Prius had been paying better attention, and they were totally wrong for not stopping, obviously. That's hit and run. Maybe they were drunk, which is probably the reason most hit and runs occur. But, you should never rely on others to be being paying that much attention before you verify that they are. Always be sure you have the attention of someone before moving into their potential path.

I'm glad you're okay.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
I can see and understand why you were focused on the driver of the white car.

It's tempting to pass on the right, and I sometimes do, but once I get near the intersection, I'm on hyper alert, and make darn sure I have all my bases covered.

Having said that it would have been nice if the driver of the Prius had been paying better attention, and they were totally wrong for not stopping, obviously. That's hit and run. Maybe they were drunk, which is probably the reason most hit and runs occur. But, you should never rely on others to be being paying that much attention before you verify that they are. Always be sure you have the attention of someone before moving into their potential path.

I'm glad you're okay.
I agree with most of what HH said so I deleted out the parts I disagree with or don't have enough evidence to support as my own opinion.
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Old 08-22-07, 04:29 PM   #4
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Just yesterday I was waiting on my Catrike to cross an extremely busy 4 lane intersection (due to two schools nearby) when a left turner with the right of way started signaling that she would hold and I should cross. I shook my head no and waited for my turn in the traffic flow.

I actually took verbal abuse one time from someone directing traffic from his car after I had refused to move 3 or 4 times.

I never move until it is my proper time in the flow, that way I am where the CAGERS are looking.
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