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.