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Old 11-21-08, 11:56 PM   #1
BikeLover1989
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A car fails to keep safe distance in the left turn lane and rear ends me

2 days ago, I was cycling down a boulevard, and at the end of the street, I went into the left turn lane in order to turn left onto another street. Up in front of me was a huge delivery truck, so I could not see the left turn light and when the truck moved, then I moved. As the truck was making the left turn, the light turned red, which meant I had to wait until the traffic was clear, so I stopped. BEHIND ME, a motorist failed to keep a safe distance between me and his vehicle, so when I stopped to wait for the traffic to clear, he ended up rear ending me. Good thing I have a full fender on my rear wheel, which took most of the impact, and loosening a bolt as a result. No other damage though. The thing that bugs me about this is that the motorist stopped quite close to my rear wheel while I stopped behind the truck at the red light, and in general, these motorists are such in a rush that even if I am not making a left and going straight, they still stop dangerously close to my bike at a red light. Overall, my point is, motorists, KEEP A GOOD DISTANCE BETWEEN CYCLISTS AND YOU. The lives of cyclists like me depend on your actions as a driver.
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Old 11-21-08, 11:58 PM   #2
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this is an issue I see all the time with cars in turn lanes they follow each otehr so close they can't stop so sometimes the whole line turns and several may go through a red light.
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Old 11-22-08, 06:42 AM   #3
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so what did the cager do? did he say you shouldn't be in the road?

As or keeping a safe distance, it should be done no matter what is ahead of you. And aholes that draft trailers through lights like that annoy me. they know they are going through it blind, but, they don't seem to care.
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Old 11-22-08, 08:42 AM   #4
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...KEEP A GOOD DISTANCE BETWEEN CYCLISTS AND YOU...
YOU'RE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR.

Sorry to hear you got hit, luckily it wasn't too bad.
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Old 11-22-08, 01:20 PM   #5
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I hope you reported the accident...make his insurance rates go up! I don't care if no damage was done, if I was in my car and someone rear ended me i'm reporting it, if I'm on my bike and someone rear ends me even if it's a tap..i'm reporting it. They were obviously in too much of a hurry to see that I'm in front of them, waiting another 10 minutes for the cops to show up and another 5 to talk to them will teach them a lesson..
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Old 11-23-08, 05:31 AM   #6
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Ever look at cars at an intersection? They're more or less bumper to bumper.

And not to excuse the motorist, but do you have a brake light? Did you start to move, than suddenly stop?
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Old 11-23-08, 06:27 AM   #7
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... but do you have a brake light?
Only someone who's motoring needs to visually indicate when they're braking (because they're operating a vehicle that can deaccelerate from a high speed way faster than a human powered vehicle).

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... Did you start to move, than suddenly stop?
At least where I live, motorists (due to the extraordinary level of danger posed by motoring to other individuals) are required to not follow other vehicles (including bicycles) more closely than is reasonable and prudent (i.e., if a motor vehicle is driven into someone who's already established their position on the road, then the motorist was almost certainly unlawfully close).
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Old 11-23-08, 07:32 AM   #8
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I hope you reported the accident...make his insurance rates go up! I don't care if no damage was done, if I was in my car and someone rear ended me i'm reporting it, if I'm on my bike and someone rear ends me even if it's a tap..i'm reporting it. They were obviously in too much of a hurry to see that I'm in front of them, waiting another 10 minutes for the cops to show up and another 5 to talk to them will teach them a lesson..
Have you ever "reported" an "accident" with no damage or injury to the police? Did they laugh you out of the station, or did they wait politely for you to exit or get off the phone to start shaking their heads in disbelief at the it takes all kinds busybody who doesn't care if no damage was done? Obviously you are not in too much of a hurry; you don't mind wasting your own time as well as others'.

Insurance rates go up for the "perp" of this crime? Who the heck are you kidding?
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Old 11-23-08, 07:55 AM   #9
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Only someone who's motoring needs to visually indicate when they're braking (because they're operating a vehicle that can deaccelerate from a high speed way faster than a human powered vehicle).
Ah, I'm pretty sure a bike can come to a stop much faster than a car.
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Old 11-23-08, 09:19 AM   #10
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^ In a head on collision, maybe. Otherwise, car brakes are far more effective at stopping cars than bike brakes are at stopping bikes.
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Old 11-23-08, 04:45 PM   #11
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Overall, my point is, motorists, KEEP A GOOD DISTANCE BETWEEN CYCLISTS AND YOU. The lives of cyclists like me depend on your actions as a driver.
Your life depends on YOU. Every time you climb aboard your saddle you are agreeing to put yourself in harms way. Everything about your safety from that moment is YOUR responsibility. Not the responsibility of motorists nor lawmakers. Y-O-U.

Want to avoid getting "squeezed" or boxed out at red lights? Maybe you should stop offering "them" a target. Either stop riding (not really), or run the offending red lights if possible. Obviously, motorists already hate you. You have nothing more to lose than your life.

Glad you made it through this one OK.
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Old 11-23-08, 04:59 PM   #12
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. . . .
And not to excuse the motorist, but do you have a brake light? Did you start to move, than suddenly stop?
Is there some sense to this question that completely escapes me? Or am I suddenly feeding a troll?
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Old 11-23-08, 05:35 PM   #13
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Is there some sense to this question that completely escapes me? Or am I suddenly feeding a troll?
If that's a troll, I'd like to feed it a toilet mint.
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Old 11-23-08, 08:58 PM   #14
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Even if there was a way to equip with a bright enough brake light, I wonder how many motorists would correctly interpret it on a bicycle.

If it adds fodder to the discussion I (slowly) ran into the back of a van in June under identical circumstances. I was towing a rather heavy trailer on a bike with what tuned out to be suspect brakes. Fortunately the van was in extremely poor cosmetic condition, and the driver just gave me a "WTF" look and kept going. My bad. I've since put new brakes on that bike.
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Old 11-23-08, 10:44 PM   #15
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The thing that bugs me about this is that the motorist stopped quite close to my rear wheel while I stopped behind the truck at the red light,...
Such drivers are red flags to me. There is no need to stop so close behind any vehicle, especially a bicycle. And the most hazardous motorists compound the issue by traveling too quickly into a stopped left turn lane before they come to a halt at your rear wheel.

Right or wrong, under those same circumstances, I would have likely drafted the truck through the light. Illegal?...okay...but the motorist already demonstrated questionable judgment, and progressing through the intersection would have seemed to be my safer choice under the circumstances as I perceive them.

Regardless, you did what should have been the safe and proper thing to do, i.e. waiting for the next green light. Fortunately, you're okay and your bike is mostly so. Hopefully, the driver realizes just how serious the consequences of his carelessness could have been and will change his behavior.
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Old 11-24-08, 05:15 AM   #16
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If that's a troll, I'd like to feed it a toilet mint.
You would have just run the light, right?
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Old 11-24-08, 06:23 AM   #17
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This happened to me -- almost exactly. Driver tried to pass on the right during our left turn from a left turn lane. Heard a car coming behind me, move to the right, quick glance, oh ****!, whack, and I didn't even fall down. All the damage was on the car, driver was found at fault, and had nothing to do with me. The best was calling the cops saying there was a hit and run between a car and a bike. Freaked 911 out. The driver returned only to say "you put a dent in my car!!". Well, no kidding. Best was we had the same insurance company, so one rep said to the other "your driver is a complete fool". Other rep agreed. The nicest thing is that 'bike insurance' goes on homeowner's insurance. Her car insurance rates went up and she got a point on her license.

The cops, on the other hand, thought it was all my fault and I was getting all Critical Mass on cars. "Didn't you willfully hit the car!?!?". Um no. I don't like getting run over.

+1 Bikers.

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Old 11-24-08, 09:06 AM   #18
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You would have just run the light, right?
That is my default answer - run the light. But the OP did not give me enough details about the situation to say that I would have run that light at that moment.

Sometimes I am forced to stop at red lights (heavy crossing traffic) and nearly every time the car behind me crowds me or even blows their horn before the light even turns green.
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Old 12-02-08, 06:49 PM   #19
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Bicycling Science

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobber View Post
...a bike can come to a stop much faster than a car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by uke View Post
... car brakes are far more effective ...
Quoting from Bicycling Science (published by MIT Press):
Quote:
...a deceleration of 0.5 g (4.91 m /s2) is almost the maximum that can be risked by a crouched rider on level ground before he risks going over the handlebars. ... drivers of cars ... can theoretically brake to the limit of ... 0.8 g, which is almost 40 percent greater.
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Old 12-03-08, 06:32 AM   #20
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Quoting from Bicycling Science (published by MIT Press):
You still need to take into account the mass you attempting to slow.
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Old 12-03-08, 06:41 AM   #21
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You still need to take into account the mass you attempting to slow.
And the initial velocity.
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Old 12-03-08, 07:10 AM   #22
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Have you ever "reported" an "accident" with no damage or injury to the police? Did they laugh you out of the station, or did they wait politely for you to exit or get off the phone to start shaking their heads in disbelief at the it takes all kinds busybody who doesn't care if no damage was done? Obviously you are not in too much of a hurry; you don't mind wasting your own time as well as others'.

Insurance rates go up for the "perp" of this crime? Who the heck are you kidding?
I'd report it no matter what because there's no guarantee that I won't get home and realize that there's a crack in my frame that I didn't see when the accident happened and my adrenaline was pumping. If I make a report, I'm covered, if not I'm on the hook for hundreds of dollars in repairs that weren't my fault, that I didn't see at the time
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Old 12-03-08, 07:37 AM   #23
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You still need to take into account the mass you attempting to slow.

No, you don't. Regardless of the mass of you and your vehicle there is a limit to how fast you can slow down on a bike. Ever slam on your brakes in a car going 20 mph and have your body hit the seatbelt hard? Imagine a bicycle stopping at that same speed. You'd be ass-over-teakettle. You just plain can't stop that fast. My car can go from 60mph to zero in about 120 feet. Try seeing how fast you can stop from a "measly" 30mph on a bike.
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Old 12-03-08, 09:39 AM   #24
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No, you don't. Regardless of the mass of you and your vehicle there is a limit to how fast you can slow down on a bike. Ever slam on your brakes in a car going 20 mph and have your body hit the seatbelt hard? Imagine a bicycle stopping at that same speed. You'd be ass-over-teakettle. You just plain can't stop that fast. My car can go from 60mph to zero in about 120 feet. Try seeing how fast you can stop from a "measly" 30mph on a bike.
Wow, that must be an amazing car you have... most charts say you will take about 240-300 feet to stop from 60MPH. Maybe you are underestimating your stopping distance... as the driver in the OP did.
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Old 12-03-08, 09:52 AM   #25
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Wow, that must be an amazing car you have... most charts say you will take about 240-300 feet to stop from 60MPH. Maybe you are underestimating your stopping distance... as the driver in the OP did.
I think you need to do a little more research.

Here's a quote from the Edmunds.com road test of the 2008 Scion xB, which is what I drive:

"We brought the xB to a halt from 60 mph in 126 feet, only 3 feet longer than the old, lightweight xB."

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=120979

Oh, and nice jab attempt by comparing me to the driver that the op got hit by. Unlike him I practice safe following distances when driving, just like I tell my students in the driver's safety course I teach at my company.
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