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Old 08-02-09, 09:46 PM   #1
swarkles
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Bike + Car collision questions

So basically my family and I are in LA on vacation. We rented a car to get around. One evening, my father was stopped at a light. The light turned green and he started advancing. All of a sudden a guy on a bike tries to cross the road and my dad hit his back wheel. We weren't going very fast and the guy fell off. My dad pulls over and asks if he's ok. The guy starts cussing and yelling. His friends came up and two of them started arguing with my parents. Basically the kid said we should just give him money or he would get us deported (we're American citizens) and basically being an all around jerk. My dad got witnesses that agreed he ran into the street. I know the law is you have to respect pedestrians and cyclists but basically the guy came out of nowhere and we didn't have time to stop. Eventually we just left. I'm just wondering what could happen and what should we have done to improve the situation. My parents wanted to call the police but the guy and his friends told us to just f**cking leave. I'm hoping to get some insight here as everyone seems to be pretty informed about the laws here.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:59 PM   #2
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Seems it would be almost impossible to have a bike 'come out of nowhere' and hit their BACK wheel.

Sounds to me like they pushed the yellow light (or if it's a short yellow, they could have entered on the green) and were still in the intersection when your father started moving... There is a requirement in this state (and most others that I'm aware of) to let other traffic already in the intersection clear it before proceeding, even if you do have a green light.

Given what you've stated I'd think it was most likely your father's fault... and if I was the cyclist I'd have been pissed.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:25 PM   #3
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I don't agree. I've seen too many scams that set a driver up to hit someone and they demand money on the spot. Just seems fishy to me.

I can see a guy coming out of nowhere pretending to be the victom. That sucks.

We're in the handbasket and on our way....

Best regards,

Mike
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Old 08-02-09, 10:27 PM   #4
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He didn't want you to call the police because he was trying to scam you out of cash.. at least that's my theory.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:29 PM   #5
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No our light was definitely green. The other guy tried to cross the street. He made it mostly past the car except for his back wheel which my dad hit.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:32 PM   #6
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I'd also like to point out that we were in the right most lane. There was no way his light was still yellow or even green.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:33 PM   #7
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I'd also like to point out that we were in the right most lane. There was no way his light was still yellow or even green.
But it may have been green when he started going across.

One problem is that stop lights are timed so that the yellow is long enough for a car traveling the speed limit to clear the intersection before it goes red and the cross traffic gets their green light. But the yellow light usually doesn't last long enough for a slower moving bike to really make it all the way across a multi-lane intersection. It's green when they enter, it goes yellow, and goes red before they make it all the way across. Drivers aren't really thinking about this and it is a source of potential car-bike crashes.

If you notice, the pedestrian signal goes to "don't walk" way early, while the light is still green, so that people will not start across and get only half way before it turns red. Slow moving cyclists should probably look at the pedestrian signal as a heads-up for how much more time they have to make it all the way through the intersection. Those new ones that count down the seconds are awesome.

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Old 08-02-09, 10:34 PM   #8
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I'd also like to point out that we were in the right most lane. There was no way his light was still yellow or even green.
Just makes it worse for you.... if you're in the right most lane then the light was most definitely late green or early yellow when the rider entered the intersection. You HAVE to wait for the intersection to clear before you gun it....

Sounds like a hit and run to me....
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Old 08-02-09, 10:40 PM   #9
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Sounds like a hit and run to me....
We stopped and talked to him, made sure he was ok. How is that hit and run?

We also did not "gun" it. We slowly started advancing. The road was clear when we started going. There was a taxi on our left that was further ahead then we were. We were halfway through the intersection when he came into the road. We didn't have time to stop.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:45 PM   #10
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We stopped and talked to him, made sure he was ok. How is that hit and run?

We also did not "gun" it. We slowly started advancing. The road was clear when we started going. There was a taxi on our left that was further ahead then we were. We were halfway through the intersection when he came into the road. We didn't have time to stop.
How could the taxi on your left be farther into the intersection than you were??? Did the cyclist ride THROUGH the taxi?

Your story really doesn't make much sense.

Wait... was the cyclist approaching from the right? That would make more sense... and change the entire scenario...

If the cyclist was approaching from the right and entered the intersection then he was trying to run the red and it would have been 100% his fault.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:46 PM   #11
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We stopped and talked to him, made sure he was ok. How is that hit and run?

We also did not "gun" it. We slowly started advancing. The road was clear when we started going. There was a taxi on our left that was further ahead then we were. We were halfway through the intersection when he came into the road. We didn't have time to stop.
He was coming from the right side of you or the left?

Calling the cops would have been the right thing to do. I would have stayed at the accident scene even if the cyclist had left. This really does sound like he was trying to pull a scam.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:47 PM   #12
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No we hit him before he reached the taxi. I don't think you're understanding the situation? Should I draw you a picture? You know what never mind. You would be biased towards the idiotic cyclists.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:50 PM   #13
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I'm not surprised, I've seen plenty of young riders dart through intersections like they're indestructible. Last week I saw some guy steal the right of way in a 4 way intersection with stop signs. He made some imitation cop sound as he shot through there, he seemingly did that to alert cars that a bike is going to jump into the intersection he was lucky that car had not started to move since the intersection had cleared a second before, but not everyone waits for it to clear before they go. He was to the right of a van so I doubt he could even see the opposing traffic

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Old 08-02-09, 11:25 PM   #14
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No we hit him before he reached the taxi. I don't think you're understanding the situation? Should I draw you a picture? You know what never mind. You would be biased towards the idiotic cyclists.
Actually if you bothered to read my last post, I stated that if the rider was coming from the right, he was at fault. You didn't bother to explain the situation very well.

And why the hell did you bother signing up here just to rant? What the hell did you expect?
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Old 08-03-09, 01:43 AM   #15
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First off the cyclist ran a red light and is at fault. Virtually all lights have an all round red for about a second or two. The cyclist therefore had a red well before he entered the intersection. It may not have been a scam (just a stupid cyclist) but the cyclist knew he was wrong and that is why he did not call the cops. Your Dad should have called the cops anyway to prevent false charges of hit & run. It may still be best to file a police report to cover his butt and explain any damages (marks) on the rental car.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:18 AM   #16
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If you really need a legal opinion, you need at least a lawyer and perhaps a herd of courts.

If you want my guess, based on hitting a rear wheel as the car started through the intersection after a stop, the rider was slow and your father could have avoided hitting him.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:16 AM   #17
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No we hit him before he reached the taxi. I don't think you're understanding the situation? Should I draw you a picture?
Because details matter to discussion of intersection collisions, it is often a good idea to either draw a picture or give a very detailed description.

On you last post you finally clued us in to the fact that the cyclist was crossing from your right. Although it still isn't clear if the cyclist was on the roadway or sidewalk, or on the right side or left side of the road, in any case a cyclist lawfully entering from your right on green or yellow would have made it to the other half of the intersection and probably left the intersection before you could accelerate. So, the cyclist must have been entering unlawfully on red or at least Don't Walk if entering the near side crosswalk.

A pedestrian or slow cyclist coming from your left could lawfully enter on yellow and not clear the intersection before you get a green light if the clearance interval is short. In such a case you are legally required to yield until they leave the intersection. However, in some locations police and DAs have decided not to charge drivers who hit pedestrians after the signal changes if the driver's line of sight was blocked by an adjacent vehicle. This problem is why I strongly support adequate clearance intervals for pedestrians at wide intersections, typically implemented with pedestrian signals.

I personally would have called the police to ask their advice after leaving the scene for safety reasons. That would cover all bases.

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Old 08-03-09, 09:39 AM   #18
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Cager troll.

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Old 08-03-09, 04:01 PM   #19
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If you want my guess, based on hitting a rear wheel as the car started through the intersection after a stop, the rider was slow and your father could have avoided hitting him.
That can't be true. If the bike was that slow they would have noticed it and been able to avoid collision. The bike was obviously travelling both fast and recklessly. They're either stupid punks or scammers.
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