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Old 11-23-04, 06:44 PM   #1
hockey
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Another Left turn victim

Crashed today. I just purchased a brand new 2004 Trek 5200 and was forced off the road on my daily commute today. Going down the hill, slower than usual, thank God, car approaching up the hill, and decides to make a left. NO blinker, no warning. I had to make that eternal decision, over the hood or lay it down on an angle and hope to slide by. Laid it down, and skidded about 50 feet narrowly missing the car. Road rash, trip to the clinic, antibiotics, and a tetanus shot. The guy driving the car was dropping off his son at daycare and was in a hurry. Didn't see me......bright reflective jacket and all. He looked like he had been hit. Anyway I decided he was an honest bloke (probably stupid) and told him I would call him with the needed repairs. He came by this evening and dropped off the cash and apologized again. It gave me a bit of belief in the human race. The 5200 is now broken in, but I'll be off the bike for 5 days while I heal. I thought I was a safe driver, you know, better not to be "dead" right and all. I guess at 52 I still have a few things to learn. Stay vigilent and keep your wheels rolling.
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Old 11-23-04, 06:57 PM   #2
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Ack! That's a nightmare. Glad you're relatively in one piece though. It's always traumatic and surreal having that moment of "oh no...!" happen as your adrenaline kicks in and it all becomes a blur.
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Old 11-23-04, 09:10 PM   #3
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Get better soon, Hockey.

Left turns just flat out suck. No ands, ifs, or buts about it.
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Old 11-23-04, 09:58 PM   #4
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It is good news that you are okay, and the driver is making amends. It is amazing how a nice morning can head South in a nano-second.

My father was a long distance truck driver, who managed, after he got some experience, to drive thirty years without an accident. His approach was to focus on near-by vehicles and assume they were about to do whatever was the dumbest possible thing. And, the dumbest possible thing an on-coming car could ever do was turn left in front of an 18 wheeler. So, he would figure they WERE going to turn left, and watch their front tires for the beginning of their turn. Likewise, if he saw a woman driving in front of him with her left turn signal on, her auto drifting toward the left, he knew from experiene that drifting left was a good clue as to when a women driver will turn right. He did not make the "rookie" mistake of trying to pass her on the right - just slowed down until she was off his road.

However, no matter how alert we are, some driver will find a way to get past our defenses. Then we have to trust we have not exhausted our "nine lives".
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Old 11-23-04, 10:06 PM   #5
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How much cash was that?
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Old 11-24-04, 05:15 AM   #6
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$400.00 New winter pants, shorts, pedals, shoes, bar tape, and rear deraileur. I had my LBS tender a quote for the damages and then I reduced that amount by ordering a few items from Nashbar. He was a nice guy.....but an "Oscar Grope", paying attention to nothing. I really don't know if reporting the accident would have been a good idea or not. Anyway, I'm still kicking and I can fix my bike. I'll be off the blades and the bike for a week, but things could have been a lot worse.
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Old 11-24-04, 07:05 AM   #7
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When it happened to me, the driver left without stopping (even though I tocoed my front wheel crumpling in his side panel).
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Old 11-24-04, 07:46 AM   #8
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I think you should have reported the accident to the police. If he really is the oblivious, incompetant sort you describe, he might already have a number of points against him. One more accident, combined with an illegal left turn/reckless driving might cause his license to go away. One more unfit driver off the roads would cause the set of all remaining motorists to be that much safer. You could look at it as a chance to "cull the herd" and help make road use safer for both cyclists and motorists.

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Old 11-24-04, 08:22 AM   #9
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I appreciate the comments PaulH but knowing I was not seriously hurt and that my bike and clothes needed repair, and that he was a decent fellow.......I figured that negotiating with him (applying subtle pressure, mind you) was the only way to recoup my losses. If I call the police and report to insurance I am in a crapshoot. What do you think?
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Old 11-24-04, 08:33 AM   #10
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I think you did the right thing. He was sorry and willing to take responsibility for his actions. He paid you what you wanted for damages, and you got your money promptly. People make mistakes and he did everything he could to remedy the situation. No reason to have him penalized by DMV and his insurance company.
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Old 11-24-04, 03:31 PM   #11
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Wow, Hockey, if everyone acted like you and "Oscar Grope", car insurance would cost about 100 dollars a year and there would be about a million unemployed lawyers (well we can dream can't we!).

I am constantly shocked in other accident threads, by the vicious, vengeful posts vilifying the motorist, and advocating the victim get their pound of flesh. People make mistakes, and he owned up to it.

You and Oscar really renewed my faith in people. Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 11-24-04, 04:48 PM   #12
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I agree with Paul - it should be reported. I'm sure a bike hitting a car would generate a call to the police. I'm glad the motorist squared up with the hockey though. Was it enough, really?
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Old 11-24-04, 06:27 PM   #13
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I hope the motorist learned a lesson. If not, he really does need to be reported. I hope he realizes how easily you let him off, and I hope you are confident in his ability to drive safely, given his new-found motivation to do so.

I am a bit sensitive to the "left hook" (right hook in the U.K. etc.), because that was the scenario for my one collision with a motor vehicle. I suffered a concussion, a double fracture of the left clavicle, broken eyeglasses, and a bent 1960 Capo Reynolds 531 frame, and did not feel at all bad about collecting $2700 from the driver's insurance company (those were 1976 dollars, perhaps the equivalent of $7500 in today's currency).
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Old 11-29-04, 02:07 PM   #14
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People just don't realize that bikes exist. And if they see a bike, they somehow don't think that it's going between 15 and 25 mph and if they pass the bike, the bike will be caught up within 2 seconds if the car turns. Where are we gonna go? Into thin air??
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Old 11-30-04, 07:08 AM   #15
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That was some good, quick thinking. The slide is the least bad way to crash. It probably saved you from far worse injuries.
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