(somewhat) close call last Thursday
Had a somewhat close call on my commute home on Thurs. I have a couple of 4 lane suburban "Stroads" to cross on my way home. These intersections are always the most dangerous parts of my ride.
On this particular crossing, I was stopped at a red light, making a pedestrian crossing, to get to the MUP across th road. Going from the upper left to the upper right as in this image.
It was dark, and I was stopped waiting for the green. I had a flasher as well as a steady light going on my handlebar, and my jacket is made of the "illuminite" reflective material. There was one car stopped in the oncoming lane, waiting to make a left turn. The right lane was empty. The nature of this intersection is such that most of the traffic will be turning either left or right, from the feeder road (going east west in the link) to the main road (going north south in the link).
The light turned green and I started across. Just as I started across, three cars approached in the on coming right turn lane (coming from the right, in the upper right lane in the attached link, ready to turn north). The intersection is at the top of a hill, which really limits visibility. The cars are probably only fully visible for 100 ft before the intersection. I hate this intersection because of the possibility of getting hooked here, so I'm always wary.
Anyway, as I said, the light turned green and I started across. The oncoming car slowed way down, from probably 40 MPH, to about 5MPH - MUCH slower than most cars when they are making a right turn on green. Because of this, I ASSUMED he had seen me - and that was my mistake. Just as I was about halfway across, I hear the engine rev to accelerate. I hit the brakes, and because I'M standing, my weight is forward, and the rear wheel starts coming up. Luckily, because it is winter and I'm wearing Sorel boots, I'm not clipped in, so I just jump off my pedals and do a Fred Flintstone stop - before I'm in the path of the turning car.
The driver sees me at the last second, slams on the brakes, and gives me the friendly wave ("Hi! Didn't mean to kill you!"). I get across the street, no harm, no foul.
But if he HADN'T seen me, and I'd been 1/2 second further into the intersection, it could have been ugly.
Ironically, when I got to the intersection 30 seconds earlier, I almost jumped the red light, because cross traffic was clear. But there was that oncoming car waiting at the light, and I didn't want to be the guy that Gives Bikers A Bad Name ™.
I understand that its not possible to avoid every accident. But when I'm at an intersection, expecting every car to right or left hook me, and I still get it wrong, what then? Work on my mind reading? Seriously, short of waiting till there is no traffic visible in all four directions, what can you do?