# Commuting - Finally hit

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View Full Version : Finally hit

bike2math
10-25-06, 06:33 AM
I've been bike commuting on and off for seven years now, and year round for two. And today I finally got winged!

It was where the MUP crosses a road and runs parallel to the exit ramp off a freeway, when I got the green light I went and a lady in a white minivan turned right and smacked me with the grill/bumper. She was nice, she stopped, she seemed more concerned about me than I was, although she was distressingly dissmisive of the damage to the bike :D

The Damage: My bike rack was bent way the heck out of shape, as were the stays on both fenders (of course a strong wind will bend the fender stays). Both wheels are knocked severly out of true, and my half dozen blinkies were scattered to the four winds (I've found one and pieces of one other but the rest must have been left in the intersection). The bike is basically unrideable until the wheels are trued and the rack is either repaired or removed. The fenders have been giving me trouble lately so I'm a little happy to take them off and rework the atttatchement.

The Good: Thank god it is winter, with the layers of clothing I had on I don't even have a bruise anywhere. I'd like to give a shout out to the Planet bike alias, I saw the thing hit the pavement on the end of my handle bars and it is still working (just a little scuffed up). Also my steel frame appears to have not even by scratched, yeah steel! Also kudos to the driver for offering me a lift, even though it was quite a ways out of her way.

Finally three huzzahs! for my wife who offered to take the bike to the shop today during her lunch break while I'm busy with some meetings with people coming in from out of town.

The Annoying Part: This was the last intersection on my commute that I had to go through. damn!

The Lesson: I was rushing, I started across the intersection as soon as I had the light instead of checking that the right turners have seen me like I usually do. If you are late, don't rush at the intersections. and beware the right turner.

ryanparrish
10-25-06, 06:41 AM
Did you call the police?

LittleBigMan
10-25-06, 07:49 AM
Man, I know what you mean. Nice people who really regret hitting you can be a problem to be wary of.
Glad you and the bike are ok.

Hat's off to your wife. I probably would have gotten a lecture about my current life insurance plan.

:lol:

jyossarian
10-25-06, 08:00 AM
Glad to hear you're ok and the bike is relatively fine. Did you call the police and file an accident report? I know the driver was nice and all, but you still have to file a report.

cooperwx
10-25-06, 08:00 AM
Did you call the police?

I don't think I would have. The damage is ~$100, the lady was very nice, and like the OP I would have felt it was partly my fault. Maybe I'm a wuss...or maybe just not litigious Ms. Tude 10-25-06, 08:02 AM I've had a relatively bad year for commuting. Outside of the abbi-normals who scream at me to get on the sidewalk (I ride busy city traffic), I've had a couple of contacts (last one was a couple weeks ago - stupid woman in 4lane traffic snapped my mirrior as her ear was buried in her shoulder/cell phone) had at least three very close calls, was a "deer in the headlights" as I looked up to see a PT Cruiser in a full skid towards me and had one car, powered by Jerk, purposely swerve into me ---- of which I reported to the police. Who did nothing. And I'm on the Board of Directors of a bicycle club, and work with Criminal Justice. Not one damn thing, even when I went to the main office and had the cop on duty agree that YES THIS WAS ROAD RAGE. I've lost a lot of respect for the laws that are supposedly there for us cause it needs someone who cares to enforce them. Am currently mounting a project aimed at enlightening motorists of bicycling rights --- Illinois League of Bicyclists is currently distributing this video ---- aimed at enlightening motorists of bicycler's rights -- and I luv it and want to incorporate it into my 2007 activities --- plan on incorporating the Advocacy chair as well. My not too pleasant year of commuting --- fortified by people pulling over - even holding up traffic to call me unpleasant names reinforces my anger to start a new campaign to let drivers know we're out there and are not going away. Video: http://bikelib.org/ chipcom 10-25-06, 08:05 AM Glad you're ok. Gotta watch them intersections. rule 10-25-06, 08:38 AM And yep...late in the ride is when a lot of this stuff tends to happen too. Glad to hear that you made it out okay. bike2math 10-25-06, 08:46 AM I don't think I would have. The damage is ~$100, the lady was very nice, and like the OP I would have felt it was partly my fault.

Maybe I'm a wuss...or maybe just not litigious

Yup, if it had been any other intersection I would have had asked her to call or called them myself. But at this particular intersection I've been aware of the danger and normally dealt with it carefully. The first words out of my mouth were "Stupid bike2math, you knew better than that!" Damage to the bike amounts to a new rack, and two wheels in need of truing, I would guess at or near 100 dollars.

To top it off I was late (had a mechanical glitch earlier in the ride that had me stopped for 10 minutes) and before I declined her offer to call the police I checked that my knees, hips, back, and neck hadn't taken the impact. It appears my bike took the hit. :D \begin{petsbike** good steel steed, good. \end{petsbike**

slvoid
10-25-06, 08:53 AM
I don't think I would have. The damage is ~$100, the lady was very nice, and like the OP I would have felt it was partly my fault. Maybe I'm a wuss...or maybe just not litigious OP: Wow, you too huh, happened to me this morning! Glad you're not litigious, neither am I. Accidents happen, no harm no foul, not worth the time. Flimflam 10-25-06, 08:58 AM Refreshing to hear of the 'human' nature of the driver, at least the effort was there. Glad to hear you're OK, hope the rig gets fixed up for you soon, blinkies an' all! :) TRACKMAN 10-25-06, 09:37 AM Am currently mounting a project aimed at enlightening motorists of bicycling rights --- Illinois League of Bicyclists is currently distributing this video ---- aimed at enlightening motorists of bicycler's rights -- and I luv it and want to incorporate it into my 2007 activities --- plan on incorporating the Advocacy chair as well. My not too pleasant year of commuting --- fortified by people pulling over - even holding up traffic to call me unpleasant names reinforces my anger to start a new campaign to let drivers know we're out there and are not going away. Video: http://bikelib.org/[/QUOTE] Excellent; I have passed the link on to W.A.B.A. ( Washington Area Bicycle Assoc) noisebeam 10-25-06, 01:10 PM Am currently mounting a project aimed at enlightening motorists of bicycling rights --- I don't think from the at fault drivers perspective* this kind of accident is as much about cycling rights as it is about poor driving habits and/or poor intersection design. This sort of sounds like a right turn on red without checking if sidewalk/MUP is clear or about to be entered. But this is unclear to me as well - is the MUP crossing signal controlled where MUP gets a green and vehicles crossing get a red, or do both straight/turning vehicles and MUP get a green at the same time? I doubt this person stopped at the stop line of the intersection and looked carefully, or perhaps they even had a green too? *However the design of the MUP where it crosses the road may be a cycling 'rights' issue. If cyclists are crossing without dismounting and walking as a pedestrian (which most likley may be required by law - need to find out as this is a MUP with a signal control, not a sidewalk) -then cyclist will enter intersection much faster than pedestrians and even attentive drivers may not be able to see them coming from behind. At minimum the design should give possible turning vehicles a red light when MUP has a green and have clearly posted "No Turn on Red" signs and/or "Watch for Cyclists" Not a perfect solution, but the lowest cost stop-gap that can be immediately implemented. Al mikdes 10-25-06, 01:27 PM Did you call the police and file an accident report? I know the driver was nice and all, but you still have to file a report. I don't know Ohio laws, but many states require an accident report (different from a police report) only if someone is injured or if total damage exceeds a certain dollar figure. I think here in Oregon the figure is$1000 now. So if this were to happen in Portland and there was no injury, an accident report would not be required.

As far as an officer on the scene, in Oregon typically the police will not be sent unless there is an injury or an impedence to traffic. So, again, they likely would not have responded to this call.

wibnrml
10-25-06, 01:55 PM
Nice video. You might add a segment on cars not to move over into the opposing lane to pass when a bicyclist is in the lane. I got buzzed by kid last weekend doing just that. Missed me by a foot, going at least 50. Thought I was a goner for sure.

randya
10-25-06, 02:58 PM
I would have felt it was partly my fault.
If you're turning right on red, you're supposed to yield to through traffic before you turn. No fault should be assigned to the OP in this case, if s/he's stating the facts correctly.

noisebeam
10-25-06, 03:04 PM
If you're turning right on red, you're supposed to yield to through traffic before you turn. No fault should be assigned to the OP in this case, if s/he's stating the facts correctly.
The OP didn't give enough info to know for sure if the motorist also had a green or not.
Al

vrkelley
10-25-06, 04:23 PM
To the OP...Glad you're OK. Trust no cagers, or peds. :(

bike2math
10-26-06, 06:01 AM
The OP didn't give enough info to know for sure if the motorist also had a green or not.
Al

The MUP crosses a road at this intersection, it is essentially a glorified crosswalk. As with a crosswalk the bikers/peds are to the right of the traffic on the exit ramp to the free way. Provided you hit the button when you get there, you will get a pedistrian "walk" signal at the same time that the motorists to your left gets a green light.

Under Ohio law, a bicycle in a cross walk is a pedestrian, and a motorist must yield to a pedestrian in a cross walk, regardless of the status of the walk light. There is also a specific statement that says something like, "Drivers turning right with a green _must_ yield way to any pedestrians in the cross walks at all times." So legally she was without a doubt at fault.

when I first started this route I had a handful of close calls at this intersection where right turning drivers hadn't expected to see someone in the cross walk. So I started making sure I had eye contact with the lead turner before going in to the intersection. This worked until the one day I was in a hurry.

dalmore
10-26-06, 06:51 AM
bike2math - glad you're not seriously hurt. And thank you for posting this. You reminded me why I'd been avoiding this intersection I went through today. It was uneventful today and I was wondering why I didn't take that route more often. But I had forgotten about how inattententive drivers are taking right turns there. Right turns that would have them driving right over me if I'm not careful.

bike2math
10-26-06, 07:04 AM
dalmore-- I use the MUP because it cuts my commute down to just five lights and only a mile and a half of street riding. Saves me a load of time, although the distance is a touch longer, and just in general gives me fewer hassels. The one draw back are two very sketchy intersections, the one I had the incident in, and another one that I've posted about before. Once the bike is rolling again I'll mix up the route a little to see if there is a better way, but i'll probably end up back on the MUP before to long. We just have to remember to be careful at all times. I need a note on my handle bars that says, "In a rush? SLOW THE F@CK DOWN!!!"

cooker
10-26-06, 07:34 AM
I don't think I would have. The damage is ~\$100, the lady was very nice, and like the OP I would have felt it was partly my fault.

Maybe I'm a wuss...or maybe just not litigious

It was his mistake but not his fault. he could have avoided it by being more careful, but she was the one who broke the law.

vrkelley
10-26-06, 09:55 AM
OK Someth'n's up. This forum had 3 crashes this week. We all better hope HelmetHead doesn't bust'in here from the Safety Forum and ramp up!

Hope next week is better for all.

noisebeam
10-26-06, 06:02 PM
The MUP crosses a road at this intersection, it is essentially a glorified crosswalk. As with a crosswalk the bikers/peds are to the right of the traffic on the exit ramp to the free way. Provided you hit the button when you get there, you will get a pedistrian "walk" signal at the same time that the motorists to your left gets a green light.

Under Ohio law, a bicycle in a cross walk is a pedestrian, and a motorist must yield to a pedestrian in a cross walk, regardless of the status of the walk light. There is also a specific statement that says something like, "Drivers turning right with a green _must_ yield way to any pedestrians in the cross walks at all times." So legally she was without a doubt at fault.

when I first started this route I had a handful of close calls at this intersection where right turning drivers hadn't expected to see someone in the cross walk. So I started making sure I had eye contact with the lead turner before going in to the intersection. This worked until the one day I was in a hurry.
I don't and never did doubt that the motorist was at fault.
What I do question is if this design is part of the problem. Drivers often hit peds/cyclist in sidewalk when they turn right on red. Having them turn right on green at same time peds/cyclist get green seems like a very poor, even negligent design - contrary to how traffic/ped flow should work.
Al

Serendipper
10-26-06, 06:10 PM
It was his mistake but not his fault. he could have avoided it by being more careful, but she was the one who broke the law.
\

Just remember that when I was hit by a truck recently, and insisted on a police report...the officer wrote ME a ticket and assumed I was at fault. He did not write an accident report, and after two court visits and a dramatic , overblown hearing with a dim prosecutor and strict judge (who feels bicycles in the street are unsafe)...I finally won my case.

I am non-litigous as well, but damn... In my opinion, try to keep the facts to you and your lawyer. You could get burned. The driver could even sue you.

I'm still in negotiations to get my hospital bills, bike,and missed income replaced. Fingers crossed, eyes open.

Lossy
10-26-06, 09:41 PM
I always take up the entire lane at an intersection that does not have a right turn lane. If I am going straight I am left of the right turn lane. Usually this will help prevent many problems. However I am not familiar with the intersections you experience.

I would not sue but would file a police report. If they found her to be mostly at fault I would ask that she pay partial damages. Maybe your repair costs will be so low you want to avoid this trouble.

bike2math
10-27-06, 06:35 AM
Thanks for your support all. I get the bike back from the shop today. New front wheel, new rack, and retrued back wheel. A little more than 100, but she's gonna be pretty!! Plus i'll take the old hub from them and maybe after X-mas (please get me all that bike stuff!!! ) i'll take a shot at making a spare front wheel for my studded tires.

The intersection design is poor, allow me to elaborate:

It is a T intersection, the main road is running E-W with two lanes in each direction, and a beefy yellow hash between them, the exit ramp from the freeway runs N into the intersection, and is three lanes wide, two dedicated turn lanes, and a center lane with "fielders choice". The bike path approaches the intersection from the SW quadrant of the T, makes a right turn and goes to the north end of the T (becoming the access road for the freeway). So for bikes this is a 4-way intersection, but for cars only a T I think that is what causes the major part of the difficulty. Drivers can't seem to get their mind around someone wanting to go straight through the top of a T.

The cross walk lights work in time with the lights going the same direction (as if this was a normal sidewalk crossing).

The two dangers are: right turners going without looking for peds/bicycles in the crosswalk. and west bound drivers rolling through the cross walk instead of just stopping at the red light. Drivers always look absolutely amazed when they see a bicycle in this cross walk. I get this face alot :eek: from them.