Commuting - Hit by a truck today
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04-05-07, 02:19 PM
was doing my normal commute, which I've done since 11/1/06. Most of it is lightly travelled road, but there's a 3/4 mile section which is 45mph 2 lane. It's not usually a problem.
Today was different. Some guy in a truck with towing mirrors was following the car in front of him too closely(he said) and when she swerved to get around me( I take the lane, at least 18 inches) he didn't see what she was swerving for and he hit me in the head with his towing mirror. All I remember is doing a flip and then laying on the ground. Luckily my brother's fiancee was on her way to work and saw me. The driver stopped and sat with me until EMS showed up, as did an off-duty nurse and five cops, highway patrol included. The driver got a ticket for "improper pass", and the trooper said I was crazy for riding on that road when he visited me in the ER.
I spent three hours strapped to a backboard while they took a CAT scan and xrays of everything on my left side. Nothing's broken, no concussion, not even a suture. HOWEVER, my left elbow is scraped and looks like hamburger, as does my left calf, the back of my head, and my left buttock. My left buttock is deeply bruised and is purple. I was wearing my helmet, which in this case was an excellent idea.
I have no idea what's up with the bike. A co-worker picked it up for me. She's told me it does not roll, and my cheapo Topeak panniers are torn and ripped. Could have been much worse, but I dont' think I'll be on the bike for a few days.
04-05-07, 02:22 PM
04-05-07, 02:30 PM
Sorry to hear that but glad to be hearing about it from you. Get well!
04-05-07, 02:34 PM
Glad you are around to share your experience. Sounds like the whole situation could have been a lot worse, though I'm not saying it didn't suck.
04-05-07, 02:35 PM
God bless and Godspeed. At least the impatient driver stayed with you, still a dick driving move, but at least they stayed.
04-05-07, 02:36 PM
OH WOW... that is a bummer. Makes my close call with a side view mirror last week seem paltry in comparison. I hope you heal up quickly and your bike isn't too bad.
OUCH, at least the driver stopped and waitied with you. his insurance may be able to replace your vehicle, ot at least get it fixed, since this was technically a traffic accident.
hope the burger heals well and the bruises go away.
04-05-07, 02:39 PM
damn dude, that sucks, try and get a newer, betterer ride out of his insurance.
04-05-07, 02:40 PM
Ow! Glad you're mostly okay. Hope you are back on the bike very soon.
I went through a similar experience less than two months ago, when a guy's trailer hit me while I was riding at 40 mph down a winding canyon road.
Some things to keep in mind:
1) You'll probably have some Post-Traumatic Stress. I was a bit freaky for a few days afterwards, thinking about "what if", and what I could have done differently. Just go with it...hopefully it will pass after a couple of days.
2) Contact your insurance company. Your medical bills may be covered by your automobile insurance (mine were for the first $5000). Also, your homeowner's policy may cover your bike and bike clothing (mine did, less a $500 deductible).
3) Get a copy of the police report (even if it's preliminary). Consider filing your own statement to be included with the report...that way your side of it is in the official report.
4) If you're not already doing so, consider getting a good mirror (e.g. the Take a Look). That situation you describe is all too common, but using the mirror you can usually see it coming in advance. If I see a line of cars approaching from behind on a narrow roadway, I worry more about the following vehicles than the first one. As they approach, I intentionally move my bike further to the left, forcing the lead car to move well to the left - this alerts following drivers that there's something to be avoided up ahead (me!).
5) Don't second guess yourself too much
6) Get used to changing bandages and wound dressings...I'm still applying scar cream nearly 2 months after my accident. Tegaderm bandages are good for getting new skin to grow, as is "Silvedeen(?)" a cream that you put on the road rash.
Heal up, and best of luck with your recovery.
04-05-07, 02:56 PM
Wow, glad to read the report from you - as others have said...
Heal well, SSP looks to have some good advice there. Good luck with a speedy recovery and back in the saddle.
04-05-07, 03:10 PM
Glad you're ok. Heal up soon!
ouch! get well soon, sorry about your bike!
Wow. Get better. Try Arnica for the bruises. Get some now, and work it in till it hurts. Can't tell you how quickly this dissipates a deep bruise.
Where are you riding?
Best wishes, get better soon! If only people would learn some patience...
04-05-07, 03:33 PM
I can't believe you don't have a concussion! Go buy some lottery tickets. Try and stretch your muscles so they don't turn into one very large knot. Anytime I've been in a significant crash, I'm completely sore from head to toe within a day or two. I find that gin & tonic with lime [Vit. C!] plus some aspirin works wonders. Heal up!
04-05-07, 03:53 PM
I am so glad you're OK. Man, that could have been so much worse. Well, it could have been better if people would drive safely and pay friggin attention.
04-05-07, 04:20 PM
Get healed and back on the road soon; don't let the trooper discourage you in your commute. I put thousands of miles on 55MPH roads every year--on a lowracer even! I'm totally dependent upon my "take-a-look" there is no substitute for me.
04-05-07, 04:26 PM
Ahhh, the old mirror slap to the back of the head trick. I used to not wear a helmet until a friend, who had got slapped on the back of the head by a truck mirror, had me sit on my bike next to a truck mirror. Yep, the perfect location for a slap to the back of the head.
Heal up soon and whenever you get together with cyclists and compare wounds, like in the movie "Jaws", remember you'll probably win now. Although, I think Axxon is the Quint of the group with the smashed front teeth and all.
04-05-07, 04:35 PM
dude, that's a real bummer, but a very cool thing that you weren't hurt in any really serious way.
Heal well and quickly and get back in the saddle.
My only comment to you is that IMHO taking the lane a little more may have stopped this particular accident, but I can't say I'd be doing anything differently; I actually ride too far to the right in my own opinion but I am slowly trying to correct myself.
I think there's a lot of blame for both drivers here; the first driver didn't have to wait until the last second and then swerve around you, effectively blocking you from view. IMHO she's partly to blame.
Secondly, the second driver was following too close. I've been thinking a lot about that lately as I'm getting passed by a line of cars; if they left the proper 3 second gap between them, this sort of thing just wouldn't happen.
Also, the "didn't see what she was swerving for" doesn't cut it IMHO. If a driver in front of me swerves, at the very least I'm on the brakes until I figure out what's going on.
IMHO the "improper pass" that the ticket was actually issued for was just the natural result of these two bad driving habits. I think the vast majority of traffic incidents occur because of bad driving habits, and I'm with some police departments that have stopped calling them "accidents" - hardly any of them are.
04-05-07, 04:40 PM
Man, that sucks. I'm glad you are still able to post about it here though. Thats a good sighn that you still have your faculties with you. Heal up, get well and ride again soon.
04-05-07, 04:43 PM
HOLY CRAP!!! I am glad you are okay......Here's to a quick recovery
Ouch! Glad to hear you're (substantially) OK.
04-05-07, 05:36 PM
God bless you and hope you heal quickly. On the bright side maybe you can get a new bike out of this.
04-05-07, 05:37 PM
Wow that sucks, but at least you are ok. I have been hit by reckless cabs a few times and I feel your pain. You just have to be happy that you came away okay for the most part. BTW his insurance should cover the cost of your bike as well as your medical if your insurance doesn't. I had a Cabbie replace one of my bikes after he ran a red light and clipped my rear wheel. Since he was ticketed it should be easy to have it taken of by the driver.
04-05-07, 05:43 PM
Ouch, that does suck. Sounds to me like it may have really been the fault of the driver in front of the truck that hit you. Sounds like she swerved around you at the last minute. If the truck driver was telling the truth.
04-05-07, 06:24 PM
Glad to hear you're mostly ok. Watch the next few days for any complications that might develop, and head to the ER if your condition starts going downhill.
Also glad the driver stopped and waited for emergency responders.
Wishing you a full and speedy recovery. :)
04-05-07, 08:43 PM
Ouch. Get well soon.
04-05-07, 08:53 PM
Heal fast. Hope you're back on the bike soon (but not too soon).
All things considered, you came out pretty well. Sorry for your crash. Here's to a speedy recovery!
04-06-07, 10:48 AM
Thanks for all the kind words, folks. The worst of the injuries so far are the giant bruise on my left buttock, and my swollen left calf. I remember waking up with my left shoe off, so I think my pedal may have come around and smacked my left calf. It's bruised and swollen to the size of a softball, and I have big calves anyway. My helmet is toast, but that means it did it's job. Nice big crack at the 7 o'clock position on the helmet. Bike is in OK shape, looks like. Well, front SKS fender is cracked, rear fender is bent, so neither wheel rolls. I managed to lose BOTH Planet Bike Superflash blinkers, and my pannier is totally ripped off on the left side. There is a big chip out of the paint on the top tube, which sucks. My auto and health insurance companies have been informed, and my auto insurance company has contacted HIS auto insurance company. That's who should take care of all bike issues, for sure. I don't think this rises to the level of needing a new bike, but I think it may need to be returned to Gunnar for a paint job.
04-06-07, 12:09 PM
You mean a pearlescent paint job w/ metallic flake and multiple clear coats and custom pinstriping? Make sure his insurance takes care of that and don't send the frame to the same painter Rad sent his Tete to.
04-06-07, 07:08 PM
Yes, sorry to hear of your accident.
Around here I think there's a law saying you can't have those big-a** mirrors on your truck unless you need them (i.e. you're towing a large trailer). It doesn't mean people always obey that law though. Heal up!
I think the vast majority of traffic incidents occur because of bad driving habits, and I'm with some police departments that have stopped calling them "accidents" - hardly any of them are.
+1 I see more than enough bad/careless driving in my car and on my bike. To some extent I am surprised there are not more accidents. I also think that most unsafe driving is caused by a minority of drivers. I think more should be done to get the worst drivers off of the road.
Ouch sometimes there is only so much you can do. I am glad your feelling well now.
Yep turn this into a safety positive. See how you can improve. I like the mirror and taking the lane especiallly if it is only 3/4 mile. A safety flag or high visiblity vest might also help.
Glad your ok hope you can ride soon. I wonder if you could get a rental car and bill their insurance since your ride is not moveable. Just a thought :)
04-07-07, 02:21 AM
Sorry to hear that but glad to be hearing about it from you. Get well!
+1. Do what you need to get better and then kick some more ass on those roads!
04-07-07, 09:03 AM
You're very lucky. A colleague of mine got hit the same way by a dualie pickup towing a lowboy trailer on one of our country roads. The truck didn't stop. My friend suffered a seriously broken shoulder, concussion, and was off his bike for 6 months. Even now he's pretty shaky about getting back out there.
You are very lucky not to have been injured more seriously. Be careful out there...
04-07-07, 09:42 AM
i wonder if the trooper tells every accident victim that they are crazy for driving on roads?
"..In the United States the evlevated risks of cycling appear to be magnified by the cultural attitudes that attribute cycling accidents to the supposedly intrinsic perils of bicycles. In contrast, motorist casualties are not ordinarily associated with the idea that driving is dangerous. From there it is a short step to blaming cyclists for their own peril, an attitude that permeates the reactions of everyone from police and courts to the cyclists' own family and friends and contributes to cyclists' marginal status. Thus, measures to reduce the statistical frequency of cycling accidents may need to be coupled with efforts to change public understanding of the nature of road dangers- a difficult task at best."
and +1 to using arnica.
04-07-07, 09:49 AM
sorry to hear of your accident. Heal up well and get that bike fixed and get back out there as soon as you feel able. That's a rare kind of incident but it sounds like you came out of it pretty well all things considered. Hopefully that truck driver has learned to lay off the bumper of the vehicle in front of him, keep his eyes open and give wide berth when passing cyclists.
04-07-07, 09:51 AM
04-07-07, 10:12 AM
OUCH!!! Dont forget to replace the helmet as well, they are only made for one accident.
04-07-07, 10:33 AM
Get back on that bike in a few days :) heal quickly!
04-07-07, 02:59 PM
Hit by a truck:eek: Heal fast and ride on.
04-07-07, 03:13 PM
As someone else said, I'm glad you're telling us this. I hope you heal fast, but take it slow getting back in the bike. Listen to your body, and don't push it. Build your strength back slowly.
Also, make the driver pay for you medical bills and bike replacement. Don't cheat yourself. The driver needs to pay for all of you costs. You might want to talk to a lawyer before settling up. Also, talk to the doctor about potential long-term problems. These kind of accidents can leave injuries that take some time to show up, but stick with you for life.
I hope you're up to riding again soon.
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