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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cyclosaurus's Avatar
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    I almost got left-hooked by a Cook County Sheriff yesterday during my commute

    I was at the light outside the access road to the Maywood courthouse at 1st Avenue after coming off the Prairie Path. I was waiting at the top of the T intersection, looking into the morning sun. I saw a Cook County Sheriff's police car waiting to turn left onto 1st Ave. Normally I try to make eye contact with drivers but with the sun in my eyes I couldn't really tell. The light turned green and I proceeded to cross the street. The CCS car accelerates quickly into the turn. I stopped, but realized that I no longer had control...that if the car continued on the path, I was going to get hit. I got that slow-motion thing, saw he was looking to the left and not at me, he turned, a jolt of surprise hit him, then a flash of anger, then relief, then a sheepish, hang-his-head and hold up his arms in apology.

    I'm glad it ended it no harm for me. But it made me think that I put myself at risk by violating my own "rules". Normally I would never trust a car at a left turn, especially where it's a T shaped intersection and drivers aren't expecting vehicles to be crossing. I didn't wait to see if he was going to ignore me before proceeding. I let my guard down because it was someone I thought would be attentive. I didn't account for my vision being compromised.

    It was a free lesson in how easy it can be to drop one's defenses and what it could have cost me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cyclosaurus's Avatar
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    Sorry, post should read "left-crossed"...duh

  3. #3
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
    I'm glad it ended it no harm for me. But it made me think that I put myself at risk by violating my own "rules". Normally I would never trust a car at a left turn, especially where it's a T shaped intersection and drivers aren't expecting vehicles to be crossing. I didn't wait to see if he was going to ignore me before proceeding. I let my guard down because it was someone I thought would be attentive. I didn't account for my vision being compromised.

    It was a free lesson in how easy it can be to drop one's defenses and what it could have cost me.
    I'm glad everything is OK but THANK YOU for this. Far too often on this forum people are too quick to place the blame on the other party, even if rightly so, but I almost never see someone owning up to their part of the responsibility of being safe. It's easy to forget that it's ultimately each of our own responsibility to keep ourselves safe even if technically we're legally in the right. Yours is honestly one of the best posts I've read in the 6 years I've been reading this forum.

    I really hope your post serves as an example to others to remain vigilant and accept responsibility of safety and to admit when we can do better.

  4. #4
    Littledog Mark Stone's Avatar
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    I'm glad he saw you at the last second and you're OK!
    Forum Moderator

  5. #5
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Good thing he didn't hit you, I'm sure you would have been charged with some trumped up offense so CC wouldn't have to pay damages.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    Good thing he didn't hit you, I'm sure you would have been charged with some trumped up offense so CC wouldn't have to pay damages.
    I kind of like where this post is going as for tone and don't want to see it go all negative. The reality is, no charges would need to be trumped up. Let's just be glad this ended the way it did. I've been in the same situation more than once. With civilians its usually purely inattention. With LEO its often assumed that civilians are going to give them right of way even in a non-emergency situation.

    H

  7. #7
    Senior Member puckett129's Avatar
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    Glad you're ok. The inside of a modern police car is one of the most distracting environments to work in. That doesn't serve to lay blame or to absolve anyone of anything, but it is the truth. The chance of the accident being on video, however, is much higher when a police vehicle is involved as the cameras almost always record 30 seconds to a minute before they are turned on or lights are activated.

  8. #8
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    Glad you weren't hit. I'm having trouble visualizing circumstances that would have the car turning left across your path in a T intersection.

    Is this the right location? https://www.google.com/maps/place/S+...9471b0679cf872

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cyclosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Glad you weren't hit. I'm having trouble visualizing circumstances that would have the car turning left across your path in a T intersection.

    Is this the right location? https://www.google.com/maps/place/S+...9471b0679cf872
    Yes. You can see a car waiting in the left-turn lane on westbound Maybrook Dr. That's where the CCS car was. I was crossing the intersection to go eastbound on Maybrook Dr. Because there is an exit lane from 1st Ave North to Maybrook East just south of where I was crossing, I think drivers don't really expect anyone to be coming because only bikes and pedestrians would go that way. Especially so for a CCS officer who is in and out of the courthouse all the time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
    Yes. You can see a car waiting in the left-turn lane on westbound Maybrook Dr. That's where the CCS car was. I was crossing the intersection to go eastbound on Maybrook Dr. Because there is an exit lane from 1st Ave North to Maybrook East just south of where I was crossing, I think drivers don't really expect anyone to be coming because only bikes and pedestrians would go that way. Especially so for a CCS officer who is in and out of the courthouse all the time.
    Okay, so you were coming out of the oil change place? It makes a bit more sense now. I agree, cars wouldn't really be expecting anyone to come straight across there.

  11. #11
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    I'm glad you are ok.

    You could have got a good settlement out of it if you got hit though...

  12. #12
    Collector of Useless Info
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    But there's almost no settlement that would be worth getting hit by a car. Glad the OP is OK!

  13. #13
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    it's easy to get complacent. similar dangers using a chain saw. after using one for a long time one gets less careful and that's when accidents happen. I think it's human nature to get used to something and accept it as what will continue, I think it's called accommodation? as in: "every has been fine, is fine, so will continue to fine"

    sometimes after driving a car a long distance at a high speed I reflect on it and consider maybe I should have been more cautious, even though at the time everything seemed fine.

    not sure if I'm explaining myself well ...
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  14. #14
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    With LEO its often assumed that civilians are going to give them right of way even in a non-emergency situation.
    And this assumption is based on what?

  15. #15
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    And this assumption is based on what?
    they risk their lives to serve and protect and deserve the courtesy.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I was going to go with "Because I don't want to be in a place where the cop can observe me. If they can't see me, they can't ticket me...so go ahead, police car. I don't mind.".

    And eh, I'm indifferent to cop worship. "To Protect and To Serve" is much closer to romanticized bull**** than reality.

    edit: on a departmental level, there are certainly noble individuals.
    Last edited by Sullalto; 03-29-14 at 01:01 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member halcyon100's Avatar
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    I have a friend who is a social worker and her job required her to do some ride alongs with cops. She said their perception and how they are viewing the world around them is totally different than the average person driving. The things they are looking at and what they are responding to may be different than the average driver.

    About 18 years ago, I was hit by cops who were making a right turn. I was stopped at a light, in a bike lane and right as the light turned green, the cops turned on their sirens and sped up very fast into the turn at the same time. Not only did they hit me, but they seemed completely unaware of it and kept driving. Luckily I was just knocked over and my bike and I were okay. Glady you are okay and sharing your story. It is good to think about what you could have done differently and learn from that.

  18. #18
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    Left cross remains my number one near accident. Drivers routinely misjudge my speed and distance and cross into a possible collision. Over the years I've developed left cross preflexes, and it's totally automatic for me to flex my path to the left when I see a car start the turn. If he keeps going I swing behind safely. If a collision is unavoidable, it's me hitting him (twice) rather than being broadsided. In the two instances where there was a collision, I was able to manage to take it broadside at low impact (one was semi-intentional) and roll over the car safely.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 03-29-14 at 04:42 PM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    they risk their lives to serve and protect and deserve the courtesy.
    Don't think so. Unless they are running lights they should be obeying the exact same laws as every other driver. Above that, they should be setting an example for other drivers. You may also be increasing the danger for others by not following established road protocols.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Cyclosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Left cross remains my number one near accident. Drivers routinely misjudge my speed and distance and cross into a possible collision. Over the years I've developed left cross preflexes, and it's totally automatic for me to flex my path to the left when I see a car start the turn. If he keeps going I swing behind safely. If a collision is unavoidable, it's me hitting him (twice) rather than being broadsided. In the two instances where there was a collision, I was able to manage to take it broadside at low impact (one was semi-intentional) and roll over the car safely.
    Yeah, that's definitely good advice. Usually going into an intersection I am thinking about my escape route in case I need it. This was a situation where I wasn't thinking ahead and wasn't ready...just a reminder to keep my head in the game.

  21. #21
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Do you ever use a blinky headlight during the day? I do, I think it does draw the driver's attention to me in head-on circumstances. Planet Bike 2W LED works for me.

  22. #22
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    To the OP, I live in the same area. 1rst Avenue is difficult to bike along. I once got hit by an unmarked Chicago PD car going down a one way side street. At least you got an apology. The police actually yelled at me to get outta the way.

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