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7-time world champion triathlete killed by vehicle

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7-time world champion triathlete killed by vehicle

Old 08-30-16, 03:36 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
please.

a worthwhile accident analysis would initially focus on factors related to the driver, vehicle, site conditions...

your comment that intends place blame on the victim's attire is pitifully shameless.

on thurs, I was riding in a dedicated bike lane and was struck from behind by a car that neither slowed before nor stopped after impact.

do you need to know the color of my jersey to determine if I contributed to the situation?
No, I don't think he's victim blaming. He'll probably answer for himself down-thread, but when I see stuff like this I think of something else.

Here's how I see it. This was a former World Champion cyclist who got hit. She probably had the experience, judgment and skills more than any of us, yet still it happened. We don't want to believe that it can be just random chance; we want to think that something that we do that is different or better than what the victim did, would have avoided it. I've seen this same question with jerseys, lights, helmets, was the rider on the shoulder, taking the center of the lane, everything you can come up with which objectively would have had no impact on events. But it's human nature in reassuring ourselves, not victim blaming.
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Old 08-30-16, 03:42 PM
  #27  
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fwiw, yes on wearing a helmet.

it seemed to take a significant impact...broken in two places near the right temple.
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Old 08-30-16, 04:20 PM
  #28  
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"What color jersey was she wearing? I have stopped wearing jerseys that are 1) not yellow or very bright orange and 2) have patterns based on my experience, both as a rider and a driver. As a driver, I know there are light situations where red is almost invisible, even in broad daylight and patterns in mottled sunlight (like through trees) can be great camouflage."
Good point. Normally I wear red or blue, although my rain jacket/windbreaker has dayglo sleeves and accents. I may start wearing a dayglo jersey, at least on overcast days. I noticed on a recent overcast day I could see a couple of riders nearly a mile away because of their dayglo yellow/orange jerseys, while other cyclists were much less visible.

And I don't see that comment as implying the victim was to blame in any way. I'm merely acknowledging that dayglo is more visible and I should consider it to improve my chances of being seen, even if it isn't my preferred color.

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Old 08-30-16, 04:32 PM
  #29  
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Though I too think it has little to do with the circumstances of this incident, my personal mantra is there is no such thing as too conspicuous.

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Old 08-30-16, 06:49 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
A couple of helmets have built in taillights. Some better than others.
None of them have an 800 lumen DesignShine on them. In the area I'm going to be in, I want something that can slap you in the face and take names.
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Old 08-30-16, 06:54 PM
  #31  
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I stopped and took photos of the scene on the way home. If you look at the first, you will see that the car that did the passing will have just come around an S curve that crosses a railroad track, crested a slight hill and just entered the passing zone. Odds are that he took little to no time to check for oncoming traffic. Traffic often goes pretty slowly around that curve and people are often very impatient and gun it right there. I keep a weather eye open anywhere within a half mile of that crossing and in fact have posted one video of stupid driver tricks from right there.

Sorry the first photo is a bit grim. The two orange swoops near the flowers are, I assume the location of the tires marked by the police.

The forum has shrunk the photo significantly. Here's a link to the original so you can zoom in and see the road signs and hill properly. The "passing zone" sign you can see the back side of on the left (north) side of the road.

https://goo.gl/photos/HJtns1b8N5i1hkSZ9
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Old 08-30-16, 07:01 PM
  #32  
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Looks to me there was plenty of distance to get a good view ahead had the driver not been following the vehicle ahead too closely.
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Old 08-30-16, 07:02 PM
  #33  
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Maybe "...triathlete killed in bike crash" in the headline sounds more exciting than "...triathlete killed in vehicle accident". The latter sounds more tragic but just like any other traffic accident, but "triathlete killed in bike crash" gives the impression that her exceptional passion finally did her in.
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Old 08-30-16, 07:11 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Looks to me there was plenty of distance to get a good view ahead had the driver not been following the vehicle ahead too closely.
Maybe. It is a fairly wide-angle shot so it is hard to judge distances. The speed limit there is 50 or 55 MPH, and traffic on that road is typically doing 60 or a bit higher. At those speeds I think it's probably less than 10 seconds from the corner, and probably only 5 seconds from cresting the hill and crossing out of the no passing zone to the crash site. It'll be next Tuesday before I am back to work, I will try to remember to get a measurement.

Street view link on what I think is very close to the exact spot.
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Old 08-30-16, 07:36 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
This concerns me as well. It's the reason why, before I start my longer commute into denser traffic in a couple of weeks, I plan to build a rig for elevating my taillights up high enough so they can be seen through the car behind me by the guy behind him.
I used to commute 12 miles each way to work, usually in hours of darkness, six miles of it on a 55mph highway with an inadequate shoulder surface for bike riding. Pictured is my solution; rode it for seven years, year round with no accidents and few incidents.

I only took extra visibility precautions for traffic from the rear and used standard battery powered light for front as the highway had a median strip and few cross roads to concern me.
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Old 08-31-16, 05:15 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I stopped and took photos of the scene on the way home. If you look at the first, you will see that the car that did the passing will have just come around an S curve that crosses a railroad track, crested a slight hill and just entered the passing zone. Odds are that he took little to no time to check for oncoming traffic. Traffic often goes pretty slowly around that curve and people are often very impatient and gun it right there. I keep a weather eye open anywhere within a half mile of that crossing and in fact have posted one video of stupid driver tricks from right there.

Sorry the first photo is a bit grim. The two orange swoops near the flowers are, I assume the location of the tires marked by the police.

The forum has shrunk the photo significantly. Here's a link to the original so you can zoom in and see the road signs and hill properly. The "passing zone" sign you can see the back side of on the left (north) side of the road.

https://goo.gl/photos/HJtns1b8N5i1hkSZ9
These photos make me believe even more that this crash was the result of negligence on the part of the driver. The sightlines appear to be good. I have been in situations where driver's simply disregarded my presence and passed simply out of selfishness. I'v often asked why did they have to pass right here at this moment, intentionally putting law abiding vulnerable users at risk just to beat that car to the next stop sign. This bicyclist was riding legally. This motorist used criminally negligent technique in failing to see the bicyclist whom he should have seen. It is likely that this driver started his pass without looking for oncoming danger, such as bicyclists or pedestrians. By the time he realized the danger, it was too late. Passing requires a high level of awareness. I check extremely carefully before passing, often missing my opportunity. That's just the way it goes.
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Old 08-31-16, 06:19 AM
  #37  
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"PASS WITH CARE"

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Old 08-31-16, 06:47 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Man, that looks EXACTLY like the road I ride on. There was some criminal carelessness here. I fear the driver will not be held responsible. Just saying he didn't see the cyclist is not an excuse.
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Old 08-31-16, 06:58 AM
  #39  
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Looks like a route I tried -- once -- a couple of weeks ago. Never again. It looked okay via Google maps and street view, but turned out to be very dangerous. Only reason I kept going was because I was committed. There was no other route and backtracking would have exposed me to several more miles of the same thing. So I just plowed ahead, fingers crossed.

This is just a brief low-resolution snippet of a van nearly colliding with an oncoming vehicle while attempting an unnecessarily dangerous pass. And I recorded half a dozen more similar passes along this route. Unfortunately my camera didn't correct for rotation so it recorded at too low a resolution to capture most license plate detail.

I considered taking the lane, but it's probably best I didn't. I suspect the drivers would have passed anyway, and in this specific example almost certainly would have collided head on with the oncoming vehicle.

Live and learn. This time.

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Old 08-31-16, 08:00 AM
  #40  
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I and a friend of mine ride our bicycles a lot out in the country. I had a heck of a time getting him to stop riding lane center up hills on a two lane road. I kept telling him thatthere's a good chance someone coming the opposite direction would try an make an illegal pass of another vehicle ahed of it on the backside of the hill where he couldn't see it. Sure enough one day exactly that happened but very fortunately we were far enough from the crest of that hill that we were able to bail onto the shoulder. Never mind what the laws say, bicyclists are extremely vulnerable and we need to be extra vigilante and prepared to deal with idiot inattentive or reckless motorists. I often wonder how many of theses struck from behind bicycling injuries could have been avoidedi if the bicyclist had been using a rear view mirror.
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Old 08-31-16, 08:17 AM
  #41  
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I ride this road pretty often, and honestly, it's one of the safest roads in the area for riding. No roads here have any shoulder at all, and they're all 50 or 55 MPH speed limits. The sight lines on this road are very good, mostly level, few curves. I agree there was no excuse for this crash. This happened in the morning, she was heading east, into the sun, the driver that struck her was heading west. So that's no excuse either, in fact it makes it even worse, there should have been absolutely perfect lighting and perfect sightlines to see her.

Please be assured that I am not victim blaming here, but as someone who has ridden close to 40,000 miles commuting within 10 miles of this location in the last 12 years, I ride either an upright or I'm on the hoods on my road bike. I don't ride in the drops because I have seen too much of this kind of BS and I want to keep my eyes on every car within a half mile of me, coming, going or in driveways and side-streets. I use a mirror and know where all the idiot containers on the road around me are at all times and which ones are being particularly stupid. I have at least twice had this exact scenario happen to me, and in both cases I saw it coming well in advance and moved to the side (and let my AirZound fly as they went past). So yeah, 100% the driver's fault, but as with all situations on the road, assume screaming incompetence on the part of everyone else, keep your eyes open and have a plan (which is almost always "head for the ditch"). I've also had the reverse happen, where people are passing me on a blind hill then have to swerve violently to avoid a front-end collisioin with an oncoming car. One was a sports car that fishtailed for almost a quarter mile before he got it back under control.
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Old 08-31-16, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I ride this road pretty often, and honestly, it's one of the safest roads in the area for riding. No roads here have any shoulder at all, and they're all 50 or 55 MPH speed limits. The sight lines on this road are very good, mostly level, few curves. I agree there was no excuse for this crash. This happened in the morning, she was heading east, into the sun, the driver that struck her was heading west. So that's no excuse either, in fact it makes it even worse, there should have been absolutely perfect lighting and perfect sightlines to see her.

Please be assured that I am not victim blaming here, but as someone who has ridden close to 40,000 miles commuting within 10 miles of this location in the last 12 years, I ride either an upright or I'm on the hoods on my road bike. I don't ride in the drops because I have seen too much of this kind of BS and I want to keep my eyes on every car within a half mile of me, coming, going or in driveways and side-streets. I use a mirror and know where all the idiot containers on the road around me are at all times and which ones are being particularly stupid. I have at least twice had this exact scenario happen to me, and in both cases I saw it coming well in advance and moved to the side (and let my AirZound fly as they went past). So yeah, 100% the driver's fault, but as with all situations on the road, assume screaming incompetence on the part of everyone else, keep your eyes open and have a plan (which is almost always "head for the ditch"). I've also had the reverse happen, where people are passing me on a blind hill then have to swerve violently to avoid a front-end collisioin with an oncoming car. One was a sports car that fishtailed for almost a quarter mile before he got it back under control.
Well said.
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Old 08-31-16, 10:02 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
This is getting too close to victim -blaming. How about, "Where was the driver going?" "How fast was the driver going?""Was the driver in a passing zone?" "Was the driver in compliance with any restrictions on his license(eyeglasses)?" "How could the driver NOT see the bicyclist?" "Why did the driver not take emergency evasive action such as slamming on his brakes to avoid hitting a vulnerable user?"
You can perceive this as victim blaming. I call reporting relevant factors as solid journalism. Present information on accidents of a type that keeps happening so perhaps others can make better decisions.

I do not know that particular road, but I used to ride the county roads west and north of Ann Arbor and have driven others in the area. Those roads are typically straight, due east-west or north-south, 2 lane with well defined area for passing, not particularly wide and with no shoulder. You want to be visible from far enough away that a car can decide not to initiate his pass or be willing to leave the roadway if he does. Saying what the cyclists were wearing and using for lights might help other riders to know what might or might not work.

It is my simplistic belief that doing the right thing that might help someone else, whether or not I ever find out I helped out is what I am supposed to do. If I were a reported, I would consider it a given that I was to ask a couple of questions and include one sentence or two on clothes and lights used. Perhaps in the same paragraph where I described the road and directions traveled.

This is a case where both parties made premeditated choices. The outcome of those choices was bad. Is it wrong to point out with no judgement attached what those choices were? Isn't that just journalism at its best?

Ben
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Old 08-31-16, 10:17 AM
  #44  
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RIP..

I don't think anything will ever change because there is no reason for drivers to slow down and drive safely. There are no consequences if you run down and kill an innocent person because it was an "accident". Yes the person is sorry, there are almost never charges made against the driver unless they were under the influence of something.


If you run a stop sign and you run into a person, as long as you weren’t impaired by an illegal substance, then it’s like you ran a stop sign and didn’t hit a person,” explained Martin Miller, traffic sergeant


Criminal charges of vehicular homicide and reckless driving, said Assistant State Attorney Michael Hunt, can only be brought if culpable negligence, defined as the reckless disregard for human life, can be proven.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/2016/06/03/drivers-face-few-consequences-cycling-fatalities/84694510/
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Old 08-31-16, 10:29 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I suppose one thing about passing is that I feel it is safer for cars to be spread out, rather than tailgating each other.

I'm frequently surprised when I'm expecting one car coming up behind me, and there is a second one following closely behind (often so close that their forward view would have been impaired).
Yes..very good point. You think you are only passing one car and it turns out to be several, although you should be able to see this by looking thru the vehicles ahead.

And I might add is it is safer for a line of CYCLISTS to be spread out as well, so that they can be passed one at a time. But no no no we want out "pace lines" and "drafting" privileges.
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Old 08-31-16, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Looks like a route I tried -- once -- a couple of weeks ago. Never again. It looked okay via Google maps and street view, but turned out to be very dangerous. Only reason I kept going was because I was committed. There was no other route and backtracking would have exposed me to several more miles of the same thing. So I just plowed ahead, fingers crossed.

This is just a brief low-resolution snippet of a van nearly colliding with an oncoming vehicle while attempting an unnecessarily dangerous pass. And I recorded half a dozen more similar passes along this route. Unfortunately my camera didn't correct for rotation so it recorded at too low a resolution to capture most license plate detail.

I considered taking the lane, but it's probably best I didn't. I suspect the drivers would have passed anyway, and in this specific example almost certainly would have collided head on with the oncoming vehicle.

Live and learn. This time.

Dangerous pass, rural route

Incredible. From what can see 7 vehicles passed you and THREE OF THEM went into the other lane of oncoming traffic---across a double yellow line!---- and forced those vehicles basically off the roadway a bit so that they could get by! In the video, even without a rear view mirror, I could tell trouble was on its way when I saw those oncoming cars veer off the roadway.


It's what i meant by my post above this one...there is this thing called a BRAKE (or a break....hahahahah!) that they can use to slow down behind you before they finally decide to pass clearly, which most of the other cars appeared to be doing if they had the chance.

But what a pathetic road for cycling OR driving! Sheesh! Not even wide enough to PAINT a shoulder line! Keep in mind that there are good and bad roads for cycling just as there is for cars or trucks. Arf.
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Old 08-31-16, 10:48 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
RIP..

I don't think anything will ever change because there is no reason for drivers to slow down and drive safely. There are no consequences if you run down and kill an innocent person because it was an "accident". Yes the person is sorry, there are almost never charges made against the driver unless they were under the influence of something.
Talk frankly and at a low volume to ANY cop and he'll tell you...the best way to kill someone is to run them down. It could be midnight and if you tell a jury the sun was in your eyes, you are off scott free. About ten years ago the police in western Long Island started taking a second look at pedestrians who had been killed at intersections. They suspected many of them were Russian Mafia executions.
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Old 08-31-16, 10:50 AM
  #48  
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Oh, I haven't even shown the worst of it. That's just one brief snippet. It goes on and on like that for 10 minutes. One near-collision after another after another.

I didn't even realize how dangerous it was until last night when I reviewed the video, nearly two weeks later. I tend to get into an emotionless detachment zone while riding in traffic, so I hardly notice how many close calls there are. But before I ever venture out on the bike I go through this mental preparation to stay calm, focus on what I can actually do, and not get emotionally involved in what goes on around me.

But I saw in the video so many ridiculously dangerous passes I'm going to forward the video to local officials to encourage them to either enforcement existing speed and passing regulations, or to consider some other methods. It's not merely dangerous to cyclists. It's dangerous to other drivers and to school kids in the school zone in the middle of that route.

Oh, the best part? Even a school bus crossed the no-passing double yellow line to pass me, at a much higher speed than the 20-30 mph signs posted for that poorly marked section of road. Lovely.

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Old 08-31-16, 11:18 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
Incredible. From what can see 7 vehicles passed you and THREE OF THEM went into the other lane of oncoming traffic---across a double yellow line!---- and forced those vehicles basically off the roadway a bit so that they could get by! In the video, even without a rear view mirror, I could tell trouble was on its way when I saw those oncoming cars veer off the roadway.


It's what i meant by my post above this one...there is this thing called a BRAKE (or a break....hahahahah!) that they can use to slow down behind you before they finally decide to pass clearly, which most of the other cars appeared to be doing if they had the chance.

But what a pathetic road for cycling OR driving! Sheesh! Not even wide enough to PAINT a shoulder line! Keep in mind that there are good and bad roads for cycling just as there is for cars or trucks. Arf.
This is every day, every minute where I ride (the types of roads in the area of this story). Yes, the paint for the fog line is often on a crumbling edge of pavement, and EVERY SINGLE car passes on double yellow - it's extremely rare that a car will wait behind me on a double yellow, even if there is oncoming traffic present. In fact it's so expected that oncoming traffic when there's a cyclist coming will just automatically move far right and drag their tires in the gravel, expecting the people behind the cyclist to pass in the face of oncoming traffic. This is NORMAL here.

There are certainly better roads for cycling, but not here. I have to traverse about 12 miles of this sort of road to get to the first road that has a bike lane. There are a few only about 4 miles away that have a shoulder, but I'm not usually going that way.
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Old 08-31-16, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
This is every day, every minute where I ride.... This is NORMAL here.

There are certainly better roads for cycling, but not here. I have to traverse about 12 miles of this sort of road to get to the first road that has a bike lane. There are a few only about 4 miles away that have a shoulder, but I'm not usually going that way.
Well to be honest it seems to me they veered to the left a reasonable amount..some went ENTIRELY into the other lane. What I was really amazed at and criticizing were the 3 that forced oncoming traffic to nearly go into the rut on their side. THEY are the ones who need to use their brake and wait. When I do this, I often can see and feel the cussing from anyone who might be right behind me. ARF!

And I try to hit a friendly beep and thumbs up as I head back to the right, but often the riders are so occupied keeping an eye behind them I don't know if they notice or appreciate it.
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