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Old 11-14-17, 10:58 AM   #1
Arthur Peabody
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'Professional cyclist injured in Santa Fe crash'

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'A professional bicyclist from Santa Fe was seriously injured after colliding with a car here Friday and had to be airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital.

'According to a police report, 29-old Irena Ossola was riding her bicycle down a hill on West Alameda Street around 4 p.m. Friday when she collided with a Honda SUV that was turning left onto Quail View Lane.'

'The 72-year-old Honda driver, who has not been cited with a violation in the crash, told officers "the sun was blinding him and he didn't see the bicyclist.'
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Old 11-14-17, 11:42 AM   #2
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WtH! Not even a ticket?
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Old 11-14-17, 12:01 PM   #3
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I am most wary of left hooks to the point of assuming that every motorist who looks to be positioning to turn will do so right in front of me. They may be waiting specifically for me, but I don't want to find out that they are not.

Hope she recovers well. Sounds like a nasty one.
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Old 11-14-17, 03:24 PM   #4
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You can Google the street view. The intersection is in Santa Fe. It is a junction, so if the driver was making a left turn he was facing west slightly up hill at 4 p.m. there's a very good chance son was right in his eyes.

I wonder if the same thing would have happened to a car driving out of the sun, an older car without daytime running lights. The car would no doubt have been traveling even faster. I also then wonder what if the bike rider was running a daytime headlight. Would this have been enough to alert the driver.

However using Google Street View to position myself where the driver would have been, eastbound traffic sweeps from right to left because of the bend in the road. Therefore the Sun would not be obscuring the road in totality as it would if the road was straight out of the Sun. At 35 miles an hour the cyclist would have traversed from right to left across the driver's windshield.

I know that the driver said he couldn't see, but I wonder if he didn't try to beat the cyclist across the intersection.

I will say though that the sun would have been in his eyes at some point as he traced traffic from left to right, and being and older senior perhaps his eyes did not recover in time.

Regardless, the driver said he was blinded by the Sun, therefore he should not have have proceeded. And it does not say if he was signaling a turn or not. And it does not appear to be a left turn lane, so there may not have been anything to alert the cyclist that the driver intended to turn. And then again with the low afternoon sun hitting the front of the car in full the turn signal made out of been seen if one was on.

Without knowing more it is difficult to ascertain fault but I would say the driver is more at fault, and the cyclist may have been out riding her braking ability, especially downhill. That may sound ridiculous to those who sport ride road bikes on public roads, but out riding one's brakes sounds less prudent to many bike commuters.

Last edited by BobbyG; 11-14-17 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 11-14-17, 04:37 PM   #5
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Professional cyclist... meet Amateur driver... news at 11.
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Old 11-14-17, 08:08 PM   #6
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Professional cyclist... meet Amateur driver... news at 11.
Exactly!!! I thought location was familiar. Because an ex's elderly parents' live in that neighborhood. West Alameda St. is not a big hill.
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Old 11-14-17, 11:32 PM   #7
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Not to make any excuse for the driver who is 100% at fault for failure to yield when making a left turn, but there's a teachable moment for us too.

Left cross collisions are often caused by drivers underestimating a bicyclist's closing speed. This is especially true when the cyclist is moving faster than 15mph, which is what drivers think they move at. Add the fact that the sun was at her back and in the driver's eyes and the cyclist might have placed herself on high alert to the possibility that the driver would attempt the left, and possibly been ready to avoid the collision.

Again, this doesn't place blame on the cyclist, and is offered for the sole purpose of increasing awareness of how these things happen in the hopes of improving our own defensive riding skills.

FWIW - old timers may remember that this is how James Dean was killed, so it's not only about bikes.
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Old 11-14-17, 11:51 PM   #8
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Well, I don't know about the James Dean accident theory..... He was going westbound in the late afternoon and the other driver was eastbound and left crossed him..... both at high rate of speed...but not being able to judge the spider's speed was a factor.

What's also un-nerving is when a driver is coming at you on an open road and decides....for some un-know reason..... to make a u-turn right in front of you. You just gotta look at every car...as a loaded gun.

Last edited by trailangel; 11-14-17 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 11-15-17, 08:42 AM   #9
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Well,..................... You just gotta look at every car...as a loaded gun.
I left out all that I feel is not really relevant regarding our riding a bicycle, driving a car-truck-motorcycle-RV-etc....

I agree with your summation.
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Old 11-15-17, 09:35 AM   #10
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Add the fact that the sun was at her back and in the driver's eyes....
It's been reported by the driver “the sun was blinding him and he didn’t see the bicyclist.” That doesn't make it a fact.

"Police have not cited the driver, but the investigation is still ongoing."

The sun would indeed have been at her back heading down the hill - on the summer solstice at sunset.

But this time of the year, not so much. It was at her 10.

The driver would have been looking directly at the sun coming out of the rotary, but by the time he reached Quayle View Lane....

Let the investigation continue.

-mr. bill

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Old 11-15-17, 10:01 AM   #11
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Old 11-15-17, 10:41 AM   #12
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It's hard to judge closing speed from a bike, motorcycle or vehicle coming right at you.
Some of the motorcycle safety courses tell you to weave back and forth to help on coming better track your speed.
I personally blame the murdered out black bikes, black spokes and helmets as a contributing factor.
(IMO)
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Old 11-15-17, 12:00 PM   #13
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FBinNY put up an article some months ago from British investigators in the aircraft business. As I remember it now, we see what we are prepared to see and don't see it if we are not prepared. This means that, in addition to misjudging a cyclists speed, often the cyclist is not even seen by motorists even if being blinded by direct sunlight is not the issue.
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Old 11-15-17, 12:22 PM   #14
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FBinNY put up an article some months ago from British investigators in the aircraft business. .....
Here's a fresh link. IMO this is required reading for all cyclists.
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Old 11-15-17, 12:26 PM   #15
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Just carelessness by driver. Don't make excuses that your eye not evolved to see cyclists to absolve yourself of killing a cyclist.
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Old 11-15-17, 12:47 PM   #16
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Just carelessness by driver. Don't make excuses that your eye not evolved to see cyclists to absolve yourself of killing a cyclist.
We need to be clear that there's a difference between an explanation and an excuse. Explanations should not be used as excuses, but they are useful.

As a cyclist, I have no interest in the excuses, but do care about the explanations because understanding the causality (other than just dumb uncaring drivers) gives me insights into assessing risk and being ready to compensate and (hopefully) stay safe.

Do I excuse drivers for left crosses (of which I've had many, including one collision)? No, why should I? However, I do care to understand it from the driver's perspective, so I know what, if anything, I can do to prevent them from making these errors and/or be ready with countermoves.

So, those who are focused on blame can continue to operate that way, but I'll continue to move past blame and focus on trying to understand causality.
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Old 11-15-17, 12:58 PM   #17
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Here's a fresh link. IMO this is required reading for all cyclists.
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We are the result of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Our eyes, and the way that our brain processes the images that they receive, are very well suited to creeping up on unsuspecting antelopes and spotting threats such as sabre-toothed tigers.

These threats are largely gone and they’ve been replaced by vehicles travelling towards us at high speeds. This, we’ve not yet adapted to deal with.
This was also covered in the book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do." In the book they point out several tricks of the eye that have been done with roadway design, because our eyes are not well suited to high speeds.

Of course the obvious solution is simply to slow down traffic... but no driver ever wants to do this, heck, they hardly want to drive the speed limit.

HOWEVER... in ANY situation in which one, as a driver, cannot clearly ascertain enough information to safely proceed, one should ALWAYS SLOW DOWN. Or, in this case, move ahead cautiously.
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Old 11-15-17, 01:06 PM   #18
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This was also covered in the book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do." In the book they point out several tricks of the eye that have been done with roadway design, because our eyes are not well suited to high speeds.

Of course the obvious solution is simply to slow down traffic... but no driver ever wants to do this, heck, they hardly want to drive the speed limit.

HOWEVER... in ANY situation in which one, as a driver, cannot clearly ascertain enough information to safely proceed, one should ALWAYS SLOW DOWN. Or, in this case, move ahead cautiously.
Good advice for drivers, but useless for cyclists encountering them.

We need to understand how and why drivers make mistakes that affect us, and be ready not only for what they should do, but what they might do, which encompasses a much broader range of possibilities.

Among the rules I ride by is the awareness that anytime I'm riding faster than 15mph or so, drivers will likely underestimate my speed. That awareness keeps me from being surprised by left crosses and traffic entering from side roads.
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Old 11-15-17, 01:38 PM   #19
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Good advice for drivers, but useless for cyclists encountering them.

We need to understand how and why drivers make mistakes that affect us, and be ready not only for what they should do, but what they might do, which encompasses a much broader range of possibilities.

Among the rules I ride by is the awareness that anytime I'm riding faster than 15mph or so, drivers will likely underestimate my speed. That awareness keeps me from being surprised by left crosses and traffic entering from side roads.
Good rule, and yeah I too have been in near misses for that same reason...

Also part of it comes from many drivers just not ever having ridden a bike faster than about 10-12MPH themselves... and the fact that far too many driving decisions are made in a quick glance. When I drive (or bike), I use a "look twice" rule... I do the quick glances (as we all do), then look again, and confirm or not, what I thought I saw. Yeah, it takes an extra second or two... but it saves lives.
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Old 11-15-17, 07:47 PM   #20
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People that claim they didnt see bikes or other cars should loose their license until they get a release from an eye doctor, and a fine and jail time.
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Old 11-16-17, 12:16 AM   #21
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Sometimes the suffering can be as bad for the driver as for the rider to which punishment is not a helpful answer. That's why people aren't always charged.

The driver could very well have made an error, perhaps due to old age, and now at 72 has to try to live with the fact that they have seriously injured or perhaps killed another human being. Someone young enough to be their grand daughter. They may have already voluntarily surrendered their DL and the mental anguish might enough to even lead to their premature illness or death. I work with the elderly and see events leading to sudden declines like that all the time.

You never know. I'm just glad that I haven't had to pay the full price for every bone headed move I've ever made while driving or riding.
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Old 11-16-17, 02:01 AM   #22
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We need to be clear that there's a difference between an explanation and an excuse. Explanations should not be used as excuses, but they are useful.

As a cyclist, I have no interest in the excuses, but do care about the explanations because understanding the causality (other than just dumb uncaring drivers) gives me insights into assessing risk and being ready to compensate and (hopefully) stay safe.

Do I excuse drivers for left crosses (of which I've had many, including one collision)? No, why should I? However, I do care to understand it from the driver's perspective, so I know what, if anything, I can do to prevent them from making these errors and/or be ready with countermoves.

So, those who are focused on blame can continue to operate that way, but I'll continue to move past blame and focus on trying to understand causality.
Yes yes yes!

Riding with sun behind you makes you especially vulnerable. Of course a driver who can't see should not proceed but any cyclist who expects all motorists to actually always do that is not going to fare well, sooner or later.

Left crosses are very common car-bike crashes and are easy to avoid. First, try to adjust your speed so as not to arrive at an intersection simultaneously with oncoming traffic that might turn left. Second, position yourself visibly - ride where they are looking. Finally, learn and practice the instant turn. And, again, be especially careful when the sun is low and behind you.
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Old 11-16-17, 04:43 AM   #23
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Editorial

“...making sure cyclists follow the rules of the road so that all can be safe.”

“One solution to car and bike accidents, of course, is for all parties to pay attention.”

“After all, what driver of a car or truck hasn’t fumed when bike riders cut into their lanes without proper signals?”

“Cyclists, on the other hand, must consider their responsibilities as well as their rights; they cannot clamor to be treated equally on the road and then run stop signs or ignore traffic lights, as so many do.”

“Meanwhile, let’s all wish Irena Ossola health and wellness.”

-me. bill
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Old 11-16-17, 05:39 AM   #24
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This was also covered in the book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do." In the book they point out several tricks of the eye that have been done with roadway design, because our eyes are not well suited to high speeds.

Of course the obvious solution is simply to slow down traffic... but no driver ever wants to do this, heck, they hardly want to drive the speed limit.

HOWEVER... in ANY situation in which one, as a driver, cannot clearly ascertain enough information to safely proceed, one should ALWAYS SLOW DOWN. Or, in this case, move ahead cautiously.
Due to some health issues that are affecting my eyesight, I have begun to have some trouble driving after dark. When I do drive at night (mainly just to and from work), I try to stick to streets I am quite familiar with. Any time I take a street I don't know all that well, I always drive at least 5 mph slower than the posted speed limit, just so I can have perhaps a second or so of extra "reaction" time.
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Old 11-16-17, 07:09 AM   #25
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Here's a fresh link. IMO this is required reading for all cyclists.
That is a very good read. I also think that should be required reading for all that operate some sort of vehicle; however, I guess some would use it as an excuse...
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