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The sun was in his eyes and he didnt want to swerve into the car in the other lane.

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The sun was in his eyes and he didnt want to swerve into the car in the other lane.

Old 07-12-19, 12:43 PM
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boozergut
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The sun was in his eyes and he didnt want to swerve into the car in the other lane.

https://journalstar.com/news/local/c...8YsS7DznN3TPjY
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Old 07-13-19, 06:27 AM
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I guess just slowing down was out of the question?

It always amazes me that so many drivers fail this basic driving rule... "don't hit anything in front of you."
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Old 07-13-19, 07:25 AM
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I've ridden that road. Has a very shallow ditch next to it on either side. Just the kind of thing a pickup is built to handle.


Or. You know. He could have used his brakes.
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Old 07-13-19, 10:40 AM
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Yes-----------------why didnt he take to the ditch.
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Old 07-13-19, 11:17 AM
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Hudson told police he couldn't see the bicyclist because of the sun in an area that went from shaded to bright sunlight. He said he tried to swerve into the other lane but saw another car and couldn't avoid hitting Hejl.
Basic speed law always applies, of course: Drive only as fast as conditions allow.

Works fairly well.

If there are spots on the road due to ugly sunlight conditions, then it's incumbent on people to drive/ride/walk accordingly. The assumption being that there's someone there and there'll be a crash unless one takes appropriate precautions.

No telling what was actually the case, on that road at that time. But, it wouldn't surprise me the light was bad.

It's scary how much can fail to be seen on a road we regularly travel, despite knowing it very well, once the light goes "bad." I've had near misses with deer, before, on mountain roads where the sunlight blinded everything for a few dozen feet, where the light change couldn't be anticipated before it hit.
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Old 07-13-19, 11:45 AM
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It appears to be a narrow road, with narrow shoulders.

However, if one is riding to the right, then there is usually room for a vehicle to safely pass despite oncoming traffic.

Not necessarily a comfortable pass, but not landing a cyclist in the hospital or morgue.

Yes... that pedal next to the accelerator is the brake pedal.. but too many drivers seem to forget it exists.
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Old 07-13-19, 11:56 AM
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For those curious...this is the locale of the area seen from Maps: Satellite, North is up:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/40%C2%B046'13.2%22N+96%C2%B043'49.5%22W/@40.770326,-96.7315123,364m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m11!1m4!4m3!1m0!1m0!3e0!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d40.7703256!4d-96.7304122

US77 on the far right is a major Lincoln bypass effectively, with lots of constantly flowing traffic north/south seldom turning on/off ..."Pioneers Blvd" (where the collision happened) is an arterial elsewhere--but out here within 1 mile on the edge of town becomes a minor street here in terms or importance. Folsom's only major source of traffic here is the YMCA field parking lot pictured, where there are kidde-league futbol games--and its major function is to get people to US77 to elsewhere.

A few other general notes for those wondering:

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post

It appears to be a narrow road, with narrow shoulders.

However, if one is riding to the right, then there is usually room for a vehicle to safely pass despite oncoming traffic.

Not necessarily a comfortable pass, but not landing a cyclist in the hospital or morgue.

Yes... that pedal next to the accelerator is the brake pedal.. but too many drivers seem to forget it exists.

A) The County DOR does not believe in shoulders. Only center lines and fog lines, not even rumble bars. In the entire county there are probably only 5 maybe 6 roads in/out/around all of Lincoln that have any kind shoulders...and those are utter mad-houses of lead-footed traffic no cyclist will ever be on except before 6AM on a summers Saturday/Sunday morning. 7PM out in this area is very tame on a weeknight.

A1) as noted above, shallow wide ditch adjacent that any manly pickup truck the city-slicker owns can handle.

B) Traffic on these out-of-the-ways before/after rush hour is generally IME 1-3 cars a minute. During rush, lots of whackos will Indy500 leadfoot it to dodge traffic lights on US77 around these spots. Evenings, when the Optimists have organized futbol at the YMCA fields also gets a bit hectic with soccer-parents coming/going. They're very respectful of cyclists IMHO even when they slowdown their getting to onramping to US77.




Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 07-13-19 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 07-13-19, 12:18 PM
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Most of the the ditches next to our roads around here have dropoffs.

Yet, despite our rain, the frequency of ditches being full up to street level is rare, and generally attributable to a culvert being plugged or a bad drainage design.

We need a lot more of those shoulders where one can simply drive onto the shoulder, and back onto the road.

Or, a cyclist could potentially do the same.
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Old 07-14-19, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post


It appears to be a narrow road, with narrow shoulders.

However, if one is riding to the right, then there is usually room for a vehicle to safely pass despite oncoming traffic.
I suppose that depends on what one's definition of "safely" is. It does not appear to me that those lanes are wide enough to have a car and a bicycle within the lane at the same time. It is not safe for a car to cross the center line when opposing traffic is coming.
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Old 07-14-19, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I suppose that depends on what one's definition of "safely" is. It does not appear to me that those lanes are wide enough to have a car and a bicycle within the lane at the same time. It is not safe for a car to cross the center line when opposing traffic is coming.
Safely means not being hit.

The pickup driver apparently saw the cyclist, but deemed that he was out of options (forgot how to stop).

We don't have a lot of info about the cyclist and where he was riding. However, being a few inches from the side of the road gives approaching vehicles more options.

If a vehicle is about 6' wide, and a lane is about 10' wide, that still gives a couple of feet of clearance.

Vehicles approaching from the opposite direction also naturally give a little space.
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Old 07-14-19, 12:07 PM
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Around here, being in the mountains and all, we don't have too many straight roads. There are some that will put a rising or setting sun right in line with the road and although I try to avoid those in mornings and evenings, I am extra cautious when I do have to ride them.

But if a driver cannot see well because of the sun, they are obligated to reduce speed.
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Old 07-14-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
Around here, being in the mountains and all, we don't have too many straight roads. There are some that will put a rising or setting sun right in line with the road and although I try to avoid those in mornings and evenings, I am extra cautious when I do have to ride them.

But if a driver cannot see well because of the sun, they are obligated to reduce speed.
Yet far too many take the Tim Allen approach of "more power..."

It's interesting how "fear from the rear" tends to be a motivating issue here... drivers tend to fear slowing traffic, or being hit from behind almost more than hitting someone/something. There is an overwhelming need to go fast and not be the one "slowing down others." This notion is far more pervasive than it should be.
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Old 07-14-19, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Safely means not being hit.
As long as I haven't been hit, I am by definition riding safely.
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Old 07-15-19, 05:21 AM
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Notice in the pictures the pick up parked clear off the road!!! He could have taken to the ditch, and with a pickup it would have handled it. He needs to have the book thrown at him.
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Old 07-15-19, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Notice in the pictures the pick up parked clear off the road!!! He could have taken to the ditch, and with a pickup it would have handled it. He needs to have the book thrown at him.
It would be a pretty scary transition at high speeds. And, those power poles aren't that far from where the pickup is parked, assuming that is the pickup/direction.

Nonetheless, it is better to risk hitting a power pole than to ram a human being.
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Old 08-12-19, 02:55 PM
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This is such a difficult situation. I'm not sure what I would have done.
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Old 08-13-19, 11:32 AM
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The pick-up driver is in a difficult situation, no doubt. He has to explain a disastrous outcome. We don't have to buy it (his explanation) wholesale! I may have missed the post that wondered if the driver were being entirely truthful about how much impairment the sun caused, or if he simply failed to judge how much speed reduction and/or evasive maneuver would have allowed the cyclist to survive. It looks for all the world like there was a bit of center area between the north and south (or east/west) lanes, and moving left around the cyclist need not have meant a fatal head on with oncoming traffic. I wouldn't expect him to dive into the ditch at speed. He would almost certainly have rolled over. We are working way too hard trying to make sense out of what we have been presented. Either he could see or he couldn't. I think he could see.

That said, I would much rather be in any kind of motor vehicle than on a bicycle when the sun is rising or setting. I haven't been in the vehicle yet where, with proper adjustment of the flip-down visor, you couldn't restore forward vision such that you don't have to kill anyone. The same isn't true on a bicycle. Cyclists and drivers alike search high and low for the perfect sunglasses that will deal with low angle sun. There ain't none! But visors work! Drivers should use them! Bicycles ain't got none. Helmet visors ride too high to get the really low angle sun, and about the only thing that works is a hand over your eyes and that means taking a hand off the bars when you may need it for more pressing purposes. Nope. I'm sorry, I'm simply not buying that drivers story. I get why he came up with it. What else does he have? But, again, WE don't have to buy it. In any other First World Country that driver would never legally get behind the wheel of another vehicle again. In America where even the cyclists are mainly drivers, all accidents look like the cyclists fault, or nobody's fault. Just ... stuff. You know, tragic and all that. Yeah, right.

Last edited by Leisesturm; 08-13-19 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 08-13-19, 12:55 PM
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I believe a life long license and registration suspensions should be a thing. If you can't find someway to not hit a cyclist and kill them, you shouldn't be on the road.
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