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Teen Competitive Cyclist Dies After Being Hit by Car

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Teen Competitive Cyclist Dies After Being Hit by Car

Old 07-31-23, 12:18 PM
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Teen Competitive Cyclist Dies After Being Hit by Car

From the NY Times today. How can such an accident happen? Did he have the necessary high viz accessories? Was the driver paying attention? The initial police report « At about 12:30 p.m., White was riding his endurance road bicycle southbound on the shoulder of the highway when a Toyota Matrix struck him from behind, ejecting him from the bicycle, Trooper Gabriel Moltrer, a public information officer for the Colorado State Patrol, said on Monday. White was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Mr. Moltrer said.There was no indication that drugs, alcohol or excessive speed were involved, and the driver was not injured in the accident, which took place northeast of Boulder, Mr. Moltrer said. »

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Old 07-31-23, 12:21 PM
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Sad story. Things can happen when we ride bikes on roads with cars. Things can happen when we ride on roads with no cars. Things can happen when we ride off road. Biking has a level of danger than we accept when we participate.
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Old 07-31-23, 12:42 PM
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it's not an accident if their was a lack of attention.
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Old 07-31-23, 12:50 PM
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If the driver was actually driving while sitting in the drivers seat, things like this wouldn't happen. I don't know what he was doing while sitting there behind a steering wheel but driving certainly wasn't it.
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Old 07-31-23, 12:54 PM
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Everywhere I drive I see many drivers not paying attention to the road as they continue to use their smartphone. Studies have estimated that the rise in auto accident rates is the result of drivers using cellphones. These drivers cannot even stay in their lane while driving straight sections of the highway.

Most of the places I have been riding for the past 30 years are no longer safe for bicyclists and it only takes one inattentive driver to kill one or more bicyclists on the road. I ended up buying some mountain bikes to have the option for going on trails and away from vehicular traffic.

NYC keeps the most detailed reports on incidents in the city and this includes ones involving pedestrians and bicyclists as well as motorists. Inattentive motorists or people driving too fast are often cited. A problem though it that the injured cyclist is taken to the hospital or the morgue and so it is the motorist that is telling the officer what happened and so their is going to be a bias.
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Old 07-31-23, 01:19 PM
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Tragedy is tragedy.

But the ability to apply the lessons of one tragedy to avoid another is impossible until further details are provided.

Where exactly did this happen? Was the motor vehicle continuing onwards and drifted into the shoulder, or was this the all-too-common right hook as the motor vehicle operator sought to turn?

We can't mitigate the risk until we understand what the underlying source of danger actually was.
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Old 07-31-23, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris
Tragedy is tragedy.

But the ability to apply the lessons of one tragedy to avoid another is impossible until further details are provided.

Where exactly did this happen? Was the motor vehicle continuing onwards and drifted into the shoulder, or was this the all-too-common right hook as the motor vehicle operator sought to turn?

We can't mitigate the risk until we understand what the underlying source of danger actually was.
An alternate response is fabricate the source of danger and to use the report as another opportunity to wail about smartphone use regardless of lack of any information or details about the tragedy.
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Old 07-31-23, 02:51 PM
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Not an excuse, but a possible explanation for those who wonder, "how could this happen".





There's a thing called "target fixation" whereby we fixate on things and end up running into what we're trying to avoid. Possible it's an acquired instinct left over from our past lives as an apex predator. This may be why drivers crash into things on shoulders that they couldn't not see, including tractor trailers, emergency vehicles, police cars with strobes flashing, and, unfortunately, cyclists.

There's things we can do to overcome target fixation, like training ourselves to focus where we want to go (escape path) rather than the hazard we want to avoid, but that won't help when the it's the driver behind us fixating.

Target fixation is one reason I avoid riding on shoulders or even the right edge. By riding in the lane, I'm in the driver's central zone of vision, and my lateral movement to the right as he approaches helps break the fixation, which (hopefully) stays locked in the place I was.
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Old 07-31-23, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris
Tragedy is tragedy.

But the ability to apply the lessons of one tragedy to avoid another is impossible until further details are provided.

Where exactly did this happen? Was the motor vehicle continuing onwards and drifted into the shoulder, or was this the all-too-common right hook as the motor vehicle operator sought to turn?

We can't mitigate the risk until we understand what the underlying source of danger actually was.
This article has a litte bit more info in the incident... https://www.dailycamera.com/2023/07/...TTZEAZXHr087eU

From what I understand from cycling friends who live in the area, he was riding on a route that is very popular for cyclists in Boulder. One friend commented that he's ridden on that road 100s of times.
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Old 07-31-23, 03:04 PM
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Old 07-31-23, 03:04 PM
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This is a damn shame. I’m older now. When I was 17 I had no awareness how many poor drivers there were or how many people were driving around impaired or with poor eyesight. I did make sure to ride in a straight line and didn’t wear a helmet until mandated in racing. 17 and 23 yrs old. Jesus what a tragedy.
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Old 07-31-23, 03:48 PM
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There was a young lady hit last week less than a mile from me she survived but is busted up pretty bad she had actually stopped to call 911 about the truck being all over the road. Next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital. Guy turned around and came back down the street. DUI twice the limit and a 7 year old in the truck. Local law enforcement is taking it seriously
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Old 07-31-23, 05:48 PM
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It's always sobering when you hear about a fellow cyclist being hit and killed. I have no idea why this happened. Maybe gross negligence by the driver, such as texting etc. But, it's possible it was just plain human error.

About 35 years ago, I remember a road trip in a car, where i started before dawn. I was on an interstate. Up ahead I saw the taillights of two cars. Probably the better part of a mile ahead. Suddenly the taillights from those two cars, a mile away, became the two taillights of a truck about 100 feet away. While I was overtaking, noting bad happened. But the point is sometimes out brains just do a really bad job of making sense of the situation.

I'm not trying to make an excuse for the driver in this case, because I know NOTHING about the circumstances. I just point this out that even a driver doing their best can still make an honest mistake about the situation.

In the end, of course the driver has the responsibility of not running someone over. Maybe they were doing something stupid like texting and driving, and should be drawn and quartered. Then again, maybe they just made a human error. Or for all we know, maybe the bike rider did something stupid, like suddenly pullling out into a traffic lane.

Brain farts go both ways.
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Old 07-31-23, 06:26 PM
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4-lane divided highway with wide paved shoulder. Straight as an arrow.


Google Maps - Streeview
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Old 07-31-23, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
4-lane divided highway with wide paved shoulder. Straight as an arrow.
We don't yet know with sufficient specificity exactly where this happened, And depending on where, there are two very different sets of risk factors.

The first possibility is that "just south of the 63rd Street intersection" means that quite specifically, in which case there's the cycling challenge that one is riding through an area where a major car-concept road is joined by an "on ramp" from the crossing road, in this case 63. Those can be really nasty situations to bike - one could almost argue that in fact the primary thing which makes an interstate highways unattractive is the hazard presented by the ramps.

The other possibility is more the situation you state: 2 lanes in a direction and an ample shoulder. Which should be entirely free of conflict for cyclists between ramps and so in reality pretty safe to ride (been there, done that), but alas there's always the possibility of a distracted, confused, or impaired driver drifting out of the lane into the shoulder precisely when a cyclist is there.

Rumble strips are sometimes deployed in these situations, but I have to say those are a mixed blessing. There's a remote and fairly low traffic but high speed road where ride sometimes where the shoulder is so "protected" with the rumble strips having only occasional brief gaps. Solo, it's fine - but in a group, it's good to get people organized by likely pacing before that section, as there isn't quite comfortable room to pass one another on the shoulder, and if going out into an ordinary lane one tends to feel a bit trapped there until the next gap - I'm not going to say crossing the rumble grooves on road tires is unsurvivable, but it is visually unattractive.

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Old 07-31-23, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris
We don't yet know with sufficient specificity exactly where this happened, And depending on where, there are two very different sets of risk factors.
I based the location on the discussion on the /r/Boulder r-e-d-d-i-t thread.
They reported it happened in front of the Boulder Cty Fire Training center, so that is where the Streetview image is located.
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Old 07-31-23, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
...Biking has a level of danger than we accept when we participate.
Do drivers accept that level of danger to themselves by other bad drivers too?

Why is bad driving an acceptable norm?
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Old 07-31-23, 08:48 PM
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Old 08-01-23, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
Do drivers accept that level of danger to themselves by other bad drivers too?

Why is bad driving an acceptable norm?
Of course they do. Infinitely more drivers than bicyclists are killed and and injured in MV collisions.

It's not that bad driving is an acceptable norm. But it is a reality because there's no as practical way to eliminate it. Also keep in mind, that there will still be plenty of collisions even if driver skills and attention improve significantly. (which we know they won't). That's one reason for the big push to get humans out of the driver's seat entirely.
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Old 08-01-23, 07:02 AM
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https://www.npr.org/2023/07/31/11910...ulder-colorado

White was riding on the shoulder of Highway 119, known as the Diagonal, in Boulder on Saturday afternoon when he was hit by a 23-year-old woman driving a Toyota Matrix. The driver crossed from the right-hand lane onto the shoulder, striking White from behind before she crashed into a fence, according to an incident report from the Colorado State Patrol. White was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead. The car's driver was uninjured.

Neither drugs, alcohol nor excessive speed are suspected factors in the crash, according to the state patrol.
If chemical substances or speeding weren't the root causes, I'm betting on distraction as the most likely.
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Old 08-01-23, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Of course they do. Infinitely more drivers than bicyclists are killed and and injured in MV collisions.

It's not that bad driving is an acceptable norm. But it is a reality because there's no as practical way to eliminate it. Also keep in mind, that there will still be plenty of collisions even if driver skills and attention improve significantly. (which we know they won't). That's one reason for the big push to get humans out of the driver's seat entirely.
The big push on that "reason" is more a sales pitch for promoting investment/government sponsorship in full self-driving/robo-taxi technology products and venture capital schemes, from marketeers and speculators for companies and individuals trying to sell the potential of their vaporware products with unsupported/speculative claims of significant enhanced public safety to be gained.
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Old 08-01-23, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
If chemical substances or speeding weren't the root causes, I'm betting on distraction as the most likely.
It should be mandatory that the vehicle operator allows law enforcement to look at their cellphone record at the time of the collision. Much like a breathalyzer in case of suspected DUI, if there is a refusal, the driver's license is automatically suspended for one year.
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Old 08-01-23, 10:05 AM
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I love the way the news reports don't include the name of the driver. She left the roadway and killed a kid, but let's be sensitive to her.
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Old 08-01-23, 10:24 AM
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It's interesting when bad driving is considered criminal and when it's simply dismissed with an "it was an accident."

https://www.9news.com/article/news/c...d-c51633c00fd7

Most of us remember the truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years when his truck lost its brakes and he plowed into stopped cars on the interstate. The brakes did in fact fail, and his biggest mistake was missing the runaway truck ramp. Even though is sentence was reduced, missing the ramp was criminal in his case. Not being able to stay in the driving lane in this case is just an accident.
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Old 08-01-23, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
It should be mandatory that the vehicle operator allows law enforcement to look at their cellphone record at the time of the collision. Much like a breathalyzer in case of suspected DUI, if there is a refusal, the driver's license is automatically suspended for one year.
Sure we don't need any presumption of innocence in our laws. I mean there has never been malicious prosecution, never was there a law enforcement officer just looking to make an arrest in Miranda. Never in the history of our country has law enforcement gotten it wrong. Implied consent for breath and or blood although a fact of law is not the first step in determining probable cause. First there has to be reasonable suspicion. Instant gratification serves no purpose other than eroding our freedom. There is plenty of time after the fact to subpoena electronic evidence upon a finding of probable cause. However with breath and blood evidence time is a factor and the evidence disappears, a point in time snapshot of intoxicants is what is needed. Quite unlike other evidence that lasts.

I'm towards the end of a long career in transportation with a stint in Law Enforcement. Over the years I have witnessed a rapid decline in not just the skills of motor vehicle operators but also the knowledge of the rules of the road and a gross reduction in the respect for traffic laws. Distracted driving is a scapegoat as is speed. Seems this is a world wide problem.

The tragic death of Magnus White is a loss for his family, friends and the whole of the cycling community. For me it is a stark reminder that each day is a gift. Death will eventually happen to all of us. So very sad when it happens at such a young age in a way that makes no sense.
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