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Ever been hit by a car on your commute?

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Ever been hit by a car on your commute?

Old 06-03-17, 04:25 PM
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davidz32z
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Ever been hit by a car on your commute?

I've just started bike commuting to work (or at least home from work, it's a 10 mile ride) and I've already almost been hit by a car a few times. So far it's just been cars drifting into the bike lane, so it's been easy to notice and hit the brakes. Anyone been hit on the way to work? Whose fault was it? Lets hear some stories!
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Old 06-03-17, 04:40 PM
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BobbyG
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Lifetime cyclist, 25 years of serious bike commuting 9 miles each way, never been hit, or even touched by a car. But growing up in Chicago, and the way my friends and I used to ride, we should not be alive. The last 12 years, very, very serious about safety.

There have been a few close calls, but not very often. Most recently last year. You can read about it here:
https://www.bikeforums.net/18834522-post1.html

Last edited by BobbyG; 06-03-17 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 06-03-17, 04:48 PM
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i've been 'tapped' a few times.

and i hate to say it, being one myself, but most were elderly folk, probably with limited vision. i know this because i had an opportunity to meet a couple of them. they were terrified that i would call the police. i suppose they wanted desperately, which i can understand, to keep their driving privileges.

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Old 06-03-17, 05:00 PM
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Ever been hit by a car on your commute?

No, and I've had extremely few close calls. This is after 12 years of work commute cycling.

I was hit once on a recreation ride. Was hit in the cross walk while riding a side path. It was my fault. 99+% of my riding is done in the street where I've not had any serious issues.

If you're having lots of close calls that's a bad sign. You need to reduce close calls to near zero, or sooner or later you will be whacked. Do some research, get some training, and make some changes. Just riding along and hoping cars don't hit you is not enough. Take charge of your safety.
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Old 06-03-17, 05:32 PM
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25 years ago I was tapped. I was mid intersection and they guy was attempting a rolling stop. He was a completely unapologetic jerk and I was too young to push my luck with him...that and the bike had been given to me (undoubtedly due to the fact that it had been hit hard previously)...I wish I still had that bike, it was a Peugeot, but I don't recall the model.
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Old 06-03-17, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
No, and I've had extremely few close calls. This is after 12 years of work commute cycling.

I was hit once on a recreation ride. Was hit in the cross walk while riding a side path. It was my fault. 99+% of my riding is done in the street where I've not had any serious issues.

If you're having lots of close calls that's a bad sign. You need to reduce close calls to near zero, or sooner or later you will be whacked. Do some research, get some training, and make some changes. Just riding along and hoping cars don't hit you is not enough. Take charge of your safety.
Oh no actual close calls. I've been riding for about a month now and just two times someone crossed into the bike lane. Nothing even too scary it just got me curious is all
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Old 06-03-17, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Lifetime cyclist, 25 years of serious bike commuting 9 miles each way, never been hit, or even touched by a car. But growing up in Chicago, and the way my friends and I used to ride, we should not be alive. The last 12 years, very, very serious about safety.

There have been a few close calls, but not very often. Most recently last year. You can read about it here:
That's terrifying! Maybe I should get a mirror!
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Old 06-03-17, 06:25 PM
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Get a mirror if you don't already have one so you can see what's coming up from behind. When I see someone about to pass me and not giving me my 3' I extend my arm and wiggle my fingers it works for me most of the time.
I also went to some training class the local Baton Rouge Bike Club offered and went for some club rides, really helped my confidence.
That said today in New Orleans was the closest I have come to being hit I was in the bike lane and a parked car decided to ignore me and enter the lane a little hard breaking and a loud hey watch out did the trick. Also my 1200 lumin blinking light also seemed to grab there attention.
That said it really was not scary, the car was not going to hit me I was aware and had room to maneuver.
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Old 06-03-17, 06:38 PM
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20 years of year round commuting. Never hit by a car.
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Old 06-03-17, 08:29 PM
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Got rear-ended by a Mercedes going 40mph, me 10mph, in a 6' wide shoulder area. Reaching for his phone. Not fun...
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Old 06-03-17, 10:31 PM
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A few times when I cycle commuted daily years ago. Always slow speed, mostly at stop sign intersections. No serious injuries, just bumps, bruises and annoyances.

Hit from behind a couple of times by drivers who claimed they didn't see me. Same with motorcycles -- drivers behind me at stop sign intersections claimed they didn't see me. That's when I quit braking to a full stop when cars were behind me. Drivers seem to expect two-wheeled vehicles to roll through stop signs, so that's what I do now if cars are behind me, but none are approaching from ahead or to the sides.

Ended up across another car's hood when a driver turned into me, even after we'd made eye contact and she seemed to acknowledge that I had right of way to go first -- again, she claimed she didn't see me. The most common excuse.

Doored once by a diplomat's limo in downtown Washington DC. Just a scrape, not a collision. I thought I'd left enough room to avoid dooring, but his limo had unusually long suicide doors. Naturally he yelled at me in some language I didn't understand. Being a lowly enlisted man I figured it could only go poorly for me so I skeedaddled since I wasn't in uniform and didn't have far to go to get off the street.

Nowadays I'm much more cautious and simultaneously assertive but not aggressive. Eyes on stalks, head on a swivel. I take the lane where appropriate, signal very prominently, and expect drivers to ignore me or do something stupid unless I make it very clear what I'm doing. I try to avoid confrontations, never initiate disputes, but I don't back down from idiots who claim bicycles belong on the sidewalk or playground. Invariably those drivers have no valid excuse for trying to bully cyclists -- it's always on lightly traveled roads, where they have plenty of room to pass safely, yet feel entitled to waste my time and theirs with misguided traffic rules they just invented while complaining that cyclists are slowing them down.

On the plus side, the vast majority of drivers I encounter are at least tolerant, many are very courteous and considerate. I try to acknowledge those little courtesies whenever possible.
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Old 06-03-17, 11:32 PM
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Tapped twice, mowed down once. The guy who mowed me down failed to yield to oncoming traffic while turning left, told the police officer that he had the right of way because the light was green, and was awarded a 6 point reckless driving ticket. I still went to work (standing on the bus, since I couldn't sit for a while) and made it halfway through the class I was teaching before stopping to go see the doctor.

Surprisingly, I've never been sideswiped in a bike lane or shoulder, or hit while taking the lane. Turning vehicles are the most dangerous, in my experience, and I've learned to look at the drivers and see what's up before claiming my right of way. Though none of the incidents were my fault, there were things I could have done better; I've learned from my mistakes.
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Old 06-04-17, 12:16 AM
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Several times, mostly in places where separate bicycle paths cross with roads. Last one - the car had stopped, as it should have, to let me pass, then stepped on the throttle and swerved towards me, after I had slowly passed it's front - I thought he was deliberately trying to kill me. Turns out he was distracted by kids in the back seat and didn't even see me - he had stopped to calm the kids down - sun was into his front window so I didn't see his face (or head).
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Old 06-04-17, 12:30 AM
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Hit by car once. From the rear. Stopped at an intersection. Car behind kept going.
Hit by other cyclists twice. One from behind, similar to above. One a guy who was going too fast for the bike path, and crossed over into my side while taking a curve.
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Old 06-04-17, 04:16 AM
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I was hit from behind on a wide, residential, low-traffic volume suburban street by a distracted driver. Six weeks in the Hospital, off work for three months, and off the bike for five months, with some lasting bone problems...but could be worse. I fully endorse wearing a mirror.

FYI, there was a recent survey on BF that IMO was a good and seemingly complete compendium of safety hazards and practices: Increasing Awareness of Cyclists. I wrote my post as a summary of my own strategies, FWIW (as a decades long commuting, road, and touring cyclist).
Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
LISTEN to @Jim from Boston

he knows his $hit!

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Old 06-04-17, 05:58 AM
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Right-hooked once in my late teens. Went down but no serious injury.
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Old 06-04-17, 10:34 AM
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Reading this thread, it looks like being hit from behind is not that uncommon, unlike what was mentioned in another thread when discussion veered toward "taking the line"...
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Old 06-04-17, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SylvainG View Post
Reading this thread, it looks like being hit from behind is not that uncommon, unlike what was mentioned in another thread when discussion veered toward "taking the line"...
This thread is far from being statistically relevant so one can draw a valid conclusion from it.

I, for one, after 35 years of cycling, often in traffic, have never been hit from behind - but can't say from that experience that the probability is 0%. However, a very small percentage of hits are from behind. Even less during riding - many happen when a bike is stopped at a traffic light/stop sign.
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Old 06-04-17, 05:07 PM
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3/23 December 2014:

I was ‘brushed’ by a car, put into the curb and crashed onto the sidewalk. Two broken ribs, smashed RH collar bone & attendant bruising. My helmet was crushed (right frontal). I now have a ‘goofy’ looking right shoulder (bad doctor).

She was on her cell phone and never saw me or what she had done.
I now avoid busy days & hours. I avoid holidays & other times when we Americans seem to go ‘effing’ crazy.

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BTW: 1) I was wearing my usual obnoxious coloration: 1) lime day-glow yellow helmet; 2) bright yellow shirt; very bright flashing tail light.

BTW BTW: Two witnesses gave me the license #. Cops couldn’t do anything. However, subsequently, she had to buy a new set of tires – she has new tires (and I hope some guilt) but my shoulder is still goofy looking.
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Old 06-04-17, 11:29 PM
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Twice in the last year. Once was car hitting me, the other I hit the car. When I got hit from person cutting in front of me the speed was low, when I hit the car that turned in front of me last minute I was going pretty fast. Only bruised a little, and some damage to bike, but both times insurance covered, oddly enough same insurance company both times which was weird dealing with. I think I have threads on here about both.
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Old 06-05-17, 07:21 AM
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Back in the 70s-80s. Once while salmoning down a busy sidewalk. Once while riding my bike at night with no lights. I caught a ticket on that one. Right hooked while riding down a hill. No major damage other than scrapes and bruises.
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Old 06-05-17, 07:37 AM
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This thread is entitled have you been hit while commuting no

But I have been hit twice here in rural Pa. One was back in 1998 and I was lite up like a Christmas tree at night. This guy hit me with his mirror going 55 mph on a high traffic road RT 11. It sounded like a gun going off and he stopped. He asked "did I hit you" Hell yes He said he had night vision problems and saw me but didn't know where his vehicle was compared to my bike. I now have arthritis in that elbow from that hit and haven't ridden that road since. I didn't have a cell phone back then and the cops wouldn't let me make a report since I left the scene. lol Had I not been riding with my elbows flexed out I probably wouldn't be here today as he would have dragged me down the road with his mirror.

Last one was in Jan. I was hit by a drunk one night. He just clipped me with his mirror on my left side around the waist. The only mistake was I didn't call the cops on him as he was that drunk he couldn't talk. As I was taking down his info he said "I sense you are getting upset with me." Yeah dude you just hit me and you are really drunk. I was doing a 100 mile ride a 50 mile out and back and still had 35 miles to go and it was starting to rain and all I could think about was getting home. If this happens again which I hope it doesn't I will call the cops as this guy could hit and kill the next rider. This has shaken up my desire so much to do road riding now here locally after dark that I have bought a gravel grinding bike and plan on riding Roads Less Traveled.

Zman

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Old 06-05-17, 07:48 AM
  #23  
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I've been commuting for almost 3 years and last November I was hit by a car on my way to work. Driver had yield sign but didn't do so, she said she didn't see me even though I was wearing neon orange jacket and it was 8am on a summer day (daylight). I assume she was distracted talking to her daughter in the passenger seat.

It wasn't serious, there wasn't much damage to me or the bike (which I have to confess was my first worry as I fell lol). I got up and walked the rest of the way to work (~1mi). Once I got there I was taken to ER by my employer (in local legislation accidents occurred during commuting are considered work related accidents and covered by the employer) and they confirmed I was fine. So I rode home that afternoon (although very slowly).

I'm still commuting, but I don't take that route anymore unless it's summer or winter break (there are a few schools around and parents are busy trying to drop off their kids) and my heart skips a beat every time I pass through an intersection. Also, got even more high visibility clothing.
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Old 06-05-17, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kuroba View Post
I've been commuting for almost 3 years and last November I was hit by a car on my way to work. Driver had yield sign but didn't do so, she said she didn't see me even though I was wearing neon orange jacket and it was 8am on a summer day (daylight). I assume she was distracted talking to her daughter in the passenger seat.
Was the sun low and behind you?
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Old 06-05-17, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kuroba View Post
I've been commuting for almost 3 years and last November I was hit by a car on my way to work. Driver had yield sign but didn't do so, she said she didn't see me even though I was wearing neon orange jacket and it was 8am on a summer day (daylight). I assume she was distracted talking to her daughter in the passenger seat.
They always say that, even if they did see you. It's more likely that she did see you chose to not yield anyway, hoping she'd get away with it. This has happened to me a few times, a couple of times the driver pulled right into a driveway/parking lot after cutting me off or passing very, very closely. I follow them in to let them know what they did was illegal and the story is always I didn't see you. even though I had a very bright florescent clothing, dual 400 lm lights up front, flashing red blinkers in the back, at 4:00 in the afternoon.

Didn't see. Unlikely.
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