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Holy [email protected], I'm a statistic!

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Old 09-25-09, 03:11 PM
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Powerarranger
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Holy [email protected], I'm a statistic!

Yup, boys and girls, it's another "I got hit by a car" thread. Oh, joy.

Heading home on a 4-lane street with center turn lane with moderate traffic. I'm going about 20 MPH in the R tire track of the R lane since there's no shoulder. Car pulls out from my L and proceeds to turn L (same direction as me)into the L lane. I'm watching them, when suddenly they swing into my lane to turn R into a gas station. I'm hollering at them as I'm braking, but the road is not in the greatest shape, so I'm losing traction and starting to skid. I slam into their R quarter panel at approx. 8-10 MPH and end up on the ground with my head right by the rear wheel. Thank goodness it was a glancing blow - could have been much worse. I'm a little scraped up, the bike appears to be fine and my L hand is badly bruised from getting hit between the car and the L brake hood.

I'm always watching out for the cars behind, but dayumn, that took me totally by surprise. The first thing the girl said was, "But I didn't SEE you!" What? I have a PB 1W Superflash blinking and I'm wearing a reflective road vest. These people just don't see a bike shaped object - they're programmed to look for other cars only - if they're paying attention at all.

What else can I do to make myself more visible from the front? It's true that I had a headwind and was crouching a little, but the vest and the blinky should have made me visible enough. Any ideas? Bright stickers on the helmet, maybe?
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Old 09-25-09, 03:13 PM
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TwoHeadsBrewing
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Glad you're ok. But hey man, in her defense it's really hard to see something if you don't look over your shoulder before turning.
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Old 09-25-09, 03:17 PM
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cyclefreaksix
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Amazing. I had a truck do the same thing the other day. "Sorry man, I didn't see you"...

600 lumen SOS headlight, day-glo green jersey, 1watt blinkie out on front. WTF else are we supposed to do to be seen??!!

I didn't get hit like you though. Glad you're alright.
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Old 09-25-09, 03:21 PM
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if you're able to post here, it could have been a lot worse

and I think you've done everything you reasonably can to make yourself visible. the quote is, if i recall, 'the problem with making something foolproof lies in underestimating the complete ingenuity of fools'
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Old 09-25-09, 03:34 PM
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Good points, all. I've learned a lot from reading crash stories from other posters, so I'm hoping that someone might gain something from this experience. I feel extremely grateful for being relatively uninjured. It's awful how coddled and clueless drivers have become. There are many more cyclists on the roads around here lately and I hope that drivers start getting more used to seeing them. I know - dream on...
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Old 09-25-09, 03:35 PM
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You don;t need anything else to be seen better. Unless of course you have a giant car shaped fairing you can attach with headlights and a blaring horn.

Perhaps police lights and sirens on your helmet?
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Old 09-25-09, 03:35 PM
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Or as we say where I work:

Don't try to make it idiot-proof. It's way too easy to find a better idiot.
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Old 09-25-09, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
Perhaps police lights and sirens on your helmet?
They sell them here.
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Old 09-25-09, 03:44 PM
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They don't see police cruisers, fire trucks, or ambulances all the time either.
All the lighting in the world is not going to help you when a motorist is not paying attention.

I did not see you = I was not paying attention

Mind you, it is still good insurance to be lit up like a christmas tree.
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Old 09-25-09, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
You don;t need anything else to be seen better. Unless of course you have a giant car shaped fairing you can attach with headlights and a blaring horn.

Perhaps police lights and sirens on your helmet?
*Snaps fingers* AirZound! Even though her window was down, she probably tuned out my hollering. I have a good. loud drill sergeant voice (20 years in the Army helps), but like 'not seeing' the bike, yelling didn't even register.

As for the police lights - I've been told that people think I'm a cop when I'm behind them at a stoplight. Think I'm covered there.
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Old 09-25-09, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
They don't see police cruisers, fire trucks, or ambulances all the time either.
All the lighting in the world is not going to help you when a motorist is not paying attention.

I did not see you = I was not paying attention

Mind you, it is still good insurance to be lit up like a christmas tree.
I just picked up a dynohub and light kit last night. Building the wheel and installing the lights this weekend - I can hardly wait!

Hopefully, it'll help in situations like this, but like you said, they're usually not paying attention. There's too many other, more important things to do, aren't there? Brush your hair, text your friends, read a book, do crosswords. It's amazing the stuff you see out there.
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Old 09-25-09, 03:52 PM
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Was the Superflash pointed forward?
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Old 09-25-09, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Powerarranger View Post
I just picked up a dynohub and light kit last night. Building the wheel and installing the lights this weekend - I can hardly wait!

Hopefully, it'll help in situations like this, but like you said, they're usually not paying attention. There's too many other, more important things to do, aren't there? Brush your hair, text your friends, read a book, do crosswords. It's amazing the stuff you see out there.


lol

I forgot to say it is good to read that you came out of this relatively unharmed.
My accident resulted in a broken elbow, huge amounts of bruises, and a shredded knee cap.
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Old 09-25-09, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
lol

I forgot to say it is good to read that you came out of this relatively unharmed.
My accident resulted in a broken elbow, huge amounts of bruises, and a shredded knee cap.
I remember that thread. You were out of commission for quite a while.
You're lucky to be back on the bike.

As others have said, it could have been much worse. Many of us haven't been so lucky, sad to say.
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Old 09-25-09, 04:28 PM
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I was going to say "horn," too... in similar situations when mine worked I woudl honk it On General Principle. I *know* it saved me from at least several close calls, if not collisions. Gotta figure out how to get them to last longer, though...
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Old 09-25-09, 04:29 PM
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Oh, and I hve Spokelits in my wheels which seem to help for those side situations. (I know that when I forget to turn it on, I have more "didn't see you" situations with cars coming at me from the side.)
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Old 09-25-09, 04:32 PM
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similar thing happened to me a couple weeks ago except i got almost stopped before i hit her after she cut in front of me. the irritating thing was she didnt stop because she was looking down at what looked like cellphone (texting?). I wasn't hurt so i tried to chase her down but she got on a freeway on ramp before i could catch her. it has made me a bit skidish. i feel your pain.
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Old 09-25-09, 04:46 PM
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Not that it does any good, but I think that the response to "But I didn't SEE you!" is "Why NOT?"
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Old 09-25-09, 04:52 PM
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I used to have a light on my helmet, but I changed helmets and just never remounted the light.

It did seem to make a difference. I could point it right at the drivers face and I can recall several cars coming to a halt after being hit with the light.

I need to order a Fenix light and get it on my helmet asap.
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Old 09-25-09, 04:58 PM
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Old 09-25-09, 05:05 PM
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Did you file a police report?
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Old 09-25-09, 05:29 PM
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Like all safety gear, nothing is foolproof, but I just ordered a few yards of 3M Scotchlite adhesive 1"tape for help being seen from all angles. Of course, if you have a nice looking or expensive cycle, you may not want to ug it up. However, the bike might lose a little value or curb appeal once beneath an enormous SUV anyways.

I thought I might try to come up with a cool design with the adhesive, like a Pac Man scene:dots, Pac & Blinky.

I also bought Scotchlite fabric(ribbon) 1" wide that I'll be adding to cycling apparel as needed.

Oh, and helmet/headlamps pointed at drivers do tend to get their attention(most of the time).

Glad you're alright.

Ben
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Old 09-25-09, 07:13 PM
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Glad to hear you're mostly ok. Your gear sounds decent, and from how you described the situation I doubt anything more would have helped. Some drivers simply don't pay enough attention.
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Old 09-25-09, 07:45 PM
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Unfortunately, drivers are trained to watch for threats to their own car or their own life... most of them don't care that they're driving 2-ton of weaponized steel...
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You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.
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Old 09-25-09, 07:54 PM
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Welcome to the club. Glad you're still with us.
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