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...and on the fifth day of 2011, I get hit by a car.

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...and on the fifth day of 2011, I get hit by a car.

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Old 01-05-11, 05:51 PM
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L.L. Zamenhof
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...and on the fifth day of 2011, I get hit by a car.

Yes, it's true. Happened about two hours ago.

I was riding home from volunteering when it occurred. I was heading north on one of the main north/south roads in town. Was cruising in the bike lane, pushing for more speed as I had just gone through a (green) light and didn't have another one for a while. As I lift my head, I see a Blazer turn into the gas station who's driveway I was just about to get to.

I have no time to make any move, as she turned probably ten feet in front of me. Boom - right-hooked.

As I remember it happening, I hit her passenger door, and from there went over the handlebar of my bike, sliding on the pavement for a couple feet. After the police got there, I noticed one of them fixing here side view mirror. Apparently my head (I was wearing a helmet) had pushed it forward so it was parallel with the body of the car. Other damage on her car was a scraped and possibly dented passenger door, where my bike and maybe body hit. I was going 18-20 and she was going probably 10. I was lucking I didn't catch her more broadside. As it was, I essentially just glanced off her door onto the pavement.

(Visible) Damage to the bike is minimal, too. Front rim is ****ed up beyond repair, and it seems the front fender is a little bent as well. At first I was panicked about my new tire being damaged, but upon taking it off, it appears there is absolutely no damage. That's it, though. Won't cost more than $40 to get it all fixed up. Or so her insurance thinks.

Now I just have to jump through the insurance hurdles to get my bike fixed. Hopefully this part doesn't take more than a week, maybe ten days. I have no idea though. I've never been in an accident before.

I've been seeing a bunch of people post similar stories since the beginning of the new year, and I never though I would have my own to share. Well, now I do.

Oh, and one thing that was really nice about the accident was how pro bicycle the emergency personnel were. They were very clear about it being her fault, applauded me for wearing my helmet, and wished the best for me. Also, I was told I can go to a local watering hole, mention the name of one of the EMTs and how I met her, and I'll get hooked up.

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Old 01-05-11, 06:54 PM
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Sorry to hear about the crash.

You may want to take the bike to a trusted shop and have them look it over. When I was hooked I initially thought there was minimal damage but took the bike to the my usual lbs. I ended up replacing the fork along with a number of other items. An itemized estimate from the lbs was very helpful when dealing with the insurance company.
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Old 01-05-11, 07:09 PM
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Glad you seem ok. If you wake up in the morning and feel like maybe you're not ok, get yourself checked out.

Anyone know if two different repair estimates from bike shops might be better than a single estimate? Would be twice as much trouble, of course.
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Old 01-05-11, 07:21 PM
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that sounds similar to the damage to my daughter's bike, and it is currently waiting to be stripped of useful parts in the storage unit. Bent wheels, bent fork, bent pedal, bent crank. it was only a $350 hybrid, so totaling it was fairly easy to do.
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Old 01-05-11, 10:01 PM
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Was the EMT cute?
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Old 01-05-11, 10:05 PM
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L.L. Zamenhof
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Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
Was the EMT cute?
I would have relations with her, yes. However, I am married.
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Old 01-06-11, 04:42 AM
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L.L. Zamenhof
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Of course the morning after, the weather is nicer than it's been in days (probably about 22F). It's going to be a long drive.
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Old 01-06-11, 07:40 AM
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Any apology from the cager?

This can shake your confidence in riding. Good luck!
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Old 01-06-11, 07:43 AM
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glad you are ok, +1 for getting bike checked over at a trusted bike store, forks may be damaged and could the frame (steerer?)
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Old 01-06-11, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
As I lift my head
First of all, in no way am I saying the driver wasn't at fault. (fixed multiple typos)

If I'm reading this right, you had your head down and couldn't see traffic in front of you? If I'm wrong, stop reading now. If I'm right, it's possible you could have slowed and prepared for a possible collision if you had your head up. I had to do that twice on my way home where someone passed me and put on their right turn signal. Surprisingly, neither of them turned until I was past. If I would have had my head down really pushing, I would have missed both of them.

Also, I (almost) always forget this, but sometimes it's possible to turn with the car.

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Old 01-06-11, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
First of all, in now way and I saying the driver wasn't at fault.

If I'm reading this right, you had your head down and couldn't see traffic in front of you? If I'm wrong, stop reading now. If I'm right, it's possible you could have slowed and prepared for a possible collision if you had your head up. I had to do that twice on my way home where someone passed me and put on their right turn signal. Surprisingly, neither of them turned until I was past. If I would have had my head down really pushing, I would have missed both of them.

Also, I (almost) always forget this, but sometimes it's possible to turn with the car.
Situational awareness goes both ways, and even the casual reader around this forum ought to know that you always have to anticipate the unanticipated when riding in traffic.

The countermove to a right hook or left cross is countersteering; a "quick turn" to the right. With a little practice, you can turn the bike inside 18 to 24 inches... a far shorter distance than you can evade with an emergency stop.
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Old 01-06-11, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
First of all, in now way and I saying the driver wasn't at fault.

If I'm reading this right, you had your head down and couldn't see traffic in front of you? If I'm wrong, stop reading now. If I'm right, it's possible you could have slowed and prepared for a possible collision if you had your head up. I had to do that twice on my way home where someone passed me and put on their right turn signal. Surprisingly, neither of them turned until I was past. If I would have had my head down really pushing, I would have missed both of them.

Also, I (almost) always forget this, but sometimes it's possible to turn with the car.
Surprisingly cyclists are human too... sometimes one does lose focus for a second... maybe when the effort is a bit much.

The motorist also had an obligation to not put the cyclist in danger... they failed too.

It took two human failures for this to happen.
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Old 01-06-11, 08:56 AM
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Crappy way to start the year, glad to hear you're ok
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Old 01-06-11, 09:05 AM
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Glad you're OK. Definitely get the bike checked out thoroughly from your lbs before you proceed. Best of luck to ya!
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Old 01-06-11, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by L.L. Zamenhof View Post
I would have relations with her, yes. However, I am married.


I agree with everyone else. take it to your local(trusted) shop and have them look it over. no reason you should have to deal with a bent fork/ect when it was her fault.
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Old 01-06-11, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Surprisingly cyclists are human too... sometimes one does lose focus for a second... maybe when the effort is a bit much.

The motorist also had an obligation to not put the cyclist in danger... they failed too.

It took two human failures for this to happen.
Says you im pretty sure im a robot
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Old 01-06-11, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
First of all, in now way and I saying the driver wasn't at fault.
This should have read:

First of all, in no way am I saying the driver wasn't at fault.
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Old 01-06-11, 01:14 PM
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L.L. Zamenhof
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Originally Posted by thdave View Post
Any apology from the cager?

This can shake your confidence in riding. Good luck!
Nah, she never really apologized. Just kept insisting I didn't see her blinker, which is pretty irrelevant.

Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
First of all, in no way am I saying the driver wasn't at fault. (fixed multiple typos)

If I'm reading this right, you had your head down and couldn't see traffic in front of you?
Yeah, for like a second. She had turned left onto this road about 100 feet before she tried to turn into the gas station, where she hit me.
If I'm right, it's possible you could have slowed and prepared for a possible collision if you had your head up.
There was no avoiding it. Hell, it wouldn't have been possible to make the accident any better for me. All I suffer today is a little soreness in my left shoulder, right hip, and left hand.

Because the distance between the road she turned from and the gas station she was turning into was so small, there was no was for her to get far enough ahead for me to see her signal and react to her turn. As best I can tell, she barely got in front of me, if even her entire car was in front of me. If that makes any sense.
I had to do that twice on my way home where someone passed me and put on their right turn signal. Surprisingly, neither of them turned until I was past. If I would have had my head down really pushing, I would have missed both of them.
This has happened to me many times, as well.
Also, I (almost) always forget this, but sometimes it's possible to turn with the car.
While that may be true in many situations, I was going way too fast, and the turn was way too sharp for me to be able to make the turn with her.


Here is a picture of the intersection. She is the pink line, I am the blue, and the white X is where she hit me.

I had a yellow light going through Elizabeth/Lemay. Based on her getting to me as soon as the gas station, she must have been the first car at the intersection waiting for the green arrow. No reason not to see me. At least I think she said she turned left onto Lemay. She could have easily turned right, too, I guess.

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Old 01-06-11, 01:52 PM
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There is no way you can see this comming. It happen to me one year ago and reading your post makes me shiver from my memories. That car thought they can pass you to get in the driveway before you get there. They have trouble judging a bicyclist speed. I glad you were not seriously injured.

Your incident is an mirror image of my closest collision. Only diffrence is that I was om the same similar road and a lady driver was on the opposite side of the same road. I turn right first at the intersection and then this lady made a left turn. She was on a 45 degree heading right into a gas station driveway(corner station) that was no farther than 100 ft from the intersection. I locked both brakes and skid right up to the Expedition passenger door less than a feet. Then the weird part is that the Ford just stop in front of me not moving while this little girl was staring at me with her big eye ball and the driver frozed. Instead of cussing her out, I blew my Airzond until the bottle went empty right in front of the passenger door.

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Old 01-06-11, 03:00 PM
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Glad to hear you are OK.

Wondering if you had front/rear lights on your bike turned on at the time of the accident?

I would not rush to settle with the insurance company. Get your bike and yourself checked out. Sometimes it takes a little time for injuries to minifest themselves. Don't sign anything without having an attorney check it over for you (and make sure your costs to hire said attorney are included in any settlement).
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Old 01-06-11, 03:31 PM
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L.L. Zamenhof
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Originally Posted by woodway View Post

Wondering if you had front/rear lights on your bike turned on at the time of the accident?
I did not, as it was just before 3pm and sunny.
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Old 01-06-11, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
Instead of cussing her out, I blew my Airzond until the bottle went empty right in front of the passenger door.
great response

Glad you are ok.
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Old 01-06-11, 05:14 PM
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This isn't adding up for me. If you were going you 18-20 as reported and the light was yellow you would have been past the point of this incident before a car entering from either the right or left could have passed you and made the right into the gas station.

Are you sure you didn't have your head down and didn't notice a car in front of you slowing to make the turn into the gas station. She may be technically at fault, but ......
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Old 01-06-11, 05:28 PM
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Glad to hear you are relatively okay. From what I gather this can go either one of two ways. The insurance company is fair and wants to deal with the issue pretty quickly. Or the insurance company drags their feet and tries to settle this for pennies on the dollar.

Judging by what you describe, she cut you off and there was not much you could do. You hit her side view mirror so you could not see her turn signal from your vantage point.

Just go to your LBS that you trust and have them look over everything and itemize what needs to be repaired or replaced. You may also want to consult with a lawyer before you sign anything. I wouldn't wait to long to see a doctor either. Keep receipts of everything as well.

Hope everything works out.
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Old 01-06-11, 05:29 PM
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Glad to hear it wasn't more serious, I've been staying off the roads because the secondaries are still very slick and I only have hybrid tires on. Better tires next year.

anyway, best of luck with the bike. Second story in two days of hearing about cute EMTs in town. Hmmm....

I ride by one of the elementary schools in the morning when I commute and have a huge respect for the door zone because of all the little kids and moms in a hurry.
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