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Fellow cyclist collides with car

Old 08-28-13, 06:40 AM
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Fellow cyclist collides with car

On my way into the office this morning I saw a fellow commuter that collided with a car. It appears the car came out of a side street on his right and he had a really nice fast road bike and was really cruising along with his head tucked down and the car came up to the street apparently not seeing him and he did not see the car coming and CRASH. The ambulance was there, paramedics were taking care of him and his bike was wrecked. Needless to say I slowed down the rest of my way not to say that I am anything near fast but it made me think and pay closer attention. I don't know him but sure hope he is ok.
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Old 08-28-13, 06:51 AM
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Pull-outs are one of the most prevalent kinds of accidents. A pull-out is the only incident I've had where I actually made contact with the car, though in my case I just pushed off with my palm since I'd already veered quite a lot and the car was slowing down.

They're always "didn't see him" incidents. That was the case with mine even though it was early morning (plenty light enough to see by), I was wearing an ANSI reflective vest and had > 400 lumens of headlight running.

Hope he's OK.
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Old 08-28-13, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Pull-outs are one of the most prevalent kinds of accidents. A pull-out is the only incident I've had where I actually made contact with the car, though in my case I just pushed off with my palm since I'd already veered quite a lot and the car was slowing down.

They're always "didn't see him" incidents. That was the case with mine even though it was early morning (plenty light enough to see by), I was wearing an ANSI reflective vest and had > 400 lumens of headlight running.

Hope he's OK.
Absolutely sucks.
Tow truck pull out almost got me at an intersection a year ago, never happened before.
WHILE I WAS IN THE BIKE LANE. DIDN'T HAVE BIKE LANES ON THIS ROAD BEFORE.

WHAT I LEARNED......

What I already knew.....

Now when I fly down that big a$$ hill with the blind corner on the intersection(bamboo privacy fencing), I am all the way out left center in the auto lane, where I used to ride, oftentimes close to the double yellow stripe.
I am far more visible to pull outs and motorists that creep into the intersection.
And I have lots more room to my right or left to play with, as needed, to avoid a collision at speed......

Also, always make eye contact w/ intersecting traffic......
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Old 08-28-13, 07:24 AM
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Those are the ones that always worry me too ... whenever I see someone creeping out like that I sit up, ready to slow or stop if possible, until they make eye contact with me.
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Old 08-28-13, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde
Those are the ones that always worry me too ... whenever I see someone creeping out like that I sit up, ready to slow or stop if possible, until they make eye contact with me.
I rode motorcycles for a long time.

Please don't rely on eye contact. I have had numerous occasions where they looked my right in the eye and still didn't see and some who saw and didn't care. As though they looked right through me. So please maintain your ready to slow/stop until they can no longer hit you even if they were trying to.
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Old 08-28-13, 08:02 AM
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Thanks for the tip. I know it's not foolproof, but it's a start. And I usually do just that. Until I'm either in front of them or beyond them I'm on alert.
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Old 08-28-13, 08:28 AM
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I always take the entire lane when flying down hills. But when huffing and puffing up big hills I'm usually far right or in the bike lane if there is one.

But those pull-outs are exactly the reason why bike lanes need to be as close to the travel lanes as possible. When you put a significant barrier between the road and the bike lane (physical barrier, car parking area, etc) the cars pulling out from driveways and side streets are more likely to just pull right on out as close as possible to the car lanes, often right in the path of bikes. Bike paths on the gulf coast of Florida are NOTORIOUS for this, and IMHO they are really dangerous.
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Old 08-28-13, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
I always take the entire lane when flying down hills. But when huffing and puffing up big hills I'm usually far right or in the bike lane if there is one.
I do this too
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Old 08-28-13, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
I always take the entire lane when flying down hills. But when huffing and puffing up big hills I'm usually far right or in the bike lane if there is one.

But those pull-outs are exactly the reason why bike lanes need to be as close to the travel lanes as possible. When you put a significant barrier between the road and the bike lane (physical barrier, car parking area, etc) the cars pulling out from driveways and side streets are more likely to just pull right on out as close as possible to the car lanes, often right in the path of bikes. Bike paths on the gulf coast of Florida are NOTORIOUS for this, and IMHO they are really dangerous.
Yes, but the offenders are usually driving tourists that are unaware of fl state laws (since 1996) and motorist responsibilities around 2 way cycle tracks in fl.

The locals all seem to get it, respect them, abide by them....at least in the tourist areas that I have cycled.
The driving tourists from all around suburbia USA, do not. They stop in the middle of the the cycle tracks and regularly penetrate into the dedicated bike lanes.

But, fl state laws and local ordinances are posted every where on roads and intersections around the 2 way cycle tracks there.

Motorists must stop BEHIND the cycle tracks. And they use heavy white lines to reinforce this.

And, motorists must yield to cycle traffic in the dedicated cycle track, also clearly posted in the areas of fl I have cycled.

In austin, we are participating in the green lane project/experiment w/ dedicated cycle tracks.
https://greenlaneproject.org
Although, we need more green non slip paint on the ground in intersections and transition areas.

How does the GreenLine in memphis deal with intersecting traffic ?

Bicycle crossings w/ cross arms ?
Bicycle traffic signals ?
Green paint ?
Flashing lights and crosswalks ?

Last edited by AusTexMurf; 08-28-13 at 08:51 AM. Reason: added date
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Old 08-28-13, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Null66
Please don't rely on eye contact.
+1 to this. While lack of eye contact is certainly an indicator of potential trouble, eye contact means far less than it ought to. I've had people who certainly seemed to have eye contact with me pull out right in front and that's with a bright blinking headlight and bright clothes.

This is also why I drive with a whistle in my mouth while in traffic. I can make a lot of noise in a hurry while still having my hands fully engaged in controlling the bike to avoid a collision.
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Old 08-28-13, 08:51 AM
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Ever been on Scenic 98 in Destin that runs along the coast? Path runs adjacent to the road, and all the streets have the painted white line AFTER the path crossing, right at the street. No signage to be seen anywhere alerting people to the presence of pedestrians and bikes on that path.

I rode on that path once with my wife going about 7-8 MPH for about 8 miles when we were down there a few weeks ago. The other 98 miles I rode was out on the road with the cars.

I just looked at the Street View which is from November 2007. They used to have heavy painted lines where the path crossed every road, with the Stop signs and stop lines painted behind the crossing. Since then (looking at the satellite view from this year) those heavy lines have been removed, and the stop line has been moved out ahead of the path crossing.

Last edited by PatrickGSR94; 08-28-13 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 08-28-13, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Null66
Please don't rely on eye contact.
+1. We assume, somehow, that when we make eye contact we have established some sort of non-verbal communication. We assume both parties have participated in this communication, and understood it the same way. If both parties come away from this thinking "he wants me to go first!" we are going to have a serious problem. And this happens pretty often.
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Old 08-28-13, 09:32 AM
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I also used to ride a motorcycle and a few things that transfer over for me:

Always be scanning the road. Not just in front of you but 20 yards in front, 50, 100. See potential hazards well before you get to them

Cover the brakes when riding in traffic. You can't make a split second emergency stop if your hand is not over the brake lever already.

Expect drivers to do dumb stuff. If you see a car on a side street expect them to pull out in front of you at the last minute. If you are crossing an intersection expect the car in front of you to make a left in front of you (even when they make eye contact first).
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Old 08-28-13, 09:42 AM
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classic. car doesn't stop before the road. cyclist going too fast and for all intent and purposes is invisible because he is traveling in a parallel universe where his visibility is not needed because he exists in his own world where there are no real world dangers. to avoid this uses a crazy bright strobe even in daylight and don't go 30 mph hugging the right curb and be cautious as you approach blind intersecting roads. I mean what else can you do?
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Old 08-28-13, 09:45 AM
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Agree with all of the above. Eye contact is meaningless. Drivers interpret it as "ah he sees me, it's safe to pull out".

Drive defensively, assume the worst, and always be prepared to take evasive action.

If I'm going over 15mph approaching an intersection, I am always out of the bike lane or shoulder and into the travel lane. Drivers aren't checking the side of the road for traffic.
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Old 08-28-13, 10:22 AM
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Wether i am leaving on my Bicycle or Motorcycle i always think thar there will be at a certain point in my ride, some A$$hat that will be cutting me off or pulling aside me and forcing me off the road or etc.....That is how i ride.
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Old 08-28-13, 10:59 AM
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I always am cautious at cross streets. Especially at 3:30 PM on my commute. There are a couple I pass where I have an uncontrolled through path, and the crosses are controlled by stop signs. Every day cars zoom up to the stop signs, and stop, though not always completely, half way into the bike lane. I make eye contact, and slow, just in case. At least they are looking my way. The only time I ever saw someone hit was a girl on a cruiser, no helmet, salmoning on the sidewalk. Fortunately she wasn't seriously hurt, and I don't think she was going very fast. Poor old guy in the old Chevy looked like he was going to have a heart attack.
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Old 08-28-13, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Pull-outs are one of the most prevalent kinds of accidents. A pull-out is the only incident I've had where I actually made contact with the car, though in my case I just pushed off with my palm since I'd already veered quite a lot and the car was slowing down.

They're always "didn't see him" incidents. That was the case with mine even though it was early morning (plenty light enough to see by), I was wearing an ANSI reflective vest and had > 400 lumens of headlight running.
I wouldn't say they are always "didn't see him", they could easily be down to a misjudgement of how fast a cyclist is going. I remember reading an article some time back that, although based on one person's observations so arguably anecdata, suggested a lot of motorists see a bicycle and assume a speed of 8-10mph. If you've got a car pulling out expecting the approaching cyclist to be going 8mph and they are actually going 24mph the results aren't likely to be good.

Hope he's OK.
Likewise.
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Old 08-28-13, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by contango
I wouldn't say they are always "didn't see him", they could easily be down to a misjudgement of how fast a cyclist is going. I remember reading an article some time back that, although based on one person's observations so arguably anecdata, suggested a lot of motorists see a bicycle and assume a speed of 8-10mph. If you've got a car pulling out expecting the approaching cyclist to be going 8mph and they are actually going 24mph the results aren't likely to be good.
That matches my experience. Eye contact made, car pulls out. "Sorry!" says the driver. Since most drivers haven't been on a bike since childhood, they're still in the "8-10mph on the sidewalk" frame of mind and can't seem to comprehend that a strong cyclist can maintain 20-25mph.
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Old 08-28-13, 12:51 PM
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The cynic in me thinks that since we (bike and Motorcycles) pose them little risk of harm, that on the level of perception we don't quite register as something that could harm them...
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Old 08-28-13, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Null66
I rode motorcycles for a long time.

Please don't rely on eye contact. I have had numerous occasions where they looked my right in the eye and still didn't see and some who saw and didn't care. As though they looked right through me. So please maintain your ready to slow/stop until they can no longer hit you even if they were trying to.
Often times they see you, but are impatient. Folks think they can cut out in front of you, but misjudge your speed.

I had a dude pull out in front of me on a scooter and was creeping. So I pulled up to his tire and hit my bell. Once he saw me in his rear view mirror, he took off.
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Old 08-28-13, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
Ever been on Scenic 98 in Destin that runs along the coast? Path runs adjacent to the road, and all the streets have the painted white line AFTER the path crossing, right at the street. No signage to be seen anywhere alerting people to the presence of pedestrians and bikes on that path.

I rode on that path once with my wife going about 7-8 MPH for about 8 miles when we were down there a few weeks ago. The other 98 miles I rode was out on the road with the cars.

I just looked at the Street View which is from November 2007. They used to have heavy painted lines where the path crossed every road, with the Stop signs and stop lines painted behind the crossing. Since then (looking at the satellite view from this year) those heavy lines have been removed, and the stop line has been moved out ahead of the path crossing.
Are you talking about 30A? If so, yes people on the path yield to driveways/cross streets. If not, disregard.
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Old 08-28-13, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Null66
The cynic in me thinks that since we (bike and Motorcycles) pose them little risk of harm, that on the level of perception we don't quite register as something that could harm them...
I think there's also a perception that "we're just a bike, we can stop easily enough".
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Old 08-28-13, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
Ever been on Scenic 98 in Destin that runs along the coast? Path runs adjacent to the road, and all the streets have the painted white line AFTER the path crossing, right at the street. No signage to be seen anywhere alerting people to the presence of pedestrians and bikes on that path.

I rode on that path once with my wife going about 7-8 MPH for about 8 miles when we were down there a few weeks ago. The other 98 miles I rode was out on the road with the cars.

I just looked at the Street View which is from November 2007. They used to have heavy painted lines where the path crossed every road, with the Stop signs and stop lines painted behind the crossing. Since then (looking at the satellite view from this year) those heavy lines have been removed, and the stop line has been moved out ahead of the path crossing.
Yes, I have. And agree with you. If I am riding hard on a bike I bring with me or rented bike to cover distance, just fly in the flat lane of auto traffic on old 98. Very nice cycling. Scenic. Easy.

Or use the narrow but still present bike lanes on the newer inland highway to really cover flat ground in a hurry.

But if pootling around on a cruiser, or with the wife and kids on beach appropriate bikes, we use the cycle track. And it helps to train my kiddos on the inherit hazards of intersecting traffic of pedestrian and motorist kind.

But, stop line striping has been added in front of cycle track, from motorist perspective, in many, if not all intersections.

See here, one busy intersection in question:
https://goo.gl/maps/KopSs

Problems still at private hotel/condo drives, though.
I rode their extensively this past june, early. Possibly roads or cycle track resurfaced since ? Usually happens in summer months so heat helps with process.....Possible. I don't remember any significant changes or backwards steps from 3 years ago(last time I rode bikes, there).
And the state laws (1996) are posted on old 98.
And the local ordinances or signage of some sort necessitating motorists yield to pedestrians/cyclists in crosswalks and/or cycle tracks as well, I am almost certain.

Last edited by AusTexMurf; 08-28-13 at 02:18 PM. Reason: added google map link
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Old 08-28-13, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde
Those are the ones that always worry me too ... whenever I see someone creeping out like that I sit up, ready to slow or stop if possible, until they make eye contact with me.
Not easy for the cyclist to make eye contact when really cruising along with head tucked down and not looking ahead to where he is going. Quite easy to make body to metal contact though.
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