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Almost killed a cyclist tonight, saw another side swiped

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Almost killed a cyclist tonight, saw another side swiped

Old 03-20-15, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Thank you for sharing this with us. Hopefully it will remind people to stay visible and operate their vehicle safely and defensively.- Andy
+1
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Old 03-20-15, 12:40 PM
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I was nearly sideswiped on my way home yesterday. There's a T intersection where the side road is at a diagonal, and I'm on the main road both ways. Only the side road has a stop sign. The return route is when I need to watch for people entering or crossing my lane from the side road, and I had gotten right into the center of the intersection when the car on the side starting moving in as well. I had to swerve well to my left to avoid them, and I'm not sure they were ever aware of my presence. Just a reminder that I can never be too vigilant, and I would probably do well to claim a more prominent spot in my lane and perhaps weave a little to make myself more visible.
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Old 03-20-15, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
Out of how many cars driven over how much time? Your figures may be more or less sensational after including the rest of the information.
250 million licensed drivers. 10 million serious accidents. That would be one serious accident for every 25 drivers, each year.

It (10 million serious accidents) does sound too high to me. Maybe a matter of definitions, but there were only 2.6 million injuries in 2012 (NHTSA 2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview), and I would take that as the baseline for "serious".
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Old 03-20-15, 02:01 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
And this is out of the 318.9 million people in the US, and the 7 billion people world wide. What do you mean by "dangerous"?
Besides that, one must ignore the fact that even eliminating the motor vehicle wouldn't significantly change those numbers as the need to be mobile would still exist. For all we know, if bicycles totally supplanted motor vehicles the fatality rate could even go up.
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Old 03-20-15, 04:14 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
About 6:20 this evening I was pulling up behind a car in the left turn lane at a traffic light. As I got closer I realized that there was a cyclist about 10' behind the SUV in front of me. No lights. Only reflector was a rear one but her angle kept it from doing anything. She was wearing black pants, dark green sweatshirt, and a Giro helmet. She completely disappeared behind the SUV in front of her. All of it's lights and chrome shown through her. My heart is still pounding how close I came to killing her.

About 10 minutes later the car in front of me sideswiped someone riding just on the right of the white line. Their mirror hit the cyclists shoulder. This one had a bright strobing blinky and a bright white front light. The driver swerved left just after and then came back in their lane and pulled over to check on the cyclist. He said he was OK. Driver was extremely apologetic.
Just reading this upsets me. Thank goodness everything turned out fairly well.
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Old 03-20-15, 04:32 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by cobrabyte View Post
That's the most exaggerated thing I've ever heard of in my entire whole life.
I personally witness motorists come very close to hitting pedestrians at 25+ mph multiple times a week. Simple math certainly seems like exaggeration to the innumerate and/or insensible.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 03-20-15 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 03-20-15, 04:34 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
250 million licensed drivers. 10 million serious accidents. That would be one serious accident for every 25 drivers, each year.

It (10 million serious accidents) does sound too high to me. Maybe a matter of definitions, but there were only 2.6 million injuries in 2012 (NHTSA 2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview), and I would take that as the baseline for "serious".

https://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/12s1103.pdf

Serious accidents are accidents that are reported to NHTSA by local authorities. Obviously many accidents, including minor fender benders, are not reported and are far more common.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 03-20-15 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 03-20-15, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Serious accidents are accidents that are reported to NHTSA by local authorities. Obviously many accidents, including minor fender benders, are not reported and far more common.
I'm afraid that it's not obvious to me. I was under the impressions that all accidents involving motor vehicles were to be reported, and one falling through the cracks would be the exception.
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Old 03-20-15, 05:12 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I'm afraid that it's not obvious to me. I was under the impressions that all accidents involving motor vehicles were to be reported, and one falling through the cracks would be the exception.
I've had 5 or 6 fender benders (all more than 20 years ago) and not a one was ever reported or even written up. Here in PDX the police only respond to injury accidents. People calling in fender benders and non-injury accidents are asked to exchange insurance info and stop bothering law enforcement.
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Old 03-20-15, 05:21 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
I've had 5 or 6 fender benders (all more than 20 years ago) and not a one was ever reported or even written up. Here in PDX the police only respond to injury accidents. People calling in fender benders and non-injury accidents are asked to exchange insurance info and stop bothering law enforcement.
PDX is the International Airport in Portland? Or do you mean the area generically?

I've never seen one that didn't have police responding, ticket given in the cases I know about - I suspect that your area is somehow exceptional. In any event, it's still not clear that there are many more minor accidents that are not reported, or where the 10-12 million accident number comes from. NHTSA data includes accidents with no injury, so they are reported.
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Old 03-20-15, 05:27 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
PDX is the International Airport in Portland? Or do you mean the area generically?

I've never seen one that didn't have police responding, ticket given in the cases I know about - I suspect that your area is somehow exceptional. In any event, it's still not clear that there are many more minor accidents that are not reported, or where the 10-12 million accident number comes from. NHTSA data includes accidents with no injury, so they are reported.
PDX is shorthand for the entire metro area. And none of those 5-6 unreported accidents occurred in the Portland area. In my experience, it's incredibly common to exchange insurance info following minor collisions. Heck, for several of those collisions I simply allowed the person at fault to cut me a cashiers check/personal check (professor at university).
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Old 03-20-15, 05:36 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
About 6:20 this evening I ...at a traffic light... I realized that there was a cyclist about 10' behind the SUV in front of me...She completely disappeared behind the SUV in front of her. All of it's lights and chrome shown through her.
Thank you very much for sharing this with us. I'm going to forward the warning to my kids. Often enough a car will get rear-ended when stopped, and I really try to avoid being the bug between 2 cars.
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Old 03-20-15, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
I really try to avoid being the bug between 2 cars.
One of the many reasons that VC/bicycle-driving often does not make sense.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 03-20-15 at 07:07 PM. Reason: missing not
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Old 03-20-15, 06:36 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
Often enough a car will get rear-ended when stopped, and I really try to avoid being the bug between 2 cars.
Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
One of the many reasons that VC/bicycle-driving often does make sense.
?? Did you leave out a word as in: does NOT make sense? Otherwise your reasoning makes no sense.
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Old 03-20-15, 07:06 PM
  #40  
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yes. does not make sense.
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Old 03-21-15, 01:45 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
I personally witness motorists come very close to hitting pedestrians at 25+ mph multiple times a week. Simple math certainly seems like exaggeration to the innumerate and/or insensible.
You give me little reason to believe anything you post here. So you sometimes almost see pedestrians maybe almost get hit by a car sometimes? Well, that's a convincing argument if I ever heard one /sarc.
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Old 03-21-15, 03:37 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by cobrabyte View Post
You give me little reason to believe anything you post here. So you sometimes almost see pedestrians maybe almost get hit by a car sometimes? Well, that's a convincing argument if I ever heard one /sarc.
Ad hominem, strawman, and a moving goal post.
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Old 03-22-15, 09:12 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Driving, like cycling isn't nearly as dangerous as some want it to be.
True. Though both are far more dangerous in the U.S. than in Europe (3 to 4 times more dangerous for driving and about 7 to 10 times more dangerous for bicycling) and thus far more dangerous than they should be.
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Old 03-22-15, 09:14 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by downwinded View Post
OP, I'm curious as whether or not the setting sun might have play a role in the second incident. That brightly lit background (the SUV's lights) and lack of lighting on the cyclist, is what caused the first. Before the time change, part of my evening commute put the sun right where you don't want it. In traffic, I find that one of the scariest situations to ride in.
In both cases the sun was well below the tree line and didn't play a role in blinding myself in the first incident nor the driver in front of me in the second.
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Old 03-22-15, 09:26 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
But...I agree that the "almost killing" theme here is mostly hyperbole.
This might get in to a grey area of hyperbole. In my incident, had I seen her one or two seconds later, I would definitely have plowed through her. I was preparing to stop for the car in front of her so she at least wouldn't have been crushed between the two. Whether she would have been killed or not is difficult to say. Highly likely I think.

I've thought many times about how small the profile of bicycle riders are from behind and how easily we blend in to surroundings day or night. In this case she completely disappeared.
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Old 03-22-15, 09:38 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Besides that, one must ignore the fact that even eliminating the motor vehicle wouldn't significantly change those numbers as the need to be mobile would still exist. For all we know, if bicycles totally supplanted motor vehicles the fatality rate could even go up.
The Netherlands can provide a good clue to this given very high rates of bicycling and separate infrastructure. The majority of fatalities are actually elders who die from heart attacks and falls, next are fatalities caused by drivers, and last (and in some years zero) are deaths caused by other bicycle riders or pedestrians.

Crashes between bicycle riders result in lots of apologies and everyone goes on their way, crashes involving cars usually result in injuries and sometimes death.
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Old 03-22-15, 09:43 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I'm afraid that it's not obvious to me. I was under the impressions that all accidents involving motor vehicles were to be reported, and one falling through the cracks would be the exception.
Here it is only those involving injury and if LE or Fire are busy even these will sometimes get a bunch of questions about how critical the injuries are and if response is really necessary. Those involving a car hitting a bike rider appear much worse in statistical accuracy since many bike riders will macho up, say they're not hurt, don't call police, etc. We've found numerous times where statistics indicate fewer car-bike crashes in a city where we know the actual number is higher based just on specific incidents we know about (from bike club statistics, etc.).
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Old 03-22-15, 09:50 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
True. Though both are far more dangerous in the U.S. than in Europe (3 to 4 times more dangerous for driving and about 7 to 10 times more dangerous for bicycling) and thus far more dangerous than they should be.
While the statistical differences are true, as individuals the difference in the odds of being seriously injured or killed are statistically nominal.


And just to be clear, I don't mean to imply its ok, or that we shouldn't try to improve safety.
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Old 03-22-15, 10:18 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
While the statistical differences are true, as individuals the difference in the odds of being seriously injured or killed are statistically nominal.
How so? If I'm 3 to 10 times as likely to be killed in the U.S. than in Europe that would seem individually and personally significant. If we had the same fatality rate as Europe then about 25,000 people (of 33,000) who were killed last year would still be alive today. That seems individually significant to them and to their friends and family (and to the drivers who killed them?).
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Old 03-22-15, 10:51 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
How so? If I'm 3 to 10 times as likely to be killed in the U.S. than in Europe that would seem individually and personally significant. If we had the same fatality rate as Europe then about 25,000 people (of 33,000) who were killed last year would still be alive today. That seems individually significant to them and to their friends and family (and to the drivers who killed them?).
And the same is true for serious injury and permanent disability which is far more common than death. Our current transportation policies, funding, and laws do not make sense from an ethical or economic standpoint.
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