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Hit By a Car ...

Old 01-29-17, 02:45 PM
  #1  
DaveLeeNC
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Hit By a Car ...

... REALLY frustrating but not as serious as it sounds.

I was riding in an small town/urban area yesterday on a side street approaching a kind of "through" local street. This is all 25 and/or 35 mph stuff and all 2 lanes/lightly traveled. I wanted to cross the through local street and a car was approaching from my right making a left turn from the through street to the street I was on. I was about as far to the right in my lane as I could be going about as slow as I could go kind of pausing while the driver cleared out of my way. There were no other cars in the area. Rolling stops are not a contentious thing in my area (nor are bikers as there just are not that many of them).

The big SUV started making the turn and I just couldn't believe it. She COMPLETELY cut across my lane and literally side swiped me knocking me off the bike onto the shoulder (which was pine straw covered so was a very soft landing). It was not really a violent kind of thing - my eye glasses didn't even come off. But the side view mirror caught me in the forehead and cost me a couple of stitches.

What is really frustrating here is that I just don't know how you can avoid this. I have a NiteRider 600 strobing on the front and a Bontrager R2 flashing tail light in the back (this thing is bright, BTW). And I was as far right as one could get and stay on the pavement. Maybe if I had some speed going I could have steered away but that wasn't really going to happen at that position on the roads (safely anyway).

I guess the answer is to "get out of town as fast as you can". It is only a half mile from my house to 'out of town on country roads' and I would guess that 90% of my biking is 'out of town'. Yet this event and the only 2 other really close calls that I have had have all been in town. I often run local errands on my bike (with a goal of putting more miles per year on my bike than on my car). I am wondering if that is a bad idea (and this was a combination 'real ride' and errand run - wouldn't have been at that spot had I not been doing the errand).

For those who split their riding time 'in town and out of town', do you also feel much safer on country roads (fewer cars but more speed)?

dave

ps. I was on the Bianchi in my name description on my 'commuter wheels' which are old, 32 spoke Mavics. The rear wheel has seen its last ride. The rest of the bike (other than maybe my rear brakes) is probably OK but goes to the shop this week to be sure.
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Old 01-29-17, 03:09 PM
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So you have property damage and you have injuries. Did the other party stop? Do you have their license and insurance information? Is there a police report?

ASSUMING EVERYTHING IS EXACTLY AS YOU DESCRIBED, it sounds to me like the other party owes you the cost of bike repairs, ER visit and an indemnity for your injury. My guess is their insurance company will pay that but it could get messy.
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Old 01-29-17, 03:40 PM
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Police showed up and took a report. "Her version" is different than mine so I don't know how this plays out and I am hopeful that the total is small enough that it 'is not worth messy'. No witnesses, BTW.

dave
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Old 01-29-17, 03:41 PM
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Sorry to hear about everything you wrote,,, and hope you can get compensation,glad it wasn't worst,, when you say out of town are you talking country roads? As you said less traffic but faster and some times very inconsiderate on those roads sometimes I think on purpose,,,,,
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Old 01-29-17, 03:42 PM
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Assuming it was not intentional...

What you could do differently is take center of lane position at intersections.

My experience of over 10 years of suburban utility cycling is that I have to be in the same position as motor vehicles at intersections to be seen. It also gives me more "outs".

If it was intentional then not much you can do.
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Old 01-29-17, 03:53 PM
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Fastf, I am talking 'country roads'.

Flange - that is an interesting approach to intersections. You would think that being where it is supremely unlikely that a car could possibly be would be optimum. However I see your point and acknowledge your experience here. However in this case it would have been a head on (unless the different position means that she would see me). One aspect of this area is that it is visually busy (lots of close by tress, bushes, etc. but nothing blocking line of sight).

FWIW, the two close calls that I have had have been where I was on 'the through street' and cars crossing that street just didn't see me coming (even with the flashing lights).

dave
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Old 01-29-17, 03:55 PM
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The number of people I see (in motor vehicles) that cut across lanes while making a turn is rediculous.
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Old 01-29-17, 04:54 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
... REALLY frustrating but not as serious as it sounds.
I suggest that you read this:
http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-s...bers-read.html
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Old 01-29-17, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
You would think that being where it is supremely unlikely that a car could possibly be would be optimum.
If you expect to be seen, I hope you can see the contradiction here. Flashing lights or not, if you are riding where someone isn't looking, they aren't going to see.

Either ride like people can't see you, and expect things like which just happened to you to happen on a regular basis, or ride in a manner where you make it as painfully obvious that you are there, but be prepared for the occasional idiot anyway.
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Old 01-29-17, 09:19 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
It amazes me that people need that sort of great advice.
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Old 01-29-17, 10:55 PM
  #11  
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My approach at intersections is to usually be out where I can be seen, whether that's out in the middle or off a bit to the side. Be seen and be prepared to move, rather than out of the way and maybe not seen. Just my thoughts.
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Old 01-29-17, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tcarl View Post
My approach at intersections is to usually be out where I can be seen, whether that's out in the middle or off a bit to the side. Be seen and be prepared to move, rather than out of the way and maybe not seen. Just my thoughts.
The CA DMV agrees with this in their motorcycle handbook. They suggest that your lane position should increase your ability to see and be seen, protect your lane from other drivers, communicate your intentions, and provide an escape route.
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Old 01-30-17, 04:56 AM
  #13  
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I was hit by a car in mid-November; a beautiful clear day. A woman ran the red light while I was in the intersection. I turned the bike and shouldered into her front fender. Damaged some ligaments in my shoulder and chipped the bone.


I had two witnesses. The police came and took statements from everyone. I am hoping to get my glasses replaced which were scratched when they drifted across the intersection. So far, 5 emails and 2 phone calls with no acknowledgement from her insurance company - thanks AVIVA.
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Old 01-30-17, 06:26 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
If you expect to be seen, I hope you can see the contradiction here. Flashing lights or not, if you are riding where someone isn't looking, they aren't going to see.

Either ride like people can't see you, and expect things like which just happened to you to happen on a regular basis, or ride in a manner where you make it as painfully obvious that you are there, but be prepared for the occasional idiot anyway.
I have decided that riding in town is an irresponsible risk that I don't need to take to be able to ride and live my life. So I am not going to do it.

I really don't know if I would have been seen had I been 5 feet further to the left or not. I do know what I saw which was a car beginning to make a 'normal left turn'. And unlike the common case where a car is going to really cut off a corner (turn starts very early) this one started quite normally. And for whatever reason she "just kept turning sharper and sharper". My best guess is that she took a quick glance looking for a car and didn't see one, started her turn and got distracted, and severely cut off the corner. And I would further GUESS that had I been in the middle of my lane it would have been a head on. Keep in mind that when I was less than 18 inches from her she still didn't see me.

I am fortunate that I have this choice (not to ride in town) and can still put in my 100 to 200 miles per week. Anybody want to buy a bike messenger bag

dave
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Old 01-30-17, 06:37 AM
  #15  
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Dave do you really want the other parties lawyers to see that you "have decided that riding in town is an irresponsible risk that I don't need to take to be able to ride and live my life." if it comes to that?
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Old 01-30-17, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Dave do you really want the other parties lawyers to see that you "have decided that riding in town is an irresponsible risk that I don't need to take to be able to ride and live my life." if it comes to that?
He was warned not to post about this. You cannot save some people from themselves.
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Old 01-30-17, 07:31 AM
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FWIW, I king of took my bike apart this morning. All I lost is a 1996 Mavic wheel. I am not going to court over this (I am not out of pocket WRT medical costs) - no way. Not even going after the insurance, although I will be talking to my agent just to be sure.

But if someone wanted to enter into evidence the fact that I was in the right side of my lane and got hit by someone crossing it, and from that experience I have decided that riding a bike on road is dangerous, I don't see the issue here (as it is legal and my personal opinion is unrelated). In fact I think it would be a real plus as the issue in court would be 'my story vs. her story'. But I will not go to a courtroom over this (for other unrelated reasons).

dave

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Old 01-30-17, 07:36 AM
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What plausible story could she have given the whole of the circumstances? Did you have a stop sign or red light? Was there any physical evidence on scene that supports either side? Does the police report accurately reflect your account?
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Old 01-30-17, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
Police showed up and took a report. "Her version" is different than mine so I don't know how this plays out and I am hopeful that the total is small enough that it 'is not worth messy'. No witnesses, BTW.

dave
Have you read a copy of the report? I know you have stated you do not want to pursue legal action, but if the report assigns blame to the driver, then it maybe only a matter of submitting a claim to her insurance company. Hopefully, no legal action required. I had something similar happen to me by a left hook driver. The police report clearly assigned the blame to her even though she lied to her insurance company about what actually happened. Armed with the report there wasn't much they could deny. It did take about a month to process it all.
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Old 01-30-17, 07:54 AM
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The fact is that this driver left their lane-of-travel by cutting across like that. Coupled with the fact that they almost broad-sided you and killed you, this constitutes driving-to-endanger: One of the most serious traffic offenses.
I like to say that I ride with "a good, healthy sense of paranoia". Never trust.
You are now better-prepared to see the reality of how things really are. Don't let it play a head trip on you, though: Get back out there. These incompetent/arrogant drivers are in a tiny minority. At an intersection, if I see a side-entering vehicle's front tire so much as twitch, I immediately get off my bike and stand on the sidewalk with it.
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Old 01-30-17, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
Have you read a copy of the report? I know you have stated you do not want to pursue legal action, but if the report assigns blame to the driver, then it maybe only a matter of submitting a claim to her insurance company. Hopefully, no legal action required. I had something similar happen to me by a left hook driver. The police report clearly assigned the blame to her even though she lied to her insurance company about what actually happened. Armed with the report there wasn't much they could deny. It did take about a month to process it all.
Similar experience here. The insurance company of the person who hit me paid for everything last dollar spent on my recovery, including the damage to my bike and clothing and lost wages from four days out of work. Plus I received a pain & suffering settlement for which I only had to speak with an insurance agent on their side twice. Well worth that effort!
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Old 01-30-17, 08:35 AM
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I left before the report was finalized (I was bleeding although it was hardly life threatening). But the police lady assured me that I will not be at fault in her report as even the 'other story' had me in my lane but made it appear that she had made a "more typical turn" than what really happened. But it wasn't finalized when I left. Since parts of this thread have become contentious I will add that it wasn't stitches but was "glue and a special bandage".

The evidence supporting me was

1) My clamp on drop bar mirror (left side) was picked up somewhere on the right side of my lane. I didn't know it was there as the police lady picked up up as just 'road trash with glass in it' that should be removed. I saw her do that (from across the road) and realized what it was and pointed out that this was probably the impact point as that side of my drop bars would have hit her car at that location. The police lady took great interest in where it mounts on my bike, but the exact location of that mirror didn't get recorded as I was 20 feet away at the time it was picked up. But "it was well in my lane" was most obvious after the fact.

2) I definitely hit the ground but there were zero marks on my clothing or skin (right arm layer was nothing but an Underarmour long sleeve compression tee shirt). There were no marks at all because I landed in pinestraw at the side of the road.

But I had been offered a ride (the offer was expiring) and didn't want to wait longer for the report to be finished. My impression of things was that the officer was undecided WRT citing the driver. And we'll see what my insurance agent says and what the report says. Independent of my head gash I really needed to get home, decide what to do about our evening plans, and get the cut attended to.

dave
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Old 01-30-17, 09:21 AM
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I can understand not really caring with just minor injuries. It's not just about making a case in court though. There are some insurance companies with lawyers who will take a statement out of context, if it can be construed as admitting fault, and then dig in their heels judging that they might make a case if it ever did go to court. They take that and negotiate you down, or deny it completely.

If you're not really looking for medical expenses I guess it won't matter, unless you scratched her car or something. Caused her emotional distress by getting hit. I'm not being contentious, just pointing out eventualities that sometimes happen, possibilities which honest people don't usually consider unless they've seen them.
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Old 01-30-17, 09:28 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by canadian deacon View Post
I was hit by a car in mid-November; a beautiful clear day. A woman ran the red light while I was in the intersection. I turned the bike and shouldered into her front fender. Damaged some ligaments in my shoulder and chipped the bone.


I had two witnesses. The police came and took statements from everyone. I am hoping to get my glasses replaced which were scratched when they drifted across the intersection. So far, 5 emails and 2 phone calls with no acknowledgement from her insurance company - thanks AVIVA.


Might be time for one more email. Ask the insurance adjuster (or their secretary) for their point of contact information to give to the lawyer you've been talking to, so he can handle further contact.
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Old 01-30-17, 09:45 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by canadian deacon View Post
I was hit by a car in mid-November; a beautiful clear day. A woman ran the red light while I was in the intersection. I turned the bike and shouldered into her front fender. Damaged some ligaments in my shoulder and chipped the bone.


I had two witnesses. The police came and took statements from everyone. I am hoping to get my glasses replaced which were scratched when they drifted across the intersection. So far, 5 emails and 2 phone calls with no acknowledgement from her insurance company - thanks AVIVA.
Try a letter, certified or other, with some lawyer letterhead with the paperwork.
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