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Incident with cyclist while driving

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Incident with cyclist while driving

Old 09-23-20, 04:15 PM
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woodcraft
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Incident with cyclist while driving

Last night at 7:00, I was crossing the main street coming in to town- 2 lanes, bike lanes, no parking, traffic 25-30mph, driving my large white & heavily loaded van. This is blocks from my house so a maneuver that happens almost daily, and where I also ride regularly.
No traffic either direction, so I pulled out, and a cyclist appeared, & had to slow & go behind me. He was pissed, stopped & turned around to chew me out. I stopped as well, & he said wtf, etc. at length.
I apologized but also said that as a cyclist, when I see a vehicle that might pull out in front of me, I get out in the lane to be visible and to have more room to avoid.

Today when at the same location I could see that there is a large electrical box that perfectly blocks view of a key section of the bike lane, as well as a shadowed area beyond,

and that since he was going 20mph near dusk and assuming that he would be seen, he is a moron.
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Old 09-23-20, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Last night at 7:00, I was crossing the main street coming in to town- 2 lanes, bike lanes, no parking, traffic 25-30mph, driving my large white & heavily loaded van. This is blocks from my house so a maneuver that happens almost daily, and where I also ride regularly.
No traffic either direction, so I pulled out, and a cyclist appeared, & had to slow & go behind me. He was pissed, stopped & turned around to chew me out. I stopped as well, & he said wtf, etc. at length.
I apologized but also said that as a cyclist, when I see a vehicle that might pull out in front of me, I get out in the lane to be visible and to have more room to avoid.

Today when at the same location I could see that there is a large electrical box that perfectly blocks view of a key section of the bike lane, as well as a shadowed area beyond,

and that since he was going 20mph near dusk and assuming that he would be seen, he is a moron.
I kinda feel like you want absolution for pulling out when maybe you shouldn't have.
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Old 09-23-20, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Last night at 7:00, I was crossing the main street coming in to town- 2 lanes, bike lanes, no parking, traffic 25-30mph, driving my large white & heavily loaded van. This is blocks from my house so a maneuver that happens almost daily, and where I also ride regularly.
No traffic either direction, so I pulled out, and a cyclist appeared, & had to slow & go behind me. He was pissed, stopped & turned around to chew me out. I stopped as well, & he said wtf, etc. at length.
I apologized but also said that as a cyclist, when I see a vehicle that might pull out in front of me, I get out in the lane to be visible and to have more room to avoid.

Today when at the same location I could see that there is a large electrical box that perfectly blocks view of a key section of the bike lane, as well as a shadowed area beyond,

and that since he was going 20mph near dusk and assuming that he would be seen, he is a moron.
I almost hit a bike the other week that was riding after dusk with no lights down the side of an unlit highway with little to no shoulder and wearing dark clothing to boot. He is a moron too. As Forrest would say, stupid is as stupid does. Don't worry about it. As a rider we're much more aware of bikes but we're not immune to other's stupidity.
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Old 09-23-20, 04:34 PM
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I've had similar stuff both with me as motorist and with me as cyclist. It's great that you thought to check later to see why you missed seeing them. Not sure that you could relate that to any other person that can or would make something happen with respect to the view being blocked.

All we can really do is just be thankful that circumstances had a good outcome and hopefully taught us another way we must look out for those that won't look out for themselves. Maybe the cyclist will notice the issue too that you were trying to explain and change some of their habits.

I too feel I should make myself seen when I ride.
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Old 09-23-20, 04:35 PM
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What are you looking to get out of this thread?
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Old 09-23-20, 05:03 PM
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One thought---if you had room to pull out and he had room to slow safely, it was a safe maneuver. A tad inconsiderate, but still a safe maneuver.

Another thought--as cyclists, we know that we should assume we cannot be seen, and that we are responsible for our own safety. I had an incident about 18 months back---much more blatant driver ignorance---but I came literally within three or four inches of being hit by a rapidly accelerating car. Yeah, the driver ignored my brightly lit bike approaching for a quarter mile of unobstructed view straight roadway, and then pulled out just as I passed .... but having ridden for a long time, I know I should have slowed a lot, or even gone behind him, even if it meant turning off the road into the access road where he was sitting---because if a car is sitting waiting to pull out for 30 seconds or more when no traffic is coming, it is an unusual situation, and usually means a distracted driver---on the phone, rolling a joint, reading a map, whatever .... a danger signal.

I was making good time and didn't want to slow down---it was a rare night when I felt like going fast. My unwillingness to account for driver stupidity nearly hurt me very badly. The fact that it was 100 percent the driver's error doesn't mean much when the hood hits the femur.

Yet another thought---you feel guilty because you didn't see the cyclist. If you had an obstructed view, the right thing to do would have been to inch forward until you could see. You assumed nothing was coming .... and because you are a cyclist and have been on the other end of this driver assumption, and have likewise maybe had some close calls, you feel more guilty. And because maybe the last time it happened to you, you chewed out the driver, if only in your own head, and now it was you, you feel even worse.

That's life. We are all human and we all make errors. You made a small error, even thought you are generally well-meaning and conscientious, and you feel bad. Fine, Use it as a learning experience. Try to be a little more careful when driving and a little more compassionate while riding? Whatever.

We all make mistakes. This one worked out well for all involved, in that you don't have to file an insurance claim and the cyclist doesn't have to call an ambulance. So pretty much an alright outcome. Now, use the experience to grow as a person.

Yeah, you feel bad, and there is no way around it. Just suck it up and suffer a little and pretty soon you will feel fine---but I bet you are a little more attentive when pulling out of driveways and side streets. So, it's all good.
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Old 09-23-20, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
he was going 20mph near dusk and assuming that he would be seen, he is a moron.
Did he have a rear or front daylight powered light?

I see a lot of cyclist putting themselves in unnecessary danger. Cars are 3K to 5K lbs vehicles. Drivers are not looking for tiny slivers, they are looking for other cars. Be prideful all you want, and be dead too. I'm a cyclist too, I don't expect cars to be looking out for "my rights".
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Old 09-23-20, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by pcunite View Post
I'm a cyclist too, I don't expect cars to be looking out for "my rights".
Right. But as cyclists, when we drive, we imagine that we are more attentive and more alert and more considerate of other cyclists. We imagine that we will be looking out because we know the other end of the experience.

And frankly, drivers Should always be looking out for the rights of others. As cyclists, we are more aware when they don't .... and then even more aware when the driver who didn't see the cyclist is us.

Fact is, we can screw up in any situation. The OP screwed up---he didn't say it was dark, just low light, and as a cyclists, when we are behind the wheel, shouldn't we Always take an extra second to look for a bike? But we don't, always.

Blaming the cyclist is ridiculous. The OP stated clearly that he had an obstructed view and went anyway. But blaming Anyone is sort of pointless. The idea isn't to assign blame or inflict guilt. The idea---my idea, anyway---is to learn from what happens to me so I can do better next time, hopefully---or at least, screw up in a new and different way.
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Old 09-23-20, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
I almost hit a bike the other week that was riding after dusk with no lights down the side of an unlit highway with little to no shoulder and wearing dark clothing to boot. He is a moron too. As Forrest would say, stupid is as stupid does. Don't worry about it. As a rider we're much more aware of bikes but we're not immune to other's stupidity.
Hi Viz clothing is definitely not de rigueur these days
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Old 09-23-20, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
and that since he was going 20mph near dusk and assuming that he would be seen, he is a moron.
Totally. Tell him next time to crank it up to 400 watts and do a respectable speed.

And to get a light.
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Old 09-23-20, 06:28 PM
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We all have to be extra prudent while driving a car or riding a bike. I was hit by a car as a pedestrian while in a crosswalk in broad daylight resulting in serious injuries. “I never saw you”. Made me more aware as a driver to look multiple times for something smaller than a car. I try to wear a bright Kit as much as possible. Have passed on the matt black bike and mostly black kit.
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Old 09-23-20, 06:43 PM
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woodcraft, as in the same woodcraft from 600rr.net?
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Old 09-23-20, 06:56 PM
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Last weekend I was riding with a friend when a pickup with a large trailer passed us safely 50 - 100 yards before a stoplight. My friend decided to pull up next to the pickup at the red light. I scratched my head and stayed behind the truck and trailer, as he had already passed me and I did not want to make him have to pass again. As the light turned green my friend motions for the truck to go and also goes, meaning the truck took another 100 yards to pass. I let my friend have it. I said that was stupid and he did not make a friend of the truck driver. Towing a long trailer and trying to pass a rider is difficult enough once. My friend is clueless about being a good diplomat. He regularly goes through red lights when there is traffic around. I have decided I do not want to be a party to his bad behavior which only reinforces attitudes ( justly ) of drivers. We need as many drivers as we can get kn OUR side.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:41 PM
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If the cyclist has the right-of-way (e.g., is travelling in a designated bike lane, not violating any traffic laws) and the motorist pulls out abruptly and kills the cyclist, the motorist will get sued to kingdom come - and pay a steep price, most likely. (Assuming the dead cyclist's life had significant economic value, and heirs hired a half-decent attorney.)

The rest of you can argue all you want about whether cyclists have some special responsibility to watch out for lousy drivers, but the law is the law.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
...Today when at the same location I could see that there is a large electrical box that perfectly blocks view of a key section of the bike lane....
This happens quite frequently for me, with “screens” so I can see vehicle but motorist can’t see me. And angled intersections can hide me behind the A-pillar.

Road strategy is critical for theses situations.

It sounds like your cyclist wasn’t in a learning moment.. they’re pretty rare. I hope he learns road strategies before he gets hurt.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:55 PM
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The lesson here is that no matter how clearly in the wrong a driver is, the driver will believe they are in the right. So as cyclists we need to assume drivers might pull out in front of us at any time because they have a good excuse.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
If the cyclist has the right-of-way (e.g., is travelling in a designated bike lane, not violating any traffic laws) and the motorist pulls out abruptly and kills the cyclist, the motorist will get sued to kingdom come - and pay a steep price, most likely.
Lol - good one.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by pcunite View Post
Did he have a rear or front daylight powered light?

I see a lot of cyclist putting themselves in unnecessary danger. Cars are 3K to 5K lbs vehicles. Drivers are not looking for tiny slivers, they are looking for other cars. Be prideful all you want, and be dead too. I'm a cyclist too, I don't expect cars to be looking out for "my rights".
Agreed... he should of had lights on.

Right or wrong, if as a cyclists, it's your obligation and your benefit to make yourself visible. You have to assume that drivers don't see you or don't care so you have to take 100% responsibility for your safety. When approaching an intersection, even if I have the right of way and the driver a stop sign, I never assume thy see me unless I get some sort of confirmation such as eye contact, a beep of the horn or flash of the lights.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:31 PM
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Presumably if the electrical box obscured your view of him in the bike lane, he would not have been able to see you, the driver, though he could probably see at least part of your van. Situations like this occur when riding where I cannot see a driver, so I have to remind myself that he can’t see me and prepare to react if necessary. Hopefully the rider will reflect on the encounter as you have so he learns from it as well.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:50 PM
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Mostly I just wanted to vent, but also to remind us to ride defensively.

I felt bad, but after reviewing the site, there's really nothing I would do differently. Definitely not pulling out abruptly- not possible with my rig.

The road is just coming into town on a slight downhill with increasing traffic. I've ridden it countless times mostly without incident, although weekend traffic sometimes backs up and I've had a driver pull deliberately into the bike lane to cut me off.
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Old 09-24-20, 11:59 PM
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You should probably avoid driving there if you consider that doing so might kill a cyclist who is obeying the law.
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Old 09-25-20, 01:57 AM
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This is worth a read: https://www.portsmouthctc.org.uk/a-f...-on-the-roads/
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Old 09-25-20, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The idea isn't to assign blame or inflict guilt. The idea---my idea, anyway---is to learn from what happens to me so I can do better next time, hopefully---or at least, screw up in a new and different way.
What are you, some kind of goddamn pinko liberal commie? A world without blame and guilt and mindless tribalism is the stuff of madness!
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Old 09-25-20, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
That is a great article! Thank you.
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Old 09-25-20, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
No traffic either direction, so I pulled out, and a cyclist appeared, & had to slow & go behind me.

he is a moron.
A cyclist appeared? So he was going in the same direction as you and with no traffic, you failed to see him and pulled out in front of him? And you think in a situation like that he should move into the road further?

Think about how you would feel if you were the cyclist and that happened to you?
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