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Hit by a truck this afternoon

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Hit by a truck this afternoon

Old 11-11-07, 05:11 PM
  #1  
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Hit by a truck this afternoon

So about 41 miles into my 50 mile ride, riding alone, 8 or so mph head wind halfway up a little hill, near the middle of the narrow lane on a shoulder-less rural Independence Highway outside Corvallis at about 15 mph when...

This full-sized truck comes right on my tail and starts honking at me. As we crest the hill I can see the blinking red light signifying the intersection with busy Hwy 20 about a mile or 2 away and there are NO cars coming head on. I give him the go-around signal and he honks again.

So I give him a different hand signal. Rather than going in the other lane, he tries passing me in mine and hits me with his right side-view mirror and I scrape against his truck. Luckily the mirror was a break-away and I manage to stay upright.

He hits the breaks to tell me I was in his lane and that I'm supposed to be on the shoulder (which, by the way, is about a foot and a half of pavement, 6 inches of gravel, then heavy vegetation.

After a little more yelling at each other I ride off. Realizing that I just once again put myself in front of a car that hit me, I pull over way into the grass so he can go by. Instead, he drives up into the shoulder, gets out and continues to yell at me about how I was in his lane. I yell back that the narrow shoulder is not a bike lane and he had the entire other lane to pass me. As he's walking away I tell him I'm calling the cops and he drives off.

After it's all said and done, I was breaking the law by not being as far over to the side as possible even though there is barely enough room to fit a truck and a bike in the lane. I'm not mad anymore and I realize that I should have been over further, but does that give this guy the right to get so close that I get hit? Even though I don't feel as safe hugging the line of a narrow lane (especially after several near-misses from cars not getting over trying to share the lane while I'm on the edge), from now on I'm going to follow the law to the letter, so the next time something like this happens, the driver won't be so lucky.

I've learned something and hopefully after the Sheriff's Deputy talks to him again, he'll learn something, too.

Be careful out there.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:15 PM
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Even if you're in the wrong about where you are on the road, it does not give anyone the right to still hit you. They should slow, call the cops, yell at you, or whatever, but there is no reason for him to risk your life especially when it's obvious he knows you're there.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:18 PM
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permanentjaun hit the nail on the head. Any remote ground upon which he was righteously standing was sacrificed the moment he intentionally struck you. Hopefully you weren't cut or your bike damaged by the mirror.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:19 PM
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Does the law in Or say "possible" or "practicable"?

Either way, you should have called the cops immediately since you were hit.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:21 PM
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can you give us a more detailed description of the truck (type, color, license plate, etc.) so we know who to avoid?
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What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
After it's all said and done, I was breaking the law by not being as far over to the side as possible
Incorrect.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:24 PM
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Call the police. NOW.

Edit: saw the bit about the police officer.

The police officer was wrong.

Call the DA tomorrow if you don't get anywhere with the officer.
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Last edited by ElJamoquio; 11-11-07 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:24 PM
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You were not breaking the law. The law is "as far to the right as is SAFE". (At least that's what it is in my state, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were the same in yours.)
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Old 11-11-07, 05:26 PM
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Did the police officer advise you he was going to speak with the motorist? It sounds like you may have successfully obtained the license plate, which is great news. Good luck.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:29 PM
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"Riding on the right doesn't mean hugging the curb or edge of the road. This may not be the best place to ride. For example, if you it the curb, you could lose your balance and fall into traffic. Other times when you shouldn't ride too far to the right include:

* When avoiding parked cars or surface hazards
* WHEN A LANE IS TOO NARROW FOR A BICYCLE AND VEHICLE TO TRAVEL SAFELY SIDE BY SIDE
* When making aleft turn
* To avoid conflicts with right-turning cars"

-- Oregon Bicyclist's Manual, 2006 (www.oregon.gov)
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Old 11-11-07, 05:34 PM
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If your local DA doesn't do anything, bug the state DA.

Bottom line (summing up a DocRay quote): If the guy had intentionally hit you with a baseball bat, he'd be in prison for a year. Instead of a two pound bat going 40 MPH, he used a 5000 pound car going 40 MPH.

DO NOT let this go as-is.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:37 PM
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I'd call the cops to report it regardless....Nobody has the right to hit you when it's avoidable, regardless of where you're riding.....
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Old 11-11-07, 05:39 PM
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2005-06 ORS: 814.430 Improper use of lanes; exceptions, penalty. (1) A person commits the offense...if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic...and the person does not ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.

(2) [Exceptions]:
(a) When overtaking or passing...
(b) When preparing to execute a left turn.
(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions....

....

I called 911 right then and there as the guy was leaving (after the second altercation). The Sheriff's Deputy found him at his place and got his side of the story, then came over to my place and got mine. He said that in 19 years, he's never had two stories so close, with 2 exceptions, 1) The other guy said I drifted to the left as he passed (like I "had a deathwish") and 2) That I told the guy to "get out of here" during the second altercation (I don't remember that), but he admits it was BEFORE I said I was calling the cops.

Legally, I should have been over; I admit.

S***, I just looked further into the code and in (2)(c) under exceptions, it says "to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side." I'm calling the Deputy back, we did go and check out the area in a ride-along, but I want to make sue he knows about that exception.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:44 PM
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Your failure to cede the right of way does not afford the truck driver the right to hit you with a 10,000 lb. motor vehicle. In my opinion his actions could be construed as felony assault. They won't be, but they should be. Regardless, you are pissing up the longest rope in the universe. Nobody (least of all the police) gives a **** if a cyclist gets flattened by a homicidal trucker. The cyclist or motorcyclist is always at fault. It is rather incredible, but there it is. Start understanding this truth as a road cyclist and you may actually live another ten years. Ignore it at your own (obvious) peril.

Do yourself a favor. Don't flip angry motorists the bird, and understand that riding over a few potholes does beat being hit by a large truck.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
2005-06 ORS: 814.430 Improper use of lanes; exceptions, penalty. (1) A person commits the offense...if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic...and the person does not ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.

(2) [Exceptions]:
(a) When overtaking or passing...
(b) When preparing to execute a left turn.
(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions....

....

I called 911 right then and there as the guy was leaving (after the second altercation). The Sheriff's Deputy found him at his place and got his side of the story, then came over to my place and got mine. He said that in 19 years, he's never had two stories so close, with 2 exceptions, 1) The other guy said I drifted to the left as he passed (like I "had a deathwish") and 2) That I told the guy to "get out of here" during the second altercation (I don't remember that), but he admits it was BEFORE I said I was calling the cops.

Legally, I should have been over; I admit.

S***, I just looked further into the code and in (2)(c) under exceptions, it says "to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side." I'm calling the Deputy back, we did go and check out the area in a ride-along, but I want to make sue he knows about that exception.
Keep at it. You are doing the right thing. If you get frustrated remember this guy could have KILLED
you and may still kill some other cyclist!
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Old 11-11-07, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
S***, I just looked further into the code and in (2)(c) under exceptions, it says "to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side." I'm calling the Deputy back, we did go and check out the area in a ride-along, but I want to make sue he knows about that exception.
It was OBVIOUSLY unsafe/too narrow, right, since he had TWO lanes in which to pass and was not able to?!??
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Old 11-11-07, 05:55 PM
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Just got off the phone with the Deputy. He agreed I may have something here, but it's his initial thought that the lane in question would not fit the exception regarding a bike and car safely riding next to each other. He is off for a few days, but will go out and measure the spot next week. Before that, I am going to measure it myself. I'll update this thread as things develop.

Thanks for the posts and the support, everyone. For a little bit after this happened, I thought about hanging up the road bike for a little while and exclusively using the MTB (where injuries are generally caused by my own fault), but I've decided that is not going to be good for anyone.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
It was OBVIOUSLY unsafe/too narrow, right, since he had TWO lanes in which to pass and was not able to?!??
Well, the way the code is written, it does not take into account the presence/absence of the clear oncoming lane. It just has to do with the width of the lane, line-to-line. As a side note, the exceptions in 814.430 do not excuse a bicyclist from complying to 811.425, which is essentially my duty--or any slow moving vehicle--to pull over and let a normal-traveling car pass. However, in this case it does not apply because the other lane was open.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:59 PM
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Again, part of being a roadie is understanding that in the Cars Vs. Bikes Wars the cyclist always loses, gets badly injured or killed. The motorist always skates. Deal with that and move on, but most importantly ride accordingly. If that strikes you as unacceptable, take up mountain biking.

All this activism slays me. Codes, laws, who was at fault, 911, police reports, ad nauseum. Good grief you pathetic bike weenies NOBODY gives a ****. NOBODY, NOBODY, NOBODY. Can you change this?

No.
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Old 11-11-07, 06:00 PM
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I did not see if you mentioned it was a no passing zone ( double yellow line ) or not. If it was he should not have been passing you at all.
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Old 11-11-07, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Your failure to cede the right of way does not afford the truck driver the right to hit you with a 10,000 lb. motor vehicle. In my opinion his actions could be construed as felony assault. They won't be, but they should be. Regardless, you are pissing up the longest rope in the universe. Nobody (least of all the police) gives a **** if a cyclist gets flattened by a homicidal trucker. The cyclist or motorcyclist is always at fault. It is rather incredible, but there it is. Start understanding this truth as a road cyclist and you may actually live another ten years. Ignore it at your own (obvious) peril.

Do yourself a favor. Don't flip angry motorists the bird, and understand that riding over a few potholes does beat being hit by a large truck.
True. But the more often the sheriff and DA are bothered with issues pertaining to cyclists rights the more likely they may do something; if not now then in the future. Pennies make dollars.

Thus, the longest rope in the universe becomes more and more like their shoe.

+1, on avoiding conflict when possible.
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Old 11-11-07, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bhchdh View Post
I did not see if you mentioned it was a no passing zone ( double yellow line ) or not. If it was he should not have been passing you at all.
I am preaching to the oblivious. I'll stop.
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Old 11-11-07, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
It was OBVIOUSLY unsafe/too narrow, right, since he had TWO lanes in which to pass and was not able to?!??
+ 4.5 billion.

Safety, in this case, is a ratio, NOT an absolute measurement!!!!!!
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Old 11-11-07, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
I am preaching to the oblivious.
You expected something else?
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Old 11-11-07, 06:12 PM
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I can't remember the yellow-lines, but I'm assuming (from my house) that there was a solid line coming up to the hill when he first started tailing me, then it would have been dotted after the hill, where he hit me.

A for avoiding conflict, yeah, I lost my cool, but I gave him the go-around signal when it was clear THEN gave him the finger when he honked and didn't go in the other lane. Probably shouldn't have done that but had been passed too closely a few times already earlier in the ride.

In reply to patentcad, defeatism isn't going to get us anywhere. I accept the risk of riding on the open road, but laws are in place to protect people. The more issues that are raised, the more likely something will happen positively. I am not ready to give up on this concept.
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