Author Topic: Mowed down by an SUV  (Read 2062 times)

PlainsWalker

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Mowed down by an SUV
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:15:08 AM »
    I've been commuting to work on a bike for about two years now. In that time I've had some close passes from motorized vehicles along with a few good hearted attempts at right hooks and left crosses. I have been able to avoid collisions by keeping my head on a swivel and always expecting the car drivers to be gunning for me. Up until about a month ago, when I got caught unawares.
    I was on my way to work and entered a traffic circle. While I was going around I saw an SUV approaching the circle. The driver slowed down as they approached their yield sign. We made eye contact with each other so it sure looked they knew I was there and they had yielded. I continued on and as I was about to exit the traffic circle they caught me from behind. They clobbered me a good one. Crumpled up the back end of my back and ejected me down the road sending me skittering down the concrete. The bright yellow helmet, bright orange vest, and blinking lights on both the front and back weren't enough to alert this driver to my presence. The driver at least stopped, even though they were not at all conciliatory.
    Fortunately I didn't break anything and the road rash has healed up nicely. I'm hoping my freckles are hiding under the scar tissue and weren't completely scrapped off in places. The driver's insurance company has accepted full responsibility so at least I'm getting my bike fixed and getting my emergency room visit covered.

lemanfan

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 10:24:01 AM »
Ouch.  Glad you got away as good as you did!

Sibley

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 10:29:09 AM »
Honestly, sounds more like the driver knew you were there and didn't care. Glad it wasn't more serious.

Raymond Reddington

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 04:06:48 PM »
Traffic circles are the absolute worst. I still don't understand how all these studies show they are safer than a light intersection that is well timed and provides left turn arrows. Every time I enter one, I feel like it's an accident waiting to happen.

They force drivers/bikes to:
-Decide if it is safe to enter while focusing on approaching traffic approaching at a constantly changing angle, oftentimes from more than 1 location. The constantly changing angle, incidentally effectively reduces visibility.
-Calculate their route, as entering a two lane traffic circle often means certain lanes are exit only, and this requires further contemplation before deciding whether or not to enter, as well as figuring out roughly where they are exiting at, since the signs are often too close together to be really useful while trying to steer around the circle and focus on others around you.
-Checking for pedestrians, who can appear rather suddenly as these two things are figured out.
-Checking again for approaching bikes/cars before pulling out.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 04:10:08 PM by Raymond Reddington »

BlueMR2

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 04:26:36 PM »
Traffic circles are the absolute worst. I still don't understand how all these studies show they are safer than a light intersection that is well timed and provides left turn arrows. Every time I enter one, I feel like it's an accident waiting to happen.

Rate of closure is more favorable.  Impacts are far less severe.  Works out better for cars.  However, it does dramatically increase cyclist exposure.

marty998

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2018, 07:05:16 AM »
    I've been commuting to work on a bike for about two years now. In that time I've had some close passes from motorized vehicles along with a few good hearted attempts at right hooks and left crosses. I have been able to avoid collisions by keeping my head on a swivel and always expecting the car drivers to be gunning for me. Up until about a month ago, when I got caught unawares.
    I was on my way to work and entered a traffic circle. While I was going around I saw an SUV approaching the circle. The driver slowed down as they approached their yield sign. We made eye contact with each other so it sure looked they knew I was there and they had yielded. I continued on and as I was about to exit the traffic circle they caught me from behind. They clobbered me a good one. Crumpled up the back end of my back and ejected me down the road sending me skittering down the concrete. The bright yellow helmet, bright orange vest, and blinking lights on both the front and back weren't enough to alert this driver to my presence. The driver at least stopped, even though they were not at all conciliatory.
    Fortunately I didn't break anything and the road rash has healed up nicely. I'm hoping my freckles are hiding under the scar tissue and weren't completely scrapped off in places. The driver's insurance company has accepted full responsibility so at least I'm getting my bike fixed and getting my emergency room visit covered.

Can you claim loss of earnings as well if you had to take time of work?

PlainsWalker

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 01:02:21 PM »
Can you claim loss of earnings as well if you had to take time of work?
I'm on salary so the time off came out of sick leave. No loss of earnings to claim. The extra costs incurred in commuting to work while my primary vehicle was in the shop for a month waiting for the insurance company to decide if they were going to pay, that I will send a bill for.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2018, 05:29:10 PM »
We made eye contact with each other so it sure looked they knew I was there and they had yielded.

I've seen this mentioned in several threads about the danger of bicycle commuting recently.  People make comments about "making eye contact".  When you're on a bike looking into car, you might be able to tell if they're facing in your direction, maybe, but even then, you can't really tell if their eyes are focused on you.  Heck, when I'm biking, a lot of time it's hard to tell if it's someone I know in the car or if they are waving or not due to looking through a windshield into the shaded interior, the glare, possibly because they're also wearing glasses, and such, let alone exactly what line of sight their eyeballs are focused on at a distance.  You're taking a chance.

When I saw the subject, I thought this thread was going to be about the guy on a cycle that got hit and killed by someone in an SUV just yesterday.

I try to avoid biking around city traffic.


« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 05:32:14 PM by DreamFIRE »

hops

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2018, 06:42:05 AM »
Can you claim loss of earnings as well if you had to take time of work?
I'm on salary so the time off came out of sick leave. No loss of earnings to claim. The extra costs incurred in commuting to work while my primary vehicle was in the shop for a month waiting for the insurance company to decide if they were going to pay, that I will send a bill for.

I'm sorry to hear about your accident, and glad you're recovering nicely. About loss of earnings: When my wife was rear-ended a couple years ago and missed 1.5 days of work due to minor injuries, the other motorist's insurance company advised us to claim loss of earnings even though she used sick leave. They said it was a direct result of the accident and therefore their responsibility.

Just Joe

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2018, 08:36:02 AM »
I hope you are feeling better and that the insurance company did you right.

I think some people just do not care about bicyclists. I had an episode where a car was waiting to pull out of a parking lot. I was on the sidewalk - I know, I know - don't flip out. It's different here*. She looked right at me with my blinky lights and still pulled out right as I arrived beside her car.

I wasn't moving but 10 mph but we had a 2 second dirty look contest as she accelerated away in her SUV. Prob mad a mistake b/c she made a miscalculation. 

A good friend admitted recently that they get a little irrationally pissed off when they see a bicycle on the street. The law says we're legal but cars are forced to slow down or drift away from the bike to pass them and this makes the friend a little mad being forced with wait for us. Yeah I wish we had bike lanes too but not a gov't priority in this part of the world. I'll keep wishing.

On a brighter note I am seeing a few bikes daily now. Used to be I never saw a single bike here except kids playing in the neighborhood.

*I live south of the Mason-Dixon line where nobody and I mean nobody uses the sidewalks and the local police encourage people to bike on the sidewalks. I use the sidewalks in three short strategic parts of my commute to avoid a steep hill and fast traffic. Mostly I prefer the other parts of my ride on much quieter streets.

Benefits of an ebike in hilly country: Fast enough to not dwell on dangerous hills or intersections.

pecunia

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2018, 09:18:30 AM »
Quote
I live south of the Mason-Dixon line where nobody and I mean nobody uses the sidewalks

A lot of the places I've been in the South don't even have sidewalks.  I guess folks down there don't walk.

I used to commute by bike.  I've been lucky never to have an accident.

Here's one you can beat on me for.  I live in an area with a lot of bike paths.  I often see cyclists on the road instead of using the bike paths.  These are usually the faster cyclists with bikes that look like they are carbon fiber or something.  The cyclists have sleek cycling clothes on.  I guess they don't want to be slowed by the other cyclists on the bike path.  Still, they slow down road traffic.  I don't like it.  The bike paths are well maintained and I think we'd have better overall safety if they were on the bike paths.

Yes, I do slow down and pass them carefully.  I am not like the redneck in Oklahoma with the SUV.  I even wave, but I detect that these are "elite" cyclists so do not wave back.

Raymond Reddington

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2018, 10:47:35 AM »
Quote
I live south of the Mason-Dixon line where nobody and I mean nobody uses the sidewalks

A lot of the places I've been in the South don't even have sidewalks.  I guess folks down there don't walk.

I used to commute by bike.  I've been lucky never to have an accident.

Here's one you can beat on me for.  I live in an area with a lot of bike paths.  I often see cyclists on the road instead of using the bike paths.  These are usually the faster cyclists with bikes that look like they are carbon fiber or something.  The cyclists have sleek cycling clothes on.  I guess they don't want to be slowed by the other cyclists on the bike path.  Still, they slow down road traffic.  I don't like it.  The bike paths are well maintained and I think we'd have better overall safety if they were on the bike paths.

Yes, I do slow down and pass them carefully.  I am not like the redneck in Oklahoma with the SUV.  I even wave, but I detect that these are "elite" cyclists so do not wave back.

I definitely get that. I live in NYC, which has spent millions on bike lanes. It drives me up a wall when bikes insist on riding on the opposite side of the street as the bike lane. It's there for a reason. The "elite" cyclists also seem to enjoy such ridiculous antics as biking over the pedestrian side of the Manhattan Bridge (there is a bicyclist side), and going 30 MPH while doing so. People like that should be arrested the same way a driver would for driving on the sidewalk. It's completely reckless. That's one of the worst parts of NYC though, and it's (obviously) not just elite cyclists. It's just the insane concentration of assholes everywhere - on 2 wheels, 4 wheels, 18 wheels, and on foot.

The biking I did in life as an adult was mostly in Providence, RI. Parts of that city were very conducive to it, others (downtown by the mall) not at all.

Exflyboy

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2018, 12:19:14 PM »
I used to commute to work by bike on a "risky" section of highway.. Then one day a guy at my work who was a triathlete on weekends had a log truck right turn across the front of him.. He ran under the trailer and got squished by the rear wheels.

He didn't make it tragically...:(

That was the end of my bike commuting.

Russ

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2018, 07:49:01 PM »
I used to commute to work by bike on a "risky" section of highway.. Then one day a guy at my work who was a triathlete on weekends had a log truck right turn across the front of him.. He ran under the trailer and got squished by the rear wheels.

He didn't make it tragically...:(

That was the end of my bike commuting.

yeah I've never heard of anyone dying while driving a car either

Just Joe

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2018, 09:24:17 AM »
Quote
I live south of the Mason-Dixon line where nobody and I mean nobody uses the sidewalks

A lot of the places I've been in the South don't even have sidewalks.  I guess folks down there don't walk.

I used to commute by bike.  I've been lucky never to have an accident.

Here's one you can beat on me for.  I live in an area with a lot of bike paths.  I often see cyclists on the road instead of using the bike paths.  These are usually the faster cyclists with bikes that look like they are carbon fiber or something.  The cyclists have sleek cycling clothes on.  I guess they don't want to be slowed by the other cyclists on the bike path.  Still, they slow down road traffic.  I don't like it.  The bike paths are well maintained and I think we'd have better overall safety if they were on the bike paths.

Yes, I do slow down and pass them carefully.  I am not like the redneck in Oklahoma with the SUV.  I even wave, but I detect that these are "elite" cyclists so do not wave back.

I wish we had useful bike paths here. Our sidewalks are very incomplete. All new construction is required to install sidewalks in front of their businesses. The city may or may not connect that sidewalk to something so we have this irregular system. In certain parts of town the sidewalks are fairly complete. In other parts of town its a joke. The joys of living in a red state I guess. Sidewalks are lousy for bicycling on anyhow - bumpy and lumpy with the driveway entrances. I prefer the street if there is a shoulder to ride on. I just "discovered" a new route across town that I like a little better so at least I can mix it up a little. A friend suggested I try his bike route and thus the "discovery".

NorCal Stubble

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2018, 10:18:45 AM »
This same situation happened to a friend of mine except the vehicle in question was a police officer. He still commutes to work, but he's super careful about that roundabout. 

Johnny Aloha

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2018, 10:23:12 AM »
Glad you are ok.  I've actually stopped commuting to work by bike, which is sad because I live so close to work (4 miles).  The drivers are all so distracted, and it's just not worth it for me.  After living in Europe where you see how the infrastructure should be, compared to what it is here in the US - we have a long way to go.

Luckily I can still run to work some days.

dogboyslim

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Re: Mowed down by an SUV
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2018, 03:42:10 PM »
Quote
Here's one you can beat on me for.  I live in an area with a lot of bike paths.  I often see cyclists on the road instead of using the bike paths.  These are usually the faster cyclists with bikes that look like they are carbon fiber or something.  The cyclists have sleek cycling clothes on.  I guess they don't want to be slowed by the other cyclists on the bike path.  Still, they slow down road traffic.  I don't like it.  The bike paths are well maintained and I think we'd have better overall safety if they were on the bike paths.

My suspicion is that they are coming from and/or going to places not on the bike path route, and do not exit the roadway to get on the bike path for the short section where it aligns with their path.  This is my usual reason for not riding on the bike path next to me, but I'm NOT an elite cyclist.  Also, roads tend to be cleaner than the bike paths, allow me to continue with the right of way rather than stopping at each intersection and worry about right turners from the parallel road, and bike paths have been much quicker to flood and aren't kept clear in winter.  On top of this, there are rarely children/dogs/pedestrians walking all over the place on the roadway, and vehicle traffic is much more predictable.  All of these result in me finding ways to work that don't rely on bike paths.  I find lighter traffic roads or roads with wide outside lanes, shoulders or two lanes in the same direction to avoid slowing cars, but every now and then someone might have to slow down 15 seconds for me.  I've had little complaint from drivers.