Hit by a car on my bike, am I at fault?

  • Thread starter G01
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In summary, G01 was biking to the lab this morning when they were hit by a car. The car was turning right and didn't check her mirrors, so G01 tried to stop but couldn't. G01 is OK, but shaken up. Boston is a horrible place to bike, and drivers need to be more aware of cyclists.
  • #1
G01
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So, yeah... that happened!

I was biking to the lab in the bike lane this morning and going straight through an intersection. A car was turning right (thus needing to cross over the bike lane) and didn't check her mirrors to look for bikes. So, I tried to stop but couldn't and was broadsided by this SUV, luckily at low speeds.

I'm OK, a bit shaken up, but otherwise fine. I don't think it was my fault. I had the green light, and she should have checked, so I'm taking solace in the fact that I was not at fault.

Biking in Boston is an experience, that's for sure. How much work should one be expected to get done on a day that started with them getting hit by a car. I'm hoping the answer is none. :smile:
 
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  • #2
I can't tell you how many friends of mine have had an encounter with a car while biking, especially in the city! Glad you are ok! I hope everyone wears a helmet and installs proper reflectors and lights!
 
  • #3
So sorry, G01! I hope your'e OK and have no lingering aches and pains. As you well know by now, Boston is a horrible place to drive, and is probably the worst city in the US to ride a bike. People drive like they have blinders on, pay scant attention to their mirrors, and hardly ever use turn signals. You're pretty much on your own. You'd be safer biking through Manhattan.
 
  • #4
Not to mention that a person on a bike can easily be in the car driver's "blind spot".

I am so glad that you were not seriously injured. I do hope that you got the driver's license plate, driver's license and insurance information. Sometimes injuries don't raise their head immediately. You should report them to the police, if you haven't already, before they kill someone.
 
  • #5
G01 said:
...SUV, luckily at low speeds... ...Boston...

Except for the fact that you were hit by an SUV, and in Boston, I'd swear I saw your accident. I'm glad I saw this young man get up (with a "What the #$%^?" gesture), and get the license plate of the car. It initially seemed the lady wasn't even going to get out check on him, and apologize. THE GALL!

Please cyclists: Wear helmets! (This young man was not.) Watch out for insensitive or unaware drivers!

Please drivers: Be aware the terms are starting if you're driving near campuses! Alawys be aware of "alternative" transportation! Watch for bikers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians!
 
  • #6
GO1,

Glad you are OK, I know it sounds stupid, but get one of the dorky mirrors for your helmet or possibly your handlebars. Had you had one of those, you may have had time to get out of the way.

Rhody...
 
  • #7
G01, did you hit your head? Were there any marks on your helmet?

Glad that you're okay, but as Evo points out, injuries can take a little while to surface.

If you hit your head, you should go get checked out by your doc.
 
  • #8
Step 1: Get a lawyer
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit
 
  • #9
It's good that you're feeling well, but I second the advice of others; you should get checked out by a physician. Adrenaline can mask injuries for longer than one would expect. Not to frighten you, but there are some injuries that aren't initially very painful but can be quite serious.
 
  • #10
Hi Guys, thanks for the concern.I didn't hit my head thankfully. I saw what was coming a split second before it happened and hit the passenger side door with my shoulder.

A cursory check shows no problems. No headaches and I have full range of motion in my shoulder along with all other limbs. For now, the only problem seems to be a case of shock about the whole incident.

Some good advice was offered here. I always wear a helmet, and while I didn't hit my head this time, I could easily have hit it if I was not paying attention when the car turned in front of me. I never bike without a helmet.

As someone who also drives, I make a habit of checking (over my shoulder, not through the mirror) for a bike that may be near me before I make a right turn.
 
  • #11
Sounds like a terrifying close call...glad to hear you're OK!
 
  • #12
turbo said:
So sorry, G01! I hope your'e OK and have no lingering aches and pains. As you well know by now, Boston is a horrible place to drive, and is probably the worst city in the US to ride a bike. People drive like they have blinders on, pay scant attention to their mirrors, and hardly ever use turn signals. You're pretty much on your own. You'd be safer biking through Manhattan.

Boston is making an effort to make the streets safer for bikes. They have been adding bike lanes everywhere and putting markers on the streets where bikes share the lane with cars. However, these things won't help all that much if drivers continue to be oblivious to the world outside their vehicle.

Being hit by a car is jokingly called the right of passage for a Boston cyclist. Unfortunately, that's more true than I thought.
 
  • #13
Jack21222 said:
Step 1: Get a lawyer
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit

Lol. Step 2 is to sue like any other American would :rolleyes:

Its def her fault. She should have seen you if she just passed you before the turn. A guy on a bike before your turn is pretty hard to miss. Was she on the phone?
 
  • #14
G01 said:
Hi Guys, thanks for the concern.


I didn't hit my head thankfully. I saw what was coming a split second before it happened and hit the passenger side door with my shoulder.

A cursory check shows no problems. No headaches and I have full range of motion in my shoulder along with all other limbs. For now, the only problem seems to be a case of shock about the whole incident.

Some good advice was offered here. I always wear a helmet, and while I didn't hit my head this time, I could easily have hit it if I was not paying attention when the car turned in front of me. I never bike without a helmet.

As someone who also drives, I make a habit of checking (over my shoulder, not through the mirror) for a bike that may be near me before I make a right turn.

As a driver in T.O., where bike lanes run amuck among traffic lanes, I am astonished our fatality rate hasn't skyrocketed.

I think that the rules of this new world order have not been clearly laid out.

Where there is no bike lane, is a bike still entitled the whole lane?
Where there is no bike lane, and a car is making a right turn, is a bike enititled to overtake it on the right?
What is a shared lane? How is it different from a regular lane?
 
  • #15
I have friends in the Quincy/Brockton area that would come up every summer so we could cruise our Harleys through the back woods and look at the scenery, visit lakes and waterfalls, etc. They kept urging me to come down for a visit, but there is no way that I would ride a motorcycle through that madness. Even sticking to the big 495 loop could be dangerous. I could have done the smaller 128 loop, but only if I went through in the wee hours. The Boston area is deadly if you are on a 'cycle. Even on a big bike, you are invisible to those drivers.
 
  • #16
I also bike from time to time. I am glad to hear you're feeling better and empathize with the events you described. I've seen some close calls, but luckily no collisions.

Besides the great suggestions about using added safety equipment (rear mirrors etc), my only suggestion (which I do on my bike is) extra defensive maneuvers; "always assume motorists aren't paying attention to bicyclists". Our life and health is more important than the right of way. When crossing any intersection, even on a green light, (similar to how we are taught as children when crossing at crosswalks) I slow down and look.
 
  • #17
Sue her.
 
  • #18
I was hit by a truck while walking a while back. Twice actually, the second time by a van only a few months after the first. No fun.

I am glad that you have escaped unscathed.


turbo said:
I have friends in the Quincy/Brockton area that would come up every summer so we could cruise our Harleys through the back woods and look at the scenery, visit lakes and waterfalls, etc. They kept urging me to come down for a visit, but there is no way that I would ride a motorcycle through that madness. Even sticking to the big 495 loop could be dangerous. I could have done the smaller 128 loop, but only if I went through in the wee hours. The Boston area is deadly if you are on a 'cycle. Even on a big bike, you are invisible to those drivers.
Motorcycle riders bother me a lot when I drive. When they are just there on the road its no big deal but when out of no where I find some bike flying past my window only inches away because they are driving between cars it freaks me out.
 
  • #19
As a fellow biker I am glad to hear you are OK.
 
  • #20
DaveC426913 said:
As a driver in T.O., where bike lanes run amuck among traffic lanes, I am astonished our fatality rate hasn't skyrocketed.

I think that the rules of this new world order have not been clearly laid out.

Where there is no bike lane, is a bike still entitled the whole lane?
Where there is no bike lane, and a car is making a right turn, is a bike enititled to overtake it on the right?
What is a shared lane? How is it different from a regular lane?

I don't know about T-Dot, but here in E-Town, where no explicit bike lane is demarcated (or better yet, a dedicated bike path or split pedestrian / bike trail) bikes are expected to behave as really slow-moving cars (take up the lane, signal turns / stops, stop for pedestrians / signals). Although I will bike on the shoulder of the road (where available) and yeah, not dismount while crossing at a cross-walk.

Then again, I'm not really a rush-hour cyclist.
 
  • #21
G01 said:
Hi Guys, thanks for the concern.

As someone who also drives, I make a habit of checking (over my shoulder, not through the mirror) for a bike that may be near me before I make a right turn.
GO1,

As to my comment about the dorky mirrors before on the bicycle, I don't have or wear one, but always look over my should on a bicycle before entering merging or crossing lanes of traffic, little consolation in your situation, hopefully this will be the one and only time it happens.

Rhody...
 
  • #22
Pretend you got hit and rob the perpetrator every bit of money.
 
  • #23
rhody said:
As to my comment about the dorky mirrors before on the bicycle, I don't have or wear one, but always look over my should on a bicycle before entering merging or crossing lanes of traffic, little consolation in your situation, hopefully this will be the one and only time it happens.

Rhody...
Yeah. Passive safety is so uncool.

What's cool is to not see anything behind you until and unless you take your eyes off the road to look back.

Sorry, rhody, busted. :rolleyes:
 
  • #24
DaveC426913 said:
As a driver in T.O., where bike lanes run amuck among traffic lanes, I am astonished our fatality rate hasn't skyrocketed.

I think that the rules of this new world order have not been clearly laid out.

Where there is no bike lane, is a bike still entitled the whole lane?
Where there is no bike lane, and a car is making a right turn, is a bike enititled to overtake it on the right?
What is a shared lane? How is it different from a regular lane?

What is T.O.?

The bolded part is what I think about. On a road with just cars, you wouldn't have a right lane going straight through while a lane on the left being able to turn right. I think that while technically not the bikers fault in this case, bikers should be very cautious when coming up on cars turning right (not to say G01 wasn't!). I'm a runner so I face issues like these too. Glad G01 is ok.

Where I live they've been installing many more bike lanes. It has actually gotten more dangerous to be on foot while crossing the street because many bikers think they can just go right through and not pay attention to traffic laws.
 
  • #25
Mororvia said:
DaveC426913 said:
Where there is no bike lane, and a car is making a right turn, is a bike enititled to overtake it on the right?
I think that while technically not the bikers fault in this case,

See, I don't know how it can not be the biker's fault.

Sure, the car should have looked, but as far as I can tell, he has right of way regardless. If an accident occurs, fault goes to he who's not obeying the law.
 
  • #26
DaveC426913 said:
See, I don't know how it can not be the biker's fault.

Sure, the car should have looked, but as far as I can tell, he has right of way regardless. If an accident occurs, fault goes to he who's not obeying the law.

I do not disagree. I'm not sure what the rules are for the bikers. Do bikers just think they have the right-of-way? Or do they actually? I imagine it could vary from city to city.
 
  • #27
DaveC426913 said:
Yeah. Passive safety is so uncool.

What's cool is to not see anything behind you until and unless you take your eyes off the road to look back.

Sorry, rhody, busted. :rolleyes:
Dave,

Sorry, Rhody is very quick with his "lookback", but not to the rotational degree achieved by Linda Blair in the exorcist, hehe... Must be from years of riding motorcycles too, I usually can "sense" when something or someone is behind me, which triggers a fast lookback to check my six, so to speak. I am a geek anyway, why advertise it, lol.

Rhody...
 
  • #28
DaveC426913 said:
See, I don't know how it can not be the biker's fault.

Sure, the car should have looked, but as far as I can tell, he has right of way regardless. If an accident occurs, fault goes to he who's not obeying the law.
Who does have the right of way if there is a bike lane to the right of the car? In intersections that have a bike lane, they would need to regulate traffic for both, a red no right turn signal for cars and a green for bikes, and a stop for bikes to allow cars to turn right, otherwise, both will assume they have the go ahead.

And there is a blind spot driving in a car created by the car frame, in an SUV it's much worse. It only takes a second from the time that the driver checks mirrors, does a physical head turn check, to running over the cyclist they never saw.
 
  • #29
Evo said:
Who does have the right of way if there is a bike lane to the right of the car? In intersections that have a bike lane, they would need to regulate traffic for both, a red no right turn signal for cars and a green for bikes, and a stop for bikes to allow cars to turn right, otherwise, both will assume they have the go ahead.

And there is a blind spot driving in a car created by the car frame, in an SUV it's much worse. It only takes a second from the time that the driver checks mirrors, does a physical head turn check, to running over the cyclist they never saw.

This is a great point. I have always thought that bike lanes do not impart any additional right of way to cyclists. It is simply where they are supposed to be if they are going to participate in the commute. I as far as I knew, they are to abide by the same rules that a vehicle does. It's tricky. As a Boston commuter, I like the idea of there being less traffic/energy use, but I also know that I have an overall negative view of cyclists. There seem to be 2 kinds: The kind that know what they are doing and obey the rules of the road as if they were a vehicle (which they are). And the kind that are a nuisance; they think that they are pedestrians with wheels.

Either way, I try to pay more attention when I drive in town, because no matter who has right of way, it's human life we are talking about.

Glad you're OK GO1! I think I go to school right down the street from you IIRC (are you at BU?). Probably have seen you!
 
  • #30
Evo said:
Who does have the right of way if there is a bike lane to the right of the car? In intersections that have a bike lane, they would need to regulate traffic for both, a red no right turn signal for cars and a green for bikes, and a stop for bikes to allow cars to turn right, otherwise, both will assume they have the go ahead.

And there is a blind spot driving in a car created by the car frame, in an SUV it's much worse. It only takes a second from the time that the driver checks mirrors, does a physical head turn check, to running over the cyclist they never saw.
Saladsamurai said:
This is a great point. I have always thought that bike lanes do not impart any additional right of way to cyclists. It is simply where they are supposed to be if they are going to participate in the commute. I as far as I knew, they are to abide by the same rules that a vehicle does. It's tricky. As a Boston commuter, I like the idea of there being less traffic/energy use, but I also know that I have an overall negative view of cyclists. There seem to be 2 kinds: The kind that know what they are doing and obey the rules of the road as if they were a vehicle (which they are). And the kind that are a nuisance; they think that they are pedestrians with wheels.

Either way, I try to pay more attention when I drive in town, because no matter who has right of way, it's human life we are talking about.

The problem is that these rules are not spelled out at all. No one really knows. A cab driver who saw the accident yelled at me to be more careful, while a fellow biker behind me told off the cab driver, saying it was the drivers fault.

I would assume (obviously, given this situation) that in the case with a bike lane, which has a green light to go straight, another vehicle, in this case the car, that must cross that lane to turn, must yield the right of way to vehicles traveling in, and not leaving the lane.

Glad you're OK GO1! I think I go to school right down the street from you IIRC (are you at BU?). Probably have seen you!

Yep. I'm at BU Physics. For the time being, I live in Cambridge, so my commute takes me either over the B.U. Bridge (a death trap for bikes) or the Mass. Ave bridge, which has a bike lane. This specific accident happened at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Vassar right in the heart of MIT's campus.
 
  • #31
flyingpig said:
Pretend you got hit and rob the perpetrator every bit of money.
Like I said. But, I'll add.

Sure her for millions. Millions.
 
  • #32
G01 said:
The problem is that these rules are not spelled out at all. No one really knows.
This.
G01 said:
I would assume (obviously, given this situation) that in the case with a bike lane, which has a green light to go straight, another vehicle, in this case the car, that must cross that lane to turn, must yield the right of way to vehicles traveling in, and not leaving the lane.
And this.
 
  • #33
Sorry to read that this happened to you G01. I got run over by a car when I was 4 or 5 and was totally fine lol. There were tire marks on my arm and chest (on my shirt).

Glad to know you are ok
 
  • #34
With all the crap that has happened to me over the years, I have never managed to be run over by a car. I should feel lucky, I guess.
 
  • #35
Biker on the bike lane is on the right, doesn't he? And he doesn't change a lane?

Is there any service that would make it possible to ask police for a rules clarification?
 

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