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.
  • #36
http://www.sfbike.org/?bikelane_right_turns

Here is an article on the California law regarding this. I had never really thought about it but it is what I usually do anyway. Basically the last 50 feet or so before an intersection the bike lane disappears, usually they have dash marks, and the turning vehicle is supposed to move over into what was the bike lane which should effectively block any cyclist from attempting to pass the vehicle on the right as it turns.
When there are right turn only lanes they usually drop the bike lane and then have it pick up again to the left of the lane. Of course I am unsure if that means that bicycles should always pass on the left in such situations or only if there is a marked lane there.
 
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  • #37
TheStatutoryApe said:
http://www.sfbike.org/?bikelane_right_turns

Here is an article on the California law regarding this. I had never really thought about it but it is what I usually do anyway. Basically the last 50 feet or so before an intersection the bike lane disappears, usually they have dash marks, and the turning vehicle is supposed to move over into what was the bike lane which should effectively block any cyclist from attempting to pass the vehicle on the right as it turns.
When there are right turn only lanes they usually drop the bike lane and then have it pick up again to the left of the lane. Of course I am unsure if that means that bicycles should always pass on the left in such situations or only if there is a marked lane there.

Some bike lanes in Boston work like this, but most do not. The lane I was in was continuous all the way up to the intersection. The right turn lane is to the left of the bike lane. There is no way to turn without crossing the bike lane. Another problem is that most streets in Boston are way too crowded for bike lanes to function as described here.
 
  • #38
GO1, I'm happy you're fine. Any time you drive, keep looking out for mad drivers who won't be looking out for you. You owe God a lot for keeping you alive - we all do.
 
  • #39
G01 said:
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.

From a practical standpoint, whatever law exists is irrelevant to a cyclist if no one knows the law (except to the insurance companies, after the fact). But, if the lanes run all the way up to the intersection, then it looks like they handle it the same way Portland does (in TSA's link) and the cyclist has the right of way. Personally, that sounds like a recipe for disaster since passing on the right is illegal in most situations and it will take drivers by surprise.

Do people have to retake the written test to renew their driver's license in most states? They don't in my state - even when your old license is from out of state.
 
  • #40
Fyi: since first reading this thread, every right turn I've made is preceded by a thorough check of my blind spot.
 
  • #41
lisab said:
Fyi: since first reading this thread, every right turn I've made is preceded by a thorough check of my blind spot.

I actually made a right turn (in my car) today in the very same intersection I was hit. I was sure to check my blind spot!
 

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