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Old 09-26-2007, 09:28 AM
geoff geoff is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 33
Default It finally happened...

I have been commuting daily for a little over two months now, and I was hit by a car this morning. It happened on SE 52nd between Foster and Powell. I was moving along about 20mph in the gutter, and a guy in a car decided to turn right on to a smaller side street without using his blinker. Fortunately, I anticipated his turn and was able to brake enough and ride parallel to him while he was turning. My front tire touched his car, but my leg scraped across his door. There wasn't any blood, and there wasn't a hard impact, it's just a flesh wound.

At this point, I was unsure if he had finally seen me or not, so I smacked his windshield and yelled. He stopped and was very apologetic. I checked over my bike and no damage was done, so I reiterated that he needs to pay attention because he could have killed me. Then we parted ways.

I have a scrape across my leg that feels like it is burning, but Iíll be back out on my bike tomorrow!!
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:03 PM
jake_m jake_m is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Laurelhurst
Posts: 33

Way to go on sticking with it.

I've had a couple of close calls in the past week or so too. I think the key really is to get back on the bike. It sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Stay safe.
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:22 PM
profile profile is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3

Dude, same thing happened to me a week ago. Some guy got impatient waiting in a line of traffic and turned right into a parking lot. He didn't hit me because he forced me into the curb and I ate a whole lot of pavement. My bike wasn't damaged but my arm looks like I took a cheese grater to it repeatedly. The guy was also very unaware and apologetic as in your case.

I'm also new to commuting, about 2 months as well. I'm slowly realizing how careless people are. I'm a little worried now since I wanna keep commuting all winter long. But on the other hand maybe people drive more safely in the rain?

Well, cheers for first close calls for new riders!
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:45 PM
fetishridr fetishridr is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 182
Default treat every car as if it will kill you

it sounds dumb, but always look at drivers, they often turn and you can anticipate a turn w/out a blinker. i either ride behind cars, or in front, but never alongside. if i'm passing, i do it fast and get around the front of the car so i dont get sideswiped.
a good bunny hop is always nice to have too.
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:57 AM
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Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 486

Amen, fetishridr-- I also try not to ride right next to a car. I want to be either in front of them where they can see me, or behind them so I can have time to react to whatever it is they'll be doing.

I've been lucky-- been commuting 2 or 3 days a week if possible for about a year and a half, and the above method has worked for me. Haven't had a serious problem yet! (knocks wood)

Sometimes it's hard to get in front of or stay behind a car, tho; some people just don't know what they want to do until they get to the action point.

Wish more people would use their turn signals!! And I mean far enough in advance that it's actually worth it, not as their making a turn.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:41 AM
Coop Coop is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 10

It is always a good idea to get the driverís insurance information and a witnessí contact info. If you were in a car accident you would get this info. You have the right to go to the doctor if you want. And it is a good idea to file a report so this kind of thing gets recorded and goes on said driverís record. Again, if this person hit your car this would be standard procedure. That said I concur with fetshridr, you canít be too careful.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:43 PM
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donnambr donnambr is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SE Portland
Posts: 152

So glad to hear you're ok, Geoff. Sometimes if you ride further to the left, cars tend to see us better. I have no idea if this could have helped you in this situation, but you might consider giving it a try.
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:40 AM
Oldguyonabike Oldguyonabike is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ~ NE Davis & 60th
Posts: 220

Glad to hear it was just a "flesh wound" - Monty Python jokes aside
I've had serious accidents over my years in the urban, commuting saddle but some guiding principles that I think save my butt over and over again are:
1. Look all drivers in the eyes at intersections. If you get eye contact he sees you. If he doesn't turn on defensive action.
2. Do not ride next to a car. In front to get their attention or behind to react to their stupidity.
3. Assume every single driver is capable of doing something very stupid. Cars passing you quickly WILL turn right in front of you. The person who just parallel parked WILL door you. This defensive principle leaves you riding along happy because it DIDN'T happen.
4. Be seen. The usual yadda-yadda in so many other threads about working front & rear lights, reflective garb is true.
5. Be assertive in taking the lane when there's no bike lane. My worst accident was a squeeze play I allowed to happen by not taking the lane. Its not only tight but its also where all the glass, rocks and urban detritus live
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:41 AM
huss huss is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Portland
Posts: 68
Default Good tips.....

All the above are good tips......Dont forget to use those ears on your head also....coming up to intersections, mainly ones without stop signs in neighbor hoods..... also when there is a red light, ride all the way up to the crosswalk, dont wait in traffic between two cars!!! A guy a work did this and was hit by a car that was rear-ended!!! If you are at the cross walk, cars will see you better as you try to get to the other side before them. They will also see the other car go around you and do the same.... like when there is a box in the road all cars follow the other in front, they just know that the other car is avoiding something and they follow. Like the others stated dont ride next to a car when a drive way, or right turn is in front of you. If your next to there front end look over at them so they see you. Listen for break sounds also.
2007 Bianchi Pista(Green) 48/16-fixed.
I love when co-workers want to give me a ride home and I say "No, I'll ride"
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:05 PM
manao manao is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: NE Portland
Posts: 7
Default Just in case

I'm glad you only had the minor injury. But I agree with the other poster who urged riders involved in accidents, however small, to gather witness and insurance info. Also, license plate number, drivers license number, etc.

I was involved in an accident where the real injury didn't surface until much later, in the form of tendinitis. Adding complications was the fact that the treatment for the injury went awry (probably due to tainted medication), so it was some time before the suit settled.

FYI, even though it was the _treatment_ for the injury that went wrong, the driver is still liable. The thinking being that if there had been no injury, there would have been no reason for administering contaminated steroid.

Best case scenario is that you stumble upon the info after the statute of limitations has expired, and toss it, not ever having needed it.
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