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Cyclist has “life-threatening” injuries after Marine Drive collision

Posted by on October 18th, 2007 at 8:23 pm

*[Updated: 10/19, 8:16am, 9:14am, 10:41pm ]

The Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team responded to a serious injury collision involving a bicyclist at around 5:00pm tonight out on NE Marine Drive near the Portland Airport.

View of motorist, driving west on Marine Drive.
View Google Street View

Here’s more from a statement released by the PPB Public Information Officer,

“Based on information from the scene and two independent witnesses, investigators believe that 30-year-old Margery Heffernan was driving westbound on the 4300 block of Northeast Marine Drive when she collided with a 68-year-old bicyclist who was traveling southbound across Northeast Marine Drive. The bicyclist was in a marked crosswalk but failed to stop for a stop sign prior to crossing the street. Prior to the collision, the bicyclist was also westbound next to Northeast Marine Drive on the bike path.

The two witnesses stated that the bicyclist was traveling very quickly and did not appear to slow or hesitate at the stop sign. Because of the incline at the crosswalk, investigators believe the motorist may not have seen the bicyclist until he was directly in front of her. The bicyclist was immediately taken into surgery at Emanuel Hospital with a life-threatening head injury.

The report also says that speed and impairment do not appear to be factors in the collision.

*The victim’s name is being held pending notification of the family is Robert Verrinder. According to the Columbian, the Vancouver, WA resident is in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel hospital.

*Here’s a photo (from KATU-TV) of the bicycle involved in the collision:

(Photo: KATU-TV)

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Matt Picio
Guest

Ouch – I hope he recovers!

This won\’t be good for him – if he actually *was* moving \”very quickly\”, the insurance companies can refuse to pay his medical bills, since Oregon law requires cyclists to travel at the speed of an average walk.

(a_O, Mark G., correct me on that if I\’m wrong)

Matt Picio
Guest

addendum – Oregon law requires it when a cyclist is in a crosswalk (not when travelling on a road in the direction of traffic).

Chad
Guest
Chad

Very, very sad to hear about this as I often ride my bike on Marine Drive trail and drive delivery truck daily on Marine Drive.

Just two or three weeks ago I almost hit someone who flew through that crosswalk without stopping or even slowing for Marine Drive. Luckily I was in a vehicle that sits higher than a car and was able to see the bike coming…obviously the same cannot be said for the driver of the car in this situation.

PDOT goes through the trouble of putting up a motion detecting crosswalk for bikes and pedestrians and still people can\’t wait the five seconds for it to activate…incidents like this only help foster the belief in some people that we are impatient and feel we are above the law.

That being said I truly hope that all involved recover from this tragic lapse of judgement.

BURR
Guest
BURR

that\’s a crossing of a bike path and a busy arterial. this is the reason why separated paths for cyclists are unsafe. the crossing should have been grade-separated, but wasn\’t.

Spanky
Guest
Spanky

Seems some folks always have some complaint that is aimed at \”the man\” for failing to treat bicyclists as they should be in terms of traffic laws and infrastructure. This looks to hav ebeen an accident entirely the fault of the cyclist (but who knows, as we certainly do not have all the facts).

Why not, for now anyway, accept it as an accident that had nothing to do with the facilities there but rather, the error of one (or perhaps both) of the parties involved.

Would separate facilities have prevented this? yeah. Are separate facilities likely? No.

Marine drive is a heavily used route. The same reasoning used to justify a separate bikeway (at huge expense, on all our tax bills), can be used to justify exercising common sense and caution, among all users. Ultimately, that is the cheapest and most easily applied preventative measure.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I\’ve seen enough \”almosts\” at that particular crossing, so I always dismount, look, listen and then cross. Was that man wearing a helmet?

Spencer
Guest
Spencer

Yeah,

I have to go with Spanky. It is hard to design anything effective when people don\’t use their common sense and are impatient.

That crossing and the one just south of the airports are a no brainer. You stop and look both ways. Even if you put in a sky bridge, people would not use it and still cross the road.

I hope he recovers.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

In case you\’re following this story via these comments, I just updated the post with a photo of the bike from KATU-TV.

It looks to have been a late-model, yellow, Cannondale road bike.

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

Unfortunate incident. Cars drive fast out there (legally), and at night, in the rain with reflections everywhere, it would be easy for a biker to misjudge the distance or even the actual existence of an approaching vehicle. I have run that stop sign before, but only when visibility is good and I have slowed way down to a speed where it is easy to clearly look both ways. Even then, it is probably a dumb move on my part.

With the facts as reported, the biker clearly appears at fault. It\’s been said several times, but I am trying to balance out the \”biker is alway right\” posts I know are coming. That, or the \”our infrastructure sucks\” posts. That may be true in general, but in this case there is a nicely separated MUP, with a clearly marked crosswalk and a necessary stop sign for that crosswalk, because cars traveling at highway speeds cannot be expected to safely stop for high speed bikers and skaters that may not even be visible until the car is too close to stop. The necessary safety feature is there – the stop sign. It just needs to be used. Little reason to spend $1 million or so on a tunnel or overpass, at least for an isolated crossing like this.

Having said that, we all make mistakes and I hope the biker recovers quickly.

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

Nevermind my comments about crossing at this location at night with reflections in the rain. I just realized this happened earlier, around 5 pm.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

\”Little reason to spend $1 million or so on a tunnel or overpass, at least for an isolated crossing like this.\”

I would just say that in the future we should figure out how to fund and build more tunnels and overpasses for absolutely safe and separated bike crossings of major roads and highways.

Davis, California has many such tunnels…and they also have the highest mode share of any city in the U.S. as a result.

Think of how many people will never consider riding Marine Drive because of one dangerous crossing (especially after this incident).

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

I am a friend the cyclist involved and have ridden with him frequently. I am hoping for his recovery. In my experience he always wears a helmet and is safety conscious. It would be out of character for him to ride through the stop sign and onto that crosswalk without slowing. That said, I know I have done things while biking that I later realized were crazy and stupid. Whoever is at fault, cyclists always lose in a car-bike collision.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

I just updated the post with a more accurate diagram/recreation of the scene.

Spencer
Guest
Spencer

I guess it comes down to a cost benefit ratio.

Put in one million dollar tunnel or put in 30 miles of bike lane striping, signage, etc. Bedised the Army Corp get real nervous about putting tunnels into major levees.

We only have a limited amount of resources for improvements, well unless we call it public art, so lets be judicious in what we ask for.

Josh
Guest
Josh

Most of Marine Drive is part of my regular weekend route. While a tunnel or overpass would be awesome it would also be a luxury.

Of course it is terrible that someone had to learn this lesson the hard way. I will continue riding on Marine Drive and I will also continue to stop and look both ways before I cross the street. That\’s how my momma raised me.

Sadly I see people on bikes run stop signs and lights every day. Every once in awhile one of them is going to push their luck too far and end up in the hospital, on the news, and being discussed on bikeportland. I just take it as encouragement that when I stop and look both ways it doesn\’t matter that it lengthens my commute or weekend ride a few minutes or that I appear \’uncool\’ or whatever in the eyes of those who speed past me. It preserves my life and allows me to happily ride another day.

Let\’s remember who messed up here. Based on what we know, because this cyclist was so impatient they were willing to risk their life zipping across a busy road some poor person who happened to be driving a car (and who could possibly be a cyclist themselves) has to deal with the anguish of nearly killing someone. They are likely to blame themselves, at least for a while. They will replay the incident in their head repeatedly, always wondering what they could have done differently, how they could have stopped it from happening even if it wasn\’t their fault.

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

Jonathan, I agree in many cases funds used for transportation could be better used to encourage biking as an alternative mode.

If this crossing becomes busy enough (or is busy enough now – I don\’t have the stats), than maybe an expensive overpass is worth it.

I have difficulty calling this a dangerous intersection, because it is only dangerous if the stop sign is disregarded.

I guess you could argue the intersection Tracey Sparling died at is also relatively safe if cars and cyclists obey the law and signage, but I think that intersection is different because even when everyone is being legal and careful, accidents could still easily occur. So my point is that I would rather see money spent to revamp an intersection like 14th and Burnside, than the Marine Drive crossing where it takes a simple stop (or even a slowdown) to keep it safe. Assuming of course there is a limit to bike transportation funding, which there is.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

\”I have difficulty calling this a dangerous intersection, because it is only dangerous if the stop sign is disregarded.\”

I never said this was a dangerous intersection.

I am simply saying that more, separated and protected crossings would do wonders for getting more people on bikes.

The key thing with protected crossings is that they add a major level of connectivity to a system… and connectivity plays a major role in getting people on bikes. Just look at the Esplanade/Waterfront loop.

Brian Brogan
Guest
Brian Brogan

I\’m an avid cycle commuter. I ride that route often and I have to say, I\’m always on guard when approaching Marine Drive. Maybe the biker didn\’t notice that he was approaching the crossing. I\’ve done that before . . . and felt lucky no one was coming. A couple thoughts came to mind about how to lesson severe accidents. Maybe puting in a speed bump 5-10 feet before the crossing. That slow people enough to think about the crossing. It would also be nice if they could make that portion of Marine Drive a safety corridore and reduce the speed to 25-30 through the portion of Marine drive that both cyclists and cars share. Just some thoughts. The closest calls I have are usually at the 4 way uncontrolled intersections around my house. You have to always watch your back as a cyclist.
Brian Brogan, NE 81st AVE.

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

I can\’t believe I came here and I see someone blaming the victim here! The problem is the way the intersection is designed, it\’s almost like a trap for bicyclists. Car drivers can\’t see the guy on the bike, and the guy on the bike won\’t see the car coming unless he stops at the stop sign. That\’s a recipe for disaster! We need to redesign the intersection so that bikers don\’t have to stop at the stop sign in order to be safe! I\’m praying for this guy, you all should be too!

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I can\’t believe the \”cyclist\” above thinks it\’s OK to blow through a stop sign. We are required by law to stop at stop signs just as motor vehicles are. I ride everyday and I am always amazed how many cyclists don\’t think they have to stop at stop signs. We don\’t need to redesign intersections so bikes can break the law.

Thom
Guest
Thom

#19:

Bada-bing! There\’s nothing funnier than sarcasm about people nearly getting killed! You TOTALLY nailed that one. NICE! You THE MAN!

Ummm....
Guest
Ummm....

Cyclist,

I assume this is sarcasm. It\’s so hard to tell on this forum.

\”We need to redesign the intersection so that bikers don\’t have to stop at the stop sign in order to be safe!\”

Let\’s revoke the laws of physics as well.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Expecting cyclists to stop at stop signs is a \”recipe for disaster\”? We need to redesign the intersection so that bikers don\’t have to actually (gasp!) stop at the stop sign in order to be safe? You must be kidding. I hope.

I\’m completely baffled by cyclists who seem to think that red lights and stop signs for some reason don\’t apply to them.

Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile)
Guest

cyclist (#19)

Gasp! Forbid that ANY cyclist actually stop at a stop sign. Those damned signs are a nuisance, a blight on the landscape, and everyone knows the traffic engineers were only joking when they put them up. But wait, maybe the traffic engineers really meant for cyclists to stop there. Wow! What a novel idea.

Josh
Guest
Josh

Wow. #19, what part of \”STOP\” implies it is safe to not stop? There is a reason why the sign says STOP and not YIELD.

Please stop endangering the rest of us by refusing to obey the completely rational laws designed to keep us all from smashing into each other at every single intersection.

BillD
Guest
BillD

Brian B., #18,
That section of Marine Drive was designated as a Safety Corridor several years ago. As far as I know, it has not been decommissioned. I agree that the speed limit in that area needs to be lower because of the crosswalk and the slow turning traffic at the boat ramp. The 35 mph zone that starts at 33rd Av could be moved east to just past the crosswalk.

More info on Safety Corridors:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/docs/Roadway/2006Safety_Corridor_Guidelines.pdf

DK
Guest
DK

Cyclists need to be extra cautious, especially on Marine Dr.; and drivers need to be extra weary of non-cautious riders at these crossings. It\’s right up there with blood alley in its\’ history of traffic (vehicle vs. vehicle)fatalities. That\’s why it\’s labeled a safety corridor! Sorry to the guy, but know your surroundings and stay focused.

Tweety
Guest
Tweety

In a residential area of Beaverton there is a neighborhood bike path that makes a short, very steep descent right into a busy residential road that a lot of people use as a Hall Boulevard short-cut over to Murray. Lots of kids use this path since it is part of a network that connects to several schools. The city put a wooden fence up at the bottom of the path, just before it empties across the sidewalk into the street. There\’s a stop sign for the cyclist at the top of the incline which (if they obey it) causes them to slow down enough to see that they will crash into a fence at the bottom of the descent, if they don\’t slow down. The fence has NARROW openings on both sides, forcing the cyclist to practically have to stop and walk the bike through the opening, thus arriving at the junction with the street either walking or going super slow. The fence is also painted stark white with lots of wide red reflective stripes on it, both sides for great visibility, day or night.

I think the installation of that fence is an excellent and inexpensive solution to a cycling tragedy that was waiting to happen (or maybe one did and that\’s why it\’s there). Such a fence might be a consideration in an area like this crosswalk on Marine Drive.

Sadly, people will still run stop signs (cars and bikes), no matter what methods are used to discourage it. Besides jeopardizing their own lives (referring to cyclists), they keep giving the rest of us a bad image with those who would not allow us to \”share the road\”.

Common sense? That is an oxymoron. Sense, in ANY form, is not common.

My heart goes out to the crash victim and to the driver of the car, who is also a victim.

Tweety

2ndaveflyer
Guest
2ndaveflyer

This has been an interesting discussion. I\’ve been observing the change in cycling and bike use downtown the past several years. You could call this a \’takeover\’, or an increase in sharing, depending on your perspective. I think for the most part bikes can mix pretty well downtown because of the speeds involved for both bikes and cars are similar.

I see cyclists increasingly trying to apply these riding techniques to areas outside the downtown with disasterous consequences. Four lane roads where cars go 45 mph is not the place to sit in the lane waiting to make a turn, in my estimation. It is increasing the odds you will be flattened in a serious accident.

The Marine Drive intersection is deadly. It also requires no more skill to cross safely than a child uses to get to the other side of the street and the elementary school. It doesn\’t need another law or additional funding. It needs people crossing the road to look both ways and only cross when safe to do so. Some people are only comfortable walking their bikes across this intersection and others ride through safely at 5-10 mph after looking both ways and being prepared to stop. The details of how you cross arn\’t important if you are able to do so safely without requiring others to take action to save your butt.

I have crossed this intersection perhaps 50 times. About 20% of the time there are no cars coming. About 20% of the time cars actually stop to help make the crossing safer for you. About 20% of the time the cars/trucks fly past at 15mph over the speed limit; something they will simply add on to any posted limits. About 40% of the time there is some normal traffic that takes about a minute to clear before you can safely cross. I don\’t find any of these observations to be a cause for alarm.

Be careful out there my friends. We\’re vulnerable enough on the road to require our full time and attention and a little humility, if not fear.

Dave Thomson
Guest
Dave Thomson

The intersection isn\’t dangerous if you stop and yield to cross traffic as the law requires.

I agree with Tweety, the innocent victim here is the driver of the car. My heart goes out to them, and to the family of the cyclist.

As far as Beaverton\’s building fences across their bike paths to keep kids from riding out into traffic, that just makes the paths less useful to everyone else. Over the past 10 years or so Beaverton has turned over the design of their bike paths from their transportation planner to their lawyer, who clearly has no idea how to ride a bike.

JT
Guest
JT

hey Cyclist-
you\’re wrong..sorry. this guy broke well known and established (the stop sign is NOT a new thing in this country) traffic signal. he knowingly blew through it without even thinking of the consequence…sorry, he\’s fortunate he\’s not dead…and if he were, I\’d have just about as much sympathy. Nothing needs to be changed here other than the attitude of PDX riders that stop signs are not meant for them.

Cecil
Guest

Post #18:

\”Maybe the biker didn\’t notice that he was approaching the crossing. I\’ve done that before . . . and felt lucky no one was coming.\”

How could that be? I ride that path on a regular basis – the approach to that crossing involves a left turn – it\’s a slight turn but nonetheless it is enough of a directional change to \”notice\” even if you are riding 25+ mph in full aero-bar mode.

sam
Guest
sam

This is sad news. I hope this guy is ok.
As for the fence with a narrow entrance to slow bike traffic. Sounds like a good idea to me. I would rather be inconvenienced than dead.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

I\’ve updated the post with the victim\’s name. He is 68 year-old Vancouver, WA resident Robert Verrinder and the Columbian newspaper said he was in critical condition as of earlier today (10/19).

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

Bob is a close friend and we sincerely hope he recovers soon. All our love goes out to him and his family.

I would like to say that the police reported, via information from family members, that the yellow lights were flashing when Bob entered the cross walk and a truck was stopped prior to this while a pedestrian was crossing in the same direction. The truck was heading eastbound at the time.

It is too bad that this information had not been published and all the stories make Bob out as the person in the wrong.

wsbob
Guest

Dennis, could you clarify what you\’re saying in reference to the lights at this intersection? You said that Marine Drive traffic had a flashing yellow light at the time Bob, the cyclist (had a stop sign on the bike path he was traveling) entered the intersection. Some intersections don\’t have a yellow flashing light that turns to red. Is this one of those?

Donald
Guest
Donald

Thanks for the info, Dennis. That sounds like a scenario I\’ve seen at this crossing many times: One lane stops for the crossers and the opposing lane just blasts on through.

I posted a Close Call in the forums months ago about the \”sister\” instersection to this one. It crosses Marine under the 205 bridge.

The yellow lights at the 205 crossing are flashing 24/7 while the lights at the crossing near the marina (where it appears this collision occured) are passively user-actuated.

What a mess. Especially if you drive the corridor daily and end up getting used to the flashing lights at the usually empty 205 crosssing.

This is a dangerous intersection and is well marked for both driver and MUP user alike.

I put the onus on the driver of the motor vehicle to yield to a rider or a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk in such a situation. The 45mph limit is not permission to do so if the conditions do not permit it. And if a driver can\’t notice someone in a marked crosswalk in time enough to stop, my guess is they were going too fast for the situation.

And I would like to remind folks, especially the spirited and opinioniated visitors posting with pointed fingers, that cycling is an increasingly viable transportation option for many. On the whole, cycling is safe and usually very unbotrusive to the motoring public. You will certainly see more cyclists on the road in the future. And if drivers don\’t become more aware of the dangers they pose to other users of the public right of ways, sooner or later you\’ll see a blogger writing about an \”accident\” involving yourself, a friend or a loved one.

_DA

Kristen
Guest
Kristen

Hm. By my calculations, it takes 0.1333 of a minute to drive one tenth (1/10) of a mile at 45 mph. That\’s about 8 seconds.

I\’m not familiar with that particular intersection, only having gone through it two or three times, but what\’s the sight distance? _DA, are you sure she had enough time to slow down from 45mph once she saw someone in the cross walk? Would she have been able to slow down if someone just popped out from an obstruction and crossed in front of her?

Here\’s a thought: Maybe she thought the pedestrian was the only one crossing, and the ped had already cleared the lane and was on the far side of the road from her. She could have thought it was safe to continue.

What were the conditions? Was it raining? What was the cyclist wearing? Was it all black, as seems to be the fashion these days? Was there oncoming traffic whose lights may have made it difficult to see the cyclist?

From what I\’ve read here, it appears that the cyclist did not make sure the vehicles were going to stop for him before blithely crossing the road. Not to stir the pot any more than it already has been, but what ever happened to people using their brains? What\’s the point of wearing a helmet to protect that gelatinous mass if you\’re not going to use the smarts that are contained therein?

The only thing we need to spend more money on right now is educating everyone (not just cyclists, EVERYONE) to use their brains every now and again.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

If the bike path had a STOP sign and the cyclist didn\’t stop, well…

motorist
Guest
motorist

Maybe a red light camera so dmv can mail tickets to every single bike that blows the stop sign. Or post a patrol man there periodically to write tickets until the biking comunity gets a hint that they have to obey laws too. Also remember that even though it is a crosswalk that cross walks are for pedestrians not bikes, dis mount and walk across if you expect cars to stop for you, cars are not obligated to stop for bikes in a crosswalk as there is not enough time and a collision will occur.

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

Thanks for the additional info, Dennis. There is always more to the story.

Most people here who appear to be judging the victim are well aware they don\’t have all the facts. Please understand the purpose of forums such as this is not to burn the victim at the stake, but to learn more about specific incidents so we can all be safer out there. Usually there are many hypotheticals because none of us were actually at the scene of the incident.

Regardless, discussions like this are still valuable – whether we have the facts straight or not.

Huggy Bear
Guest
Huggy Bear

Glad to know that all you people makeing judgement call have never rode through s stop sign. As a fellow bike rider I have but will try to do better. Have a nice day and always continue to stop as you all do.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Motorist, Post 40:

Also remember that even though it is a crosswalk that cross walks are for pedestrians not bikes

Wrong, cyclists are permitted to use the crosswalk.

dis mount and walk across if you expect cars to stop for you

Wrong again, cyclists are not required to walk in the crosswalk.

cars are not obligated to stop for bikes in a crosswalk as there is not enough time and a collision will occur.

Looks like you win the trifecta, wrong again. Cars ARE obligated to stop for bikes in a crosswalk, and can be held liable for failure to do so.

If a collision does occur between, ahem, a motorist and a cyclist in the crosswalk, some of the the relevant issues for a jury to sort out will be whether the motorist kept a proper lookout, whether the motorist exercised due care to avoid colliding with the cyclist, whether the motorist was observing the speed limit, whether the cyclist was in observance of traffic control devices, and whether the cyclist entered the crosswalk when the motorist was so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

See you in court sometime. Bring your checkbook.

Motoman
Guest
Motoman

I was a auto insurance adjuster for many years. When a bicycle rider is injured in a accident with a auto he first looks to his own automobile ins. for medical coverage. (This is called PIP) If that coverage limit is exhausted he then goes to his major medical coverage. Only if he has no medical coverage from either of these sources can he get medical coverage from the automobile involved in the accident and then he can only get paid up to whatever medical coverage limit the owner of the vehicle bought from his insurance company. In Oregon if one party to the accident is more than 50% at fault for causing the accident they cannot collect from the other party. If the bicycle rider in this case is 51% or more at fault he cannot collect for pain and suffering. Riding the bicycle no faster than a pedestrian can walk concerns riding bicycles on sidewalks shared by pedestrians. Everyone rides faster than a pedestrian can walk. In a bicycle/pedestrian accident the bicycle rider may be the disfavored one because of speed.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

When a bicycle rider is injured in a accident with a auto he first looks to his own automobile ins. for medical coverage. (This is called PIP)

Would anybody here be surprised if I said that PIP is only available to you if you own an automobile?

Riding the bicycle no faster than a pedestrian can walk concerns riding bicycles on sidewalks shared by pedestrians.

No, it relates to approaching locations on the sidewalk where the paths of cyclists and motorists may cross (for example, when entering a crosswalk).

In a bicycle/pedestrian accident the bicycle rider may be the disfavored one because of speed.

No, in a bicycle/pedestrian collision, the cyclist will be liable if the cyclist did not yield to the pedestrian. The cyclist\’s speed will only be relevant if it is a contributing factor to the collision.

a.O
Guest
a.O

And why would a bicycle rider look to his own insurance first? That would only apply if the cyclist were more than 50% at fault. When someone driving a car hits you, you look to *their* insurance first.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

a.O., it\’s because Oregon is a \”hybrid\” state, with elements of both no-fault (PIP coverage) and tort liability.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

What\’s patently unfair is the auto-centric bias inherent to insurance. The two most important elelemnst of insurance coverage for a cyclist are PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and UM/UIM (Uninsured Motorist/Under-Insured Motorist)– neither of which are available to cyclists unless they own an automobile.

If you are a cyclist who owns an automobile, you can select high levels of coverage for PIP and UM/UIM.

If you are a cyclist who doesn\’t own an automobile, you are forced to rely on the amount of coverage– if any– that the motorist has selected. Because many people get the minimum level of insurance required by law, this means that even if you are \”fortunate\” enough to be hit by an insured motorist, there may not be enough insurance coverage to pay your claims.

This is why it\’s important to have your own coverage, and thus, why the auto-centric bias is patently unfair.

Me 2
Guest
Me 2

\”When someone driving a car hits you, you look to *their* insurance first.\”

I think there is also an expediency factor. Claims can take a long time to settle, so it is not uncommon for your insurer (who you pay premiums to after all) will cover your costs upfront and seek recovery from the other insurer in cases where it is their policyholder\’s fault.

Good points Rixtir. Insurance is a pretty conservative industry. While have 5% of all trips sounds impressive for an insurance company it tells them that cyclists are a market they can overlook. Its not going to change without legislation or until the numbers grow the point that insurers starting seeing it as a market opportunity.

Me 2
Guest
Me 2

I reread my post. I wish there was an edit function for sloppy writers like me. I meant to say that having a 5% share of trips in Portland sounds impressive relatively to bike ridership levels elsewhere, but are much a do about nothing in the eyes of the insurance companies.