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Thread: I was in a bike accident this morning

  1. #1
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    Unhappy I was in a bike accident this morning

    On the W&OD/Four Mile Run trail that follows Four Mile Run Dr. in Arlington where it meets an access road to the community center (38.850896,-77.101329).

    I was traveling Eastbound approaching the light at approximately 22mph/0710. The light was green and the crosswalk sign was white. Just as I was about to cross the road, a newer model black toyota camry hybrid pulled into the crossalk. The driver was looking left and his front right tire was almost on the curb. I tried to steer left and go around his car, but it was too late and I hit his car behind the rear right door. I went over his trunk and landed on my right side behind the car. He finished his right turn and stopped on Four Mile Run drive and got out to check on me.

    I was dazed, but was concentrating on getting out of the road with my bike. He was nice enough and made sure I wasn't hurt and my bike wasn't damaged too badly. After checking on me, he backed his car back onto the access road (behind the crosswalk this time). His car was severely damaged with the door handle broken, the small rear window cracked, and a humongous dent with several scratches at the point of impact.

    As I was getting my bearings, I turned my front wheel back into alignment with my handlebars and made sure my bike was ok. The guy stood there and watched me. But as I was coming back, I realized how much of this accident was his fault and called him an idiot. This was his cue to get back in his car and drive away - I didn't get the plate number.

    Fortunately, I only had a few scratches and bruises and my bike is functional. All I need to do is bend my right brake lever and get a new rear tire. I tore completely through the tire, the tube, and scratched my rim from braking so hard. the front tire has a mark on it and might be salvagable, but I'll buy another set.

    I just wanted to write this all down somewhere so I could reference it later if necessary and share it with you guys.

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    Follow the link above but first call the police. Do it now - don't wait until more detail fades from your memory. With that much damage there's a real chance they could find this guy.

  4. #4
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
    TwoWheelsDC is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Glad you're okay!

    Let me preface this by saying I don't hold you at fault at all for this...but as much as it pains me to say it, maybe it's better the cops didn't come...there are completely unnecessary stop signs for trail users along that stretch and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were to place the blame on you for ignoring them (even though I think they're not legal because they conflict with the stoplight). I usually ride through that section at a pretty good clip, but I'm also kinda paranoid about the few intersections through there as I'm not confident that driver awareness of the path is commensurate with the amount of riders going through there.

    *edit after DaveK's post...since it's a hit-and-run, you definitely should call the police. What I said above was based on the driver hanging around.

  5. #5
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    I'm completely on-board about calling the cops every time there's an injury or significant damage to your property. If I had been hurt, or if my bike had been damaged beyond repair, I would have. Since only his property was damaged (severely), I would think it's up to him whether or not to call.

    This guy was repeating over and over again that it was his fault and he's glad I'm OK - he probably split because he knew it was his fault and I wasn't very nice to him I guess...

    I'm going to put up a home-made sign at that intersection reminding motorists to stop before pulling up and turning right on red tomorrow morning.

    There are a lot of unecessary/stupid stop signs on that trail, but I don't think there's one at that intersection (check the coordinates - maybe I'm wrong).

  6. #6
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    Uggg. Sorry to hear it. If you have any doubt, get yourself to medical care. And make sure that helmet doesnt need to be replaced.

    When I had my last accident, it took me a good while to regain my confidence. WABA and Bike Arlington offer "Confident Cycling" classes. Its an option for regaining your confidence, and improving your skills so this cant happen again.

    After my last accident, I swore I would never be in an accident again. I know the intersection you are talking about. The WOD is a great trail, but there, there is lots of mixing between cars, bikes, joggers, and pedestrians. Me, at an intersection like that, I take it real slow now - look solid all ways. In the end, the most important thing isnt who has the right of way; the most important thing is arriving safely.

    Sorry to hear it.

  7. #7
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    Sorry to hear about the accident, and I'm really glad it wasn't worse.

    Calling the cops has numerous benefits, for you and the larger community:
    1) it can help you recover monetarily (you may not realize all the damage to you and the bike today)
    2) it can hold the driver responsible (and potentially educate bad drivers/get them off the road)
    3) it helps the powers that be have accurate stats on what's going on, and therefore adjust resources appropriately (e.g. your sign idea is great, but illegal if it's homemade -- if the County knows there's a problem at that intersection, we can lobby to put up an official sign).

    I URGE you to call the cops. Not just for you, but for the entire cycling community.
    Last edited by dasgeh; 11-05-2012 at 11:06 AM. Reason: I'm not a cold hearted snake

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    baiskeli is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    there are completely unnecessary stop signs for trail users along that stretch and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were to place the blame on you for ignoring them (even though I think they're not legal because they conflict with the stoplight).
    It's possible those signs are not illegal. They may be viewed as controlling the intersection in addition to the stoplight, not in conflict with it. The light would apply only for cars, while bikes/peds would have to stop. There's no reason to believe that lights controlling a road also control a trail simply because the trail runs in the same direction. Sure wish there were a legal expert who could sort this one out.

    Glad you're okay too, birddog.

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    Please review everything in the "After the Accident" section of the link, above, but most importantly:

    *Call the Police!! This driver will probably be needing the services of a body shop and they can get the word out to the local shops.

    *See a doctor, or at a minimum, monitor your condition -- some injuries don't show up right away.

    If you have any injuries that appear later, or if it turns out your bike is more badly damaged than is immediately apparent, you will want contact information for the motorist so that the appropriate insurance claims can be filed. Also, leaving the scene of an accident like that requires police attention. No response from you justified his actions.

    Liz

    EDIT: P.S. Glad you are okay so far. Take care!
    Last edited by eminva; 11-05-2012 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Also not a cold hearted snake

  10. #10
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    It's possible those signs are not illegal. They may be viewed as controlling the intersection in addition to the stoplight, not in conflict with it. The light would apply only for cars, while bikes/peds would have to stop. There's no reason to believe that lights controlling a road also control a trail simply because the trail runs in the same direction. Sure wish there were a legal expert who could sort this one out.
    Even VDOT has questioned their legality, and there's at least one court case that has nullified them.

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