Thursday, April 5

It Coulda Been Me

As a prelude to a future "myth" series post, take a look at the video. The cyclist was doing, IMO, EVERYTHING RIGHT. In other words, "it coulda been me." What's more, it was flagged on the "LCI List" ONLY a day ago. This one hits closer to home than most because there's a video and it really COULD have been me. I thank God the LCI is OK.

Thanks to Cyclelicious for noting this video.

IMO, it says you could do everything right and still get smacked. OTOH, it ALSO shows how YOUR motorists might well stick up for you. My own takeaway is that if you observe the Golden Rule, you might get lucky when another does not. Still, my own rule,remains "trust, but verify," when possible.

In other words, it's a mixed message - a cyclist operating safely and predictably gets smacked all the same, but motorists recognize the injustice and help him out. THIS is a message to the DOOMSAYERS from EITHER END of the spectrum. People are mostly good. As I'm fond of saying: "Cycling is fun and safe," though the cyclist in the video found it more "interesting."

Today, for the first time, I sign off as "Steve A, LCI #3054."

And I would LOVE to hear from extremists of Either Stripe. I thought not...

16 comments:

RANTWICK said...

Cycling is only dangerous when you do everything right and then a car hits you. I'm kind of torn about this video, which I first saw on Commute Orlando... it shows, as you say, that people are mostly good. It also shows what I've come to understand is an EXTREMELY rare kind of occurrence. I just wouldn't want people to see the video and think "well there you have it, cycling IS dangerous! I knew it!".

Steve A said...

I think of it as a reminder that any road user can have a bad day. I salute the rider for keeping his head and hope I would do as well. I also hope I will never have to do so.

cycler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Romeo Alpha said...

I have no extremist comment, but thank you for posting this, I am glad the cyclist appeared to be OK (although these things can get ugly once the post-accident excitement wears off), and hats off to that bus driver and motorist. Oh, and fleeing the scene is an extremely cowardly and irresponsible act, one which if I were that kid's father, would result in a most focused and direct list of repercussions, starting with loss of car.

cycler said...

Oops, probably obviously meant to leave the comment about the cobbler on your post about the purse.

I think riding predictably and visibly only helps if you can count on the driver paying attention to the road in front of them, which unfortunately you can't always count on in this distracted age.

Steve A said...

JRA and Cycler,
#1 - extremists of either stripe will try to bend this to fit their views. Myself, I try to observe, and follow where the facts and data lead.

#2 - It didnt occur to me to apply the cobbler comment to the bag post. Thanks for the clarification because there IS a shoe repair place only a mile from my home and only a block from where the photo was shot. Still, there is a disturbing amount of applicability of your original comment to THIS post as well. Your new comment might be best judged if the video hadn't been edited at critical moments of the most applicable 30 seconds. Perhaps we will not rally know the actual sequence of events other than the motorist has been charged with multiple felonies.

Anonymous said...

Definitely hats to the bus driver as stated by John.

leo said...

I've thought about this quite a bit. And made some comments in other blogs and facebook pages.
Bottom line to me is that this video isn't about how dangerous cycling is, but rather how dangerous unlawful driving is.
leo, LCI 2691

Steve A said...

Leo, I think we are in agreement. Rereading the post, I hope nothing there implies anything else. As the title said, "It Coulda Been Me." This time, the video ends as the offender sits in his cage and says, "aw, s#%^."

Fred said...

First of all, I feel very bad for this cyclist.

This is the main reason I personally will NOT ride on roads like these.

I do NOT like to make people "notice me" for my safety.

Also, this is NOT rare. There are 2 million rear endings in the US each year. It's the most common accident.

What is rare is a cyclist getting hit in a bike lane even in a door zone.

Forget what you have been taught as an LCI and read some unbiased data.

Steve A said...

Fred, for every video such as that I have posted, I would have no trouble citing TEN with EITHER cyclists hit in crosswalks, or doored in bike lanes, or even hit by motorists turning right across bike lanes. True even if my citations involved deaths instead of just a damaged bike such as this one. Still true if I excluded sidewalk riders that ride against traffic.

I would LOVE to see some unbiased data. In truth, and you would probably agree, the USG has little interest in collecting unbiased data when it comes to a tiny minority such as cyclists that travel for transportation.

cafiend said...

Excellent point by Leo about the dangers of unlawful driving. I make the point over and over that people on the move are fixated on their own destination and rate of flow. We who pedal are subject to the same self-centeredness, we just don't have a massive chunk of armor around us with which to assert our will. Even pedestrians like to keep moving, as shown by worn paths on the best lines through grassy areas where the paved walkways don't match the efficient route, and the common practice of jaywalking.

Distraction stems from cultural ADD and the essentially boring nature of driving. Forget what the car commercials show. Most of the time you're sitting in that thing wishing you were somewhere else.

Funny how this should come up right now when I was getting ready to write a piece on how the perception of safety can encourage people to do things when actual safety does not reassure them.

Anonymous said...

Running is NOT the right response, but it is obvious to me that the driver did not even seen the cyclist until impact. At 3:06:25 the black car is behind the silver car and looks to be changing to the left lane to pass. Seven seconds later, the bus in in the left left lane slightly ahead of the black car, we don't see what happened in those 6 seconds, but it seems plasible that the bus pulled in from of the black car to miss cyclist, black car moves right to miss bus and slams into cyclist. There was another near miss at 3:06:16... I actually thought that was the car that was going to hit the cyclist when I first watched the video. Just goes to show you need your head on a swivel at all times.

Steve A said...

Unless I misunderstand "Anonymous," I agree with him - car swooped left to zip past bus - bus moves left to pass cyclist, cutting off the swoop car - car swoops back right and, smack, suddenly discovers why bus moved left - driver panics and tries to run. As the title says, "it coulda happened to me." And that title did not specify whether I was riding a bike or driving the Land Rover. Such a collision did, in fact, happen to me when I was driving an Alfa Romeo - 1987 Milano. Thankfully, it has never happened to me when I was on a bike.

cafiend said...

Anon and Steve's comments underscore what I was saying about how people fixate on their own flow and disregard even a full-sized human object directly in front of them. There is NO excuse for this, even if there is an explanation for the psychology of negligence or malice, either of which could apply, lacking any evidence other than this video.

Khal said...

A 17 year old in a hurry is an accident waiting to happen.

Doing everything right is not absolute insurance against a crash. It just increases the odds in your favor considerably. Let's not get too spun up over one incident.

Not just bicyclists, either. The other day I ended up doing an "emergency stop" on a 580 lb, bright red BMW motorcycle with the headlight on after someone did a right on red without stopping in front of me. Once I got over being rattled, I had a good laugh at my own expense after realizing I had automatically pushed my ass up and back off the seat while applying both brakes. Go figure...

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