Saturday, February 23

Not About the Cyclist

I was reminded yesterday that many motorist-cyclist crashes are not really due to any motorist carelessness that has anything to do with cyclists in particular or that might be helped by getting "more butts on bikes." No, I didn't have a crash. Rather I was in the parking lot of a local coffee store on the way home when an oncoming motorist made a left turn into an open handicap spot. It wasn't even really a close call because neither of us was traveling fast, but it WAS enough to cause me to use my "alternative bike bell" and yell loudly.

As I locked up my bike afterwards, the motorist got out of his car. In response to my comment "I probably scared you as much as you scared me." He said he hadn't seen me. Hmm.

The reminder came about ten minutes later, as I was sipping my coffee on the patio. Another motorist, parked one spot over, backed out of her spot, across the traffic-way, and crashed into a large grocery cart corral. I was reminded of the many cases in which motorists crash into the backs of police vehicles, or fire trucks, not to mention the many paint scrapes one sees on poles and various road barriers.



10 comments:

John Romeo Alpha said...

Carelessness by licensed exercisers of the privilege of motor vehicle operation infringe on citizens exercising their right to access and use the public commons.

Janice in GA said...

I was in the parking lot of a Trader Joe's kinda late one night. I watched a woman knock off her driver's side rear view mirror and scrape the side of her car against a light pole, with almost no other cars in the parking lot.

She slowed down, kinda looked out the window at the pole, and drove on. O.o

Steve A said...

Janice, try to remember that TJ event next time some motorist does something dumb and potentially life-threatening near you. If you do so, it means you didn't become one more casualty of big vehicles that go faster than evolution prepared us to go.

Trevor Woodford said...

Must be the same the world over....the local store's parking lots in my locality appear to be dangerous places whether in a car or on a bike judging by the number of bumps and scrapes I see...

-Trevor

Steve A said...

Trevor - I'd agree with you if you added "inanimate object" to your list. That rack really took a hit!

cafiend said...

There have been at least two fatal head-on crashes on the two-lane highways around here in the last month.

Cars dull our senses. Our modern lives provide more and more distractions. Because driving is merely a boring interlude (or worse yet an opportunity for flamboyant personal expression) a lot of people go winging around with half a brain or less engaged in piloting their armored vehicle.

Justine Valinotti said...

Hi Steve--I've nominated you for the Liebster Award.

Check it out: http://midlifecycling.blogspot.com/2013/02/nominated-for-liebster-award.html

Steve A said...

Justine, see my comment about that over on YOUR blog post. My profile is at the bottom on the right.

Khal said...

Not a comforting post to read, but quite accurate.

Justine Valinotti said...

Did you hear about the cyclist here in New York who was hit by a police car? He decided not to sue, but he received a BILL for damage incurred by the gendarmes' vehicle. He appealed, and the city rescinded, it. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/8/nyc-bicyclist-hit-police-car-then-charged-car-dent/

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