Schwinn Collegiate

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Right Hand Turn

Apparently, not hi-vis enough!


I've had a couple of close calls with cars in the past that over take me and take a right.   I remember having read that this is one of the most common types of accident.  Perhaps it was only a matter of time, but yesterday it happened.  A car overtook me and took a right hand turn into me.

The hit was a bit frightening, but it was slow and I mostly just slid down the side of the car.  I came away with some scratches and bruises, but was glad when I realized my fragile hip was still intact.  There was an ambulance two cars back and they took me to the hospital just to be sure about my stupid hip.  I was horrified though when the police officer came into the hospital and told me he didn't cite the driver.  He said that the damage on the driver's car was towards the back so it was my fault as I hit him.  I was completely mortified.  I had damaged the back section of the car because that is the part that I slid down, not the part I necessarily impacted.  When I tried to explain this, the officer said I need to follow the rules of the road even though I was on a bicycle.  I told him I had and that I was allowed to pass on the right on a bicycle.  He either didn't care or didn't want someone to contradict him as he was certainly unfazed by my explanation.  I think the cause of all of this is general ignorance of bicycling laws and the lack of suburban cyclists.  When everyone in town rides their Huffy mountain bike on the sidewalk ignoring the rules of the road, no one expects a bicyclist to be part of traffic, knows the actual rules, or believes a rider who tries to explain that he was following the rules.

In the end, my argument didn't really matter, as the driver has no insurance....even though everyone in Massachusetts is required by law to have it.   So, that was kind of a bummer.

I always go out of my way to obey the rules of the road....even if it means waiting for a car to pull up behind me to cause the red light to finally trigger even though there is no traffic on the road I want to turn onto.  So I guess what upsets me the most is the officer's implication that the accident was somehow my fault....well that and the fact that I wore a nerdy hi-vis vest for the first time, still got hit, and the vest ripped...grrr!