Passed by accident where a biker got killed :/

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
Cyclist riding against the flow of traffic are 3.6 times more likely to be in an accident:

And closing speeds really matter in collision survivability. Head on, the speed would be added together, so a car at 50, and a bike at 25 would have a collision speed of 75mph. Energy transferred would be catastrophic and likely fatal.

When travelling in the same direction, that speed is subtracted. So the 50 car and 25 bike would have a collision speed of only 25mph. Energy transferred would be greatly reduced, and most likely survivable.

A pedestrian in only moving <3 mph, so the collision math becomes insignificant, and the awareness factor trumps it.
 
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retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
And closing speeds really matter in collision survivability. Head on, the speed would be added together, so a car at 50, and a bike at 25 would have a collision speed of 75mph. Energy transferred would be catastrophic and likely fatal.

When travelling in the same direction, that speed is subtracted. So the 50 car and 25 bike would have a collision speed of only 25mph. Energy transferred would be greatly reduced, and most likely survivable.

A pedestrian in only moving <3 mph, so the collision math becomes insignificant, and the awareness factor trumps it.
Your math only works for objects of similar mass (weight). Getting hit by a car while on a bike will be tragic no matter what direction.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Change the rules so someone who hits a cyclist or pedestrian automatically loses their license until they can prove they weren't at fault. Put all of the burden of proof on the motorist.
Sadly the opposite of this is the law where I live in Virginia and our neighboring states of Maryland and North Carolina, see "Contributory Negligence" aka 'the 1% rule'. For the past two years one of our State Senators representing a community in Northern Virginia has introduced a law in the state general assembly to repeal this inequitable law, only for it to be quietly dropped by the Senate Judiciary committee due to lobbying from the Insurance industry
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
You don't even have to do that.

Change the rules so someone who hits a cyclist or pedestrian automatically loses their license until they can prove they weren't at fault. Put all of the burden of proof on the motorist.

Also, "not being at fault" should be defined as the cyclist or pedestrian doing something explicitly unlawful.
I think that might be a bit extreme.

My oldest son was driving his vehicle up the hill leading to Western Washington University late at night. Right in front of a fire station he signaled a left turn, seeing no one coming down the hill in the opposite lane he turned left and BAM...a bike ran square into the right quarterpanel sending the girl riding it over the hood into the curb, breaking her leg. The paramedics ran out from the fire hall, to see to the cyclist and called the police. Fortunately there were two witnesses who said they saw it all and that the cyclist had no light, a legal requirement in Bellingham. Before the cyclist was taken to the hospital the police issued her a ticket for failure to have a light at night.

My son, who was 19 at the time, was so traumatized by the sudden slamming sound and vision of this shadow shooting across his field of vision, over the hood that he sold the car and did not drive or get a new one for almost a year.

The girl's father's insurance company tried to strongarm my son into accepting liability for her injuries. I help him write a letter to the adjuster pointing out that she was given a ticket and he was not, directing him to address any further communications to an attorney friend of mine. He kept calling and harassing my son until my buddy wrote him a letter threatening to sue.

If those witnesses were not there, he might have had a much more difficult time establishing his innocence. Let's stick to having to prove guilt
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
The girl's father's insurance company tried to strongarm my son into accepting liability for her injuries...Let's stick to having to prove guilt
Your sons experience sounds stressful and speaks to the mendacity of personal injury lawyers in your state, it sounds like you took appropriate action to protect your family. But applying the Contributory Negligence standard means people injured walking and biking in VA, MD, NC & AL, face an uphill battle to get fairly compensated for damages from a crash resulting from a negligent driver. Contributory Negligence was repealed in the District of Columbia in 2016 for pedal cyclists & pedestrians, and for ebikes and scooters this year, case law is already testing if it can be applied retroactively as in this case of a scooter rider who was injured by a negligent driver. Repeal has not been reported to have led to a drastic increase in the value of tort claims awarded against drivers insurers, or an increase in drivers insurance premiums. We need these unfair laws repealed because drivers insurance companies are getting away with avoiding paying anything towards the costs to the injured cyclist.
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Your sons experience sounds stressful and speaks to the mendacity of personal injury lawyers in your state,
I agree that it was really quite traumatic for my son but I do not agree with your conclusion. The only lawyer involved was my friend who is a business and property guy, who wrote a letter chasing off an insurance adjuster. He does not do personal injury cases. The only mendacity and aggressive behavior was on the part of the insurance adjuster trying to bully a teenage driver. That said, your argument against comparative negligence seems sound. That could be used to argue minor negligence on the part of the cyclist for being on a busy street at a time of known heavy traffic.