Flicking stones damaging property.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Nareloc
Posts: 103
Joined: 5 Oct 2008, 9:21pm

Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby Nareloc » 21 Jul 2019, 10:03pm

We all know from time to time our tyres flick a small stone, often at great speed, at right angles to the direction of travel. If the stone causes damage, to a car maybe, or smashes a window, is the cyclists liable. It's not happened to me yet but always wondered

Mike Sales
Posts: 3343
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby Mike Sales » 21 Jul 2019, 10:09pm

I suppose that whatever law covers this would also apply to stones from motor vehicle tyres.
When roads are top dressed with loose gravel there are signs set up which direct vehicles to drive slowly. I have often been hit by stones squirted up by cars which did not slow enough. Sometimes I have gone so far as to shield my spectacles with a hand.
I do not know the legal position.

slowster
Posts: 933
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby slowster » 21 Jul 2019, 10:42pm

It will depend upon whether (a court finds) you were negligent. One of the legal tests for a claim for negligence is that the event must be reasonably foreseeable. It's impossible to predict these events, i.e. not just if or when it will happen but also in what direction the stone will fly, and importantly they do not occur frequently, so I would doubt that you could be held liable.

That said, occasionally I find myself riding down a hill on a gravel track at a speed probably approaching 20mph when there are some walkers on the track. In that situation as well as trying to pass them with a large gap between us, I tend to make a point of easing off my speed by just freewheeling or braking a little, and/or I move off the gravel onto the dirt/grass at the edge of the track, in order to reduce the risk of a stone being flicked up by my tyres and hitting a walker.

flat tyre
Posts: 463
Joined: 18 Jul 2008, 1:01pm

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby flat tyre » 22 Jul 2019, 4:43pm

I've wondered about this too. On the odd occasion I've ridden over a stone and it has pinged off at quite a high speed and hit a parked car (what a shame). So what would happen if the stone caused a chip in the car's paintwork and the owner wanted me to pay for the repair? I know from getting my own cars repaired from time to time that even a small paint chip can sometimes result in a bill for several hundred pounds

fullupandslowingdown
Posts: 124
Joined: 11 Oct 2007, 5:47pm

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby fullupandslowingdown » 22 Jul 2019, 7:04pm

I seem to think this comes under the "act of God" rules. As said already, as long as you weren't reckless, then its unfortunately just one of those things.
I was overtaken by a 4x4 a few weeks ago, and he pulled in sooner than really needed (lightly populated dual carriageway) and a stone flew up and put a small hole in my windshield. I nearly chased him down but decided to let it go. Though I'm thinking of using a repair kit on it before winter.

David9694
Posts: 345
Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 8:42am

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby David9694 » 22 Jul 2019, 9:46pm

Smack - ding.

I was thinking about this only today. I suggest if asked the cycling equivalent of “must have had my music blaring”.

9494arnold
Posts: 842
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 3:13pm

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby 9494arnold » 22 Jul 2019, 9:54pm

No criminal intent, no crime. Simples. Might be a civil case but proving it would be problematic.
Re cracked windscreen, suggest you get it mended sooner rather than later. It's compromised and could give up ,and might deteriorate if not addressed. Plus dependant on size / whereabouts on screen it is it might constitute an MOT failure.
If you check your insurance a repair might be covered.

reohn2
Posts: 35853
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby reohn2 » 22 Jul 2019, 10:57pm

Nareloc wrote:We all know from time to time our tyres flick a small stone, often at great speed, at right angles to the direction of travel. If the stone causes damage, to a car maybe, or smashes a window, is the cyclists liable. It's not happened to me yet but always wondered

Have you asked yourself what the chances are?
Perhaps we should have poll asking if it's ever happened to anyone on the forum,or anyone they know,or if they know anyone who knows anyone who know anyone it's happened to,or even anyone one who knows anyone's uncles's brother's son or daughter that it's happened to or their second cousin removed on their mother's side,or ........

EDIT,perhaps we should ask people who live in the stoneyest of places first and their relatives and aquantences.

EDIT 2:- we should perhaps seek the wisdom of the Brucey first,he'll surely know the possible trajectory and ultimate force in Nm depending on tyre size and psi or bar.Science will ultimately hold the answer,I feel sure.

PS, catapults do a better job IMO :wink:
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I cycle therefore I am.

rmurphy195
Posts: 1405
Joined: 20 May 2011, 11:23am
Location: South Birmingham

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby rmurphy195 » 23 Jul 2019, 6:33pm

As far as surface dressing goes I don't see how you could be liable on a bike, if you were riding at a reckless speed over loose gravel (road chippings) you'd be more likley to cause yourself harm unless your bike control is up to speedway rider standrads.

I do get p'd off when car drivers ignore the signs and the gravel where there's been "surface dressing", car tyres do produce a nasty shower of the stuff. When driving, if I see someone coming up behind to overtake on the stuff I make a point of getting in his/her way, I'm fed up of replacing windscreens, and certainly wouln'd want to shower a vulnerable road user with the stuff! ("Vilnerable" in thei case includes people in open cars, such as my self from time to time)

The odd pebble? You'd usually be avoinding them anyway in case they cause an "off", so would be able to claim "reasonable care" if push comes to shove.
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

rogerzilla
Posts: 1315
Joined: 9 Jun 2008, 8:06pm

Re: Flicking stones damaging property.

Postby rogerzilla » 25 Jul 2019, 12:51pm

I've had the odd stone ping from under a high pressure tyre and hit a car. It's embarrassing if the owner is sitting in it. MTB and car tyres don't throw them quite as far because the "spring" is a lot weaker at 30-40psi than at 140psi.