Have you ever been rear-ended?

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ericonabike
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Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby ericonabike » 17 Mar 2009, 4:53pm

Bit of an 'ooh er missus' title, but I was curious if you or anyone you know has ever been hit from behind by a vehicle? Reason being that, for a lot of newer riders in particular, I suspect that being hit from behind by a driver who simply doesn't see them is their major fear. Which is why the 'gutter tendancy' kicks in, as it can feel very exposed the further one gets towards the centre of the road.

For my money, I'm resigned to the possibility of it happening - but if it does, then hopefully I'll know very little about it! I can interact with drivers to front and side of me, and make best use of instinct and low cunning to survive, but regard being hit from behind with a Zen-like fatalism. But I'm interested as to what the actual chances of it happening might be, based on forum members experiences.
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby EdinburghFixed » 17 Mar 2009, 5:00pm

It's the least common way to be hit, believe it or not. I think I read somewhere that only 3% (or maybe 9%) of bike collisions are rear end shunts. Considering that so many riders encourage close passes by riding in the gutter, this is doubly surprising.

It depends a lot on where you ride. Obviously on the open road there can be no junctions for miles and this makes it likely that, if you do have a collision, it will be a rear-ender.

I guess drivers are quite good at not hitting things immediately in front of them (in general!) which is why miscalculated or unobservant left/right turns, pulling out in front, and pulling in too soon are such major players.

Speaking personally, I have been rammed once - by an oncoming driver turning right. It was a hit and run, fortunately for him (and perhaps me too! :evil: )

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julk
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby julk » 17 Mar 2009, 5:06pm

• I have been hit by a car pulling out from a side road on the left without stopping, SMIDSY and I was wearing fluorescent yellow!
• I have been hit from the right side by a bus overtaking me which then either had to hit an oncoming car or me on my bike, no surprise I was chosen as the sacrifice. The bus company settled out of court, so at least I got some £££ for the pain.
• I have run into the back of the third vehicle in a row to turn left across me into a side road whilst I was commuting into work in Edinburgh. Can you credit three vehicles in a row turning left across you in the cycle/bus lane?
• I have had a car emergency stop alongside me, the car on the grass verge, whilst I was stopped at the kerbside. Thankfully the car driver took out a hedge rather than rear end and kill me.

But no, I have never been run into from the back.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby EdinburghFixed » 17 Mar 2009, 5:10pm

julk wrote:• I have run into the back of the third vehicle in a row to turn left across me into a side road whilst I was commuting into work in Edinburgh. Can you credit three vehicles in a row turning left across you in the cycle/bus lane?


Where about do you ride? I always wonder if any of the cyclists I see are on here.

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julk
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby julk » 17 Mar 2009, 5:18pm

I live near Dalkeith and used to commute in over Gilmerton, the Bridges, Broughton Street to the Canonmills area.

I retired 5 years ago and now tend to roam the local lanes up into the Granites area. Had a very nice ride to Gladhouse Reservoir today. The sun even had some warmth in it.

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anniesboy
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby anniesboy » 17 Mar 2009, 7:29pm

Not rear ended,I was knocked into a hedge when the wing mirror of an elderly ladies car hit the mirror on my bike.
No damage other than a broken mirror ,she was more shaken than .
A polite lecture from me and £ 10 for a new mirror ended the matter.

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7_lives_left
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby 7_lives_left » 17 Mar 2009, 7:37pm

Have I ever been rear-ended?

Yes, twice. But both times I was stationary and the car behind had been stationary, but then decided to edge forward on to my back wheel. No injury in either case.

The first time was at a road junction with poor visibility. I pulled forward to the stop line but couldn't pull out because of traffic. The driver behind pulled forward to get a better view and straight on to my back wheel. He said afterward that he thought I had already pulled away. That resulted in a replaced rear wheel.

The second time was was in busy traffic in London on a straight section of road. A large 4X4 pulled up behind me and then edged forward. I felt the bike being pushed. Fortunately I was along side a motor cycle. The driver of the 4X4 could not edge forward further without also shunting the motor cycle. No damage to the wheel but I made by displeasure known. I guess the driver had little idea of the size of their vehicle and/or couldn't see over the bonnet to see to leave room for my bike.

I have seen riders wheels get bent by drivers at the tail end of a group of riders on critical mass ride.

I wouldn't fancy having a high speed rear end shunt on a bicycle, I don't think it would be very survivable.

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Basil W Bloke
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby Basil W Bloke » 17 Mar 2009, 7:44pm

In many, many years of cycling I have only been hit from behind twice. Both times it was by other cyclists!
I have had a few close calls with motor vehicles though. Usually at traffic or ped lights. These days, the drivers’ reaction to a traffic light turning amber is to hit the accelerator hard. So, although I am very firmly in the camp of the non-RLJing cyclists, I tend not to stop at pedestrian crossings on amber.
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Si
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby Si » 18 Mar 2009, 11:48am

I've been hit from the rear a few times. All by cyclists.

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jan19
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby jan19 » 18 Mar 2009, 12:07pm

I haven't, but Malcolm has.

He was cycling along the A21 just outside Orpington on a clear June evening a couple of years ago. Got lifted off the road and onto the grass verge by a motorist who was apparently on his mobile (according to the pick-up truck driver who was following and who kindly brought Malcolm home in his truck.)

Malcolm wasn't hurt, but the back of the bike was damaged. Motorist (who did stop) paid up for repairs without a murmur.

Jan

dmiller
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby dmiller » 18 Mar 2009, 1:13pm

Yeah.

I was waiting to turn right and so was postioned about 1/3 of the lane in from the white line waiting for traffic to clear. I had been waiting about 30 seconds (with high vis jacket, flashing rear light, high vis back pack cover, reflector etc) at about 7 in the morning in Jan 2008 in Glasgow. A driver went right through the back of me at 30 plus miles an hour, throwing me a fair distance forward and leaving me pretty [rude word removed] up. It was a month before I was cycling again. I still get the shakes very badly making right hand turns through traffic. I still get nightmares about it from time to time.

The driver admitted he wasnt looking where he was going and was looking at his tom tom and down the side streets as he was lost.

The police decided not to prosecute as: "he was pretty shaken".

Insurance companies are still sorting it out (and its not being helped by the fact that Strathclyde Police are the most usless bunch of idiots when it comes to thier own form - they basically ticked boxes at random and even managed to spell David wrong in several places on the form).

David.

ericonabike
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby ericonabike » 18 Mar 2009, 1:50pm

Thanks a lot for the responses - and particular commiserations to Dave. Seems to suggest that rear-end shunts are [happily] rare. Which is odd in a way, as our experience generally is that drivers 'don't see us'. We can make eye contact and shout when this happens in front of us, but our rears are unprotected. So why, given the general level of myopia around, dont; they run into the back of us more often? Not something I'd encourage, obviously, but it doesn't seem to fit with the overall picture of cycle/vehicle interactions. It's also at odds with the experiences of drivers - I'm sure we all know someone who has been rear-ended whilst driving a car.

It's perhaps a useful item of evidence to give to new riders though, who [not unnaturally] find it unnerving to be riding in the wheeltracks of vehicles approaching from behind. Leading to their seeking the 'safety' of the gutter where they are far more likely to be sideswiped.
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby EdinburghFixed » 18 Mar 2009, 2:00pm

The most common reason for hitting something slow moving like a pedestrian or cyclist is either not seeing them, or seeing them but not estimating their speed and course correctly. Since it's very easy to see something in front of you and most of the time a bike is maintaining a steady course, this accounts for the relative safety of "just riding along".

There's a lot more going on when you want to pull out / turn off in a car and combined with a cyclist who may be travelling faster or slower than expected, and/or turning off or pulling out, which accounts (however inexcusably) for the prevailing collisions at junctions.

The main hazard when you are "just riding along" is being squeezed by a motorist who didn't allocate you sufficient room in their mental road map until it was too late. There is no need to deviate in course or speed to pass a cone fallen in the gutter, etc. so a cyclist who appears to be safely at the side of the road never features in drivers' forward planning and they often realise they are approaching a pinch point etc. too late, if at all.

This is why riding wider in the road, which forces a driver's mind to treat you as a hazard to negotiate, is so much healthier than riding in the gutter.

FatBat
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby FatBat » 18 Mar 2009, 2:05pm

I'll add a "sort of" reply.

I was turning right from a side road onto a main road with one general lane and a bus/cycle lane in each direction. (This was on the A8 in Edinburgh, near to the old Pinkhill Railway station). In the middle of the road was a hatched area where those turning right from the side road could wait so they only had to cross one direction of traffic at a time. I'd made it to the middle bit, but a woman driving a car had made it to the middle bit at the same by driving at my left-hand-side - as I waited for a suitable gap to pull into the bus/cycle lane, she decided that the best way to enter the general lane was to accelerate to cruising speed in the central reserve. Unfortunately, I was directly in front of her.

dmiller
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Re: Have you ever been rear-ended?

Postby dmiller » 18 Mar 2009, 9:30pm

ericonabike wrote: but our rears are unprotected.


*childish titter* :)

To be honset I think speed limits help here - cars can stop amazingly quickly from 30mph when a driver sees you... every now and then I get treated to some hollywood style tyre smoke as a car finally spots me! Its also often the driver thats more shaken than me - I once even bought a lady a cup of tea from a burger van as she couldnt stop crying and saying how sorry she was and her husbands a cyclist etc.

I think my experience is pretty rare thankfully.