Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
iviehoff
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Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby iviehoff » 22 Nov 2013, 12:38pm

...or it could be you that ends up in court.
http://road.cc/content/news/99401-cycli ... -behaviour

It does seem to be very difficult to keep your cool when struck by a vehicle. I say that from bitter experience. When a taxi got me, he got to the police first and complained about me. To me, having just experienced a blow to the face, I was in flight or fight mode. His driving was so outrageous I thought he had done it deliberately to get me. When he got out of his car and approached me I was concerned I was about to be beaten up, hence my taking hold of my D-lock to defend myself. Though in fact he was just concerned to make sure I was OK. The bike and my glasses were written off and I claimed them on the insurance.

MartinC
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby MartinC » 22 Nov 2013, 1:20pm

Sound advice. As usual the law's imprisoned in our car culture. Motorists are so used to bumping in to each other and road furniture that you're expected to take it all in your stride like they do (well like they're supposed to). What everyone neglects to factor in is that when you hit a cyclist you've hit another human being not an inanimate object. It would be very strange if that didn't trigger a flight or flight reaction but you'll get no sympathy from anyone else (except maybe here).

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jonbott
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby jonbott » 22 Nov 2013, 3:04pm

I know I had a car drive into the back of me whilst I was sat a junction,he drove off as he was`afraid`
of me!I do know I was very cross!mostly due the fact I`d ridden 20miles into a headwind and was looking forward to a following one home! :lol:
I`m def too old for this!

Geriatrix
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Nov 2013, 3:15pm

Seems like the definition of vulnerable road user has expanded to include bus drivers.

The law is certainly working a lot more effectively for them than for the previous holders of the vulnerable road user title.

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661-Pete
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby 661-Pete » 22 Nov 2013, 6:09pm

Oh dear oh dear! When I was knocked off last year, I distinctly remember yelling out "F****ing hell! F****ing hell!" over and over again as I kissed tarmac. I'm sure bystanders heard me, and I told the ambulance people, verbatim, they said it was a good sign because it proved I was still compos mentis and hadn't suffered brain damage... :roll:
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Edwards
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby Edwards » 23 Nov 2013, 3:17am

When my wife was hit and in the road I was phoned by a friend, when I got there the BIG police man followed me around with his hand on his Taser.

The driver was in shock as were his two girls who were in the car. I was told his wife gave him much more agro than I would have got the chance to do.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Nov 2013, 8:05am

A case like the one linked in the OP isn't decided on an apportionment of blame between those involved, but on the evidence against each of them. Threatening/ abusing others is an offence and one taken more seriously by the legal system if the target of the threats is somebody performing a public service,especially if they are working alone. It seems the bus driver here was a woman which possibly makes her even more vulnerable to threats/ abuse. Apparently she invited the casualty to report her if he didn't like it, which is probably the best thing for both sides. Apart from anything else, insurance companies don't like admissions of liability.

It's easy advice to give but hard to follow when fear turns to anger, but staying calm enables anybody to be a better witness.

Of course, the flipside f what I'm saying is that the casualty of a crash like this is no longer able to assume that the authorities will take the slightest interest in how they came to be injured.

I see that the sentence was a conditional discharge, which indicates that the beak had sympathy with the defendant, who seems to have represented himself at court in a dignified manner.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby Cunobelin » 23 Nov 2013, 9:22am

Politeness and calm are essential

If you get one person screaming and ranting, the other calm and polite, then people will almost automatically side with the reasonable pne.

I know it worked for me... I had a left hook, and could see it happening, but as it was right on the junction had nowhere to go.

Shouted "Watch Out", and the driver slammed on his anchors and started a rant about how I had no right to be in his way

I remained polite, and called the Police....had three witnesses talk to the Police on the phone about the incident, all of whom portrayed me as being calm and polite, and the driver being a rabid nutter

The Police were extremely interested and he was cautioned for his behaviour

Geriatrix
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby Geriatrix » 23 Nov 2013, 10:16am

Cunobelin wrote:Politeness and calm are essential

If you get one person screaming and ranting, the other calm and polite, then people will almost automatically side with the reasonable pne.

I know it worked for me... I had a left hook, and could see it happening, but as it was right on the junction had nowhere to go.

Shouted "Watch Out", and the driver slammed on his anchors and started a rant about how I had no right to be in his way

I remained polite, and called the Police....had three witnesses talk to the Police on the phone about the incident, all of whom portrayed me as being calm and polite, and the driver being a rabid nutter

The Police were extremely interested and he was cautioned for his behaviour


I'll endorse that - but must admit to being both sides of the anger boundary.

I got a public order offence served against offenders for abusive behaviour, but I have lost my cool many times against drivers for bad driving. There is a scale of reaction to that adrenalin rush that results from a close call. If courts are going to penalise cyclists for being human then they have to also pay closer attention to what caused the reaction in the first place.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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Cunobelin
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby Cunobelin » 23 Nov 2013, 12:13pm

These are two different aspect for me.

The consequences of an individual's attitude in a Court or dealing with the Police are separate

To me, remaining polite under pressure is important as it gets you the sympathy of witnesses and bystanders that enables you to get to the later stages.

thirdcrank
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Nov 2013, 1:02pm

Cunobelin wrote:These are two different aspect for me.

The consequences of an individual's attitude in a Court or dealing with the Police are separate

To me, remaining polite under pressure is important as it gets you the sympathy of witnesses and bystanders that enables you to get to the later stages.


+1

There's also the point that if you do lose your rag, then logical thought often goes out of the window. It's not easy, when fear turns to anger but it's the best way. People are so familiar with the effects of rage on logical thought and memory that if there is any review, eg at court, your evidence is liable to be undermined.

PS Getting a witness to lose their temper at court by a form of sledging is a pretty basic ploy, and if they think you have a short fuse, they are even more likely to try to exploit it.

andrewk
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby andrewk » 23 Nov 2013, 1:20pm

MartinC wrote:Sound advice. As usual the law's imprisoned in our car culture.


I don't think its a case of "law being imprisoned in a car culture" but rather a combination of the overblown respect culture and Blairite laws against abusive or threatening language and behaviour coupled with an unintelligent policeman.

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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby Vorpal » 23 Nov 2013, 1:47pm

I'll put it a different way. If the law protected vulnerable road users, it is likely that fewer incidents would escalate (even if they occurred). Motorists (even if a minority) wouldn't feel they were within their rights intimidating and harassing vulnerable people. And lack of support in the system for cyclists contributes to cyclists' anger. It is ever so much easier to reach boiling point when a bus squeezing past is the umpteenth bullying encounter on the day. And much easier to remain polite when it is the first.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Nov 2013, 2:02pm

Vorpal wrote:I'll put it a different way. If the law protected vulnerable road users, it is likely that fewer incidents would escalate (even if they occurred). Motorists (even if a minority) wouldn't feel they were within their rights intimidating and harassing vulnerable people. And lack of support in the system for cyclists contributes to cyclists' anger. It is ever so much easier to reach boiling point when a bus squeezing past is the umpteenth bullying encounter on the day. And much easier to remain polite when it is the first.


You're right, which is what I was getting at above, when I posted

Of course, the flipside f what I'm saying is that the casualty of a crash like this is no longer able to assume that the authorities will take the slightest interest in how they came to be injured.


Be that as it may, the last thing you are in a position to do in one of these situations is changing the attitudes of a whole society. Most people are looking to make the best of a bad job, and that's why it's best to try to stay calm. IMO

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Re: Be polite when you are an accident victim...

Postby reohn2 » 23 Nov 2013, 5:40pm

Vorpal wrote:I'll put it a different way. If the law protected vulnerable road users, it is likely that fewer incidents would escalate (even if they occurred). Motorists (even if a minority) wouldn't feel they were within their rights intimidating and harassing vulnerable people. And lack of support in the system for cyclists contributes to cyclists' anger. It is ever so much easier to reach boiling point when a bus squeezing past is the umpteenth bullying encounter on the day. And much easier to remain polite when it is the first.


Spot on IMO.
Yesterday on a wide A road I was closely overtaken by 4x4( the fourth such close encounter in 25 miles),the large LWB Transit sized van immediately following it gave me plenty of room.
Less than 1/2 a mile further on the 4x4 was stopped in a laybye and the driver appeared to be putting his outer coat in the back seat.
I stopped(i don't usually get the chance) and put my best cordial voice on when I said 'excuse me but you were a little too close when you overtook me just then' to which the driver (a chap who appeared to be in his 70's) said 'that's a matter of opinion' I said,still very cordially, 'it's my opinion you were too close to me for safety's sake and that a mistake by either of us would have meant one of us could have been injured' I then said that I like him I had been driving and riding a bicycle on the road for over forty years,and again emphasised that I thought he was too close to me,whereupon he said 'now listen,my son is a pro cyclist,and you have a big mouth'.
I replied(as cordial as I could) that his head wouldn't fit in it and that he could go away in an Anglo Saxon fashion.
I cycled off and some 500m up the road he passed me again,this time giving me a lot of space.
Though our conversation had the desired effect and which I hope he remembers,I can't for the life of me understand such idiocy.
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