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  1. #1
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    Default Are Cars Supposed to Look Out for Bicyclists

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    What state are you in? It MIGHT make a difference as bicycle laws can be slightly different by state.

    Did you signal for your right turn? How far did you travel straight before you turned across the path of the bicyclist?

    Here's the problem ... you completed your U-Turn and then traveled straight for a distance - even a short distance. Even if the cyclist had run the red light, he was now within the lane, presumably to your right, when you made a right turn in front of him. Depending upon the distances involved, you could very well be found at fault.

    At this point, about all you can do is submit the info you have to your insurance company and let them handle it.
    Is every car that pulls into a driveway or parking space required to look far back up the right side of the road to check for fast approaching bicycles that are swiftly passing on the right?

    As an avid cyclist, a rule to stay alive is to never pass cars on the right side that are going less than 20mph because at that slow speed they can dive into a driveway or parking space.

    If the cyclist is at fault file a claim with his auto insurance first. If they will not cover it file a claim with his homeowner's policy. Because the bike is stored in the home, it is part of the home and covered for liability.

    Quote Quoting sniper
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    Even if the bike ran the right that wasn't the cause of the accident. The OP making the turn in front of the cyclist is the more direct cause of the accident. Sure, one could argue that if the bike didn't run the red light he shouldn't have been there but, he was there. You still have to ensure it is safe to turn your vehicle from its lane.

    The fact he ran the light (if he actually did) would be more important in civil litigation if this ever gets to that point).
    Are you saying that when car runs a red light he is only at fault if the collision takes place within the intersection? Can't a motorist assume that cars and bikes are not blowing red lights behind them?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bike Ran a Red Light and Hit My Car

    Quote Quoting Brian57
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    Is every car that pulls into a driveway or parking space required to look far back up the right side of the road to check for fast approaching bicycles that are swiftly passing on the right?
    yes they are, at least far enough back to ensure they are not cutting across the pathway of such traffic



    If the cyclist is at fault file a claim with his auto insurance first. If they will not cover it file a claim with his homeowner's policy. Because the bike is stored in the home, it is part of the home and covered for liability.
    since the op has no knowledge of either the cyclists auto insurance or homeowners insurance, unless the cyclist chooses to provide such information, filing a claim with either insurance provider is problematic.



    Are you saying that when car runs a red light he is only at fault if the collision takes place within the intersection?
    since a traffic light controls only the intersection, the inclusion of the color of the light would not be relevant outside of the intersection. While a person running a red light could still be at fault for an accident and that accident wouldn’t have happened had he not run a red light, it isn’t the matter he ran the light that was the cause of the accident but generally a failure to yield right of way to another vehicle that legally held the right of way. The fact he ran a red light is coincidental but doesn’t affect the causation of the accident.


    Can't a motorist assume that cars and bikes are not blowing red lights behind them?
    they can cautiously assume that but what does that have to do with an accident that took place outside of the intersection? Without knowing where this is it’s impossible to work with precise numbers but any municipalty I am familiar with doesn’t allow a private drive so close to an intersection that an accident as described here would be within the area affected so directly by the traffic signal that it would be considered a defense to argue the cyclist ran a red light.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bike Ran a Red Light and Hit My Car

    A Mayflower moving line, near my house, recently made a wide right turn onto a residential street on a green light. It was a steep downhill and a cyclist was approaching from behind up the right side at about 45mph. The truck did not see him approaching, continued with his right turn, and they collided killing the cyclist. The Sheriff looked in the news camera at the scene and said the moving truck was not at fault.

    Make any sense to you guys? Not me.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bike Ran a Red Light and Hit My Car

    If it was a semi-type truck, they normally have signs that say they make wide right turns. It is also common knowledge that large trucks have significant blind spots. If the bicyclist tried to pass a large truck on the right, their injury or death is on them. The odds are good the truck driver was not even aware they were there and it should have been quite obvious if the cyclist was paying attention that the truck was executing a turn.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bike Ran a Red Light and Hit My Car

    Quote Quoting Brian57
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    Contrary to the claim that the motorist was at fault: A Mayflower moving line, near my house, recently made a wide right turn onto a residential street on a green light. It was a steep downhill and a cyclist was approaching from behind up the right side at about 45mph. The truck did not see him approaching, continued with his right turn, and they collided killing the cyclist. The Sheriff looked in the news camera at the scene and said the moving truck was not at fault.

    Make any sense to you guys? Not me.
    We dont know the motorist is at fault but I think everybody here has considered the possibilities and is having trouble not finding him at fault, or at least the majority of fault. We also don’t have the state which can play into fault. We also don’t have knowledge of the specific roadway which could make a difference.


    In your situation it was within the intersection. Depending on where any part of the truck was I could see it going either way. You haven’t provided enough details to make the call.


    The sheriff shouldn’t have said what he did. He doesn’t have the authority to determine fault and he shouldn’t be making such concrete statements with the limited information available to him at the time.


    He could have improperly influenced a possible jury pool with such a statement should the prosecutor see things differently and file any sort of charges.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Are Cars Supposed to Look Out for Bicyclists

    Quote Quoting Brian57
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    Is every car that pulls into a driveway or parking space required to look far back up the right side of the road to check for fast approaching bicycles that are swiftly passing on the right?
    Pedestrians, skateboarders, cyclists... yes.

    At least under CA state law, one cannot make a turn or divert from traveling straight ahead without first affirming that they can make the movement in safety.

    As an avid cyclist, a rule to stay alive is to never pass cars on the right side that are going less than 20mph because at that slow speed they can dive into a driveway or parking space.
    A prudent rule.

    All because the driver might be at fault for a sudden or unsignaled turn, doesn't mean it will be of any great comfort to you while you are in traction.

    Are you saying that when car runs a red light he is only at fault if the collision takes place within the intersection? Can't a motorist assume that cars and bikes are not blowing red lights behind them?
    Fault as assigned by law enforcement in CA (where Sniper works) can be different than the fault assigned by an insurance company or a court. Law enforcement cannot divide fault amongst the parties whereas a court or insurance company can apportion fault between the parties. For our purposes, the key is most often where the vehicles were at the time of the collision - hence the reason I asked about the position of the turn relative to the intersection in the original post. Unless this driveway was just past the intersection, the driver of the vehicle is generally going to be at fault for failing to make certain that it was safe to make the turn.

    Quote Quoting Brian57
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    A Mayflower moving line, near my house, recently made a wide right turn onto a residential street on a green light. It was a steep downhill and a cyclist was approaching from behind up the right side at about 45mph. The truck did not see him approaching, continued with his right turn, and they collided killing the cyclist. The Sheriff looked in the news camera at the scene and said the moving truck was not at fault.

    Make any sense to you guys? Not me.
    If the moving truck was signaling and began the turn onto the intersecting street in the proper lane, then the cyclist should have yielded until the truck had completed the turn. The cyclist's failure to control his speed was not a defense. He has a legal obligation to drive at a safe and prudent speed for the road and conditions (VC 22350 still applies even to cyclists).

    Quote Quoting jk
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    We dont know the motorist is at fault but I think everybody here has considered the possibilities and is having trouble not finding him at fault, or at least the majority of fault. We also don’t have the state which can play into fault. We also don’t have knowledge of the specific roadway which could make a difference.


    In your situation it was within the intersection. Depending on where any part of the truck was I could see it going either way. You haven’t provided enough details to make the call.


    The sheriff shouldn’t have said what he did. He doesn’t have the authority to determine fault and he shouldn’t be making such concrete statements with the limited information available to him at the time.


    He could have improperly influenced a possible jury pool with such a statement should the prosecutor see things differently and file any sort of charges.
    Brian57 is in CA, so I am assuming this is a CA incident.

    As for the authority to determine fault, well ... if the collision occurred in a contract city where the Sheriff's Department provides contracted law enforcement services, yep, he has the authority to determine fault (at least, his office does - and he has the final say). While it may have been premature, his statement may also have been based upon the conclusions of his investigators at the scene.
    **********
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Are Cars Supposed to Look Out for Bicyclists

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    Pedestrians, skateboarders, cyclists... yes.

    At least under CA state law, one cannot make a turn or divert from traveling straight ahead without first affirming that they can make the movement in safety.


    A prudent rule.

    All because the driver might be at fault for a sudden or unsignaled turn, doesn't mean it will be of any great comfort to you while you are in traction.


    Fault as assigned by law enforcement in CA (where Sniper works) can be different than the fault assigned by an insurance company or a court. Law enforcement cannot divide fault amongst the parties whereas a court or insurance company can apportion fault between the parties. For our purposes, the key is most often where the vehicles were at the time of the collision - hence the reason I asked about the position of the turn relative to the intersection in the original post. Unless this driveway was just past the intersection, the driver of the vehicle is generally going to be at fault for failing to make certain that it was safe to make the turn.



    If the moving truck was signaling and began the turn onto the intersecting street in the proper lane, then the cyclist should have yielded until the truck had completed the turn. The cyclist's failure to control his speed was not a defense. He has a legal obligation to drive at a safe and prudent speed for the road and conditions (VC 22350 still applies even to cyclists).



    Brian57 is in CA, so I am assuming this is a CA incident.

    As for the authority to determine fault, well ... if the collision occurred in a contract city where the Sheriff's Department provides contracted law enforcement services, yep, he has the authority to determine fault (at least, his office does - and he has the final say). While it may have been premature, his statement may also have been based upon the conclusions of his investigators at the scene.
    he has the right to determine fault for what purposes? Unless his statement supercedes a court’s, the determination is meaningless as I see it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Are Cars Supposed to Look Out for Bicyclists

    Quote Quoting jk
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    he has the right to determine fault for what purposes? Unless his statement supercedes a court’s, the determination is meaningless as I see it.
    Pursuant to the CVC and SWITRS (the state's collision reporting system that is also used to determine whether a point is issued to one's license) law enforcement DOES assign fault (the PCF) in reported collisions. In fact, the assignation of fault in a collision is mandatory if it can be determined.

    While reports are generally unnecessary for law enforcement purposes and are largely for statistical data and insurance companies, they do still have a role in the Vehicle Code.
    **********
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    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Are Cars Supposed to Look Out for Bicyclists

    Unless your state is extremely different than mine, the pcf carries no weight in the courts. It is an initial determination based on the limited facts the responding officer is aware of. I see the finding of fault can be as little as a knee jerk reaction by the cop. (not suggesting a cop taking his job very seriously won’t come up with the actual fault but I’m not seeing the finding of fault by the cop as having any true legal status or any real purpose other than as input for a statistical compilation by the state) As such, I still believe the statement made was improper and could lead to the tainting of a jury pool.

    I also argue that the assignment of fault does not equal the legal determination of fault. I said the cop cannot determine fault (that is a legal conclusion and is relegated to the courts) . Being able to assign fault is not the same thing.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Are Cars Supposed to Look Out for Bicyclists

    Quote Quoting jk
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    Unless your state is extremely different than mine, the pcf carries no weight in the courts.
    Legally, no. Though for most collisions they rely entirely upon the police collision report for the details upon which they make their evaluations.

    It is an initial determination based on the limited facts the responding officer is aware of. I see the finding of fault can be as little as a knee jerk reaction by the cop. (not suggesting a cop taking his job very seriously won’t come up with the actual fault but I’m not seeing the finding of fault by the cop as having any true legal status or any real purpose other than as input for a statistical compilation by the state) As such, I still believe the statement made was improper and could lead to the tainting of a jury pool.
    What jury pool? It's not criminal, and unlikely to go to a civil court, either. Almost every collision is settled by the insurance companies and not in court. Of the roughly 700 collisions I have investigated, I have been subpoenaed twice to civil court and never called as a witness, and both settled prior to going to the jury.

    And, since collision reports are public record, the assigned PCF (fault) is hardly a secret.

    The Sheriff was likely making the simple statement of fact that their investigation concluded that the truck was not the primary party at fault. Keep in mind that most collision investigations are not rocket science. The vast majority of them are obvious to the investigator and do not require a lengthy follow-up. But, if further investigation uncovers other evidence that could change the PCF, then that can be addressed through the appropriate supplement. And, in the case of serious injury or fatal collisions, the report could take days, weeks, or even months to be finalized and for fault to be determined.

    Law enforcement is being increasingly asked to render decisions, release data, and provide information on incidents almost instantly. We cannot have it both ways. Law enforcement has lost the argument regarding the integrity of the investigation, tainting jury pools, and protecting the rights of parties involved and even officers ... the public and the politicians have prevailed, and the marching orders have been modified to encourage - even demand - conclusions or opinions in short order.

    I also argue that the assignment of fault does not equal the legal determination of fault. I said the cop cannot determine fault (that is a legal conclusion and is relegated to the courts) . Being able to assign fault is not the same thing.
    I don't think anyone has ever said that the law enforcement assignation of fault is the end of the matter. The collision report in CA is binding only upon the agency and the DMV, and the drive rcan always try and appeal that point to the DMV (good luck with that). It can also be used to support any criminal charges or citation issued as a result of the investigation. An insurance company or a civil court can do as they wish. As I previously mentioned, state law in CA only permits us to assign fault to ONE party. We cannot apportion fault, and that may be appropriate in a civil case. But, for our purposes, only one party is at fault ... or, if it cannot be determined at all, then none.
    **********
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    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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