I was riding down the bike lane when a car hit me from the side with it's side. I ended up being drug about 30" or so before she came to a stop. I dont know her side of the story yet because I have not seen the police report yet. But what I'm wondering is who was in the right. As you can see in my poorly illustrated picture, I was close to the point when the bike lane crosses a traffic lane when the collision occurred. I did not see the vehicle until it was inches from my handlebar until it was too late. And I am not certain if she was crossing into that lane at the time either. From a distance, you can see the bike lane does this transition but there is no warning sign posted. Is anyone at fault, or is it considered a no fault accident? Thanks for any insight. A diagram of the junction

A sattelite photo

  • Do those _ _ _ _ mean the lane was was actually marked or not? Did one of you have Yield sign? Unless the car had a yield sign you went into a vehicle lane.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 17, 2015 at 20:05
  • A photo would be useful, or find the section of road on Google Streetview and link to that.
    – Tom77
    Mar 17, 2015 at 20:43
  • No signs for either of us. i103.photobucket.com/albums/m143/brainfarth/bike%20path.jpg
    – Brainfarth
    Mar 17, 2015 at 20:51
  • 2
    This is also somewhat region dependent.
    – Batman
    Mar 17, 2015 at 21:02
  • 1
    I think it's down to the details in state law. (Hint: Get a helmet mirror.) Mar 18, 2015 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


I would say she is at fault. Here is why:

  1. Since she was driving a car and you were dragged for some distance after the collision it appears she was traveling at a higher speed and thus was from behind. The responsibility typically falls on the one from behind. Even if the contact wasn't on your rear it sounds a lot like rear-ender.

  2. A bike lane is a lane of traffic and has the same rights as other forms of traffic. Yes, @Willeke is correct this is poor street design, but this is not your fault. You were traveling straight and the car was the one initiating a turn and it was her responsibility to pay attention necessary to complete that turn safely. Yes, perhaps you should of paid some attention too, I hate it, but I watch out constantly for cars doing bad things. Convincing others that those who done did the bad things are at fault will be the hard part, as there is a contention that bicycles are toys not destined for the roads. But, this is not what the law says. Please fight for your (and our) rights.

  3. Harm done. Sadly the United States does seem to have law or the general mentality to structure things this way, but I think those wielding a deadly force (like a car) have a responsibility to those more vulnerable like pedestrians and those on bikes. You may be able to use this very valid point to garner some compassion, but your mileage may vary.

Good luck.

  • 1
    Would that be wielding a deadly force and garner some compassion?
    – andy256
    Apr 12, 2015 at 10:11
  • Not sure I can agree with this at all. Swerving your bicycle across a road, without checking behind you, just because some indistinct paint appears to do so is pretty foolhardy. In fact I'd say the "lane" in the illustration can't really be said to exist in the photo at all. Sep 27, 2018 at 13:44

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