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Today I nearly got hit by a driver not paying attention:

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  • I was stopped, waiting to turn right. She was turning right off the road. She did not indicate.
  • It was a quiet residential area, daylight.
  • The driver saw me around 1-2 seconds before stopping her car about 1/2 metre away from me by emergency stopping. The driver had dark shades, and looked like she was not paying attention when turning. I had to jump off my bike and run out of the way.
  • She exclaimed "Sorry, you were in my blindspot".
  • This is in England.

This is not the first time a driver has nearly hit me by reckless driving.

Id like the make the roads safer in general for all cyclists.

The questions:

  1. What would happen to the driver if I had recorded this incident and reported it? Do I need video evidence? What is the official law? To me, a vehicle can be used as a weapon, and not paying attention could clearly be fatal.
  2. How would these consequences for the driver make the roads safer for cyclists in general?
  3. What actions are the government taking to make the roads safer for cyclists?

Thanks

  • 1
    US cyclist here, so not sure it applies, but here you are entitled to use the road the same as a car. So sit in the middle of the lane, right in the way. Not off to one side, or on the shoulder. Sit right smack in the middle of the lane. They can't do anything but wait on you or hit you. Hopefully the former. – coteyr Apr 4 '16 at 10:44
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  1. What would happen to the driver if I had recorded this incident and reported it? Do I need video evidence? What is the official law? To me, a vehicle can be used as a weapon, and not paying attention could clearly be fatal.

The relevant law is most likely Driving without due care and attention (Road Traffic Act 1988):

A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way he drives falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

The Highway Code (Rule 180) states that when turning right "Do not cut the corner", so it seems quite likely that doing so and nearly hitting someone would constitute careless driving.

The driver could be given a fixed penalty (probably 3 points), or made to go on a driving course, or taken to court, or let off with a warning.

If the driver came up with a different version of events to yours then a video recording or a reliable and credible witness would be useful. There might be other evidence, e.g. skid marks on the road.

  1. How would these consequences for the driver make the roads safer for cyclists in general?

In general, it probably wouldn't make any difference. The particular driver might improve their driving, but it's difficult to see how this would have a wider impact.

  1. What actions are the government taking to make the roads safer for cyclists?

Not much. There's £316 million over the next 5 years to fund cycling and walking infrastructure. That's a tiny amount compared to how much countries like Denmark and The Netherlands spend.

  • Good to see an answer that addresses points in the OP! – andy256 Apr 2 '16 at 0:55
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There is a major problem with making (in the US) left turns from 2-way to 2-way. (I presume you're in the UK?) Modern cars typically have a rather substantial (ie, wide) "pillar" at the corners of the windshield, and this can easily hide a pedestrian or bicycle. This problem accounts for many pedestrian accidents. (The problem is not nearly as severe going the other direction since the bike/pedestrian is closer and not as easily hidden by the pillar.)

Traffic safety folks are just beginning to focus on this problem (that seems to have become more severe with safety "improvements" to the vehicles leading to the wider pillars in cars). In terms of a government "push", the pedestrian safety angle is probably the best approach.

Dunno about British law, but in most of the US the motor vehicle operator would be "in the wrong" and should be found at fault in the case of an accident in this situation. But of course it depends a lot on who has the better paid lawyer and how the motorist's lawyer manages to paint their client as the innocent party in this confrontation with a "crazed" cyclist.

  • The question is "what can be done". Nice discussion, but doesn't actually answer the question. – andy256 Apr 2 '16 at 0:53
  • @andy256 - "What can be done" is: (a) Understand that this specific scenario is a "mechanical" problem of sorts that is inherent in the design of roadways and automobiles. Be aware of it. (b) Lobby the traffic safety people in your country to also be aware of this problem (both with bikes and pedestrians) and, with a combination of education programs, roadway markings, and auto design standards, address it. – Daniel R Hicks Apr 2 '16 at 3:04
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Answer: If you're stopped still, in the right place giving way as required, you are not at fault and nothing requires to be done.

Sadly this doesn't stop you coming off badly - being run into at car-turning speed of about 10-15 km/h is going to damage you and your bike, but the car will likely suffer nothing worse than scratches and some minor denting.

Extended Answer: The only way to prevent an accident that someone else is causing, is to be defensive and anticipate every vehicle's actions. See a car slowing and moving to the side of the road? Anticipate they're going to turn. For example - this :

Personally I now run a camera on my handlebars at all times because stuff happens unexpectedly. Even for a brief ride down to the shops.

High vis gear and lights and so on help the other road user to see you.

The cyclist has no control over whether they do see you or not, so your best defense is to not be in the bad place at the wrong time.

Answer of implicit question - there's the separate question of who-pays ? Without admission of fault from the motorised vehicle driver, it may be left to insurance companies to resolve. Depending on your location in the world, there may be no requirement to insure, or your bike may need separate road insurance. In my country bicycles are covered under my household contents insurance, but that's definitely not global.

  • Can you update this answer to make it clear how you are answering the stated question? Currently, it reads as a discussion, not an answer. – andy256 Apr 2 '16 at 0:51

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