Horrific Security Video of Bike Crash at 14th and W Street, NW

Thanks to a reader for sending a link to this frightening accident that took place back in March 2011. The cyclist recounts his ordeal on Greater Greater Washington:

“On a pleasant March morning in 2011, I was on my way to work, biking south on 14th St NW in the center of the right lane. As I approached W Street, I looked to make sure I had ample time to cross. The light was green. As I left the intersection, an SUV driver made a left turn across traffic, directly into my path. All I could do was hit the brakes hard.”

Read his full account here.

91 Comment

  • Wow, that looks awful.

    I don’t see a mention of this in the bicyclist’s story on Greater Greater Washington, but it looks like the driver of the car not only turned left when he was coming straight in the opposite direction, but also as though she turned into an area that was marked with a “Do Not Enter” sign. No?

    • Just realizing that the pronouns in my post above were a little ambiguous… that should be “I don’t see a mention of this in the bicyclist’s story on Greater Greater Washington, but it looks like the driver of the car not only turned left when the bicyclist was coming straight in the opposite direction, but also as though the driver turned into an area that was marked with a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign. No?”

      • I think the “Do Not Enter” sign is for the street, not the gas station.

      • The driver turned into the gas station (which is legal). Just north of that gas station is W street which is a one way street, hence the Do Not Enter sign.

        I used to live around the corner from here. It is legal to turn into the gas station like that, but only when you have the right of way (and clearly she did not).

        • I noticed that the street was one-way and wondered if the sign was supposed to belong to it… but it was closer to the gas station entrance than to the street. It does make more sense for the “Do Not Enter” sign to belong to the one-way street, but they really ought to have done a better job of placing it.

  • It seems everyday we hear more and more about how the DC police are so dismissive and unhelpful.

    And this guy was “lucky” there was a camera there, without it he would never have been able to sue the driver’s insurance company.

    • Don’t forget the stories about great things that MPD does – where they go above and beyond to help us out. I’m not trying to excuse the poor behavior, but MPD as a whole deserves more credit than just the examples of poor behavior.

      • Please give me some examples. My motorcycle was stolen off of the street and I called 911. They said an officer would be there shortly to take down more information, and no one came. I called the station the next day with my case # and they said, “And what do you want me to do about it?”

        • Same with attempted theft of my scooter, which caused significant damage. I just wanted someone to come out to give me a report for insurance purposes and to get it included in crime statistics. I called them 3 times on two consecutive days, waiting many hours at home for them to arrive, and no one ever came to take a report.

          The police are purposely avoiding taking reports in order to “make their numbers.” The Titan of Trinidad blog had a great story a week ago about how police and underreporting crimes in the city. Really good investigative work.

        • OK, the police got back my bicycle when it was stolen off my front porch. Gave them video of the guy doing it, some other info.

          When one of the college girls next door came back from winter break and found a guy sleeping in her bed, there were some pretty serious police with shotguns in and around the house.

          I can keep going if you’d like.

          • When they broke up a house party of 150-200 college students next door at midnight.

            Quick responses to in-progress theft from auto.

            Catching the guys who shot an innocent bystander near my house when shooting at eachother.

            Thanks – this is a fun exercise.

  • Give to WABA or one of the other bicycling advocacy groups instead?

  • and people wonder why so many in dc hate the police. i am sick of hearing about police behavior like this.

  • This just increases the case that every home and business should be equipped with a surveillance camera. I used to think it was totally paranoid, but there is just too much crap that goes down that isn’t right…

  • OUCH! You know, even thought his occurred in 2011; this is the 3rd article this week about some members of the DC MPD just don’t care. 🙁

  • The exact same thing happened to me in early January of this year at 14th and V. I was biking south on 14th street on my way to work. As I was approaching 14th and V (I had a green light, mind you) a black SUV made a left turn right in front of me. I also didn’t have enough time to come to a full stop, so I hit him. He drove off, without leaving any information, and none of the cyclists on the road behind me or pedestrians on the sidewalk around me stopped to make sure I was ok and to help me get the driver’s information. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a video camera to capture my accident.

    Accidents like this seem to be a regular occurrence in DC, especially on 14th street. I wonder if WABA, or another advocacy group, is doing anything to make 14th street a safer place for cyclists.

  • how about the biker watches where he’s going…looked like an avoidable crash to me and I bike to work downtown every day.

    • Agreed. Bicyclists are not as innocent as everyone makes them out to be. As someone that walks everywhere, I can tell you from experience they try to ride as fast as possible past pedestrians almost hitting me on several occasions on both the sidewalk and when I am crossing the street. If people are walking either walk your bike or go a little slower. On rock creek most but definitely not all riders will ring their bell or let you know they are approaching but some are very inconsiderate and will fly by without warning from behind.

      • Try and stick to the facts of the posting and not your own “well I had a bad encounter with a biker” story and apply that to all bikers.

        And “they” is what exactly? All bikers?

      • Are you one of those runners that has the earphones up full blast. I love when I ring my bell, yell, scream, etc. only to get no reaction and to pass someone with earphones on…see how ridiculous stereotyping can be and how it easily goes both ways…

        • No, I am one of those walkers that just walks. People on bicycles should not be going as fast as possible when there are people on the sidewalk or in the path of the bike. If there is no bike lane on the rode, then walk your bike on the sidewalk. You don’t need to put the rest of us in danger. And that bicyclist that hit the SUV must have been blind and/or daydreaming.

          • I was with you until that last sentence. WTF?

          • And That driver of the SUV that hit the bicyclist must have been been blind and/or daydreaming.

            There, fixed it for you.

          • “If there is no bike lane on the rode, then walk your bike on the sidewalk.”

            This couldn’t be more wrongheaded.

            Bikers are legally allowed to use roads without bike lanes and are allowed to take the entire lane on almost every road. And guess what, more bikers on roads = safer roads for everyone.

          • Not safe for everyone. Bicyclists that run directly into cars are not safe. And if bicyclists don’t need the bike lanes and can legally ride with cars, then please do so and stay off of the sidewalks.

          • sorry, i agree, bikers should not generally be riding on the sidewalks (though it is legal in most of DC).

            Though I disagree with you on ‘not safe for everyone.’ when you reach a critical mass of cyclist it makes the roads safer for drivers, bikers and peds.

          • “Not safe for everyone. Bicyclists that run directly into cars are not safe.”

            Hold on a second! Let’s be very about this. The video makes it 100% clear that the driver turned into the path of the cyclist. No question about it. The driver is completely at fault.

            That doesn’t mean that cyclists don’t cause problems on the road daily, but this is definitely not an example of that.

          • TYPO: “Let’s be very CLEAR about this”

      • the path in rock creek park is not built well to handle both runners and bikers. there’s your problem. i both bike and run regularly on it, and the people doing the opposite of whatever i’m doing always get in my way. dream world solution: get rid of the cars in rock creek park.

    • I don’t see how this was avoidable on the biker’s side. He said he slammed on the brakes as soon as he could and the entire illegal left turn from the car took less than a second. So unless the biker was going 2mph, this really wasn’t avoidable on his end.

      And even if it was avoidable, the driver is still at fault. The driver should look forward before making a left across incoming traffic.

      • THIS IS RIDICULOUS: ” As I left the intersection, an SUV driver made a left turn across traffic, directly into my path. All I could do was hit the brakes hard.” As you left the intersection? You mean as you BacktotheFuture hammered it through the intersection? You were going as fast if not faster than traffic and could not stop in time. Also, you had about 7-8 seconds to see the car and apply the brakes.

        Another biker who loves to use the rules of the road when they help them and cant understand why their bike cant break or operate like a car.

        I agree the cops are really bad when it comes to things like break-ins/bum harassment/property damage and other things that wont make DC look bad in comparison to other city’s.

        But you are also really bad at bike riding, and for that, I thank you.

        PS, how did Johnny5 in the sky know that captain squid was about to slam into a miatta at the very time at that very place?

        • The bike is going the same speed as the cars. Please kindly stay in Maryland.

          • Right. Hence, “You were going as fast if not faster than traffic and could not stop in time.”

            As in that is exactly what i said, right?

          • do you also think drivers should drive significantly lower than speed limit in case a random car illegally pulls out in front of them too?

        • Watch the video again…you’ll actually notice him braking the instant the car turns. And the car most certainly wasn’t sitting there for “7-8 seconds.” At best, you’re claiming the biker could’ve noticed the car with a turn signal on and…what? Should’ve stopped after the intersection to let him turn? You sure you know how to drive?

        • I cannot believe people are seriously trying to blame the cyclist on this

          that is at the bottom of a big hill, of course the bike was going fast (which was totally appropriate).

          Bikes are going to fast, bikes are going to slow, i am lazy and out of shape so everyone else should be wah wah. Every morning if you listen to the radio you hear of 4-5 car crashes where one of the drivers was at fault and you hear of a couple biker at fault accidents a year but no one seems to spew the same hate for drivers.

          • There’s a speed limit. I find it hard to believe the bike here was not exceeding it. If not, there seems to be plenty of time to avoid the car. Not that you have to and I’m not saying it is your fault, but that car was turning well before you got near it. So if you couldn’t manuever or brake, you weren’t paying attention or you were going too fast.

            I’m not saying the SUV driver isn’t at fault. But when it comes to your own safety and you’re on a bike, you should probably act more reasonably in how you drive through the city. Especially since we see this happen often and it is clear that most drivers don’t think to look out for cyclists. It may not be your fault, but you can’t assume everyone else is going to act reasonably.

            Two seconds before this happened, that silver car takes a right on red. It’s clear that intersection is dangerous. Slow down.

          • And again, I think it’s totally the driver’s fault. But is that going to really make you feel better when they are peeling you off the concrete? I bike in the city a lot and am usually pretty terrified constantly of other drivers. I can’t imagine blowing through 14th street that fast with all the traffic..

          • sometimes what you find hard to believe is true. unless he was on a real high end bike, It is highly unlikely the biker was going above the speed limit

            There was not a lot of time to avoid the car, you will notice that another car passes in the left lane right after the accident, would you prefer the biker swerve in front of him? That possibly would cause him to swerve into on coming traffic causing a huge wreck? Also, when riding a bike, it is not safe to always be looking straight ahead, you have to look slightly to the ground because there are tons of hazards on the roads (generally these are caused by heavy cars using the roads, construction, etc…). If you watch the guy he clearly hit the brakes.

        • The video is in real time. The car turned at 32 seconds and the biker hit the car at 33 seconds. So literally one second to react, hit the brakes, and stop in time. And look at the car after it hit the biker, no turn signal (which isn’t unusual here, I rarely ever see people use their turn signal when pulling into this gas station).

    • justinbc

      You must bike really casually. You can clearly see that he’s going quite fast and the collision would have been nearly impossible to avoid.

    • It does seem avoidable – the bike hit the car and not the other way around. Irrespective of who is at fault here, I think bikers, for their own safety need to be a little more wary of the surroundings and wear helmets (it looks like this person was).

      Many of these drivers are from suburbs where they’re not used to sharing the road with pedestrians and bikes, so, until they build bike only roads, stay safe.

      • On second thoughts, never mind. The biker had already cleared the intersection, so it doesn’t look avoidable.

    • Wow, thanks for clearing that up. You must have been right there at the time and in that moment of panic that the cyclist felt so that you could have given us this informed opinion.

      How about the idiot turned left in front of the cyclist! Have you ever tried to make emergency maneuvers doing 20mph on a bike?! I’ve almost been the victim of the same type of crime. I was in the bike lane heading west on the Duke Ellington bridge and the car turned left in front of me near the bikeshare station. I luckily did not hit the person, but laid the bike down in the process though. I had to chase them down. Their excuse was, ” I thought you could stop faster since you were on a bike.” He just decided I should be the one to yield to him making a left across traffic…

    • Would you have said the same if it was two cars and one cut a left in front of the other? Blame the driver not the biker.

      I do bike defensively, looking for cars to do something illegal like that and I try to be as prepared as possible. Sometimes you can see a car starting to turn left across your path before they’ve really started to move.

    • For those of you commenting that the biker was at fault here, I recommend following the link and reading the whole story. The driver and a witness (falsely) accused the biker of running a red light. He was able to clear his name using the video, which shows him passing through a green light, with the driver failing to yield when making a left turn. He also successfully sued the driver for damages.

      • +1.

        It’s doesn’t excuse MPD’s behavior in this case, but cyclists who disregard stop signs, stoplights, etc. create and reinforce negative perceptions that affect the cyclists who *do* follow the rules:

        “During the test, Officer Carter entered the room. He asked me to sign a ticket for running a red light. I asked him to take a look at footage since I was certain I hadn’t. He wasn’t interested and asked me to sign the ticket and admit fault. I didn’t. He left. [. . .] ‘Wait, you mean, you were biking and you want a ticket canceled?’ he said, incredulous. ‘We all know how bikers behave. It must have been your fault. C’mon. You are a biker.'”

        • I think this line of reasoning is a bit dubious. As a cop, Officer Carter had a duty to fully investigate and hear both sides of the story. Imagine trying to apply that same type of reasoning but substituting cyclist for a minority group. I’m a member of a minority group, and I can’t tell you how frustrating this is. I can’t help it if more crimes are (supposedly) committed by people who “match my description.” The only behavior a person can control is their own.

          • That’s why I said it didn’t excuse MPD’s behavior. But when people see 80-90% of cyclists in D.C. blowing through stop signs and red lights, it creates the impression that all cyclists behave recklessly.
            STILL NO EXCUSE for Officer Carter’s behavior, but it explains why the average person who’s *not* in charge of enforcing the law might be skeptical of a bicyclist’s claim that he/she was following the rules. And it accounts for some of the more skeptical comments in this thread.

          • Please tell me what study you’re citing which found that 80-90% of cyclists in DC blow through stop signs and red lights.

          • Anonymous 3:39 p.m. – No study, just an estimate based on personal observation. I am always surprised and pleased when I see a bicyclist actually stop at a stoplight/stop sign.

          • Sorry, that was me above.

        • Yeah, I agree with you to some degree. Many bikers run lights, so a person might initially be inclined to believe that the biker is at fault, though we agree that is completely unacceptable for a police officer to take such a stance. However, I am a bit baffled by the people who seem determined to find fault with the cyclist, regardless of the facts. I don’t think you can attribute all of that bias to the fact that some (and we don’t actually know what percentage do this) cyclists run red lights. I think there are lots of factors at play.

          • Almost every car goes through a stop sign without completely stopping, so they must always be at fault.

        • seriously? in only a three mile stretch, there were 93,313 traffic violations by CARS caught on camera last year. multiply that by the number of miles of roads there are in DC, and think about who is breaking traffic laws ALL. THE. TIME.

          I don’t understand how everyone seems to think that cyclists are constantly flaunting the law, and “reinforce negative perceptions” when hard evidence shows how many drivers are violating the law on a daily basis. Given how many drivers are breaking the law, you would think that people would maybe possibly assume that the driver was at fault. but no, people just love to hate cyclists.

          • For those 93,313 violations, what was the total number of cars passing through in that time?
            I don’t think the “But cars aren’t always obeying traffic laws either!” argument is a valid one. Cars’ traffic violations tend to involve speeding, running a just-turned-red light, or slowing down but not really making a full stop at a stop sign. (And failing to signal, which is way too widespread.) Cyclists’ traffic violations seem more flagrant, like barreling through a red light that’s been red for quite some time, or going through a stop sign without making even a pretense of a stop.
            Everybody needs to obey the traffic laws. You may think that there should be a different set of laws in place for bicyclists — if so, please lobby your Councilmembers to make such laws. But until then, cyclists need to obey the existing laws.

  • Same thing happened to me in Seattle 15 years ago except I was going faster because I was heading down a steep hill. I had the green light and someone made a left right in front of me. I got really lucky, with just scrapes and bruises, even though I did get an ambulance ride to the hospital. The thing I’ll never forget is the faces of the driver’s horrified children as I smashed into the rear passenger side window, inches from them.

  • I drive a scooter and do my best to avoid driving down this hilly stretch of 14th Street. I will always go a little bit out of my way around it via 15th or 13th. Scooters are also most likely to be hit by a left turning car, as drivers suffer from “intentional blindness” (very similar to how cyclists get hit).

    The issue is that cars come bombing down the hill very fast, so left turners try to make the turn as quickly as possible. Cyclists are traveling faster than usual down, so it’s just a recipe for disaster. If you’re a cyclist, I think your best bet is to either take another route or ride your brakes down the hill so that you’re moving at a normal rate of speed. Bombing fast down this hill as a cyclist is simply a death wish.

  • When bikes start acting like they are vehicles (because they are)- then I would have sympathy. However it looks like he was not equipped with the proper materials to be safe in the environment he was in. Cars legally have to have reflectors, lights, etc. and you are sharing that space with them, so you should follow the rules.

    It looks as if the bike was traveling at a high rate of speed that is unsafe for the type of vehicle he was on, which is ILLEGAL in any situation. Boat, truck, scooter, moped, bus, car, it all applies. This cyclist did not have the same braking power as cars do, so he should consider his speed when he drives his vehicle. As any drive of any vehicle should. I have seen many drivers go through red lights and stop lights when they are on a bicycle, and its too common for police to enforce – so play by the rules, don’t act entitled and slow the F down.

    I think they are both at fault, I have no sympathy for ignorance. If you are going to be on the road- play the game and play by the rules.

    • driver 1: “you’re biking too fast in the road!
      driver 2: “you’re biking too slow in the road! Get on the sidewalk!”
      pedestrian: “it’s called a sideWALK for a reason! get in a bike lane!”
      morons: “don’t build more bike lanes because it takes away from what’s MINE! and CHURCH PARKING! Think of the CHILDREN”

      me: “?!!?!?!?”

      Roger – you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • I appreciate your sarcasm. But I do have an idea what I’m talking about. Truly everyone has an idea of what they are talking about because they have to think about what they are going to say first…which starts off as an idea.

        Rhetoric is your friend.

        • Unfortunately, you need logic to be your friend. Here are a few examples:

          “it looks like he was not equipped with the proper materials to be safe in the environment he was in” by your logic, someone shot by a stray bullet was “not safe in the environment he was in”. Wrap it up with Kevlar buddy!

          “don’t act entitled” – what is that based on? That the guy was biking in a lane that he was legally _entitled_ to?

          “play by the rules” – the bicyclist was; the person in the car wasn’t. What story are you even looking at?

    • The speed limit is the same for cars, bikes, scooters, etc. The biker wasn’t breaking the speed limit when traveling down 14th street.

      I’m not going to “consider my speed” just because other people can’t drive properly. You say to play by the rules and the rules state the driver made an illegal turn and did not give the right of way to oncoming traffic.

    • What “proper materials” was this biker missing? If you watch the video, they are moving no faster than any other vehicle in that video. Due to having significantly less mass, bikers can stop in a much shorter distance than most cars going at the same speed. You can see in the video that when the car pulled out (the biker was about half way through the intersection at this point), the begin to slow done quite quickly as they “hit the brakes hard”. Unfortunately they had about 15 feet to stop in, and no vehicle would have stopped in that distance.

    • i feel safer when i ride at the same speed as the traffic, because i can “take” the lane, and not be constantly passed by cars swerving around me while i slowly pedal on the side. it’s not illegal or stupid to try and keep up with traffic. when you can ride with the traffic instead of next to it, there is much lower chance of getting right (or left) hooked or doored because you ride in the middle of the lane.

  • I have to say that the biker probably could have swerved a little bit. It is a pretty ridiculous video…I wonder what the speed limit is too, that biker was really flying.

    • Same thing happened to me in 2011. Luckily the driver took full responsibility. Just think if that driver started a second later. He would have completely flattened the biker.

      Where was the biker going to swerve? Into the lane of car traffic zooming by him?

      • There wasn’t any traffic zooming by him. if there was traffic zooming by him, then that car would have been T-boned by more than just the biker. If he didn’t have enough time to react and stop, he shouldn’t be going that fast. Quite frankly the biker was an idiot and the driver wasn’t being aware.

    • No, there was no way the cyclist could have swerved without wiping-out. Even at 20mph (which is under the speed limit), there was nothing the cyclist could have done. I’ve had this almost happen to me at the same intersection, going a similar speed. I tend to ride this stretch with my finger-tips on my brakes, just in case I need to brake super-quickly.

    • Look at the time stamps on that video. The suggestion that he could have swerved in that relevant second, even presuming he had perfect reaction time and could be sure there were no cars to swerve into, is preposterous. Heck, he would have hit the car in the amount of time it would take to glance at whether he had traffic coming on his left. (The speed limit there is 25 mph, btw.)
      Why are you looking for reasons to blame the bicyclist? Had he been a car, he would still have hit that other car in a serious accident.

  • After calling the department, I learned that I had to file a DC Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the footage, which is erased every 7 to 10 days. Thanks to the careful work of Commander James Crane, Kaylin Junge Castelli, and Ofc. E.A. Hoffstetter, I was able to obtain the footage before it was deleted.

    Nice to see MPD was helpful even though a single officer made it more difficult.

  • This is classic. As a biker of 10 years in DC this happens all the time. Oh by the way I drive, walk, run, and ride a motorcycle in the city, so I have an idea of all sides. What happens many times to bicyclists and people on scooters/motorcycles a car driver will simply not see them because of the size. Although in this case the driver admitted to seeing the biker (claimed to have run the light) and this is the second most common scenario. Drivers see a small vehicle bike or motorcycle either can’t judge their speed, or simply think because they are a bigger car they have the right to pull out. This happens on a motorcycle all the time. So as a biker or when riding a motorcycle you have to be more sensitive to stuff like this. This is why it is imperative for cars to use blinkers, not make crazy u turns and stuff, be predictable. Even if this biker usually would see this situation and slow down, there is that one time where you don’t and this happens, still not the fault of the biker. The saying goes if you ride a bicycle or motorcycle you are going to crash once, be glad you walk away from it is what I say.
    Lastly this brings up somebody else’s point. A cyclist is the most unwanted mode of transportation anywhere. You should have to follow the car rules. Signs that say follow the pedestrian signal. blah blah blah. Let me tell you if all bicycles starting following the exact car rules, you crazy drivers out there would be furious. Trust me. Its time DC like other cities adopt a set of rules specifically for bikers. Realizing they are their own form of transportation. ie. Portland

    • +100

      As a scooter driver/cyclist/pedestrian/regular automobile driver, I agree with everything you said. I too am seeing it from all the viewpoints on a regular basis.

      The fact of the matter is that drivers simply don’t see cyclists and motorcycle drivers. The human eye is trained to look past the small object (people on two wheels) at the larger, faster moving objects (cars). I meet so many bikers who continue to stubbornly do risky things – like splitting lanes down traffic clogged Florida Ave in Bloomingdale or bombing down the 14th Street hill – simply to make a point. Yeah, you are legally allowed to do these things and yes, the driver will be at fault if something happens. But is it worth the risk? Hell no. You’re dramatically increasing the chances of a massive injury and you’re always going to lose against a 2000 pound piece of metal.

      Take a few extra minutes to take a safer route and slow down if you can’t brake fast enough, if you want to continue to keep riding for many years.

  • The biker was going way faster than the cars in the same direction. Before the accident, watch some of the cars going through the intersection. If you count as the car enters the screen until it leaves the screen, it’s about two and a half seconds. Now count the time for the guy on the bike. Even as he’s breaking, it takes him less time to cross the screen before he collides with the car. If you’re going to ride your bike faster than the flow of vehicle traffic, things like this might happen to you.

    • how fast was he going relative to the speed limit? Remind me again why that makes it ok for someone to take his right of way?

      Do you mind if I do that to you when you’re driving?

  • They are both at fault. The driver turned without looking and the biker was going way too fast. Bikers need to slow down, drivers need to pay more attention.

    • The bike was not exceeding the speed limit; the bike had the right of way. How was the bike at fault?

  • People turn in front of me every day as I’m driving. You know how I avoid hitting them? I use my brakes and drive at a speed suitable that if something happens I can stop in time.

    Did you know that if the bike were actually a car, and the police found evidence that the car had not applied its brakes, it would at best be a no fault accident and at worst be the fault of the car who “had the right of way” because you are legally obligated to take all measures to avoid an accident no matter who has the right of way?

    Same with bikes. Its your obligation, as a user of the road, to be alert and aware and take precautionary measures and evasive action, like braking, when faced with a situation like this. The fact that the left turner did not yield, did not absolve the biker of any responsibility.

    Alternatively, if the police determine that the accident by the biker was unavoidable, then it is entirely the cars fault.

    From a video we do not know anything for sure. However, it certainly appears the bike and driver dont even know what was about to happen.

    But we already knew that no one around us is paying attention on the roads, which is why we have to, right?

    • The bike had the right of way; therefore, the car is liable. This is not complicated.

      • Its like you cant read. You are wrong and I specifically spelled out how and why. Typically when someone says “its not that complicated” in a really condescending way it means they’re too dense to understand why its complicated. Get it?

        • You make good points but people can’t dare put any responsibility on the biker.

        • “From a video we do not know anything for sure.” Really? Did you watch it?

          From the video it is clear that (1) the biker had the right of way, (2) the biker had approximately 1 second between when the car pulled into his right of way and when he hit the car, (3) the biker applied his brakes, and (4) approximately 1 second after the collision a car went by in the left lane (meaning if the biker was extremely skilled and was able to find his way into the lane it might have caused a much worse wreck).

          It is clear who is at fault.

        • “[Y]ou are legally obligated to take all measures to avoid an accident no matter who has the right of way [. . .].” As I see it, the only measure the bicyclist could take was to brake, but the car turned so quickly that he didn’t have time.
          I was in an accident a while back. I was on a road with three lanes of traffic in each direction. I was “clear” to turn left as far as the first two lanes I was crossing were concerned, because the traffic was backed up and they were staying on their side of the intersection until there was room to go through. There was no car in the third lane.
          I was preoccupied thinking about some family drama, and I turned left. My car was hit by a car in that third lane. I didn’t see it and shouldn’t have turned, given that I didn’t have a clear view beyond those two lanes of cars stopped at the intersection.
          I never heard if there was a formal determination of fault, but I always assumed it would have found that I was at fault. The person going straight had the right of way; I was turning left and should have waited until I could see that there was no oncoming traffic in any of the three lanes.

    • The breaking distance for a car travelling 25 mph (including perception time) is 85 feet. You might be able to swerve, but would you have time to check whether the lane was free during the time shown on this video? I’m not so sure you would have avoided hitting this car if you were driving instead of this bicyclist biking.

  • It doesn’t help that the biker was holding a latte either.

    • Seriously? Is that what falls on the ground next to his body? It’s hard to tell.

      But now that you mention it, it does seem like he dropped something. If he had something in his hand while bombing down the hill, then of course he wouldn’t be able to brake in time.

  • I am totally stunned by the number of commenters who acknowledge that the car turned illegally and STILL blame the cyclist for going too fast/not braking fast enough in defiance of the laws of physics/not having pedal reflectors/not taking metro instead. OP, I am really glad you did not have to go to a jury to reach a settlement here.

    WABA has its work cut out. I just sent in an extra donation.

    And to the minority of cyclists who do blow through lights and salmon though traffic and otherwise ride in ways that are unsafe for everyone: thanks, thanks a lot. This thread should make it obvious you’re raising the level of animosity toward cyclists and creating a hostile environment for the rest of us who jut want to ride our bikes.

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