cyclist and pedestrian down

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by confusedcyclist, 8 Jan 2019.

  1. confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    Last night's commute home was a total disaster. lemme' splain.

    Two pedestrians stepped out in front of me without looking. Watching the footage back I had less than 2 seconds between them stepping out and and colliding with one of them, it all happened so quick. I didn't have room to swerve as they walked out single file, all I could do was shout "HEY" and grab the brakes. I had a strong primary position and lit up like a Christmas tree. (2 powerful front lights that cast 6m down the road). If they had looked, it could have been easily avoided, other than constantly riding at a crawl, I don't think there's much I could have done to avoid it. I was not traveling particularly fast. Possibly 10-15mph before slowing for impact.

    I have been going over it in my head, reliving the details, all I can think is they must have seen a light behind me turn to red, by which time I was already across the junction, they must have been relying on sense of hearing, not sight. They were stood behind a cylindrical type red post box to my left, and not at the drop kerb where pedestrians would normally cross more safely. I did not see them behind the post box. The first thing you see on the camera footage is a leg step out! There are no pedestrian lights at the junction, I am used to people dashing across, but not from their position. All I can assume was they didn't hear me and assumed it was clear because the lights back at the far side of the cross roads changed.

    I didn't see them until they stepped out, it was all but too late to react. I slammed on the brakes and scrubbed off most of my speed (thankfully, it might have been much worse if I hadn't) but I had too little time, I was still carrying some momentum and though the bike stopped, I went over the handlebars and landed on top of a young lady. She took a blow to the back of her head as we and the bike hit the ground in a crumpled heap. She was in shock and sat in the road for 5 minutes. I am no feather weight, she must have had the wind taken out of her too. Despite my alarm about being subject to a sudden and unexpected brake test, in true British manner whilst tangled up in the road, all I could do was apologies profusely for landing on top of her. Neither of the two spoke English. What a total nightmare scenario. I unclipped and rolled off her.

    It was dark, I didn't see them behind street furniture (neither was of tall stature) and obscured by the post box. Neither looked left or right before stepping out, I have the footage to prove it. But I still feel terrible about it. I stuck around whilst the elder gentleman attempted to call the police with broken English. Maybe it was the shock or poor grasp of language, but he was just shouting "Accident! Send Police! Accident! Daughter on road!" down the phone. I had to keep telling him to ask for a ambulance. I took the phone off him and carried on the conversation with the operator. The young lady was OK after the shock wore off, she got up and sat on a chair a nearby shopkeeper brought out. The operator decided it was a non-emergency and hung up, but sent police anyway because of the initial communication the young lady was laying in the road and traffic was building up. I was shocked that drivers would selfishly drive past the downed lady with inches to spare. I pleaded with the lady to get up and out of the way, but they didn't understand me.

    I hope that she is OK now. I imagine she would be lucky to avoid a mild concussion. I'm aching all over today. I grazed my shin, and have a lump/bruise on my thigh but walked away. I think I hit my bike pedals or chain rings on the way down. The lady cushioned my fall, mostly. I tentatively rode home still a little in shock and worried about the road worthiness of the bike and what had just happened. The bike seems to be in one piece, a few scratches to the shiftier, chipped powder coating on the pannier rack, minor damage to rear rack light and minor abrasion on the saddle. We are both very fortunate not to be seriously hurt.

    I wish I could release the footage, but won't for now in case they attempt a civil claim. I feel it vindicates me of most of the blame, but with these things, they cyclist is responsible for avoiding the more vulnerable party. Pragmatically, there was not much to be done to avoid this. I am a careful rider, more so because I do not ride with a helmet, I don't race around. I rarely reach above 15mph on the flat and I am very cautious of pedestrians, having had a few close calls before. Reviewing the footage, it appears as though these two appear out of nowhere, the post box appears to suddenly grow a leg! The friendly police officer that turned up some 15 minutes later reassured me that it wasn't a criminal matter, I could go on my way once we exchanged some details. Rather than hang about for a non-emergency ambulance, they put her in the back of their car and took her to A&E for a check over.

    I have always been cautious of the junction anyway, but given that I have to ride with motor traffic, I feel I can't travel any slower, otherwise we cyclists are bullied to the kerb. Maybe I could have slowed a little on account of the wet road and poorly lit path ahead, but I suppose if that was always the standard, no one would ever make any progress in any urban environment on a bicycle. The cynical side of me suspects they may attempt to pin it on me with a civil claim, I'm going to report the incident just in case.

    I'm glad it wasn't worse. I'm posting this to vent a little, but also to seek your thoughts. I hope no one reading this gets put off riding on the roads. I've had 4.5 years riding without an incident like this. I think I've just been very unlucky.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2019
  2. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    Unlucky, just await the solicitor's letter - hope you've got Insurance.

    Currently being taken to court from when I was knocked off my bike 4.5 years ago - I went flying, but in the process, my bike bounced into another cyclist. He is suing me - driver stopped, then drove off. Despite it being not my fault, they are chasing me, but thank goodness for BC Liability Insurance.
     
    confusedcyclist likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    Christ, the cheek of some people. Do they have a legitimate case against you? Or are they trying it on?

    Yes, I have the same liability insurance. I have no intention of counter suing for damages, I doubt I have realistic prospects of of recompense. My incident was in a very impoverished area.
     
  4. Arjimlad

    Arjimlad Tights of Cydonia

    Location:
    South Glos
    Perhaps they were from a country where people drive on the right, perhaps they just didn't look properly. It doesn't sound like you could or should have done anything any different. You weren't going especially fast for the conditions. Glad nobody is seriously hurt.
     
    confusedcyclist likes this.
  5. tom73

    tom73 Über Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Well from what's been said I don't think you should beat yourself up too much about it. They clearly did not look before they stepped out they should feel lucky it could have easily been a car and then they a very different story. You have the footage so that will help if they try and make a claim. I'd say well you can remember get down on paper what you remember and the details of the events before and after, what actions you and others did and if anyone said or did anything to make you think they understood enough to think they acted in anyway leading to the accident. You should be able to get full details of who the PC was and what action if any they intend to do about.
     
  6. If I see people anywhere near me at this time of the year, I start ringing the bell on the bike. There’s no legal requirement to have one, or use it, but with the nature of ambulance chasing lawyers in mind, anything I can do to increase my visibility is always worth doing IMO.
     
  7. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    Location:
    Ashton-under-Lyne
    THIS^^^^

    From your account is sounds like it was almost unavoidable on your part, other than not being there. The police are happy that you have complied with all the rules and sent you on your way (As I type that it reminds me that this is what they seem to do with most drivers that knock cyclists off!). Just keep notes/records and the footage. Do not crop or edit the footage at all, just keep the raw file. You might want to record some of the additional things as mentioned by Tom73 but a lot of what you need is already typed out in your original post. Time, date, location, direction of travel, names/addresses etc.

    You may never hear anything about this ever again, but if you do you need to be prepared as there are some greedy selfish people out there who will lie blindly and sell their own grandparents in the pursuit of monetary gain. Once a solicitor starts talking ££££s to them they may change their mind and story about how the accident happened and whose fault it was!

    Glad to hear you both are not too badly hurt, even a cyclist/pedestrian collision can generate some nasty injuries.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    Thanks all for the reassurance and advice.
     
    Pat "5mph" and Ajax Bay like this.
  9. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    This is one of the few times where I'm going to say it sounds like a collision that almost no-one would avoid.

    Even with my most critical hat on, the only criticism I can see is that maybe you should have passed the blind corner created by the postbox wider or slower, but the size of that small error must truly be dwarfed by the error made by people stepping out in the path of moving traffic. If there was something misdirecting you to pass the postbox close, such as a crap cycle lane, that should probably have warned the walkers that a cycle may be passing close.

    Given that, I'd hope that they'd not claim against you for fear of having you claim against them in return, but we wait for updates with trepidation.
     
    confusedcyclist likes this.
  10. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Even more than that, keep the memory card if it's on one. Lock the card if it's one that you can lock or do not put it in a computer in read-write mode, else the other party could claim it's been sanitised or otherwise modified.
     
  11. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    They have an ambulance chaser onto it. Seem to have ignored the emails I sent the other cyclist, the fact I went to the MIB, police etc etc. Cyclist did nothing, and is an educated person (didnt report it etc). Seems the other solicitors are trying it on. Saying I ran into back of him. Already said i was knocked off. They have no evidence against me. Now trying to say i caused myself to be knocked off, and i was some how Negligent. I was hit from behind whilst overtaking the cyclist. Literally grabbing at sticks, but BC have put a good solicitor on the case to defend me. I even have hard garmin evidence that shows me riding at a constant speed and in a straight line.
     
    confusedcyclist likes this.
  12. OP
    OP
    confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    Wait, so the other cyclist didn't report you hitting them, but their solicitor is going after you anyway?!
     
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