First bad incident need advise

Shaz

Regular
Location
Buckinghamshire
I've been commuting to work since Feb on my bike and today for the first time I had a bad incident and I'm not sure where I stand. Most of my commute is along the cycling lane. As always I was in my lane. Cars are usually quite slow in the mornings due to heavy traffic on this particular road. So I overtook a lot of cars while staying in my lane and I saw this Golf in front of me taking up quarter of cycling lane. There was plenty of space and I knew I would overtake her so when I approached her, it seems like she cut in a bit more and the handle bar must had hit against her passenger side mirror. Luckily I didn't fall off and managed to stop the bike on my two feet, I wasn't going too fast. Her mirror's cover came off so we stopped and she started rambling. I apologised and told her she's at fault for driving in my lane. Now this is funny....while she was on the phone with police to sort out our dispute an Astra overtook her and took off the other mirror completely, I just about managed to control my laugh.
Police advised her to exchange details which we did. But I would like to know where I stand on this?
Thanks chaps.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Does the lane have a dashed white line - this means she shouldn't be in it, but they can encroach. If solid it's a no she should not be in it. Now, just because she had poor road positioning, most folk don't give a hoot about the paint - if it's tight, you are best either waiting or filtering on the other side.

It's a 50/50 really, she not really paying attention, you filtering knowing she's badly positioned.
 
OP
S

Shaz

Regular
Location
Buckinghamshire
Thanks for your quick response. Its a dashed white lane. Car lane is not tight by any set of imagination. Its wide enough that even most of the fans are always within their boundaries. Surely cycling lane is just for cyclists and if others are stationary then we can overtake them as long as we're within our boundary and that's exactly what I was doing. I was confident there's enough space for me to overtake her. The impact was within the cycling lane and surely she shouldn't be there when there's no need to be there.
 

Peteaud

Veteran
Location
South Somerset
From your OP you could claim she swerved to block you / hit you, therefore she could be prosecuted for dangerous driving and was lucky to get away with a broke wing mirror.

If you are worried i would pop into the local police station and ask.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
In reality no-one takes much notice of cycling lanes, and thinking you have right of way in these is foolhardy I am afraid. Treat them as no more than any other part of the road - there is no boundary. Filtering on the inside is risky at best as you have no wriggle room - most experienced cyclists will filter on the outside. I have a few cycle lanes on my commute which I susually ride on the outside of them - if someone is straddling then you wait or move round. Going down the inside when the 'space' is compromised will lead to these incidents, even a slight mis-judgement of space on your half. Tricky one to call really.

We've all done it. I hope you have insurance as painted wing mirrors are not cheap. You are at a stalemate - you can refuse to pay as she moved in on you, but you also have responsibility for overtaking the car with sufficient room. You have a choise - refer it through your own insurers to argue (most sensible) or you've got to fight it out with the driver and her insurance if not.

I'm sure others will have a view too, but hense why it's important to have insurance - accident's do happen !
 
OP
S

Shaz

Regular
Location
Buckinghamshire
Thanks Peteaud. I'll most likely do that today or tomorrow then. This would also give me time to work out what she's planning to do.
Now I realise why some of you have bought the helmet cameras. I'm thinking about getting one now too. I'm glad I didn't get injured but still feeling a bit shaken with what has happened.
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
You say "over take", surely you mean undertake as cycle lanes usually run along the near side of vehicles adjacent to the kerb or on pavements.

The best form of defence is attack. If it were me I would be maintaining that SHE drove into me. Since you were cycling in a cycle lane and she was driving adjacent to it she should have been suitably careful and kept a proper look out before manouevring her vehicle into or across the cycle lane. Were there any witnessess or CCTV?

Do you have 3rd party insurance? As what will likely happen now is that you will get a nasty letter from her insurers demanding £1600 to replace her car's electrically operated, heated wing mirror and to respray the side of her car which she will no doubt claim was scratched by your bike. Was there ANY damage to your bike, clothing or injury to you? You need to prepare a counter claim against her should she or her insurers write to you demanding monies or maybe you do actually want to claim against her for damage?

Karma that another vehicle took off the offside mirror of her car. She sounds like a really stupid woman. What was her excuse for driving in the cycle lane?

Buy an Airzound and don't be afraid to stick up for yourself.

The police will do nothing.
 

Graham

Senior Member
Only my opinion, but if she moved further into your lane and you couldn't avoid her mirror then it's not your fault and its bad driving on her part. If you could have stopped/avoided her then it is your fault. From what I've read on here before, it seems like the police will have little/no interest in this. If it was me, I would ignore it all until she actually takes some action. Then deny it was your fault (as you already have?) and ask her to prove it was. She'll then glue/gaffer tape the mirror cover back on and that will be that. The Astra bit is quite amusing!
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
I don't have any insurance which would cover my cycle as far as I know. What sort of insurance would I need?
Too late now as inception would be after the incident. But still worth getting for the future. Join British Cycling, London Cycling Campaign who both have free 3rd party cover for incidents just like the one you describe. Also your local cycling club might have 3rd party cover which covers you in addition to club riding.
 
Without having been there and witnessed the incident, it does sound like 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other...
Personally I tend to wait behind the vehicle or go around them on the otherside and then back in front of them, mostly because I used to teach advanced level driving and prefer to play it safe having been knocked off my bike twice over the years and gotten away very lucky from at least 1 of those incidents.

Is there actually damage to the wing mirror other than it is not attached/hanging off? the reason I ask is that when I had a car wash pull the wind mirror off my car (one that was electric with heaters), they actually just clipped back on, and you may find that she does not actually need to replace the entire wing mirror, but only the clips. I'm not sure about VW Golf's mind you only just having purchased a VW Passat, but it could be worth a friendly chat with a VW specialist garage mechanic. It would considerably cut the costs of a replacement wing mirror and give her an idea for the other one as well, if it is not destroyed. Given that it does sound like a 50:50 situation, you could conceivable ask her to go 50:50 with the costs of said bracket/clip.

Also are you a member of the CTC? if so you have insurance and can ring them for advice.
 
I don't have any insurance which would cover my cycle as far as I know. What sort of insurance would I need?
Most household policies will cover you for third party liabilities. But I would get down to the police station quick and make a statement of what happened including her pulling further into the cycle lane as you approached just so there is an official record of it.

Personally otherwise I would just leave it. She is not going to want to get her insurance company involved for such a minor cost and lose her no-claims. Which brings it down to her asking you to cough up and you refusing because she should not have been in the cycle lane and should not have pulled further into it as you approached. Quote Highway Code Rule 140:

140. Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.​
From what you said it was entirely avoidable and there was plenty of space on the road for her without encroaching.
 

Arjimlad

Tights of Cydonia
Location
South Glos
I hate undertaking on roadmarked cycle lanes, because of this risk. People dozing along in traffic queues - if you overtake them you will notice at least 25% looking at smartphones. They simply don't notice as they drift somnolently into the kerb - or suddenly realise they need to turn left, and wang the steering wheel round without checking mirrors. My pal got knocked off like that.

As others say above, I'd maintain the line that she encroached onto your lane as you passed her. She should have stayed in her own lane.

Imagine a dual carriageway where the outer lane is full of cars waiting in a queue to turn right at the lights. You drive down the clear inside lane lawfully undertaking. If one of the other cars drifts into your lane and you can't avoid hitting it, it's not your fault.
 
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