Well, it had to happen one day...

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by 661-Pete, 30 Apr 2010.

  1. 661-Pete

    661-Pete Guest

    Just got involved in an accident, this afternoon.
    First thing to say is, I wasn't hit, I wasn't hurt, I didn't come off or anything like that. But I'm very much a witness.

    Very common scenario, car tries to overtake me when there's a car coming the other way. Not enough room. How many thousands of time has that happened to me? To all of you? On all the previous occasions the overtaking car has just about managed to squeeze in in front of me, in time.

    Not this time. Sickening crunch and I reckon the cars were overlapping about a foot when they hit. Sheared a wheel right off the oncoming car, which ended up keeled over at an angle in the ditch opposite. The overtaking car almost as badly damaged, came to a grinding halt in the middle of the road front suspension busted. My guess is both cars are write-offs.

    It must have been quite a bang, because a guy from a farmhouse a good 4-500 yards away heard it, said his dogs started barking so he came out to investigate.

    And here's precisely where it happened. Not easy to judge the width from Google, but I can assure you, this road is far too narrow to safely overtake a cyclist in primary when there's a car coming the other way (in fact I was closer to secondary position, I'd just turned into that road from the T-junction to the south). As you can see there's plenty of forward visibility. Neither car was going particularly fast, not above 40mph.

    Neither driver appeared to be hurt, though both were shaken up a bit. There were no other passengers in the vehicles.

    The first thing I did, on collecting my wits, was go up to the driver of the overtaking car, a young woman aged about 20, and say to her "I'm reporting you". She said "why", I said "no way could you have overtaken me safely here". Then I realised I hadn't checked on the other driver (a man of about 50) whose car was in the ditch with a wheel off, so I ran over to him, he was still sitting in the car and at first I thought he was slumped over the wheel unconscious, with smoke apparently pouring from the fascia. That shook me up a good deal, I can tell you! But he sat up as I approached and seemed to be OK, I shouted to him to get out of his car but the 'smoke' was apparently gas from the airbag inflater, both airbags went off in both cars.

    Someone else called the police and a little while later the woman appeared to be in shock, possibly even in tears, at that point I rather regretted having snapped at her but still she was clearly in the wrong. Delayed shock. By now I was shaking like a leaf too. Indeed I hailed another cyclist who passed the scene a while later, I felt I needed to 'unburden' myself. Most of the time I stayed with the male driver (of the oncoming car), he seemed to be in better shape though I pleaded with him to 'take it easy', I exchanged details with him. He's going to want a witness.

    When the police officer arrived I gave him my details and said something like, "it looks like a case of careless driving there". I'm not sure whether my remark will be followed up. I said I was prepared to make a statement later, I feel I ought to, despite the female driver's obvious distress, there is clear evidence of an offence and she ought to face the consequences.

    Someone who may have witnessed from a following car (it gets a bit confusing here) then threw an accusation against me, said I was 'wobbling' or something. Not true, the only wobble I did was to lurch over to the left in the split second before the crash hoping this car wouldn't hit me. But I suppose that's par for the course, people do tend to finger others at times like this. We shall see. If anyone turns nasty I suppose I need to go to the CTC.

    Now I'm waiting to see what comes of it. The police officer said, because no-one was injured it probably wouldn't be a police case but I think there should be. It's time people were taught, you can't just overtake a cyclist anywhere regardless of enough room.

    Thanks for reading, sorry about the long thread.
  2. Jaguar

    Jaguar New Member

    Thank goodness it wasn't you that she hit. You don't have airbags. Silly mare ought to have to re-sit her test.
  3. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    You did the right thing - "only overtake when safe"..... so don't worry about the other witness. I can understand feeling shaken..... there are lot's of if's and but's, but you had a lucky escape too....

    Glad no-one is too badly injured.

    Looks like you've got a good account down on here - write it down, as I'm afraid the 'innocent' party will need the help - insurance companies are wriggly snakes.

    Chill out it's Friday.....
  4. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Oooh sympathies Pete. I really appreciate you posting this.
  5. The only thing that surprises me is that it took so long to get to the accusation of the cyclist being "in the way", "wobbling" or "in the road, not in the edge"
  6. hackbike 666

    hackbike 666 Guest

    Christ this is awful.Even though motorists p155 me off sometimes I don't wish this....Hope you are ok as well pete.
  7. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    you were wobbling???? WTF???? that makes a difference about her overtaking you? LOL. Unbelievable! no, actually, very believable!!!

    glad no one was hurt. you were right to tell her tho, she will think twice next time she has to overtake.
  8. hackbike 666

    hackbike 666 Guest

    Hmmmm seems to give a big plus point to cameras with some of the dodgy driving out there.
  9. Actually looking at the road, any accusation of wobble would be irrelevant anyway as there is simply no room for 2 cars + 1 bike to even be alongside - even stationary - from the looks of it.

    Surely to anyone with any common sense that it...so I suppose the insurers may play on it
  10. The Eighth Man

    The Eighth Man Senior Member

    I do not know why drivers do that, they cannot wait for a second to get past. I have had people overtake me and nearly hit traffic coming in the opposite direction just to join a traffic jam a 100 yards up the road that they can see; why???
  11. Jaguar

    Jaguar New Member

    that's it.
    I've just bought a headcam (Muvi)
  12. hackbike 666

    hackbike 666 Guest

    I have been thinking about this all day and can only think it's human nature...yes a human failing.

    Perhaps would have done the same thing myself twenty years ago as well as acting like a tithead boy racer.
  13. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    The wobbling is irrelevant - you don't overtake until it's safe to do so, no matter what the overtakee (sorry, not a real word!) is doing.

    Although I'm sure you weren't wobbling.

    The lady driving may have been very upset - she was probably in shock, but that doesn't take away from her bad driving. Don't for a minute feel bad about her.

    Good idea to write it all down now, while it's fresh.

    And then have a stiff drink/strong cup of tea as applicable.

    I was only talking about stuff like this with a colleague today, after a car tried to pass us in the electric van and had to pull in sharpish behind us to avoid a bollard. Instinct would lead a lot of drivers to swerve into the thing they were overtaking - esp if 'only' a nice soft cyclist. Thank god that didn't happen here.
  14. gaz

    gaz Cycle Camera TV

    South Croydon
    i've seen so many close calls like this, and as others have said at least they didn't swing in to you.
  15. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Glad you're ok Pete. The cars could have so easily headed your way. Don't worry about snapping. Totally understandable in the circumstances.

    It's because of driving like this that I try and avoid one particular road. When I'm on it, it feels like it is only a metter of time....

    It really is a shame that you didn't have a camera. Not necessarily for evidence etc, but more because it would be an excellent example to drivers why stupid overtakes like that, are a big no-no.

    Obviously I hope the people involved in the incident are all ok.
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