I was right hooked by a vehicle on December 8th at the traffic light intersection of Smallman and 13th Street. I was proceeding straight through the intersection along with traffic when one vehicle suddenly made a right turn without a signal, which knocked me off of my bike. Here's the video...
I have no significant injuries or damage to my bike. I opened a claim with my insurance prior to having my shoulder examined at a Med Express. My insurance claim agent was very understanding about the situation... until she watched the video.
The position of my insurance provider is that I'm 70% at fault because 1) I was overtaking cars while on the shoulder and 2) it's my responsibility to be more aware and yield at intersections. Even though the vehicle was not using a turn signal, she said you can clearly see the car was turning and that I "made no attempt" to avoid the collision. I'm still waiting for a written summary - this was all verbal.
Yes, I have the option of simply riding down the center of the lane and waiting behind vehicles at intersections. However, I cannot find any PA statutes that explicitly state this is a requirement, nor can I find any statutes that state it's a requirement to leave the shoulder when overtaking motorized vehicles. Yes, I realize motorized vehicles expect to be overtaken on the left.
Here's something to think about - what if Smallman had an actual bike lane painted on the road when this accident happened? Would it have made any difference if the driver made the same turn without checking to see if a cyclist was was approaching from behind in the bike lane? Do bike lanes change anything from the perspective of law in PA?
There's also this statute...
§ 3331. Required position and method of turning.
(e) Interference with pedalcycles.--No turn by a driver of a motor vehicle shall interfere with a pedalcycle proceeding straight while operating in accordance with Chapter 35 (relating to special vehicles and pedestrians).
My goal is to change the stance of my insurance company, so that I'm not the majority at fault when this claim is closed. I'm looking for suggestions and guidance in this pursuit. I'm not seeking compensation. I have no major bills to pay. It's more about future knowledge for myself and others. Am I completely wrong? Am I right? If you're going to lecture about how I should
ride, please cite facts instead of feelings.