My first brush with a moving car's side mirror

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gimpPAC
Participant
#

First, I’m ok and my bike is ok.

I was tired and made a stupid move, I admit it: I tried to turn left through a pedestrian walk light at Negley and Centre (I know – DUMB!), but got through as it turned green. One of those medExpress SUVs or something went right up beside me and her side mirror kissed my handle bar.

I shouted “hey! Too close!” she motioned from her rear mirror as if to say, “don’t do stupid stuff on your bike and maybe I wont have to run you over!”

I didnt think to get her license plate.. But I’m not sure Id have any case in calling out the 4′ law. I was at least partly to blame, but she didnt have to pass me at that moment. At least the guy behind her stopped to ask if I was ok.

Ugh I need a nap.


Pierce
Participant
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So was she making the same left you did?

I think the 4′ law would still apply.


gimpPAC
Participant
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I’m not sure where she came from… The green light was for the street I was turning onto, so I’m guessing she was to my right of the intersection before I made my turn.


Steven
Participant
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It sounds like what you did, biking through a 4-way walk signal, had nothing to do with the accident. If nobody had pressed the walk button, you would have likely still made your left just as her light turned green, and she would have been in just the same spot.

Turning left at a 4-way walk signal is illegal, but I’m not convinced it’s dumb. As long as you yield to pedestrians, it seems at least as safe as the legal alternative.


Nick D
Participant
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Gugh. Just glad you are ok!


gimpPAC
Participant
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Thanks guys…I was rushing through to beat the ped light which was blinking red by the time I decided to do so (ie: I “blew through” it). Safe to say I’ll try to be extra cautious at intersections in the future and take the whole lane (which I normally do).


gimpPAC
Participant
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But yeah I guess getting someone’s plate # would also be a good thing. :P


quizbot
Participant
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Glad you’re ok. This is a confusing intersection, and I can imagine several different scenarios… not sure what really went down based on the description. Were you making the left from Negley headed south or north, or from Center outbound or inbound? Did she clip you on your right side or left? Negley heading south spills onto Center with 3 lanes… a left turn, straight, and right. If you were on Center inbound making a left onto south Negley, she could have come from any one of the lanes on Negley headed south (people simply don’t know WTF to do at that intersection. I’ve seen lefts & rights made from the center lane, people going straight from both the right & left turn lanes).

If you were both facing one another at the light, you take a left, and she takes a right… there’s a merge conflict. Depending which way you both were headed, going north on Negley is the only way you’d have some wiggle room.


gimpPAC
Participant
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I was going North on Negley then made a left onto Centre toward Giant Eagle Market District – only two lanes when I turned onto a one-lane (cars parked on the right, oncoming traffic on the left). The green light was for Centre, so I surmise that she was sitting to the right of me on Centre at the light and then started going through on the green trying to squeeze past me while I was biking b/w two lanes of cars. I guess I was drifting to the right. She passed me on the left…I heard her coming behind me and moved over a bit instead of keeping the lane. I guess I make a couple of mistakes.


edmonds59
Participant
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I think I follow.

Moving over when you hear a car coming behind you is always a toss up. Do you maintain the right of way and risk being flattened to be right? So I wouldn’t second-guess your decision there.

The bottom line is, it sounds like you were somewhere where this person should have been easily able to see you, and by law they should have waited until it was safe to proceed. And by safe it means safe for everyone. Under the law, a green light does not mean you plow through obliviously regardless of conditions. It sounds as if this person was just an impatient fking asshole, basically. You making errors in judgment does not give this person the right to run you down.

If the car made contact with you, you should report it to the police as an incident.


salty
Participant
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What edmonds said, although I wouldn’t bother with the cops especially if you don’t have a plate. They’ll probably give you a ticket for your trouble and otherwise do nothing. Whether what you did was illegal or not it certainly doesn’t excuse someone hitting you if they can avoid it… if they had t-boned you then maybe they could argue it was your fault, but if you were all the way across their path of travel and got sideswiped, no way, it’s pretty clearly avoidable.


edmonds59
Participant
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The other thing that occurred to me since that post is, think equivalency. Is it ok to “lightly contact” another automobile in traffic? Fuuuuuuuuuuukno. Someone’s head would be exploding.


John
Participant
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I brushed a guy’s mirror with my elbow once when filtering past stopped traffic along Ellsworth. Dude got super irate because I “hit his car” and chased me through Shadyside yelling at me. After I offered to pay for any damage to his car he left.


Aryn
Participant
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I was tagged by a car once! I think the side of the car, rather than a mirror, but I was going left straight where Bigelow Blvd splits into craig and bigelow from the right lane, as both can go that way, and a car from behind me decided to pass around to the left of me to go right onto Bigelow blvd. I think it hadn’t seen me, as I had a friend riding behind me, and it probably thought it was passing only one biker… or just didn’t care and thought it was faster than me.

It was scary, and made me angry at the driver’s impatience, but it is hard to complain when not even knocked over, I guess.


Pierce
Participant
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I guess I would advise trying to hold the lane as best you can at that intersection. Traffic is usually slow anyways with people turning all kinds of ways, so cars shouldn’t be too impatient

Don’t even give them the illusion of thinking they can safely pass

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