A van hit me ... luckily I'm fine

Ugo51

Retro Guru
Hi guys,

I just wanted to write a few words about what happened to me last Thursday. I'm a bit sad because I spent some time reading how often cyclists are mistreated by the justice system and how hard it is to make our voices heard when we are involved in an accident.
I read all this because after the crash I thought about buying a GoPro to have on my bike at all time, but now I'm not sure I will, as it seems that it's not always as useful as I would have hoped it to be :(

Thursday evening I got lucky. Very lucky. A van driver (an overworked Amazon driver, to be precise) didn't see me coming and he cleared the junction exactly as I was approaching his van. I don't remember seeing the van move, even if I had my eyes on it. He must have moved just as I was passing. I remember tumbling on the pavement, disoriented, and then getting very angry with the driver.
He was very sympathetic and apologized profusely, so much that my rage quickly evaporated as I was staring at my bike...which was surprisingly intact. The handlebar needed straightening, the front wheel came off the fork, but it was still remarkably straight, just a touch out of true.
I have a few bruises and what looks like a minor nerve injury to my left hand (which I could not move after the crash). I'm fine and I was on the saddle on Friday, but I'm sad and slightly scared because I what I read from stories and online reports suggests that if something bad had happened, I might not have been able to defend.
It's the first accident I am involved in with my bike, in 3.5 years of riding in London. There will most likely be more, I can only hope they will all be as "lucky" as this one.
 

d8mok

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I drive. I ride. And I ride a motorbike so see it from all perspectives.

Car /van drivers are getting worse and worse as time passes. Whether it’s overworked , lack of ability or mind on their phone It’s very rare I arrive home without having to make some sort of movement to avoid a incident. Usually minor but sometimes especially what could end up as bad accidents (for me)

I’d like to say as time passes it will feel better. But I’m honest it doesn’t. I was hit by a 83 year old on my Motorbike in 2015. They had cctv , 15 witnesses and even the driver admitting fault. Police didn’t pursue as lack of evidence. Makes me angry that next time he could kill someone.

Im forever nervous on my left side at junctions now.
 

Ugo51

Retro Guru
Police didn’t pursue as lack of evidence. Makes me angry that next time he could kill someone.

That's the thing. Someone could get killed. And if that is somewhat unlikely, a serious injury is very much likely to occur. I'm in my 30s and athletic. If the same accident happened to my mum, she would have not walked home by herself.
 

d8mok

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That's the thing. Someone could get killed. And if that is somewhat unlikely, a serious injury is very much likely to occur. I'm in my 30s and athletic. If the same accident happened to my mum, she would have not walked home by herself.
I was 31 at the time and mended without issue. I’m very glad I didn’t have my wife as pillion that day as overall it hasn’t affected me apart from a slight bitterness.

I sell cars and the amount of people who buy them who should have had their licenses removed a long time ago is insane. In the last 18 years I’ve done countless test drives and literally came back and asked them if they have considered quitting to be always met with “I’m a great driver”

I’m a fan of testing everything 10 years or something to improve our standards. However having just flown back from Spain last week I can assure you we are lots better than them.
 

d8mok

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I’d guess both but I’ve no knowledge of their testing. My wife is Spanish but never drove there (apart from learning) and she agrees that the UK is safer.

Mainly it’s the roundabouts they seem to struggle with. Whichever exit you take , you use the outside lane it seems. I wouldn’t fancy cycling on busy Spanish roads if I’m honest.

Back to your incident, may be worth reporting it to the police. If only in case he does it again. You could save someone else further along maybe.
 

Betsy

Dirt Disciple
I got hit by a car a couple of years ago while using the flippin bike crossing, it's a bike and pedestrian crossing which run parallel to one another, outside the university. I waited for the 'green bike' and rode across, this VW Golf was slowing down approaching the lights but went straight through the bike crossing (i can only assume stopping for the pedestrians?) hitting me in the process, i rolled it out not wanting to break my wrists so it looked more dramatic than it actually was, the bike was fine. The driver was a young Sri Lankan student who was absolutely mortified, he started hugging and kissing me, kissing my arms then he started praying and thanking god that i was unharmed, he was beyond sorry and sometimes that's all you need to forgive the useless motorists... what was unforgivable though was his girlfriend was looking down at her phone in the passenger seat, she briefly looked up as i bounced off the passenger side wing then looked back down at her phone and never even got out of the car to see if i was ok.. it's amazing how little of a shit some folks give.
 

novocaine

Retro Guru
As a year round commuter I've been hit twice in the past 8 years, both due to complete inattention of the driver, luckily only ever resulting in bruises and scrapes. I've also had countless numbers of near misses, where the only thing that has stopped an incident is me getting out the way. Whilst it is a horrible thing to say, you have to get used to it and not let it stop you. I've always been a preacher of an offensive defence being the best course of action, but it has to be moderated by location. Riding down the middle of the street in London isn't a safe place, doing it on a country road though it is.

Chin up, take a couple of big breaths and get back out there, otherwise you just become one of them in a tin box with no idea what's happening.

note: I've also had drivers and passangers hanging out of windows screaming at me for daring to be on the road in front of them, "blocking" their overtakes and moving out for dangerous junctions. Whilst not all car drivers are morons, we do seem to attract the ones that are. :)
 
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