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Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tzhu07, Apr 28, 2015.
It's funny to note the different reactions of the individuals in the gif posted. Two of them react with an instinct to move and get away from the oncoming danger while the third just covers up in frozen terror.
I had a major close call this week. A bee landed on me and then just flew away without stinging me. Whew, so close!
No, seriously, I've been in multiple car accidents in my life that could have been way worse than they were. A few years ago a guy skidded across two lanes of traffic and almost hit me head on, but his tires got traction and he was able to swerve back onto his side of the road. I've also done "extreme" sporting activities like skydiving, rock climbing, and bungee jumping, but never had any close calls with any of those. I can't really say any one specific "near death" or terrifying situation has occurred that left an unforgettable memory for me.
I actually had 2 close calls just today. While I was working this girl on a bike was within a INCH or less of sideswiping my car than had the nerve to yell at me when i started moving (on the curb line) she was SO close she wasnt in my blind-spot mirrors until she was already beside me! I shouted "The the hell? You shouldn't be riding that close to cars you idiot" Here in MN you are suppose to ride on sidewalks for safety. While Legal to ride in the street, being within an INCH of parked cars is illegal.
The SECOND close call was when I was actually driving. I was in the right turn lane on my way home from work (This is a tiny turn lane big enough for only 2 cars) the second i rounded the corner before approaching this turn was a Diesel on my ass. he went around me and turned right FROM THE left lane and not only cut me off but cut off ALL approaching traffic in the process. I layed on the horn.
The closest call I had was when I was a teenager. I was hurtling down a busy highway on my bike when a juggernaut steamed past alongside me. Out of nowhere my foot slipped off the pedal, and my 'Doc Marten' boot wedged itself under the crank. I flipped towards the lorry, and should have been under its wheels in a second. But my hand came loose from the handlebar in an instant, the front wheel jerked wildly, and I was flipped back in the opposite direction, away from danger.
Lying a little dazed on the roadside, I knew that would be the luckiest moment in my life.
Your description is a little hard to understand I'm not sure if she was on your right or left. If you were parked on the side of the road and were pulling out to get back on the road, then she had the right of way, just like any car. Bicyclists always have the right of way actually, so it would be you sideswiping her.
In most places, it's illegal to ride bikes on the sidewalk (thank god). It appears MN statute suggest the following.
If there are parked cars in-between the cyclist and the curb, 1" sounds like it is "as close as practicable".
she was on the left, I was not pulling back onto the roadway is was parked on the shoulder (legal on this section of road) and just put the car in gear as it "coasted" by itself not even a inch along the curbline. she was within a INCH of my car. IF i pulled out she would have hit me, (My mirror actually).
This wasnt a business district, that is downtown and AFAIK i have never seen a single sign EVER prohibiting bikes anywhere within the SE or SW side of the city. You are suppose to ride bike ON the sidewalk unless A) There IS no sidewalk or B) Bikes on sidewalks are prohibited by signage. And you can only ride bikes on the street if A) no sidewalk or in a bike lane or B) to the rightmost curb line unless making a left turn OR if there is no bike lane, I personally will never trust a bike lane people drive too crazy. So on the legal stand point this girl should have never been on the street to begin with.
EDIT: there were sidewalks on both side of the street.
EDIT 2: In MN bikes DO NOT Have automatic right of way. If on the sidewalk they are to give way to predestrians. While on the street they are to give way to vehicles on the street, just like any other vehicle.
Does this thread seek to define 'close calls' as only those 'close calls' that are traffic related? Or do other forms of 'close calls' count, as well?
Oh Scepticalscribe, don't keep us in suspense.
Go on, tell your story...
Stories, mscriv. Stories. And none of them have anything to do with motor-cars. Or bicycles.
I would say the Thread title of "Close Calls" would imply close calls of any kind I assume the GIF used origionally was just an example of a close call.
Initially, that is what I had assumed, too.
However, threads sometimes develop a life of their own, and their own internal dynamic where some things get discussed and others overlooked.
Indeed, the upshot of this is that the dynamic and internal life of a thread can lead to drastically different places from where the OP might have intended to head, when s/he started the thread.
Thus, when the discussion seemed to focus mostly on near misses in or with motor-cars, I thought this this may have been what had been intended, or had developed.
Oh you tease! Look at you building the anticipation even more. I'm on the edge of my seat now.
I think any discussion on "close calls" is going to include a high percentage of motor vehicle related stories. We tend to take for granted that while driving is a predominant part of many people's lives it is also one of the most dangerous activities in which we participate. We don't like to think about the fact that every time we get behind the wheel we could potentially seriously injure or kill either ourselves or someone else in the event of an accident.
That being said, I think any stories of close calls are welcome in this thread. Automobile related stories don't have a "corner on the market".
Well since you started moving and was next to your car she likely figured you were pulling back out. She probably assumed you did not adequately check to see if there was someone coming up on you. Considering you said this was a "close call" it sounds like there might be some truth in that. As far as I know Bikes are considered vehicles in every state and must be ridden on the road unless unless laws permit sidewalk riding, which is not written as a mandate. A real sport cyclist would never use a sidewalk, whereas a kid might.
If you haven't noticed pedestrians > cyclists > cars when it comes to who has the right of way. Each had their own responsibilities to follow, but legally I don't think this woman did anything wrong. It's still the drivers responsibility to be aware of these people since a car weighs a couple thousand pounds and a bike weighs 30.
It depends how close you call close calls, but thinking back there are a few situations that were scary and could've been life threatening.
When I was kid, I decided to do a flip off the side of a public pool. I hit my head on the side of the pool but luckily I was only a little dazed (and they had lifeguards)
Riding on an inner tube on the ocean, I flipped over and somehow couldn't get out from under the inner tube, luckily the waves brought me into shore where I was able to grab the sand underneath and right myself to get a breathe.
I almost got pulled out to sea by a rip tide. My husband and I were playing around at the beach and I felt the sand slipping from under my feet and I wasn't a strong enough swimmer to fight it but my husband helped me. The lifeguard was about to come get us as he was flailing his arms wildly at us right before I realized we might be in trouble. When we came out, he told us we were lucky.
Then I was on a cruise ship that lost power and drifted towards and crashed into land. Luckily, no one was hurt on the ship.
I'm starting to think I should stay away from water...
I also have a non water one.
In college, a group of female friends and I were surrounded by a large group of gang members as we walked. They had chains and knives that they made visible to us. Luckily, someone we knew driving saw us and stopped their car on the street and called to us. We ran and got in the car.
My close call was a dump truck stuck my bike when I was seven and it threw me into the guard rail and my family and town cop saw it happen too. I was out for almost 4 weeks and spent another 5 months in the hospital. My Mother told me I died twice on Doctors and they had to restart my heart twice. I guess that was my closest call.
The one bright spot I had private tutors for two years (during my recovery) and I skipped a grade during Elementary. I graduated just after turning 17 and turn 18 during my freshman of college.
although i did not look as i was getting in the car, i WAS looking before hitting the gas. I have my side mirrors Properly adjusted for use in seeing you blind spots hence why I said "Blind Spot Mirrors" and if she wasn't even IN the mirrors until the was right beside me, she was too close and infact riding dangerously. Plus there is a difference between "Prohibited" and "Illegal" you are "Prohibited" from changing lanes within 100 feet of an intersection, you are "Prohibited" from crossing solid white lines in the road, but it is not "Illegal" to do either of those things (careless and wreckless yes, (And i would NOT hesitate to honk at you for such actions) but "Illegal to do so? No.)
Therefore if you did ride your bike on a sidewalk even where prohibited the chances of you getting stopped/ticketed/arrested for it are slim to none. Police have better things to do than to stop people riding bikes on sidewalks. Cops put all traffic-related tasks (unless emergency) as secondary as they simply do not have time to just pull people over all day.
In Minnesota it's actually encouraged to ride bikes on the sidewalk as it it much safer, And most if not all residentcial areas have little to no foot traffic to worry about nor do they have much traffic on the streets. Pedestrians always having right away is NOT always the case expecially in Minnesota.
Here in MN if a pedestrian J-walks or crosses illegally in a crosswalk they do NOT get right of way privledges, Cars do. Same thing applies in New York (Spite misbelief that pedestrians always have right of way in NY)
The person wasn't doing something illegal though, she was riding her bike on the street which appears to be perfectly legal. She was on the road, you were not. She has the right of way. You may disagree that she should be riding on the street, but it's a permitted action. Cyclists can be hard to see, especially if you're not looking for them, and blind spot mirrors don't always cover your entire blind spots.
Technically there is a difference between "prohibited" and "illegal" but I don't think you understand. It seems you believe one is permissible and other is not. They both mean you are in the wrong if you preform the action. Illegal implies worse consequences than prohibited. Prohibited likely means fines or at worse a misdemeanor. If you do something that is prohibited, and it results in serious injury or loss of life, then your action can become illegal. If you pull out on the girl, it's not her fault, it's yours.
Most cops would not waste their time ticketing someone riding a bike on the sidewalk if it was prohibited. But they might yell at you if you're on a crowded sidewalk. If you whizzing down a bustling sidewalk during rush hour endangering the safety of others, then they might have a problem.
The point she was allowed to be riding her bike down the road. If you hit her, it would likely be considered your fault for not checking or checking long enough so see if someone was behind/beside you. Next time, spend the extra 1 second to see that no one is there before you run them over.
does that mean i am justified to lay on the horn when peoplecross solid white lines and park in front of yellow curbs?
I once received a call only 2 seconds after hanging up a previous one.
There's been a few since moving to Boston for me. People around here can't drive at all. I'll type up others when I think of them.
Recent one for me wasn't an accident, but happened recently. Probably around 3-4pm, so no traffic.
I was merging onto I-90 and from the on-ramp, it was open, so I punched it. Haven't had a chance to open up the S7 in the winter. It only has all-seasons and the 20s would've gotten trashed by the roads in Mass.
HUD read 110+ mph as I merged into the right lane. (It's three lanes.) I went to the middle lane and noticed an Acura TL coming up fast in the rear-view mirror.
There was a 18 wheeler in the distance in front of me, so I went right and he went left. I slowed down to ~70 mph as I got next to the truck because I wasn't trying to race him. (Not on public roads, and I'm not the STIG )
Few seconds later, the TL getting pulled over was in the rear-view mirror. He went left and must have kept up the speed.
Cop was in the median. If I went left... 30 over the limit is reckless driving.
EDIT: This just reminded me of another story from a few years ago.
I had just bought the X5 and drove down to NoVA to visit my brother. Was waiting at the light and there was brown Acura ZDX in left lane. Must have been glancing over at it or something. The light turns green and this dude just takes off. A few seconds later, thru the next set of lights, he got pulled over.
(For those from NoVA, it was on RT-7 right by Tyson's Corner)
Sometimes I wonder if I'm a magnet for crazy Acura drivers
Anyone who has driven in VA knows how strict it is. The traditional 5 mph "buffer" doesn't exist. It's the one state where cruise should be set to the limit. In CT/MA/etc, traffic is moving closer to 80+.
Nothing road or traffic related but I nearly died of internal bleeding a few weeks ago. Apparently it was a close call. Wouldn't know myself, I spent most of it barely conscious.