All of use need to insure that our windshields are clean outside and in. Any
film on the surface of the glass will be brought out by the sun when it low on
the horizon. I notice a film on the inside of my windshield appears within days
after being cleaned, created I am told by the vapors produced by the plastic
surfaces in the interior of the vehicle, especially the dash. You may not notice
the film until you are driving into the sun. Normal precautions such as using
the visor, using your thumb to block the sun really don't work well when
the windshield has that film on it. The only solution is regularly cleaning the
inside of your windshield as well as the outside regularly. That said, the
motorist is responsible for not running into things on the road, be they a
stalled vehicle, a stray animal, fallen tree, or a bicyclist. I was always
taught never to overdrive my visibility. In other words you must be able to stop
with in the time it takes to recognize an obstacle and apply the brakes.
I think this shows the problem; that even intelligent people who read the
(e)newspaper don't know that a bicycle could be in a travel lane and that
this would be perfectly legal. Cyclists don't often do that because (like
open carry) they know it is not well known by most people that they/we can do
that. A major education campaign would help, but ultimately only separate bike
paths are going to eliminate this kind of tragedy which we see happen too
frequently to so many great human beings. Of course that's costly but
I'm all for a toll-based or donation-based funding system where only the
users pay. Long-distance athletes such as myself have little choice but to use
roads to log long rides on 4 to 6 hours efforts needed for some training, and
for those of us knowingly taking that risk we just pray that all the passing
drivers are going to pay attention and be cautious.
bw00ds, there's neither a bike lane nor a "car lane" on that road.
There's a travel lane and (usually) a shoulder. Cyclists (like any vehicle)
are legally entitled to use a travel lane if they deem it necessary, even when
there's a bike lane (e.g. road damage on shoulder, obstruction in bike
lane). The only exceptions are freeways. Whether the cyclist was in the road is
irrelevant to the driver's legal and moral culpability; he has just as much
a right to the road as the driver. The cyclist was only at fault if he suddenly
swerved in front of the car.My2Cents, that the sun sets in the
evening may be an "act of God," but hopefully by now you've learned
to predict it will happen. People certainly are criminally accountable for
accidents that would have been prevented if they had taken obvious weather
conditions into account in their driving; driving 75mph down the freeway in a
heavy ice storm and causing a death richly deserves prison time. Weather
conditions are only an excuse if they could not have been reasonably anticipated
and adjusted for.
Any one who has ever been driving on a desert road going west at sundown knows
that you face a total blackout when the sun glare is blinding you. Bike lanes or
not, a lot of head-on crashes occur at that time of day and driving laws require
head lights on in both direction of traffic to see on-coming cars.The drivers are not at fault if caution is used in oncoming traffic, however
same direction traffic and cyclist in a narrow lane aggravate the dangers for
both. Cyclist will also be blinded and may wander out of lane and not visible to
drivers behind them and these accidents will happen. Just because
people are on bicycles does not protect them or give them special rights or
exceptions to natural events. On desert roads on hot days to sunset visibility
is distorted and become a mirage by heat waves causing atmospheric illusions.
Acts of god are not criminal or accountable and to call blame is emotional
bigotry at a time when compassion for both should be exercised.
@Prodicus I apologize--I wasn't reading your comment in the context of the
other comments. My point is that your post sounded like you were placing 100% of
the blame on the driver. In that context, I didn't think that you knew what
exactly happened out there. You were not there. I thought that you were assuming
guilt by the driver. We still do not know the details: maybe we never will. It
is entirely possible that a fatigued bicyclist wandered out into the car lane.
That combined with driving conditions could have led to his death. If hit in the
road, no charges against the driver. If the driver is charged with something,
then it tells us that there was evidence that the cyclist was hit in the bike
lane.A point that you also did not make was that cyclists need to be
very defensive when riding. Front, sideways, and back.So I apologize
for not understanding what you were directing your remarks to.
bw00ds: what exactly is your point? My comment was directed primarily at
owlmaster2's victim-blaming and secondarily at what DEW seemed to be
implying ("if there wasn't a traffic warning then people aren't
obligated to respect the lives of cyclists, the driver is only responsible if
there was a warning"). I have no idea how your comment relates.If you can't see well enough to be safe, you oughtn't be driving.
Pull the car over until conditions change if you have to. "The weather made
me do it" is not a way out of legal or moral culpability, regardless of
whether you struck a cyclist, a pedestrian, or another car.
@Prodicus"The sun was setting at the time, making it difficult
for those heading west [drivers] to see."
This is sad. I feel so sorry for him and his family. Stuff Happens.
Triatholoners are a special breed of Jock trying to balance competitve Swimming,
Biking and Running. Just training for these events are not without risk. About
two or three years ago a Triathelete Swimmmer was with a group of fellow jocks
doing an Ocean Swimm, off a North San Diego county beach, got hit by a Great
White Shark but survived long enough to bled out on shore. Like I said Stuff
Happens. Be safe my fellow jocks...
Folks, you are required by law to treat cyclists just as you would any other
vehicle. If you want to pass, you must have at least 3ft of clearance. This
usually- especially with narrow (6ft) passing vehicles- means that you must
switch lanes to pass anyone who's using part of your lane. If a passing
lane is not available you must slow down to the speed of the other vehicle and
wait until a lane is open.Sitting in a 4000lb hunk of metal
doesn't give you any more rights than your fellow citizens.Cyclists and other slow-moving vehicles (e.g. tractors) are supposed to ride
to the right when it is safe and prudent for them to do so, allowing others the
convenience of easier passing. But the shoulder of the road is frequently not
safe; except on the freeway, any vehicle has a right to use a full traffic lane
when necessary.Quit blaming the victim.
Was there any warnings for traffic in this event taken place?
I concur with Shimlau... I too offer my condolences to the family and friends of
this man.Having said that, I wish these cyclists would take into
account that they are riding on roads with CARS. People on motorcycles are
killed all the time and they are bigger and have their headlights on... Cyclists ride like 100 together in a mob weaving and bobbing like they are
alone on the road.... with CARS trying to get by.I'm amazed
more cyclists aren't killed more often.
my condolences to the family and friends of this fine young man that has been
killed, also, to the poor individual that struck him. Hope that all works out