So my missus hit a cyclist outside our house. Luckily no injuries and the cyclist walked home (then picked his bike up in his car). It left me with mixed emotions.
She has moved into the road and he has run into the side of her car. Although she is indicating being parked on the road, its the cyclist priority. I’ve had close calls where cars have pulled out so i understand how quick these things happen…
Its early, pre-sunrise, the bike is black with no lights, and the cyclist has no reflective clothing on (infact the clothing he was wearing was black!). If this was another car on the road, that didnt have their lights on, the conversation would be completely different.
The insurance company has said that she is at fault. UK law is arguble in its wording around the lights/reflective clothing. Its a mixed bag of who is right or wrong, but my immediate response to the cyclist was why the **** aren’t you using lights or reflective clothing in the dark.
Regarding the lights / reflective clothing…
When you say “cyclist” do you mean your typical roadie or do you mean some dude on a £10 MTB heading to work?
The reason I ask is because the mindsets of those 2 people are wildly different imo.
No lights and no reflective gear before sunrise. How was the cyclist expecting anybody to see him?
In the United Kingdom, lighting-up time is a legally-enforced period from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, during which all motor vehicles on unlit public roads (except if parked) must use their headlights.
Different rules apply to bicycles; RVLR states that "Lights (and reflectors) are required on a pedal cycle only between sunset and sunrise. Lights (and reflectors) are not required when the cycle is stationary or being pushed along the roadside. When they are required, the lights and reflectors listed below must be clean and working properly.
So depending on time of accident, if it’s before sunrise I’m surprised it classed as her fault and I would argue with insurance company over their wiliness just to accept blame, probably an easier route for them, they don’t always serve your best interests in my experience.
Reference cyclist, it’s a numbers game, given time they are going to have a much serious accident. Hopefully they take this as a warning.
This is a good point. The bike looked like a cheap ish commuter. Difficult to say if he was a roadie or not. Clothing was waterproofs rather than Lycra!
There’s the concept of contributory negligence which would be hammered out by the insurance companies when looking at compensation. If you’re all in black with no lights it’s not going to go quite as well you as the cyclist compared to if you have head to toe flouro and flashing lights. Either way compensation is sod all in the UK. I speak from experience. I was wearing a lot of red with flashing lights but the driver tried to say that i was invisible so it was my fault. I had a camera on the bike which proved to be a very good investment!
Some people have no idea how invisible they are out there: I have nearly squashed people in the past who are running or cycling on my local country roads in early morning/late evening poor light wearing basically camouflage.
Not Using lights in the dark, that kinda puts blame on a cyclist. Reflective clothing should not be a requirement to decide blame, its beneficial, but shouldnt be a deciding factor. If someone riding a motorcycle was in a crash, they wouldnt say a motorcyclist was wearing dark colors, therefore its his fault-else every harley guy would be at fault. But would mention that he didnt have a light on.
Sorry but the price of the bike or the mindset of the cyclist are not relevant in this case.
Cycling with no lights makes you harder to spot and is not smart. However, this should also be a lesson for the motorist to watch closely before turning on to the street, unless not having lights made the cyclist completely invisible to the naked eye.
I’m not surprised, I only commute to the office one day a week (I’m in the car) but it’s dark when I arrive. Every single time as I go through the streets just outside the city you find people on bikes dressed like this.
Now we don’t their situation, maybe £20 for a set of lights is not an option etc but it’s only by luck they aren’t being hit.
One thing’s for sure, if a cyclist tried to claim on their own insurance and were found to be wearing all black with no lights in the dark, they wouldn’t get a penny.
What someone on a bike wears is entirely up to them ,the law has nothing to say on the matter. Rightly so. The only matter the law says anything on is regards lights and reflectors mounted on the bike between sunset and sunrise.
I’m a bit confused by this. If she is parked on the road, how did he run into the side of her? This implies he was travelling 90 degrees to the direction of the road, and not down the road. Or she was parked 90 degrees across the road obstructing the highway and he was travelling down the road.
I assumed she was parked, indicated to pull out, and then proceeded to pull out into the cyclist’s path having not seen him.
Re cyclists not taking basic steps to make themselves visible, it’s nuts. Regularly see local teenagers riding home from school in the dark on our busy roads, dark clothing, no lights or barely visible lights, often with helmets hanging from the handlebars as well just to hammer home the idiocy! Certainly don’t want the law telling cyclists what to wear, but people need to also take responsibility for doing what they can to make themselves safe.
All that said, I think the default position of the UK law to blame the driver not the cyclist is probably the least bad approach. Cyclists are the more vulnerable road users, and drivers have better insurance. Taking the view that if in doubt it’s the drivers fault puts the onus on drivers to be extra careful around cyclists and overall that’s a good thing. In the absence of witnesses this incident would come down to the driver’s word vs the cyclist’s word anyway, and there’s not much stopping an unscrupulous cyclist from claiming they had lights on and the driver just wasn’t paying attention. Certainly helped me a few years ago when I was in quite a bad crash which was clearly the drivers fault (he was coming the other way and turned across me), he seemed to accept the same at the time so I stupidly didn’t take the details of any witnesses, then he later told his insurance company it was my fault (I was going too fast apparently ) and they denied liability. Thought without witnesses I’d be screwed but luckily since the law heavily favours the cyclist it only took one letter from a lawyer for them to change their minds and sort me out with a new bike and some compensation for my broken ribs.
Thats the default law (Presumed liability) for most of Europe and not the UK, where victims are usually blamed regardless
Well I’m trying to divine what happened rather than assume. Plus not make sweeping generalisations about a diverse set of people. The OP doesn’t give a clear picture of exactly what happened. Maybe they don’t know themselves as it’s second hand and only tells one biased side of the story?
Just Googled and you’re right, didn’t realise that. Does seem anecdotally though from knowing a lot of cyclists who have been in crashes with cars that the driver/insurance has nearly always paid up if the cyclist has pressed their claim, even where fault isn’t necessarily clear and/or there aren’t any witnesses. Maybe that’s just a pragmatic decision by the insurance companies that the cost of settling is on balance lower than the cost of fighting the claims and losing some of them.
Having the right of way doesn’t mean anything if you’re injured or killed. If you are a cyclist on the road it makes sense to take every measure to be seen and be cautious. Whether or not you have a right to be in the road (which cyclists do), rights don’t mean much if you are in the ER. Even if the driver pays the bill you are the one who suffers.
A basic part of all traffic laws is setting forth for every situation where 2 vehicles may meet or cross paths which vehicle has the right of way and which is required to yield (bikes are considered “vehicles” in most traffic codes). That’s where “fault” comes in when the police are handing out tickets or completing an accident report. Technically under the law, any time 2 vehicles touch, one is “at fault” and that almost always has nothing to do with the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” after the fact analysis.
Who’s legally “at fault” under the applicable traffic code often is a different thing than determining who had the best chance to avoid the accident (e.g. Cyclist wearing dark clothes in the dark when local laws don’t require bike lights, etc.)
This is correct. Let multiple cars go, then went to pull out at which point the cyclist grinded down the side of her car and came off.
Not so much in UK law, at least. It sets out who has priority (not ‘right of way’, which is something else entirely) in some specific situations, but it’s more the exception than the rule. When two vehicles come into contact, one, both, or neither of them may have committed an offence.