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June 20th bicycle/car accident

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June 20th bicycle/car accident
June 22, 2009 12:00PM
On the morning of June 20, 2009 while leaving Yosemite Valley after tent camping for 2 nights we witnessed a gut-wrenching collision between a bicycle rider and a car. We had only been on the exit road for 3 to 5 minutes when we came to a stop at a painted crosswalk. Unfortunately, the car coming from the opposite direction did not stop. Coming from our left was a 40ish year old gentleman LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD on his bike with a " I"m so loving this morning" expression on his face!!! The approaching car's windshield had maximum sun reflecting off it; my husband and I wondered if the driver (twenty something man) could even see...so, even tho' the driver was proceeding at about 15 miles per hour the biker's head hit and demolished the windshield. The biker ended up thrown onto the pavement with his super soaker squirt gun which I am sorry to say we crushed as we backed over it.
Thankfully, the biker was still conscious as we left the area to leave room for the approaching emergency vehicles (KUDOS to these people for their super fast response time). Interesting to note that the driver seemed more in shock than the bicyclist.
Finally, I don't know why the bicyclist was assuming all cars would stop...I don't know why he wasn't wearing a helmet...I don't know why there is no stop sign at that painted crosswalk...and I don't know if I will ever forget the horrible sights and sounds of this jaw-dropping experience.
avatar Re: June 20th bicycle/car accident
June 22, 2009 12:34PM
This stuff happens.

Wearing a properly fitted helmet does reduce the risks of head trauma, but not to zero.

My experience as a driver and formerly an avid bicyclist is that most bicyclists don't feel that they necessarily need to follow traffic rules or pay too much attention. Most drivers aren't attentive that bicyclists could be injured as a result of their mistakes (not signaling or rolling through stop/yield signs). Once I was driving out of a parking lot driveway in Yellowstone, signaled that I was going to make a right turn, and stopped at a stop sign. I did notice the two bicyclists I passed and who were eventually 50 feet behind me. As a bicyclist I would have paid attention, fully stopped at the sign, and signaled which way I was turning. If I were making a left I would have moved towards the left if safe to do so, in order to give an indication that I was about to do so. These clowns (they were not young to boot and should have known better) however decided to ride along my right. As I was about to start my right turn they come shooting across my right, blow through the stop sign, and turn left. If I had proceeded as I was allowed to, I would have knocked both of the bicyclists off the side of the road. So I slammed on my brakes and as they passed and I yelled out my window that they should learn how to freaking stop at a stop signal and/or learn how to make hand signals.
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