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#1 2009-03-16 22:38:32

tomwald
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

5400 Burnet Rd: Bicyclist is clipped by passing motorist's mirror

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/ … h_wit.html

Bicyclist injured in crash with car, police say

Monday, March 16, 2009, 06:44 PM

Burnet Road near the 5400 block was shut down in both directions for about two hours Monday because of crash between a car and a bicyclist, said Dennis Farris, a senior officer with the Austin Police Department.

The wreck, which occurred just south of Koenig Lane, happened about 4:50 this afternoon, Farris said. The vehicle and the bicyclist appear to have been in the same lane traveling south, he said. The bicyclist was clipped by the vehicle's rear-view mirror, he said.

The bicyclist was taken to University Medical Center at Brackenridge with injuries that are serious but not considered life-threatening, Farris said. There were no other reports of injuries, and no other vehicles were involved, he said.

http://www.keyetv.com/content/news/topn … Gx4OQ.cspx

Minivan hits bike on Burnet Rd.; Cyclist injured
keyetv.com contributor: Jason Wheeler
Last Update: 6:57 pm

[Photo caption: The man riding this bike was wearing a helmet, which police say saved him from critical head injuries. (Jason Wheeler)]

Austin police say a bicyclist is recovering from serious, but not life threatening injuries, at the University Medical Center at Brackenridge after being struck by a minivan.

Officers say Monday afternoon the driver of the van hit the cyclist as she was passing him in the southbound lanes of Burnet Road near Houston Street just after 4:30 p.m.

The driver was cited for failure to pass safely.

Detectives say there are a couple of important safety reminders here. First, they believe the man's head injuries could have been worse had he not been wearing a helmet.

Secondly, police say this is a crucial refresher that bicycles are to be treated like other vehicles.

If drivers wouldn't pass a car traveling in the same lane, they are advised not to do it to someone on a bike either.

http://www.kvue.com/news/top/stories/03 … a11c3.html

Cyclist injured in traffic accident
08:47 PM CDT on Monday, March 16, 2009
KVUE News

The driver of a van was cited for a traffic violation after injuring a bicyclist Monday afternoon.

Investigators say the driver of a minivan tried to pass a bike on Burnet Road near Houston Street around 4:30 p.m. when the van's side passenger mirror clipped him.

The man was wearing a helmet, but suffered a serious head injury and had to be taken to University Medical Center at Brackenridge.

Police shut down the intersection for nearly two hours.

http://www.myfoxaustin.com/dpp/news/031 … urnet_Road

Bicyclist Hit by Car on Burnet Road

Last Edited: Monday, 16 Mar 2009, 6:29 PM CDT
Created On: Monday, 16 Mar 2009, 6:29 PM CDT

- A man was riding his bike on Burnet Road Monday afternoon just before Lawnmont when he was hit head on [?] by a minivan. The cyclist hit his head on the ground but was wearing a helmet. The driver was cited for failure to pass safely. The road was briefly shut down in both directions.

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#2 2009-03-17 17:46:11

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
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Re: 5400 Burnet Rd: Bicyclist is clipped by passing motorist's mirror

I wonder whether the police took this case more seriously because the cyclist was wearing a helmet?  If so then that's a pretty good reason to wear one, if you want to make sure you get justice in a collision.

On the other hand, as we know a study showed that cyclists who wear helmets get passed closer by motorists than those who don't, and are thus more likely to get hit.  If this cyclist was hit by a car's mirror then the car was passing too close.  It would be ironic if the helmet inadvertently *caused* the crash.

Finally, I've been harping on this for over a decade, but there's bias in the reporting when the media calls it an "accident" before they know whether it was truly accidental.  And even if it was, "accident" is a euphemism.  We ought to be calling thes incidents what they really are, namely collisions.

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#3 2009-03-18 08:28:23

mariposa
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Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 8

Re: 5400 Burnet Rd: Bicyclist is clipped by passing motorist's mirror

On the other hand, I wonder if the police are taking this more seriously, and actually noting the cyclist's right to take the lane, as a result of some bit of training resulting from the recent Austin Cycling Association meeting with Chief Acevedo.  It's nice to think that a positive change in the way the cops deal with these issues may have come from this meeting anyway .  . .

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#4 2009-03-18 12:11:47

JW
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Registered: 2008-10-07
Posts: 15

Re: 5400 Burnet Rd: Bicyclist is clipped by passing motorist's mirror

Wow, a person gets a serious head injury in a collision with a car, and the driver of the car gets a ticket?! What's the person with the head injury get, a lifetime of rehab and a change in career? When will this part of the world start valueing human life and treat those who injure or take it with the seriousness and condemnation that they deserve?  What about the bicyclist's "right to life?" Helmets and spandex won't fix this; in fact I think they mark you as an "other" not worthy of serious consideration in Texas traffic. And Austin IS in Texas; deep in the heart of, in fact.

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#5 2009-03-18 13:09:36

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,202
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Re: 5400 Burnet Rd: Bicyclist is clipped by passing motorist's mirror

JW, what exactly are you suggesting?  What do you want them to do, shoot the driver?

I agree that a traffic ticket isn't much, but it's more than we could have expected the driver to get in years past.  Sad as this may be, it's actually a step in the right direction.  I prefer to look at the trend, rather than focus on the spot we're at now.

I'm not sure I agree with you about geography.  I always tell my out-of-state friends, the only bad thing about Austin is that it's surrounded by Texas.

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#6 2009-03-18 18:27:26

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
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Re: 5400 Burnet Rd: Bicyclist is clipped by passing motorist's mirror

R. B. wrote on the email list:

If helmets lead drivers into encroaching too closely on bicyclists, should then bicyclists avoid wearing them?   I think not.

I'm not sure I can agree.  If you gave me the option of getting hit by a car while wearing a helmet, vs. not wearing a helmet and not getting hit at all -- I'd definitely choose the latter.

Of course, the you don't have a 100% chance of getting hit if you're helmeted and a 0% chance if you're not.  But we don't know the actual percentages.  There's quite a bit of difference between, for example, 20x more likely to be hit while helmeted, vs. only 1.25% more likely to be hit while helmeted.  Though even in the latter case, that still seems to be a good argument for not wearing -- even after considering the positive value of wearing.

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#7 2009-03-19 12:15:38

JW
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Registered: 2008-10-07
Posts: 15

Re: 5400 Burnet Rd: Bicyclist is clipped by passing motorist's mirror

MichaelBluejay wrote:

JW, what exactly are you suggesting?  What do you want them to do, shoot the driver?

I agree that a traffic ticket isn't much, but it's more than we could have expected the driver to get in years past.  Sad as this may be, it's actually a step in the right direction.  I prefer to look at the trend, rather than focus on the spot we're at now.

I'm not sure I agree with you about geography.  I always tell my out-of-state friends, the only bad thing about Austin is that it's surrounded by Texas.

I didn't suggest a penalty. Is the only choice ticket or execution? How very Texan. Denying geography is absurd and a bit of a Texas thing, too, but my larger point was that Austin isn't so very different from the rest of this retrograde state when it comes to considering bicycles a form of legitimate transportation, or to considering bicylists fully human.

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#8 2009-03-20 02:29:10

seth
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From: Austin, TX (Hyde Park)
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 53
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Re: 5400 Burnet Rd: Bicyclist is clipped by passing motorist's mirror

MichaelBluejay wrote:

JW, what exactly are you suggesting?  What do you want them to do, shoot the driver?

I don't think JW was advocating for anything violent. It sounded like he was frustrated with the slap-on-the-wrist received by the driver.

Actually, the ticket is better than how most of these incidents are handled. In this case, the ticket identifies fault on the part of the motorist. The bicyclist is racking up dozens of thousands of dollars in medical bills already. The motorist's insurance will have to cover these to the limit (I think it's usually $25k). An accident attorney can then go after the motorist for additional compensation in court. Might bankrupt the motorist.

Without the ticket, it would be the bicyclist who suffers bankruptcy due to medical expenses.


Seth

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