Saturday, October 4, 2008

Got Hit By A BMW Today.

I knew it was bound to happen. With ~6,500 miles on the road this year, the odds are that sooner or later, I'd end up on the ground..


At about 2 PM I met a man named John (I think it was) in the worst of fashions. By smashing into his shiny BMW at 15+ mph, which he was going at least that same speed, coming at me.

And like they say, it happened so fast. No time to react, only time to let out a guttural "ugh" and close your eyes and brace. Impact. Loud sounds of metal & BMW side-panel coming together, and the sense of being a rag doll. Dammit.

But I made it out in once piece!!

The scene - 10th & Mercer


In a nutshell, the driver cut left on the round-about above (instead of going the long way around it and then turning left, like you're supposed to), surprising me with about one second to react to a grey/blue BMW in front of me while I was going probably 15-18 mph! I bounced off their windshield-hood-roof, and landed on the ground next to the car. (Oddly on the right side of the car, the same one that I hit, didn't fly over the hood)

I opened my eyes to find myself on the ground, facing west when I was initially facing north-east. Must've been a pretty spin I did.. The wind was knocked out of me, but after a few seconds realized I was more or less OK. Got up to see my frame pump on the ground, and the bike laying next to it, at least in one piece.

The guy was apologetic, and stuck around to make sure I was OK. A passing motorist asked if I was OK. Of all the reactions I could muster, laughter was the one that came to mind. It's just the way I am - something this unexpected, what can I do but laugh?

I told him he could leave, I just wanted to get back home (this was just six or so blocks from the apt). The front wheel wouldn't even spin, so the walk home was me half-limping and holding up the front end of the Pacer.

I didn't bother getting the guy's insurance info, as I don't think it was that big of a deal. The bike should be easy to repair, and if not I can afford to fix it. Shit Happens. I didn't feel like dealing with police to get a report either, even if that would somehow change bike stats in Seattle.

Pacer's Damage

Twisted handlebars/brakes (fixed at the scene), untrue wheels (front won't spin at all). No visible cracks or bends on the frame or fork, but I'm definitely gonna have the shop check it out to make sure. I'll have to true the wheels before I can even walk/ride it down there!!

My Damage

Left hand hurts a bit, right elbow is skinned a little, and my lower back hurts a decent amount. And just below the knees I'm pretty well bruised, both from the car and the top tube of the bike.

I'm glad I had a helmet on, as I'm pretty sure my head bounced off their roof or windshield, and then most likely hit the ground. It was definitely crooked when I got up.

Car's Damage

Saw a cracked windshield, and I would assume from the paint on my fork there's a little paint damage too. Hopefully the guy will learn a lesson to not cut the round-abouts anymore.

And all I wanted to do was ride! Take it easy out there folks, you never know what's around the next corner. Or round-about.

14 comments:

christopher said...

damn it matt that sucks..... but i'm glad your mostly ok.

i tell ya, when i ran into that truck that pulled out in front of me earlier this year the only regret i have was not filling a report and collecting his insurance info. not just because it ended up costing me around $600, but because if i had ended up with some sort of injury that revealed itself later i could have pursued his insurance for compensation. adrenaline can mask injuries.

but at the same time i understand why you reacted the way you did. once you realize your mostly ok you just want to get home a fast as you can after something like that.

well, again i'm glad your ok. and get that bike fixed, robert and i are planing a perm on the 18th.

Steve Weixel said...

That sucks that you got hit, but you are an idiot for not getting their information. I thought I was fine after I was hit a few weeks ago and didn't realize until several hours later that my ribs were broken.

christopher said...

oh shit... it was a BMW? thats like winning the lotto. you really should have gotten his info... and a neck brace.... and a wheel chair.... and a sippy cup with a long straw, you know.... for court!

brillodelsol said...

dude, been enjoying your posts, first time written. i have been cycling for 30+ years and i agree with the other guys: after an accident its common to feel fine. i would suggest you get to a clinic just to be safe. anyone on two wheels goes down plenty and its not always warranted, this one sounds like it is. best to you. oh yea, the other most important thing...howz the bike???

Dessa said...

Get better and keep the rubber side down!

Robert H said...

I appreciate that the order of your list of damages went like this:
a) the bike
b) yourself
c) his car

That says a lot about you. I hope you are doing well. Sorry about your troubles.

matt said...

thx all for the well wishes!!

the bike's frame seems OK, front wheel however is so out of true that even after an hour of truing (or tinkering), the damn thing will barely roll without getting stuck on the brake..

still haven't gone to the doc, as i feel somewhat better. even going to work today.

we'll see. at worst, i've got my own insurance so i'm not worried about not getting the BMW's info.

Jason Hall said...

You really should of really gotten his information, even if you felt like there was no serious damage(there was no downside to collecting the information). Simply put, when these things happen, adrenaline flow is suppressing your ability to figure out if you're really injured or not. I personally, got into an altercation with a car at the intersection of broadway and pine - I wasn't hit but i was forced to hit the pavement. I got up as fast as I could and got back on my bike to ride the rest of the way to work. When I got to work, I sat down, and the adrenaline started to wear off - I realized I was in agonizing pain. The tip of my elbow had been broken in the fall and I had to have surgery the next day to screw my elbow back together.

Karen said...

That really sucks! Glad you are ok and your bike is repairable.

The traffic circles in Seattle can be serious hazards. Its actually legal to turn left in front of the circle and most people aren't aware of that, so its not usually expected. And in most cases with all the stuff people grow in them, like the bushes and trees in the one you pictured, it can be really hard to see whats coming your way.

I am glad to hear that you seem to be recovering quickly and I love your get right back to it attitude! Great blog!

Shan said...

So sorry to hear about the accident Matt. I'm REALLY glad you are ok and on the way to recovery-ville.

Given the "heat of the momement" I might have done the same thing you did. But in hindsight, you should have written down the info from the driver. There's no reason you should to spend even a penny for someone elses fault.

matt m said...

"Its actually legal to turn left in front of the circle and most people aren't aware of that, so its not usually expected."

Well from what I can tell, it depends on who you ask. According to this PI police blog I found, doing this will yield a $124 ticket: (bolding by me)

Here's the complete text form (sic) 11.53.08011.53.080 about medians and barriers in divided streets:

Whenever any street has been divided into two (2) or more roadways by a physical barrier or by a planted area or by a median island not less than eighteen inches (18") wide formed either by solid yellow pavement markings or by a yellow cross-hatching between two (2) solid yellow lines so installed as to control vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by official traffic-control devices or peace officers.

No vehicle shall be driven over,
across or within any such physical barrier or planted area or median island, except through an opening in such physical barrier or planted area or median island, or at a crossover or intersection established by public authority. (RCW 46.61.150)

If you follow the comments in the PI blog post, there's a "lively debate" as to whether or not a left turn across a round-about is actually illegal. Or what defines a traffic ciricle or a round-about. But I think we all know what the safer option is.

I hope drivers will be more concerned about saving lives rather than saving three seconds to Get There Faster.

Drivers, please just do what you know is safe. My back still hurts!

Karen said...

I certainly could be wrong. Sounds like there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Here is where I found the information.

http://www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/roads/faqs/index.cfm?qid=102&catid=64

cliftongk1 said...

Matt, glad that you're OK. Sucks that the Pacer got pranged up so badly... That thing is brand new.

As for the traffic median issue, and the language in the RCW: I used to live in the Capitola at the top of 14 and Republican, and had a tough time adjusting to those "no stop sign" 4 way intersections after coming here from Ohio. Anyhow, the RCW only defines a right-hand travel traffic median as one which is delineated with a yellow painted border. None of those curbs in Cap Hill are painted. By the official letter of the law, they're not a traffic circle; they're just really big planters.

brillodelsol said...

so just yesterday spent the night at harborview ER with my son, he went down on 1st (doing @25mph he says) by safeco, just hit a plate and flipped. ended up on his chin, 6 stitches, ugh.
they did xrays and mri, cuz things may show up later. i still urge you go.
His Giant Kronos just suffered a flat. Not sure how the rim fared.