Crash this morning
Scary moment this morning on my way into work. Came up to guy who had just wiped out on his bike because a car pulled out in front of him at 35th (?) and Smallman, and then just drove off. He was tangled up in his bike and bleeding pretty badly from some road rash and also a nasty cut over his eye (he wasn’t wearing a helmet). Fortunately, several people rushed to aid, although no one was able to see the car. He seemed pretty dazed, but didn’t want an ambulance because he didn’t have insurance, so a couple guys with a first aid kit patched him up and gave him a ride to work.
Any thoughts on what to do in a situation like this? I’m guessing he could use couple stitches, but I don’t really know where a person can go for something like that without incurring huge medical bills.
My main takeaways are this though:
1 – a car that causes a biker to crash without actually hitting the bike ought to be just as culpable as one that hits the biker.
2 – we need universal national health insurance. The fact that this guy (and the people helping him) had to choose between expert medical care and potentially disastrous medical bills is bullshit.
3 – street cleaning needs to be seen as a bike safety issue. It was pretty clear that he couldn’t stop properly because of all the gravel in the road.
With a cut on his head and no helmet I’d be worried about concussion too.
I agree with all your points. But at the moment, about all we can do is encourage everyone without health insurance to see if they’re in the group that can get it cheap or free, then do so.
Would an urgent-care place be an option, maybe? They charge less than an ER, and might be within the guy’s budget.
urban-utility bike, take 2:
(plus head-mount camera, for the ones that get away)
But seriously, I starting to think that CCTVs in certain areas would be a good idea. But I also feel that’s a bad thought to have.
There are probably security cameras in that area that would have footage, but if there was no contact between the two, then it might be that the car wouldn’t be at fault by the law? If it were two cars and no contact, but one car ran into a telephone pole, I don’t think the other driver would be cited, but I could be wrong. Aren’t we supposed to be in control of our vehicles and be able to stop if needed? Considering cars can pull out on a cyclist and the cyclist hits the car and there are no charges, this one is probably a lost cause, but a video would certainly help.
“Aren’t we supposed to be in control of our vehicles and be able to stop if needed?”
If a car has a stop sign (which this car did) and causes a crash by pulling in front of another moving vehicle, they are almost certainly at fault.
At this point, since there’s no police report, there’s not much to do. The guy pretty clearly didn’t want us to call 911, which is a tough call, because I wanted to respect his wishes, but there’s also a benefit to reporting this stuff (and then there’s the tricky issue of whether you should respect the wishes of someone with a potential concussion).
Proceed with caution at intersections. How fast was the guy going, was he coming downhill? Not sure based on description exactly what happened.
I filed a police report where I had make, color and partial license plate and nothing happened. Or at least I thought I did. What’s a police report versus just taking information and doing nothing with it? Are they the same? Didn’t Nick have a full plate and nothing happened? What evidence is there that filing police reports make any difference. People are being hit all the time with no results.
If the guy makes under $46,680, he’s eligible for charity care at UPMC. The less he makes, the more they’ll cover, up to covering the entire bill if he makes less than $23,340. That can include concussion testing. See:
I wore a helmet and safety glasses and still had a cut over my eye and a concussion. I didn’t need stitches though. I think eyebrow-area cuts just generate a lot of blood.
Who was going which way? And do you mean 36th? Smallman essentially ends in a T intersection at 36th. If this is the corner, then I’ve wiped out on loose gravel, too, though there were other factors (irrelevant to this discussion).
If this is the corner, it should be noted that northbound 36th traffic (i.e., from Penn toward the river) does not have a stop sign, so can make the left onto Smallman. Southbound 36th does have a stop sign, and if you take the corner at anything beyond coming to a standstill, you risk wiping out in the loose gravel on this corner.
At 35th, both nb and sb 35th have a stop sign, while eb and wb Smallman do not.
Things like this (and the crash bb discussed on another thread) are what makes me happy I’m all camera’d up. You have to watch out for yourself.
When that asteroid hit Russia everybody wondered why so many drivers had video cameras. The reason is that if you don’t have your own record in Russia, you won’t get justice. Same with bikes. If somebody hits you or causes you to crash, drives away, and you don’t get a license plate #, you’re basically out of luck. Even if they stick around, you’re at a disadvantage.
In the particular case it sounds like this guy isn’t going to be going out and spending lots of cash on cameras. So what happens in his case is he gets the short end of the stick.
It was 35th. The car had a stop sign and the bike did not. It’s a little bit of a downhill slope there, but there’s pretty much no way this guy was going above the speed limit. I’m sure there are things he could have done to avoid the crash, but the driver was almost certainly at fault.
@Pierce, thanks for the UPMC link, that’s good to know.
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