Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I got hit by a car.

I did. I'm fine. A little banged up, but I checked out A-ok. My bike, eh... not so good.

I think it looks like it's giving a hug.

A woman right hooked me on one of the residential streets near the shop. Here's a tip for drivers- the first thing you should say to someone after you hit them with your car is "Are you Ok? Can I call you an ambulance?" NOT "I had my blinker on. You ran into me." She kept saying I came out of nowhere, which I know is not true- I was in front of her on the road for the full block before she hit me. How do I know that? When you're on a bike you're 1,000,000,000 times more aware of the traffic around you (accurate to +/- 1,000,000). Thankfully, four police folks had showed up before I was even able to lift myself off the pavement, a) so they could make sure I was Ok, and b) so I didn't have to talk to that woman. The paramedic was great (a mountain biker), and the nurse was almost as upset as I was about my bike ("That SRAM stuff is great... I've got it on my Tarmac.").

I hate that it feels like it was inevitable. I've been a bike commuter my whole adult life, so I was bound to get hit sometime, right? That seems like a terrible thought to have. I'm a responsible cyclist and road user. I wait at lights, yield for pedestrians, stop at stop signs, and so on. It's not inevitable. There's plenty of road for everybody. Everyone has rights and responsibilities on the road and if we all watch out for each other then no one will have to sit in the emergency room waiting to see if her elbow is broken. If that woman had just been aware and had seen me on the road I would have been fixing bikes, instead of making friends in the ER.

On the upside, I got this:

if only...


  1. Oh, Em. I'm so glad you're okay. Can I buy you a full set of hockey goalie pads to wear on your future commutes?

  2. Oh sucky Em! I'm glad you're okay. You just need to tell your boss to buy you a beer and that you're not working for a while... oh wait... that's you.

  3. Glad you're OK.

    I hope that the police filed a report so you can get reimbursed for your bike and trouble.

    I had a similar issue last year (blog post ), cop put my garmin in my pocket so I got to see the ambulance's path :)

  4. It looks like your handlebars are giving an air hug...cute. I'm really glad you're ok! Keep wearing your helmet.

  5. A year ago this friday I was hit and sent off to MGH. I too, felt like it was inevitable. Seven years riding and it finally happened.

    Give her insurance company a hard time and perhaps we'll get some bike advocacy out of 'em.

    Come down Willow St after work sometime and Kostya and I will pour you a beer and not talk about accidents.

  6. Yuck. Glad that you are okay. I agree that you shouldn't think about it like it was inevitabile, yet I do the same thing. Do people have the same thought about getting into an accident with their car? I guess since we are less protected that sense of doom wells up. I'll return the hug your bike seems to be offering.

  7. So sorry to hear it, Emily. glad you're ok.

  8. Emily,

    Glad to hear you are OK and that you had a helmet on. My rule of thumb when riding is to expect drivers to make the dumbest possible move at the worst possible moment. And it sounds like this woman did just that. Now get that insurance company to make nice with your bike.
    Tim W.

  9. I’m sorry about what happened. My husband has been a cyclist, too, for a long time, and he encountered some road accidents too. It was a pain dealing with what happened. For one, you are worried about your condition. Then, dealing with what exactly happened will come next. I hope that the lady-driver was generous enough to cooperate and clear the air. And I hope that the accident did not mar your affection for biking and cycling! [Amy Baron]