Left cross on video

Surveillance camera captures a classic “left cross” collision.

Ana from Champaign, IL went over the hood of a car after the driver attempted a left turn without checking to ensure both oncoming lanes were clear.



According to the video, Ana is uninjured, though her front wheel was damaged.

My first serious bike-vs-car collision was a left cross a lot like this, except it was a “right cross” since it happened on Japan, where traffic is on the left. I was a teen riding my dad’s custom built touring bike to a friend’s house. I was taking the lane but was following a large truck in a line of traffic. A young GI tried to shoot the gap immediately behind the truck with her Datsun Fairlady Z when she hit me.

I bounced up and over the hood and broke out her windshield, then rolled and landed on my feet without injury. My dad’s nice bike unfortunately, went under the car and didn’t survive the crash.

Via Commute Orlando with a tip of the tweed cap to Serge who points out that the left cross is among the most common of bike vs car collisions.

8 Comments

  • December 1, 2011 - 4:03 am | Permalink

    Almost ate it that way in Tokyo and in Toronto.  For %$#@’s sake, plan your route better so you don’t have to turn blind through cars in the other lane.

  • December 1, 2011 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    The woman was traveling way too fast into a situation that she should have known meant danger. Any intersection where a cyclist cannot see all the potential threats should be approached very carefully and more to the point – slowly – until the cyclist can properly assess the situation. This is something that the LAB does not place enough emphasis on, relying instead on teaching collision avoidance maneuvers or ‘stunts’ like the ‘quick stop’ or ‘instant turn’ that supposedly allow cyclists to avoid sudden threats, but which, in fact, place the cyclist in an unbalanced, less controlled and thus more dangerous position.

    Cyclists can avoid sudden dangers by ensuring threats don’t become sudden dangers in the first place. They can do this by modifying their speed to suit the threat level.

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  • December 2, 2011 - 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Rick Langlois did a great job of editing the raw video.  When there are enough cyclists out there, it won’t be so weird to have somebody coming down the bike lane… and drivers will be a little less likely to dash across it doin’ the left turn squeeze… but yea, not passing on the right across a driveway is a good idea.  

  • Anonymous
    December 3, 2011 - 4:17 am | Permalink

    I wanted to see what comments you got. Nice blog by the way.

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  • Anonymous
    December 4, 2011 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

    My one crash with a car was similar to this – agree with Ian that she was going too fast.  In my case the traffic was stopped on the main street, with a long line of cars waiting to make a left at an intersection down the road.  A driver had allowed a gap to open to allow a woman who wanted to turn left from a side street to go through.  The gap was not yet where it would allow the woman to make her left, so when I approached in the right lane, she waved me across – as I crossed the side street, a car made a left from the main street, through the gap and directly into my path.  I made an emergency right turn and ended up not being injured but my left brake caliper left a long gouge in the side of the car.   Driver did not stop, but accelerated away from the scene.

  • Rodney
    December 7, 2011 - 7:55 am | Permalink

    This is a classic case where “cyclists” are led to believe that paint makes them safe.  I’m in a dedicated lane, so why would I need to be on my guard?  These “cyclists” you refer to are merely butts on bikes, not cyclists.

    I see a tremendous amount of such blunders on my travels.  A cyclist who is aware of the conflicts involved with bicycle facilities would have known better.  Insult is added to injury when these “cyclists” refuse to accept best practices in order to ensure both their safety first and enjoyment of using a bicycle as transportation.

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