Yesterday I was in a nasty crash.
Coming along Northampton Road before it becomes Oxford Street, I approached a car in front of me. It hit the brakes, indicated left and made a left manoeuvre. Despite hitting my brakes, there wasn’t enough time for me to stop. The time between her indicating and turning was too short. I slammed into the side of the car, my bicycle dented the door and my face knocked off the wing mirror. Yes, my face. My eye is black and my tooth snapped in half. Ouch.
My right side is hurt. Yesterday my right knee was really hurting. The nurse in A&E said it seemed as if it was in the soft tissue. My right hand hurts a lot. It feels like it has been crushed and I don’t have any strength in it. Typing this is a combination of a mainly left hand job and pigeon-typing with my right index finger.
The driver didn’t see me? Oh no. She did. She admitted seeing me and apparently I sped up. Down a decline my bicycle speed would have been increasing. As a driver of a vehicle, she should know the procedure is Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre. The whole point of checking the mirror is to look around you to check it is safe to change direction. She saw me. A signal is not a demand that you ARE turning left. It is stating your intention. Despite hitting my brakes as soon as I saw the indicator I couldn’t stop in time as the car stopped, turned left and crossed my path. Her tonnes of metal vs. my few kilos of carbon fibre was no match.
Yesterday in A&E I was devastated. Not only did I really hurt but my tooth was cracked, bicycle inevitably damaged and my glasses were broken. I put it into perspective and thought to myself that a few milliseconds different could have been life-changing or life-removing. I am alive. A few days complete rest and I will be back to myself.
Just last week I attended the World Naked Bike Ride, an event which calls for the safety of cyclists. Come on.
Pay due care and attention on the roads!