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Old 13.05.2015, 13:31
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Car accident

Sorry for the mammoth post, I was just looking for some straight talking to please.

I was coming off a motorway slip road on the A1. There was a big queue on the slip road and a queue of traffic at the top, so the cars were letting people in off the slip road one by one. When I came to the top I waited to be let in, sure enough a lady waved me into join the road, I glanced at the cycle lane that runs along side the road I was joining, no cyclists, waved thanks back to the lady and went to edge forward. It's a habit, I do it regularly, I'm beginning to doubt I looked enough

Then a motorbike clipped my front wheel. He'd been in the queue of the road I was trying to join and weaved out into the cycle lane & went straight into me as I'd started to turn.

At that moment a million and one Swiss people ran to help, they were amazing, esp as my french went to pot. They called the authorities, took my baby from the car to look after, comforted me, made sure the biker stayed on the floor, I can't begin really to explain how great they were.

The police came, they were so kind, one hugged me and explained everything. They drove my car home for me afterwards! The ambulance men checked the motorcyclist out, he had hurt his leg, they said it was a graze through his jeans and was absolutely fine. He had to go to hospital for a 'controle'.

Now I know I have to take half the responsibility as my front wheel was over the white line when he hit me. Fair enough. They said at best il get a letter, at worst a fine and a month ban. They said he was in the wrong on multiple points, no lights, dangerous manoeuvre, driving in cycle lane, speed etc.

But I'm not good. If he'd have been 2 secs later he would have ploughed into my son. When I went to help him he threatened to kill me & he'd remember what I looked like, I know shock but I'm scared. The docs have given me some medicine for the next couple of days but I'm a mess & I can't keep going over it in real life. How did I not see him? Its frightening me. Can anyone help? I'm scared of what's going to happen next & I'm too scared to drive the car
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Old 13.05.2015, 13:45
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Re: Car accident

No major harm done. Let the police deal with the "who's at fault?" business. I wouldn't pay too much attention to what the guy was saying when he was down on the floor injured.

Could have been much much worse, so just take it easy and learn from this. Maybe there is nothing to learn for you apart from being extra vigilant when someone waves you in.

For the motorcyclist it's a different matter, we haven't heard his side of the story but it doesn't sound too good, no lights? on a bicycle lane? maybe too fast? He might have had the right of way but filtering through slowly moving traffic on a cycle lane is always a recipe for disaster not to mention being illegal.
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Old 13.05.2015, 13:48
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Re: Car accident

Put any thoughts that he may take further action out of your mind. He was obviously upset at the accident and probably just venting his anger. It sounds like he is in enough trouble already.

Of course, if he did make any unwarranted contact, go straight to the Police
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Old 13.05.2015, 13:50
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Re: Car accident

Good idea to get back in the car with someone you trust as soon as possible and regain your confidence.

Accidents are just that accidents and you just need to learn from them.
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Old 13.05.2015, 13:57
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Re: Car accident

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Put any thoughts that he may take further action out of your mind. He was obviously upset at the accident and probably just venting his anger. It sounds like he is in enough trouble already.

Of course, if he did make any unwarranted contact, go straight to the Police
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No major harm done. Let the police deal with the "who's at fault?" business. I wouldn't pay too much attention to what the guy was saying when he was down on the floor injured.
MM, I'd say let the police know about it (it wasn't clear from the OP, did you tell them already?) and then try to put it out of your mind. The police do need to know though. There may be some additional precautions they would like to take just to be on the safe side, e.g. hiding your license plate number in the public database.
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Old 13.05.2015, 14:32
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Re: Car accident

+1 to what MathNut said. Think about it: if you tell them and nothing happens, no big deal. If you tell them and something happens/may happen, they could prevent it.
BUT
if you don't tell them and something really happens you'll regret not having taken action when you could. So call them and make your statement or take an appointment, it's a win/win situation for you.

About not being able to get over it: guess what, you're human just like us...
Would be scary to know that you have an accident like that (with your baby in the car!) and the next day you feel like nothing happened. It will take time but it will eventually fade to the point when you will get in a car and drive again. It's important that you do because if you let too much time pass by then you really will be uneasy driving again and this may put you in further danger, and we don't want this right?
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Old 13.05.2015, 14:36
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Re: Car accident

Forget the dingbat on the bike - focus on the kindness of everyone else. Even the most careful drivers can have accidents - it only takes a moment of not looking in that particular direction.

If he'd gone into the side of your car, then, unless you're driving something with the structural strength of a box kleenex, the chances are the car would have been badly damaged... but the contents (i.e. your kid) not.

Finally - if you find you're not recovering, seek counselling. It can really help.
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Old 13.05.2015, 15:16
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Re: Car accident

I can't believe you all replied! I'm so grateful, truly I'm not normally this bloody wet but I can't stop going over it and all your messages make so much sense. Thank you so so much.

I will call the police to just update my statement, I think you are right. I don't have to make a big deal out of it but yes if they know they can be a bit careful about my details and also I can sleep a bit better! I don't really think hel come after me if I'm being straight with myself but he just made some comments about my appearance to remember me by that were a bit unsettling. (And patronising which I can take!)

I'm going to reread the messages and give myself a slap and get in the car tomorrow. If it doesn't feel great then il just try again the day after, it can't last forever can it! It's just I want to fully trust myself that I won't miss anything ever again. I guess like you say, I've just to accept I didn't see him in time and that's it isn't it. I can only improve. And the kids are always tight in their seats and safe as can be, just my mind working overtime.

If it's a fine and licence one month ban it's not the end of the world. Just nervous about the size of the fine but shit happens.

Apologies to anyone I held up on the A1 yesterday. And thanks to those waving at my son when they drove past, it made his day being a baby boy, he loved all the attention from the cars and trucks!
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Old 13.05.2015, 16:23
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Re: Car accident

Good to hear you are better. Just wanted to add: I think everyone who has ever had an accident can sympathise. Itís only natural that you go over it again and again. Itís what we all did. Donít beat yourself up over it too much. It has happened and canít be changed and it seems as if youíre at least not the only one at fault (if you are at all).
Also I know you donít want to think about it but just be glad that the biker did not get hurt worse. Imagine if you drove over him and injured him badly or worse. If you think about it that way I am sure you will be glad that he was not unconscious and still able to have a go at you ;-).
Relax and take a deep breath and yes, go back to driving. Try to leave the child at home the first time you go so you can fully concentrate on you and on driving. Then try again with him. All the best!
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Old 13.05.2015, 16:36
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Re: Car accident

Well done for calling out for help and reassurance. You are not crazy to be uspet. You are completely normal to be upset. Even if you had been in the car without a child, that event could shake anyone up since, after all, as it was happening, you couldn't possibly know how serious it would (or would not) be for everyone involved, including the motorbike man. And then, with a child in the car! Your system must have gotten completely hyped with anticipation, rushing to make those millisecond decisions, trying to choose the very best option. Hardly surprising that you feel shakey later, when the immediate need to act is over.

So, please don't give yourself a slap!
Give yourself a nice soak in the bath, and some nice music.
Give yourself time to cuddle your Baby. On an animal-instinct level it will help "convince" you that Baby is okay, and Baby's response to you will help "convince" you that, since Baby thinks you're okay, you probably are.

As far as the police are concerned, I'd be inclined to think it'd be much more effective if you didn't phone. Better, I surmise, if you went down to the police station, with Baby in your arms, to
a) thank them for their attentive kindness while you were mainly preoccupied with making sure Baby was not hurt, and then
b) to tell them you're concerned about what motorbike man said, especially about being able to identify you and find you.

Since they were kind before, they are likely to continue so to be.
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Old 13.05.2015, 16:53
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Re: Car accident

My sympathies, and it's good to see no serious harm was done. Hopefully you'll get over it soon.

I wonder what they would fine you for? On what grounds would they temporarily ban your license? "Nichtbeherrschen des Fahrzeugs" can hardly be apply as you were basically standing still.

I mean, there was only one lane from the left, right? (the bycicle strip is not a lane, it's merely part of the lane reserved for bicycles) Since the car driver waved you in (ceded her way of right) I don't see what other right you could have disrespected as the bike had no business being on the strip to begin with. He must have been aware of the possibility of you getting waved in, you were not the first and without the accident wouldn't have been the last.
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Old 13.05.2015, 17:24
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Re: Car accident

I may be a bit dim, but you say the car waved you in and you proceeded to enter the mainstream - in front of that car - when the bike zipped along and bashed into you (from the bicycle lane) ?

He was overtaking the cars on his left? Not legal.

Some bike riders are fast giving bikers (generally) a bad name because they seem to be riding rather recklessly these days - like hugging car bumpers, zig-zagging thru traffic, whizzing past on overtaking with hardly any decent distance from cars (generally scaring the bejasus out of a car driver with sudden varooohm by drivers window).

Anyway, it is good that you have vented your story here, and gotten understanding and sympathy. It helps to tell the story and get it out of your brain. Like the others say, the scene will diminish in time and cease to bother you so much. At least everyone is alive and not damaged.
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Old 13.05.2015, 19:23
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Re: Car accident

as a biker who will take the space if it is available, it sounds like he tried to take space which was not available and I would in no way blame yourself. I would never put myself in that position.

the police are going to look at some things though:
1. Your wheel and the line being crossed
2. The bike being in a cycle lane
3. The guy being injured

Now this will take time and don't worry about it - usually 6 months. The woman who did not see me 2 years ago and drove into the side of me got a vacation from driving for a month ..... six months after the fact. Not a big deal, one month off. I had a broken foot.

In the end, accidents happen. Do you have legal insurance? Talk to them
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Old 13.05.2015, 20:28
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Re: Car accident

How did I not see him.... that's easy and something that effects all of us.. you did see him but simply didn't register that he was there. That's the brain works.. you expect to see a car you look for big objects. It's been proved over and over again.

You will see the bike next time.

This human condition is why I ride with super bright LED additional lighting and ride defensively to avoid someone pulling out in front of me.
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Old 13.05.2015, 20:48
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Re: Car accident

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How did I not see him.... that's easy and something that effects all of us.. you did see him but simply didn't register that he was there. That's the brain works.. you expect to see a car you look for big objects. It's been proved over and over again.

You will see the bike next time.

This human condition is why I ride with super bright LED additional lighting and ride defensively to avoid someone pulling out in front of me.
Alternatively, perhaps she didn't see him in the cycle lane because he wasn't in the cycle lane when she looked.

She says she was looking for cyclists. Cyclists are the same size as motorcyclists so I really doubt that was the issue here. More likely is that he wasn't in the cycle lane yet, was still behind some cars in the car lane, and pulled out (without looking carefully enough himself, apparently) in the moments after she had already made her check and started to merge.
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Old 13.05.2015, 23:19
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Re: Car accident

Thanks for the messages. Yes, to clarify the motorbike used the cycle lane to try and undercut the cars in the queue of traffic I was trying to join.

This is where I've lost the plot, as I do check for cyclists in that bike lane, there's also a zebra crossing just before you get to the top of the slipway and I check for people trying to cross that as it's often difficult for them. I go this way so often I recognise some of the pedestrians at that time and can tell if I'm early or later than usual! So then passing the zebra crossing to get to the junction I've already done one peripheral look around.

I then wait to see who will let me in as it's often so busy, when I got the wave I do another quick look and wave and move forward. But I've not got far to go, I'm moving into a gap that someone has given way for me in very slow moving traffic.

But clearly I've gone wrong somewhere as I just did not see that motorcyclist in that lane at all. He might have been in the traffic queue but if I'm honest that would just register as normal to me as stuck in traffic. It's a single lane over the motorway bridge going incredibly slowly so nobody has any real room for manoeuvre. As been said, I thought undertaking was illegal so if he was stopped there I wouldn't have expected him to try and drive though. Of course il be more aware next time.

My absolute horrible fear is that I could have looked and not seen therefore I could have run over a legitimate cyclist. That's one of things that's been stopping me getting back in the car. At the risk of being melodramatic you've got to be able to trust you own eyes haven't you?

Thanks for letting me get all this out! Despite the reassurances by the police that although he had done something very wrong, when it come to the law the second I crossed over I automatically will share the fault. How much that will cost me I don't know. I'm going to struggle with waiting 6 months! I've only got 3 days of drugs to calm down!
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Old 14.05.2015, 12:45
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Re: Car accident

Cars have blind spots. And you don't know what speed he was going. That is why it is called an accident. Good luck with your recovery.
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Old 14.05.2015, 12:53
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Re: Car accident

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He was overtaking the cars on his left? Not legal.
It's allowed in slow moving traffic.
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Old 14.05.2015, 14:13
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Re: Car accident

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It's allowed in slow moving traffic.
Sources?

I believe the slow moving traffic thing only applies if there are two lanes. In any case the driver should approach with caution.

Motorcyclist overtaking on the cycle lane is really not comparable IMO.
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Old 14.05.2015, 14:44
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Re: Car accident

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Sources?

I believe the slow moving traffic thing only applies if there are two lanes. In any case the driver should approach with caution.

Motorcyclist overtaking on the cycle lane is really not comparable IMO.
I don't think the no of lanes is quoted anywhere, it could well apply in 3 lanes or more.

A cyclist would be allowed to overtake in a cycle lane, in several French cantons motorbikes are tolerated by the police overtaking in cycle & bus lanes, if they did not congestion would be worse & traffic would hardly move in Geneva.
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