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Old 09-29-2014, 09:23 AM   #1
HowlOnWheels OP
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Rear-ended in Manhattan

On my way to work on an overcast Monday morning. Flicked on my helmet-cam but the battery was dead, and I thought "oh well, probably not going to get any good motovlog footage today anyway". Should have known better.

After riding across the Brooklyn Bridge, I'm in the far left lane to exit near city hall. Came to an intersection, and I'm in the left lane to turn left, staying in the right 1/3rd of the lane. Light turns from green to yellow and i'm still 3-4 cars from the intersection, so I know I'm not going to make it and I start braking (probably from a top speed of 12-15 mph), and come to a nearly complete stop at the front of the line. I say nearly, because the dude in a minivan who was right behind me had designs on running that red light, and me over, in the process.

The right half of his bumper impacted the left rear blinker of my bike, snapping the connection and pushing the bike over onto its right side. This all happened at a very low speed, maybe 5-8 miles per hour, and it felt less like an impact and more like a very heavy shove. I knew the bike was going over so I sort of stepped out and let it fall, I didn't want to be under it or on the ground if the minivan was still coming, and certainly didn't want to be in the lane to the right where they still had a green light.

I popped up and pulled the bike up to the centerstand with the help of a bystander who ran right over. I then gave the offending driver the look of death and motioned for him to follow to the corner. Luckily, being city hall, there were cops everywhere already, and they took our respective statements. While waiting, I looked over the bike, and the damage is mostly cosmetic on where it isn't, I had plans on making changes anyway.

So, that being the case, and the bike riding and running fine, is there any reason for me to persue a claim? The other driver has insurance, but my thought process is:
Bike isn't that messed up
Even though this was his fault, my insurance would probably go up
This is my favorite season for riding, and I don't want my bike in the shop waiting for parts.

So, my questions are:
What would you do in this situation?
What could I have done to prevent it?
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:38 AM   #2
walterj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowlOnWheels View Post

So, my questions are:
What would you do in this situation?
What could I have done to prevent it?
1) I would make the claim. Get a copy of the police report. In a rear end job, the other driver is at fault and your insurance company should not be involved at all. Take the check and use it for whatever farkles you like to replace the bent bits.


2) No idea aside from having run the yellow which comes with it's own set of risks that are greater than a good shove from the back. Maybe one of the farkles you spend the insurance money on should be REALLY BRIGHT brake lights?
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:01 AM   #3
greedymonkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walterj View Post
1) I would make the claim. Get a copy of the police report. In a rear end job, the other driver is at fault and your insurance company should not be involved at all. Take the check and use it for whatever farkles you like to replace the bent bits.
^^This. File a claim with the driver's insurance, not yours. Your insurance won't go up. Have them pay for everything that was damaged.

Thankfully you're ok.

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Old 09-29-2014, 10:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by walterj View Post
1) I would make the claim. Get a copy of the police report. In a rear end job, the other driver is at fault and your insurance company should not be involved at all. Take the check and use it for whatever farkles you like to replace the bent bits.


The same.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
HowlOnWheels OP
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I like the idea of having his insurance company pay me money. So, has anyone done this in the past, particularly in New York? His insurance info will be on the police report that I pick up, do I reach out to them through him, or directly? Do they have to come and take my bike to look at it and get a damage report? This is the first time I've considered getting a claim filed, and I just don't know the procedure.
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:16 AM   #6
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You contact them with a copy of the police report, they will send an adjuster....but do your homework on prices for parts. That way you can dispute if they low ball you and show them proof of cost. His insurance will go up possibly, and hopefully he was given a ticket in addition. Removing their money is the only way some people will learn how to drive responsibly. Glad you're alright.

Not a whole lot you could've done. Did you instantly check your 6 as soon as you saw the yellow? It's hard to judge what someone is going to do at that low of speed, but you might be able to notice that they're coming in awfully fast. But there is only so much that can be done in a nanosecond...you made a good lane postion choice, you just didn't get the chance to use your escape path.
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Old 09-29-2014, 12:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info everyone! Mostly, I just want to make sure I can keep my own insurance company out of this, so they don't raise my premium.
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Old 09-29-2014, 05:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
You contact them with a copy of the police report, they will send an adjuster....but do your homework on prices for parts. That way you can dispute if they low ball you and show them proof of cost. His insurance will go up possibly, and hopefully he was given a ticket in addition. Removing their money is the only way some people will learn how to drive responsibly. Glad you're alright.
.
in the industry and above poster is 100% correct
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:04 PM   #9
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Glad you weren't hurt.

I'd suggest adding a couple of high intensity rear brake lights when the money from his insurance comes in. They won't guarantee the next guy won't run over you but every little bit helps.
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Old 09-30-2014, 04:19 AM   #10
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Generic answer: Watch your rear more actively, leave yourself escape routes, use those escape routes when necessary.

Specific answer: You said the his right front hit your left rear. That indicates you were in the right hand section of your lane. That tempts cars to attempt to fill that space. Do not sit there leaving an open space to your left.
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Old 09-30-2014, 05:27 AM   #11
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Escape Routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrapper View Post
Generic answer: Watch your rear more actively, leave yourself escape routes, use those escape routes when necessary.

Specific answer: You said the his right front hit your left rear. That indicates you were in the right hand section of your lane. That tempts cars to attempt to fill that space. Do not sit there leaving an open space to your left.
I agree, escape routes are critical. Get stopped, leave an out. I stay in gear until the car behind me is stopped. If I am by myself at a light and do not see a car I go to neutral. If someone is coming from behind, I put it back in gear until they stop. My wife and I got hit from behind while we were in a cage. We were the only car at a red light. A guy plowed right into us. He was looking for an address. We both got c-spine neck injuries, both got concussions. If I was on my bike, he would have run right over me going 25 - 30. She was driving, and not checking mirrors. Now she does.

I am glad you are OK. Oh, and on the insurance. If there is one mark on your bike, call his insurance. Make them pay.
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:15 AM   #12
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Glad you're ok, good thing the cops were nearby. If the other driver was issued a ticket, then your rates won't go up, or at least thats the way it worked for me after a spill last june.

I would file a claim with my own insurance agency as well. They will be the ones who will recoup and reimburse you for any deductibles incurred.

Can't add much to anyone else, watching your six is most important, especially in the situation you had with the yellow light

Not sure about NYC, but in austin the report is done by the local leo, then forwarded to TxDOT
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:21 AM   #13
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1) It seems unanimous at this point but I'll agree, file a claim with his insurance. When they give you a number, dispute it because they always start low and you CAN negotiate with them.

2) I pretty much always run the yellow if I am fairly confident I can make it. Here in Philly people do not stop for stop signs, people do not brake for a yellow light, meaning I am a lot more likely to be rear ended if I stop early for a yellow light. If there is a car in front of me, I often pull up alongside them so I can't be rear ended. In other words, I ride pretty aggressively. Doing courier work on my bike, I see it all and have kind of developed a good sense for what cars are going to do. At any rate, I don't think you did anything wrong, I just may have done it a little differently.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:22 AM   #14
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Active rider in NYC, commute on TEX to / frm Brklyn and had multiple rear-ends, side-hits/kicks and whatnot (knock on wood, nothing after I switched to TEX but with Harley I was like a moving target for cagers) Nothing to add to the insurance tips. But I want to stress the lane safety tips and defensive riding points in NYC:

. Always be mindful of your immediate surroundings, and two / three cars ahead. Always make sure that your intentions are clear as they can be. Don't make sudden moves, do everything in slow motion - in your case, stop braking waaay before the turn - I know that light and it's tricky, it's at the end of the turn, it's hard to brake there in the rain too. Start braking real early and let the driver behind you react early. If you wait until the last moment you will be run over - this is NYC. Yellow means accelerate in this town.

. Before you hit the brakes, you must know what's happening behind you. That means spend more time in the rear-view mirror. If you feel like you will be rear-ended and the car cannot stop, run the light. Nothing is more important than your safety. When I rode in the blizzard of last year I could not stop at any red light after 2nd avenue towards Manhattan bridge and after Manhattan bridge (I couldn't really see them to begin with, but if I hit the brakes I wouldn't be able to stop anyway) of course I was lucky that there was no traffic to speak of but you get the point.

. Always assume that every cab will try to crisscross from one end of the avenue to the other to pickup that one passenger before the other cab does the same. They usually won't hit you, but if you are moving around like a flea, yeah, you will be hit by a random cab every 2 minutes (hint hint - been there done that I know)

. This one is personal preference and it kept me safe all this time. I prefer the left side of lanes. I keep in the center view of the driver behind me. When I am behind a van/bus/truck on I-95 (I ride to Rhode Island from NYC and back every weekend) I make sure that I stay to the outside left of the large vehicle and that I am in the view of the rearview mirror. This also gives me a safe room in case of a sudden braking situation - I can use the brakedown lane as an escape route.

. Try Manhattan bridge, upper level instead. Less idiots but more metal. Tricky in rain. But much better in terms of traffic. I also ride in real early (before 7am) and ride back real late (after 8pm) to stay out of traffic. Even better, use the Battery tunnel. Entering it from FDR in Manhattan can be a real bitch at traffic times but it's much safer.

Nowadays with people texting - and not being able to walk let alone drive straight - nothing is safe in NYC. Riding, cycling, driving, walking, entering and getting out of subway cars - zombies everywhere.

I believe in endless human stupidity, including mine. Keep a safe distance and never, never split lanes, never pass on the right, anywhere but in NYC the most. I have seen enough to deter me to even stick my head out in traffic; but that's not how we roll.

Good luck and be safe. I am glad that you are not hurt and everything is cosmetic. Bike and all the parts on it can be replaced...
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:59 AM   #15
Bbasso
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Originally Posted by HowlOnWheels View Post
I like the idea of having his insurance company pay me money. So, has anyone done this in the past, particularly in New York? His insurance info will be on the police report that I pick up, do I reach out to them through him, or directly? Do they have to come and take my bike to look at it and get a damage report? This is the first time I've considered getting a claim filed, and I just don't know the procedure.
Yes I have and I got a check after they looked at my car.
Not much to it and was easy.
Get the report, call his insurance co. And let them walk you through the process.
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