Cautionary tale

#1. On August 30 I had a car accident in Salmon Arm.

(Nobody was hurt). My 10-year-old Subaru sustained about $2500 damage. Both right doors were punched in though they would open and close. The lady who hit me may want to get another bumper for her Taurus wagon.) I think the details of the accident are instructive because it is a common situation yet not covered in any book I've read. Had I been on the bike, the K75 would be spare parts and I would be in the hospital still I expect. Just before 11:00 am I was headed east on the Trans Canada and pulled into the left turn lane for Shuswap Ave. I arrived just after the light in my direction turned green. There was a steady stream of oncoming cars and I knew that even though I was the leading car in the turning lane, I wasn't going to make the turn
until the light turned yellow and the oncoming traffic came to a halt. After coming to a stop, blinker on, I pulled forward into the intersection. The sun wasn't in my eyes and I wasn't in any rush. The light turned yellow, two cars parallel to each other quite properly went through, and then there was quite a chunk of pavement ahead of the next two parallel cars that were moving at or below the 50-kph speed limit. I assumed they would stop and started to make my turn. KABOOM! The car on the curbside had stopped but the lady in the outer lane nailed me. Both of us moved our wounded vehicles to parking spots close by. A native woman witnessed the accident and, after checking to see that nobody was hurt, volunteered to phone the RCMP. I'm sure it was her testimony to the cop that saved me from a fine and let me keep my 40% ICBC discount. When it comes to insurance and traffic fines, it is nice to "be in the right." But it is much better to avoid the accident. And I could have avoided this accident.
Moral of the story: Be sure before you make that left turn that oncoming vehicles are really going to come to a stop. Dipping hoods are a good indication. If in doubt, wait. There is a one second interval between a red light and the green light for the other traffic. Be sure before you make your move.

Incident #2.
Coming home on the bike on Oct. 6 from Daroga I decided to take the Westside road instead of Hwy 97. In one of the narrower, twistier sections I was moving at a fairly quick pace though slower I am sure than many of you ride this road. As I approached a right hand  curve I was close to the centre line. A pickup truck appeared, 3/4 across the centre line. There was, fortunately, a bit of time. I didn't brake and am not sure if I rolled off the throttle, but I sure headed for the right side of the road. By the time we passed each other, the pickup driver got his vehicle back over the line. It wasn't a close miss and didn't really bother me at the time. It bothers me more in retrospect. If I had been another 2 seconds closer to the blind curve when the truck appeared, I don't know how I would have avoided a head-on accident.
If you wish to comment to me personally, and I welcome your thoughts, my email address is I also invite other club members to share things they have learned the hard way, or almost the hard way, about avoiding accidents with other members of the club via the monthly email from the Young's.

Print   Email