Went down today due to massive rut in road

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
gezebo
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby gezebo » Fri Dec 21, 2012 15:07 pm

That's interesting Diy.

There is no mention in the OP's post about whether any road work signs were present. Would that effect any claim?

In fairness I'd have to suggest that regardless of any legislation that if you can't see where you are going (as indicated by OP) you should be travelling slower or be willing to accept the consequences. To blindly carry on is naive at best. From the picture it would have been just as easy for the OP to have crashed into a pedestrian and at 18mph I imagine it would have caused considerable injury, would they be in a position to defend any claim against them?

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Mikey23
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby Mikey23 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 21:04 pm

I have some pretty rough old roads to put up with down here in east Cornwall

I wasn't there so difficult to comment but doubt that I would be putting myself in that position, and if I did, would tend to blame myself for the consequences

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diy
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby diy » Sat Dec 22, 2012 08:44 am

gezebo wrote:That's interesting Diy.

There is no mention in the OP's post about whether any road work signs were present. Would that effect any claim?


Yes - The court looks at previous case examples and previously set precedents to try to make comparisons. If they can show something to be similar they argue the finding should be the same. If something is different then they try to take it into account.

Mikey23 wrote:I have some pretty rough old roads to put up with down here in east Cornwall

I wasn't there so difficult to comment but doubt that I would be putting myself in that position, and if I did, would tend to blame myself for the consequences
Me too. But doesn't mean others are not partly responsible.

neeb
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby neeb » Sat Dec 22, 2012 22:34 pm

Regarding the debate about whether the OP was riding at a speed inappropriate to the conditions or not, and comparisons with car drivers going too fast to see cyclists when riding into low sun...

IMHO this comes down to what you can reasonably expect to encounter when cycling along a public highway. A car driver can reasonably expect that a poorly visible cyclist might be in front of him if he is driving into low sun, so should reduce his speed accordingly. He wouldn't reasonably expect an elephant to wander into the road from behind a Little Chef in perfect visibility on the A1 however, so doesn't need to take precautions against that incredibly small (but real) risk.

I think this one is sort of borderline - you do get frequent potholes on the roads, but it's pretty bad luck to hit a great big missing strip of tarmac like that with no warning signs just when you happen to have the sun in your eyes for a minute or two. It makes sense to slow down in such circumstances, but how much? What are the chances that something like that is going to be there?

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diy
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby diy » Sat Dec 22, 2012 23:38 pm

The basic rule is to ensure you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear. The moment you start to work on what might reasonably be expected to happen is the moment where you are taking a risk. IMO the biggest risks we take are when we cycle in tightly packed groups. No other road user would regard a tight group of cyclists doing 20mph+ within 6 inches of each other as safe. We as cyclists seem to think its acceptable. IMO the court in my quoted case was overly generous in finding the HA 40% liable. IMO the cyclist was at least 80% responsible.

neeb
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby neeb » Sun Dec 23, 2012 00:17 am

diy wrote:The basic rule is to ensure you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear. The moment you start to work on what might reasonably be expected to happen is the moment where you are taking a risk.

I'm just being a pedant here, but the distance you can "see to be clear" has to be relative, according to what you are looking for or expecting and how well you can see. If you are riding somewhere there is a high chance of deer jumping into the road you might ride a little more cautiously if there was forest coming right up to the roadside, but it would be OTT to do that in other places where there are no large animals. There is always some finite risk involved in cycling anywhere, but you ride in such a way as to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

Similarly we take a risk when we ride in groups, but it is an acceptable risk given the benefits of doing so and the chances of something really bad happening (crashes happen but not that often, and usually they don't result in severe injury).

So the OP was taking a risk in this case, and perhaps it was slightly too great a risk, but I don't think it was massively so. I think I fundamentally agree with you that responsibility has to be divided, I'm just not sure what the percentages should be in this case.

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andi1363
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby andi1363 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 07:52 am

Quoting that you should be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear is fine in theory but you need to add "where practicble"as its the real world we actually ride in.

gezebo
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby gezebo » Sun Dec 23, 2012 14:01 pm

[/quote] I'm just not sure what the percentages should be in this case.[/quote]

I'd go for 95% OP at fault 5% council :-) Based on it was a clear, sunny day on a straight road with little traffic.

The stopping distance issue is indeed relative, and a balance of risk. However the relative speed must be balanced with the consequence of falling off. In this case the act of falling off due to not being able to see or stop meant that the damage caused the OP to feel that they needed to seek damages (formally or informally) therefore IMO they were much more at fault than anyone else.

This was a single vehicle incident so the starting point for blame in the first instance lays 100% at the door of the OP and unfortunately from what they have described so far has done little to persuade me that much blame goes the councils way.

Good luck to them though.

cougie
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby cougie » Sun Dec 23, 2012 14:51 pm

We've had about three days of constant rain round here. Out today in the dry and there are a lot of new potholes and a fair bit of flooding. Be careful out there !

neeb
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby neeb » Sun Dec 23, 2012 17:05 pm

gezebo wrote:This was a single vehicle incident so the starting point for blame in the first instance lays 100% at the door of the OP and unfortunately from what they have described so far has done little to persuade me that much blame goes the councils way.

What if there had been a 6 foot deep hole in the middle of the road with no barriers or signs? That would also have been a single vehicle incident, but would you still lay the blame 100% at the door of the OP? It would have been easier to see and so easier to avoid, but for good reason you don't expect that sort of thing in the middle of the road. The hole the OP did run into was more along the lines of something that you might anticipate, but I still think it's in a different league from the normal potholes you might expect and is something that the council should have put a cone or two around.

If there were lots of unmarked 6 foot deep holes in the roads we would all ride a lot more slowly much of the time.. :)

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diy
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby diy » Mon Dec 24, 2012 08:27 am

No hole = no accident. That is the starting point. Go back to the case I posted, that was an accident waiting to happen. Large group of riders, riding 6 inches from each other taking bends at 20mph. But he would not have crashed if he had not hit the concrete spill.

IanLD
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Re: Went down today due to massive rut in road

Postby IanLD » Sat Jan 11, 2014 22:16 pm

Update on this - really impressed by the CTC legal assistance. They provided a fantastic service and I would highly recommend them. Took a while to get the level of liability agreed - council insurers proposed a small percentage against me which CTC legal got reduced even further. Very satisfied with the final settlement.

Pleased to see that the section of road was given a decent repair which hopefully will help the locals and anyone else cycling there. Have only driven down it once, but a long section filled and surfaced.

Would recommend anyone to have CTC or BCF membership for the legal assistance.


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