A Cyclist and a Pickup Truck Collide, the Internet Can't Agree Who's at Fault?

For today's episode of "cyclists versus the rest of the world" we have a new entry, this time from the beautiful United States of America. We've seen how this kind of situations go down in Europe (England, to be more precise), now it's time to see what happens over the pond as well.
US cyclist vs. pickup truck 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from LiveLeak
Don't worry, it's not like American drivers and cyclists have found a magical way of getting along - far from it - so there's going to be plenty of controversy. In fact, the whole incident seems to have split the audience in two, but we think their reaction depends on which side they're on: do they feel more of a driver or a cyclist.

Because believe it or not, some people do both. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't react differently to the same situation depending on which vehicle they were using at the moment. In fact, I'm sure that driver-me wouldn't be very happy with bicycle-rider-me and vice-versa. It's stupid, and it's something we should all work on - empathy, trying to see things from the other person's perspective - but that's just how things stand.

Anyway, back to the case at hand and we've got ourselves a classic situation. The cyclist is riding on the right-hand side of the road on what has to be said is just a hugely wide first lane. He does stray a bit too far from the curb, but since there's still plenty of room and there are parked cars now and then (and nobody honked at him), we'd say he's doing the right thing.

A pickup truck pulls alongside him goes in front for about a car's length with its blinker on signaling a right turn, and proceeds with the maneuver. The bicycle rider did not brake in advance, so it was too late to avoid the collision which throws him on the ground. The truck doesn't even stop, continuing on its way.

Alright, so we'll start with the wrong argumentation. Some people say that the cyclist is at fault because he failed to notice the truck's blinkers and allow it to go right. What these people fail to understand is that just because you have your turning signal on (good for you, more people should use it), it doesn't automatically mean you've got right of way. Using the same logic, cars coming from opposite directions in a junction that want to go forward should stop and let those turning left pass if the latter have their blinkers on. I hope we can all agree that's stupid.

As for the cyclist, here is what must have gone through his mind: "Ok, this truck wants to go right. He just passed me, so he must know I haven't magically evaporated in the last three seconds. He's also driving a car, so he must have a driver's license, which means he knows basic traffic rules. He'll just stop, let me pass, and then continue going right." Could he have been more careful? Yes, he could have braked a little, just in case, or at least put his hands on the brakes and react sooner. But that doesn't mean in any way that he's at fault. Not legally, not morally and not in any other way you can imagine.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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