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Letter: Dead right

Posted: December 20, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 20, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

On a weekday, my 5,000-pound truck and I were making the turn from David Way, then left on Bouquet Canyon Road. Near Camp Scudder, I noticed a group of bicyclists on my right. They were in the bike lane and also on the roadway. I slowed and passed them.

Moving close to the posted speed, I passed Lily of the Valley Mobile Home Park and proceeded to make the curve. The right side of the road has oleander plants that obscure the view around the curve.

As I rounded the curve, I encountered another group of cyclists, in the roadway, mere yards in front of me.

Luckily, there was no opposing traffic. I swerved across the double yellow line and into the opposite lane, then back into my designated lane.

Had I been distracted, there would have been carnage on the roadway.

Even at 45 mph, it takes reaction time for the brain to process the situation. Then time to begin braking the vehicle.

Had there been a vehicle approaching from the other direction, another negative factor would have been added to this equation. The time factor covers a fraction of a second. This time includes evaluating the situation and planning your reaction, then the response time of the vehicle braking system.

Now, let’s look at the cold facts of what could have happened: a 5,000-pound object, traveling at 45 mph, colliding with a less-than-300-pound object moving at 3 mph.

The heavier vehicle is solid metal and the smaller vehicle is composed of organic matter (a human body) and a lo- mass conveyance form. In the event of an impact — you do the math.

I am not against cyclists who obey the laws. Just the ones who feel that they are above it.

It is very common to sue the driver of the auto in most cycle-versus-motor-vehicle cases. In this case, had the conditions been different, the lawsuit would have been filed by the widows and the widowers.

Is being right worth being “dead right”?

Newhall

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