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Sunday, November 29 2015 @ 08:42 AM UTC

The No-Contact Crash

Biking ElsewhereBy Bob Mionske

A reader recently asked an interesting question. If a car causes a cyclist to crash, but doesn’t actually collide with the rider, is the driver still at fault?

In a recent incident, a husband-and-wife tandem team ran into an abutment after a driver violated their right-of-way. Police officers told them, incorrectly, that it was “not legally an accident because there was no collision between bike and car.” The officers refused to take contact information from a witness even though the driver admitted fault at the scene. They also informed the couple that it was their responsibility to control the bike. In another incident, a driver failed to yield before ­making a right turn and nearly struck a­ cyclist. The rider crashed, and wonders if his insurance company will pay.

Although neither vehicle touched the cyclists, the drivers operated in a way that caused a crash. In fact, the only ­reason there was no contact was because the ­cyclists took evasive ­action. Here’s how to avoid this kind of situation, and how to handle it if you do hit the pavement.

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