I Caused A Car Wreck!

First off. I was up awake all night. So i’m getting ready to go to work soon so i decide to go out and ride a little to waken me up.

So here i am. Riding on a sidewalk next to a semi-busy street. Is it important that i mention that I am on the sidewalk riding with the traffic coming at me instead of being on the other side of the street? (did anyone understand that?) I see this tan van a-scooting along the road. The driver is this guy. He starts watching me. I maintain eye contact with him. I wave a friendly hello. He waves back.

WHAMMO! he slams right into a parked car. Totalls the front passenger side of his car. Slams on his brakes and his horn. There was plenty of witnesses since this was right outside a fitness center. The owner of the parked car comes running out screaming. But by this time i’m already half a block away.

I thought it was kinda funny. My mom would say “How funny would it be if that was you?” But i would tell her that the funny part is that it isn’t.

Wait till he tells his wife “I was waving at this guy on a unicycle”


How unfortunate for the Van owner. Lucky nobody was hurt (I assume). I think you may have contributed to the cause of the accident by providing a distraction, but you can not be held responsible as the sole cause. I think if the driver had kept his eyes on the road and his hands on the wheel there would have been no accident, and that was his own poor judgement that lead to the mishap. Drivers are faced with many opportunities for distraction. I am sure many scantily clad women have participated in similar distractions resulting in car crashes. I have had the reverse happen to me. I was riding a giraffe and a car load of young women drove past. I think they were trying to make me crash because the driver of the car tooted her horn and flashed her boobs at me. I was surprised but kept riding.

You know you’re right. I may have had to take some responsibility, but… no one tried to stop me soo. Oh well.

Oh yeah! And no one was injured at all. Just two pissed off drivers.

I try to make eye contact with drivers when they are passing me and I am on the street, i.e. not on the sidewalk, but that is just to see whether they’re paying attention. A driver who sees me is a driver likely to avoid hitting me (unless he/she already has some sort of agenda).

I do not, however, ever initiate interactions such as waves, etc, with drivers, unless I recognize them. Let them watch the road and (we should) wave only if waved to. For all we know that guy would have hit the parked car even if not waved to by a unicyclist, but it’s better, in my opinion, to leave well enough alone in these cases.

While I do not in any way assign culpability to XWonka here, I personally don’t think there’s anything funny about it either. Cars are dangerous things and keeping them on the straight and narrow is in everyone’s best interest. Not to mention the grief and cost of dealing with insurance for the driver and the poor person parked.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

XWonka did nothing wrong. Based on what happened though, it will probably make us all think about any interaction we have with people driving cars (at least in crowded places). I’ll try to remember it. It’s not something we want to be famous for, though I’m sure the hot chicks have us well beat in that category :slight_smile:

As was previously mentioned, there are endless distractions out there for drivers. But it’s up to them to deal with driving first, and everything else after. This guy made a major mistake, which will surely cost him for years with increased insurance rates. Definitely not funny, even though no one was hurt.

The thing I’m wondering is, does he tell people about the unicyclist? I guess so. He needs something to explain why he plowed into a parked car, right? But I wonder if he exaggerated what he saw. I wonder if XWonka’s unicycle has grown to a ten-footer with rotating knives and blades or something… :smiley:

I’m with you on this JJuggle especially when I’m riding with my children. That’s one benefit of Muni, we don’t come across autos on the trails.

I Caused A Car Wreck!

I understand the infamous logic behind making eye-contact with the operator of a vehicle as a safety precaution, but, I disagree.

People unconsciously steer toward the object they are focusing on.

Using a b***, since it is steered with the hands and arms, as cars and vans are, ride toward some object on the road (a pebble, a crack, a cigarette butt)…
Stare at the object as you approach, and what happens? You ran over it, right?
I’m guessing that in the incident mentioned above, the parked car was between the van and the Unicycle.

Looking at the driver is a good way to check to see if they are looking at you or not, but it’s not some kind of magic shield.
Many drivers have poor depth-perception, and are very poor judges of an approaching object’s speed relative to their own (including stationary objects).

5 years ago, I was broadsided by a van while riding my b***, and the driver was looking straight at me the entire time… right up to the moment of impact.
I had the right-of-way (since I was in the middle of the intersection, and he was supposed to be stopped at a stop sign), but he was in a hurry.

Whether the driver is looking at you is a good indication of whether you need to take evasive action. Period.

Don’t know about Illinois law, but leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in some places, whether you where involved in it or “caused” it.

Since you didn’t stop, how do you “know” that no one was injured?

Yeah, it was the guy in the van’s fault… Sort of.
If this happened to me, I wouldn’t tell my parents, because they would confiscate my uni or something.

Dude, it’s so your fault. You should have known that he could have hit the car if you made eye contact with him. I mean, the last time I made eye contact with a guy driving by me, he almost ran me over… seems to happen everyday. It might have something to do with me giving them the finger, but I doubt it.

Seriously, you can’t be held responsible for someone crashing into another car just because they were staring at you. You don’t even know that it was you that caused him to crash. It’s 100% the drivers fault.

Taken from:

Leaving the Scene of a Crash

Leaving the scene of a crash is a very serious offense. This is especially true if someone is killed or injured. A driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash may be fined up to $2,500 and given a jail sentence of up to one year. If a driver fails to report an accident for over one hour after it occurred, he or she may be subject to a fine of up to $25,000 and given a prison sentence from one to three years. In these cases the Secretary of State’s office is required to revoke your driver’s license if the crash results in death or personal injury. Also, your driving privileges will be suspended if there is more than $1,000 damage to a vehicle.

That seems to imply that only Drivers involved in the accident can’t leave the scene, not some guy uni-ing by.

Re: I Caused A Car Wreck!

This is a danger when several unicyclists are riding together. Driver
fixates on first unicyclist and doesn’t notice second unicyclist.

Mark Newbold
Montpelier, Vermont USA

I’d like to think that if I was the driver, I’d find the whole thing funny (while still being really annoyed at the cost and inconvenience).


So, it’s late at night. Driver on his way back from the pub/bar. Crashes into parked car. An argument ensues. The Police are called.

“What happened?” asks the cop.
"There was this unicyclist…"starts the driver…
“Did anyone else see a unicyclist?”
(ëveryone) “No officer…”
“Have you been drinking, sir? I think you’d better come to the Police Station.”
“But there was a unicyclist…”
“Yes sir… of course there was. Now get in the patrol car.”
“But there was a unic…”
(Sound effects: thwack of baton on driver’s head.

The driver has responsibility not you. Don’t sweat it.

It’s not as though you came haring out of a junction and he took avoiding action.

If you were flying straight and level his problem.