serious accident

I just noticed this report.
Sound like a serious accident, which usually seldom happen to unicyclists.
Hope he will have a good recovery.

That doesn’t sound good. Poor kid.

Poor guy, I hope he will be alright.

they updated the article, sounds like he will be ok thankfully

“Later Facebook posts said Brandon had suffered a broken rib and lost some blood, but that he would be fine.”

Hope he comes out OK.

This is quite a sobering thread, as I ride quite a lot on roads and, obviously, thoughts of the likelihood of being run over do pop up.

Especially in Sheffield where I ride, which, for any kind of bike or unicycle, is somewhat hazardous due to the quantity of cars and the mentality of a minority of the drivers.

In fact, at some point, I decided that bicycling did involve too much risk (i.e. even if riding with full alertness and with safety in mind, if you encounter a driver who doesn’t look/is on the phone/hates cyclists, you’re going to get hurt) and one reason I unicycle is cos I consider it safer.

Safer due to being more visible/higher, going slower, having the option to choose footpath or road depending on conditions etc.

Over many years and thousands on rides, there’s been a few times where I’ve come close to being hit, but it’s never actually happened. Of those times, some have been my fault (so I can’t complain), others have been the drivers (i.e. literally pulling out and simply not looking, or, being on the wrong side of the road etc).

So, I’m wondering, if, other than the incident in the OP, any other unicyclists have been hit?

Also, what are peoples thoughts on the hazards of riding on the roads?

It’s a shame that this happened, but it happens often.

I was hit by a car last summer. He rolled through a stop sign, but I wasn’t paying as much attention to the situation as I should have. I ended up with some bad road rash, but that’s it. Nothing major. I was riding again the next day. This kid wasn’t as lucky.

I tend to think that in a good biking city like Madison, the streets aren’t as hazardous as one might expect. While dangerous, some places have a great consciousness of cyclists, give them plenty of space and afford them respect. The nice thing about a unicycle is that you can ride a sidewalk if you feel uncomfortable in the streets.

Helmets are a fine thing.

I was hit by a car a few years ago - was very thankful for my helmet after seeing the whole my head had left in the car’s windscreen.

Take heed!

Were these both on unicycles?

It is a good thing about unicycles that they can be ridden on the sidewalk if the roads looking dodgy.

Were these both on unicycles?

It is a good thing about unicycles that they can be ridden on the sidewalk if the roads looking dodgy.

I have been hit by cars two times on a bicycle and two times on a motorcycle, injuries on the motorcycle were the worst, none of the accidents resulted in head impacts, so I was lucky. My back and neck injuries from one of the motorcycle wrecks plagues me daily, more than thirty years later.

I have not been hit by a car while unicycling because I no longer ride anything on the roads other than a car. Seriously, it is inevitable that people will be hit by cars while riding. Drivers do not pay attention, they hit each other, they run into fixed objects, but they are in a big vehicle with plenty of protection so they don’t care.

I watched two friends on bikes get hit head on by a car that was passing on a two lane highway, it’s a sight I will never forget.

Be careful out there.

follow up:

leo, thanks for the update. Brandon and his family sound like good people. Sounds like he is progressing good considering his accident.

About a year and half ago I was struck by a car also while riding my 29er. The lady scooped me up and onto her windshield. The good thing about being higher up is that our bodies are out of some of the strike zone from cars. I was broadsided, being rear ended of course would be much more serious.

Yep, I was on a coker on a country road with no pavement though. The lady that hit me admitted it was her fault but then a few days later I got a phone call from her husband who tried to get me to pay several hundred quid for the damage to their car.

I’ve been hit whilst on foot too and got a concussion from that little tete a tete. The car was full of lovely ladies dolled up for a night out. When I came to and looked up at all these pretty ladies, as a befuddled 17 year old I thought I’d snuffed it was in heaven being tended to by angels before going to see the big fella. After sorting myself out and ascertaining my presence on the material plane I went to the pub and had a few beers to ease the shakes and fuzziness, bad plan! I’ve never vomited so much in my life.

After the unicycle incident it took me a long time to go back out on the road and feel comfortable but I was pretty determined not to let myself be driven off the road. I also saw the immediate aftermath of a head-on collision during an overnight mass ride. The driver of the van was pissed and tried to drive away after hitting the chap but we blocked him going anywhere with our bikes. The chap died before the ambulance arrived. Horrible.

Do be careful out there and always wear a helmet if you’re going on the road. The arguments from bicyclists against helmets usually centre around the risk of the brain spinning quickly inside the skull on impact with the ground - those sorts of impacts are pretty unlikely on a unicycle with the lower speeds we go at. We’re more likely to have to deal with direct impacts with a vehicle or falls with more downward and less forward momentum that with b*ke crashes.

My accident was also on a unicycle. I was able to just get up and ride away after everyone checked to make sure I was OK. I let the car drive away after they checked on me… In hindsight, not the smartest thing, but I was fine. We were both in the fault, rolling through a crosswalk when we weren’t sure it was safe to do so.

My accident actually made me more confident on the roads. I’m more wary of traffic and predicaments. Plus, if you’re in the street, it’s more likely that turning vehicles will see you than if you’re on the same location on the sidewalk, approaching a crosswalk. You can also be seen from further away, as less things will obstruct eyesight.

There was an interesting study that for pedestrians, the most dangerous place to cross the road is at an intersection. Why? Because right-turning and left-turning drivers are both looking the other way for car traffic as they make their turns; they’ll scan the intersection for pedestrians before they start to move into it, but they usually don’t turn their head back around until they’re in the crosswalk. Sounds like that’s what happened here.

The study suggested mid-block crosswalks. As a general rule, always try to put yourself in the place where cars will be looking.

He sounds like a great kid. One of those majority of unicyclists out there that have nothing to do with our little community here on the forums. :slight_smile:

From the brief description of the accident I get the impression that the driver was a minor (name not released), which means inexperienced. All are very lucky the outcome wasn’t more dire!

Hmmm - seemed to be doiing what I do many times a day - cross from the path to the other side at an intersection.

So far in many many thousands of kilometers I have not had any collisions with anything metal and only once where I clipped the calf of a pedestrian. I ride a lot in city and town doing just what he apparently did. Touch wood.

I am very careful to watch for vehicles coming out of city carparks or from city laneways. That is the most common hazard for me.

Good luck to the kid and hope he keeps riding.

Yes, they are danger spots- I recently had to do an emergency brake at one of those.

In fact there’s a case to be made for riding on the road being a bit safer than being on the footpaths if there are a lot of such intersections, especially if you’re a bit tired, cos really, it’s entirely your responsiblity to be looking out for the cars, and, that usually involves having to look backwards as well as all the usual things you’re looking out for.

Certainly for bikes it’s safer to be on the road. For unicycles, I think it’s safer if you’re moving significantly faster than walking speed. Nearly all bike-car accidents happen at intersections, and the intersections (including driveways) are more dangerous if you’re on the sidewalk, entering the road at speed.