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I wish they had a different term. If I don't stop at a light and hit someone who has the green, that is failure to yield.

If you are turning across traffic and misjudge, or the other person is not proceeding with caution, its also called failure to yield, but its a very different situation. Off the freeways, cars have to deal with crossing busy streets. We can't have signals everywhere, but must rely on common sense. Why can't that be considered in the equation. Under common law, the other party going straight was still was under a burden to act with care, and could be liable if it had the "last best chance" to avoid an accident.

Shouldn't the driver be cited for failure to pay attention?

Presumably they are treating her as a vehicle, not a crosswalk user. This is likely (though lets have a full investigation
including Hahn's viewpoint) neither Hahn's fault nor that of the driver who hit her - its the combination of the infra, and the drivers who yielded to her. The infra means we have multiple lane roads where its difficult for anyone (but more so a bike) to make a left turn. The drivers in the lanes close to her, recognizing that, appear to have improperly yielded the ROW to her.

AITS: I disagree with "improperly yielded ROW." I will bet that you will rarely be able to cross this street during normal business hours unless someone "improperly yields." The typical response from engineers is to build a ramp, a light, etc. I'd say lets make the law reflect proper behavior, instead of abetting being a jerk.

From the facts so far, it seems like the right call. Factors that should come out in the accident report include whether the motorist attempted to take any action at all or simply plowed into her. (If he did and it simply wasn't enough, then it falls back to the fact that the car had the right of way; if he didn't and was busy playing with his phone or something, that's a different matter.)

I'd also be more receptive to the "failure to yield" argument if there were a bit more enforcement of failure to yield when a bike or pedestrian has the right of way.

Mike: this assumes that there will be a complete accident report. From past experience, it seem that the questions are
1. Drunk or drugged
2. Drag racing
3. Right of way
4. Speed/conditions

If you lose on right of way, they don't seem to care about speed or conditions.

Did she have a helmet on?
Was it a head injury that killed her?
There is no safe way for bikers to share the road with America's motorist, they are far to reckless. They will hit anything that is out there other cars ,police whatever is out there .

She's not dead.

Helmets neither prevent nor cause accidents...

This scenario is a primary reason why i don't allow drivers to "let me go" in disregard of what our respective rights of way would dictate. It's well-meaning, but ill-advised. Everyone on the road is expecting traffic to follow the rules. When well-meaning people break the rules, in this case blocking their right of way to allow someone to cross, it creates confusion and risk (the stopped drivers could also have been rear-ended), and even worse, impairs visibility, as in this case.

Antibozo: I agree that it is less than optimal, but HOW do you cross the road? Its like blamining the person who gets hit crossing a highway because the nearest signalized crossing is half a mile away. Do we expect to build signals, ramps and bridges everywhere, at great cost? Or, do we simply ask everyone to behave responsibly and decently?

Yesterday a Metro bus was part way across the double line, and almost hit me driving the other direction. I slowed, and took quick evasive action. Now, perhaps could have just continued and said that the bus was illegally crossing the line, and so its the bus driver's fault for smashing up the side of my car. OTOH, the bus driver was only trying to squeeze past the parked cars, and his vision was partially obscured by the hill. If he had hit me, I would hope that the police would not just say "who was crossing the line" but ask whether I was speeding, texting, etc.

In somewhat related news, the July fatal crash in AA county, the cyclist was found at fault. This was reported recently in the Severna Park Patch.


This crash was reported on WashCycle. The cyclist was run over by a dump truck. Police concluded the cyclist ran the stop sign.

SJE, i wait for my opportunity to arise without anyone having to inappropriately yield right of way, just as i do in a car. If this opportunity never arises, i find a nearby traffic control that will make it possible for me to get across. I might make exceptions in rare cases, but i can't imagine doing so in this case; crossing three lanes when stopped cars in two lanes are blocking my view of the third is something i just won't do, and even if i got to that point, i would pause to observe at the edge of the third lane before crossing it.

I don't think the Metrobus parallel runs on all fours. A bus driver has higher elevation and has good visibility on the entire roadway, so that guy should have known perfectly well that he was doing something dangerous. WMATA has a form on their site which you can use to report unsafe Metro operators, BTW; i encourage you to use it. :^)

In the case of this accident, however, there's no reason to think the driver in the third car had any opportunity to observe the cyclist, because his or her view was obstructed by the other two cars. The worst you could say is that the third driver should have used a little more caution passing two cars that were mysteriously stopped, but as a cyclist, i'm not willing to stake my life on drivers' exercising such caution.

I'm not reading this story as a case of unreasonable police bias (while i certainly agree that has been present in most past incidents). From the description i'm seeing, i'm concluding this as a tragic but genuine error on the part of the cyclist. I wish her a speedy recovery.

As Mr Miyagi says, "Best defense: not be there."

Yes, the Metro bus story was not exactly the same: it actually makes my point far better.
I am not saying that we should be blaming the driver in the AA case. I am arguing that we should ask for more than just "who had right of way."

I agree that the best defense is to not be there, but that fact that you are there seems to be used as the main point of blame. The narrative of collision investigations and reporting seems to be similar to rape investigations of past, where the fact that a girl was out at night meant that she was asking for it.

SJE, as i said earlier, i agree that in many or most accident cases involving cyclists, that sort of thing occurs. From the reporting and description in this one, however, no, not at all. So i don't understand the point of raising such issues in this context.

"Do we expect to build signals, ramps and bridges everywhere, at great cost?"

I don't know. I see the issues with financial feasibility of doing it everwhere. Expecting good infra everywhere is asking a great deal. But I also think expecting "good behavior" beyond the call of the law to prevent all accidents like this is also asking a great deal.

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