Another crash report

Jul 13, 2010
279
6
38
Shinjuku
#1
I have been travelling a lot this year. I came back from 10 days in the US on MAy 24th and was planning to leave Japan again on may 28th to got back to Europe for work and vacation.
This left me with possible days to ride my bicycle to work.

Thursday may 26th I was on my way home. Using route 20 (koshokaido) as usual. When I was just a few blocks from home it was time to turn left on 318 (kanannadori).

I have found that when the light turns green to turn left I can make it to the next traffic light and make that green light also if I sprint. The distance is only about 200m and with no inersections it is usually very safe. The stretch of road is always empty from all trafic due to how the traffic lights are timed so I make this my last hard effort before cooling down on the way home.

I did the same this day. Light turned green and I sprinted away from the traffic light. Half way to my nex turn a small truck suddenly crosses from the opposite side to make a very illegal right turn. there is a low divider in the pavement and orange plastic poles to keep cars from doing this....but that didn't stop this guy.

I found myself in a standing sprint doing around 40km/h and suddenly my lane was blocked by a car maybe 10-15 meters ahead. I had already move to the right lane to make the turn up ahead.

I slammed on the brakes and tried to steer left to avoid the truck. The rear wheel left the ground and I did a rolling stoppie on the front wheel and managed to just miss it. Unfortunately I didn't keep my balance and went sideways over the handlebar.
I think a big contribution to me falling was the standing position I was in on the bike. Very easy to get too much weight forward like this.

I landed on my left knee and shoulder. Banged my head pretty hard when I landed too. I immediately got up and checked the nothing was broken.

My knee was bleeding bad but I was more wsorried about my right wrist that didn't feel completely ok.
It only took a minute for the motorcycle police office to arrive. He was posted down in the intersection directing traffic whwre I turned left from R20.

I was asked if I needed an ambulance but I first declined. After thinking about this for a few minutes I changed my mind. I wanted to have my wrist checked and I thought going in by ambulance to the hospital would put me in the fast track compared to finding a hospital by myself later in the evening.

At the hospital they cleaned the road rash on my shoulder and knee.
The X rays confirmed hairline cracks in my right wrist and left pinkie.
My knee was in severe pain and I couldn't bend it....no fractures though.

Went to the police station to give a statement later in the evening. Didn't work out since the japanese friend I brought wasn't a certified translator.


Came back to Japan yesterday and went back to the police station to give my statement. They had a certified translator joining to help.
I felt that the detective in charge was sympathetic about my situation but he was also very clear about that I shouldn't be riding in the middle of the street:eek:

I was asked if I wanted to press charges against the driver. According to the detective he could receive jail time for this.

Bike came out ok I think. scratches on the left brake lever, wheel skewer and saddle.

I guess that having an accident in tokyo traffic without serious injury is a reason to call oneself lucky.......still annoying though.
I am always very careful when riding through intersections and feel that this accident would have been very difficult to avoid. If I haven't been sprinting I would have made it without crashing I think.

Helmet really saved my head. Big crack in the back section.
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#4
Glad you are OK!

As the driver did a very illegal turn, and could have killed you, I'd press charges, we need to get idiots like this off the street.

Again, glad you are fine!
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#5
Christ-almighty.

Honestly, I would have definitely pressed charges.

All up to you, of course, but the more people who have charges pressed against them for dangerous driving, the more people will start to actually drive correctly.

Glad you are OK though. I have broken bones before, and can totally feel your pain. Speedy recovery!

Owen.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#6
Make sure you inspect your bike carefully. You're a big guy and slamming a frame down sideways doesn't help it especially on sections that are not designed to take those kind of stress. Look for telltale paint crack lines or scuff abrasions. Check your wheels for truness, everything. I'm sure yours (and his) insurance will cover any replacement or repairs - but you gotta account for everything.

Also - expect a fair amount of time for recovery - so make sure you get something for phys therapy as its not generally covered so much in Japan. If you wanna recover quickly you'll need to get some real sessions going ASAP - especially on the knee.

I'm mixed about pressing charges. I just accept that alot of people are idiots (me included) when driving sometimes. And if there is not actual malice involved with intention to harm (like every other taxi on the street), then as long as the Police issue a reasonable citation, I'm cool. If they don't , that's another story. Afterall - the whole purpose of law enforcement is to deal with this stuff in a judicial sort of way - but oftentimes they are not so great about it.

Anyway - best thing is you're OK! Looking forward to seeing you back on the bike soon!
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,657
476
103
Japan
#7
Honestly, I would have definitely pressed charges.

All up to you, of course, but the more people who have charges pressed against them for dangerous driving, the more people will start to actually drive correctly.
Owen.
The cops asked me if I wanted to press charges after I got taken down by a car but like James said "no malice and more like just a brain fart, the scare of being held responsible is more than likely enough to open the drivers eyes, and strictly speaking a bicycle shouldn't be sprinting in the extreme right lane. Glad you are okay.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#8
Sorry lads, but no.

Every time a cyclist says they do not wish to press charges, the whole spastic driving thing continues. End of story.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#10
Take the bike in to a reputable dealer and have it checked out. It seems Y's is the best place to go as they seem to be no nonsense in dealing with these kind of things.

Also, spoke to my friends in the poilce and they recommend that you press charges as there maybe issues with the insurance paying out or promptly for medical if you don't.
 

kawa

Maximum Pace
Jan 16, 2011
128
55
58
Kameari, Tokyo
#13
I'm very sorry to read this report, but I'm glad you are OK!
I'll bear in mind that this kind of accident can happen to me anytime.:eek:uch:

Get well and hope to see you soon.