A local cyclist recounted a road rage incident on a Northern California cycling forum that startled and enraged the community. According to the cyclist, four men in a white Ford Fusion swerved into his lane on Pinehurst Road in Alameda County and "purposefully" tried to run him off the road. Normally, this would be the end of the story, but in this case, the Ford turned around and tried again. And then "came at" the cyclist a third time. Before the final swipe, the cyclist turned on his cell phone's video recorder. The cyclist also called 911, filed a police report, and gave the police a copy of the video. The license plate is very difficult to read, the cyclist wrote, but he does have recorded evidence of the triple-swipe.
If a motorist assaults or threatens you, whether you are in an automobile or on a bike, and causes injury, video footage and photographs will help prove your case. But in a situation where it's one person's word against another, an accident reconstruction expert can help swing the decision in your favor.
A reconstruction expert can study the scene of the incident and the vehicles involved to determine speeds of travel, impact points, and the nature of impact (side swipe versus head-on), among other information. Footage from a "bike cam," a cell phone video, or similar device can help the reconstructionist during his investigation.
Footage alone, while helpful, only captures one point of view. It also does not show the vehicles before they entered camera range. Did the cyclist flip off the driver? Did the driver swerve at some point before the incident, indicating that he or she may have been intoxicated or distracted?
Our firm works with experts that specialize in bicycle and motorcycle accidents. Some reconstruction experts have an engineering background. The expert can then apply the principles of engineering to determine factors that caused the accident, as well as the force of impact on the human body.
In the heat of the moment, it may not be possible or prudent to whip out your cell phone to record a road rage incident or snap a photo of a license plate. It's not a cheap gadget, but a bike cam could help settle your claim. A camera called Rideye sells for $199. The most basic GoPro Hero sells for $129. There are also many "dash cam" models designed for automobiles.
If a camera helps you feel safer on the road, it may be worth the expense.
(Photo courtesy of Popfi.com)