Car mows down a rack of bikes in front of Zeitgeist

Last Saturday, a car crashed into the bike rack area in front of Zeitgeist, destroying a bunch of bikes and breaking some poor guy’s leg. Uptown Almanac has the scoop and some more bike snuff pictures.

In case you bailed early, dragging your useless pile of spokes and gears home while sobbing uncontrollably, you’re entitled to an insurance claim from the car’s owner. That’s right, bikes are vehicles too, and are covered under standard collision policies. The SF Bike Coalition informs us:

If your bicycle was one of the bikes damaged in the crash, go to the Mission Police Station and provide a description of your bike. You will receive a case number and details to file an insurance claim.

[photo via Uptown Almanac]

19 Responses to “Car mows down a rack of bikes in front of Zeitgeist”

  1. McDude says:

    I know this is a hot-button issue and sure to get people riled up on both sides, and I know I’m being a bit of a jerk here, but I just have to say something: the phrase “Bike’s are vehicles too…” is totally unacceptable. (grammatically)

  2. sure says:

    no, no, you totally hit the zeitgeist of this blog just like the aforementioned car hit those bikes. That was pretty meta of you…

  3. Hater says:

    Sigle handedly whiping out half the fixies in town.

  4. DJM says:

    “That’s right, bikes are vehicles too, and are covered under standard collision policies.”

    Unless, of course, you’ve ever run a traffic signal, or otherwise willfully violated California OTS rules. In which case, FU.

    OW, JK!

  5. Drew says:

    Go cry in your bean soup, hipsters.

  6. biker says:

    Just shows that those hipster bicyclists are wimps. Real bikers would have beat that driver to a pulp.

  7. Soonerdiver says:

    Silly question… do bicyclists have to carry liability insurance in California? Or if they cause an accident do you have to claim against your own ‘uninsured’ motorist policy?

    You can’t have it both ways… except in the case of bicycles… they are allowed to get away with anything they want.

    • Julio says:

      Nope, and I’ll tell you why – cars are, in general, way more expensive than bikes and they cause way more damage when they hit something. They also cause more serious accidents than bikes do. Liability insurance was imposed on private (as opposed to commercial) motorized vehicle drivers because of the high rates of accidents coupled with the high amount of damage in the typical accident. Even a fender bender can result in thousands of dollars in repairs and the state wanted to insure that individuals had the ability to pay for the damage they caused. On the other hand, there’s no evidence that damage caused by bicycles is anywhere near the level caused by cars in a typical year.

      Still, there are cases where a biker’s uninsured motorist policy has paid for damages by hit and run drivers who were clearly shown to be at fault and I would guess that some auto policies will cover damage by a biker who is at fault and not carrying insurance for the accident. Remember, mandatory insurance policies are based on public policy – how do we insure that the least amount of damage is done to the least amount of people? Not, how do we insure that bikes have the same financial responsibilities as cars. If bike accidents become more numerous or more dangerous/expensive then you’ll see bills calling for bikers to carry liability insurance.

      And finally, some traffic death statistics food for thought- in 2010, 2,715 people died from “traffic fatalities.” Almost 1600 of those fatalities were people inside of the cars themselves. Over half of those fatalities either involved a BAC of over .08 or speeding. All of this means that in 2010, the fatality rate in CA for traffic deaths was 7.27 per 100,000 people (which is way better than it was 5 years before). 599 of those fatalities were pedestrians and 99 were bicyclists.

      Pedestrians are much more likely to be killed by cars, but have fewer restrictions placed on them than bicycles because on their own, pedestrians are less dangerous than bicycles. When a pedestrian crashes into something, the likelihood of damage is lower. Still, sometimes a jogger breaks someone’s hip, leg, etc. when they crash. This doesn’t mean that all joggers should have to carry liability insurance because this isn’t how we decide insurance policy (based on extreme examples as opposed to the aggregate). Additionally, drivers owe pedestrians in CA a “duty of care” whenever they’re in the roadway. This means a pedestrian can be jaywalking while hit and not be at fault if the driver breached this duty (what would a reasonable person have done in the same situation).

      You can still sue a bicyclist (or a pedestrian) under tort law and recover, you just won’t be able to recover from an insurer.

      • G.Lo says:

        Good blog but one correction to your last sentence. You can still sue a bicyclist or pedestrian…this is true. You can also sue the owner of an animal that should be on a leash that runs out in front of your car. You stated you won’t be able to recover from an insurer…if that at fault party (bicyclist, pedestrian, pet owner) have Home Owners Insurance, it covers the liability of their home owner.

    • Julio says:

      I had a longer reply, but it was too long for blogger. Here are the cliffs notes:

      Nope, and I’ll tell you why – cars are, in general, way more expensive than bikes and they cause way more damage when they hit something. They also cause more serious accidents than bikes do. Liability insurance was imposed on private (as opposed to commercial) motorized vehicle drivers because of the high rates of accidents coupled with the high amount of damage in the typical accident. Even a fender bender can result in thousands of dollars in repairs and the state wanted to insure that individuals had the ability to pay for the damage they caused. On the other hand, there’s no evidence that damage caused by bicycles is anywhere near the level caused by cars in a typical year.

      Additionally, some uninsured motorist policies will cover you getting hit on your bike and an uninsured bike hitting you, you just have to look at your policy. Also – there is such a thing as bike insurance. Additionally, cars kill a fuckload of people every year and bikes do not.

  8. klm says:

    oh it takes -at least- 3 cops cars to acknowledge the damages. ok!

  9. Darth says:

    Nope, and I’ll tell you why – cars are, in general, way more expensive than bikes and they cause way more damage when they hit something. They also cause more serious accidents than bikes do. Liability insurance was imposed on private (as opposed to commercial) motorized vehicle drivers because of the high rates of accidents coupled with the high amount of damage in the typical accident. Even a fender bender can result in thousands of dollars in repairs and the state wanted to insure that individuals had the ability to pay for the damage they caused. On the other hand, there’s no evidence that damage caused by bicycles is anywhere near the level caused by cars in a typical year.

  10. rico says:

    Die hipster scum

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