Just another right hook — from the left lane

After awhile, you get to know the streets you ride.

Like this intersection on eastbound Ohio Ave, one block west of Sepulveda. I’ve learned to slow down there in anticipation of right hooks, as drivers stuck in traffic make a sudden decision to turn right without checking the bike lane first.

But I’ve never been right hooked from the left lane before.

20 comments

  1. Alan Thompson says:

    hmmm… Perhaps you have some greater context than I do, but it appears he was cutting to the cross street, proceeding slowly, saw you and was hitting the brakes to yield until you slowed down and then he proceeded forward.

    P.S. I was almost left-hooked from the right lane this morning in very similar circumstances as you. Alas, no video.

  2. […] Right turn from the left lane. […]

  3. John says:

    The left lane right-hook is scarily common here in LA, much more so than it is in Chicago. Same goes for cars making left turns from the far right lane.

    I thought that was handled pretty well by the truck. He was already committed to the right turn and in process when you approached the intersection. Seems like he saw you and slowed down the turn — when you stopped, he continued. Wish more drivers were like that, frankly.

    The thing I loved about the movie is how great it was to see you moving at speed, but not the cars.

    • John says:

      I want to be clear — the truck should have totally yielded to Ted..I didn’t mean to imply that. I was just glad to see that the truck was paying attention…

      • bikinginla says:

        Unfortunately, it only looks like the driver was paying attention. As I note below, the driver was actually looking the other direction, and apparently only slowed to avoid clipping the car in the right lane ahead of him.

  4. Michele Chavez says:

    Ted, what kind of camera are you using? I am thinking about getting one. How difficult or easy is it to upload your videos?

  5. It looks to me like he saw you – he stopped at the bike lane and only proceeded after you hit the brakes.

    The video is a good demonstration of defensive cycling and that we’re all responsible for our own safety. When zipping past traffic like that in the bike lane I always watch for the unexpected just like you did.

  6. bikinginla says:

    I understand why you all think he saw me, as the video clearly shows him pausing as I approached. But I was trying to make eye contact with him, just as I would with any other driver in a similar situation, and he never looked in my direction.

    My best guess is that he slowed down to edge past the car in the right lane ahead of him. As you can see, he finishes his turn all the way over against the left curb, so he clearly didn’t have a lot of room to work with given the massive size of his truck.

  7. Joe B says:

    There’s a reason that the law requires drivers to safely merge into the right lane (well, the curb lane, actually) before making a right turn. This is why.

    The driver’s maneuver was both illegal and rude. If he wasn’t able to see well enough to avoid oncoming traffic, then it was really dangerous as well.

  8. kdbhiker says:

    I firm believer in using my Delta Airzound Bike Horn to let motorists or pedestrians that I’m nearby. I know they look dorky but there’s nothing wrong with being too safe.

  9. james says:

    I keep reading that GoPro is the best camera but I’d want something built specifically for the propose of being a sort of flight recorder and legal tool for vulnerable urban cyclist. Perhaps two cameras of lower resolution than the go pro installed in either end of a cylinder mounted on the helmet? Very few people are going to put a $400 camera on their bicycle or helmet.

  10. Sean says:

    Sadly, a great cycling advocate here in Ottawa was recently killed in a right hook with a fuel tanker truck. Mario had been riding the past three weeks with a camera which police apparently have for review.

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/travel/Avid+cyclist+feared+safety+busy+Ottawa+commute/9055277/story.html

    • bikinginla says:

      I catch a lot of stupid driver tricks on my helmet cam. But that’s not why I bought it.

      I got it for exactly the reasons that rider did. If I ever get a ticket or get in a collision, I want to have visual proof that I wasn’t in the wrong. And if the worst ever happens, investigators can just look at the video to show what really happened.

  11. […] Last link BikingInLA’s Ted Rogers almost ran into a TX driver (substitute your favorite brand of moron if you prefer). Just another right hook — from the left lane […]

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