How many pounds of force would be required to pull a Chevy Trailblazer side mirror off?

With all due respect for bike riders, if the rider is in the driving lane, it is an accident waiting to happen.

This may turn into a he said/she said and if push comes to shove with no easy monetary settlement in sight the attorney may back away from this without a hefty retainer.

If you have to start dragging engineering reports and expert witnesses into the equation it’s going to get expensive. Quickly.
I had to bring in a state trooper as an expert witness once in a court hearing and it cost me 150 bucks an hour; and that was 20 or so years ago.

Was that a bicycle vs. car accident?

Different states have different laws regarding cyclists (check your states driving manual). In my state cyclists do not have the right of way. They are required to obey the same laws as motor vehicles. The only exception dates back to the metal plates that operated by pressure (weight) to change red lights to green. Since bicycles did not weigh enough cyclists are allowed to stop, then proceed through a red light if traffic is clear. I just use extra caution and yield right of way to the many cyclists who do not obey the law. It appears the OP was doing everything correctly. I still don’t understand how the mirror was “pulled off”.

The mirrors on TB fold back as noted. If it actually came off then that is another matter. I have had them fall off simply by folding them back. The mirror assembly is seated on a post with a spring and push nut holding it together. The push nuts corrode and give way quite easily under certain conditions. In addition, I have whacked them against stuff before (construction sign I got forced into by oncoming traffic) and they simply folded back without any damage whatsoever so there will be no “one size fits all” approach. Why does it matter anyway? You got hit. Either you have injury or you don’t. It doesn’t matter if it was a love tap or a baseball bat to the cranium. Either you are injured or not and then it is a matter of determining fault…

TwinTurbo: Thank you for the mirror information. I had an experience like the one you describe. I was moving quite slowly and the mirror only folded half way. OP apparently has “lawyered up”. I will now find another discussion to kill time on.

Let’s get something straight: bicycle riders have as much right to the road as car drivers do. If you can’t safely pass a bicycle because of oncoming traffic, slow down and wait your turn. In MD, drivers are required to provide at least 4 feet of space between them and a bicyclist. It is impossible to stay in a single lane with a bicyclist and pass legally here. It may well be the same where you are. Some of the comments above remind me of the old bumper sticker for a truck:

“You may have the right of way, but I have a truck”

Even when I’m in a hurry, I follow the 4-foot rule, even if it means following the bicyclist for 30 seconds.

Bicycle riders might have as much right to the road as other drivers, but some are idiots. I call them the fat boays, 2 guys riding side by side on a major roadway, plenty of room for both if they rode single file, but the fat boys prefer to ride side by side clogging traffic. Sure I ride my bike alot, but dang it you have to have a brain and respect for the big picture!!!

One thing is certain, we only have one side of the story…


I’d like to see more details. If a lawyer is involved, it’s probably not a simple case that could be dealt with in Small Claims Court. There must be considerable damage claimed by the person suing. Did I miss the OP saying who is suing who?

The person doing the suing needs proof, that’s why I’d like to know more about it.

Well I have to disagree JT. The laws may now make them equals on the roads but after all roads were and still are built with fuel taxes and property assessments for the sole purpose of moving cars and trucks. Sure there have been attempts with various success at turning roads into shared spaces such as bike lanes on roads or between parking spaces and the sidewalk and pedestrians too share the roads. But the roads weren’t built for pedestrians either and I wonder if pedestrians should walk in the bike lanes or on the driving lane? Its not really settled much and big cities trying to bend over backwards to get the “bike friendly” award and often its a mess. But the same as cars are not allowed on bike trails, bikers need to respect the main purpose of roads and be a little watchful is all. I’ve seen bikers way out in the middle of nowhere riding on the highway and right or not if the bike is going 20 and the car is going 60, its an accident waiting to happen. Bright clothes or not, they are hard to see on the highway.

I’d guess outside mirrors getting damaged in situations where bicycles and autos attempt to occupy the same space at the same time is a pretty common thing. An attorney who specializes in bicycle-advocacy would probably know the case-history how it has been adjudicated in the past.

For those commenting about cyclists not showing respect to drivers, riding three abreast on a road or out in the lane, I wholeheartedly. Agree. I’ve ridden on “club rides” with lycra’d-up arrogant jocks that did this, and I hung back from them far enough not to give the impression that I was with them… and I would not ride with them again. It’s important for us all to share the roads with respect and safety.

However, as I mentioned before, I’ve also had drivers try to come as close to me as possible, and had drivers hit their horns just behind me to startle me. I even had one idiot lady do a U-turn in the middle of a dangerous road with no shoulders whatsoever, slow down, and start shaking her fist and yelling at me that I should get the blank off the road. I was hugging the very edge of the pavement.

The bottom line as it regards this thread: drivers should NOT hit cyclists with their mirrors. A moving vehicle can easily injure, maim, or even kill a cyclist and the cyclist has absolutely no defense whatsoever. There is absolutely no excuse for a driver to hit a cyclist with any part of his/her car either intentionally or through negligence. A wing mirror attached to a vehicle going 40 mph is as dangerous to a cyclist as a large round stone shot out of a cannon and traveling 40 mph. Nobody would argue that shooting a stone out of a cannon at a cyclist is ever acceptable.

jtsanders: Very similar in my state. The only difference is 3 feet of space if safely possible. I’m OK with that. Cyclists are required to obey motor vehicle laws. About 20% do not. I will correct my statement that cyclists do not have “absolute” right of way. Neither do pedestrians. Ignorance/arrogance who knows.

Ok, here’s my bicycle vs auto story. Riding my mt bike on the city 35 mph streets destined for the local mt bike park a few miles from home, about 7 am on a Sunday, in the bike path provided on the right shoulder. No conflicts b/c there were no cars that time of the morning. When it came time to turn left at a traffic-light controlled intersection, I move left across and into the left hand turn lane and wait there for the light to turn green. All of a sudden this guy in a small pickup, seems to be in a hurry, comes up and stops behind me, honking like crazy, yelling "hey, get out of the way, no bicycles in lanes where the cars drive " You know, something like that. He apparently has some issue with me waiting there for the light to change green. He seems to be a tradesman of some type, plumber or electrician, maybe going to a job site.

So I get off my bike, leave it there in front of his truck, and walk back ask him what’s the problem. I mean in the worse case I’ll delay him, what, 15- 20 seconds? And he can’t go anywhere now b/c the light is red. He’s screaming and yelling so much I can’t even hear what he’s saying, so I give up trying to understand his complaint, just get back on my bike and when the light turns green I proceed to make the left hand turn. He of course is not satisfied with this, so he pulls to the right and goes around me on the right as fast as he possibly can, tires spinning on the loose gravel on the pavement. All the while yelling obscene invectives at poor me!!

This driving maneuver of his turned out to be a problem. He misjudged various centrifugal force and traction parameters and ended up sliding his truck into the curb. Hard. And what’s worse, the tool box in the back of his pickup, it flies right up and out of the bed and lands on the lawn there by the side of the road, at which point all the too box drawers open and bits go flying everywhere.

I peddled by, amused.

There is no way to calculate this.if the speed we twice or three times what was necessary to destroy the mirror, you still would have destroyed the mirror. what was the vector between you and the truck, were you going the same direction or opposite, what was the weight of you and the bike? How fast was the bike going.?
I don’t think it would take much force at all. I am pretty shure I could knock the mirror off a Tahoe with the heel of my hand when it was parked.

George, you took a foolish chance with that guy, IMHO…

By your logic, do we keep electric vehicles off the roads because they don’t pay fuel taxes @bing?

Some roads should not have bicycles on them because it is unsafe in any situation, like limited access highways. Most roads can be safe enough for everyone if all users just agree to share responsibly.

George, you took a foolish chance with that guy, IMHO

I must got a little bit of the pre-enlightened Marty McFly in me … you are right on the money of course @insightful , as you usually are here, but it can be difficult to back down from an unprovoked and nonsensical challenge such as that. we keep electric vehicles off the roads because they don't pay fuel taxes...?

Works for me.