Accident #3: Shaken, Sore, and Angry

Driving in Taiwan can be chaos, and you never know who is going to be creeping out of the unknown to cut you off or be in your space. There was a large bus dropping people off, and I was accelerating into a traffic circle (which is one way) with a bus blocking my view of any traffic from the right (which is theoretically impossible considering that it is a one way road).

It was a perfect storm of sorts, as I had to be in exactly the wrong spot at the wrong time to make contact with the man that was coming out on his scooter from behind the bus, against traffic, in one of the busier areas of town.

I nailed him in a violent collision that took the front lighting structure on my scooter clear off. I flew up a bit, hitting the front of my bike with my legs and waist, twisted around, landed on my butt and hit the back of my helmet on the ground. I got up off the ground in a rage.

I was livid. Any safe driver in Taiwan has to expect people to be doing illegal maneuvers all of the time, but I really had no chance on this one because my view was obscured by the bus and it was a one way road. I think 2 or 3 seconds earlier or later and it wouldn’t have happened.

I yelled at the man right away, not knowing what to expect. I figured if he tried to flee I would do my best beat him to a pulp right there in the street. I hit a scooter that went through a red light years ago and they fled, leaving me with a broken motorcycle in the middle of an industrial area.

He ended up being really sorry, polite, and genuinely concerned and we took the bike to a repair shop where he asked how much it would be and he paid them on the spot. He offered to take me to the hospital, which I declined. I had bumps and bruises, but I didn’t think anything was life threatening. I didn’t have any deep cuts or obviously broken bones so I figured I would wait a few days to see if things don’t get better.

So what were the injuries? I have a purple, very jammed middle toe on my left foot and a painful bump on my left foot that makes walking a painful reminder of last night. Also, a sore right elbow. scratches on my right calf, right thigh, right hand pinky, and a jammed left ring finger. It is an odd, random assortment of injuries. I feel I got lucky. Too many people have died or been injured at the hands of Taiwanese drivers. So what is the moral of the story?

About the Author

I am a cultural geographer by nature, and now a photographer, videographer, musician, webmaster and father.

5 Responses to “ Accident #3: Shaken, Sore, and Angry ”

  1. Sounds to me like the other guy learned something. Taiwan has one more better and safer driver. Good for both of you for getting through this, even if it pretty evidently sounds like the fault was not yours.

  2. I hope that you recover soon. At least the guy paid up. My GF has been hit and left lying on the ground.

  3. The guy was over 40 and I am confident this wasn’t the first risky dangerous move he has made on a scooter. I also mean I doubt he will become a safer driver for it. It may sober him up a bit but he will likely go back to acting like a selfish drunk while riding around.

    I have had a few accidents but never very been very seriously hurt. I was paid for 2 and the other time the guys just took off leaving me in an intersection. I have heard of people left on the road injured, with traffic zooming by and it took a while for any help to arrive or for them to come to their senses and be able to get help for themselves.

    I had a student last week that was involved in a hit and run with a car on her bicycle. This poor cute little girl coming to class with a bruised face, black eyes and scratched up legs and arms was really sad.

  4. Ouch. I read somewhere recently that hit and run accidents in Taiwan are actually not criminal, only civil. So you have to sue the hit and run driver, assuming you can find them, because in the eyes of the police, they’ve done nothing wrong. You’re lucky the guy here stayed to sort things out.

  5. I jumped off the ground and stood in front of the bike and demanded that he get off. I was in such a rage that if he made any poor decisions regarding getting away I would have done my best to pound some sense into him.

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