Here's a video showing one of the worst-case scenarios for why this is such a dangerous driving habit. It's footage that shows a stationary bicyclist being mowed down head-on from an onrushing white Buick Rendezvous. It's stomach-churning and, as a fair warning, features coarse language. Thankfully, the bicyclist who uploaded the video said he was "ok, just some scrapes, nothing more."
The footage shows him approaching a red light at an intersection and gliding to a stop in the left turn lane. Shortly afterward, the Buick enters the frame, making a left turn toward the cyclist. Only it quickly becomes apparent that the driver is headed straight for him, in the opposite turn lane on the wrong side of the double-yellow line. He sounds an air horn, to no avail. The woman at the wheel appears to speed up into the turn and strikes him head-on, upending him and the video camera.
Immediately, the cyclist, whose name is Doug Reynolds, starts wailing. The woman gets out and apologizes, saying she didn't see him, and calls 9-1-1.
Interestingly, commenters on the YouTube clip point out what appears to be a pink cell-phone in her right hand, suggesting that rather than not seeing him, she may well have been distracted by her phone. It's certainly hard to make the argument that you didn't see someone who was right in front of your car's grille, especially when you're on the wrong side of the road.
Reynolds writes that he doesn't believe the woman's claims, either, and says he plans to file a police report and pursue her insurance provider for a replacement wheel or new bike. "Good thing I had my helmet on, otherwise I could of [sic] suffered a concussion, or have been knocked out cold," he writes. Interestingly, his YouTube channel is full of footage of harrowing near misses while on a bike — but also at least one example of a cyclist not following safe road rules.
Let this be a lesson for all of you impatient, distracted drivers out there: Leave your cell phones alone, and square your turns!