You just got a new job just blocks away from your home. The best part is that you can ride your bike to work. You have a properly fitting helmet and arm and knee pads so you feel ready to go. But there are still some extra precautions you can take to make sure that you aren’t the victim of a bike-car collision. Here are 5 of the most common scenarios for bike-car collisions and how to avoid them:
- LEFT TURN
Almost half of all bike-car crashes occur when a driver fails to see a bicyclist and makes a left turn according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). When crossing the street, make sure to keep an eye out for turning cars. If a car is turning in to your path, turn into the lane with the vehicle. Don’t try to get a head start by sneaking into the intersection at red lights.
- RIGHT TURN
These bike-car collisions can occur when a driver passes a bicyclist on the left and turns right in front of the bike. Unfortunately, passing on the right of cars can place you as a bike rider in the driver’s blind spot. In all 50 states, bicyclists are subject to the same laws as passenger vehicles and have the right to drive in the lane with the cars (known as “lane positioning.”) A bike can “take the lane” by riding in the middle. This is often safer to avoid a car turning right into your path. If you take the lane, a car behind you will see you and can wait for you before making their turn.
Door collisions occur when a bicyclist is riding next to a row of parked cars and a car door is opened by an occupant of the vehicle. Keep an eye out when riding close to parked cars and be aware of cars that are occupied or have just parked. Take the lane where necessary to be able to ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars. Always be prepared to stop suddenly.
- PARKING LOTS
Driveways and parking lots pose a huge threat to bicyclists. The best way to prevent this type of accident is to try to avoid these exits as much as possible. Even if it means changing your route, it is worth it to avoid the potential dangers. And bicyclists should stay in the road and off the sidewalks as drivers tend to not expect to see bicycles on sidewalks.
- REAR END
Rear end collisions can occur at times when a bicycle is in a lane in front of a car. To avoid this, try to make yourself visible by wearing reflectors and lights at night. Ride your bike in a predictable fashion by signaling your turns with your hand and try to avoid swerving.
Taking these precautions can help to ensure that you stay safe while riding a bike. Yet sometimes accidents occur as a result of the negligence of others. If you or a loved one were injured by someone else’s negligence, Alexander Law Group, LLC can help. Call us now at 888.777.1776 or click here for a private, no cost consultation regarding your rights.