Online 24/7+Friendly Toll Free Service
6-6 Pacific/9-9 Eastern (Monday-Friday)

Bicycle Accident Prevention – How to Avoid the Most Common Collisions

Is is Springtime, and people are heading out to enjoy the weather. One popular outdoor Spring Sport is bicycling. It is fun, but can be quite hazardous.

It’s no secret that cyclists on the street have to be defensive. Whether following the law or not, if a collision happens between a bicycle and almost anything else on the road, the bicycle is going to lose the battle every time.

According to the most current statistics provided by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, there were 726 cyclists killed in traffic crashes with 49,000 more injured. In order to cut down on traffic related fatalities and injuries for cyclists, many cities have introduced new rules and methods for keeping them safe. Late last year, Vancouver, Washington, for example, added green paint to certain portions of their bike lines in an effort increase visibility with a color coded cue for drivers. However, not all cities are fortunate to have such clearly marked lanes for bikers, and even if they do, there are inevitably still going to be close calls.

Bearing this in mind, here is a list of the five most common and dangerous situations for bikers as well as a couple of tips on how to avoid getting yourself into trouble:

Drive out at controlled intersection: As the cyclist approaches a controlled intersection, a car rolls through the stop or doesn’t see the bike approaching, causing a collision with the side of the bike as it passes through the intersection.

Avoid this situation by slowing down as you approach any intersection. Just because the car may not have the right of way doesn’t mean that they will stop. If possible, be sure to make eye contact with the driver before pulling out into the intersection.

Dooring: A driver opens their door in front of an oncoming bike and they cannot stop in time, forcing the cyclist to run into the door or swerve into open traffic.

Avoid this situation by riding left enough in the bike lane so that you can’t be hit, even if a door does open in front of you. A car approaching from behind is more likely to see and go around you than a person blinding opening their door without checking their rearview mirror.

The Wrong Way Wreck: The cyclist is riding the wrong way (against traffic) and a car makes a right or left turn directly into them as they pass through an intersection.

Avoid this situation by always riding with traffic in the same direction. While going the opposite direction as traffic may seem like a good idea because you can see the cars before they pass you, the drivers are not focused on wrong way traffic. If that’s not enough of an incentive, riding against traffic is usually a ticketable offense.Bicycle-Safety

The Right Hook: A car passes you from behind and then tries to make a right turn directly in front or right on top of you.

Avoid this situation by not riding on the sidewalk. Many of these crashes occur because the driver never saw the cyclist in the first place. By staking out your place in the lane prior to the turn, the driver will be more aware of your intended movement as you approach the intersection.

The Rear End: The cyclist veers left unexpectedly into the lane, maybe to avoid an obstruction, and gets rear ended by a car from behind.

Ultralight First Aid Kits fit on a bicycle, or in a bag easily and have the essentials you need without bulk or weight Ultralight First Aid Kits fit on a bicycle, or in a bag easily and have the essentials you need without bulk or weight

Avoid this situation by never moving left in a lane without checking behind you first. Using an attachable rearview mirror is very effective for this. Also be sure to signal and make your movement patterns clear to others around you.

These are just a few of the most common situations that pose a threat to many cyclists while out on the road. Remember, at the end of the day, right of way and the rules of the road are not always enough to keep you safe. Even if you are in the right, slowing down or waiting a few extra seconds before passing through a dicey intersection can be the difference between serious injury or avoiding it all together.

Also read Emergency First Aid Considerations – practical thoughts.

Contributing Author Rob Tindula writes for the Vancouver personal injury lawyers at the NW Injury Law Center in Washington.

Leave a Reply

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.