Many people enjoy bicycling, and it is a great form of exercise. However, it is not without its risks, especially if you are riding with traffic. Bicycle-car accidents are usually very serious collisions and can easily result in life-altering injuries or death.
Here are five of the most common bicycle-car accidents and tips on how to avoid them:
— A cyclist is struck from behind. The best thing to do to avoid this type of accident is to make yourself as visible as you can to motorist. Use lights and reflectors when you ride at night. Using arm signals whenever moving to the left. Avoid swerving when looking over your shoulder to check traffic.
— A motorist pulls out of a driveway or parking lot and strikes a bicyclist. If possible, take a route that has the least number of parking-lot exits. Always keep your eyes up and focus on what is happening ahead of you. Ride fully in the road when possible to make yourself more visible.
— A motorist passes a bicyclist on the left and then turns into the bicyclist path. When passing slow-moving or stopped vehicles on the right puts you in the motorist’s blind spot. Ride in the lane. The driver behind you will stay behind you until he or she can make the turn.
— A bicyclist strikes a vehicle door when the driver opens it. Always be prepared to stop suddenly, especially when you are traveling next to parked vehicles.
— A motorist doesn’t see a bicyclist and turns left right in front of him or her. According to the Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center, this type of accident accounts for almost 50 percent of all crashes involving bikes and motorists. If you see a car is turning into your path, turn into the lane the vehicle is in. Also, avoid creeping into an intersection when you are waiting for a traffic light to turn green.
If you are injured in a bicycle-car crash, you have a right to seek compensation from an at-fault driver. An attorney can provide more information on your legal options.
Source: Bicycling.com, “Ride Smart,” Christine Mattheis, accessed Aug. 19, 2016