Common Type of Bicycle Accidents
The best way to avoid a bicycle accident is to assume the vehicles on the road do not see you and/or do not care to see you.
This is the most common way to get hit. A car pulls out of a side street or driveway from your right and directly into your path. To avoid this, slow down as you approach all intersections, side streets and/or driveways. Try to make eye contact with the driver and if riding at night make sure you have a headlight. If you are riding against traffic, STOP. When pulling out, most drivers usually only look to their left, they will rarely look right.
The Door Prize
Assume the driver who pulled into a spot does not see you. Be aware he may open a door. Once you see the driver pulling into a spot , check behind you, and move to your left. These can be especially dangerous accidents. If you are riding on a busy street it is possible that you may be doored and knocked into oncoming traffic. Be aware of drivers who are getting out of their vehicles.
Never pass a car on the right as you approach an intersection. The driver may be turning right without signalling and could cut you off or hit you. Make sure the driver is going straight before trying to pass on the right.
A car passes you then tries to make a right turn, cutting you off. I myself have been hit this way two times. The common element is that driver’s cannot gauge how fast a cyclist is riding. The only thing you can do is slow down as you ride thru intersections and side streets.
The Failure to Yield
A car coming toward you turns left into your path. Cyclists should slow down in intersections, and make themselves visible by using headlights and wearing light, bright clothing, even during the day. Also, don’t speed through an intersection during a yellow light. Be a defensive driver — be aware of cars and try to make eye contact with drivers, to ensure they are aware of you. If you can’t make eye contact, shout if necessary.
The Rear End
You move to the left to go around something in the road and you get hit from behind. To avoid this: Always look behind you or in your mirror before moving left. Make sure you signal before making any lane changes or big moves. Try to be predictable to other drivers — don’t make sudden moves.
A helpful tip is to try to ride in large packs when cycling. Drivers are more aware when they see a “pack”, and are more likely to take appropriate precautions, especially when passing.
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