According to recent statistics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that bicycle accidents are significantly rising in number. Usually, these accidents involve motor vehicles or pedestrians rather than poles, tunnels, or other objects on or near the streets. Whatever the case, the most important thing is to avoid serious injury or death. With the increasing rate of bicycle accident fatalities, it is especially important now to know how to stay safe on the road. Here are a few ways to avoid bicycle accidents, according to many expert bicycle accident lawyers.
1. Collision with a Door
A collision with a door, also known as “dooring”, is common during cycling. It occurs when the occupant of a vehicle opens their door into the path of a bicyclist. According to expert attorneys, this can easily be avoided if people look before opening their car doors. However, not everyone can be so reliable so it is ultimately up to bicyclists to look out for themselves. Bicyclists can avoid getting doored by simply riding outside of the door zone (while staying safely within the bicycle lane).
2. Side Crossing
Watch for vehicles pulling out of side streets, driveways, or alleys. Bicycle accident lawyers believe that it is best to assume that other vehicles don’t see you. It is possible to increase your visibility by equipping your bicycle with a light. If installing a light is not possible, then you can yell or wave or ride in a way that makes you more visible and gets the driver’s attention. But again, do not assume the driver sees you. If the vehicle hasn’t come to a complete stop, let it pass before proceeding.
3. The Right Hook
This occurs when a motorist makes a right turn directly in front of you, cutting you off. This can result in a bad accident if the bicyclist is not able to brake in time. If a vehicle behind you has its right blinker on, assert your presence by moving towards the left of the lane and signal the driver to pass you on the right. This helps the bicyclist to cross without any problems because even if the car veers to the right, the bicyclist can easily avoid them.
4. Rear End Collision
Rear end collisions are pretty common and result in terrible injuries. This usually occurs when a motorist fails to see a bicyclist or attempts to pass one without clearance. Bicycle accident lawyers always tell tell bicyclists to make themselves visible on the road using headlights and taillights. While these lights may not look cool to some riders, they can save your life. Attorneys also believe that sticking to the shoulder as much as possible (while staying out of the door zone of parked vehicles, of course) can also help in avoiding rear end collisions.
Be it a car or a bicycle, the responsibility lies with both operators to ensure safety of their vehicles as well as their own lives. With these tips in mind, we hope you will be able to ride carefully and reach your destination unharmed.