Riding your bike is a healthy, cheap and environmentally friendly way to get around. Despite these benefits, there is a clear risk of colliding with cars, trucks, and other larger and heavier vehicles. In fact, there were approximately 467,000 bicyclist injuries in 2015 according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a bicyclist, you must learn to recognize hazards and take appropriate safety precautions to avoid an accident. Keep reading to inform yourself about common bicycle accidents and how to avoid them.
1. Cars turning left
If you approach an intersection and a car is coming from the opposite direction, you face a serious risk if the motorist turns left. This is usually because drivers often misjudge the speed of cyclists or do not see them. To reduce your risk of this type of accident, increase your visibility with lights and reflective clothing. You should also slow down as you approach the intersection and prepare to brake if necessary.
2. Cars turning right
An accident can occur if both you and a driver are approaching an intersection and the driver cuts you off. You may also pass a slow car on the right only to be hit by the car making a right turn. Avoid these accidents by checking your mirror as you approach intersections, adjusting your lane position and staying out of blind spots.
3. Stop signs
Sometimes you will be at an intersection where you have a stop sign but the driver coming from the side does not. After you stop, you might ride into the intersection in front of a motorist who has the right of way. Make sure you adjust your position to the left of your lane to increase your visibility to drivers.
Getting hit by a car can result in devastating injuries. If you ever get hit by a motorist and need help proving liability for compensation, consult a personal injury attorney.