While biking, it’s imperative that you not only pay attention to what you are doing, but that you pay especially close attention to what others are doing. When riding your bike on or near a roadway, it’s often easier to see other travelers than it is for them to see you, especially with the amount of distractions for motorists in this era of technology. With the prevalence of cell phones, radios, and navigation devices, you must be responsible for your own safety. The following are common types of accidents involving cyclists:
The Right Cross.
This occurs when vehicles are pulling out of a side street, parking lot, or a driveway on the right of the cyclist. You can be struck by the oncoming vehicle, or you could potentially crash into the side of the vehicle. In order to prevent this type of collision, make sure to use a front headlight if traveling at night. Try to make eye contact with the driver. If this doesn’t work, wave! Slowing down ensures that you have a better chance of coming to a complete stop if you have to. Ride further to the left of the lane when approaching an intersection. This increases the chance that an oncoming driver will be able to see you and gives you more maneuvering options in the event they don’t.
The Door Prize.
You are riding along beside parked vehicles when one of the drivers open his door, and you smack right into it! This is one of the most common types of collisions involving cyclists. Simply riding farther to the left will give you more room to avoid the unexpected car door opening.
The Rear End.
You simply swerve to the left a bit to go around a parked vehicle or some other obstruction in the roadway and get nailed by a car from behind. To avoid this scenario, ALWAYS look behind you before moving over. Secondly, don’t swerve in and out of a parking lane if it contains parked vehicles. Ride as steady as possible, even if there are empty spots. Use a mirror to help you monitor traffic behind you without constantly having to look over your shoulder, which can cause an involuntarily merge to the side you’re looking from. Finally, signal. Never move left without signaling. Holding your left arm straight out indicates that you will be turning in that direction. Just make sure to look behind you first, so that a passing car doesn’t take off your arm!
In the event of an accident, legal representation may be needed. Contact California bicycle accident lawyer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer all of your legal questions!