Most bicycle accidents involve only the person riding the bicycle. In fact, according to Nolo.com, only 11% of bicycle accidents occur with an automobile. Of these collisions, however, nearly half happen at an intersection, making these traffic areas particularly hazardous for people on bikes.
Why are traffic intersections so dangerous for cyclists? Cars may not come to a complete stop at the traffic signal, or drivers may only be looking for oncoming cars and trucks before proceeding through a turn. Traffic intersections are usually busy, with many cars traveling in different directions. This alone increases the chances of a bicycle-car collision.
When approaching a traffic intersection, cyclists should proceed with caution. In all 50 states, bicycles are vehicles, and they must follow the rules of the road. This means following the same traffic laws as automobiles. Cyclists should come to a complete stop at stop lights and stop signs. They should not run through yellow lights. They should wait for a green light before proceeding through an intersection and look both ways to ensure that no traffic is barreling toward them.
Cyclists must also follow traffic laws that apply to intersections without a traffic signal. If a bicycle and an automobile arrive at such an intersection, then the vehicle that arrived first has the right of way. If a bicycle and the automobile arrive at the same time, then the vehicle to the right has the right of way.
Carefully follow intersection traffic laws, and you will decrease your chances of being involved in a bicycle-automobile collision. Yet accidents do happen. If you are a cyclist and have been in a car collision that was not your fault, then contact us. We are the Law Office of Gary Brustin and are here to protect your cyclist rights.