As a cyclist, you are at a much higher risk of severe injuries and death
than drivers. The roads are supposed to be shared peacefully, but accidents
happen anyways. While you can’t always predict a driver’s
behavior, you can take preventative measures to decrease your chances
of getting hit. These are some of the most common bicycle accidents and
how you can avoid them.
The Left Hook
The most common bicycle accident on the road is the “left hook,”
or when a left-turning vehicle fails to yield to an oncoming cyclist in
the opposite lane. To avoid the left hook,
never assume that an oncoming left-turning vehicle can see you. Even if you make eye contact, only cross if the driver specifically waves
The Right Hook
A “right hook” accident is another common accident in which
a motorist passes up a cyclist on their left side and then suddenly turns
right directly in front of them, without giving them ample time to brake.
This type of accident is difficult to prevent, but it helps to
glance in your mirror whenever you approach an intersection.
A driver opens their door in front of a cyclist and the bike can’t
stop in time. This cyclist is either knocked down or forced to swerve
into traffic. Regardless, the consequences of “dooring” are painful. As a cyclist,you should ride at least 4 feet away from the left side of a car. If you’re riding alongside parked cars, make sure each one is empty
before zooming close by.
Whether you’re riding out of a driveway or crossing a controlled
intersection, you are open to a “T-bone” accident. As you
approach a street with heavy traffic,
slow down, look both ways for traffic or other cyclists, glance at any
traffic signs, and pay attention to traffic lights.
Sadly, not all accidents can be avoided, but there are some general safety
tips that can help decrease the chance of injury.
As you a cyclist, you should always:
- Wear a helmet and protective clothing
- Install and use rear view mirrors and lights
- Learn and use hand signals
- Obey traffic laws
- Ride in the same direction as traffic
- Ride as closely as possible to the right side of the road when you’re
going at a slower speed than traffic
Bicycle accidents can often result in serious injuries and reoccurring
medical treatment. At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., our
Longmont personal injury attorneys can provide aggressive legal representation to help you recover the compensation
you need and deserve.
Call (720) 809-8310 or contact us online
for more information about our services.