It looks like we finally will have some good riding weather in most of the Country. I thought this would be a great time to share the top 3 ways you can have a bicycle accident, in the hopes you will not have one!! If this is your first time reading my blog, you should know I am an avid cyclist and bicycle accident lawyer that has been representing injured bikers for over 20 years. The information I am sharing today is based on my experience representing clients and calls my office receives everyday… NOT from a formal study. In other words, this is simply my opinion and not backed up from any empirical data other than my own. Now that the lawyer in provided you the disclaimers…
List of the 3 Best Ways to Have a Bicycle Accident:
1. Ride on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic. If you remember nothing else from this post, please remember this. There are many ways to have a bicycle accident, and many can’t be avoided, but this one is VERY avoidable and a very common. In addition, there is usually some comparative negligence to the cyclist. Let me explain why. If you are riding on a sidewalk (not allowed in every state), against traffic, then every time you approach a crosswalk and see a motor vehicle, the driver will naturally be looking to their left (not you) if they are going to make a right hand turn. This means, you can assume every car pulling out of a driveway or intersection will not notice you. There is a very simple way to avoid this accident; DONT DO IT, unless there is no other choice. Better choices include being on the sidewalk with the flow of traffic or on the normal traffic lane. If there is no sidewalk on the other side and the normal lane of traffic is too dangerous then you can ride on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic. Always remember to assume that you are invisible to all motor vehicles!!
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2. Be Unpredictable. If you really feel like being in a bicycle accident this is a good way to do it. Don’t signal when you are about to turn and never come to a full stop at intersections. You can also sneak up beside cars at intersections or ride in their blind spot. If you act in a very predicatable way you are more likely to be noticed and therefore avoid an accident. This goes along with riding against flow of traffic (it is very unpredictable).
3. Creep into intersections at red lights to get a head start. Almost 50% of all accidents between a motor vehicle and cyclist is a motor vehicle failing to see a cyclist and turn left iat an intersection nto the path of the cyclist. If you want to increase the likelihood of this type of accident, you could jump a red light, by doing this you will give the motor vehicle less time to react and be at the perfect place to have an accident. What you should do is not jump the red light but anticipate the oncoming vehicle may want to take a left hand turn and wait to see if that is the case. Once again, you must be predictable (ie, not creep into intersection before light turns green) and also anticipate what the surrounding vehicles might do.
I know not all accidents are avoidable, but it is my passion to help cyclists have the knowledge to avoid them when possible and the experience to represent them if they are in one. I hope every one has a very safe and fun riding season!
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Bicycle Injury Lawyer/ Enthusiast
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