Top Causes of Bike-Car Crashes
Nearly half of all bike-car collisions occur when drivers fail to see cyclists traveling straight and make left-hand turns into their paths.
Because cyclists do not travel as fast as passenger vehicles, impatient drivers often speed up to pass the cyclists and then abruptly cut them off, causing a collision.
Similar to left-turn collisions, drivers commonly fail to see cyclists traveling next them, so when they make right turns they collide with the cyclists.
When a driver cannot see or fails to notice a cyclist in the lane in front of them, they often hit the back of the bicycle, which can cause the cyclist to be thrown from their bike and severely injured.
When drivers enter and exit parking lots and driveways, they are usually focused on one thing: finding a spot to park. As such, many drivers don’t look carefully and quickly pull straight into the paths of passing cyclists.
After parking their vehicles along the street, many motorists quickly glance in the side mirror to make sure a car isn’t passing and then throw open their doors and exit their vehicles. In most cases, a quick glance in the mirror isn’t enough to notice a cyclist coming up the street, and opening the door straight into their path could lead to serious injuries.
Safety Tips for Cyclists
- Always wear a helmet
- Wear bright and reflective clothing whenever you bike
- When biking at night, use lights and reflectors on the front and back of your bike
- Bells or other audible signals can make drivers aware of your presence
- Follow traffic laws to reduce the risk of a collision
- Bike defensively – always be aware of what’s happening around you
- Don’t use headphones or earbuds; make sure you can hear horns and cars coming near you
- If a driver makes a left turn into your path, turn with them to avoid a collision
- If possible, avoid biking on streets that have numerous parking lot and driveway exits
- When biking past parked cars, ride at least 3 feet away and be prepared for opening doors
- Always choose the safe route over the quick route