Bicycles are a great alternative to cars and trucks when commuting to and from home to go to work or school. Using a bicycle not only saves you money on fuel that you would spend if you drove but it is also a great way to get fit or to stay fit. When choosing to ride a bike instead, there are some traffic rules that need to be followed in order to have a safe trip to and from your home. If you are involved in an accident, it’s easy to get confused with the many different types of accidents involving bicycles so this list will familiarize you with the basics and the most common ones.
Accidents at Intersections
Intersections are the most common locations to see any type of accident including bicycles. In fact, the most common scenario includes the cyclist stopping at a stop sign but the car coming from another direction does not. Another scenario is if the bicyclist has the right-of-way but the car approaching does not see the bike and continues on.
In order to avoid an accident at the intersection, here are some important tips to follow:
1. Keep a look out on the intersection as you approach so you know what to expect.
2. Make the most out of your visibility. If the intersection is also close to parking spaces, the intersection can look crowded and at a glance, look busy. Allow yourself time to look around and know what vehicles you need to focus on the most to get through the intersection.
Car Turning Left: The “Left Cross”
In this situation, the bicyclist and the motorists approach the intersection coming from opposites directions. The motorist needs to turn left and begins this turn and unfortunately hits the bicycle. This is an accident that is caused by a motorist not seeing the bicyclists or the motorist underestimates the bikes speed. In this type of accident, the driver of the vehicle will be liable.
You can minimize your chances of being in an accident by
• Consider the intersection in its entirety, not just your section of the road and where you are going.
• Consider using the lane through the intersection before making a turn in order to increase the visibility to vehicles.
• Maximize your visibility
• Never attempt to cross the intersection by riding in the crosswalk from the sidewalk.
Car Turning Right: The “Right Hook”
In this situation, there are many ways that an accident can occur.
1. The bike passes a car going slower on the right. Then when the car makes the right turn, they hit the bike.
2. The car passes a bicycle as they both come up to the intersection. Then the car makes a right turn at the intersection which cuts off the bicyclist.
3. The bicycle and the vehicle are waiting for the red light to turn green. The darn then turns right which will cut off the bicycle.
In most of the scenarios, the driver of the vehicle will be at fault.
Why Liability Matters
It’s important to use safety when riding a bicycle anywhere. It’s important that a cyclist not violate the right-of-way rules at any time. Violating these rules will make everyone on the road in danger. If you are involved in an accident, it’s important that you speak to a personal Injury Lawyer in Kitchener as soon as possible.