Most Common Ways Bicyclist Get Hit by Cars & How to Avoid Them
The Many Benefits of Cycling as a Method of Transportation
Riding a bike can be a great way to get around and is a method of transportation that comes with a lot of benefits. You travel much faster than on foot. You don’t have the fuel expenditure of motor vehicles. Cycling helps you stay in shape. You get to experience being outdoors & breathing in fresh air. Bicycles often have more flexibilities that pedestrians or cars because they can often travel as either (depending on you state & local laws). You can often avoid the perils of finding a suitable parking space that’s even reasonably close to the destination. You don’t ever have to worry about you bicycle not starting. The list goes on. However, on the flip side of this, there’s a lot of dangers that neither pedestrians nor automobile drivers face as well. These can be serious downsides to cycling as they can lead to severe injury or even death. However, there’s steps you can take to avoid these dangers & arming yourself with the knowledge of the most common dangers will go a long way for avoiding them. Let’s look at a few of the most commonly overlooked ways cyclist end up getting hit by cars.
Some of the most common types of accidents to cyclists sound more like boxing terms (and some are) but they obviously are applied a little differently here. Instead of getting hit by a gloved fist, we’re talking about the full weight of a vehicle’s hard metal & glass crushing into a cyclist’s body & bicycle. Usually throwing the bike and biker onto the hard, unforgiving surface of the asphalt or in some cases, another car.
6 Common Car VS Bike Accidents
- Left Cross:This is when oncoming traffic crosses over and results in a head on collision with a biker.
What you can do to avoid the Left Cross: watch closely for oncoming traffic with blinkers on because they may not see you. A headlight on your bike can also help you become more visible.
- Right Cross: This happens when a vehicle attempts to pull out from the right side & the result is a collision with the vehicle & cyclist.
What you can do to avoid the Left Cross: Watch both ways closely when you do or don’t have the right of way. Getting a headlight for your bicycle can also increase visibility. Make sure you have reflectors in good working condition if you plan to cycle at night.
- Right Hook: This happens when a vehicle passes you on the left then cuts in front of you or hit’s you as they make a right turn.
What you can do to avoid the Right Hook: When someone is passing you, pay close attention as to whether or not it looks like they’re going to make a right turn after doing so. This may give you a chance to brake if they cut you off.
Parking Lotted: Automobile drivers often overlook bicycle riders as they pull out of a parking lot, thus the name.
What you can do to avoid getting Parking Lotted: Keep a close eye on parking vehicles as they come out of parking lots. Stay off the sidewalks (especially since it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Vegas as this makes you less visible.
- Door Prize (“dooring”, “getting doored”, etc.): This typically happens when the door opens in a parked car which is pulled over to the side of the road. This can be difficult to avoid on streets where there are many parked cars close to the curb.
What you can do to avoid taking the “door prize”: Give more space between you and the parked cars. Take the full lane of the road if necessary. Be prepared to come to an abrupt stop at any given time. Try to watch far ahead as possible for cars which have just pulled over to gain foresight into which cars may have exiting passengers.
- Rear Ended aka “The Overtaking”: You get hit from a vehicle coming up from behind you. This often happens as a result of the driver speeding and/or being distracted behind the wheel.
How to avoid getting “overtaken”: One of the best things you can do is utilize a mirror on your bike. Chances are, you’re already used to checking your mirror from driving your car. Now you just need to make it a practice when you’re on your bike. Also, don’t weave in & out of lanes as this makes it more difficult for motorists to avoid you.
Cyclists Getting Hit By Cars Is A Heated Topic
The severity of injuries from bicycle accidents has lead to a lot of frustration from both the bicycle community and even some motorists. Some cyclists have began to refer to car & cyclist collisions as “bike crashes” rather than “bike accidents” feeling as though accident carries too little weight of responsibility on the motorist’s part.
Much of the heat from this debate stems from the fact that automobile drivers usually experience little or no injury at all in the same crash that sends cyclists to the hospital or grave. Injuries experienced in vehicle vs bicycle accidents are often severed. Motor vehicle & bicycle collisions contribute to over 60% of bike related deaths & long term disabilities. Some of the common injuries cyclists experience involve trauma to the head, spine & brain. Often, riders are forced into their handlebars so hard it causes internal organ damage, broken ribs which could even lead to a punctured lung.
Some signs to pay special attention to that signal serous injury are as follows:
- Head Check: If you’re helmet is damaged significantly, you may have hit your head harder than you realize. That’s worth getting medical attention (and replacing your helmet). Did you loose consciousness? Have a headache or experience vision changes, confusion? All signs you need to seek medical attention.
- Spine: Can you feel your fingers and toes? If you can’t or there’s numbness or tingling, that’s a potential sign of damage to the spine.
- Chest: Does it hurt to breath deeply? If so, you could have cracked a rib and potentially even punctured a lung.
- Abdomen: Tenderness, soreness or parts of the abdomen becoming firm could signal damage or bleeding. Nothing to mess around with.
Should You Seek Medical Attention?
If you’re questioning whether you should seek medical attention, you probably should. If you experience any of the things above, immediately seek medical assistance. Consider making your personal information accessible on your clothing, bag, etc. so if you are unconscious from an accident, professionals can better assist & identify you. If you have medical information (such as allergies, medications you take, etc.) that someone treating you would need to know, make this information available.
Get Further Assistance
If you do end up in a automobile vs bicycle crash, and once you’ve taken care of your medical needs, contact an attorney to discuss the incident. You may not be fully aware of all the laws that apply to your situation & you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Stay safe, be alert and aware…live to bike another day.