By Tim O’Hare
‘Always wear your helmet.’
This is the most well-known and commonly preached bicycle safety tip. While wearing a helmet can help prevent or reduce head injuries in a bicycle accident, a helmet cannot always safe your life.
Every year, bicyclists are killed in collisions with cars, and even a helmet couldn’t save them. The most important safety information for bicyclists is how to avoid being hit by a car.
Collisions between cars and bicycles can happen in a variety of circumstances. Here are a few of the common circumstances of vehicle/bicycle accidents and how to avoid them.
Bicyclist hit by car pulling out of side street, parking lot or driveway. Bicyclists can either be hit by a car backing out of a driveway, for example, or the car could pull out in front of a bicyclists, causing the bike rider to crash into the side of the car. Avoid this type of accident by always using a headlight at night, or a white flashing light during the day. A horn on your bike could also help notify a driver who may be pulling out in front of you.
Bicyclists hit by car turning right. Avoid being hit by a car turning right by riding in the street going with traffic, rather than riding on the sidewalk.
Bicyclists riding against traffic, hit by a car making a right-hand turn from driveway, side street or parking lot. Always ride in the same direction as the flow of traffic. A driver making a right-hand turn will likely only look left before turning, as they have no reason to expect a bicycle riding the wrong way.
Pulling up to the right of a car stopped at a red light or stop sign. When stopping at a red light or stop sign, always stop behind a car, rather than to the right of it, as the driver may not know you are there, and make a right-hand turn into you if you are in their blindspot.
Bicyclist being rear-ended by a car. Never change lanes or make a move without first looking for traffic, just as you would if you were driving a car. Making an unexpected move increases your chances of being rear-ended.
Drivers failing to yield, failing to look both ways, driving without paying attention or driving while under the influence. While you cannot control the actions of a driver, and many accidents between bicyclists and cars are the fault of the driver of the car, you can take precautions by using a headlight or flashing light, horn and obeying traffic laws on your bike.
If you have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident with a car, you may be entitled to money damages for your injuries. For more information, please contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free initial consultation with an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney. Call us at 972-960-0000 or Toll-Free at 888-960-0020.