Preventing Intersection Bicycle Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, an Ione bicycle accident attorney. Did you know that 45 percent of crashes between bicyclists and motor vehicles occur at intersections? Because bicycle riders have lower visibility and inadequate protection against a collision with a motor vehicle, injuries in a crash are more apt to be severe. However, there are ways that a bicyclist can improve their odds of being in an intersection accident.
Intersections can be dangerous anywhere for a variety of reasons. The types of locations where an intersection can present more dangers than usual include:
- Lack of stop signs or traffic lights
- Crossings located near shopping centers
- Multiple-lane streets that narrow down near the intersection
- Crosswalks and bus stops are located near the intersection
- Intersections that are laid out with perpendicular streets, obscuring vision
- Crossings where the intersecting traffic is not required to stop
- Divided highways with no traffic signs or lights
- Intersections that lack bicycle lanes
Injuries Incurred in a Bicycle Accident
The following list includes the common types of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident:
- Head injuries are reported in between 22 and 47 percent of bicycle accidents.
- Bone fractures, strains and dislocations are common injuries.
- Injuries to lungs or rib fractures occur in chest trauma.
- Contusions, lacerations and abrasions are common.
- Dental or facial fractures and eye injuries occur.
- Abdominal injuries may include injuries to organs such as the spleen, kidney or liver.
Making a Right Turn Safely on a Bicycle
Making a right turn is much more comfortable than making a left. Look around at the rest of the traffic before turning. Keep in mind that a motor vehicle turning right can move in closer to the curb as it turns. Always keep an eye out for pedestrians also and remember to signal a right-hand turn even though you might think that what you are going to do is obvious. Bikeexpert.com offers useful tips on making right-hand turns safely.
Turning Left at an Intersection
One of the common causes of bicycle accidents involve motorists who turn left in front of a bicyclist. In California, bicyclists are mostly expected to ride on the right side of a road in a bike lane if possible. However, “taking the lane” is allowed when making a left turn to pass another bicycle or to avoid danger. Be sure to move over carefully into a left-turn position and watch the traffic coming up from behind. If you can’t get over in time to turn safely, try the next intersection. Signal when turning, waiting for other vehicles and don’t cut corners. Ride ahead into the intersection a little to avoid left turning cars.
Going Straight at an Intersection
Going straight through an intersection can be tricky because of vehicles turning left at the beginning of the intersection and vehicles turning right from the perpendicular lane. Also, the bike rider has to watch out for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Pull ahead a bit further than usual so you can be seen by traffic and to discourage vehicles from making a right turn in front of you before proceeding.
Related Articles by Ione Bicycle Accident Attorney, Ed Smith:
- Children and Bicycle Injuries
- Bicycle Injuries and Hit-and-Run Accidents
- Recovering Compensation in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Ione Bicycle Accident Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, an Ione bicycle accident attorney. The consequences of bicycle accidents are endless. If you or a family member has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by another person, please call me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
Please feel free to peruse my list of client ratings and reviews at:
I am a Million Dollar Advocates member of California. This forum permits membership from trial lawyers with a proven record of client settlements or verdicts of at least $1 million.
You may browse some of my previous cases on my Verdicts and Settlements page.
Photo Attribution: By “StockSnap” via Pixabay
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