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Preventing Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle AccidentInjuries sustained by cyclists in bicycle accidents can be severe and even deadly. While the behavior of other motorists cannot always be predicted, cyclists can take some protective measures to decrease their chances of being involved in a bicycle accident.

Common Bicycle Accident Situations

Cyclists can be injured in all types of situations, but certain accident scenarios are quite common, including:

  • Right hook: Many cyclists are injured when drivers attempt to turn right and negligently cut off a bicyclist traveling in the same direction;
  • Left cross: This is another common scenario in which cyclists are injured by an oncoming vehicle. In this case, the car and cyclist are traveling in opposite directions, and a driver makes a left turn in front of the cyclist, colliding in the intersection;
  • Open door: This type of accident occurs when a driver parked on a curb quickly opens his or her door into the path of an oncoming cyclist. Both parties are frequently injured in these collisions;
  • Rear end: When drivers fail to keep a safe and reasonable distance between their cars and cyclists, the vehicle may rear-end the cyclist, which can cause serious injuries.
Safety Tips

Accidents cannot always be avoided. However, there are some general safety tips that can help cyclists decrease their chances of injury. Anyone on a bicycle should:

  • Always wear a helmet and protective clothing;
  • Remain aware of the surroundings at all times;
  • Install and utilize rear view mirrors to expand the field of vision;
  • Learn and use hand signals;
  • Obey all traffic laws;
  • Wear bright-colored clothing;
  • Refrain from riding at night;
  • Install and utilize lights, especially for night rides;
  • Courteously share the road with other cyclists and motorists;
  • Ride in the same direction as other traffic;
  • Focus on retaining visibility at all times; and
  • Ride as close as is safely possible to the right side of the road when traveling at a slower speed than the rest of traffic.

Motorists can also take steps to ensure that they are not the cause of an accident involving a cyclist. A few of the most important safety tips for car and truck drivers include:

  • Remaining vigilant;
  • Checking blind spots before merging or turning;
  • Keeping a safe distance from cyclists;
  • Checking for cyclists before opening the car door;
  • Using blinkers;
  • Obeying traffic laws;
  • Giving cyclists a three-foot buffer zone; and
  • Checking the area before exiting a driveway or side street.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident?

Collisions between vehicles and bicycles can result in deadly injuries for riders. Unfortunately, many such accidents could have been avoided with a few extra moments of careful attention. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by another driver’s carelessness or wrongful act, contact the experienced San Jose personal injury attorneys at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. to schedule a free consultation.

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