Common Situations Cyclists Get Hit And How To Avoid Them

In this article, we’ll discuss some common situations where cyclists get hit by cars and what they should do about them. Stay safe and ride on!

Bike accident on the road

While it is a fun and rewarding sport, cycling isn’t without its own dangers. As an avid cycler, you have probably experienced a few close calls like I have. In fact, there has been a growing trend of bicycle deaths over the last decade, by approximately 16 percent. 

From 2020 to 2021, there was a significant difference in the number. When it comes to sharing trails, roads, and other public places with others, there are a few situations where we should ride defensively and be prepared in the event of an accident.

Common Situations Cyclists Get Hit and How You Can Avoid Them

There are at least eight different types of situations where you can get hit cycling. While you may be paying attention to your surroundings, that doesn’t mean that all drivers are. 

However, there are ways to bike defensively and avoid these situations to keep yourself safe as travel along rural highways, in cities, and on major roadways, as well.

Right Hook Accidents

The right hook accident is more common in big cities when you are hit by a vehicle turning right.

A lot of times this happens when drivers attempt to cut off the cyclist, not properly gauging the speed. While they are supposed to wait and allow you to cross the road safely, this is not always the case.

When you are approaching an area where right turns are optional, move your bike more to the middle lane. This will help to indicate to drivers behind you that you are going straight and reduce their options of coming beside you to pass.

Rear End Accidents

It is possible for distracted drivers to also take out bicycles. Whether they are on their phone, using the radio, or eating, they can sneak up on a cyclist going too fast and rear-end them.

While this can be a fatal accident, it is not the most common accident. With the right reflective pieces on your bike and riding in well-lit areas, the lack of visibility is reduced. This will prevent this type of accident from occurring and protect you when out on your bike.

MTB crash on crosswalk

Riding Against Traffic

Cyclists are supposed to be right with traffic according to traffic laws. If you are riding your bike on the wrong side of the road for whatever reason, you can be the cause of an unwanted head-on collision. 

The motorists driving on that side are not expecting you to be in that lane. This means that they have to react in a short span if they have the opportunity. In many cases, they do not, and the result is a head-on collision. In order to avoid this accident, you need to make sure you are riding with traffic at all times.

Interesting read – Does Cycling To Work Get Easier?

Drivers In The Wrong Lane

Another type of head-on collision happens when you are driving within the flow of traffic legally, and a vehicle comes into your lane. This usually happens because the driver is under the influence or distracted. 

Either way, it leaves little time for you to move out of the way of the other vehicle. These accidents are not the fault of the cyclist, but the fault of the driver. 

The best way to avoid these accidents is to keep an eye on your surroundings and avoid being too far into the lane in case a car does cross back over.

Hybrid bike accident on the road

Getting Hit On Sidewalks

There are some areas where you can and should ride your bike on the sidewalk. When this is allowed, you are supposed to adhere to the same laws as you would on a bicycle, crossing crosswalks, and traveling. 

When you get to a crosswalk on a sidewalk where you are traveling, you need to be defensive about crossing over the road. There are lots of signs and sounds that will distract the driver, and they may not see you. You could be hit in the side or at an angle, depending on the distance you are traveling.

Interesting read – Are Single Speed Bikes Good For Commuting?

Red Light Accidents

Just like vehicles, you are expected to stop your bike at red lights. Especially, if there are signs posted that say no turn on red. If your bike is in the blind spot on the passenger rear quarter of the car, then when the light turns green, they may not see you and move forward with their turn.

In order to avoid this from happening, make sure you stop right beside the car so that they can see you. Take a second once the light turns green and let the car go first, especially if they are starting to move. While you may have the right of way to go, your life isn’t worth a few seconds of waiting!

Red traffic light

Swinging Door Accidents

One of the most common accidents that cyclists encounter is swinging door accidents. When a bike is traveling in the appropriate lane with traffic, some cars may be parked along the road in parallel parking.

Drivers who are not paying attention will swing their doors open and hit the cyclists, knocking them from their bikes and causing severe injury. While the fault lies with the car driver opening the door, there are two ways you can try to avoid being the victim of a swinging door. 

You can first keep the left about three extra feet when traveling to be out of the door range if it does fly open. Also, turn on your headlight if you are traveling at dusk, dawn, or night beside these vehicles.

Open car door

T-Bone Accidents

When you are on a four-lane highway riding your bike, you need to watch out for drivers getting into the median to cross the road or get in the same lane as you. They may not notice you coming up to the opening and flying through it. 

If they do not properly gauge the speed that you are traveling or their own speed, they will hit you as you approach the road and the accident could be permanent. Depending on what side of the road you are on, you could be T-boned in the side on either the right or the left.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’re aware of common situations where cyclists can get hit, hopefully, it makes you more conscious of your surroundings whilst riding. 

Stay safe and roll on!

You may also like to read Tips & Tricks For Commuting To Work By Bike.

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