Thousands of people sustain injuries in cycling accidents each year. According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 700 cyclists die on U.S. roads annually, and more than 49,000 sustain serious injuries.
If you are a regular cyclist, then you probably know firsthand just how vulnerable you are to reckless drivers. If you have been in an accident that was caused by a driver’s negligence, contact Rensch & Rensch Law.
An Omaha personal-injury lawyer from our firm can evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills and other accident-related expenses. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 1-800-471-4100.
In the meantime, read on to learn how to avoid two common bicycle accidents:
- Cars Turning Right
Most crashes happen at intersections, and according to BicycleSafe.com, many cycling accidents involve right-turning cars. The “right hook” happens when a car passes a bicycle and then attempts to make a right turn in front of the cyclist.
In these cases, it is common for the cyclist either to crash into the right side of the car, or for the car to sideswipe the cyclist.
These accidents usually happen because the motorist underestimates the speed that the cyclist is travelling, and believes there is enough time and space to make the turn. For cyclists, right-turning cars are difficult to avoid – especially if they do not signal before turning.
Sometimes, bicyclists can inadvertently contribute to these accidents. For example, if cyclists ride on the sidewalk and then unexpectedly enter the street, then drivers may not be aware of their presence. Rather, you should remain on the road and ride with traffic so that you are visible to motorists. Alternatively, you can stop and walk your bike when crossing an intersection.
Another suggestion is to ride further to the left of the road, and to take up the entire lane. This will make you more visible to motorists, and they will not assume that they can pass you safely. According to BicycleSafe.com, if the road is not wide enough for a car to pass you safely, then you should take up the entire lane.
- Cycling into Car Doors
Many cyclists believe that moving cars are more dangerous than stationary ones. But according to BicycleSafe.com, drivers who open their doors into bicycle lanes or seemingly empty roads can also cause serious accidents.
A vehicle’s occupant may not see the cyclist approaching. If he or she opens the door, then the cyclist may not have enough time to stop or evade the accident.
To avoid this type of crash, try to ride far enough to the left so that an opening door cannot reach you. This will also make you more visible to people in parked cars and give you enough space to take evasive action should it be necessary.
If you have no choice but to ride close to car doors, reduce your speed and remain vigilant until you can move away from the danger.
Defensive cycling can help you avoid serious accidents, but it is impossible to control the actions of other road users. For this reason, some crashes are unavoidable.
If a negligent driver injured you in a car accident, contact an Omaha personal-injury attorney from Rensch & Rensch Law. Call us today at 1-800-471-4100 to schedule an appointment.