How to Avoid the Most Common Bike-Car Collisions


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Biking is on the rise. Bike shares are popping up in cities throughout the nation. An growing variety of staff are commuting on two wheels. And extra people are pedaling for fresh air and fitness. The primary concern amongst all of them? Visitors—particularly staying protected when navigating streets busy with automobiles.

The excellent news is that a number of bits of motorcycle security information go a great distance in holding you out of hurt’s approach. Right here’s easy methods to keep away from widespread causes of car-bike collisions.

Be seen

When a drivers hits a bike owner, the primary phrases out of his mouths are inevitably, “I didn’t see her!” Although the onus is on drivers to concentrate on their environment, you'll be able to take a number of straightforward steps to make them conscious that you simply’re there. That is particularly essential in low-light circumstances, when accidents are commonest. Stats present critical accidents occur most frequently between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Get daytime operating lights. The newest development in biking is to run daytime operating lights—white within the entrance and purple within the rear—identical to bikes and lots of automobiles. Moveable, rechargeable lights like Bontrager’s Ion 100 are intense sufficient that automobiles can see you from almost 1 / 4 mile away. Additionally they have a flashing mode, which will get the eye of distracted drivers. One research discovered that the incidence price of bicycle accidents with private damage to the rider was 19% decrease for riders using permanent running lights. Nicely well worth the 40 bucks they value!

Put on reflective clothes. It’s straightforward to mix in with the environment once you’re pedaling a thin bike alongside the roadside. Create a distinction by sporting “hi-viz” clothes or accent items like vests, a helmet, and gloves that make you simpler to see. Analysis exhibits it may lower your risk of run-ins with cars by 40%. When the sunshine is dim, put on cycling-specific reflective equipment.

Be predictable

Comply with the principles of the street. Circulate with (by no means towards) visitors. Obey road indicators, visitors alerts, and street markings. Maintain a straight line as a lot as attainable (clearly skirting round obstacles like potholes and storm grates) and keep away from weaving out and in of parked automobiles. Sign your intentions to show—merely put your arm out and level—so automobiles know which path you’re going.

Thoughts the intersections

Nearly all of accidents occur in intersections. The most typical state of affairs is a automotive turning proper turns into you with out seeing you. Different widespread situations embrace an oncoming automotive turns left into you as you’re going straight. Or a automotive merely pulls out into the intersection immediately in entrance or into you. To keep away from these, you are able to do the next:

Journey additional left. Riders typically hug the sting of the street as far proper as potential. However in visitors, particularly if you’re shifting about the identical fee of velocity because the automobiles, it’s safer to maneuver into the lane the place you're absolutely seen. Driving within the lane can also be sensible when the street is just too slender for automobiles to move you at a protected distance.

Stay out of the blind spot. When coming to a cease at a visitors mild or cease signal, keep away from stopping proper subsequent to the automotive to your left. The driving force can’t see you and should flip proper into you. Cease behind the automotive so you'll be able to see its blinkers. If the driving force fails to make use of her blinkers, you will additionally have the ability to see the automotive turning earlier than it turns into you.

Be cautious passing on the appropriate. Once you’re driving to the fitting of visitors, particularly when you’re in a motorcycle lane, you'll possible end up sometimes passing automobiles on the best hand aspect, particularly when visitors is sluggish. It’s greatest to keep away from passing on the proper. However in the event you do, be vigilant and hold your eye out for intersections, driveways, parking tons, and different locations automobiles could also be turning proper (or crossing visitors and making a left from the other way), so a driver does not inadvertently flip proper into or in entrance of you.

Make eye contact. When at an intersection with automobiles coming in from both aspect, make eye contact with the drivers to make certain they see you earlier than pulling into the intersection. In the event that they don’t seem to see you, wave an arm to get their consideration. (Lights assist quite a bit right here, too.)

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Give your self a door buffer

When driving previous parked automobiles in your proper, give your self ample area to keep away from being “doored” by somebody opening their automotive door into visitors. It helps to control aspect view mirrors, as nicely, since you'll be able to see automobiles which are occupied, the place somebody might step out with out wanting.