With increasingly beautiful summer weather ahead of us, you may want nothing more than to jump on your bike and go for a ride. Unless you make your way to a road that restricts vehicle access, cars are going to pose a constant threat to your safety.
Most Common Causes of Bike Crashes
An accident can happen on any part of the road, but like most situations in life, some scenarios are more dangerous than others.
- Turning into Your Path from the Opposite Direction: One of the most common bike collisions occurs when a vehicle going in the opposite direction makes a left turn, cutting off your lane. The driver may never even see you until it’s too late, either because they weren’t looking for a cyclist, or because they misjudged your speed and/or distance.
- Turning into Your Path from the Same Direction: Another common crash occurs when a vehicle going in the same direction as you makes a right turn, cutting off your lane. Similarly to the left-hand turns, the driver may not have seen you when they began turning. This time, it’s more likely that he or she didn’t realize you were in a blind spot or because they misjudged your speed and/or distance from their car.
- Parked Car Doors Opening: With so many bicycle lanes in the city running parallel to parking spaces, there is a constant risk of a door opening in your path. Drivers or passengers may not think to check for oncoming cyclists, or they may underestimate how fast you’re approaching.
- Rear Ending: Getting rear ended is usually the result of reckless driving. The driver may distracted by something, or they might be driving too fast to stop in time.
What Can I Do?
While much of the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the driver, you can’t trust everyone to keep an eye out for you on the road. While there’s no way to guarantee you won’t get hit by a careless driver, there are steps you can take to mitigate the chance of a crash.
- Constant Vigilance: Avoid wearing headphones or anything else that can impair your situational awareness, at least while riding in congested areas. That, along with keeping your head on a swivel to look for potential dangers can give you the extra second of reaction time you need to avoid a crash.
- Dress for the Occasion: Cyclist clothes aren’t just designed to cut down on wind resistance, they’re also designed to stand out. Wearing those neon lycra shorts might do more than just cut down your mile pace; they might make you stick out enough for motorists to notice you and avoid a potential crash.
- Keep the Lights On: Keep your bicycle’s headlight on at all times, even if you’re going for a ride in broad daylight. If it has a strobe setting, that’s even better. The added visibility will help you stick out to passing vehicles, and keep you safer on the road.
While these tips will help you stay safer on the road, distracted or negligent drivers can still get in your way and cause a crash. Don’t let someone else’s careless mistake get in the way of your life; if you’ve been injured in a crash with a vehicle, contact our attorneys at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. today for a free case evaluation, or call us at (212) 577-9325 and we can discuss your options going forward.