A combination of factors means that cyclists are exposed to dangers that most motorists don’t even have to consider. For example, being less visible to drivers and being completely without the protection of a ton of metal means that your average cyclist is pretty likely to be badly injured if they come head to head with a car.
Cyclists are amongst the most vulnerable road users!
You are more likely to be seriously injured in a collision with a car than in a bike only accident. There is one or two car versus bike accident types that are fairly common and that with a bit of foresight can be avoided. They are shown below with some tips for avoiding a deadly collision.
If a Car Pulls Out of a Side Road to Your Right
- You will either bike into the side of the car or it will drive into the side of you. If you’re riding at night, the motorist may not have spotted you at all, so you should have a white light on the front of your bike that they are more likely to be able to spot.
- Secondly, you could consider shouting at the driver as you approach the vehicle. Although bells are now mandatory on bikes, you may not be heard just by ringing a bell. You should also consider just slowing down. You may want to get to your destination in a hurry but by slowing down just a little, you can potentially avoid an accident
- The final way to avoid an accident of this kind is to ride closer to the center of your lane. The car driver will be looking down the center of the lane for other cars not along the curb for cyclists. You can also pull further away from the car if it doesn’t notice you and pulls out. Obviously, when you are on a busy road with few side roads, it is safer to stay nearer to the curb. However, on a slow road with lots of junctions, stay slightly to the left.
A Car Door Suddenly Opens
If this happens, you won’t have very long to stop. So, the best option is to ride closer to the middle when you are riding down a road with lots of parked cars. Again, if the road is fast and narrow avoid this, but judge the road you are on and ride accordingly.
A Car Passes You and Then Turns Left Directly in Front of You
- Don’t ride on the pavement as motorists won’t be looking out for you when they turn into a side road.
- Take up more of the road. If a motorist has to sit behind you until the road is clear to overtake then they are unlikely to cut across you. Judge the road and give yourself space.
- Check in your mirror as you approach a junction. Once you arrive at the turning you will have to be paying attention to what is going on around you.
A Car Coming Towards You Makes a Right Turn Right in Front of You or into You
- Don’t overtake slow-moving cars on the right as cars turning right will not be able to see you.
- Wear bright clothing so that drivers can see you. Yellow and orange vests will make it impossible to miss you.
- Ride slowly. Again, you will be able to stop more easily if you are riding slowly in the first place. While it may be a pain, you will be grateful if a car does cut you up.
Check Your Bike
It pays to check your bike over before you even get on it. Every time you take it out you should give it the once over to see that the tires are pumped up and the brakes are working.
- Pat the tires to check they are tight in the frame.
- Squeeze the tires to check that they are properly inflated.
- Put the bike on the ground and apply the brakes, check that the brake pads bear evenly on the rim, push the bike forward to see if the brakes work.
- Check that all the levers on the handlebar are correctly fitted.
- Grasp the seat and ensure that it is correctly fitted with no side to side movements.
- Make sure you have lights that work so that you are safe on the road in the dark.
Personal Injury Compensation
Cycling should be an enjoyable and healthy pastime. It can save you money on fuel and is environmentally friendly. The only drawback is the risk of being involved in an accident. Sadly, this does happen and many people are left with serious injuries. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident or cycling accident or motorcycle accident, then you should get in contact with us!