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Avoiding car-bicycle collisions

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2020 | Firm News |

Commuters of all kinds share New York’s roads, from large tractor-trailers to bicycles. On the road, you need to consider the safety of those around you, especially when bikes are present.

When cars and bikes collide, cyclists typically receive the worst of the damage, according to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Serious cycling injuries may be difficult and expensive to treat. Recovery can take weeks, months or years. The cyclist may be unable to work during rehabilitation and permanent injuries may necessitate seeking a new line of work.

Solutions for auto drivers

There are three main danger zones when it comes to car-bike collisions. The first is the intersection, where you may not see a bike heading into your path before making a turn. Signal your intentions when approaching intersections and double check for cyclists before turning. Do the same for parking lots and driveways.

A second danger zone is beside a bike lane. Give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when you pass them.

A third danger zone involves parallel parking. Opening the door of a parked vehicle while a cyclist is passing can strike the cyclist or force the bike into oncoming traffic. Check carefully before exiting your vehicle and open your door slowly.

Solutions for cyclists

As a cyclist, you need to wear a helmet and follow traffic laws. Your main defenses are visibility and space.

Wear bright, reflective clothing and install a headlight on your bike. Signal your turns twice as long as you think necessary. Before reaching an intersection, make eye contact with drivers or wave to increase your visibility.

Slow down to give yourself extra space even if you have the right of way. When passing parked cars, ride more than a door length away from vehicles.

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