As a bicyclist in Pennsylvania, there are many safety risks to keep in mind as you pedal down the road. Knowledge of these risks can help you avoid a serious accident with a motor vehicle that results in injury or even death.
Here are four of the top causes of bicycle-car accidents:
- The door zone: Many bicyclists spend so much time paying attention to moving vehicles that they forget about those that are parked. Once a driver parks on the side of the road, they’ll eventually exit their vehicle. If their door opens in your path, you could strike it head on at a high speed, referred to as a “dooring” accident. It’s critical to take special care when driving next to parked vehicles.
- Running a red light or stop sign: You expect every driver to obey the rules of the road, but this isn’t reality. There will always be people who run red lights and stop signs for no reason. If this happens while you’re traveling through an intersection, you could be part of a collision.
- Right turn: If you’re traveling in the same direction as motor vehicles, a driver making a right turn could cut in front of you. If there’s not enough space to make the turn, the vehicle could clip your bicycle.
- Motor vehicle in the bike lane: Even though it’s against the law for a motor vehicle to drive in a bike lane, there are times when this happens. For example, a driver who is not paying attention to the road may drift into the bike lane, thus striking you or causing you to quickly move out of the way.
Even though these are four of the most common causes of bicycle-car accidents, there are other dangerous situations that you must also be aware of.
If you’re injured in a bicycle accident, do your best to move to a safe spot. If at all possible, you don’t want to stay in close proximity to moving vehicles, as this increases the likelihood of another accident.
Call 911 for help, or ask another person to do so on your behalf. The responding paramedics can provide treatment at the scene, and then transport you to a local hospital.
After you understand your injuries, prognosis and treatment plan, contact your insurance company, review the police report and learn more about your legal rights.
Visit our website for more information on all types of personal injury accidents, as well as advice on how to protect your legal rights in Pennsylvania.