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How can you avoid a potentially fatal bicycle accident?


Bicycle safety is of particular importance in San Diego, where the beautiful year-round weather allows bicyclists to take to the roads and surrounding trails to enjoy what is becoming a more popular transportation and recreation option by the day. But, as previous posts here have mentioned, more frequent bicycling - and more bicyclists overall - unfortunately also creates an environment where the likelihood of bicycle accidents seems to be heightened. And, the reality is that some of these bicycle accidents can be fatal.

Many bicycle accidents occur at roadway intersections, just like car accidents. It seems like when vehicles are coming from different directions, with nothing but traffic signals to stop them, the risk of a car accident or pedestrian accident gets quite a bit more real.

In particular, cars should be aware of bicycles that are traveling perpendicular to their route. Those drivers may not be on the lookout for bicyclists, so it is important to avoid coming too close to these vehicles, or at least making yourself more visible, such as by getting a headlight or waving to catch the driver's attention. In another situation, bicyclists may be legally crossing a street in a crosswalk, but it is important to watch for drivers who may be making a turn at the intersection. Those drivers may have a green light, turning right into the crosswalk and ultimately causing a deadly accident.

A common accident takes place when a bicyclist is hit by a vehicle's door as it is being opened. This violent collision can cause serious injuries, and driver's should be aware of bicyclists while entering and exiting vehicles. However, the unfortunate reality is that despite the best efforts of bicyclists throughout San Diego, sometimes collisions with vehicles occur. Bicyclists who find themselves in this type of situation will likely need to get more information about their legal options.

Source: bicyclesafe.com, "How to Not Get Hit by Cars," Accessed Dec. 26, 2015

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