Five Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

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It’s easier to avoid bicycle accidents if you know some of the common scenarios in which they occur. All manner of bike accidents can happen on the road, but there are a few that keep reoccurring, and they are usually the most dangerous. Discover some of them below, together with bike safety tips on how to avoid them.

  • Cause #1: Car enters the road from a side street or intersection and does not yield to a crossing bicyclist.

Keep your eyes and ears open and on the lookout – if a car is near a side street or intersection or approaching it, slow down. Wearing a cycling jersey makes you a lot more visible, especially during the night, when this kind of accident is most likely to happen. It also helps to try to make eye contact with the driver if he’s already at the intersection, to prevent fatal misunderstandings.

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  • Cause #2: Car turns right at an intersection, crashing into the cyclist, or cutting his path, leading to a crash into the car or onto the street.

This happens when the cyclist pedals carelessly straight across the intersection – the driver either hasn’t seen you at all, is under the impression that you will stop or that they will beat you to the intersection. Don’t rush to reach intersections before cars. When waiting at a red light, always pull ahead of the cars a bit so that you’re visible. Also, wear a visible cycling jersey and make sure your tail lights function properly.

  • Cause #3: Car turns unexpectedly onto a side-street, crashing into a cyclist riding against the traffic.

A critical bike safety tip is never to ride against the traffic. Having the cars before you rather than behind you can give you the impression that you’re more aware of the road, but it increases your risk of being involved in a frontal crash. Also, avoid riding on the sidewalk.

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  • Cause #4: The door of a parked car opens right before or as you are passing.

The most effective way to avoid it is to ride to the left side of the lane. When that is not possible, try to keep a good distance from the parked cars, at least an arm’s length away. If a door suddenly opens before you, it’s best to hit it than to veer and get hit by the passing traffic.

  • Cause #5: A cyclist enters the street from a driveway or cross-street without giving way to a car, and is struck by the vehicle.

The only safeguard against this often tragic scenario is to be extra careful and look both ways when you ride out into a road. If you’re not attentive to the road you place yourself in a vulnerable position. Young bikers are especially prone to committing this mistake. If your kids ride bikes, you will want to tell them that the best bike safety tip is caution.

In the end remember that although your bike is a vehicle and the same traffic rules apply to you, but your bike is a lot more vulnerable that the other vehicles on the road. Be careful and aware.

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Comments 4 comments

JakeFrost profile image

JakeFrost 2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

Very interesting and useful. I cycle on a regualr basis and luckily have never had an accident. I will ensure to keep all of your tips in mind as well.

I constantly see other cyclists who have no care for the road rules and you can almost see accidents happening, this sort of information needs to be made more public.

Great hub!


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks so much JakeFrost for the feedback and for taking the time to stop by my hub! Safe riding!


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

At first, I thought this might be about motorcycles and motorized bikes. A cyclist is certainly vulnerable against any motorized vehicle.

One thing that always threw me off when bicycling is the honking of a car horn by the driver coming from behind. This can be very nerve wracking to the cyclist, who might react irrationally due to the unexpected and excessive loudness of the horn. Drivers don't realize that cyclists can hear the sound of the approaching engine.

The topic contains good, basic advice. Voted Useful.


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Marie! It's true, honking the horn can cause stress for the cyclist and is usually a sign of annoyance and possibly aggression from the driver which can be a scary situation for the cyclist.

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