Bike Safety: Beware the Right Hook at the Red Light of Death

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Staying Safe on Your BikeWe all know wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of death or serious injury if you are involved in a bicycle accident.  But the best way to protect yourself is to ride in a way that reduces your risk of being involved in a crash in the first place.

One common type of bike versus car collision occurs when q cyclist stops to the right of a car that’s already waiting at a red light or stop sign. The cyclist moves forward when the light turns green, but the driver of the car can’t see him and, BLAM, turns right into the cyclist.

A primary cause for this type of accident is the cyclist stopping in the driver’s blind spot. It is best to stop behind the car, instead of stopping to the right of it. When you stop behind the car, you’re visible to traffic on all sides.

If this is not possible, stop in front of the car and ride quickly to cross the street as soon as it is legal to do so.  Remember the Idaho Stop law allows a cyclist to cross on a red light in appropriate circumstances.   You don’t need to look back to see if the driver is going to turn, but you do need to make sure cars aren’t running the red light on the cross street.

The final option is to stop behind the first car, but in front of the car directly behind it. If you select this option, do not pass the car in front of you when the light turns green. The driver could turn right at any second; you cannot assume that he or she will remember to signal properly. Try to stay ahead of the car behind you when you’re going through the intersection to prevent the driver from cutting you off if he or she decides to turn right.

Regardless of which option you select, you must be very careful when passing cars stopped on the right side of the street when you are approaching a red light. If the passenger is exiting the car on the right side, you run the risk of having a door slammed into you. You may also get hit by a car that suddenly decides to take a parking space on the right side of the street.

Holzer Edwards Can Help

If you have been injured in a bike accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for your medical care and other expenses. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to assisting Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligent actions of others. Call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.

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