How to Prevent Cycling Accidents Involving Cars

We here at Zackees care deeply about cycling safety.  The most dangerous place to be on a bicycle is on the road with cars.

Although cycling is fairly safe there were 50,000 cycling accidents in 2015, with nearly 30% of those accidents involving a car.  Those numbers are growing.

Cars carry a lot of momentum, so when they hit you it can have severe effects, even at low speeds.  Cars come from all directions and at all speeds, and their drivers are often not aware you are there or how close you are.
Here are some common car-cycling accident scenarios and how to avoid them.

Here are some common causes of cycling accidents involving cars and how to avoid them.

 

probabilities

Source: John Forester, “Effective Cycling, Seventh Edition,” APR 2012.

Oncoming Left Turn

oncoming left turn Probability: 26%
Description
A driver in the opposite lane makes a left turn, cutting you off or hitting you.
Cause:
A driver gets distracted checking for oncoming traffic and pedestrians at an intersection and either doesn’t notice you or forgets you are there.
Prevention:
This is a great reason to wear Zackees Turn Signal Gloves.  Wave your hand and try to make eye contact with the driver, and signal the driver that you are moving forward.

 

Right Hook

right hook Probability: 23%
Description
You are at an intersection and the car beside you forgets you exist and right-turns into you
Cause:
A driver gets distracted checking for oncoming traffic and pedestrians at an intersection and forgets that you are there beside them.
Prevention:
This is the best reason to wear Zackees Turn Signal Gloves.  Wave your hand in front of the driver’s line of sight, look back and make eye contact.  

 

Stop/Signal

stop signal Probability: 16%
Description
When a car runs a red light, cutting you off or hitting you.
Cause:
A driver is driving recklessly or irresponsibly
Prevention:
This is a great use for Zackees Turn Signal Gloves.  Check to your left when crossing an intersection, look out for cars that appear not to be slowing down.  Signal the driver and make eye contact if possible.

 

Driveway Yield

driveway yield Probability: 15%
Description
A driver speeds out of a driveway
Cause:
The driver is not looking or cannot see you behind them
Prevention:
Slow down and give the driver the right of way

 

Door

door Probability: 12%
Description
The door of a parked car
Cause:
Person in car opens the door abruptly into the lane in front of you
Prevention:
Be mindful of recently parked cars.  Drive slowly, try to look into the back window of parked cars, ring your  bell, and turn towards the parked car if there is traffic in the lane to your left.

 

Overtaking

overtaking Probability: 7%
Description
Your body or elbow gets hit by the rear view mirror or another part of a car when it is passing you
Cause:
A car passes too close as you are riding on the side of the road
Prevention:
Signal the driver with your hand to show the space you need.  This is a great use for Zackees Turn Signal Gloves.  When the car passes, tuck your elbows in.

 

Hopefully with these tools and techniques, you can stay safer on the roads.  Watch out for glass and potholes, though!

 

 

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