There’s no telling what traffic will do once you are out on your bicycle riding the streets. Bicycle-car collisions have unfortunately not decreased much, and in fact cyclist injuries have increased by 11% since 2001. Cyclists often have to share the road with motorists due to the lack of dedicated bicycle lanes in most areas. What can you do to stay safe when sharing the road with vehicles?
Advice on Bicycle and Car Collisions
Over half of all bicycle-car collisions occur at the front of the car, meaning that vehicles tend to strike cyclists with their front bumpers or hoods. In addition, cyclists injured by the front of a car saw 84% more severe injuries versus other areas of impact on the vehicle. To prevent serious injuries, make sure you are wearing a helmet!
So what is the most common scenario for bicycle-car collisions? Making up a whopping 76% of all bicycle-car collisions is when a bicycle is traveling perpendicular to the car. For example, a car going straight or turning left or right is much more likely to strike a cyclist that is coming from the left or right. This could be because the motorist is less likely to see a cyclist that is perpendicular to their vehicle. If you are approaching an intersection, make sure you slow down and try to make eye contact with the motorist to ensure your safety.
Unsurprisingly, severe and fatal injuries were higher as the motorist increased his or her speed. Motorists tended to go faster around cyclists when the cyclist was headed in the same direction as the car. While only 9% higher than the next type of bicycle-car collisions, it’s still important for cyclists to have reflective, preferably flashing, red lights on the back of their bike to alert motorists who are traveling the same direction.