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Ride clear of the most common bicycle-car accidents

Bicycles have become so popular that we even see riders out and about on rainy or snowy days: Bad weather conditions do not deter avid cyclists, and you may be a member of this group.

However, whether you face fair weather or foul, accidents with motor vehicles are always a possibility. Here are four of the most common bicycle-car collisions you will want to anticipate and avoid:

1. The careless right

One of the most common potential accidents occurs when a car passes you, misjudges your speed simply because you are on a bicycle, and proceeds to make a right turn in front of you. To avoid this issue, ride in the traffic lane. A driver who wants to turn right will have to stay behind you and wait his or her turn.

2. The sudden left

You may be approaching an intersection when a car coming from the opposite direction makes a left turn. This person may not have seen you—drivers look for cars, not bicycles—but here is the possibility for a devastating crash. Be especially alert to this problem and be prepared to make a quick right turn so that you will be going in the same direction as the car. Once your heartbeat returns to normal, you can backtrack to your original route.

3. The reckless exit

In an area with considerable traffic, a driver who exits a driveway or parking lot is not looking for a cyclist; the focus is on finding an open spot in the traffic lane. This presents another good reason for you to ride in that lane yourself, going with the flow of traffic.

4. The heedless door opening

Do not ride close to parked cars. Someone may suddenly open a car door and you will have no choice but to hit it, an accident that could leave you with terrible injuries. Opening a car door in the path of a cyclist also happens to be a ticket offense. If you are ever involved in such an accident, make sure a law enforcement officer knows this.

Cyclists have rights

If you remain alert and take precautions, you should be able to ride clear of trouble. However, a personal injury attorney will tell you that as a cyclist, you have the same rights as any motorist, and can expect to receive full and fair compensation if you are the victim of a bicycle-car crash. 

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