Collision Type #4: The Right Hook

A car passes you and then tries to make a right turn directly in front of you. They think you’re not going very fast just because you’re on a bicycle, so it never occurs to them that they can’t pass you in time. Even if you have to slam on your brakes to avoid hitting them, they often won’t feel they’ve done anything wrong. This kind of collision is very hard to avoid because you typically don’t see it until the last second, and because there’s nowhere for you to go when it happens.

How to avoid this collision:

  1. Don’t ride on the sidewalk. When you come off the sidewalk to cross the street you’re invisible to motorists.
  2. Ride to the left. Taking up the whole lane makes it more difficult for drivers to pass you, cut you off, or turn into you.
  3. Glance in your mirror well before approaching and entering an intersection. When you’re actually going through an intersection, you’ll need to be paying very close attention to what is in front of you.

Collision Type #5: The Right Hook, Part II

You’re passing a slow-moving car on the right, when it unexpectedly makes a right turn right into you while trying to get to a parking lot, driveway, or side street.

How to avoid this collision:

  1. Don’t pass on the right. This collision is very easy to avoid. Simply don’t pass any vehicle on the right. If the car ahead of you is going only 10 mph, slow down behind it.

If several cars are stopped at a traffic light, you can attempt passing cautiously on the right. Remember that someone can unexpectedly open the passenger door as they exit the car.

Note: when you’re tailing a slow-moving vehicle, you should ride behind it, not immediately to the right of it, which is a blind spot. Even if you’re not passing a car on the right, you could still run into it if it turns right while you’re next to it. Give yourself enough room to brake in case the vehicle turns.

  1. If you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, look behind you before turning right to avoid hitting cyclists who violate tip #1 above and try to pass you on the right. Look behind you before making a right-hand turn to make sure a bike isn’t trying to pass you.