Collision Type #9: The Crosswalk Slam

You’re riding on the sidewalk and cross the street at a crosswalk, and a car makes a right turn, directly into you. Cars aren’t expecting bikes in the crosswalk, so you have to be VERY careful to avoid this one.

How to avoid this collision:

  1. Get a headlight. If you’re riding at night, you should absolutely use a front headlight. Plus, it’s required by law.
  2. Slow down. Slow down enough so that you’re able to completely stop if necessary.
  3. Don’t ride on the sidewalk in the first place. Crossing between sidewalks can be a dangerous maneuver. In addition, riding on the sidewalk could cause injury and/or harm to pedestrians.

Collision Type #10: Wrong Way Wallop

You’re riding the wrong way, against traffic, on the left-hand side of the street. A car makes a right turn from a side street, driveway, or parking lot, right into you. They didn’t see you because they were looking for traffic only on their left, not on their right. They had no reason to expect that someone would be coming at them from the wrong direction.

Even worse, you could be hit by a car on the same road coming at you from straight ahead. They have less time to see you and take evasive action because they’re approaching you at a fast rate.

How to avoid this collision:

Don’t ride against traffic. Ride with traffic, in the same direction. Riding against traffic may seem like a good idea because you can see the cars that are passing you, but it’s not. Here’s why:

Cars which pull out of driveways, parking lots, and cross streets (ahead of you and to the left), which are making a right onto your street, aren’t expecting traffic to be coming at them from the wrong way. Riding the wrong way is illegal and you can get ticketed for it.

More General Tips

Light up–Headlights are just as important as rear lights. Look for the new kind with LED’s since they last ten times as long as old-style lights.

Ride as if you were invisible–Assume that motorists don’t know you’re there and ride in such a way that they won’t hit you even if they don’t see you. You’re not trying to BE invisible; you’re trying to make it irrelevant whether cars see you or not roadways.

Around 44,000 people die in car crashes in the U.S. each year. About 1 in 54 is a bicyclist.