Bicycles are a great way to get around town, save money on gas, and get a great workout all at once. But cyclists know from experience that riding a bike alongside traffic can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced riders. The bicycle accident and injury lawyers of Carabin Shaw have compiled a list of common hazards faced by cyclists to be aware of before you hit the pavement in San Antonio so that you can stay safe and ride smart.Ride Smart: Common Cycling Hazards to Look Out For, and How to Avoid Them
- Car Doors
- The Hazard: Cyclists riding between or next to parked cars run the risk of hitting car doors suddenly opened by drivers.
- Avoid It: Always look several cars ahead. Ride at least three feet from parked cars, taking the entire lane if necessary. Be prepared to stop suddenly. Keep your weight over your rear wheel and apply strong force to the front brake lever, with moderate force to the back.
- Parking Lots and Garages
- The Hazard: A motorist might exit a driveway or parking lot into the path of an unsuspecting cyclist.
- Avoid It: Downtown San Antonio is full of parking garages and lots, so this area can be tricky to navigate on a bike. If possible, change your route to avoid parking lot or parking garage exits. If you are unable to change routes, follow the law and ride fully in the road. Most of all: Stay off the sidewalk! Motorists are not looking for you there, so riding on the sidewalk greatly increases the chance of an accident.
- The Overtaking
- The Hazard: A motorist doesn’t see a cyclist while overtaking another vehicle or coming around a curve and hits the rider from behind.
- Avoid It: Make yourself as visible as possible and ride predictably. Use reflectors and lights on your bike at night. When turning, signal with your arm. Finally, hold a straight line while checking traffic over your shoulder, because even the most diligent driver is more prone to hitting a swerving bike.
- The Left Cross
- The Hazard: A motorist fails to see a cyclist and the motorist makes a left turn in front of the bike. This type of accident accounts for almost half of all bike-car crashes, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
- Avoid It: If you see a car turning into your path, turn right into the lane with the vehicle. Also, avoid creeping into the intersection at red lights to get a head start.
- The Right Hook
- The Hazard: A motorist passes a cyclist on the left and turns right into the bike’s path.
- Avoid It: Passing stopped or slow-moving cars on the right puts you in the driver’s blind spot. Take the lane – it’s your right in all 50 states. If you’re in the lane, the driver should slow down and stay behind you and wait to make the turn.
Even cyclists who ride smart are susceptible of falling victim to negligent drivers. If this has happened to you, the best course of action is to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible rather than trying to negotiate with insurance companies on your own.
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in San Antonio, our dedicated attorneys are just a call away. At Carabin Shaw, we have more than 25 years of experience serving Texas families, and our talented lawyers have a reputation for doing everything possible to ensure our clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries. Our lawyers also offer all new clients a free consultation so that we can explain your legal options and answer your questions – risk free.
Our San Antonio bicycle accident attorneys are prepared to help you in the aftermath of your accident so that you can get your life back on track. Contact our San Antonio office anytime at 210-222-2288 to schedule your free consultation with our attorneys.