The most common cause of an accident involving a cyclist is another vehicle failing to give the rider proper space. This can happen for a number of reasons
Distracted drivers, bad weather conditions, poorly maintained roads all of these issues can pose serious dangers to cyclists who are out on the road. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself while riding your bike and minimize your risk of getting hurt or killed in an accident. Here’s what you need to know
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time
One of the most common causes of cyclist accident is riding in a place where you are likely to be hit. For example, if you ride on the sidewalk and a car pulls out in front of you, or if there’s a lot of traffic and it’s difficult for drivers to see cyclists on their side mirrors or blind spots.
It’s also important not to ride in places where it is hard for people behind you to hear what’s going on ahead: busy streets with lots of buses or trucks may have loud engines and horns making it difficult for drivers coming up behind cyclists who aren’t paying attention (or even just looking at their phones).
As a cyclist, you can take steps to protect yourself from distracted drivers. If you’re riding with other cyclists and see a car coming up behind you, try to ride single file so that the driver can pass easily. Whether there is no shoulder or bike lane and cars are lined up behind each other, it’s best for all involved if cyclists simply stop at the side of the road and let them pass safely.
If a driver does happen to hit you while they’re distracted by their phone or something else in their car (or even if they weren’t distracted at all), don’t assume that it wasn’t your fault–it may be hard for police officers on scene to determine who was at fault without witnesses or video footage from inside both vehicles.
- Poor visibility
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions
Vehicles failing to give cyclists proper space
It’s important to remember that cyclists have the same right to the road as drivers. They have the right-of-way if they are moving in a straight line and not impeding traffic, so they should not be expected to stop or slow down simply because someone is passing them on their left.
Cyclists may need to swerve suddenly in order to avoid an obstacle or make space for other vehicles, so drivers should give them at least three feet of space when passing them on either side–more if there are children riding with you! Additionally, check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes; this will help prevent accidents caused by “left crossers,” which occur when one vehicle turns left across another vehicle’s path (like when someone tries changing lanes without checking first).
Lack of training or experience on your part
When you’re new to cycling, it can be hard to know what to do in an emergency. You might not have the experience or training that more seasoned cyclists do. If this is the case, it’s best for you to take extra care when riding on roads shared with cars and trucks.
The best way for cyclists who are new at their craft is to take lessons from a qualified instructor and join a club that offers group rides where safety is emphasized. If possible, try taking lessons outdoors so that they can be practiced under real-world conditions rather than in an enclosed space like many indoor gyms offer–these kinds of places are great for honing your skills but don’t prepare riders well enough when they’re out on their own without someone there telling them what exactly needs correcting or reminding them how important certain precautions need taking before heading out into traffic again after each break (which could easily happen if there isn’t enough space available).
Be as aware as possible, and make sure you’re riding in a safe place.
In order to avoid accidents, it’s important to be as aware of your surroundings as possible. This means making sure that you’re riding in a safe place and being prepared for the unexpected.
In addition, cyclists should also ride defensively–meaning they should assume that other people are going to make mistakes or misjudge their actions, and plan accordingly. For example: if there is an opening in traffic and you see someone approaching from behind who may not see the gap in time, move over slightly so that they have room to pass safely without cutting into your path or coming too close for comfort (and vice versa).
The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t ride on busy streets unless you have the experience and training to do so safely. If you can’t find a safe route, take public transportation instead!