Intersections Put Bicyclists at Risk

Unless a bicyclist is riding on a trail in the woods, it’s likely he’ll eventually need to cross an intersection. Whether that intersection is controlled by a stop sign or a traffic light, bicyclists are vulnerable at these crossings.

When Bicyclists Are Most at Risk

The most frequent type of intersection accident, accounting for nearly 10 percent of collisions, occurs where bicyclists have stop signs and motorists do not. The second-most common accident happens when a cyclist has the right-of-way on a street without a stop sign and a car approaches from a street that doesn’t have a stop sign. This type of accident makes up 9.3 percent of all intersection accidents. In these instances, the scenarios that are most likely to occur are:

  • The car turns left. Also called the “left cross,” this happens when the motorist and the cyclist approach the intersection on opposite sides. As they enter the intersection, the bicyclist moves across the street and the motorist turns left, crashing into the cyclist. This typically occurs because the motorist doesn’t see the cyclist or misjudges his speed.
  • When the car turns right. Often referred to as the “right hook,” this accident happens most often when the cyclist and the motorist arrive at the intersection at the same time, and the car makes a right turn in front of the cyclist, cutting him off. Additionally, this type of accident happens when the car and bike are waiting at a light, and the car turns right when the light turns green, hitting the cyclist as he begins to cross the street. This scenario can also occur if the bike passes a slower car on the right, and the vehicle makes a right turn into the bike.

When a driver hits a bicyclist, the damage can be extensive for both parties. The bicyclist can suffer fractured bones, abrasions, and other serious injuries, and there can be damage to the driver’s vehicle. Additionally, victims will likely deal with the financial costs of expensive medical bills. If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, the attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum may be able to help you receive compensation. Contact us about your situation by calling 888-591-9976.