No matter if you are new to cycling in the Los Angeles area or have been riding daily for years, you need to remember how vulnerable you are on your bike.
Here are four of the most common causes of bicycle crashes and tips on how to avoid them.
1. Managing the right turn
You may be traveling close to the speed of traffic when a motorist passes you on the left, then makes a right turn in front of you. To avoid a horrendous crash, ride in the traffic lane. This is perfectly legal and will force a driver to stay behind you and wait to turn.
2. Facing the left turn
Another common cause of a potentially serious accident is that an approaching motorist may not see you and turn left as you near the intersection. If you cannot avoid a collision, quickly make a right-hand turn. Now you are traveling in the same direction as the car and can double back when it is safe to do so.
3. Getting doored
A driver who is not paying attention might open the door of his parked car directly in front of you, causing a devastating accident. To avoid riding too close to a line of parked cars, ride in the traffic lane. If you must ride close to parked cars, be especially vigilant to keep from “getting doored.”
4. Avoiding a rear-end collision
One of the worst accidents for a cyclist is becoming the victim of a rear-end collision. To avoid this, wear bright colors during the day and reflective clothing after dark. In addition, a flashing red LED taillight will attract attention and may make the difference between a safe ride to your destination or a detour to the emergency room.