Cyclist face hazards when riding through intersections, especially when the roads are busy.
Understanding the dangers that intersections pose for bicycles can help you stare aware while you ride. In addition, you can benefit from learning how to ride through or make a turn at an intersection.
Intersection risks for bikes
Each year, thousands of serious injuries and deaths occur due to collisions involving bicycles. According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 27% of cyclist fatalities happen at intersections, making them especially dangerous for people on bikes. Intersections are a common site for car accidents because there are often multiple vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists going in various directions and at different intervals. Navigating crosswalks and turning lanes can be confusing and difficult.
Intersection safety tips
Fortunately, there are steps you can take as a cyclist to keep yourself safer when riding through an intersection. As with any bike trip, you should use safety equipment. Wearing a helmet can help prevent head injuries which can be very severe and have serious complications. In addition, biking at night can be less safe, but lighting and retro-reflective materials can make you more visible in the dark.
If you need to go right, you can use a hand signal to inform surrounding cars. Turning left can be complicated for cyclists. In some cases, it is best to use the left-hand traffic lane as a motor vehicle would. However, in some locations, you can use a crosswalk to turn left safely as long as you yield to pedestrians.
When biking, you should take care at intersections to avoid common dangers. Unfortunately, even safe, responsible cyclists can encounter crashes that lead to serious injuries.