Cars Turning Right at a Intersection | Steps a California Bicyclist can take to be Safer!

Another frequent car accident with bicyclist occur on what is called the "right hook" or when a car turns right at a intersection. There are several ways that bicycle accidents can happen when cars make right turns at intersections.  The following states some of the ways it happens:

1. The bicyclist passes a slower car on the right, and the car makes a right turn into the bike.  This happens quite a bit!

2. Both the car and bike are waiting at a red light. The car turns right when the light changes, cutting off or perhaps hitting the bike (similar to what happens in number 1 above).

3. The car driver passes a bike as both approach an intersection, and then the car turns right at the intersection, cutting the cyclist off.  Thus, there was more distance between the car driver and the bike rider, but nonetheless a collision occurs.

In most of the three above situations, the car will be at fault or legally liable for the collision. The burden transfers to the car driver because he or she is in the better position to negotiate the right turn.  However, regardless of who is at fault, a bicyclist is still able to reduce the chance of such a bike accident. You can adjust your lane position by riding closer to the car lane or taking the entire right lane as you cross the intersection.  This may annoy car drivers behind you but it is legal and may make you stand out so you can be seen!  Always keep a proper lookout by using a mirror, turn your head often, and check your mirror as you approach the intersection.  As a bicyclist you should always be prepared to brake suddenly in case a car cuts you off; especially at intersections!  You should never pass a car on the right at intersections or driveways. This is a big no-no as it can be dangerous to you the bicyclist. Either slow down to match the pace of the car or take the lane and pass on the left.  You should avoid being in a car’s blind spot while approaching from behind or while waiting at traffic lights.  You should also consider crossing at the crosswalk — but note that riding into the crosswalk from the sidewalk puts you at risk of being hit by both left and right-turning drivers, who will not be expecting a cyclist to suddenly enter the crosswalk. Use your common sense on this.  You can reduce your chances of being hit in the crosswalk by walking your bike across, as a pedestrian.  I have seen bicyclists do this while I am driving and I believe it to be much safer for them!

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney, and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Pedestrian Injury Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of automobile accidents. If you or someone you love, has been injured or killed in San Diego County, or Southern California, due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights.  It normally sells for $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.