The most frequent type of intersection collisions, representing 9.7% of all intersection accidents, occur at intersections where the cyclist has a stop sign and the motorist does not. After stopping at the stop sign, the cyclist then rides out into the intersection in front of a car that has the right-of-way. Absent other factors, the cyclist is at fault. Most of these bicycle accidents occur among riders younger than age 15, indicating that a young person’s inability to accurately judge the distance and speed of approaching cars is the main factor in these bike accidents.
According to one recent statistic, second in frequency of happening and representing 9.3% of all intersection car vs. bicycle accidents, is when the bicyclist has the right-of-way on a street without a stop sign, and the car driver approaches from a street that does have a stop sign. After the car driver stops at the stop sign, the car driver then drives out into the intersection (without properly looking, or for whatever reason fails to see the bicyclist) in front of the cyclist who has the right-of-way. Without other factors, the bicycle accident will be attributed to the driver; however, this can become problematic without independent witnesses or the like. If, however, the cyclist is riding against traffic (as happens in 60% of these sorts of collision type accidents), both the cyclist and the driver may be at fault. A 50/50 split in liability may be assessed. The best way to avoid these bicycle vs. car accidents is to:
1. be sure and maximize your visibility (during daytime and night time bicycle travel)
2. keep a proper lookout when approaching an intersection, and
3. adjust your lane position to the left as you approach an intersection so that you are more visible to drivers.
The above simple steps will help in preventing the probability of such accidents happening and will help keep you safer from serious injuries.