A bus has the potential to cause serious or fatal injuries to an unprotected bicyclist if a collision should occur, so it is important to know that there are things a cyclist can do to avoid being hit by a bus or other large vehicle.
When a bus makes a turn at a street corner, the long distance between front and rear wheels causes the rear wheels to move closer to the curb than the wheels at the front of the bus. This means more space is needed for the bus to complete a turn.
Because extra space is needed for a bus to make a right turn, a cyclist should keep in mind that a maneuver to the left by the bus driver may not mean that the bus intends to occupy the left lane, but rather that it is preparing to turn right. Therefore, it is essential to stay behind the bus, observe the bus’ turn signal, and allow the bus sufficient room to complete the turn.
Always avoid entering the space to the right of a bus that is, or may be, turning right. A bicycle in the bus’s blind spot is invisible to the driver. The bus could turn right and strike a bicycle causing serious harm. A cyclist in the blind spot of a turning bus can be squeezed between the rear of the bus and the curb, knocked over when hitting the curb, or clipped by the side of the bus and crushed.
It is never a good idea to ride to the right of a bus or other large vehicle. By staying behind, a cyclist can avoid the possibility of a deadly accident.
Loading and Unloading a Bicycle to a Bus Rack
Some metropolitan buses have bike racks where cyclists can load a bike on the front of a bus. Loading and unloading a bike from a bus rack should only be done from the curb side of the bus. Loading or unloading a bike from the street side is extremely dangerous as approaching traffic will not be expecting a bike to appear in the traffic lane from the front of a bus.
Taking these precautions when riding near a bus can save lives and prevent devastating injuries.
In cases where an accident is caused by a bus driver’s careless or negligent driving, an injured rider is often able to recover compensation for injuries and other losses from the accident.