A Car Turning Right Can Be a Danger to a Bicyclist — the “Fatal Right Hook”

A car turning right can be a danger to a bicyclist. There a couple of scenarios in which you could find yourself in trouble.

Right Turn Street SignA Car Passes You and Turns Right

In the first situation, a car passes you and then turns right—in meaning to turn in front of you, thinking you’re not going too fast and they can complete the turn in plenty of time, but in fact turns into you. This is a case of a driver misjudging the amount of time required to complete the turn, your speed, or both. You have to slam on your brakes to avoid hitting the car, but there’s a good chance you won’t be able to stop in time—it all happens so fast and you don’t see it coming until the collision is unavoidable.

There are, fortunately, some precautions you can take to avoid finding yourself in this situation:

Ride on the street, not on the sidewalk. When you are riding on the sidewalk to cross the street, right-turning drivers won’t see you while they’re turning until it’s too late. When you’re part of the traffic flow, you are much more visible to drivers who will—or should anyway—accept their legal responsibility for your safety and avoid turning in front of you.

When you’re riding in the street, move left to the center of the right lane; you can make yourself more visible by moving to the left and occupying the entire lane so a driver can’t get by you to cut you off or drive into you on a right turn.

Check your rear-view mirror before you get to the intersection to determine the position of the car behind you. Once you reach the intersection you’ll need to be focused on what’s in front of you.

Legal Help When You’ve Been Injured

Taking these steps can reduce the possibility of “the fatal right hook.” Sometimes an accident will happen in spite of your taking these precautions, especially if the driver is focused on a phone call, sending or reading a text, or otherwise distracted, careless, or impaired.  When a negligent driver injures you, you may be able to recover money to compensate for your injuries.

Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

Jim Dodson
Connect with me
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.