A bicycle accident caused by a vehicle turning left is a common cause of bike accidents. This is also the most common cause of motorcycle and car accidents.
You are riding your bike straight through an intersection and a driver who had been traveling in the opposite direction suddenly turns left into your path, and a collision ensues. The reason is that the car has not seen your less visible bike and proceeds as if the lane were clear.
The driver is responsible for looking carefully before turning, and if you are hit, the driver will likely be held responsible, but that isn’t much consolation if you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries.
How to Avoid a Bicycle Accident Caused By a Vehicle Turning Left
What can you do to avoid this type of accident?
First of all, make yourself as visible as possible with brightly-colored clothing or a safety vest of reflective materials, and a head light—a legal requirement in Florida for riding at night and a good idea at any hour.
Second, don’t ride on the sidewalk. You may feel safer, but it is a false sense of security. You actually increase the risk of a crash by using the sidewalk, because when you leave the sidewalk to cross the street, turning drivers just don’t see you.
Don’t pass cars on the right, even when they are moving slowly. Drivers turning left from the opposite direction at an intersection won’t see you and can run into you. You could also be hit by a car making a right turn.
Reduce your speed as you approach an intersection. Make eye contact with a driver in the left turn lane and be prepared to stop if it becomes apparent that the driver doesn’t see you.
Making a Bicycle Accident Claim
If you’ve been hit on your bicycle by a left-turning car whose driver did not make the necessary effort to observe what was happening on the road, you will often be able to recover money to compensate for your injuries and other losses you suffered as a result of the crash. These accidents are often the result of distraction, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to obey signs or signals, or other careless or negligent behavior.
Jim Dodson is a cyclist and Florida bicycle accident attorney for more than 25 years. He has written a book for cyclists on bicycle law entitled the Florida Bicycle Accident Handbook, which contains a wealth of information on bicycle safety, bicycle law, and what to do if the worst happens and you’re hit by a car.
If you’ve or someone you know has been injured in a Florida bike accident involving a car and you want to find out if you have a claim, call Jim at 888-207-0905 to schedule a free case review to get the answers you need.