What are common causes for bicycle-motorist crashes?

Riding a bicycle in Tennessee allows you the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and stunning scenery while commuting in an eco-savvy manner. Unfortunately, sharing the road with motorists can come with its share of danger. According to the Tennessee Traffic Safety Resource Office, however, many bicycle accidents can be prevented. Knowing some of the more common causes of crashes between bicyclists and motorists can help you adjust your riding accordingly and be more vigilant on the road.

Many bicycle accidents result from motorists not realizing the cyclist is present such as on a narrow street, roads where traffic moves at high speeds or at night. Bright clothing and reflective gear may help you become more visible in these situations. Wrong way riding is another common cause of bicycle accidents. The law states that cyclists should ride along with the flow of traffic, so avoid riding head-on into the opposite lane.

Failure to obey traffic signals or signs is another common issue. Be sure to follow the rules of the road and do not simply assume that others will always stop when they should at intersections. You should also be wary of motorists turning right without yielding to you or turning left and not realizing you are in the crosswalk on the other side of the street.

Surprise entries to the road are bad news for everyone involved, so be careful when entering the road from alleys, driveways or curbs. You should exercise extra caution when passing similar entry points where motorists may turn onto the road.

If you come across obstacles in the street it can be instinctive to swerve. Avoid colliding with a motorist by taking note of your proximity to those sharing the road with you and keep an eye out for potholes and other complications that might cause you to veer from your path.

The occurrence of many of these bicycle accidents are exacerbated by distracted driving, which can take attention off the road. Distractions such a speaking on the phone, texting or eating can result in a bicyclist being overlooked and have devastating consequences.

This post is informative only and should not be mistaken for professional legal counsel.

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