Bike Accident Lawyer – 3 Tips to avoid Bicycle Accidents in Intersections

In today’s video, Bike Accident Lawyer, Attorney Ben Schwartz, gives his Tips to Avoid common Bicycle Accidents in Intersections.

Bike Accident Lawyer – 3 Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents in Intersections

Hi, I’m Bike Accident Lawyer, Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to talk about one of the most common types of car versus bicycle accidents that we see in my law firm handling personal injury cases. One of the most common type of accidents we see is where our client is riding a bicycle and they come upon an intersection and a car comes out in front of them. The reason I think it is so common is because bicycles move as fast as cars; bicycles go 20, 25, 30+ miles per hour. Unlike a car, a bicycle is small and not easy to see. We see a lot of bicycle versus car accidents that come from intersections. This is called an intersectional accident, where the bicycle is on roadway and the car is on another, and the two collide.

As a bike accident lawyer, I want to talk about how to avoid an intersectional accident by making a habit when you come up on an intersection. When you come upon an intersection, and you are the cyclist, I think that there are three things you should keep in mind:

  1. If you see a car stopped prior to entering the roadway in front of you, what you might want to do is keep an eye on the front wheels of the car. It is easier to is to see the wheels turning than it is the car moving. If you see the wheels turning, that is a good indication that car is about to pull out and you should take evasive action…hit your brakes.
  2. You want to make eye contact with drivers so you know they see you. If you are a cyclist, and you are approaching an intersection, you see a car that might come out in front of you, you want to look into the eyes of the driver because if they see you and acknowledge you, that means they are not going to pull out and hit you. If you are a driver, or a cyclist, either way, and you are pulling into an intersection and you are stopped prior to pulling into the intersection, you know one of the things you will learn when you are getting your driver’s license is, you don’t go into the intersection, you don’t cross a road, you do not go where traffic may exist until you look left, look right, look left again. People just do not do that. I know people don’t do that, because I drive around several hours a day. I have offices in Havertown, Pennsylvania, Dover and Wilmington, Delaware, and Salisbury, Maryland. I am on the road an awful lot. I have to tell you, I just never see people look left, look right, and look left again; they are in too much of a hurry. If you are a motorist, you should be doing that before you enter into an intersection. The reason why you would want to do this is because you do not want to miss the cyclist who you are about to hit.
  3. When you are riding a bike, or you are driving in the car, you should treat a green light like a suggestion. When I say treat a green light like a suggestion, I mean that when you are driving along, you are going 25 miles per hour, or 35 miles per hour, and you are about to enter that intersection and you have a green light, that does not mean that God has come down from heaven and given you the absolute unfettered right to go through that intersection. Treat it like a suggestion. The suggestion is that you have the right to enter the intersection after you have made sure it is safe to do so. Feather the brake a little, slow down a little, look left and look right, before going through the intersection, because there may be a car coming, or a bike coming, who knows. Even if you have the green light, you still can avoid a collision if you look both ways before going into the intersection.

These are some tips from a former cyclist who has turned into a personal injury lawyer. If you are a cyclist, a motorist, or know someone who is, I hope you have enjoyed watching this video. Hopefully you can save their life, or body, to avoid a car accident. It is really about what we can do to look out for one another and avoid these kind of accidents. When I see car accidents and bicycle accidents in my office, and they result in personal injury or wrongful death, there are very few accidents I see where I scratch my head and go, “boy that was unavoidable”. These are all unavoidable if people just pay attention, slow down, and think about what they are doing and be present in the moment. I am Attorney Ben Schwartz and I hope you enjoyed this video.

If you have comments or questions, send me an email below. Thanks for watching!

Please take a moment to watch our other videos in this bicycle accident series:

Why Don’t Cyclists Just Ride On The Sidewalk?
Who pays if a car hits me while riding my bicycle?
How to avoid common bicycle vs. car accidents
Tips for avoiding Bicycle Sideswipe Accidents

Bike Accident Lawyer – 3 Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents in Intersections

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