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FCBikes Momentum E-newsletter

HOW TO AVOID COMMON CRASHES

Problem

Solution

Right Hook on Red

You stop to the right of a car that's already waiting at a red light or stop sign. They can't see you. When the light turns green, you move forward, and then they turn right, right into you.

Stop BEHIND a car. Don't stop in the blind spot, to the right of a car, even if there is a bike lane. Positioning your bike further left makes you more visible to traffic on all sides.

Another option is to stop at either point A in the diagram above (where the first driver can see you), or at point B, behind the first car so it can't turn into you, and far enough ahead of the second car so that the second driver can see you clearly.

car overtaking bike

Right Hook on Green - Car Overtaking Bike

A car passes you and then tries to make a right turn directly in front of you, or right into you.

  • Ride further to the left. Riding nearer to the center of the lanewhen approaching intersections will help indicate your intention to go straight.
  • Don't ride on the sidewalk.
  • Glance in your mirror before approaching an intersection

bike overtaking car

Right Hook on Green - Bike Overtaking Car

You're passing a slow-moving car (or even another bike) on the right, when it unexpectedly makes a right turn right into you, trying to get to a parking lot, driveway or side street.

  • Don't pass on the right. If a car or bike ahead of you is going only 10 mph, then you slow down, too, behind it. It will eventually start moving faster. If it doesn't, pass on the left when it's safe to do so.

Left Hook

A car coming towards you makes a left turn right in front of you, or right into you.

  • Ride further to the left. Riding nearer to the center of the lanewhen approaching intersections will help indicate your intention to go straight.
  • Don't pass on the right.
  • Slow down.
  • Don't ride on the sidewalk.
  • Get a headlight.
  • Wear something bright, even during the day.

Dooring

A driver opens his door right in front of you. You run right into it if you can't stop in time.

  • Ride to the left. Ride far enough to the left so that you won't run into any door that's opened unexpectedly.

Right Cross

A car is pulling out of a side street, parking lot, or driveway on the right.Notice that there are actually two possible kinds of collisions here: Either you're in front of the car and the car hits you, or the car pulls out in front of you and you slam into it.

  • Slow down. So that you can make eye contact.
  • Ride further left. You're probably used to riding in the "A" line in the picture, very close to the curb, because you're worried about being hit from behind. But take a look at the car. When that driver is looking down the road for traffic, he's not looking in the bike lane or the area closest to the curb; he's looking in themiddle of the lane, for other cars. The farther left you are (such as in "B"), the more likely the driver will see you.
  • Get a headlight. This helps you to be more visible, especially at night.

10 ESSENTIAL BIKE SKILLS

"Every person bicycling on a roadway has all the rights and duties of a driver of a vehicle"

  1. Stopping
    • Quick Stop. Emergency stop by shifting your weight back, straightening your arms, and using both brakes. If the rear skids, ease up on both brakes.
    • Know the limits of your front wheel to avoid a dangerous front skid.
  2. Right of way yielding, look before entering (left, right, left)
  3. Ride on the right
  4. Scanning to the rear
  5. Signaling turns, slowing/stopping, straight through
  6. Turning safely
    • Watch for the "Left Cross." Left turning motorists tend to look down the center of the lane for other motor vehicles, and are less likely to notice bicyclists who are close to the curb and smaller. Avoid this danger by being vigilant, and more visible by positioning yourself closer to, or even straight down, the middle of the lane. Keep from being visually screened by other motor vehicles.
    • Fend off the "Right Hook." Motorists sometimes overtake bicyclists only to wind up cutting them off when making a right turn. Guard against this type of danger by being further from the curb, forcing the driver to make a more sweeping turn. Expect the "right hook" to happen, and be able to "Instaturn" if necessary.
  7. Lane position for left turns
    • Turning left. There are two ways to turn left: "vehicular" style and
    • "2 Step" style.
      It should rarely be a necessity, but use a "2 Step" turn if traffic is too heavy for you to turn left like other vehicles. Go through the intersection, align yourself facing left, and proceed when clear or on the green if at a signal.
  8. Recognizing and avoiding hazards
    • Quick Dodge. Watch out for road surface hazards: potholes, large rocks, gravel, bad drainage grates or other slots in the direction of travel, wet metal surfaces, and assorted debris.
    • Avoid sudden unforeseen hazards such as potholes by turning left then right back quickly around the object. The rear wheel should also miss the threat.
    • You may also "bunny hop" a hazard.
    • If you must ride over something, rise off the saddle and use your legs like shock absorbers.
  9. Passing parked cars
  10. Planning safe bike routes
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