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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What You Must Do If You're in a Bicycle Crash [Momentum]


Jim Freeman
Bicycle/ automobile collisions are relatively rare, and even when cars do hit bicyclists, most of the time the injuries are minor. Having said that, accidents happen, and road rage can be a problem, so recognizing common hazards can go a long way towards preventing collisions.
A majority of accidents in urban areas are intersection-related. The most common collisions are the left cross and the right hook. The left cross occurs when a bicyclist and automobile approach from opposite directions and the driver makes a left turn into or in front of the cyclist. The somewhat less common right hook happens when a car and cyclist are travelling in the same direction. The car overtakes the cyclist and makes a right turn, causing the cyclist to crash.
In intersections controlled by traffic lights, most collisions occur within a few seconds before or after the light changes. About 30 percent of bicycle crashes in dense urban areas are caused by “doorings,” where someone opens the door of a car into a bicyclist.
In the unlikely event you are involved in a collision with an automobile, try to remain calm. Uncivilized behavior after the fact can turn public opinion against you. Try to treat the experience as an unanticipated business transaction. The last thing you want is for witnesses or police to focus on your bad behavior following the accident.
Always call the police. Most jurisdictions require a police report when there is an accident involving an injury. Drivers involved in a collision should also produce certain information, such as insurance and contact information.

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