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how to avoid the five most common bike-car collisions.
A motorist fails to see a cyclist and makes a left turn--it accounts
for almost half of all bike-car crashes, according to the Pedestrian
and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). AVOID IT: If you see a
car turning into your path, turn right into the lane with the
vehicle."Don't creep into the intersection at red lights to get
a head start," says Laura Sandt, program specialist for the PBIC.
A motorist passes a cyclist on the left and turns right into the
bike's path. AVOID IT: Passing stopped or slow-moving cars on
the right places you in a driver's blind spot. Take the lane-it's
your right in all 50 states. "If you're in the lane, the driver
will slow down and stay behind you and wait to make the turn,"
says Preston Tyree, who runs the Community Mobility Institute,
in Austin, Texas.
A cyclist traveling next to parked cars lined up on the street
strikes a car door opened by the driver. AVOID IT: "Always be
looking several cars ahead," Sandt says. Ride at least 3 feet
from parked cars, taking the lane if necessary. Be prepared to
stop suddenly. Keep your weight over your rear wheel and apply
strong force to the front brake lever, with moderate force to
A motorist exits a driveway or parking lot into the path of a
bicyclist. AVOID IT: No bike-handling tricks can overcome the
danger of riding on a road with numerous parking-lot exits. Just
take a less-direct route. If you don't change routes, follow the
law and ride fully in the road. Most of all: Stay off the sidewalk-motorists
aren't looking for you there, Sandt says.
A motorist hits a cyclist from behind. AVOID IT: "Make yourself
as visible as possible and ride predictably," Sandt says. Use
reflectors and lights on your bike at night; when moving to the
left, signal with your arm; and hold a straight line while checking
traffic over your shoulder, because even the most diligent driver
could hit a swerving bike. USA Cycling announced today the recipients
of its annual Club of the Year awards. Ten USA Cycling-sanctioned
clubs received recognition for outstanding programs throughout
the 2007 season and will receive complimentary registration fees
for the 2008 racing season.