Avoiding Collisions on the Road
Do you know what the most common collisions are between bikes and vehicles?
If not, have a read. It might surprise you – there are 10 common collisions that involve a high percentage of incidents on the roads. We’ll share one with you each week for the next 10 weeks as part of this safety series so you can keep safe and be aware of the danger points.
Here’s the first common collision to be aware of, and how to avoid it.
1. The Cross Collision
This is the most common way bikes and vehicles collide on the roads.
Scenario: A car is pulling out of a side street, parking lot, or driveway on the left.
There are two possible types of collisions here:
- You’re in front of the car and the car hits you as it pulls onto the road.
- The vehicle pulls out onto the road in front of you and you collide with it.
How to avoid this collision
- Get a headlight. If you’re riding at night, you absolutely should be using a front headlight. It’s required by law. Even for daytime riding, a bright white light that has a flashing mode can make you more visible to motorists who might otherwise miss you. Look for the new LED headlights which last ten times as long on a set of batteries as old-style lights. Headlamps (mounted on your head or helmet) are great, because you can look directly at the driver to make surethey see your light.
- Wave. If you can’t make eye contact with the driver, wave your arm. It’s easier for them to see your arm going left and right (especially if you’re wearing high-vis clothing) than it is for them to see a bicycle coming straight towards them. You could also use a loud horn (like the Air Zound) to get drivers’ attention. If it looks like the driver is about to pull out without seeing you, yell “Hey!” You may feel awkward waving or yelling, but it’s better than being involved in a collision.
- Slow down. If you can’t make eye contact with the driver (especially at night), slow down so much that you’re able to completely stop if you have to. Sure, it’s inconvenient, but it beats getting hit.