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March 16, 2012

Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Collisions at the Crossroads


Bicycles are considered vehicles on the roadway, with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. This is stipulated under federal and state laws.

While bike riders are required to adhere to the traffic rules and regulations, many of them still get involved in deadly collisions with other vehicles. Statistics show that out of 630 fatalities recorded in 2009, 11 percent of them involved a collision with a motor vehicle.

With this percentage, about 45 percent of them happened on intersections where lots of traffic usually takes place. The 45 percent is an already an alarming statistic, considering that many bikers don’t take the intersections too frequently. There are many factors as to why collisions between a bicycle and a motorized vehicle do happen. Here are some of them:

·         Bikers ride against the traffic. It has a double negative effect; first, it is against the law to ride against the flow of the traffic, and second, it increases the biker’s chances of getting severely injured or killed.

·         Bikers and motorists usually confuse themselves on who has the right-of-way.

To avoid accidents on intersections, the biker must keep in mind the following tips before riding his or her bike:

·         The biker must always be able to let others see him or her. The biker can wear bright and reflective clothing. He or she can also install reflectors and front and rear lamps on the bike, especially when riding at night. This will help motorists in noticing him or her.

·         The biker must be wary of approaching vehicles. He or she must maintain the speed of the bike as dictated by the traffic in the area. The biker must also maintain distance from other vehicles.

·         If a bicycle lane is present, he or she can use it. This will separate the biker from the motor vehicle traffic.

Liability can be held against a driver who injures a biker at any point of the roadway, including intersections. The biker can file a personal injury claim against the driver. But first, he or she must retain the services of an Orange County personal injury lawyer, especially if the injuries sustained are severe.