Intersections are one of the most common locations for motor vehicles to be involved in an accident, but they are also one of the most common crash zones for cyclists, as well. Here at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we have seen cyclists hit by distracted, drunk, speeding, and otherwise negligent drivers as they cross though intersections time and time again.
Often, there is nothing a cyclist can do to avoid a careless driver, but being aware of the hazards of cycling in and around intersections could be the difference between a close call and a trip to the emergency room. Here are some safety tips that may help you avoid a potential collision.
Cycling Straight Though an Intersection
If you are going straight through an intersection, do not use the right-turn lane. Keep your head on a swivel to be aware of the traffic around you and do your best to make sure that you are clear and visible. Be on the lookout for turning vehicles, as they may not see you coming. Keep in mind that other drivers may turn without signaling, and watch for signs like cars turning their wheels or vehicles slowing down.
Making a Right Turn Through an Intersection
When making a right-hand turn, be sure to safely merge into the right-hand lane. Look over your shoulder to check for oncoming vehicles. Be sure to execute the proper hand signal to alert others around you of your intention to make a turn. Before you cross over into the intersection, be sure that there are no pedestrians crossing the street, and then carry on with your turn if the coast is clear.
Making a Left Turn Through an Intersection
To make a left-hand turn at an intersection, you must first safely merge into the center of the leftmost lane. Be sure to scan behind you for oncoming vehicles, and use appropriate hand signals. If the intersection is clear and there are no pedestrians crossing the street, proceed with your turn.
Remember that not all streets and roads have a bike lane, so be on the lookout for signs displaying the end or beginning of a bike lane. Remember to look over your shoulders and check when entering or leaving a bike lane in order to merge into traffic safely.
Both drivers and cyclists should be respectful of each other’s space when sharing the road. This is the best way to avoid harmful collisions and other accidents.
Involved in a Bike Accident? Call Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C.
Practicing safe habits when riding through an intersection is one of the keys to avoiding the hardship and injury that comes along with being in a collision. However, many bicycle accidents in New Jersey are caused by drivers behaving in a negligent manner. If you were involved in a bike crash and suffered injuries because of the negligence of another, call Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., right away at (609) 240-0040. We are proud cyclists ourselves and experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys with a great record of recovering compensation for our clients.