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Special care may be needed when bicycling in intersections

Many people ride bicycles for recreation, exercise and transportation. However, bicycling comes with a risk because bicyclists do not have the physical protection on the roadways that motorists have. Due to this vulnerability, bicyclists are often severely injured or killed when they collide with cars.

According to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, most crashes between cars and bicyclists occur at intersections. Often this type of crash is caused when a motorist turns into the path of a bicyclist and does not yield the right-of-way. However, there are some actions you can take as a bicyclist to avoid being hit by a car in an intersection.

Be visible

Make sure you are as visible as possible. This may mean wearing bright clothing during the day and wearing reflective gear at night. If riding your bicycle at night, be sure you are also using a white headlight and a red rear reflector.

Obey the rules

Obey the same rules as motorized traffic. Do not ride on sidewalks. Instead, ride with the flow of traffic and follow all posted signs, traffic signals and lane markings.

Stay to the right

Ride as far to the right as you are safely able to. When you must go through an intersection, position yourself in the right-most lane that goes in your direction. Before entering an intersection be sure to look left, right and left again, paying special attention to any traffic that may be turning into your path.

Properly use hand signals

Use safe techniques when changing lanes or turning. Always look behind you before changing your path. Then be sure to properly signal your intention with hand signals. When changing lanes, you must yield to any traffic already there.

Although there are actions you can take to help reduce your risk of being hit by a car, motorists also have responsibilities on the road. If you have been severely injured by a motorist while riding your bicycle, it may be appropriate to seek compensation for expenses related to your injury.


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