Bicycle Attorney California - Personal Injury Law Center

3 Feet Law

A gap left turn incident occurs when the driver of an on-coming vehicle suddenly makes a turn through an opening in backed-up stopped traffic. At the same time, the cyclist is travelling in the opposite direction next to the curb and passing the backed-up line of cars. The turning vehicle has the duty to yield to the cyclist but usually doesn't. The car may strike the cyclist or cause the cyclist to crash while trying to avoid the impact. The cyclist has only a slight chance of escaping the collision.

There is little the cyclist can do to avoid a carelessly driven vehicle in motion. The road is shared by cyclists and motorists. The fact that the vehicle is thousands of pounds heavier and motorized puts the cyclist at an immediate disadvantage. Unfortunately, there is no way to defend against a car that drives too fast, recklessly and without regard to the cyclist or the rules of the road. The best a cyclist can do in this situation is to reduce speed when approaching a gap in traffic and be ready to stop at a moment's notice.

Left Turn in Front of Bike

One of the most frequently occurring bicycle accidents is known as the "left turner." In this scenario, the cyclist and the motor vehicle operator are approaching an intersection from opposite directions. The driver of the car suddenly makes a left-hand turn in front of the cyclist.

Despite the fact that the cyclist had the right of way and was riding with care, the cyclist, unfortunately, was at risk the moment the auto turned. The driver never would have turned if he saw the cyclist. In fact, this is the number one excuse we hear from motorists: "I never saw the cyclist." Therefore, a rider should take two precautionary steps. First, the rider should double check for left turning vehicles when entering an intersection. Second, a cyclist should always wear bright colored jerseys. Some motorists do not realize that cyclists have the same right to share the road. Despite the fact that the bicyclist was cycling legally and cautiously, there still may be no way to avoid an illegal left turn incident.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Center with your questions, comments or concerns.

Gap Left Turn

A gap left turn incident occurs when the driver of an on-coming vehicle suddenly makes a turn through an opening in backed-up stopped traffic. At the same time, the cyclist is travelling in the opposite direction next to the curb and passing the backed-up line of cars. The turning vehicle has the duty to yield to the cyclist but usually doesn't. The car may strike the cyclist or cause the cyclist to crash while trying to avoid the impact. The cyclist has only a slight chance of escaping the collision.

There is little the cyclist can do to avoid a carelessly driven vehicle in motion. The road is shared by cyclists and motorists. The fact that the vehicle is thousands of pounds heavier and motorized puts the cyclist at an immediate disadvantage. Unfortunately, there is no way to defend against a car that drives too fast, recklessly and without regard to the cyclist or the rules of the road. The best a cyclist can do in this situation is to reduce speed when approaching a gap in traffic and be ready to stop at a moment's notice.

Right Turn in Front of Bicyclist

A "right turner" occurs when a motor vehicle travels parallel to the cyclist, accelerates, passes, and then suddenly makes an unexpected right turn without signaling. The rider is helplessly cut off. This situation is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injuries or death.

If you are passed on your left side by a car at an intersection or cross road, the first thing to be aware of is the possibility that the car may indeed cut you off by making a right hand turn in front of you. In this right hand turn scenario, make it a habit to observe the direction of the car's front right wheel to see if it is turning toward the right. If the car's wheel does indeed turn to the right, your advanced anticipation and active awareness may give you more time to react quickly and get out of harm's way. Little can be done, unfortunately, if an accelerating motor vehicle is moving too quickly in your direction.

Contact the Personal Innjury Law Center with your questions, comments or concerns.

Side Swipe

A side-swipe is another extremely dangerous cycling situation. In a common side-swipe scenario, a vehicle is pulling an over-sized trailer or has unusually large rear-view mirrors mounted on the doors. In either case, the width of the vehicle is dangerously extended. This increases the chances of hitting a bicyclist who is lawfully riding along the right side of the road. This situation usually results in severe injuries or death.

Be aware that the mirrors of these vehicles typically extend considerably outward and that the loads or trailers may be significantly wider than the vehicle itself. It is essential to give yourself as much extra room as possible when these vehicles are passing. Make constant use of your rear-view mirror and be aware of how much space you have. As usual, cycle defensively and try to avoid expressways where vehicles can hit you at excessive speeds. Despite all precautions, when a side-swipe occurs, there is often little or no time at all to react..

Contact the Personal Injury Law Center with your questions, comments or concerns.

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