Ottawa Lawyer: Common types of bicycle collisions and how to avoid them

OTTAWA- Now that we are beginning to see some nicer weather and summer feels like it is just around the corner, we are likely going to see more and more bicycles on our Ontario roads.  While bicycles are a great way to get around and enjoy time with family and friends, they can also be dangerous.  Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are fairly common and can happen very quickly.  Although accidents can occur in a number of different ways there are a few most common types of accidents.


One kind of bicycle collision is a driveway ride-out.  This occurs when a cyclist rides out of his or her driveway without first checking that there is no nearby traffic and is hit by a vehicle.  This is a simple but potentially very dangerous mistake to make.  Although many of our streets in Ottawa, particularly those in more suburban areas, seem safe, it is always important to take a good look at the road before you ride out of your driveway.  It is a good idea to make sure that there is nothing around your driveway that obstructs your view of the road, such as trees and bushes.  These obstructions make it more difficult for you to see the road and for any motorists from seeing you exit your driveway.


Another kind of bicycle collision occurs when a cyclist fails to stop at a stop sign.  This is another very dangerous mistake.  While it may be frustrating to have to stop and start at every stop sign cyclists are expected to follow all of the rules of the road, just as motorists do.  Drivers have the expectation that cyclists will obey traffic signs such as stop signs and ignoring these traffic rules can lead to collisions.  It is important to stop at all stop signs and proceed only when the way is clear.


Many bicycle accidents occur when a cyclist makes a left-hand turn without checking for traffic.  Since bicycles ride on the far right side of the road (to the right of motor vehicle traffic moving in the same direction) it is very dangerous to attempt to make a left hand turn without first making sure that there are no cars close behind you.  If you need to make a left turn make sure that there are no vehicles nearby and use the proper signalling technique to indicate that you are turning left.


Another way in which a bicycle collision can occur is when a driver attempts to pass a cyclist when they shouldn’t, such as on a narrow or winding road.  This can also occur if a driver or cyclist swerves unexpectedly or if the driver misjudges the amount of room there is between himself and the cyclist.  To try to avoid this kind of accident, make yourself visible to drivers.


Cycling accidents can also occur when a driver turning right on a red light collides with a cyclist to their right or travelling on a cross-street.  To avoid this kind of collision, always travel on the right side of the road and be aware of vehicles turning right and adjust your speed so as to allow the vehicle the room to turn.


If you have suffered injuries due to an Ontario bicycle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and our lawyers can help you with your case.

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