Common Bicycle Accident Scenarios
The following scenarios are common among bicycle-motor vehicle collisions:
- Left-hand turn collision: California Vehicle Code section 21801(a) states that all drivers attempting a left-hand turn must first check for and yield to any vehicles coming from the opposite direction, including bicycles. Unfortunately, many drivers do not see bicyclists coming and crash into them while making a left turn.
- Sideswipe: All motorists are expected to give bicyclists enough space when passing. However, some motorists get impatient and attempt extremely risky passes, which can result in a sideswipe collision or the bicyclist getting run off the road.
- Dooring: On many streets, the bicycle lane is adjacent to the parking lane, without much space in between. In this type of accident, a motorist forgets to check for bicyclists before exiting his or her parked vehicle, which leads to the unlucky bicyclist crashing into the door or getting run out of the lane. In either scenario, the consequences can be deadly.
- Intersection collisions: A motorist may fail to stop at an intersection, or fail to yield to a crossing bicyclist, causing an injurious or fatal collision.
Of course, there are bicycle accident cases which do not involve motorists. Unsafe roadway conditions and defective bicycle design/manufacturing can contribute to bike accidents, as well, and if they do, those road designers and bike manufacturers may be held liable, too.