Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bike Shop Ontario: Common crashes#9: Rear End

Our bike shop Ontario is posting tips from about avoiding the most common bike crashes.

Crash #9: The Rear End


You steer slightly to the left to go around a parked car or some other obstruction in the road, and you get hit by an approaching car from the rear.

How to avoid this crash:

1. Never move left without checking behind you first. Some motorists will pass cyclists with only a few inches, so moving even slightly to the left could put you directly in their path. Practice riding a straight line while looking over your shoulder until you can do it perfectly. Many new cyclists have a tendency to move left when they look behind them, which obviously can easily cause one of these.
2. Don't swerve in and out of the parking lane if it contains any parked cars. It may seem like a good idea to ride in the parking lane, dipping back into the traffic lane when you see a parked car. This puts you at risk for a rear end accident. Instead, ride in a steady, straight line in the traffic lane.

3. Use a mirror. If you don't have one, get one from a bike shop (like ours). There are models available that fit on handlebars, helmet, or glasses. You should still physically look back over your shoulder before moving left, but having a mirror will help you monitor traffic.

4. Use turn signals.
Never move left without signaling. Just put your left arm straight out.

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