Friday, June 1, 2012

Bike shop Upland: Common crashes #10: Rear End (variation 2)

Our bike shop Upland exposes the top ten most common bike crashes, from Find expanded info on their site.

#10 Rear End (variation 2)

A car runs into you from behind. This is a very commonly feared crash, but it does not happen frequently. It makes up only 3.8% of collisions. However, it is very difficult to avoid, since you are not usually looking behind you.

How to avoid this wreck:

1. Use a rear light. If you're riding at night, you absolutely should use a flashing red rear light. Bruce Mackey (formerly of Florida, now head of bike safety in Nevada) says that 60% of bike collisions in Florida are caused by cyclists riding at night without lights. In 1999, 39% of deaths on bicycles nationwide occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight. [USA Today, 10-22-01, attributed to the Insurance Institute for highway safety]

2. Wear a safety triangle or reflective vest. Just do it. Reflective gear makes you a lot more visible even in the day time as well.

3. Use wide streets. Ride on streets where the outside lane is wide enough for a car and a bike, side by side. That way a car may speed past you and avoid hitting you, even if they did not see you!

4. Use slow streets.The slower a car is going, the more time the driver has to see you. Avoid arterials, especially on weekends.

5. Use a mirror. Get a mirror and use it. If it appears a car doesn't see you, get off your bike and onto the sidewalk.

6. Do not hug the curb. This is counter-intuitive, but allow some space between yourself and the curb. That gives you room to move into if you need to. Doing so prevents a number of common accidents.

Find the safety gear you need at

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