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Common Bicycle - Motor Vehicle Accidents

Midblock rideout
This is the most frequent type of crash for young riders and occurs soon after the bicyclist enters the road from a driveway, alley or curb without slowing, stopping or looking for traffic. The bicyclist's sudden entry leaves the motorist too little time to avoid the collision.
Prevention: Bicyclists should stop and look left-right-left for traffic before entering the road.

Wrong-way riding
Motorists do not expect traffic to be approaching from the wrong way.
Prevention: Go with the flow! Ride right with traffic, just like cars do.

Motorist overtaking cyclist
Motorist fails to see and react to the bicyclist until it's too late. This crash type is more frequent at night and on narrow rural roads. Driver inattention and impaired driving are frequently involved.
Prevention: Avoid riding at night, on narrow roads and where roadway speeds are over 35 miles per hour. Always use lights and reflectors if you must ride at night.

Bicyclist left turn or sudden swerve
The bicyclist swerves to the left without checking traffic or signaling, and moves into the path of an overtaking motor vehicle. The motorist does not have enough time to avoid the collision.
Prevention: Be predictable. Always ride in a straight line. When preparing to change lane position, look behind you and yield to overtaking traffic. For a left turn, give the left-hand signal and when it's safe, move into the left lane. Give the left-hand signal again and then make your turn when it is safe to do so.

Stop sign rideout
This type of crash occurs at a two-way stop intersection. The bicyclist enters the intersection from a lane that is controlled by a stop sign and collides with a vehicle approaching from a lane/direction that is not controlled by a stop sign. The bicyclist fails to stop/slow and look for traffic before entering the intersection, leaving the motorist too little time to avoid a collision.
Prevention: Obey all traffic signs and signals. At busy intersections, get off your bike and walk across the road as you do when you are a pedestrian.

Related Sites

Contact the Minnesota Safety Council at msc@minnesotasafetycouncil.org, or 651-291-9150/1-800-444-9150.
474 Concordia Avenue St. Paul Minnesota 55103 USA