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How do I avoid common bicycle accidents in Rhode Island?

Bicycles are all over the place in Rhode Island these days. Who wouldn't want to bike to work or to school? The scenery is gorgeous and the weather is welcoming most of the year. But, with more bicycles out there, the more likely it is for accidents involving them. So, how do you avoid common bicycle accidents in Rhode Island?

The right cross is the most common type of bicycle accident in Rhode Island. It occurs when a car is pulling out of a parking lot or side street and does not see the bicycle coming up the road. The car either pulls out and hits the bike or the bike slams into the car that jolts out into the intersection. There are a couple of ways you can avoid this; install a headlight on your bicycle, wave to oncoming motorists, ride further left and slow down as you approach the intersection.

The wrong-way crash is still common, but it is slowly going away because of rider education. Bicyclists are taught to ride with traffic, never against it. The wrong-way crash happens when a bicyclist is riding the wrong way and a vehicle turns from one street to another. The best way to avoid such an accident is by traveling with traffic.

An all-too-common bicycle accident is when a car door is flung open and it hits an oncoming bicyclist. These are dangerous accidents that can cause serious injury to bikers. This can be avoided by riding as far left of the parked cars as possible. You might be wary of riding in the lane of travel, but an oncoming car will have better vision of you than someone throwing open his or her car door while parked.

Collisions at red lights are also common in Rhode Island. These occur when a bicycle stops alongside an already stopped car at an intersection. The light turns green and the bike goes, but so does the car, making a right turn into the bike. This can be avoided by either stopping completely behind the car or just enough in front of it to be seen.

Bicycle accidents are too common on the roads of Rhode Island. Follow these safety tips and more to avoid accidents that can cause serious injury or death.

Source: Bicycle Safety, "How to Not Get Hit by Cars important lessons in Bicycle Safety," accessed Feb. 14, 2017

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