Wednesday, May 26, 2010



By Darin Wieneke

This is the last installment of my posts recognizing Bicycle Safety Month. Please check out MTN’s Safety Page for prior posts.

The two most common bicycle accidents involve getting either “doored” or receiving a “right cross.”

#2 The Door Prize

A driver opens his door right in front of you. You run right into it if you cannot stop in time.
In order to avoid this type of collision, you should ride 3-4 feet to the left of parked cars. You might be wary about riding so far into the lane that cars cannot pass you easily, but you are more likely to get “doored” than you are to get hit from behind by a car which can clearly see you.

#1 The Right Cross

The “right cross” is the most common type of bicycle accident. In fact, Professional Triathlete Jordan Rapp was seriously injured on March 23, 2010 in this exact type of accident. This type of accident occurs when a car is pulling out of a side street, parking lot,or driveway on the right. The car either directly hits you or causes you to slam into it.

The best way to avoid this type of collision is for you to stay as visible as possible by having a headlight or wearing bright clothes. You should also try to make eye contact with the driver. If you cannot make eye contact, you should slow down so you can make a complete stop if necessary. Riding a little further to the left may also make you more visible as the driver is likely looking for other cars and not in the bike lane or close to the curb for bikers.

MTN again wishes you safe biking this summer!

Darin is a personal injury and wrongful death attorney. In addition to posting periodic triathlon safety articles, he will be answering a legal question of the month. Please send him an e-mail at if you have a triathlon-related legal question that you would like him to address on MTN.