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Car accidents occur all the time in California, and when collisions occur with bikes, there can be serious injuries and even death. Bicyclists are not very protected, so motorists should drive extra carefully when they are in the vicinity. Either the cyclist or the driver may be negligent and the one at fault, but both should practice measures so everyone is safe on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, no matter whose fault it is, a crash with a vehicle can be devastating to the cyclist, and more than 750 accidents a year involve the death of the cyclist. An accident can occur at any time, but fatal ones occur more frequently between the hours of 6 and 9 P.M. and in urban areas. Males are more commonly the victims of fatal crashes, and alcohol is a factor in 37% of cases.
According to active.com, there are two scenarios that are the most common when referring to accidents between bikes and cars. One is a left-hand turn, in which the driver turns left right in front of a bike rider going in the opposite direction. The other scenario is a right hook, which is when a driver passes a bike going in the same direction and then turns right, directly in front of the cyclist. Other types of accidents include rear-ending and a car opening up a door right in front of a cyclist.
One of the main reasons for these accidents is the driver does not see the bike. Vehicle operators can improve by looking more carefully for cyclists before turning or opening a door, and a cyclist can help prevent this by wearing bright clothing and using head- and taillights.