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Common bicycle collisions

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door zone
a bicyclist riding in the door zone

Common bicycle collisions with cars, according to Bicycling Magazine, include:

  • The left cross, in which a motorist turning left fails to see a cyclist going straight in the opposite direction. This "accounts for more than half of all bike-car crashes," the magazine wrote. On a bike, avoid these by turning right into the same lane as the turning car.
  • The right hook, in which a motorist turning right fails to see a cyclist approaching on the right from behind. On a bike, avoid these by leaving the bike lane or shoulder to take the lane with other vehicles.
  • Being doored, in which a motorist parked in the shoulder opens a door without seeing a cyclist approaching from behind. On a bike, avoid these by staying outside the door zone of a street or by taking the lane on a narrow stretch.
  • Being parking lotted, in which a motorist pulling out of a parking lot or driveway fails to see a bicyclist on the street or sidewalk. On a bike, avoid these by staying off the sidewalk and avoiding blocks with poor-visibility driveways.
  • Being overtaken, in which a motor vehicle hits a cyclist from behind. On a bike, avoid these by using bike lights in low light and by riding in a straight, predictable line that doesn't weave in and out of parked cars.

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