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Bicycle accident prevention: Avoid 'the crosswalk slam'

As a pedestrian or bicyclist, you would think that crossing a street in a crosswalk is the safest way to get from A to B, but don't let the supposed safety of crosswalks fool you. Drivers do not always look out for bicyclists and pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections - and numerous catastrophic accidents happen as a result of this.

Fortunately, as a bicyclist, there are a few things you can do to avoid a crosswalk bicycle accident.

Prevent "the crosswalk slam"

When an accident happens to a bicyclist using the crosswalk, it's often referred to as "the crosswalk slam." A cyclist will usually be riding along the sidewalk and then cross the street at the crosswalk. A car will then make a right turn into the intersection and hit the cyclist without warning.

Crosswalk slams are one of the most common types of bicycle collisions. Because of these accidents, many cycling enthusiasts claim that sidewalk-related crashes are twice as common for bicyclists compared to road cycling crashes.

Here are some ways to avoid the crosswalk slam:

  • Don't ride on the sidewalk; use the designated bike lane on the side of the road when one is available. Always ride in a direction that goes with the flow of traffic if you're riding a bike on the side of the road.
  • Some sidewalks are safer to ride your bicycle on than others. If the sidewalk is long and doesn't have frequent road crossings, and it doesn't have a lot of driveways that cars could enter and exit, it may be safer to ride on the sidewalk than on the side of the road.
  • Use a headlight, especially if you're riding at night. You may also want to use a headlight during the day.
  • Ride slower, especially when you're approaching a crosswalk. Come to a complete stop if you're not certain that nearby drivers can see you.

Did you get hit in a crosswalk while riding a bicycle?

If a car strikes and injures you in a crosswalk slam accident and you were riding a bicycle, it's possible that you had the right of way. Every crash scenario is different, but injured bicycle accident victims may want to learn more about their legal rights and options regarding the filing of a personal injury claim.

After a bicycle accident, get medical care. Then speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

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