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Safety Tips for Reducing Bicycle Accidents on Parking Lots and Intersections

Posted on April 18, 2022 in

Parking lots and intersections can be some of the most dangerous places for a cyclist to ride. Negligent drivers can fail to yield the right of way, obey traffic signs and lights, or keep an eye out for cyclists, leading to serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.

If you are riding a bicycle in Portland and encounter a parking lot or intersection, there are several important steps that you can follow to stay safe. Keep the following safety tips in mind to reduce your risk of a collision.

How to Reduce Parking Lot & Intersection Bicycle Accidents

#1: Increase Your Visibility

One of the most common reasons that drivers give for causing a bicycle accident is that they did not see the cyclist. In these situations, it is important to increase your visibility as much as possible while riding at an intersection.

Make sure that your front and rear lamps and reflectors are in good working condition. Make sure to wear brightly colored or reflective clothing. If possible, avoid riding your bike at night or during times of low visibility, such as foggy mornings.

#2: Practice Defensive Riding

When riding a bike, it is important to be alert and on guard for potential hazards. Defensive riding is an important safety technique where you always assume that drivers will put you in a dangerous position. By being vigilant, you can prepare yourself to react in time to a dangerous situation.

While riding near an intersection or parking lot, always pay attention to your surroundings. Never assume that a driver can see you, especially while crossing intersections or pulling out of parking spaces. Practicing these tactics can help you avoid potential collisions.

#3: Learn About Emergency Maneuvers

Cyclists can encounter dangerous situations at a moment’s notice. In these situations, it is important to prepare yourself in advance. Before riding, take the time to learn about emergency maneuvers that can help you avoid a collision. 

For example, you can use the quick turn to protect yourself during a left-cross or right-hook accident. Using this maneuver, you execute a quick turn to the right to avoid colliding with a car that suddenly turns and crosses your path.

#4: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

Like drivers, Oregon cyclists need to obey a certain set of traffic laws. For example, cyclists need to obey stop signs and traffic lights, just like motorists. Cyclists must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible, except in certain circumstances.

Understanding your rights and responsibilities—and practicing safe cycling techniques—can help you avoid an accident at an intersection or in a parking lot. These laws are designed to prevent such collisions. 

If a bicycle accident does occur, a failure to obey Oregon laws could impact your ability to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit. In these situations, make sure to learn about applicable statutes before cycling.

What to Do after a Portland Bicycle Accident

While safety best practices can help reduce the risk of a collision, bicycle accidents can occur at any place and at any time. If you are injured in a Portland bicycle accident, it is important to remain calm and seek help as soon as possible.

Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. Seek medical attention immediately and save your records. After you receive treatment, contact a Portland bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options and strategize your next steps.