Cycling is great. It really is.
Cycling is a form of freedom. Not only a freedom to move, but also a nearly divine feeling of oneness with movement itself. But cycling can get tricky. Especially once you get entangled in busy metropolitan street networks buzzing with other, often offensive, forms of vehicles so we are offering this 1 simple technique to avoid 4 common Car vs Bicycle crashes.
Statistically it is a fairly slim chance but still a possibility a collision might happen due to a car drivers fault, however the fact that the driver will take blame will not reduce the consequences. Fortunately there are a few very simple preventive actions any cyclist can take while on the road. Here are 4 possible collisions to be avoided by using one simple preventive technique:
Drive out can be very dangerous, especially in urban areas where there is a very limited field of vision for both, the cyclist and the driver. The visibility can be easily improved by cycling closer to the left side of the lane (or right side in UK) when crossing narrow side streets. I have practised this for many years in different European cities and it really works. There might be a few times the car driver behind me get's annoyed with me being in the middle of the road but it's your right to do a preventive manoeuvre and in the end of the day it's better not to take the risk and not get hit.
Left Cross (Right Cross for UK)
On busy city roads when turning left (or right in UK) drivers often can miss a biker cycling close to the edge of the road so similarly as in the previous example, it might be a good idea moving closer towards the middle of the road when approaching a junction. It will increase both, your awareness of oncoming traffic, as well as approaching drivers visibility to notice you before they have started the manoeuvre.
Right hook is probably the single most common accident in cyclist's life. I have personally experienced a few of these and have seen a few more right in front of me. Never the less, it is the same very simple trick to get noticed before you get hit by simply positioning yourself towards middle of the road when approaching an intersection. It will simply make the drivers behind you aware of your position, they will be forced to either do an obviously illegal manoeuvre while being consciously aware they will inevitably cross your trajectory or they will be forced to slow down and complete the manoeuvre once you have left the intersection.
Sideswipe as well as all three previous common accidents tend to happen in urban areas at slow speeds in narrow spaces. At these conditions it also could be a good idea making yourself visible. Positioning yourself away from the sidewalk will force the drivers to respect your presence and drastically decrease a chance you will be swept off the road.
Remember to keep yourself visible
The best you can do on the road is to keep yourself visible. Use this technique along with other visibility improving equipment to be aware and draw the attention to yourself. Do not hesitate to take the whole lane when necessary, it is your right to be seen on the road and it is your right to take preventive action against a potential accident.