I read a bike safety article many years ago that described the top 10 causes of bike accidents, and since then it has aided my assessment of bike injury cases and assessing cases as a bicycle accident lawyer. One common cause of bike-car accident is "The Door Prize", which has been reported as the second most common type of bike accident caused by cars. The door prize is when a driver opens their door in front of you and you run right into it, because you cannot stop in time or traffic does not allow you to swerve out of the way.
How to avoid The Door Prize:
Ride far enough to the left that you will not run into a door that is flung open by an unassuming motorist. Remember, most drivers look for other cars and trucks, not bicycles and they either don't notice or don't care about bike riders. Some cyclists do not like to follow the above advice because it requires them to ride too far into the traffic lane and cars cannot pass you as easily. I understand you are trading one danger for another, but I believe it is safer to ride into the lane where you are in the driver's line of sight rather than to ride next to parked cars that are not looking back for you when they open their door. If you can, try to pay attention to which cars are occupied and then shift out when approaching that car.
Recently, we settled a car-bike accident case for the auto insurance policy limits. Our cyclist client was just a casual cyclist out for an easy ride on the side of Manchester Rd in Maplewood, Missouri. Along his path he had to pass a few cars that were parked on the side of the road, one person who was in the driver's seat of one of the parked cars, flung her door open right when my client was passing causing him to smack into the door and fly off his bike injuring his shoulder.
Bicycle safety is a lot like motorcycle safety, you need to constantly scan the road several seconds ahead of you and anticipate what unaware driver may do, adjust to the potential problems, and be ready to take evasive maneuvers if necessary. The disproportionate potential for serious injury to a bicyclist or motorcyclist compared with a car or truck driver requires that you have this level of alertness and caution. Hopefully over the next years or decades the bike advocacy groups will continue to make changes to the bike laws and continue to raise pubic awareness of everyone's' right to use the road, motor-vehicles and bikes alike. Even once that occurs, there will always be drivers that do not pay adequate attention to bike riders, You must be responsible for your safety,and take necessary precautions.
Even when all the reasonable safety precautions are taken bike riders still get hit by cars and trucks. We offer free consultations on all personal injury cases including bike injury cases. Call us for a no obligation discussion with a lawyer at (314) 863-0500.