In the majority of states, a bicycle is classified as a vehicle and is therefore expected to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. In bike accidents at intersections, fault – or liability – usually comes down to who had the right of way*. Essentially, preferential treatment is not given to bicyclists.
*Right of way rules: when two vehicles approach an intersection not controlled by a traffic signal or that is controlled by a stop sign, the vehicle arriving first has the right of way. If the vehicles arrive at the same time then the vehicle to the right has the right of way. If the intersection consists of one major and one minor road then the vehicle on the major road has the right of way. At intersections with traffic signals, the right of way is determined by the signal.Read More
Cyclists are most likely to be involved in bike accidents involving a car at intersections. While only 11 percent of bike accidents involve a car, 45 percent of them take place at intersections.
Some common causes for bike accidents involving cars:
- Motorists often underestimate the speed of a bike,
- fail to watch out for bikes or
- don’t see them because they are smaller and they blend into the busy background.