From the Seattle Times, 02.04.08:
Matt Corwin was pedaling home from work on his usual route when he approached the University Bridge. A line of cars waited at the red light, as Corwin cruised past in the bike lane.Great article detailing the "right hook" hazard, which according to research from Portland accounts for about 10 percent of vehicle-bike collisions. Seattle is considering a number of options, such as adopting Portland's pattern of colored pavement and bike boxes. There are comments from the contrarian view, that bike lanes make cyclists complacent, as well as the accurate suggestion that the best approach to greater overall safety is to increase bicyclists' numbers and presence. The article also includes a link to the detailed and helpful BicycleSafe.com.
As he reached the intersection, the light turned green. An SUV turned right--into Corwin's path. Corwin squeezed his hand brakes. He stopped 2 feet from the SUV. The driver never saw him.
"I would have run into the side of his car, Corwin recalled. "It's not like he would have run over me. I probably would have bounced off. But still, it was pretty disconcerting."
"Right-hook" collisions, as riders call them, are among the most common risks of urban cycling. A bike enters an intersection going straight and gets hit by a right-turning car. It's a problem that cities such as Seattle must solve as they encourage thousands of people to switch from cars to bicycles. (Read more.)
Image: Seattle Times.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site