“Right Hook” Bicycle Collisions
Bike collisions are all too common in Ocala as well as throughout the United States, where drivers are either distracted, speeding, intoxicated or simply aggressive towards cyclists. While most fatal collisions occur from a motor vehicle hitting a cyclist from behind, collisions at intersections can be just as dangerous, and are extremely common. One of the most typical ways drivers run into cyclists is by committing a “right hook,” which we describe shortly. Being hit by a car, no matter the speed at which it or you were traveling, is a traumatic experience, and one that usually leaves the cyclists with severe and sometimes permanent injuries.
What is a Right Hook?
A right hook occurs when a car and cyclist are traveling in the same direction. The driver is on the left hand side of the cyclist, and the cyclist is to the right of the driver, either in the shoulder of the road, in the bike lane, or on the sidewalk. The driver then makes a right hand turn across the cyclist’s lane of travel, cutting the cyclist off and causing a crash, according to We Love Cycling. Because the cyclist has right of way in this scenario and the car driver cut across the cyclist’s lane of travel, the driver should be held liable. It does not matter if the driver sped up to pass the cyclist, maintained speed, or slowed down and the cyclist caught up to them. Right-turning cars must yield the right of way to cyclists on the right hand side of the road.
Why Right Hooks Occur so Frequently
Distraction and impatience are the two behaviors that lead to right hooks. The driver either saw the cyclist to the side of them and turned anyways, hoping to “beat” the cyclist to the turn, or the driver simply decided not to look over their shoulder or in their rearview or side mirror. One study found that half of study subject drivers do not even look for pedestrians or cyclists in intersections, according to City Lab.
Injuries Caused in Right Hooks
Cyclists who become the victims of right hooks are lucky if they do not go under the wheels of the turning vehicle. However, even if, by pure chance, they avoid the wheels of the motor vehicle, they can still:
- Go through a side passenger window;
- Go through the rear window;
- Get launched over the hood or roof of the car;
- Slam into the metal side of the car;
- Slam into the rear of the vehicle;
- Be thrown to the ground or into a fixed object; or
- Be thrown into traffic and suffer a secondary collision with another vehicle.
Any of these scenarios can lead to severe injury, paralysis, permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death.
An Ocala Bicycle Injury Lawyer Can Help You Win Your Personal Injury Claim
If you were hit by a driver while riding your bike, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your pain and suffering, disability, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, and much more. Call the Ocala bicycle accident lawyers at Glover Law Firm today for a free consultation at 352-484-0775.