Out of the roughly 44,000 car accidents that occur in the United States every year in which someone was fatally injured, over 800 involve persons riding a bicycle, according to Michael Bluejay, in his publication entitled “Ten Ways to Not Get Hit” Hundreds of thousands more bicyclist accidents result in hospitalization every year for collision related injuries.
Some of the suggestions made include usage of a headlight, avoiding riding on sidewalks or in a vehicle’s blindspot, not passing other vehicles on the right, usage of bright clothing or reflectors, riding on wide streets, residential streets, and avoiding busy city intersections.
The author goes on to state:
Ride as if you were invisible.
It’s often helpful to ride in such a way that motorists won’t hit you even if they don’t see you. You’re not trying to BE invisible, you’re trying to make it irrelevant whether cars see you or not. If you ride in such a way that a car has to see you to take action to avoid hitting you (e.g., by their slowing down or changing lanes), then that means they will definitely hit you if they don’t see you. But if you stay out of their way, then you won’t get hit even if they didn’t notice you were there.
According to a 1992 Study entitled “Risk Factors for Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Collisions at Intersections” involving accidents occurring in Palo Alto, California:
Analysis of individual sidewalk accidents in Palo Alto shows that many of them are associated with wrong-way travel. In the same way, many more sidewalk accidents than roadway accidents turn out to be associated with blind conflicts at intersections and driveways. Roadways are designed to eliminate blind conflicts at intersections and driveways; sidewalks are not. This causal analysis lends credibility to the statistical results showing increased accident rates on sidewalks. It suggests that sidewalk bicycling, especially against the direction of traffic, is dangerous in itself, not because of some extraneous characteristic that happens to be more common among sidewalk riders. It also suggests that bicycle safety can be improved by providing clear sight lines at the intersection of sidewalks with streets and driveways, and, in some cases, by prohibiting bicycling on sidewalks or by restricting its direction through signs or ordinances.