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Are you prepared to avoid these common car-bicycle accidents?

Southern California is heaven for bicycle riders. The year-round fine weather draws both experienced and novice cyclists like bees to honey.

Unfortunately, there are also a lot of vehicles on the roads, and more often than not, cyclists have to ride in traffic, which can be a dangerous undertaking. Here are four of the most common car-bicycle accidents to avoid:

1. Right turn

You will probably see this coming: A motorist passes you, misjudges your speed and proceeds to make a right turn in front of you. You have a good chance of avoiding a potential crash by riding in the traffic lane—which, by the way, is your right in all 50 states. Anyone wanting to turn right will have to stay behind you and wait.

2. Left turn

If an oncoming car turns left as you approach, think fast: If you make a right-hand turn, you will be going in the same direction as the car, thereby averting a serious collision. When it is safe, turn around and continue riding in the direction you wish to go.

3. Backing out

Whether you are riding through a residential neighborhood or a commercial area with many parking lots, you must always be on the lookout for someone backing out into traffic. Again, riding in the traffic lane where drivers can see you best is your safest option.

4. Rear-ender

A rear-end crash could leave you with devastating injuries because you are so vulnerable and do not see the accident coming. Bright clothing and a flashing LED taillight will help you become more visible. Remember to wear a helmet when you ride—always.

What to do

Even when you try your best, avoiding an accident is not always possible. If you are injured as a cyclist, jot down notes if you can, describing how the accident happened. Use your mobile phone to take pictures of the crash site and the damage to your bike. Get immediate medical attention, then reach out for legal assistance so that you will have experience and skill on your side in seeking the appropriate financial compensation for your injuries.

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