Liability for Right Hook Bicycle Accidents

Liability for right hook bicycle accidents rests with the driver. Pennsylvania laws provide that in this type of traffic situation, cyclists have the right of way. Even still, liability can be arguable if the cyclist wasn’t following the rules of the road. After a right hook bicycle accident, take you case to a local injury attorney to discuss liability and for help filing your claim or lawsuit to discuss how insurance works in a bicycle accident.

Types of Right Hook Accidents

The term “right hook” refers to a collision in which the vehicle is turning right at an intersection and collides with or “hooks” a bicyclist. Cyclists can reduce their risk of being hooked by doing the following.

  • Being cognizant of their surroundings
  • Being prepared to brake in case a driver cuts you off
  • Never passing a car on the right at intersections

Even when the cyclist has followed all the rules and precautions, inattentive or careless drivers may still fail to see the cyclist and proceed to turn right, directly in the cyclist’s path.

Below are a few examples of ways in which a right hook accident can occur.

  • The driver and cyclist stopped at a red light. The light turns green, and as the cyclist proceeds forward, the car turns right, cutting off or colliding into the cyclist.
  • Both the driver and cyclist are turning right, but the driver makes too sharp of a turn, veering into the bike path and striking the cyclist.
  • The cyclist passes a car traveling at slow speed just as the driver makes a sudden right turn.
  • Similar to the situation above, the driver may be trying to pass a cyclist, but incorrectly gauges the distance between the cyclist and the vehicle. The driver then makes a quick right turn, causing a collision with the cyclist.

Pennsylvania Right Hook Bicycle Laws

The law that usually applies to right hook accidents is in 75 Pa.C.S. § 3331 (e). The statute reads: “No turn by a driver of a motor vehicle shall interfere with a pedalcycle proceeding straight while operating by [bicycle laws].” In other words, the bicyclists have the right of way when travelling straight. The law applies to bicyclists and cyclists alike.

Another statute that may come into play in a right hook accident is § 3303(a)(3). The statute provides: “The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a pedalcycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the pedalcycle within not less than four feet at a careful and prudent reduced speed.” So, if both the cyclist and driver are turning right simultaneously, the driver must give the cyclist at least four feet of space.

Hurt in a bicycle accident? Call Cordisco & Saile LLC

Our bicycle accident team at Cordisco & Saile LLC in Pennsylvania can answer any additional questions you have about liability or how to obtain a settlement for your damages. Call the office today at 215-642-2335 for a free consultation.