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What is a Right Hook Collision?

Michael Pollick
By
Updated May 23, 2024
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Although it states on paper that bicyclists and motorists have equal rights to the road, that equation can change without warning and it's often the bicyclist who suffers most. One of the most common car-bike crashes is a scenario known as a right hook collision. A typical right-hook collision occurs when a cyclist is moving forward and a motorist suddenly makes a right hand turn into a driveway or side street in front of the cyclist.

The cyclist usually cannot see the motorist's turn signal, since he or she is positioned on the far right section of the road or in a designated bike lane. The motorist may not even see the cyclist before committing to the right hand turn, or else he or she may make a wide right turn after passing the cyclist. Since the cyclist is still moving forward at the time of the right hook collision, the bicycle generally strikes the passenger side of the vehicle square on.

A right hook collision is said to make up 10% of all car-bike crashes, and is generally one of the hardest to avoid while riding on the extreme right hand side of the road along with heavy urban traffic. A motorist can often misjudge the speed of an approaching cyclist, and the cyclist may not be able to anticipate the collision until the very last second.

There are some suggested solutions to reduce the chances of a right hook collision on a busy roadway with numerous intersections. One suggestion is for cyclists to ride further left on the road to establish their presence to motorists who might otherwise turn right without taking a second glance to the side or rear. This might seem counter-intuitive to cyclists who have been conditioned to ride on the extreme right or on the sidewalk, but motorists often forget to check for cyclists before committing to a quick right turn.

Another way to reduce the chance of a right hook collision is for the cyclist to stop at intersections where sudden right turns are possible. Designated right hand turn lanes can be especially hazardous for cyclists going straight, since they must merge into a through traffic lane to clear the intersection for vehicles turning right. This may be a good opportunity to walk or carry the bicycle through the intersection and follow the pedestrian traffic rules until it becomes safe to enter the roadway again.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick , Writer
As a frequent contributor to WikiMotors, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

By lluviaporos — On May 05, 2011

@anon169396 - I think most of the time when a cyclist has an accident bad enough to damage a car they end up in the hospital.

It's in their best interests to obey the rules like everyone else on the road. Most cyclists are just average people and I hope most people are obeying the rules to be safe, not just to avoid tickets.

By bythewell — On May 03, 2011

It's a shame riding on the road is so dangerous for cyclists, because it is a win-win situation in other ways.

Cyclists create less pollution, take up less space, make less noise and are keeping themselves healthy, so they'll have fewer medical bills in the future. I would love for bicycles to become the most common vehicle on the road.

But, it is so dangerous. There are a lot of places I simply wouldn't feel safe biking on the road.

By anon169396 — On Apr 21, 2011

most cyclists ignore traffic signals, etc. they don't have number plates for the camera to store, see and send them a fine. then they complain when they have accidents, nor do they have insurance when they damage people's vehicles.

Michael Pollick

Michael Pollick

Writer

As a frequent contributor to WikiMotors, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
Learn more
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