It goes by many names: a right hook accident, a right turn accident, a right cross accident, a right hook bike crash.
Whichever way you phrase it, it’s a potentially deadly crash where a motorist traveling in the same direction as a cyclist suddenly makes a right turn directly into the cyclist’s path. The cyclist barely sees it coming, then suddenly they’re sprawling on the ground in pain.
Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we see lots of these accidents in bicycle injury cases. But the average person doesn’t usually know what a right hook crash is until they’ve already been injured!
Why Do Right Hook Accidents Happen?
California has plenty of bike-friendly laws that permit cyclists to share the road and travel safely. So it’s frustrating to see how often motorists disregard cyclists’ rights and cause life-threatening right-hook crashes.
Under the California Vehicle Code, drivers of all types are required to ensure their path of travel is clear before proceeding forward or turning. Still, motorists sometimes fail to see cyclists or don’t even attempt to check for them before making right turns.
A right hook crash can happen anywhere a right turn can happen, which is one of the reasons they’re so common. When a motorist, an Uber driver, a truck driver, or even a scooter rider collides with a bicyclist while making a right turn, it’s known as “being hooked” or “getting right hooked.”
How Does a Right Hook Accident Typically Happen?
Here in California, right hook accidents typically arise from three main causes: inattentional blindness, bad calculations, and bad assumptions.
Inattentional blindness is a motorist’s tendency to overlook smaller road users. It’s a psychological phenomenon where drivers are actively on the lookout for other vehicles but completely fail to see people on foot, on bikes, on scooters, and on motorcycles. Research shows 65% of motorists don’t see small-size road users in “looked but failed to see” accidents.
Sometimes a motorist sees a cyclist but makes a bad calculation about how fast they’re traveling. Cyclists can move very quickly, especially on new electric and motorized bikes. One bad calculation and BAM! The motorist hits the cyclist in a right hook crash.
Drivers and cyclists alike can make bad assumptions about what’s going to happen in the next few moments on the road. Imagine a motorist and cyclist both traveling in the same direction and stopped at a red light. When the light changes, the driver assumes the cyclist will wait for them to turn and the cyclist assumes the driver will wait for them to go straight, leading to a collision.
After a Right Hook Accident, You Can Take Action
We should note that any of the situations described above may involve some level of negligence on the side of both parties. But that’s okay!
California is a comparative negligence state, which means you can still recover compensation if you’re found to be partially at fault. Your lawyer can help you gain more clarity about what happened in your crash and how you can hold the other person accountable for their role.
If someone hurts you in a right hook accident, Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help. We care about protecting cyclists’ rights! Call 877-380-8852 or get a FREE online case evaluation now.
We Handle Your Accident Claim so You Can Focus on Your Life
After a personal injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including bicycle injuries. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details. We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.