Riding a bike in city traffic is dangerous and risky, and one of those risks is the right hook. Like it sounds, a right hook is an unexpected and devastating blow that can seriously injure or kill a cyclist. It happens when a motor vehicle attempts to take a right turn and hits a cyclist riding on the right side of the vehicle.
New Jersey Law
New Jersey doesn’t have a law that specifically addresses the right hook phenomenon, but does have right-of-way laws that are designed to keep all those on the streets from encroaching on another person’s rightful lane of travel.
The state law says that a cyclist has all the rights and duties of a motor vehicle driver which means that a cyclist can ride in the street among the cars and has to obey all the rules of the road the same as a motorist.
However, a cyclist has to move to the right side of the right lane if he or she can’t keep up with traffic. Since the law requires a cyclist to ride there, the cyclist has the right-of-way in that “lane,” and a motor vehicle can’t impede in the cyclist space to take a right turn. This also holds for bike lanes that are constructed to be used by bike riders.
Types of Right Hooks
First, a cyclist is simply in the blind spot of a car that moves from the left and up to the right side of the lane and turns right at the intersection right in front of the cyclist.
The second usually happens when a semi-truck approaches to make a right turn and swings out to the left to make room to clear the back tires. This newly opened space tempts an unsuspecting cyclist who moves up into the newly opened space only to be run over by the truck that swung back to the right to make the turn.
The third is similar to the first except that the cyclist is riding in a bike lane that is between the right lane and the curb. The vehicle crosses into the bike lane as it approaches the right turn and hits the cyclist.
Contact a South Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer.
After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a South Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.