No one wants to get hit by a right hook, and when it happens to a cyclist, it can bring serious injury or even death. A right hook in cycling is when a car turns right at an intersection into the path of cyclist riding to the right of the car which can cause devastating injuries to the bike rider
Right hooks happen under two main scenarios. The most common is when a cyclist is unseen by a driver who is turns into the path of the bicycle to make a right-hand turn. If there is a bike lane, the driver often doesn’t look in the bike lane before enter the lane to turn right.
Less common is when a big rig truck—especially a tractor trailer—wants to turn right but has to swing out to the left a bit so that the back wheels will avoid hitting the curb when they turn right. The cyclist sees this newly open space and move up into it just to have the truck turn to the right and hit the cyclist. Unfortunately, in all too many of these, the cyclist is run over by the back wheels of the truck.
Cyclists and Kentucky Traffic Laws
Under Kentucky law, bicycles are treated as vehicles for the purposes of traffic codes and the right-of way rules. This means that when a cyclist is riding on the city streets, they have the same privileges and responsibilities that a driver has.
Thus, when a bike rider is in a bike lane or on the right-hand side of a road, they have the right-of-way just as another car would.
Riding on the Right-Hand Side of the Road
In Kentucky, a bicycle is to ride on the right-hand side of a street and in the farthest right lane. However, the law allows for exceptions to avoid accidents like a right hook and dooring.
Bikes may move from the right lane to the left when:
- Turning left
- Passing a slower vehicle
- Lane is too narrow
- To avoid contact with right-hand turning vehicles (avoid the right hook)
- To avoid a row of parked cars or a stopped car (avoid a dooring accident)
- To avoid any hazardous or unsafe circumstance
Who’s at Fault in a Right Hook Crash?
In most right hook scenarios, the motor vehicle driver is likely at fault. Cyclists are to be treated like any other vehicle, and you can’t turn in the immediate path of another car. Like any accident, a driver’s auto insurance company will try to deny coverage or be unwilling to pay reasonable compensation.
However, the law requires any driver who is negligent to pay for any damages that result from an accident, and when a driver violates the right-of-way and commits a right hook, then that driver is responsible.
Contact a Louisville Bicycle Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been hit by a right hook while riding your bike in Louisville or anywhere in Kentucky, then don’t listen to the insurance company tell you there is no coverage or that the accident wasn’t their client’s fault. Talk to a Louisville Bicycle Accident Attorney who knows the law and can get you the compensation you deserve.