Intersection Safety Tips for San Francisco Bicyclists

Publicly available data from San Francisco’s police, transportation agency and health department collected between 2005-2022 highlights the 10 most dangerous intersections based on vehicle and pedestrian accident volume. Here’s a brief section of the data provided and some notable intersections to be aware of as a San Francisco resident:

1. 5th and Market – 65 total collisions

2. 6th and Market – 51 total collisions

3. Market and 7th – 46 total collisions

4. Hyde and Turk – 42 total collisions

5. 16th and Mission – 41 total collisions

6. Turk and Leavenworth – 39 total collisions

7. 6th and Howard – 38 total collisions

8. 4th and Market – 37 total collisions

9. 6th and Mission – 36 total collisions

10. Mission and Geneva – 36 total collisions

How Do Dangerous Roadways Affect Bicyclists?

The reality of bicyclist accidents is that riders are more likely to sustain varying levels of injury than their motorized vehicle counterparts. Slamming into roadways, or other roadway adjacent objects, with little protection beyond proper helmet use creates a higher risk of serious injury in the event of an accident. 

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

According to data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were more than 11,300 bicycle accident injuries and 155 bicycle accident fatalities during the latest reporting year across the state of California. While a significant amount of these accidents are caused by another party’s negligence, some roadways influence accidents due to especially dangerous roadway conditions. Here are a few examples:

● Bike paths that aren’t properly marked 

● Holes, bumps, or serious defects in the roadway that aren’t properly marked

● Obstructed roadway or hazard signs 

● Crosswalk signs that fail to properly function

● Roads that fail to properly drain during floods or heavy rainfall

Important Safety Tips for Navigating Dangerous Intersections

When it comes to bicycle accident safety, a lot of factors are outside of your control. However, it’s crucial to remember that safety is a shared responsibility regardless and understanding the rules of the road can help keep the roads a safe place for everyone. Here are a few bicycle safety tips from the San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys at Choulos, Choulos & Wyle for when avoiding a high traffic volume, high risk intersection isn’t an option:

Obeying traffic signals, signs, and crosswalks. While they aren’t always visible and accessible in some cases, traffic signals and signs are in place for a reason. Looking for pedestrian signals and obeying stop or yield signs is a great way to prevent avoidable collisions.

Staying visible and acting predictable. Visibility is a huge way to keep yourself safe as a bicyclist in dimly lit conditions. Wearing bright clothing and making sure your bicycle is equipped with functional reflectors will make you and your bike more visible to oncoming drivers. Using the proper turn signals and refraining from sudden changes in direction or zigzagging will help drivers anticipate your movements.

Avoid distractions and practice active driving. Putting away your phone, limiting headphone use, and always keeping your eyes on the road ahead will help limit the impact of any road hazards and changes in your surroundings. Being able to actively react to dangerous road hazards, pedestrians, or vehicles can keep the roads safe.

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