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Avoiding the right hook: a guide from Bike to Everything

Even if you haven’t heard of the “right hook,” you probably know what it is if you’ve ridden a bicycle in car traffic. When a car makes a right turn in front of you, it can cause a scary situation where you’re in danger of a crash. The blog Bike to Everything has an excellent guide on how to avoid it.

You can read the entire guide here. It’s not very long and has pictures. It also breaks the seemingly-simple concept of the right hook into several scenarios that each require a different strategy:

  • The usual safest way to avoid the right hook.
  • When the car doesn’t merge toward the curb.
  • When a right hook is imminent and you need to recover quickly.
  • And a bonus scenario: what drivers should do to avoid right hook situations.

I have bike commuted for about five years now and I’ve never thought much about this concept, even though I’ve encountered it. When I’ve been faced with a right hook in the past, I’ve panicked and prayed that I wouldn’t get hit. Seeing the whole strategy neatly laid out now feels enlightening.

That’s one reason why I’m a fan of these kinds of internet guides. Sometimes you just need a simple explainer to give you that lightbulb moment. That’s one reason why I covered How to Not Get Hit by Cars in a previous post, and it’s why I love Pattie Baker’s TikTok videos. This is the knowledge needs to be democratized.

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