The Leading Causes of Bicycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
It is no secret that street cycling is a sport/hobby that is loved by many. From the fresh air, exercise, and scenic views, it is a great way to stay active and break away from everyday life once in a while. As enjoyable as it may be, there is no denying that bicycle accidents are a real, raw concern to face when out on a bike ride. Because there is more than one way you can get hurt on the road while on a bicycle, below is a breakdown of what to be mindful of and how to avoid those accidents.
There is a common misconception that cyclists are the ones to blame in an accident involving a motor vehicle. However, statistics show that those driving are more often the ones at fault. Though drivers cause 30% of all bicycle injuries, the way in which it occurs can be quite diverse. Some of those incidences stem from:
The most common type, occurring when cyclists are going in the same direction as traffic, and the driver crashes into them from behind.
Sometimes cyclists are in a diver’s blind spot, and if the driver is not cautious enough, it can cause an accident when turning or changing lanes.
If a driver is not paying attention or zoning, it increases the chances of a cyclist accident occurring.
Door accidents (aka dooring)
If a driver is parked and getting out of their car, it is quite possible that they open right as a cyclist is going by, causing them to hit the door and obtain a personal injury. In the majority of cases, the person who opened the door is the liable one.
Right hook crashes
This is another common bicycle accident, where a driver is trying to make a right turn through a bike lane and cuts off a cyclist in the process.
Road rage is another one to be mindful of. Even if the driver does not have an intention to hurt a cyclist who may be going too slow, their dangerous behavior can lead to accidents. An example would be trying to pass them on a double yellow corner or squeezing too close to the cyclist to get around them in heavy traffic.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidental bicycle fatalities account for about 2% of all traffic-related deaths.
Though traffic accidents are the most common reason why cyclists get a personal injury, it is not the only one. Road hazards, such as potholes, large cracks, sewer grates, gravel, and inadequate bike travel designing, can all affect your safety. For more perspective, roadways that are not in good repair account for 13% of bicycle accidents. The best way to avoid this from happening is to, of course, wear the proper cycling gear to reduce the risk of head trauma and road rashes. Also, you can investigate your routes beforehand to ensure it is safe to ride.
Not all bikes are created equal. Some manufacturers are not as quality-driven as others, and even the style used in the wrong environment can result in defective outcomes. This is why it is essential to invest in a bike from a reputable company, and do a thorough examination of it before going out for a ride. Things to look for include your wheels and tires, brakes, frames, carbon fork, the quick-release mechanism, and your helmet.
Optimize your safety
Even though cycling can be dangerous, there are key ways you can reduce your risk of getting injured and feel more confident while on the road as you partake in a favored hobby. Be sure to test your bike and ensure that the path you choose is free of structural dangers mentioned above. Be diligent about staying focused, wearing the right gear, not drinking beforehand, staying visible (including flashing lights and bright clothing), and be mindful of the traffic laws at all times. While you cannot predict what a driver might do, by optimizing your safety, you can significantly reduce your overall risk in the long run.
Bicycle accidents can be devastating. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident caused by negligence, you need a personal injury attorney that’s on your side. Attorney Dean Boyd and his Team can help you handle your case and get you the compensation you deserve. You can reach us at (806) 242-3333 or send us an email to learn more about our Services. You can also visit us in person at 4423 SW 45th Ave in Amarillo, Texas or 10623 Quaker Ave #102 in Lubbock, Texas.