Statistics indicate that almost 1,000 bicyclists lose their lives, and more than 130,000 are injured in accidents that happen on roads in America yearly. Bicycle-related injuries vary in severity based on how serious the crash is. While some bicycle accidents are avoidable, others are beyond your control. Discussed below are six common causes of bicycle accidents.
Cause # 1. Distracted driving
Distracted driving is among the top causes of bicycle accidents. It includes any activities that divert a driver’s focus away from driving. These driving distractions may include:
- Visual distractions: These are tasks that result in the driver’s eyes wandering off the road, like admiring views and looking for things on the car’s floor
- Manual distractions: They’re activities that make the driver take their hand/ hands off the steering wheel, including eating and texting
- Cognitive distractions: These cause the driver’s mind to shift from driving, such as being under the influence of drugs/ alcohol or daydreaming
If you’re injured or suffer losses in a bicycle accident that was due to distracted driving, you’re entitled to compensation. Hiring a Bicycle Accident Lawyer can help you get the highest possible settlement for your losses/ injuries.
Cause # 2. Unsafe/ improper lane changes
Accidents resulting from improper/ unsafe lane changes can lead to severe injuries or even death. These changes may happen when bicyclists or vehicle drivers don’t check for other bicyclists/ drivers before shifting to a different lane. Drivers not signaling during lane changes may confuse bicycle riders who aren’t aware of the driver’s intent to cross over. A driver misjudging a cyclist’s speed/ distance can lead to a crash when changing lanes. In such accidents, bicyclists are often at a higher risk because they don’t have as much protection as motorists, making them more susceptible to injuries.
Cause # 3. Doorings
Dooring accidents happen when drivers/ passengers open their doors to moving cyclists. In some instances, a bicyclist may get out of the way in an attempt to avoid the door and be hit by a different vehicle. These accidents are common where drivers/ passengers don’t look out for oncoming bicyclists when opening doors or exiting their cars on the street. Checking mirrors and looking over shoulders before opening vehicle doors can help drivers and passengers avoid dooring accidents. Exiting cars on the sidewalk rather than on the street can also help.
Cause # 4. Over speeding
When a driver goes beyond the speed limit, they’re left with little time to respond to unforeseen situations, including a bicycle rider crossing a street. An overspeeding driver may also not be able to stop their car fast enough, raising a collision risk with a bicyclist. A speeding cyclist can also drive into a moving vehicle, causing a severe accident. Driving and riding at reasonable speeds can help avoid such accidents.
Cause # 5. Not yielding
Failing to yield happens when a driver doesn’t stop/ slow down at intersections, crosswalks, and other parts where yielding to oncoming traffic is required. Some motorists may argue that they failed to yield the bicyclist’s right of way because they didn’t see them on the road, resulting in failure-to-yield accidents.
Cause # 6. Poor visibility
Bicycle riders can be difficult to see, particularly in low-light situations, raising the risk of an accident. Areas with poor visibility, like blind curves, may lead to a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist.
Bicycle accidents are common and happen due to various reasons. Learn the common causes of bicycle accidents and how you can lower the risk of their occurrence.