Learning the common causes of bike accidents and how to prevent them can keep you aware as you cycle around your city. According to the CDC, nearly 1,000 bicyclists die and over 130,000 are injured in crashes on U.S. roads every year. As you share the road with motorists and pedestrians, keep in mind the following common accidents:
Bicycle-pedestrian collisions occur when a rider collides or sideswipes a pedestrian. These types of accidents tend to happen when a cyclist is riding on the sidewalk instead of on the road or in the designated bicycle lane. Pedestrian collisions can also happen while cyclists collide with pedestrians crossing the street.
If a pedestrian was at fault for the collision, then you may have a personal injury case. Pedestrians uphold some responsibility while walking. They must utilize cross walks, abide by traffic laws, and stay reasonably aware of their environment. If a negligent pedestrian was to step onto the bike lane abruptly or walk distractedly while on their phone, they may be responsible for the accident. It’s important to document pedestrian-bicycle accidents through photos and videos. Evidence that there was no way for you to stop in time, witness testimony, and/or footage that the accident was due to pedestrian negligence may help prove your case.
Vehicle-bike accidents can range from minor to deadly. Becoming familiar with the common types of car-bike accidents can help protect you on the road.
Rear End Collision
This type of accident can occur when a bike rider swerves to avoid a hazard on the road and a vehicle hits the biker from behind. Another example is when a biker fails to brake before approaching a car at a stop sign or red light. While a cyclist rear-ending a car may not cause injury, you may be responsible for damages to the bumper.
Right Hook Collision
Right hook collisions can occur when a bike rider is traveling along the right side of the road and is struck when a vehicle passes and makes a right turn into the bicyclist’s path. The driver usually forgets about the bike rider in their blind spot or has overestimated the amount of space they have put between their vehicle and the biker.
Dooring accidents can happen when a driver or passenger opens their door in the path of a bike rider. A biker may not have enough time to stop and will run into the door or sharply veer off to the side. Another variation of this accident can be when a bike rider is going down the road and has a row of parked cars next to them. A driver or passenger may open their door just as the bike rider passes and collide with back end of their bike.
Negligent Vehicle Drivers
Cyclists can have adequate equipment and ride predictably, but careless drivers can still cause serious injury. While you are on the road as a bike rider, it’s important to be aware of reckless driving and how to avoid it.
Examples of reckless and aggressive driving may include:
- Distracted drivers on their phones, talking, and adjusting controls in their car.
- Drivers who follow cyclists too closely and do not leave an adequate buffer.
- Drivers who speed and weave throughout traffic.
- Impaired drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In vehicle-bike accidents, you may be eligible for compensation if the driver was at fault. You may receive coverage for your medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and diminished future earning capacity. Drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in accordance with laws and regulations. Driver negligence due to multitasking, distracted driving, recklessness, and overall failure to drive responsibility may hold them liable.
How to Avoid Reckless Drivers
When riding along roads with reckless drivers, be sure to take steps to ensure your safety as a biker. When you notice any signs of reckless driving that may include swerving, speeding, etc. pull off to the side of the road to separate yourself from traffic.
Other tips to increase your safety as a cyclist involve:
- Riding with video cameras. This can document any interactions on the road and may encourage people to act more responsibly.
- Avoid interacting with drivers. Conversations about rules of the road and driving manner can often go badly and result in aggression.
- Pulling off to the side of the road when you notice road rage. This puts you out of harm’s way and allows you time to jot down details of the driver’s vehicle make, driver description, road names, and other details.
- If you feel that you are in immediate danger, call 911.
What to Do When You Get in a Bike Accident
Should you be the victim of a bike accident, call the police to report the crash. Be sure to also seek immediate medical attention and document any injuries you may have.
After reporting the accident and seeking medical help, Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. can help you put together a personal injury case to aid you in recovering compensation for medical expenses and other losses. Bike accidents can cause serious harm and you deserve to have legal representation as needed. We prioritize our clients and are proud to offer personalized service.
Call today at (603) 288-1403 or contact us online to find attorneys to help you after your accident.