Cycling accidents are common in America, leading to many deaths and injuries annually. Research shows that 68% of cycling deaths occur in urban areas. Biking accident deaths account for two percent of all traffic related deaths. The National Safety Council reported a 9% increase between 2001 and 2011 for biking accidents. There also was a 9% increase in cyclist deaths from 2011 to 2013.
Most cycling accidents are caused by driver inattention, such as failure to yield right of way to the biker. The scenarios outlined below are the most common causes of cycling accidents. If you are a cyclist and were injured by a driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your state, as you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
#1 The Right Cross
This happens when the vehicle pulls out of a driveway, parking lot or side street to the right of the cyclist. The biker has already passed in front of the car. The driver did not see the cyclist and an accident happens. Or, the car will pull out at the last moment and impede the cyclist’s right of way. This makes it impossible for the biker to avoid T-boning the car.
The driver is usually negligent in this case by not keeping a proper lookout and failing to yield right of way. But the cyclists can take some proactive steps to reduce the chances of a collision. First, it is recommended to use a flashing light on the front of your bike, even in daylight hours. Bikers also should be ready for drivers to pull out in this fashion. Never assume the driver sees you.
#2 The Right Hook
This can happen when the cyclist is in the front of the cross street and is hit because the car driver does not see the biker when making their right turn. Another common situation is when the car driver overtakes the biker and cuts them off to make a right turn. This can cause the cyclist to slam into the side of the vehicle.
Laws for most states provide that the driver keep a safe distance when overtaking a cyclist. Some state laws say the car must stay at least three feet away.
A cyclist might avoid this accident by riding farther left in that lane, it cause cars to pass in a more deliberate fashion.
#3 Door Prize
This accident happens when the driver of a parked vehicle opens the car door in the path of the cyclist. The opened door blocks the path and the biker slams into the door.
Drivers should remember that bikers have the very same rights as cars. A moving vehicle damaged by someone opening a door of a parked car into traffic would be negligence. It is the same situation here.
Cyclists can reduce the chances of this accident by riding further to the left. This may put you more into the car traffic lane but it does make the biker more visible to cars behind them too.
#4 Rear End
Bikers tend to be most concerned about being rear ended by cars that do not see them at a stop. In fact, rear end collisions are the most common way that bikers are killed by drunk drivers.
Drivers must maintain safe distance from a bike at all times. This includes at a stop sign or stop light. Drivers are required to keep a safe look out as well.
Cyclists can avoid this dangerous situation by using headlights and tail lights, as well as bright colored clothing. Also, bikers are actually safer if they take the lane and do not ride the shoulder in this situation.
#5 Left Cross
This accident happens when a car driving in the opposite direction makes a left turn in front of the cyclist. He may either hit the left side of the biker, or cut off the biker, forcing him to slam into the right side of the car.
The driver is usually negligent because he as failed to yield right of way and failed to obey traffic signals. This is like when cars make a left turn on a solid green light without yielding to traffic. Remember that bikes have the same rights as cars.
Cyclists can avoid this accident by being on constant guard for cars turning left in front of them. When a car is approaching, and seems to be slowing, be prepared to take evasive action if necessary. Most drivers simply are not watching for bikers.
If you or a loved one is hurt in a cycling accident and the driver was at fault, you may be entitled to substantial compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Use our website to find an experienced cycling accident attorney in your state.