Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of John Sloan with Sloan Firm.
Bicycle accidents have many causes, some more common than others. Depending on the type of accident, the injuries a bicyclist sustains may be more or less severe. However, regardless of the severity of the injury it is imperative for bicyclists to seek medical care immediately after an accident; some injuries may not be felt until days or even weeks after the accident but can worsen if left untreated. Bicyclists are subject to many of the same hazards as drivers, in addition to some unique hazards of their own. If you or a loved one were injured in a bicycle accident, reach out to a bike accident attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following are some of the most common types of bike accidents:
- Driver error: Drivers are arguably the biggest hazards to bicyclist safety. Inattentive drivers have been known to collide with, side-swipe, turn into, and even injure bikers by opening car doors immediately into their path. It is imperative for drivers to remain alert to the presence of any bicyclist in the area, and exercise caution when sharing the road with a biker. Bicycles are much smaller than cars, so it can be easy to overlook their position on the road. Drivers should slow down and give bikers extra space whenever possible.
- Fell off bicycle: There are many reasons a bicyclist might fall off their bike. When this occurs, the risk of injury is significant, especially if the rider was not wearing a helmet. Head injuries are one of the biggest risks for bikers; wearing adequate headgear is the best way a biker can protect themself in the event of a fall.
- Roadway in disrepair: Damaged or otherwise unsafe roadways are a significant factor in many accidents, especially bicycle accidents. Potholes which a car might pass over with nothing but a small jolt can upend a bicycle and send the rider flying. Damaged roadways should be reported and fixed as soon as possible; if a rider is injured by an unsafe roadway, the party responsible for the maintenance of that road may be liable.
- Rider error: Bicyclists are humans, and humans are prone to error. Just as drivers need to follow all traffic rules and exercise caution when sharing the road, cyclists need to as well. Bikers are subject to the same traffic rules as other vehicles, and should take care to avoid reckless riding. It should also be noted that riding a bike while under the influence is a key factor in many severe bicycle accidents.
- Collision with a stationary object: Bicyclist inattention as well as sudden obstacles appearing in the road are two primary reasons for a bicyclist to collide with a stationary object. While this might sound relatively minor, depending on the speed at which the bicyclist is traveling as well as the protective gear, the injuries sustained in this type of accident can be serious.
NHTSA points out that safe riding and driving practice are paramount to bicyclist safety; in 2018 alone, 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents. To learn more about types of bicycle accidents or for help filing a claim, reach out to a bike accident attorney.