Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that bicyclists accounted for two percent of all traffic deaths, and two percent of all crash-related injuries in 2014. When the accident involves a vehicle, the biker is most likely to be injured. As the weather turns nicer and more people are riding their bicycles, it is important for cyclists to be aware of the common causes of bike accidents, so they can reduce their risk of being involved in one.
NHTSA Bicycle Accident and Fatality Statistics
- 20 percent of bicyclist deaths occurred between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- 71 percent of bicyclist deaths occurred in urban areas
- 88 percent of bicyclists who were killed were male
- Most males injured were between the ages of 20 and 24 years old
- Approximately one in five bicyclists killed in crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08 percent or higher
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
Although bicycle accidents occur less frequently than car accidents, they are more likely to result in serious injury or death. Most accidents involving a bicycle and a motor vehicle occur due to negligent motorists.
In addition to speeding and distracted driving, some common causes of bike accidents include:
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: Cyclists are entitled to the same rights as motor vehicle drivers, and they must both share the road, according to traffic laws. Drivers who do not yield right of way are in violation and may be held accountable for resulting damage and injuries.
- Failure to Stop: Sometimes, drivers do not come to a complete stop before proceeding across an intersection and then collide with a cyclist passing with the right of way. Also, cyclists may fail to come to a complete stop before riding across the intersection and passing in front of a car that has the right of way.
- The Right Cross: This happens when a car pulls out of a parking lot, driveway, or side street, and hits the cyclist on the right side. This usually occurs because the motorist does not see the cyclist until they have passed in front of their vehicle and it is too late.
- The Left Cross: This occurs when a vehicle makes a left turn in front of a cyclist, often striking the cyclist on the left side. The motorist may not see the cyclist or may misjudge his speed, causing them to collide as the motorist turns left at the intersection.
- The Right Hook: This usually occurs when a motor vehicle driver speeds up and cuts off a cyclist when making a right turn. The driver is often unaware that they have not passed with sufficient space, causing the cyclist to slam into the car when the driver makes the right turn.
When both motorists and cyclists remain aware of one another, and follow the rules of the road, the potential for accidents can be reduced.
Wilmington Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Bike Accident Victims in Personal Injury Claims
If you were injured in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, contact the knowledgeable Wilmington bicycle accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. We are experienced in handling all types of bicycle accident claims including those involving negligent motorists, defective roadways and unsafe bicycle equipment. Our attorneys handle claims throughout Delaware from our offices in Georgetown and Wilmington, including those in Dover, Sussex County, and New Castle County. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.