In recent years, there has been an emphasis on bicyclist safety. Even so, bicycle accidents still happen with great frequency.
Bike accidents happen for various reasons, but regardless of the cause, these accidents often result in serious, life-threatening injuries. If you have suffered harm in a bicycle collision, do not hesitate to discuss your situation with a qualified bicycle accident attorney.
What Is a Bicycle Accident?
A bike accident is an accident involving a bicycle, often resulting in injury to the bicyclist. Bicycle accidents can occur as a result of automobile driver or bicycle rider negligence, but they can also arise from defects in the road or hazardous construction zones.
Cyclists are prone to serious injury in bicycle accidents, as bikes provide no safety or protection. Unless a bicyclist is wearing protective gear, they are subject to substantial harm.
If you suffer injuries in a bike accident with an automobile, you may have options to pursue compensation. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file an injury claim under the at-fault driver’s insurance or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Either option allows you to pursue monetary recovery to cover your losses.
The Most Common Causes of a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents happen for several different reasons. Some of the most common causes of bike accidents include the following.
Aggressive driving encompasses many types of risky behaviors, including tailgating (following the vehicle in front too closely), brake checking (braking suddenly to scare the rear driver), and weaving quickly in between lanes of traffic.
This type of driving is common, and it can easily cause accidents, including bicycle accidents. When a driver is operating their vehicle aggressively, they’re less likely to see a bicycle rider in time to avoid a collision.
Failure to Yield
Knowing when to yield is critical. States provide laws regarding yielding to promote safety on the road among drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
When a vehicle’s driver fails to yield as they should, they increase their chances of hitting bicyclists and causing extensive injuries.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Dangerous lane changes are even riskier when bicycles share the road with vehicles. When a driver engages in unsafe lane changes, they quickly and without warning cut in front of vehicles, typically in an effort to progress more quickly in traffic.
When bicycles are on the road, drivers must pay closer attention and consider their actions, like changing lanes, instead of simply going for it without looking. Not only can unsafe lane changes cause bicycle accidents, but they can also cause vehicle collisions.
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous causes of all kinds of accidents, including bicycle accidents. Common distractions include all of the following:
- Manual Distractions: Eating, grooming, playing with the radio, dealing with children and pets
- Visual Distractions: Texting, choosing a different song, looking for a fallen object within the vehicle
- Cognitive Distractions: Daydreaming, talking on the phone, driving while sleepy or fatigued
When a driver becomes distracted, even for a few seconds, accidents are more likely to occur, especially when they are driving at high speeds.
Running Red Lights/Stop Signs
At red lights and stop signs, you must come to a complete stop until either the light changes to green or you’ve made sure it’s safe to proceed through the intersection.
If a driver fails to stop at a red light or stop sign and a bike rider is riding through, the driver can hit the biker and cause significant injury.
Dangerous Turns Can Cause A Bicycle Accident
Both left and right turns require drivers to pay close attention, as bicycles may quickly ride through the street onto which the driver is attempting to turn.
When making a left turn, drivers must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. If a driver only pays attention to the cars driving through, they may not notice a bicycle crossing the street until it’s too late.
While bicycle accidents don’t happen as frequently with right turns, drivers must still look to make sure no bicyclists are attempting to cross the street before completing their turn.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal, as it can easily cause accidents resulting in injuries and sometimes even death. An impaired driver is more likely to make risky decisions while at the wheel and engage in dangerous driving behaviors.
Driving while fatigued can actually produce many of the same cognitive effects as driving under the influence. Drivers who are tired or sleepy suffer from impaired decision-making and slow reaction times. Additionally, fatigued drivers risk falling asleep behind the wheel and losing control of their vehicle.
Bicycles share the road with vehicles, whether on bike lanes or on the streets. A defect in the road, like broken asphalt or large holes, may not cause cars and trucks any trouble, as these vehicles rest on four large tires and absorb shock well.
Bicycles rest on two small tires and are more fragile, so road defects can easily cause a bicycle accident and injuries to bicyclists.
Road construction could potentially pose a danger for bicycle riders. This is especially true when there is a lack of proper signage, as bicyclists may not notice present hazards in time to redirect themselves.
There are common types of bicycle accidents because of these reasons.
After a Bicycle Accident, Consult with an Experienced Attorney
If you’re injured in a bicycle accident, you don’t have to handle your injury claim alone. The Baltimore personal injury lawyer at The Joel Bieber Firm has the knowledge and skills necessary to provide aggressive representation and pursue the fair compensation you need and deserve.
As soon as you are able, contact our office to schedule your complimentary consultation.