Most Common Causes of Bike Accidents

Bike accidents are extremely common in urban areas, with 75% of serious bike-related injuries taking place in these areas. Urban areas and cities have large numbers of motor vehicles that must share the road with bicyclists. Seventy-five percent of all accidents involving car-bike collision occur at, or near, roadway junctions. Intersections and junctions where vehicles re-enter main roads pose significant threat, caused in most part by failing to scan the road properly. If you’ve been injured in an accident, a bike accident lawyer can assist you with building a personal injury case.

Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end accidents are a common occurrence when bicyclists share the road with motor vehicles, most commonly caused by drunk or distracted drivers. This type of accident involves a car hitting a bicyclist from behind, causing considerable damage to the bike-rider. These collisions often eject the rider from their seat, causing bodily impact when they hit the ground, or another nearby structure.

Riders can prevent rear-end accidents by utilizing proper illumination equipment when operating their bikes in low visibility. Additionally, bikers should not ride directly next to the curb. Bike-visibility increases when a rider travels within six inches of the white line denoting a bike or shoulder lane. This distance maintains safety and keeps car drivers alert to a biker’s presence.

The Right Cross

The right cross happens at right-hand junctions where a car enters a roadway. Vehicles commonly pull out of driveways, side streets, and parking lots without scanning the entire road first. Sometimes, cars hit bicyclists who have already pulled into the junction and possess right-of-way. This is often a case of driver negligence, as bike riders who are already passing in front of a junction entrance should be visible to all drivers.

Anticipating cars pulling out into junctions can prevent these accidents on the bicyclist’s part. Though it might not seem fair, sometimes bike riders must prepare themselves for the negligent actions of car drivers to prevent serious injury. When in the junction, bikers should make eye contact and obtain the driver’s attention immediately, pulling out further to the left to create more space between bike and car.

The Left Cross

The left cross illustrates in accident in which the vehicle is in a left-turn lane. While completing their turn, the driver strikes a bicyclist who is using the adjacent cross walk. This can be the fault of the driver or bicyclist if either party does not pay attention. For example, a biker crossing the street without a traffic signal’s prompt might surprise a driver performing a protected left turn. Conversely, yielded left-turns are often at the mercy of oncoming traffic, which could cause impulsive accidents even though the biker has right-of-way.

To prevent this, bicyclists should ride on roadways rather than using sidewalks to cross intersections. Bikers should also ensure they are fully visible to all drivers while waiting their turn to cross.

The Right Hook

The right hook is an accident that occurs when a vehicle and a bicycle both attempt to make a right-hand turn at the same time. Bicyclists can legally ride close to the right-side curb, so in situations where a car turns right at the same time as a bike, accidents can happen if the car tries to overtake the bicycle or doesn’t see the bicyclist signaling.

Riders can prevent right hook accidents by riding closer to the left-hand side of a car lane when they intend to turn. Riding too close to the turning vehicle could position you in their blind spots, making them think you intend to continue riding straight. Remaining close to the left side of a lane also gives you room to swerve if a car the car behind the rider does try to overtake them.

The Door Prize

The door prize simply involves drivers opening their doors without looking, causing a biker to slam into the open door. Bikers can avoid hitting open car doors by driver-side doors by riding on the left-hand side of the lane.

Bike accidents can pose serious injury, and even fatality, to those involved. Bikers don’t ride with any form of protection outside of helmets, making them especially susceptible to accident-related to injuries even if the car driver walks away without damage.