Jan 2, 2019

Common Bicycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Child Run Over While Auto in Reverse
BMW runs over a bicycle with training wheels.

Riding bikes has been popular for a long time and is becoming a more accessible outdoor sport in the U.S. since it has cardiovascular health benefits. Riding has definite advantages, but there is also risk involved when riding on public roadways and trails where motor vehicles are in the same vicinity. Bicycle-motor vehicle accidents are not uncommon.

Accidents on the roadway happen daily, and being a bicyclist sharing the roads can increase the risk of danger. They are implementing these safety tips while riding will reduce injuries. When security measures fail, victims must obtain immediate and proper legal advice. The reputable law firm of Ehline Law Firm specializes in bicycle-related mishaps and is one phone call away.

What is the Bicycle Safety Stats?

One of the most common types of bicycle incidents involving adults are:

  1. When the front of the vehicle strikes the bike head-on, and,
  2. The less obvious scenario is with cars in reverse. In that case, the car the rider is unceremoniously run over while the vehicle is backing up. So this happens to children more than adults. Also, it is most common when vehicles back out of driveways.

Below are some methods to reduce the risk collisions.

  • Wearing a helmet and other protective gear can help avoid injury.
  • Installing a headlight on the bicycle and having one on the helmet. The bike headlight is best when it has a bright light with a flashing mode. Law does not require bicycle headlights. But these items can increase safety in low visibility or at night. Having a headlamp on the helmet can also decrease risks. This light helps because it also makes the rider more visible to motor vehicle drivers.
  • Bicycle horns or waving to a driver to make eye contact. This eye contact helps prevent accidents from happening where the driver reports they did not see the bicycle rider until it was too late.
  • Always ride in a bicycle lane or surface road when possible. By doing this, drivers can more easily spot the bicycle. And that makes it easier to keep a safe distance between the passing vehicle and rider. Moving to the left as far as possible makes it easier to avoid collisions with motor vehicles.

What are Some Crosswalk Dangers?

Other than the common pathway, or parkway, crosswalks are a hazardous area for bicyclists. And this remains one of the most common types of bicycle collisions Ehline Law Firm has seen.

What are Some Tips to Reduce Cross Walk Risks?

  • When going through a crosswalk, come to a complete stop. Then get off your bike and walk. It is a crosswalk, not a cross-ride. Get it? Also, this allows the rider to observe traffic for drivers making a turn or a motorist that may travel through the crosswalk without watching the pedestrian’s right-of-way.
  • Use the bicycle headlight to be more noticeable when riding at dusk, at night, or on days with poor visibility conditions.

What About Sidewalks and Parking Lot Dangers to Riders?

Avoid riding a bicycle on sidewalks, which may appear to be safer than riding on a roadway. It is a sidewalk for a reason. In fact, in most cities, riding on the sidewalk remains illegal. Also, it puts the rider at higher risk.

Vehicles can pull or back out of driveways. And cars parked on the street can open doors that can hit the bicyclist. Or they may create an obstruction that must be maneuvered around quickly. Riding a bicycle in a parking lot is hazardous for the rider. This hazard is because vehicles pulling in and out of the area may not see the bike or rider in time to avoid a collision.

The bicyclist often does not have a way to maneuver the bike to prevent the accident. Plus, garage floors are notoriously slippery for skinny bike rims and tires. In some instances, the bicyclist may be able to maneuver out of the path of the vehicle. But in doing so, the rider may be struck by another motorist. In this case, it remains possible that both drivers may be held responsible. But the driver that created the dangerous circumstances should be held accountable.

Staying safe while riding is getting more difficult is no easy task. Higher fuel costs are leading to more cyclists occupying the limited space available to regular riders and enthusiasts alike. Following these essential tips can help mitigate the risks of suffering at the hands of another.