Traveling by bicycle is one of the most economical and convenient ways to get around. You don’t need to have a parking space outside your home or business, nor do you have to pay for fuel and vehicle-related costs. As an added advantage, you can remain fit and healthy while enjoying a practical mode of transport.
However, bicycling also carries its fair share of risks. Thousands of bicycle accidents are reported each year, and for some of these reasons listed below.
Distracted driving can be blamed for many vehicle collisions, and bicycle accidents are no exception. Any bicycle accident attorney you talk to would likely have been involved in the legal proceedings of a bicycle collision case involving an inattentive or distracted driver.
While a driver is busy changing the radio station, talking on their phone, or browsing social media, their focus isn’t always on the road. The small profile of cyclists on commuter bikes may also mean they are less visible to those same drivers.
In this instance, a cyclist may be well within their right to file a personal injury claim against that driver to cover their accident-related costs.
According to the World Health Organization, speed is a key risk factor in road traffic injuries. Not only does it influence the risk of an accident, but it can also determine the severity of the injuries resulting from it.
Vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists can be at an increased risk. They may have a 90% chance of survival when struck by a car traveling at 18 miles or below and a less than 50% chance of survival at just 28 miles. At 50 miles an hour, there is almost no chance of surviving an impact.
Turning Without Looking
The smaller profile of cyclists can mean that drivers who aren’t looking when they turn may not see them approaching. This can happen at intersections where vehicle operators may have a green light but must check for pedestrians and cyclists before turning.
Failure to Yield
Many cyclists choose to ride with the traffic because they feel safe, confident, and can generally keep up in residential areas and built-up cities. However, when approaching intersections, roundabouts, and merging lanes, they can sometimes find themselves at the mercy of vehicle drivers.
While vehicle operators understand that they have to yield to other drivers, they don’t always believe that the yielding requirement extends to cyclists. This may mean a cyclist, often rightfully assuming they have the right of way, ends up in a devastating accident.
Poor Road Conditions and Hazards
Not all bicycle accidents involve other drivers, even if the majority do. However, sometimes, the conditions of the road and road hazards are to blame. Some cyclists can be injured when they make contact with potholes, which can be the result of poor temporary repair work.
Sewer grates and trolley and rail tracks can also be hazardous for cyclists, especially if the grate bars are facing the same direction as the traffic. Fortunately, many cities and countries have provided partial coverage for these grates or changed the direction to prevent accidents.
Even with the best bike and most superior protective layers, accidents can still happen on the road. These bicycle accident causes above are just a few of the many that cyclists should be aware of when they venture out for a ride.
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