Common Causes of Bike Accidents

Bike accidents involving motor vehicles don’t just end with damaged property. They often end with a cyclist in critical condition and a motorist at fault. Yet, many people still assume that cyclists should shoulder the blame. However, we know better. 

Thanks to recent studies, we know that most bike accidents actually result from a motorist’s negligent driving. To learn more about how these accidents occur and how you can avoid them while riding, continue reading below. 

Are Bikes Safer Than Cars?

Unsurprisingly, the portion of people in favor of riding bikes as a healthier alternative to driving cars, is growing. Bikes don’t leave a stain on our environment and certainly lead to a healthier body. However, there’s one thing that’s somewhat unclear. 

Are bikes safe to ride in a world with over 1.4 billion motor vehicles? 

In short, the answer is: not quite

According to a study from 2007

  • You’re over twice as likely to die riding a bike than a car. 
  • Riding a bike is 500 times more fatal than a bus. 

And that’s not all. Riding a bike is not as healthy as we all originally thought. Colorado State University discovered cyclists inhale far more pollution than motorists due to their labored breathing and long commute. 

Now, while the studies may be new and shocking to you, you likely already knew that riding is dangerous. So, this information should not change much. However, it does illustrate the need to take a few more precautions before heading out next time.

Who are the victims of bicycling accidents

Who Are the Victims of Bicycling Accidents?

Thankfully, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can give us insight here. According to their study from May 2015

  • The average age of cyclists killed in bike accidents is 44, nationwide. 
  • 83 percent of the cyclists were male. 
  • 68 percent of the deaths were in urban areas.
  • The majority of these bike accidents occurred in a three-hour span– 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

From our research, bike accidents occur for a few reasons_What Are Most Bike Accidents Caused By?

The most common cause of bike accidents is motorists striking a cyclist with their vehicle, according to NHTSA. However, that’s not the information we need. The real information you need as a cyclist is why motorists often strike cyclists. 

From our research, bike accidents occur for a few reasons: 

  • Distracted driving: This is undoubtedly one of the most common causes of accidents in general. According to the CDC, over 424,000 people were injured by distracted drivers in 2019. And one in five of those people were either walking, riding a bike or otherwise outside of a vehicle.   
  • Following too close: A significant portion of bike accidents stem from drivers following cyclists within less than three feet. At such a close distance, neither the motorist nor the cyclist can avoid an accident, should something happen. 
  • Cyclist fails to stop at lights/ signs: Even though motorists should be careful, cyclists need to obey traffic laws. A cyclist failing to follow the traffic laws is not only illegal, but it’s also likely to cause an accident. As a cyclist and a motorist, it’s your duty to share the road and stop whenever necessary. 

If you were recently involved in a bike accident, either as a driver or a cyclist, contact Sandel Law Firm. We can ensure you have the necessary support to move forward.

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