Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1,000 bicyclists died as a result of crashes with motor vehicles in the United States. Approximately 467,000 bicyclists experienced non-fatal injuries. Only one percent of all trips in the United States are made by bicycle, but bicyclists at a higher risk of injury or death than occupants of motor vehicles. The lifetime medical costs and additional losses incurred from motor vehicle and bicycle crashes amounted to $10 billion in 2010.
Often there is a misconception that the bicyclist was to blame in a crash, which does happen occasionally. However, in over half of bike crashes, the vehicle driver is at fault. Our Louisiana bicycle accident lawyer wants you to be aware of the common causes of bicycle accidents with cars.
Distracted Driving or Riding
Drivers that look away from the road while texting or making a phone call might not see a bicyclist crossing the street or traveling in traffic. But it is not only drivers that can suffer distraction. Bicyclists can be distracted too by texting on their phones or wearing headphones that impede their hearing.
Riding Too Close
In Louisiana, drivers are required to maintain at least three feet of space between a bicycle and their vehicles. Bicyclists should always be aware of how much space they have because not all cars will yield to allow space. In some circumstances, it may be safe to stay to a shoulder or sidewalk instead of the right edge of the road if space is tight.
Traveling Too Fast
Speeding cars cannot always stop in time for a bike rider who suddenly veers into a lane or unexpectedly crosses the street. Bicyclists could also travel too fast for road conditions, traffic or bad weather conditions that could affect their ability to control their bike.
Opening Car Doors
Drivers opening car doors after parking on the side of the street can cause an unsafe condition for bicyclists. Before opening a car door, a driver should look to make sure there are no bicycles coming from behind or in front of the vehicle. Bicyclists should also exercise caution when passing parked vehicles.
Cars Entering Street
A bicyclist can never assume that a driver sees them approaching as they back out or pull out of a driveway, parking lot or across a sidewalk. Because space is usually limited in these areas, a driver or bicyclist may not be able to react in time to try to avoid a crash.
Merging Lanes or Turning in an Intersection
A bicyclist must observe the rules of the road, and that means staying to the right side of the road unless they are making a turn. Because bicycles don’t come with turning signals, oncoming and drivers coming up from behind cannot always anticipate that a bicyclist is turning.
Reduce Your Risk of Injury
As a responsible bicyclist, you always need to follow the rules of the road and be aware of your surroundings. While you cannot control the actions of drivers on the road, you can take steps to protect yourself from injury by:
- Keeping a safe distance from vehicles on the road.
- Wearing a bike helmet every time you ride your bike.
- Dressing in bright or reflective clothing, especially at night.
- Installing front and rear lights on your bicycle.
- Signaling when making turns or stops.
- Do not ride and text.
Contact a Louisiana Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today!
If involved in a motor vehicle crash, you could suffer serious injuries. The cost for treating those injuries and loss of income during your recovery will quickly add up. You need a Louisiana bicycle accident lawyer who will aggressively fight for your right to compensation.
Get the help you need with the personal injury attorneys from Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys. Someone is available to take your call 24-hours day, 7 days a week to take your call. Call (504) 345-1111 today to schedule your free consultation. There is no cost to you unless they win your case.