What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?

Bicycle accident lawyers are much like automobile accident attorneys, in that they build their cases around determining which vehicle operator is at fault. When motorists and riders collide, the result is usually much worse for the rider, as the difference in mass can throw a rider or wedge them under the car. In fact, 2010 saw more than half a million emergency room visits as a result of rider injuries. And this is just the injuries that have been reported to police or other authorities. The actual number is likely much higher. Many severe injuries result from colliding with a motor vehicle.

Bicycles are considered vehicles for the purposes for determining the right of way and other traffic regulations. This means that when a crash occurs between a motorist and a rider, most standard traffic regulations apply. The cyclist must have been following all traffic regulations at the time of the crash to have a chance at winning a settlement. This includes riding with traffic and not against it, signaling lane changes, stopping completely at stop signs, and observing all traffic signs.

Most Common Cause

The most common cause of rider and motorist crashes happens when one or the other fails to yield while at a stop sign. When a motorist collides with a rider, it is often because the motorist did not see the rider or misjudged their speed. If a motorist jets into an intersection in front of the rider, the rider may crash through a side window or run full force into the side of the vehicle.

Other Common Causes

Other common causes of rider and motorist crashes include the “left hook” and “right cross.” The left hook refers to motorists suddenly turning left in front of a rider, cutting them off and ramming them as a rider crosses an intersection. This is usually due to motorist negligence, as the driver may not have seen the rider or attempted to make a dangerous, quick turn in front of the rider. These can be some of the deadliest crashes, because they often involve a head-on collision.

A right cross occurs when a driver turns right in front of the bicyclist, cutting them off and either clipping them or ramming into them. A right cross is typically always the fault of the motorist, as the incident happens when a driver does not check their blind spots before turning.

Even though many of these cases involve clear divisions of liability, bicycle accident lawyers can be helpful when it comes to combating the defendant’s attorney. Defense attorneys will often try to paint the victim as partly responsible for the crash, and this can be enough to force the victim into a position of settling for less than they deserve.