When a negligent motorist causes an accident with a bicyclist, it's not surprising that the individual with the most serious injuries is the rider.
Aside from a helmet, he or she has no protection from being struck by a much larger vehicle.
Without a helmet, traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries are more common.
In 2016, 840 bicyclists were killed in accidents with motor vehicles and nearly 500,000 suffered injuries—some critical. Fortunately, bike riders may be entitled to financial recovery from the at-fault driver.
Driving Errors Are a Leading Cause of Bike Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports in the latest data that more than 70 percent of bicyclist fatalities happen in urban areas. And nearly 20 percent of collisions occur between 3:00 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. In nearly half of all incidents, the cyclist "came in contact" with the front of a light truck—the most common type of vehicle involved in bike accidents.
Unfortunately, a 2017 Orlando Sentinel news story shares NHTSA data from 2015 which indicates Florida ranked first among states with the most pedalcyclist fatalities.
The top five causes for these accidents include:
- Speeding. Traveling at high speeds compromises control and reaction. An unsuspecting bicyclist can suffer catastrophic injuries due to the force of the impact during the collision.
- Distracted driving. Drivers must pay more attention in order to see much less visible bicycles. When they're texting, talking on a cellphone, looking at GPS, or fiddling with instrument controls, they lose visual, manual, and cognitive defensive driving abilities. In addition, distracted cyclists are on the rise, which contributes to the problem.
- Failure to yield. Many accidents are caused by motorists failing to yield at stop signs, in a street lane, and at intersections where the bicyclist has the right-of-way. "Dooring" is also a problem, which is when someone opens a car door in the path of a cyclist traveling either in the bike lane or the street adjacent to the parked vehicle.
- Intoxication. An impaired driver has reduced vision and reaction time, increasing the likelihood that he won't see a bicycle or have the ability to quickly react to avoid a collision.
- Weather. Drivers must take precautions for all weather conditions, such as ice, rain, and fog. Failure to accommodate compromises in visibility and road conditions puts both the motorist and cyclist at risk.
Contact Us If You Were Injured in a Bike Accident
Our experienced bike accident attorneys are ready to collect the evidence you need to prove the negligent driver caused your bike accident and to fight for the compensation you deserve. Fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to get your questions answered and learn more about legal options.