Five Most Common Bicycle Crashes and How to Avoid Them

Bicycle Crashes

Bicycle Crashes
Biking is a cost-effective means of transportation. It’s also a great way to stay active, and it’s a fun form of exercise. However, cycling poses hazardous risks when sharing the roads with motorists and can lead to bicycle crashes. In fact, over 800 bikers are killed in traffic accidents due to driver inattention each year. Therefore, it’s important for bikers to stay alert and watch out for reckless drivers. Here are the most common bicycle crashes and how to avoid them. 


Motor Vehicle Bicycle Crashes

The leading cause of injuries to bicyclists involves collisions with motor vehicles, such as cars, trucks, or even motorcycles. Most of these bike accidents occur because of driver inattention, drunk driving, or failure to obey traffic laws.

A common misconception is who has the right of way. This leads to many bicycle crashes, involving drivers who illegally drive through crosswalks, cut into bike lanes, and speed past bike riders. Common motor vehicle traffic violations include:

  • Speeding
  • Texting and driving
  • Driving too close to bike riders
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Making illegal turns

If a driver’s violation results in a bike accident, a bicycle accident attorney may argue that a driver’s carelessness caused the accident. If the court agrees, they will hold the driver liable for the incident. 


Accidents With Parked Vehicles

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Getting hit by or colliding with a swinging car door is a common bike accident. This usually happens when a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle suddenly opens their car door without looking for an approaching bicyclist. 

To avoid this type of incident, bike riders should exercise caution when driving alongside parked cars. Ride at least two to three feet away from the vehicles. Additionally, cyclists can look for certain signs that someone is about to exit a car. For example, a car that just parked and whose taillights have just turned off is one indicator.


Alley and Parking Garage Accidents

When a vehicle pulls out from an alley or a parking garage, the driver may have a minimal line of sight. Drivers pulling out from these areas must exercise extra caution to watch for pedestrians or bikers. However, this is not always done.

To avoid these types of bicycle crashes, ride on the main road and not on the sidewalk. This makes bicyclists more visible to motorists.  Of course, drivers also have the responsibility to proceed cautiously and check for traffic before pulling out from a parking garage or alley. However, it’s best for bike riders to ride defensively and not assume that drivers have seen them.


Rear-End Collision With Bicyclists 

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Rear-end collisions happen when motorists fail to maintain the proper distance between their vehicle and a bicyclist who is in front of them. Therefore, if the biker breaks abruptly or if the driver accidentally accelerates on the gas pedal, a rear-end collision occurs. 

Drivers have the responsibility to avoid tailgating any type of vehicle ahead of them, especially those without protective barriers or shielding–like bicyclists and motorcyclists. 

With most rear-end crashes, the driver who hits the bicyclist is often at fault for the incident. However, cyclists can help avoid rear-end accidents by wearing reflective clothing. Additionally, installing LED lights on bikes improves visibility.


Right-Turn Collisions

There are several different ways that an accident can occur when a car makes a right turn at an intersection. 

Cyclists riding parallel to a vehicle is one of the most common. Sometimes, the driver doesn’t see the neighboring bicyclist and proceeds to turn right, resulting in a crash. Other times, a bicyclist may slowly approach the vehicle, falling within the driver’s blind spot.

In most of these situations, the motorist will be held liable for the incident. Regardless, cyclists can take measures to reduce their chances of a collision. For instance, a biker can prepare for sudden stops from preceding vehicles by keeping a safe distance behind them.

If a cyclist notices that there are slower vehicles in the road, especially in the right lane, it is best to slow down and match the car’s pace. If you need to pass the driver, try to pass them on the left instead of the right, especially when in a residential neighborhood or at an intersection. 


Common Injuries in Bicycle Crashes

Speed plays a critical role in the severity of the injuries bicyclists sustain in an accident. If a cyclist or the car driver are both going at great speeds, there is a higher chance that the cyclist will sustain severe injuries. The biker’s age can also play a critical role in analyzing the extent and nature of their injuries and damages. Common cyclist injuries:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Friction burns
  • Paralysis

Depending on the severity of the impact, cyclists often suffer from fractures that may require surgery. Certain surgeries may leave a person with partial disabilities. 


Injury Attorney for Bicycle Crashes

personal injury attorney

Bicycle crashes happen frequently, leaving many seriously injured. Cyclists and drivers of motor vehicles who violate the right-of-way rules could be found liable for the damage caused.

This means that if the cyclist is hurt due to the negligence of a motorist, the driver could face a personal injury lawsuit for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, and injuries sustained by the cyclist. 

If you are a bicycle crash victim and need proper representation from a bicycle accident attorney, contact Alpha Accident Lawyers today. We offer a 100% free consultation and are available to assist 24/7.



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