Compassionate Legal Support When You Need It Most
Compassionate Legal Support When You Need It Most

What are the common causes of bicycle-car accidents?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Personal Injury

Cycling offers an affordable transportation option, regular exercise, and a way to reduce one’s carbon footprint. However, sharing the road with larger vehicles comes with inherent dangers and accidents can sometimes lead to severe injuries. Here are some leading causes of bicycle crashes to help you stay safe and alert on your next ride.

Drunk driving

Similar to motor vehicle accidents, drunk driving is the leading cause of accidents among cyclists on the road. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that driving under the influence is responsible for 34% of cyclist fatalities across the country.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving is a significant threat to cyclists, and Maryland is no exception. Drivers texting, talking on the phone or simply not paying attention can easily miss cyclists in their blind spots. This can lead to devastating accidents, especially when drivers fail to yield the right of way at intersections or suddenly change lanes.

Dooring accidents

Dooring accidents are common yet easily preventable. When a parked motorist opens their car door without checking for oncoming traffic, a cyclist can collide with the door, often leading to serious injuries. Likewise, drivers failing to give cyclists enough space when passing can cause accidents, particularly on narrow roads.

Turning issues

Left turn accidents are another leading cause of bicycle crashes. Drivers turning left often misjudge the speed and presence of cyclists, leading to collisions. Similarly, right-turning drivers may not see cyclists attempting to pass on the right, causing accidents.

Other environmental hazards

Infrastructure and weather can present unexpected dangers for cyclists. Potholes, debris, and uneven pavement can cause cyclists to lose control and crash. Additionally, weather conditions like rain, snow, or reduced visibility can significantly increase the risk of accidents.

The League of American Bicyclists lists Maryland as the 14th bicycle-friendly state in America. Unfortunately, accidents are still prevalent. Over 600 cyclists are injured annually despite Maryland recognizing bicycles as proper vehicles, in the same way as cars or trucks. Due to this, authorities encourage cyclists to be alert and wear helmets and proper cycling gear, especially when riding at night.

Sharing the road is a responsibility for both drivers and cyclists. If you are injured by a vehicle while cycling, you have the right to file for a personal injury claim. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a legal professional who may help assess your case and navigate the litigation process.