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Causes of Bicycle Accidents and How to Protect Yourself

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Riding a bicycle is a fun way to get from Point A to Point B. It’s also a good way to get some much-needed exercise. However, bike riding is not without its dangers.

Bicyclists are vulnerable to the various dangers on the roadway.  Bikes are much smaller than passenger vehicles. Plus, a bicyclist has little protection in the event of a crash. Because of this, it is not uncommon for bike riders to suffer serious and even disabling injuries. Many are even killed in bike crashes.

In 2017, 783 bicyclists were killed in accidents in the United States. There are two main types of bicycle crashes: falls and collisions with motor vehicles. Crashes involving cars and bicycles tend to be more serious.

What Causes Bike Accidents?

There are several ways in which bicycle crashes happen:

  1. Inattention. Distracted driving is a common issue, even among bicyclists. A bike rider may be looking at their phone or GPS and hit a pothole or a vehicle. In some cases, the motorists is the one who is distracted, causing them to not see the bicycle in front of them.
  2. Not obeying traffic laws. Bicyclists are bound by the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. Therefore, they should stop at stop signs or red lights. They should let other vehicles know when they plan to turn. Otherwise, they can get hit by a car and possibly killed.
  3. Speeding. Bicycles are susceptible to many dangers on the roadway. Rain, debris, potholes, oil slicks and roadkill can all cause a bicyclist to skid or lose control. It is important to be on the lookout for these hazards and be prepared to slow down.

Bicycle Safety

One of the first rules of bicycle safety is to wear a helmet. Putting on a helmet can drastically reduce your risk of head injury or death in a crash.

Make sure your bike is in good working order before taking off. Are there any flat tires? Do the brakes work? Is your bike at the right height? A bike that is too tall or short can make riding difficult.

Avoid riding at night, when visibility is poor. If you must ride that time of night, wear bright, reflective clothing and make sure your bike has lights and reflectors so you can be easily seen.

Stay on the streets and go with the flow of traffic. Follow all traffic laws and signals. Avoid riding on sidewalks, since you could hit a pedestrian. Stay alert at all times. Avoid using your phone or listening to music, which can distract you.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today 

A car accident can affect a person for a long time. A crash can lead to medical bills, time off work, pain and suffering, and other damages. Uninsured motorist insurance can protect you financially so you can focus on healing.

The experienced West Palm Beach bicycle accident lawyers at Pike & Lustig, LLP can help you fight against the insurance company, which will try to devalue your case. We are not afraid to fight for your rights in court. We have offices in West Palm Beach and Miami to serve you. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call 561-291-8298.

Resource:

nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety

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