Six Common Causes of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Even though riding a bicycle offers numerous health benefits not offered by driving cars, the risk of severe injuries might make many people think twice. In 2012, 49,000 bicyclists suffered injuries in the U.S. Nearly one-third of those accidents involved crashes with motor vehicles. This may explain why our Charlotte bike accident attorneys have noticed that riders and motorists seem to lose more respect for each other each year.
Considering that two-wheels provide little stability on vehicles that provide no rider protection, it is not surprising that bicycles are prone to a number of different types of accidents. Knowing how bicycle accidents happen can help riders stay safer on the road.
Identifying the Six Most Frequent Sources of Bicyclist Injuries
In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration surveyed riders across the nation to gain trip information, as well as perceptions and attitudes pertaining to a variety of issues. The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center reports the six most common causes of accidents are:
- Motor vehicle collisions: This is the most frequent source of injury, representing 29 percent of all accidents. Other data indicates that these collisions are more common in urban areas.
- Falls: Falls make up 17 percent of all bicycle accidents. Riders are susceptible to falls, which is not surprising, considering the instability of their vehicles.
- Poor roadway or walkway maintenance: Anything from a pothole to any type of unleveled surface can cause riders to lose control. These accidents represent 13 percent of the total.
- Rider error or inattention: At 13 percent of total bike accidents, it is clear that riders need to pay close attention during their trips. Riders are encouraged to put phones away and keep their ears open to roadway sounds rather than music.
- Crashes or collisions: The good news is that only 7 percent of bicyclists crash into other objects. However, bicyclists need to remain watchful for unexpected obstructions in front of them — particularly those that may not be within their direct field of vision.
- Dogs: Even responsible dog owners who keep their pets on-leash can be surprised by a sudden escape, and abandoned dogs abound throughout the U.S. Only 4 percent of bicycle accidents involve dogs. Still, riders need to be aware that dogs can be dangerous. These accidents can easily be complicated by dog bites.
Being Safe is Better Than Being Right
North Carolina law requires bicyclists to adhere to most of the traffic laws followed by motorists. Even when motorists are in the wrong, a dent on a bumper is no match for the severe injuries sustained by riders.
Our bike accident lawyers have great respect for cyclists who carefully ride in accordance with the law. However, we strongly recommend that riders take defensive measures on the road. By assuming that all motorists do not see them, regardless of the law, bicyclists can be much safer on the road.
In the event that an accident happens, we encourage injury victims to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Call us at 800-948-0577, or use our convenient online contact form to learn how to proceed with a claim.