10 Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

July 10, 2020

Bicycle accidents can happen at the most inopportune time. And, as many Boston bicycle accident attorneys will tell you, they often result in serious injuries. These can happen for a great variety of reasons, and most of these are caused by the fault of a driver. This can include changing lanes without proper indication, using cell phones, driving too close to other cars, and not paying attention to the presence of cyclists while executing maneuvers.

Whether you are accustomed to riding your bike for regular exercise, the daily commute, or as a sport, you must face the risks involved with coasting around the roads and highways. Cyclists are entitled to enjoy the same rights and privileges on the open road as a regular car, and it is no secret that cyclists take major risks not shared with other motorists. From other drivers riding close on the cyclist’s rear tire or making maneuvers that place cyclists at great risk, it often feels that other drivers treat cyclists as second-class citizens.

For cyclists who have been injured in a collision, the injuries can be devastating and take significant time and costly medical attention to treat. These injuries can also be especially painful and cause life-long pain and suffering, not to mention the threat of mobility and functionality issues that can also last a lifetime.

The good news is that you are not required to face the burden of serious injury and financial strain on your own. If you are serious about obtaining the full measure of compensation you are entitled to by the law, it is essential to contact one of the bicycle accident attorneys in your area that knows how to handle bicycle related accidents. 

The cause of the accident is the most important point that must be established in a personal injury or bicycle accident case. This is because the insurance company providing coverage to the at-fault driver will not make a payout unless it is proven that their policy holder is truly at fault for the accident.

Being hit by a car does not necessarily mean the driver was to blame for the accident. You need to establish that the actions taken by the driver in question were negligent and this negligence was responsible for your various injuries.

So, how do you go about proving that your injuries were caused by the negligence of a driver? Here are some of the most common reasons that a driver is to blame in an accident with a cyclist.

1. Distracted Driving

By far the most common cause of accidents on the road, distracted driving is also the primary reason a cyclist will be hit in an accident. In this day of instant communication, talking or texting on a cell phone can cause a driver to become unaware of their surroundings even for a brief moment. Other reasons for distracted driving include eating, checking social media, or applying makeup.

2. Failing to Leave an Adequate Buffer

Another common cause of a bicycle accident is a driver who tails the cyclist too closely, which is less than three feet according to safe driving guidelines. Not only does this place the cyclist at great risk, it minimizes the options that are available to avoid a collision if necessary.

3. Speeding

Speeding increases the potential for an accident by decreasing the time needed to make an abrupt stop as well as limiting possibilities to avoid an accident. While high-speed accidents seriously increase the possibilities for a bad accident, serious injury and death can result from slow speed accidents as well.

4. Weaving Through Traffic

Drivers who are moving quickly through lanes of traffic can accidently strike an unseen cyclist sharing the lane. They are also less likely to be able to make a safe maneuver that will allow them to avoid such an accident. These drivers will often drift in and out of lanes including cyclist lanes along the side of the road.

5. Unsafe Lane Changes

Even when not weaving, drivers not exercising caution can make unsafe lane change that could be especially dangerous. Bicycle accidents often involve a driver changing lane without the proper signaling or checking to see if a cyclist has cleared the area before making the change.

6. Turning Without Looking

Even though the light has signaled green, many intersections require that the driver check that cyclists and pedestrians have cleared the area before crossing the road. Failure to do so can result in an unexpected collision.

7. Running a Red Light or Stop Sign

Another common cause of accidents involving a bicycle is running stop signs and crossing intersections before the light has changed from red to green. This is as dangerous in the middle of a big city as it is in calm suburban areas. Drivers running a stop sign or red light always run the risk of an accident, but if they do so without checking for a cyclist passing by, the dangers can be catastrophic.

8. Failure to Yield

Another very reckless action that can cause extensive damage and injuries is failing to yield at a crosswalk or other situation that calls for extreme caution before proceeding. This is especially common at roundabouts but can also happen in intersections and when merging into another lane.

9. Impaired Driving

Many people think that having 1 or 2 drinks and then getting behind the wheel of a car is fine as long as the cops don’t catch you. But in all truth, driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances can make the driver unaware of their environment and increase the likelihood of an accident.

10. Driver Fatigue

The risks of getting into an accident are significantly increased when driving while fatigued. This is one of the lesser known causes of crashes, and to be frank, the risks are on par with driving under the influence. Drivers who leave to work before they are in full control of their senses or driving late at night after many hours awake have the potential of causing accidents because they didn’t see a cyclist in plain view, right in front of them.

Contact the Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Michael Kelly

You will need a legal professional experienced in personal injury law if you hope to build a strong claim that will be honored by the insurance providers. Call the law offices of Michael Kelly to arrange a meeting and speak with one of bicycle accident attorneys about your best course of action. Protecting your interests and getting you the compensation you deserve is our highest priority. Call our personal injury law firm in Boston today to get the process started.

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Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.