In the United States, many people ride bicycles for transportation, exercise, and enjoyment. People who operate motor vehicles must share the road and follow the same traffic laws as bicyclists. Wearing the proper protective gear is one way many bicyclists attempt to remain safe while on the road. Unfortunately, riders are injured every day due to the negligent driving of people in automobiles.
Bike Accident Statistics
The following bicycle accident statistics are summarized from various sources, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Children’s Safety Network, and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
Bicyclists are at risk of severe injuries daily when they ride their bikes on the road. Bicyclists who have been involved in an accident with an automobile may sustain serious physical injuries, including head and brain trauma, fractured bones, internal bleeding, cuts and bruises, and spinal cord injury. The following are bicycle accident statistics for the U.S.:
- Approximately 1 million children suffer injuries in bicycle accidents each year.
- Every 6 hours, a bicycle rider is fatally injured.
- Almost 50% of bicycle-related fatalities occur in people under 16.
- Head injuries cause 75% of all serious injuries and fatalities in bicycle accidents.
Are Negligent Drivers Responsible for a Bicycle Collision?
Many bicycle riders suffer serious injuries from motor vehicle operators who drive unsafely and do not treat bicyclists with the courtesy they deserve. There is no contest between a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds and an individual on a bike. In addition to being struck by a motor vehicle, many bicyclists suffer injuries when struck by an opening car door.
Drivers must be observant while operating their vehicles and share the road with bicyclists. While many cities have designated bicycle lanes, drivers still do not give bicyclists the respect and courtesy to ride safely. If you are a bicyclist who has been involved in an accident with an automobile, you need to hire a skilled attorney.
All people involved in an accident (bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers) must stay at the scene to discuss the situation with the proper authorities. If the negligent driver who hit you leaves the scene of the accident, you have been the victim of a hit-and-run. Hit-and-run accidents are serious crimes in Texas, and all hit-and-run drivers face harsh legal penalties.
What Should I Do After a Bike Accident?
The following is a list of essential things that you should do after being involved in a bicycle accident:
- Call 911 to report the bicycle accident.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you have been struck by a vehicle or car door, and check with a medical professional to ensure you are all right, even if you do not notice any immediate injuries.
- Ensure that a police report is filed regarding the bicycle accident.
- Make sure that you get the contact information of the driver who was involved in the accident, including his or her name, address, date of birth, and insurance information.
- Get contact information, such as name and phone number, from any accident witnesses.
- If you have a camera with you, take pictures of the accident scene, damages to your bicycle, and any visible injuries you suffered.
What causes bicycle accidents?
Those who operate motor vehicles are responsible for safely navigating the roads they share with cyclists. It is unfortunate that in most bicycle accidents, the negligence of a motor vehicle driver is the direct cause of bicycle accidents.
Common driver errors include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Pulling out of a driveway or parking lot in front of a bicyclist
- Failing to yield
- Ignoring a traffic signal or sign
- Opening a car door in front of a bicyclist
- Merging into the path of a bicyclist
- Forcing a cyclist off the road
Cyclist errors include:
- Failing to yield
- Merging or turning into the path of a motorist
- Not wearing protective safety gear
Environmental factors also contribute to bicycle accidents:
- Dangerous road conditions
- Poor lighting
- Potholes, road debris, or tree branches
- Dog attacks
Bike Accident FAQs
Question: Can I file a lawsuit for my bicycle accident?
Answer: If you were injured due to the negligence of another party while riding your bicycle, you could file a lawsuit against the negligent party to recover damages for your property and injuries – both physical and emotional.
Question: Who are the negligent parties that I can sue?
Answer: Negligence can be caused by several different parties:
- Negligent drivers
- Negligent manufacturers, retailers, or distributors of bicycles, bicycle parts, and bicycle accessories
- Negligent City, County, or State entities who are responsible for maintaining safe roadways
- Negligent repair shops
- Negligent property owners
Question: Why do I need a lawyer?
Answer: An experienced Bay Area bicycle accident attorney can investigate your case and determine which parties are responsible for your injuries. The skilled bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Office of Joel A. Levine are recognized leaders in personal injury litigation because we are committed to aggressively protecting our client’s rights. We get results by obtaining the maximum compensation package possible for our clients to have the best possible outcome.
Question: What are some of the causes of bicycle accidents?
Answer: Bicycle accidents can be caused by negligent motorists, environmental factors, such as unsafe road conditions, or even dog attacks.
Question: What are some precautions that bicyclists can take?
Answer: Bicyclists need to take some precautions to ensure their safety while riding a bike:
- Always wear a helmet. This is absolutely necessary and will save your life if you are involved in an accident.
- Wear a reflective or brightly colored shirt or jacket to ensure that motorists will see you.
- Abide by all traffic laws, using bike lanes whenever possible.
- If you are involved in an accident, ensure you get all contact information from the motorist and witnesses. Please take pictures of the scene of the accident, and contact our Central Texas personal injury law firm as soon as possible. Do not talk to any insurance company or accept any settlement. You may not know the extent of your injuries immediately after your accident.