What are the Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents?

Posted on June 8, 2024 in Bicycle Accident

Every day, bicyclists take to the streets, either using their bikes to commute or for exercise. While a wonderful form of transportation, bicyclists experience many dangers while riding on busy streets. Accidents can cause severe, life-threatening injuries.

If you’re involved in a bicycle collision, get help from a qualified bike accident attorney. A lawyer can investigate your crash, protect your rights as an injured victim, and fight diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.

Are Bicycle Accidents Common?

What are the Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are common and happen more frequently than they should. Because of the lack of safety for cyclists, these collisions usually result in serious injuries, and sometimes even death.

In a recent year, 41,615 bicyclists suffered injuries in traffic accidents, and 961 died from their injuries, most being males. Over the last five years, an average of over 45,000 bicycle collisions have resulted in injuries.

Why Bike Accidents Happen So Frequently

Bicycle accidents happen for many reasons. However, these collisions happen regularly for a few key reasons.

First and foremost, bicyclists deserve the same respect on the road as any other driver. Still, most cyclists don’t get much respect. Drivers are often annoyed by bicyclists and fail to share the road responsibly, which frequently ends in collisions.

Also, bicycles are not as stable as other types of vehicles, like cars and trucks. Many things can cause cyclists to lose their balance or be thrown off their bikes. Therefore, bicyclists are much more prone to crashes while riding on unsafe roadways.

With proper care and respect, bicycle accidents can happen less frequently. Still, the statistics show little hope of minimizing bike crashes.

Common Types of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can happen in many ways, resulting in various collisions, including rear-end collisions and intersection accidents. The following are some of the most common types of bike accidents.

Collisions Between Bicyclists and Drivers

Accidents involving bicyclists and drivers are some of the most common. Drivers owe a duty to others on the road to drive safely, but when they drive negligently, collisions are more likely to occur. Some of the dangerous driving behaviors that most frequently cause bicycle crashes include:

It can be difficult for drivers to see bicycles, especially when driving larger vehicles. With the large number of bicycles on the streets every day, drivers should pay closer attention and drive safely to avoid collisions with cyclists.

Accidents Involving Bicyclists and Pedestrians

Pedestrians are not always free from fault for collisions, as they, too, can be negligent and cause collisions. When walking down the street, pedestrians have a duty to pay close attention to street signs and lights and proceed with caution. Additionally, pedestrians should always pay attention while walking to keep themselves and others safe.

Often, pedestrians become distracted while walking, especially by their smartphones. Some pedestrians also don’t look and carefully cross the road when they should. Not only should pedestrians look out for cars and trucks, but also for bicycles, which can quickly sneak up on them if they’re not paying close enough attention.

When pedestrians get in a bicyclist’s way, the cyclist may not have enough time to safely stop and prevent a collision. This can result in injuries to both the bicyclist and the pedestrian.

Bike-on-Bike Crashes

Bicyclists also have to watch out for one another. This is especially the case in areas with heavy bike traffic.

When bicyclists hit one another, they often hit each other from the side, head-on, or from the rear. In addition, some bike-on-bike crashes involve just two cyclists, but others can result in a domino effect with multiple bicycle riders. The more bicyclists are involved, the more complicated the case may be, especially when determining fault.

Car Door Accidents (Dooring)

Common Types of Bicycle Accidents I Dooring Accident

Dooring is another extremely common type of bicycle accident. With this type of accident, pedestrians usually collide with an open car door. This often happens in urban areas when drivers park on the side of a road with a bike lane, and the door swings into the bike lane.

Drivers are responsible for looking before opening their car door to avoid hitting anyone, including bicyclists or pedestrians. When they fail to pay attention, the driver may open their door to exit the vehicle, and the cyclist may not have sufficient time to stop before hitting the open car door.

Open car doors may also cause cyclists to swerve to avoid hitting the open door, resulting in the rider veering into oncoming traffic and getting hit by a car.

Cyclists Being Run Off The Road

Bicyclists sometimes suffer injuries even without getting hit or colliding with anything. A bicyclist can easily be run off the road in many situations, for example when:

  • The cyclist is swearing to avoid oncoming traffic
  • A motorist pulls out of a driveway, street, or parking space without looking
  • A motorist negligently or intentionally pushes the cyclist off the road

Sometimes, getting run off the road can cause injuries just as serious as those resulting from a collision.

Collisions Between Bicyclists and Fixed Objects

Bicyclists may collide with fixed objects, like a column, pole, or road sign. When this happens, it’s important to consider why the object was in the cyclist’s way and who was responsible for placing it there.

Colliding with a solid object can cause extensive injury to bicyclists. They can get thrown off of their bicycles and fly into the object, which often results in head and neck injuries.

Road Hazard Accidents

Road hazards can be risky for any vehicle, but especially for bicycles. A dangerous road condition can cause cyclists to lose their balance or get thrown off their bikes. Some of the common road hazards that commonly cause bicycle accidents include:

  • Potholes
  • Loose gravel
  • Debris
  • Poor lighting
  • Cracked, uneven pavement
  • Inadequate drainage

Additionally, road construction can be dangerous for bicyclists, particularly when road workers fail to properly secure the area and put up proper signage.

Bicycle Defect Crashes

Not all bicycles are designed and manufactured the same, and some have hidden defects that riders may not notice until it’s too late. A defect or malfunction can cause bicyclists to lose their balance, fall off their bikes, swerve into oncoming traffic, or collide with fixed objects.

Injuries Resulting from Bicycle Collisions

Injuries from bike accidents can be severe and life-altering. Common injuries bicycle riders are most at risk of suffering in any type of collision include:

  • Brain injuries: Bicyclists often suffer head and brain injuries, including skull fractures and concussions, especially if the law doesn’t require helmets.
  • Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury damages some part of the bike rider’s spinal cord, which can cause permanent physical changes.
  • Road rash: A type of friction burn, road rash occurs frequently when bicyclists are thrown off their bicycles and land on the asphalt.
  • Broken bones: Bike riders can end up with fractured bones, like bones in the arms and legs, in any type of collision.
  • Facial injuries: Even wearing a helmet can’t totally prevent facial injuries, with common injuries including eye injuries, dental injuries, and a broken or dislocated jaw.

Not only can bike accident injuries affect victims in the short term, but they can also leave a lasting impact. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, bicyclists can face certain complications, like amputations, permanent nerve damage, and scarring.

Medical treatment is key following a bicycle accident, but proper care can be costly. Pursuing compensation can help you avoid financial strain and ensure you can receive the treatment you need most to recover from your injuries as much as possible.

Who’s At Fault for a Bike Accident?

The first step in your claim is determining the cause of your bicycle collision. Once you understand how your accident occurred, you’ll know who you can hold accountable.

Some of the parties that may be at fault for your bicycle collision include:

  • Car and truck drivers: When motorists drive negligently, they can be held liable for their actions.
  • Employers: If a motorist causes your accident while on the job, their employer can be responsible.
  • Pedestrians: A negligent pedestrian may be fully or partially at fault for your collision and resulting injuries.
  • Other bicyclists: Other bike riders can be responsible for your collision if their negligence caused your injuries.
  • Governmental entities: Governmental entities are responsible for maintaining roads safe for all motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Therefore, if your bike collision occurs due to hazardous road conditions, you could hold the local government liable.
  • Construction companies: Inadequate or improper care and maintenance at roadside construction sites can cause bicycle collisions and extensive injuries.
  • Bike designers, manufacturers, and distributors: Depending on the defect or malfunction that caused your accident, you can hold certain parties liable under product liability law.

Liability is one of the most important parts of a compensation claim. Depending on the circumstances, you may have multiple options to pursue financial recovery from the at-fault party, including insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.

Damages Available for Bicycle Crash Cases

Damages Available for Bicycle Crash Cases

Damages can aid in minimizing your accident-related financial burdens, especially those stemming from your injuries. The damages you’re entitled to pursue are based on the specifics of your case, but may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses, including ambulance transportation, hospital stays, and surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished or lost earning capacity
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The value of your claim depends on numerous factors. To help determine how much your collision claim is worth, your bicycle accident attorney must evaluate the following details:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • How your injuries have and will affect your life
  • The total cost of your medical bills
  • How much time you’ve needed to take off from work and the total of your lost earnings
  • Whether you can return to your occupation once recovered
  • How your bike accident has affected you mentally and emotionally
  • Any other monetary and non-monetary losses you’ve suffered as a result of your accident

Understanding the value of your claim can ensure you end up with a proper settlement. Your accident lawyer can safeguard your rights to fair compensation and fight diligently for the best possible case result.

How a Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help

Accident claims are difficult to navigate, especially when you’re also focused on your physical recovery and the stresses of post-accident living. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. A bike accident lawyer can take on your case and handle your claim properly, efficiently, and timely.

When you have a skilled bike accident attorney on your side, you can feel confident knowing your claim is in the most capable hands. Bicycle accident lawyers have experience and have all the right resources to handle all case-related tasks, from investigating your accident and calculating your damages to communicating with insurance companies and negotiating a settlement.

After a bike accident, you may feel confused, anxious, and unsure. A bike accident lawyer can provide much-needed guidance, direction, and high-quality representation throughout your claim.

Following a Bike Crash, Don’t Wait to Take Action

If you’re interested in pursuing compensation from the at-fault party in your bike accident, you have limited time to do so. Therefore, the sooner you discuss your situation with a seasoned bicycle accident attorney, the quicker they can begin working on your claim and taking action on your behalf.

Regardless of the type of bicycle accident you experience, you should not hesitate to seek assistance from a local attorney. A lawyer can explain your legal rights and options as a bike accident victim and create a strong plan for your case.

Case evaluations with a Phoenix injury lawyer are free, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling yours today. They will listen to your story and determine whether you have a valid case to hold another party liable for your injuries.