In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that approximately 1,000 bicyclists are killed, and 130,000 are injured annually. After accounting for health care and lost productivity, the CDC estimates that the annual financial costs of injuries and deaths caused by bicycle accidents exceed $23 billion.
Even when proper safety protocols are followed, accidents involving bicycles can occur for a number of reasons. To protect yourself, you should be aware of the following common causes of bicycle accidents.
- Car Doors
When riding a bicycle near parked cars on the road, there is a chance that a car door will open in front of you while you are in motion. Frequently, these occurrences occur so abruptly that cyclists have no time to react; consequently, many end up colliding with the doors and flying over them upon impact. Accidents involving bicycles and car doors can result in catastrophic injuries, depending on how the cyclist lands. To avoid this type of accident, you must thoroughly inspect parked vehicles to determine if anyone is seated inside.
- Not Using The Far-Right Lane Or Bicycle Lane
Bicyclists must ride in the far-right lane or bicycle lane when on the road. You should never ride on the road if a bicycle path or sidewalk is available. Additionally, you must cross the street at a crosswalk or intersection. Do not cross lanes of traffic or use the car turning lanes.
- Vehicle Turning Right
When a car makes a right turn, one of the most frequent collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles occurs. Cross intersections where right-turning vehicles may be present with extreme caution. Distracted driving has become a leading cause of all types of accidents; so if you’re on a bicycle and approaching an intersection, make sure the driver of the vehicle can see you. If the vehicle is signaling a right turn, you shouldn’t pull up alongside it.
- Check That Your Bicycle Is in Working Order
Before riding, inspect your bike visually. Lubricate and tighten your chain. Check the handbrakes and handlebars. Inflate your tires and secure your seat. Check your bike’s front and rear reflectors.
- Wear A Helmet
Helmets are mandatory and lifesaving. Make sure your helmet fits well, and the straps are tight. Lock the helmet with the chinstrap. Avoid helmet movement.
- Follow Traffic Laws
Know local and state bicycle laws. Use hand signals and ride in traffic when biking (never against). Ear buds or other ear coverings that block traffic should never be used.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident in California, contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Garcia and Phan. In bicycle accident cases, our attorneys have won millions of dollars for tens of thousands of satisfied clients. Contact us immediately at (714) 586-8298 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.