The roadways are shared by motorists and bicyclists alike. With a limited amount of space, everyone is competing for a limited amount of pavement. The weight, size and speed of cars, trucks and buses are no match for a bicyclist. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009 51,000 bicyclists were killed and 630 lost their lives in crashes with motor vehicles. As bicycling continues to grow in popularity, it is crucial to understand the common causes of bicycle accidents.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycling continues to grow as a popular method of transportation in the United States. Urban areas have seen a great resurgence in the number of bicyclists in recent years. As our streets become more crowded and fast paced, it is important to remember that bicyclists do a huge favor to the motoring public by reducing traffic and we should all pay careful attention to bicyclists sharing our roads.
Some common causes of bicycle v. motor vehicle crashes are caused by:
- Motor vehicle making a right turn across bicycle’s lane of travel
- Motor vehicle turned left at an uncontrolled left turn intersection
- The bicyclist or motorist failed to stop at a red light or stop sign
- The motor vehicle or bicyclists passed on the right
- The motor vehicle “doored” the bicyclists. This occurs when the driver of a motor vehicle opens their door into the bicyclists lane of travel.
In addition, many bicycle crashes are caused by road conditions that do no affect most car, truck or bus drivers. In addition, improperly maintained roadways pose a threat to bicyclists and motorcycle drivers.
Ways to Prevent Bicycle Accidents
As a driver of a motor vehicle, it is important to keep in mind that bicycles and motorcycles do not possess the typical outline of a car or truck. Keeping in mind the narrow silhouette of bicycles and motorcycles will provide a greater opportunity to see them on the roadways. Studying the above common causes of bicycle crashes will also provide increased awareness when navigating those particular situations.
Bicyclists should also take precaution by wearing helmets, protective gloves, shirt, pants, etc. In addition, it is extremely important for bicycle riders to have reflectors on their bikes and clothing. This increases visibility and will more easily allow motor vehicle drivers the opportunity to see bicyclists.
If you have been injured by a negligent motor vehicle driver while riding a bicycle, it is important to contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer who is familiar handling bicycle accident cases. Insurance companies rely on the prejudice of the community when evaluating these types of claims. Insurance companies wrongly believe that members of the community will blindly hold bicyclists responsible for all crashes merely by the fact that they were not in a motor vehicle. An experienced Missouri or St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer will gather all available evidence to ensure the large insurance corporations do not take advantage of you. Call (314) 409-7060 or toll-free at 855-40-CRASH.