Bicycling is a popular form of transportation and recreation, but it also poses a risk of accidents and injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 800 bicyclist fatalities in 2018 alone. To help prevent these accidents and keep bicyclists safe, it is important to understand the most common causes of bicycle accidents.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of bicycle accidents. This can include texting, talking on the phone, eating, or even changing the radio station while behind the wheel. When a driver is distracted, they may not see or hear a bicyclist in their vicinity, resulting in a collision. Distracted driving is particularly dangerous for bicyclists because they are more vulnerable to injury than people in cars, trucks, or buses.
Speeding is another common cause of bicycle accidents. When drivers exceed the speed limit, they have less time to react to potential hazards, such as a bicyclist in the road. Additionally, the impact of a collision at high speeds is much more severe, increasing the likelihood of serious injury or death. To help prevent speeding-related bicycle accidents, it is important for drivers to obey posted speed limits and to be aware of their surroundings.
Failure to Yield
A failure to yield is another common cause of bicycle accidents. This can occur when a driver does not yield the right of way to a bicyclist, such as at an intersection or when making a turn. This can also happen when a driver opens a car door in the path of a bicyclist, known as “dooring.” To prevent these types of accidents, drivers must be aware of their surroundings and pay attention to bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vehicles.
Learn more: Florida Comparative Negligence Law with Bicycle Accidents
Road hazards, such as potholes, debris, or poorly maintained roads, can also cause bicycle accidents. When a road is poorly maintained, it can create dangerous conditions for bicyclists, such as slick surfaces or uneven surfaces. Additionally, debris or obstacles in the road can cause a bicyclist to lose control or crash. To help prevent accidents caused by road hazards, it is important for government agencies to maintain and repair roads, and for bicyclists to be aware of their surroundings and avoid hazards when possible. A local attorney will know the government who is responsible for maintaining the roadway and can investigate whether the municipality, county, or state knew or should have known about the road hazard.
Weather can also play a role in causing bicycle accidents. Rain, snow, and ice can make roads slippery and reduce visibility, making it difficult for drivers to see bicyclists. Additionally, high winds can make it difficult for bicyclists to maintain control of their bikes. To help prevent accidents caused by weather, it is important for drivers to slow down and be extra cautious in poor weather conditions, and for bicyclists to dress appropriately and use extra caution when riding in inclement weather.
Impaired driving is another common cause of bicycle accidents. When a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their reaction time and ability to make safe decisions are impaired. This can make it difficult for them to see or avoid a bicyclist, increasing the risk of a collision. To help prevent accidents caused by impaired driving, it is important for drivers to never drink and drive, and for bicyclists to be aware of their surroundings and avoid riding near impaired drivers.
Driver fatigue is another common cause of bicycle accidents. When a driver is tired, they may have difficulty focusing, have slower reaction times, and make poor decisions. This can make it difficult for them to see or avoid a bicyclist, increasing the risk of a collision. To help prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, it is important for drivers to get enough sleep and rest before getting behind the wheel, and for bicyclists to be aware of their surroundings and avoid riding
Poor Visibility is also one of the most common causes of bicycle accidents is poor visibility. This can include factors such as poor lighting, poor weather conditions, and poor road design. For example, a cyclist may have difficulty seeing a vehicle approaching from the side if the road is poorly lit or if the weather is foggy or rainy. Additionally, road design can also play a role in poor visibility, as a cyclist may have difficulty seeing a vehicle approaching from behind if the road is winding or has limited visibility.
It is also possible that the driver did not see the bicyclists because they didn’t have lights or reflectors on their bike. This can be very dangerous.
In order to reduce the risk of bicycle accidents, it is important for both drivers and cyclists to be aware of their surroundings and obey the laws of the road. Cyclists should also wear the appropriate safety gear and be visible to drivers. Drivers must also pay attention to the road, be aware of cyclists, and respect cyclists’ right of way. Finally, cyclists and drivers should avoid impaired driving, driver fatigue, and poor visibility.
If you or a loved one were injured in a Florida bicycle accident, you should speak to an experienced attorney. The award-winning bicycle accident attorneys at KMW can help. Contact us online or by calling .