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To Prevent Accidents and Injuries, Cyclists Must Always Ride Defensively
As the number of bicyclists increases, the amount of accidents involving bikes will also likely increase. And, like many other vehicle accidents, a large number of them occur at intersections.
A number of these collisions are the result of motorists that seem to forget that bicyclists are also legitimate and lawful users of the roadways. They fail to look out for bicyclists when making turns or moving through intersections.
These types of collisions are worsened by excessively large and busy intersections. Additionally, bicyclists are endangered by quickly changing traffic signals that might turn red before they fully cross the intersection.
What Are the Most Frequent Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
Several of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:
Drivers failing to yield to bicyclists in intersections
Some motorists might not be familiar with the laws of the road when dealing with cyclists sharing the road. This lack of understanding can be particularly hazardous when a cyclist and a car are sharing the roadway while crossing or turning at an intersection. Intersections are among the most dangerous places for cars and cyclists. Intersections are one of the main locations where crashes leading to devastating injuries occur.
A driver failing to observe bicyclists on the street
Motorists not seeing a cyclist on the road is a common reason for a crash involving a bicycle. Both drivers and bicyclists must take precautions to limit this very preventable cause of bike collisions.
Bicyclists can use safety accessories like sideview mirrors, reflectors, lights, and light-colored clothing to help reduce the possibility of a crash. Similarly, motorists must know that cars are not the only vehicles they need to watch out for on the roads. Motor vehicle drivers should be particularly cautious at intersections, near bike lanes, and in locations with a lot of bike commuters.
Drivers encroaching into bike lanes
Even while riding within the boundaries of a bike lane, bicyclists need to be alert at all times for distracted and careless motorists. Vehicles can accidentally or intentionally drift into a bike lane after just a few seconds of distraction. This can potentially cause a bicyclist to suffer significant injuries.
Bicycle doorings when a driver or passenger does not pay attention while opening a car door
As we mentioned above, dooring incidents are a serious danger to cyclists, especially in urban environments. These incidents can cause a bicyclist to go flying over their handlebars, which can cause catastrophic injuries like brain injuries, neck and back injuries, facial damage, and long-lasting pain and suffering. Engaging in defensive riding techniques is the best way for a cyclist to prevent being the victim of a dooring.
Distracted drivers hitting a cyclist
Distracted driving is one of the biggest problems for road safety that we face today. As smartphones have become a huge part of our daily lives, many individuals find it hard to set down their phones even while driving. Distracted drivers are clearly a risk to other vehicles. But they are even more dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians since they have almost no protection if they are struck. Someone that is distracted by texting, eating, or a multitude of other things may divert into bike lanes. Also, they might not notice a bicyclist crossing through an intersection or fail to see a cyclist while making a turn. Distracted driving is such a big problem that it's been identified as the leading reason for bicycle collisions involving motor vehicles.
Drivers failing to yield to bicyclists while pulling in and out of driveways or parking lots
When a motorist that is backing out of a driveway or parking lot does not fully assess their surroundings, it can lead to major consequences for pedestrians and bicyclists. Bicyclists are more likely to be struck in parking lots and while people are backing out due to their smaller size and their low noise levels. Backup video cameras and sensors are starting to minimize these kinds of accidents. But motorists can not depend on these technologies in place of looking behind them and checking their blind spots.
How Can I Avoid a Bike Accident?
Following proper safety procedures and laws when riding a bike in Austin is the most effective way to avoid collisions and injuries. When moving in traffic, bicyclists need to do the following:
How Can I Protect Myself in a Bicycle Accident?
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
If you get injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to do the following:
Contact an Austin Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Dunk Law Firm
If you sustain an injury in an accident with a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, or someone you love has been tragically killed, you need to consult with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. They will help figure out whether you may have a legitimate personal injury or wrongful death case against a negligent driver.
At Dunk Law Firm, our experienced bicycle accident attorneys assist bicyclists in seeking cases against negligent drivers who have caused major injuries. We understand how to receive all of the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, whether that means filing a claim or seeking a solution through other means.