Personal Injury Lawyer
A large percentage of bicycle-related accidents are due to collisions with vehicles, as a personal injury lawyer Charlottesville, VA trusts knows well. These incidents can arise in various scenarios on the roadway, and can result in profound tragedy. A bicyclist who is up against the hard exterior of a car, may not have much of a chance at walking away unscathed. To help protect against suffering from painful and expensive injuries, a rider may want to know more about how bicyclist accidents happen, so preventative measures can be taken.
Here are several examples of the biggest dangers that may await a bicyclist when they travel on two wheels:
Riding Against the Flow of Traffic
It is estimated that around a quarter of all bicycle accidents occur when the rider is traveling against the flow of traffic. Riding the opposite direction can result in a head-on collision, which can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation or even a fatality upon impact. Bicyclists are encouraged to not ride against traffic under any circumstances.
Car Driver Overtakes Bicyclist
A bicyclist may be traveling along and gets overtaken by a car, due to being hit from the rear. Injuries are typically severe, and such accidents happen more often at night when the bicyclist is less easily visible. A bicyclist can help protect themselves by refraining from riding during sunset or night hours, or wearing reflective gear and blinking lights.
Driver Turning at an Intersection
A car driver may turn at a street-light intersection and forget to not only look out for cars approaching, but bicyclists too. A rider may be going through the intersection during a right-of-way, when the car driver didn’t see him or her approaching. The driver may turn in front of the bicyclist and cause the rider to collide with the side of the vehicle.
Getting Hit by a Parked Car Door
Bicyclists who are riding in less urbanized areas, may not have to worry as much about getting hit by a parked car door. In busy city streets, the bike lane and side of the road where cars can park may be side-by-side. A bicyclist traveling in the bike lane may be at-risk for getting “doored”, where the car driver swings the door open rapidly without looking to see if any riders are approaching. Bicyclists who are doored may fly over the car door and be tossed off their bike or collapse right down to the ground, depending on the size of the door. Bicyclists who regularly cruise along busy urban areas, can be significantly more vulnerable. Statistically, getting hit by a parked car door may comprise of as much as one-quarter of all bicycle-related accidents.
Exiting from a Small Private Drive
A car driver may be trying to merge onto a busy street and crash into a bicyclist traveling in front of the driveway in their designated bike lane. Bicyclists who are riding alongside a long street of parked cars may want to watch out for smaller side streets where vehicles could be exiting.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and staying safe as a bicyclist.