Riding a bicycle isn’t just a fun recreational activity. It’s also a means of transportation for many people these days. When you ride a bicycle to work and other destinations, you don’t have to worry about finding parking or paying for gas. While many cities have made an effort to create more bicycle-friendly environments, cyclists still risk getting injured by careless drivers. Here are some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents.
Opening a Car Door
Before opening their door in traffic, it’s important for drivers to first make sure it’s safe to do so. This includes checking for bicyclists that may be approaching their vehicle. Unfortunately not all motorists do this. If a door swings open quickly into the path of a bicyclist, they will either hit the door or hit other vehicles trying to avoid it.
Distracted Driving and Riders
It’s just as important for bicyclists as it is for drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times. Unfortunately, too many bicyclists and drivers look at their smartphones while on the road. Taking your eyes off the road for even a split second can increase your risk of getting into an accident.
Making a Turn
A large percentage of accidents involving vehicles and bicycles occur during turns. When bicyclists are next to a vehicle, they often get caught in the motorist’s blind spot. Drivers who don’t look before making a turn can cut in front of a bicyclist and hit them.
Following Too Closely
Accidents can also happen when bicyclists and drivers follow too closely behind each other. If the bicycle or car in front makes a sudden stop, it can cause a rear-end collision. Bicyclists and drivers to leave plenty of space to make sure they have enough reaction time to avoid hitting the other person’s back end.
It’s dangerous for both motorists and bicyclists to speed. Although bicyclists can’t ride as fast as cars, they still shouldn’t try to ride as quickly as they can. When bicyclists ride too fast, they won’t have enough time to react if a vehicle suddenly pulls out in front of them.
Harsh Weather Conditions
It’s wise for bicyclists to avoid riding during harsh weather conditions, but they can still get caught in an unexpected rainstorm sometimes. When this happens, they will have more trouble seeing what’s in front of them and are more likely to get into an accident. Rain can also make bicyclists less visible to motorists.
Were You Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
If you were recently injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by a motorist, you may be entitled to compensation. It’s important to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA about your case as soon as possible.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and common causes of bicycle accidents.