What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?

If you are an avid bicyclist in San Antonio, Texas, it is important to protect yourself and reduce your risk of accidents by understanding the most common causes of collisions. The roads in San Antonio are the most dangerous for vulnerable roadway users – bicyclists and pedestrians. You may be able to reduce your risk of personal injury in a bicycle accident by identifying and avoiding the most common causes of collisions.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Driver Errors

No matter how long you’ve been biking in Texas or how careful you are, you may not be able to prevent a collision if a driver is careless or reckless. You cannot control the actions and behaviors of the drivers around you. Driver error is one of the main causes of bicycle accidents. Fatal bicycle accidents, in particular, tend to involve automobiles and negligent drivers. A driver is negligent if he or she uses less than a reasonable amount of care.

Examples of driver negligence related to bicycle accidents include:

  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Breaking roadway rules
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to keep a proper lookout for bikes
  • Following or passing too closely
  • Making an unsafe left-hand turn
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Opening a car door into a cyclist

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 846 bicyclists in the U.S. were killed in traffic accidents in 2019. Statistics show that around 96 percent of fatal bicycle accidents involve motor vehicles. If a motor vehicle driver is negligent, careless or reckless while driving, he or she may be responsible for a related injury or death.

Bicyclist Errors

Another common cause of bicycle accidents is cyclist error. Bicyclists have just as much responsibility as motor vehicle drivers to obey traffic laws and operate their vehicles prudently. If a cyclist breaks the rules or engages in reckless behaviors, this increases the risk of a bike accident. Common examples of bicyclist errors include:

  • Biking against the direction of traffic
  • Biking while intoxicated
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign
  • Ignoring the rights-of-way of other road users
  • Biking while distracted or listening to music
  • Carrying passengers on a single-person bike
  • Failing to use the proper equipment

Although a bicyclist typically cannot injure motor vehicle passengers by causing an accident, they can cause expensive property damage. They can also suffer serious injuries and losses themselves. For these reasons, it is important for all cyclists in San Antonio to bike safely and responsibly.

Unsafe Roadways

Some bicycle accidents are not related to motorist or bicyclist errors at all, but defects with the roadway that stem from unsafe design, poor roadway infrastructure or lack of road maintenance. The city or state government in charge of roadway safety and maintenance could be held accountable for these accidents. If a bicyclist crashes due to a pothole, for example, the government could be financially responsible if it reasonably should have repaired the pothole prior to the accident.

Injured in a Bike Accident? Consult With an Attorney

Determining the cause of a bicycle accident is necessary before you can file an insurance claim under Texas’s fault-based insurance law. A bicycle accident lawyer can investigate your crash to determine fault. Even if you contributed to the accident, you may still be eligible for financial compensation.

If you have been injured in a recent bicycle accident in San Antonio, consult with an attorney about your legal rights. You may be able to hold another party responsible, such as a motor vehicle driver or the city government. An attorney can help you understand and protect your legal rights during each phase of a personal injury claim.

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