In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that roughly 1,000 bicyclists are killed and 130,000 are injured annually. When accounting for health care and lost productivity, the CDC estimates that the yearly financial consequences of injuries and deaths caused by bicycle accidents exceed $23 billion.
Even when basic safety practices are followed, accidents involving bicycles can occur for several reasons. To protect yourself, you should be aware of the following typical causes of bicycle accidents.
- Car Doors
When riding a bicycle near parked cars on the road, you run the risk of having a car door open in front of you while you’re moving. Frequently, these events occur so quickly that cyclists have no time to react; as a result, many end up colliding with the doors and flying over them upon impact. Depending on how the individual lands, bicycle accidents involving car doors can cause catastrophic injuries. To avoid this type of accident, you must be vigilant about checking parked vehicles to see if anyone is sitting inside.
- Not Using the Far-Right Lane or Bicycle Lane
When riding a bicycle on the road, you must remain in the far-right lane or bicycle lane. If a bicycle path or sidewalk is available, you should never ride on the road. Additionally, if you must cross the street, you must do so at a crosswalk or intersection. Do not cross traffic lanes or utilize the car turning lanes.
- Vehicle Turning Right
One of the most frequent collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles occurs when a car makes a right turn. Always exercise extreme caution at crosswalks where right-turning vehicles may be present. Distracted driving has become a major cause of all types of accidents, so if you’re approaching an intersection on your bicycle, make sure the driver of the vehicle can see you. If the vehicle indicates a right turn, you should not pull up next to it.
- Check That Your Bicycle Is in Working Order
A quick visual inspection of your bicycle before riding can save you a great deal of trouble in the future. Ensure that your chain is lubricated and taut. Examine the hand brakes and ensure that the handlebars are not loose. Ensure that your tires are properly inflated, and your seat is properly adjusted and secured. Verify that your bike’s front and rear reflectors are visible.
- Wear A Helmet
Helmets are required by law and can save your life. You should ensure that your helmet fits properly on your head and that the straps are secure when they are fastened. Secure the chin strap to prevent the helmet from moving. Ensure there is no room for movement inside the helmet. Insert pads if necessary to ensure a proper fit.
- Follow Traffic Laws
Ensure that you are well-versed in all local and state bicycle laws. Remember to always use hand signals when operating a bicycle and to ride in traffic (never against). Additionally, you should never use earbuds or any other form of ear covering that prevents you from hearing and responding to surrounding traffic.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident in California, contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at San Gabriel Valley Personal Injury Law Firm. In bicycle accident claims, our attorneys have won millions of dollars for tens of thousands of delighted clients. Call us now at (626) 602-9483 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.